Federal authorities announced on Friday three men who planned to detonate explosives in Times Square, New York City subways, and to possibly open fire in a concert hall during the holy month of Ramadan in June 2016 were arrested. Prosecutors asked for the case to be kept secret so it would not be compromised, according to authorities.

The men plotted to set off the bombs to show their support for the Islamic State, according to United States officials. During their planning, they referenced the similar and recent attacks in Paris and Brussels, according to authorities.

Officials said the men discussed the planned Terrorist Attack through instant messaging.

In an April 2016 communication, Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, one of the potential terrorists, said to an undercover FBI agent pretending to be a fellow ISIS supporter, "We [the men] will show them what they hadn’t seen in 2001.”

This news comes a week after ISIS claimed a connection to the Las Vegas mass shooting--a connection authorities claim is not true.

How it was prevented

On Friday, criminal complaints were unsealed in the Federal District Court in New York City and revealed the undercover FBI agent was able to convince these men he would be carrying out this attack with them.

Through their communications, El Bahnasawy discussed in May 2016 potentially placing a car bomb in Times Square. One of the other men, Talha Haroon, also suggested they could detonate a bomb on a subway train and, "kill all on the train.", according to the complaint.

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Authorities said the planned attack was able to be stopped by the FBI and New York Police Department last year.

The Terrorists

El Bahnasawy, a 19-year-old Canadian citizen, purchased 40 pounds of hydrogen peroxide, an ingredient used in improved explosive devices, according to authorities. Additionally, he purchased batteries, Christmas lights, thermometers, and aluminum foil to build the bombs, authorities said.

A cabin close to New York City was also purchased by El Bahnasawy so the men could build the bombs and plot their attacks further, according to government officials.

El Bahnasawy has been in custody since May 2016 and has pleaded guilty to terrorism offenses, according to authorities. He will be sentenced in December and could face possible life sentencing.

The two other men, Russel Salic, a 37-year old Filipino, and Talha Haroon, a 19-year old American who lived in Pakistan, were arrested overseas in September 2016 and April 2017. Prosecutors hope to extradite these men to America.