A New York college student is accused of plotting to set off a pressure cooker bomb in support of ISIS.
Investigators say Munther Omar Saleh has allegedly been engaged in activity supporting Islamic terrorism and plotting terror attack in New York City. Saleh was arrested Saturday morning after he and another man exited their car and ran towards a surveillance van that had been following them.
The 20-year-old was reportedly studying electrical circuitry at a college in Queens.
Federal authorities in Queens were prompted to an investigation in March after he was seen loitering and looking around on the George Washington Bridge for multiple days.
In the official complaint filed against Saleh, a statement reads that the college student “did knowingly conspire to provide material support and resources… including service and personnel, to a foreign terrorist organization.”
The court papers claim that the student was intending to detonate a bomb in the metropolitan area.
Saleh is also accused of offering to translate ISIS propaganda into English for dissemination, CBS New York reports
Previous posts on Saleh’s Twitter expose his support of violent Jihadist attacks, including the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris.
In a tweet from September 10, Saleh wrote, “I fear AQ could be getting too moderate,” allegedly in reference to al-Qaida.
In response, Saleh’s father defended his son by saying that searches for “firearms,” “ammunition,” “bulletproof vests,” “drones,” and “New York City landmarks and tourist attractions” were simple Internet searches.
However, a federal agent reported he has been searching online how to build a bomb since the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
Saleh has been locked up since Sunday and has had no contact with his family, but has not been formally charged.
According to the Fordham Law School’s Center on National Security, NBC News reports that this arrest brings the number to 52 U.S. citizens or permanent residents who have been accused of giving material support to ISIS in the last 15 months.
Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to note Saleh was not enrolled at Queens University.