Source: Daily News, By ROCCO PARASCANDOLA , THOMAS TRACY , ELIZABETH KEOUGH and LARRY MCSHANE, June 7, 2019
A would-be Islamic terrorist, busted for a plot to hurl grenades into the multitudes of Times Square tourists, pondered blasting the new World Trade Center with a massive rocket launcher, according to a criminal complaint filed Friday.
Suspect Ashiqul Alam, 22, an Osama bin Laden-loving immigrant from Bangladesh, also suggested a suicide bombing to kill an unidentified “senior government official” in Washington, the 13-page court Brooklyn Federal Court document alleged.
Alam, during a March 21 meeting with a law enforcement undercover, declared that “seeing the flag of Islam on the Twin Towers or the Empire State Building” would make him happy.
“Probably a rocket launcher, like a huge one,” Alam replied, his voice dropping to a whisper, when asked about his approach. “Available tools, probably a bomb.”
Investigators described Alam as a lone wolf, and do not believe he was part of a larger plot, sources said.
Alam initially spoke about using a suicide vest packed with explosives and shrapnel in either Times Square or the nation’s capital, authorities alleged.
During a January meeting, Alam boasted that they could become “legends” if they executed the Midtown assault at the epicenter of the city’s tourist trade.
A neighbor in Alam’s Jackson Heights building said he and his parents moved in about six years ago. The FBI descended on the property Thursday night and spent about four hours conducting their investigation.
Previous plots targeting the Crosswords of the World included a failed car-bombing plot on May 1, 2010 when the explosive device fizzled on West 45th St. and a nearby handbag vendor alerted cops.
Faisal Shahzad pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in federal prison. The one-time suburban Connecticut dad was also an admirer of Osama bin Laden, and was unrepentant at sentencing, saying he was part of a group of “proud terrorists.”
Alam, during an April 25 trip to a Pennsylvania shooting range, asked the undercover for a ride back and forth from a Lasik surgery appointment to improve his vision.
“Let’s say we’re in an attack, right, say that my glasses fell out,” an amused Alam explained of his motivation for the surgery. “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.’”