Police Arrest 2 Wannabe Women Terrorists In NYC

Photo: Victor J. Blue/Getty Images.
Two New York women have been charged with planning to build a bomb, according to documents released Thursday. Noelle Velentzas, 28, and Asia Siddiqui, 31, were recorded by an undercover agent talking about learning the science of building bombs, about supporting al Qaeda and ISIS, and about martyring themselves for jihad. Velentzas reportedly asked, "Why can't we be some real bad bitches?" 
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When she and Siddiqui were arrested Thursday, police found propane tanks, fertilizer, two machetes, and bomb-building instructions, The New York Times reports. The women did not appear to have any specific targets planned. 

According to the case against her, Siddiqui knew an American member of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a group based in Yemen, and had a poem published in Jihad Recollections, a magazine put out by AQAP.

The complaint also alleged that Velentzas watched ISIS videos on her phone with the undercover agent, and spoke of learning the "science" of making explosives. Siddiqui's lawyer said that his client would plead not guilty and that they would "fight it out in court," according to CNN.

This case is the latest operation to rely heavily on undercover agents, something civil liberties advocates worry could border on entrapment. At one point, the complaint says, Velentzas googled "learning the identity of a confidential informant," and "how to spot undercover police," among several other searches.

More than two dozen Muslims have been arrested for trying to travel abroad to fight for foreign militant groups, but it's not clear whether so-called homegrown radicals are a real problem in America. The FBI spends $3.3 billion a year on counterterrorism operations, and the government is still debating how to most effectively fight ISIS.
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