The terrorist convicted of plotting to bomb Times Square and the New York City subway system is appealing his 40-year sentence in the U.S.
In 2016, then 17-year-old Abdulrahman El-Bahnasawy was arrested after an investigation involving the FBI and the RCMP found that he had conspired to commit terror attacks in the name of ISIS.
Lawyers are now alleging that El-Bahnasawy’s rights were violated when he was denied a choice to pick his own legal representation and that the sentence was inhumane.
El-Bahnasawy was born in Kuwait and had lived in Canada for some time after he was arrested by U.S. authorities while in New York.
As reported on by True North founder Candice Malcolm in the Toronto Sun, El-Bahnasawy was radicalized into “militant jihad” while at an Islamic school in the Toronto area.
During his trial, El-Bahnasawy was represented by a legal team linked to the lawyer who helped convicted terrorist Omar Khadr return to Canada. During the trial, defence lawyers claimed that his mental illness and addiction issues had a role in the attack, however, El-Bahnasawy was deemed mentally fit to stand trial.
According to investigators, El-Bahnasawy had purchased bomb-making materials, mailed it to the area and had decided on locations for the attack. He eventually pleaded guilty to seven charges of terrorism.
“[He] plotted with Talha Haroon, a 20-year-old U.S. citizen living in Pakistan and Russell Salic, a 38-year-old Philippines citizen and resident, to conduct bombings and shootings in heavily populated areas of New York City during the Islamic holy month of Ramadhan in 2016, all in the name of ISIS,” said the U.S. Department of Justice.
“El-Bahnasawy acquired bomb-making materials and helped secure a cabin within driving distance of New York City to use for building explosive devices and staging the NYC Attacks.”
Prior to the plot, El-Bhanasawy had an extensive history of drug use and mental-health related issues.
According to El-Bhanasawy’s mother, the RCMP and U.S. authorities “manipulated” El-Bhanasawy during their investigation into the plot.
“This document shows the dirty role which the RCMP played to manipulate and drag a mentally ill boy via the internet until he got arrested in the U.S.,” his mother Khadiga Metwally told Candice Malcolm.