New York Man Sentenced to 18 Years for Plotting ISIS Attacks

A New York man has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for conspiring and attempting to provide material support to ISIS, and assaulting and conspiring to assault federal officers.

Munther Omar Saleh, 22, of Queens pleaded guilty to charges that he planned to set off a pressure-cooker-style bomb, the type that was used in 2013’s Boston Marathon bombing, on George Washington Bridge in New York, along with co-defendant Fareed Mumani.

Saleh also attempted to attack FBI officers who were surveilling the pair by charging at an officer while armed with knives. Following his arrest, Saleh admitted that he had planned to attack the FBI officers, along with Mumani, and the Department of Justice said in an affadavit that they found two knives, one in his home and one in his mother’s car.

Four days later Mumani stabbed with a kitchen knife an FBI officer carrying out a court-authorized search. The agent escaped with minor injuries as the knife did not penetrate the protective body armor he was wearing. Mumani has been charged with attempted murder of an FBI agent, as well as conspiring to provide material support to ISIS.

Saleh, a former aeronautics student, had enough electro-circuitry knowledge to successfully carry out the bombing, according to FBI agents, and he had emailed himself instructions about building pressure-cooker bombs as well as carrying out extensive research on New York tourist attractions. His 18-year prison sentence will be followed by 10 years of supervisory release.

“Saleh attempted to turn our city into a staging ground for violent attacks, including those aimed at both local and federal law enforcement officials,” said Assistant Director in Charge William Sweeney. “Directed by a known terrorist organization responsible for civilian massacres and other heinous crimes worldwide, he supported and attempted to facilitate the martyrdom of those with similar views. Today’s sentencing promises he’ll remain behind bars for a significant period of time, upholding our faith in a justice system that has little compassion for those who wish to harm our way of life.”

Acting Assistant Attorney General O’Callaghan added, “Today’s sentence is but one example of our resolve to bring to justice homegrown violent extremists who plot and attempt attacks on innocent people, including law enforcement agents, in the U.S. in the name of foreign terrorist organizations.”

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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