Ashiqul Alam Wiki
Ashiqul Alam, 22, was charged on Friday after he was caught a day earlier in an undercover sting buying illegal guns to carry out his alleged plot.
Ashiqul Alam from Queens was arrested on Thursday after police and the FBI learned he was inquiring about buying grenades to use in his alleged plot in Times Square
New York man accused of planning a terror attack in Times Square underwent Lasik eye surgery just in case his glasses fell off during the plot and left him unable to shoot at victims.
During months of conversations with an undercover FBI agent, Alam allegedly said he wanted to attack law enforcement and civilians in Times Square.
Authorities said he had the laser eye surgery in April in preparation.
‘Let’s say we are in an attack, right, say that my glasses fall off. What if I accidentally shoot you? You know what I mean. Imagine what the news channel would call me the ‘Looney Tunes Terrorist’ or the ‘Blind Terrorist’,’ he allegedly explained to the agent in one of their conversations.
Alam, who lives with his parents in a Queens apartment building, was arrested on Thursday just moments after paying the undercover age $400 for two Glock 19 nine millimeter semi-automatic pistols with their serial numbers stripped off.
During his June 7 arraignment on one charge of attempting to purchase a firearm with a defaced serial number, Federal Court Judge Magistrate Cheryl Pollak rejected defense attorney James Darrow’s request for Alam to be released on $200,000 bond and home confinement. Instead, she ordered that Alam be “permanently detained,” calling him a danger to the community and a flight risk based on the criminal complaint presented by investigators. If convicted, Alam faces up to 10 years behind bars. Alam is due back in court on June 21.
I wonder what motivated him? We may never know, right CBS? (hint: say his name)…Authorities: Ashiqul Alam Of Queens Wanted To Attack Times Square With Guns, Suicide Vests And Grenades – CBS New York https://t.co/74Q8ALdgHB
— Corky Engel (@corkyengel) June 8, 2019
Undercover Agents Watched Alam for 10 Months
Alam was surveilled by the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) since last August when they arranged for him to make contact with an undercover agent about purchasing weapons and explosives.
Investigators said Alam complained about not having enough bomb-making materials and was considering an attack using a suicide bomber’s vest. “The better the explosives, the farther the shrapnel could go,” Alam explained to the undercover agent. He also wanted grenades, and said that they could each “take out at least eight people.”
Bangladeshi citizen Ashiqul Alam was arrested in congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez district of good old Jackson Heights Queens NY aka.
“Epicenter” of NYC sex trafficking
After plotting attack on Times Square with grenades and Ak47. https://t.co/SBhDsCA8cO
— Michael (@IVIich4eL) June 8, 2019
“It’s horrible to think about the world and what it’s come to,” New York City resident Tyler Roberts told Alice Gainer from New York’s CBS2 after hearing about Alam’s planned attack. “It’s almost like every day that you hear something of this nature,” he shared.
Alam had Lasik Surgery to Improve his Image in the Media, Was Practicing at a Shooting Range and Surveilled Times Square
During his arraignment, the judge learned that Alam had Lasik Surgery in April so he wouldn’t look foolish during his rampage. “Let’s say we were in an attack, right, say that my glasses fall off. What if I accidentally shot you? You know what I mean. Imagine what the news channel will call me – “The Looney Tunes Terrorist” or “The Blind Terrorist.”
The Washington Times reported that last January, Alam used his smartphone to take surveillance footage of Times Square. He told the undercover officer that he was scouting out potential targets.
Times Square terror suspect Ashiqul Alam ordered held without bail https://t.co/4i6hS8nnE6
— Mom of Only 3 (@Momofonly3) June 8, 2019
During the same month, Alam and the undercover agent went to a shooting range in Pennsylvania so he could sharpen his shooting skills. Alam discussed killing civilians, police officers, and how he wanted to “shoot down” homosexuals. He confided to the agent that the attack on Times Square would “make them legends.”
