Vastavam web: A Pakistani-American man accused of plotting attacks in New York City for Islamic State is scheduled to appear at an extradition hearing in a Pakistani court on Friday.Talha Haroon, 19, was arrested in Pakistan in 2016 after U.S. authorities identified him as one of three men, along with a Canadian citizen and a man from the Philippines, planning attacks on Manhattan’s Times Square and the city’s subway. His lawyer and family deny the charges.“The FBI projected this as a high-level story, but these people don’t have the qualifications to kill a monkey,” said defense lawyer Idrees Ashraf.
Ashraf said that his client was only in contact with the investigating officer but never directly spoke with the co-accused, raising serious doubts about the nature of the investigation.One of the accused men, 19-year-old Canadian citizen Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, has been in U.S. custody since May 2016. He pleaded guilty to terrorism charges in October 2016, prosecutors said.
The third accused, 37-year old Russel Salic, was arrested in the Philippines in April, according to the office of Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim.Haroon has been in custody for over a year without being charged. A bail plea will be filed for his release during Friday’s hearing, his attorney said.“He was one of the best students in his school,” Haroon’s father said, adding that Talha moved to Pakistan in 2014 after finishing high school.