Two men from Queens, N.Y. were arrested Wednesday night on suspicion they were planning an attack on an unspecified Manhattan synagogue. The men were arrested by NYPD intelligence officers in a sting operation in which the targets attempted to buy guns and grenades ahead of their planned attack, according to law enforcement officials.
Officials had been monitoring the men for some time following threatening statements they allegedly made about attacking the city. These statements came prior to the American operation that killed Osama bin Laden May 1, and Wednesday's arrests are not connected to any retaliatory plan, sources quoted by ABC News said.
Officials have not released much information about the suspects but one is said to be a New Yorker of Moroccan descent. One of the suspects reportedly is a Muslim in his 20s who sold drugs in order to purchase weapons and had already acquired some, including pistols and hand grenades. The man has prior arrests for drug possession and said he was selling drugs for jihad, sources told ABC News.
The case is being handled by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office and the men will be charged under New York State's anti-terror laws rather than federal statutes. Details are expected to be released later Thursday.