2 NYC women nabbed for planning to bomb U.S.


Two women from Queens, NY, were able to radicalize themselves by viewing violent ISIS videos online and communicating with Al Qaeda over their plans to blow up a bomb somewhere in the United States. How could those women view the disgusting and savage videos of beheadings, crucifixions, mutilations, dismemberments, gang rapes ... you get the picture ... how could they view those things and think, "Hmmm, that looks good to me. Let's commit an act of violence just like that!"

From the New York Times

By Stephanie Clifford

Two women living in Queens have been charged with planning to build a bomb that they wanted to detonate in the United States.

The women, Noelle Velentzas, 28, and Asia Siddiqui, 31, who until recently were roommates, were named in a complaint unsealed on Thursday in Federal District Court in Brooklyn, and were expected to appear in court on Thursday afternoon.

Ms. Velentzas and Ms. Siddiqui, who are American citizens, appeared to be interested in jihad, according to the complaint, which said they had been communicating with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula personnel and had been viewing violent videos made by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

In the complaint, the government said the plot advanced to the point that Ms. Siddiqui bought four propane gas tanks and stored them in a stairwell outside her apartment. Earlier, the women had bought potassium gluconate at a Queens pharmacy, bought the fertilizer Miracle-Gro (which can be used as a bomb component) and read about and discussed bomb-making.

A complaint was unsealed in Federal District Court in Brooklyn on Thursday, accusing two woman of planning to build a bomb. CreditHiroko Masuike/The New York Times

A complaint was unsealed in Federal District Court in Brooklyn on Thursday, accusing two woman of planning to build a bomb. CreditHiroko Masuike/The New York Times

The complaint does not indicate that the women had a specific target. During the probe, investigators deployed an undercover agent, according to the government documents.

In conversations recorded by the government, Ms. Velentzas expressed “a preference for attacking military or government targets, rather than civilian targets,” the complaint said. The women “implied that their goal was to learn how to blow up a bomb from afar rather than conduct a suicide bombing,” it says.

In December, after the funeral of the New York police officer Rafael Ramos, who was killed in his patrol car, Ms. Velentzas seemed to home in on “whether a police funeral was an appropriate terrorist target,” the complaint says.

Ms. Velentzas seemed to see a limited future for herself. “I might get old here and be able to put a lot of people onto wisdom and reason, or I’m going to be in solitary confinement, and get raped or tortured, or I’m going to be killed in the street. That is your future in America,” she said in a conversation recorded in February, adding that her three outcomes were becoming a grandmother, death or solitary confinement.

In 2013, the complaint suggests, an undercover officer began meeting with Ms. Siddiqui and Ms. Velentzas. Those meetings became regular after July 2014, when agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigations questioned Ms. Siddiqui at La Guardia Airport.

Since July 2014, the complaint says, “Velentzas and Siddiqui have discussed constructing an explosive device to be used in a terrorist attack in the United States.”

Ms. Siddiqui and Ms. Velentzas both studied chemistry and other elements of bomb-making, including topics like soldering. In November 2014, they bought potassium gluconate at a pharmacy after reading about it in a chemistry book, the complaint says, then drove to a Home Depot to look at “copper wires, paint containers with the word ‘combustible,’ small and large metal pipes, a bag of sodium chloride, and heater fluid containers” along with manure, which Ms. Velentzas noted was used in the Oklahoma City bombings.

The undercover officer appeared to be quite involved in the plot. In November, the officer told the women that he or she had downloaded “The Anarchist Cookbook,” which lays out how to make homemade bombs, among other topics, and had visited the library to do research on bomb-making.

By late November, Ms. Velentzas seemed to become suspicious of the undercover officer, using her phone to look at pages like “How to Spot Undercover Police,” running searches on the name the undercover officer had given, and researching how to figure out if someone is being bugged.

However, she continued to discuss the plot with the undercover officer, debating the merits of nitroglycerin versus potassium chloride.


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