FBI officials disclosed on Thursday that the agency is in the midst of a broad campaign to disrupt terrorists inspired by ISIS, with multiple arrests expected before the July 4th holidays.
The campaign led to Saturday's arrest in New York, where a college student thought al Qaeda was getting soft and was "making efforts to prepare an explosive device for detonation,” according to an FBI statement.
The FBI source reported that there are hundreds of investigations underway in all 50 states, with many involving suspected ISIS supporters.
The New York case saw Munther Omar Saleh being accused of being a “fervent supporter” of ISIS, offering to assist the group in translating its propaganda into English. Court records show he composed a tweet that said “I fear AQ could be getting too moderate.”
Saleh had been under FBI investigation since March, when a Port Authority police officer saw him walking suspiciously with a lantern on the George Washington Bridge..
The FBI said Saleh told an informant he was “in N.Y. and trying to do an Op.”
When he was arrested the FBI found instructions for a pressure cooker bomb on his computer, alongside images of New York City landmarks and tourist attractions, which the FBI called “potential targets for a terrorist attack.”