Less than two weeks after the death of Osama bin Laden, authorities captured a pair of alleged terrorists plotting an attack within the five boroughs.
There were conflicting reports today about the two men now under arrest. They are reportedly homegrown, of North African descent, but that’s not yet clear.
FBI officials confirmed they were not handling this case, and sources told CBS 2 it will be prosecuted by the Manhattan D.A.’s office under New York State’s terrorism law.
Details of the plot are still sketchy, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly are planning a 2:30 p.m. news conference to clear things up.
One suspect had apparently talked about selling drugs to raise money to buy weapons. WCBS 880′s Paul Murnane reporters they allegedly wanted to attack synagogues. 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported the arrests were apparently the result of a sting operation.
It’s not yet clear if the alleged plot was more aspirational than operational.
Meanwhile, analysts scouring Osama Bin Laden’s personal diary said it’s clear the dead al Qaeda leader was committed to influencing others to attack America.
“He didn’t want to let up on the big events. He wanted to do things that would kill as many people that he killed on 9/11. But he also wanted to inspire people who would think about individual terrorist activity,” said security expert Robert Strang.
It’s unclear what may have motivated the two newly arrested suspects, but so-called “lone wolf” terrorists with no official terror group affiliation remain a primary concern for both local and federal law enforcement.