Two women from New York have been arrested for their part in an attempt to wage jihad in the United States.
Noelle Velentzas and Asia Siddiqui were taken into custody this week on allegations that they were plotting to create explosives for an attack in the U.S. According to CNN, a federal criminal complaint states that Asia had propane tanks and instructions on how to turn them into bombs.
Asia had published jihad-inspired poems in an al Qaeda-affiliated magazine, and she kept in touch with a number of people from the terrorist group.
While speaking with an undercover cop about the case of two New York Police Department officers that were shot in retaliation for the deaths of Mike Brown and Eric Garner, Noelle made some damning statements. The complaint notes that for starters, she said, “Killing a police officer is easier than buying food because sometimes one has to wait in line to buy food.”
She called an NYPD funeral “an attractive potential target” for a terrorist attack.
The women will be facing serious scrutiny when they return to court next month because of the severity of the charges against them.
“As alleged, the defendants in this case carefully studied how to construct an explosive device to launch an attack on the homeland,” U.S. attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch, a U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement. “We remain firm in our resolve to hold accountable anyone who would seek to terrorize the American people, whether by traveling abroad to commit attacks overseas or by plotting here at home.”
Neither of the women entered a plea when they appeared in federal court in Brooklyn, and they are currently being held without bond. They are due back in court on May 4, and Asia’s attorney Thomas Dunn told reporters that they plan to plead not guilty. “She and I will address everything in court,” he said. “We’re going to fight it out in court.”
Noelle and Asia, who are both U.S. citizens, face up to life in prison if they are convicted.