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Pakistani-American faces extradition hearing on NYC attack plot

Pakistani-American faces extradition hearing on NYC attack plot
From Reuters - October 12, 2017

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - 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 Manhattans Times Square and the citys subway.His lawyer and family deny the charges.

Haroons lawyer says his client is innocent and termed the investigation a sting operation carried out by an investigating officer motivated by career advancement.

The FBI projected this as a high-level story, but these people dont 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.

The FBI agent communicated with Talha online and has said he was active in IS, but no proof of militant links has been provided, Ashraf said.

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.

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