Exclusive: FBI in Midst of Broad Campaign to Disrupt ISIS, Sources Say
The arrest of a NYC student is just the start, officials said.
The latest arrest that is part of this campaign came Saturday in New York, where a college student thought al Qaeda was getting soft and "making efforts to prepare an explosive device for detonation,” according to the FBI.
Hundreds of investigations are underway in all 50 states. Many involve suspected ISIS supporters, authorities said.
In the New York case, Munther Omar Saleh was accused of being an alleged “fervent supporter” of ISIS and offering to translate the terror group's propaganda into English. Court records quoted a tweet that read: “I fear AQ could be getting too moderate.”
Saleh had been under FBI surveillance since March when a Port Authority police officer saw him walking with a lantern on the George Washington Bridge, according to court records.
The FBI said Saleh told a confidential informant he was “in N.Y. and trying to do an Op.”
Instructions for a pressure cooker bomb were found on his computer along with images of New York City landmarks and tourist attractions, what court records called “potential targets for a terrorist attack.”
Saleh allegedly expressed support for the attack on the offices of the French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo and the attempted attack on the Draw the Prophet cartoon contest in Garland, Texas.
In roughly a month since two suspected ISIS supporters were killed in that attack, authorities have made at least five arrests of suspected ISIS supporters as part of what law enforcement officials tell ABC News is a broad campaign to disrupt potential terrorists encouraged by ISIS through social media.
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