Alam Praised Other Terrorists
While authorities described Alam as a “lone wolf,” they stressed he admired terrorist groups like Al Qaeda, terrorist leaders such as Osama Bin Laden. The New York Timesreported that Alam told the undercover agent “(Osama bin Laden) did what he is supposed to do,” and added, “Now it’s up to us.”
“The defendant made a number of statements of admiration for various terrorist organizations, including the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham,” court documents also revealed.
Bangladeshi Immigrant Ashiqul Alam, 22, Charged With Planning US Times Square Attack https://t.co/QclxVNLxmV
— vishal chaskar (@vishal210487) June 8, 2019
Alam told the undercover agent that he wanted to see the “flag of Islam on the Twin Towers or Empire State Building”
Neighbors Described Alam as Quiet
According to the New York Post, neighbors were shocked to discover that Alam had been attempting to hatch a terror plot. “He is respectful, quiet. The family is Muslim, ” next-door neighbor Shamsi Ara said. “We are shocked, we didn’t think it can be our neighbors,” Ara added. According to Ara, the family moved to the quiet Jackson Heights neighborhood about five or six years ago.
Several neighbors learned about Alam’s terrorist leanings as they watched his arrest unfold. Jamal Uddin witnessed the raid on the Alam family apartment. “The FBI came at 2 p.m. and they left at 9 p.m. They were inside and outside,” Uddin said “I saw them take the laptop and computer and lots of things in boxes. I saw the desktop and the hard drive.”
An admirer of slain Al Qaeda chief #OsamaBinLaden, Ashiqul Alam was arrested after he received two semi-automatic pistols from an undercover law enforcement officer with whom he had discussed carrying out #TerrorAttacks, officials said. #TimesSquare https://t.co/xOMc3b9WYV
— National Herald (@NH_India) June 8, 2019
Mohammed Islam witnessed when federal agents arrested Alam. According to Islam, about 10 to 15 members of law enforcement attempted to gain entrance into the Alam family’s fifth-floor apartment. When Alam wouldn’t open the door, they broke into the dwelling.
There Have Been Several Plots Targeting Times Square
Several terrorist plots have unsuccessfully targeted Times Square. With so many threats, the area is now heavily guarded by police and protected with metal and concrete barriers.
In 2017, Bangladeshi immigrant Akayed Ullah detonated a bomb in a pedestrian underpass that connects Times Square’s subway station to the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Ullah was seriously hurt and several bystanders were injured by shrapnel.
That same year, Richard Rojas drove his car into a group of people killing one and injuring 20 others. It was later discovered that Rojas suffered from mental illness and had been on drugs
The NYPD needs to take safety seriously going forward. We need more NYPD officers securing the areas. The explosive Times Square guy by the name of, Ashiqul Alam didn’t have a chance to commit what he had plan. We could report any suspicious act, but we need the police to be….
— Eric Benitez (@Eric_Benitez1) June 8, 2019
In 2010, U.S. citizen Faisal Shahzad attempted to detonate a car bomb in the popular tourist destination but his plan was foiled when two bystanders alerted authorities when they saw the car starting to fill with smoke. Shahzad, who had received explosives training in Pakistan, was sentenced to life in prison.
Fast Facts You Need to Know
- Ashiqul Alam, 22, was arrested on Thursday after authorities learned of his alleged plot to open fire in New York’s Times Square
- Investigators said he had allegedly spoken about wanting to attack politicians in New York City and Washington D.C. but decided on the Times Square plot
- Alam, who lives in Queens with his parents, had been inquiring about buying explosives, suicide vests and grenades for his alleged attack
- Authorities said Alam underwent Lasik eye surgery in April this in preparation for his planned terror plot in case in his glasses fell off and he couldn’t see
- He is expected to appear in federal court in Brooklyn later on Friday after being charged after buying two guns without serial numbers from undercover agents
- He was taken into custody in an undercover sting after trying to buy the guns