NEW YORK CITY — The latest developments in a foiled terror plot, allegedly targeting New York City.
Among the three suspects conspiring to build a bomb and explode it at Times Square in the summer of 2016 is a doctor from the Philippines.
Court hearings began in Manila today for the extradition request of
37-year-old Filipino, Russell Sangi Salic, who told reporters that the money he allegedly sent in support of the Islamic State was actually for charity.
According to US Court documents in May of 2016, Salic transferred more than $400 from the Philippines to an undercover FBI agent posing as an Islamic extremist.
Salic allegedly informed the agent that he sent the money in support of the Islamic state, and that he said it would be “a great pleasure if we can slaughter” people in New York.
But a recently obtained statement by Salic claims that the Islamic State hacked into his online accounts, after he condemned the group in 2015.
Salic also told reporters today that the money he sent was for charity, supporting war victims, including Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya population.
But the Philippine military in October has since confirmed that Salic has ties to the Maute terror group in the Philippines.
“This is an extremely serious matter in the United States. It’s been alleged these three individuals conspired to build a bomb and explode it at Times Square in New York in the summer of 2016, and it doesn’t get any more serious than that.”
Christopher Cardani, US Department of Justice attaché, embassy of the United states in Manila, said, “We look forward to giving him that day, that he will be given an opportunity to state his case before an American jury. This is an extremely important matter to the United States.”
Cardani also attended the court hearing in Manila today, telling reporters quote they are looking to have Salic extradited as soon as possible.