Aug. 23–Two Queens women accused of studying bomb-building techniques and reading about explosives online in preparation for a terrorist attack in the U.S. pleaded guilty Friday in Brooklyn federal court.
Get started on your Homeland Security degree at American Military University.
Asia Siddiqui, 31, and Noelle Velentzas, 35, admitted to teaching and putting out information about building and using an explosive that would be used as a weapon, the officials said. They face up to 20 years in prison.
Federal authorities said between 2013 and 2015, Velentzas and Siddiqui plotted to build a bomb for use in a terrorist attack in the U.S. They taught each other chemistry and electrical skills, researched methods of making plastic explosives and looked into how to build a car bomb.
The women were arrested in 2015 in a sting operation involving an undercover NYPD officer posing as a convert to Islam. The officer befriended the defendants in 2013 and wore a wire to record their conversations.
They also talked about the pressure-cooker explosives used in the Boston Marathon bombing, the Oklahoma City bombing and the 1993 World Trade Center attack. They also research[ed] potential targets, the feds said.
Siddiqui wrote to a Jihadist magazine edited by a former al Qaeda member to express her interest in launching an attack, authorities said.
Velentzas also praised the attacks of Sep. 11, 2001, and said being a martyr through a suicide attack guaranteed entrance into heaven. Velentzas specifically picked government targets stating, “You go for the head” when you commit a terrorist attack.
During a search following their arrest, the feds seized propane gas tanks, soldering tools, car bomb instructions, Jihadist literature, machetes and several knives.
“Velentzas and Siddiqui were intent on waging violent jihad here in the United States, researching at length historical terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, educating themselves on how to turn propane tanks into explosive devices, and dreaming up plans to kill Americans on our own turf,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney. ” ___
This article is written by Graham Rayman from New York Daily News and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.