He wanted to blow himself up in Times Square where he had sown terror by shooting and throwing grenades. But he also planned attacks in the Wall Street area and in the capital Washington. It was stopped by the FBI and the New York police thanks to an undercover operation that led to the arrest of Ashiqul Alam, 22, originally from Bangladesh but resident in Queens. A lone wolf - investigators affirm - not tied to any terrorist organization or Islamic extremism.
Although Alam often on social media and in his conversations with the agent who had hooked him since last August, he used to praise the feats of Isis and those of former al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, giving his approval to the terrorist attacks. '11 September 2001.
Alam would have radicalized in the US and stopped just as the undercover agent who met him for months was selling him guns with the ripened serial number. But the boy had also asked to get hold of some bombs and the material needed to make an explosive jacket. His plans were not yet in an advanced state, but Alam had already been in reconnaissance in Times Square filming videos with his cell phone.
His intention was not only to sow panic and terror among the crowd of tourists in one of the most popular places in the world but to particularly hit the many policemen who watch over the security of the iconic New York square. The latter has been repeatedly targeted by terrorists or aspiring terrorists. Among the many cases, that of 2010 when an immigrant from Pakistan, Faisal Shahazad, tried unsuccessfully to blow up a car. He was then sentenced to life imprisonment. The last case last November, when a 20-year-old Canadian was sentenced to 40 years in prison for planning an attack on the Times Square subway line.