The Slatest

College Student Arrested, Accused of Conspiring With ISIS, Planning New York Terrorist Attack

Authorities first noticed the alleged ISIS conspirator poking around the George Washington Bridge in March.

Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

U.S. authorities charged a New York college student with plotting to carry out terrorist attacks in the city on behalf of ISIS. Munther Omar Saleh, a 20-year-old American citizen, was under surveillance as part of a months-long investigation and was arrested on Saturday.

“The criminal complaint says that Mr. Saleh translated Islamic State propaganda into English, criticized Al Qaeda as ‘too moderate’ and tried to learn how to build an explosive device,” the New York Times reports. “[Saleh] searched online for materials required to build a pressure-cooker bomb and looked at images of city tourist attractions in the hope of carrying out an attack, according to the complaint.”

Saleh came to authorities attention in March, according to the court papers, when he was seen by a police officer on successive days at the George Washington Bridge looking around. “The behavior prompted officers to interview Saleh, who denied sympathizing with Islamic State and granted them permission to examine his computer, authorities said,” according to Reuters. “Investigators found the computer contained Islamic State propaganda, according to court filings.”