A man arrested in a sting operation is scheduled to appear in federal court Friday on weapons-related charges after allegedly threatening to toss a grenade in Times Square, according to law enforcement officials.
Two law enforcement officials, speaking to the Associated Press, called the man’s threatening statements “aspirational” and said they never had reached a stage that endangered the public. The source spoke on condition of anonymity because the charges hadn’t been made public yet,
The suspect was identified as Ashiqul Alam, 22, of the borough of Queens in New York City, according to reports by WABC-TV and NBC News. The reports said Alam appeared to be acting alone.
The suspect was arrested Thursday by the Joint Terrorism Task Force , which includes both the New York police and the FBI, according to CBS2, which quoted police sources.
The New York Daily News, citing law enforcement sources, says the suspect was taken into custody after the task force learned that he was attempting to buy grenades.
The man, according to NBC News, which quoted three law enforcement sources, had taken surveillance video of Times Square and had allegedly discussed attacking people. He was arrested for allegedly trying to buy guns with serial numbers that had been removed.
Police, who had set up an undercover sting operation, arrested the suspect when he allegedly went to purchase the weapons, according to CBS2.
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