Two women in Queens, New York accused of plotting to plant bombs in the United States have been arrested on terror charges. One of the women, 28-year-old Noelle Velentzas, cited Osama bin Laden as one of her heroes and praised terrorist attacks, such as the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center.
Velentzas and her accomplice, 31-year-old Asia Siddiqui allegedly talked online about potential places to plant explosive devices, but no active explosive devices or specific plans were found. According to NBC New York, multiple propane tanks, as well as instructions to turn them into explosive devices were in the possession of Siddiqui at the time of her arrest.
Since 2014, the two women were in contact with an undercover officer that posed as a would-be jihadist. Siddiqui did not want to disclose information to the officer about the progress she was making in learning how to build bombs. During one encounter with the undercover agent, Velentzas showed the agent her phone which sported a background of her heroes, Osama bin Laden and his mentor, Abdullah Azzam.
Siddiqui also informed the agent that after the terror attack at the Boston Marathon, Velentzas developed an obsession with pressure cookers. She had recently received one as a gift.
“You can fit a lot of things in [the pressure cooker], even if it’s not food,” Velentzas told the agent, in an apparent reference to explosive materials. She later told the agent her and Siddiqui needed to “learn how to take someone’s weapon from them and fight multiple people at once.”
“If we get arrested, the police will point their guns at us from the back and maybe from the front. If we can get even one of their weapons, we can shoot them. They will probably kill us but we will be martyrs automatically and receive Allah’s blessing,” said Velentzas.
Both women are U.S. citizens and are set to appear in Brooklyn federal court Thursday.