A New York suspect in an Islamic State-related terror investigation was arrested Wednesday after attacking an FBI agent with a kitchen knife during a search of his home.
Fareed Mumuni, 21, charged late Wednesday with attempted murder, had emerged early last month as a suspect in an alleged terror investigation involving plots featuring pressure-cooker explosives and knife attacks targeting law enforcement officers.
During a search of Mumuni’s Staten Island home, according to court documents, the suspect allegedly ignored agents’ commands to wait in another room and “suddenly lunged at the officers with a large kitchen knife.”
“As the officers attempted to restrain Mumuni, (he) repeatedly attempted to plunge the kitchen knife into the torso of an FBI special agent and reached out …in the vicinity of a rifle used by another member of law enforcement,” the court documents state.
The knife was stopped by body armor worn by the agent, who suffered minor injuries.
Following his arrest, according to the federal complaint, Mumuni agreed to speak with investigators, saying that he had pledged allegiance to ISIL and had intended to join the group’s ranks abroad. If he was unable to travel, Mumuni allegedly told investigators that he “intended to attack law enforcement officers.”
“Mumuni … admitted that today’s attack was premeditated and that he kept the knife he used to attack the FBI special agent wrapped in a t-shirt in his bed for just such an occasion,” the documents state.
The suspect also admitted, investigators said, to discussing the construction of a pressure-cooker bomb with an alleged co-conspirator. That associate, Munther Omar Saleh, along with another un-named co-conspirator, were arrested Saturday after allegedly charging a law enforcement vehicle armed with knives, while investigators were conducting surveillance.
Following his arrest, Saleh also allegedly declared himself a “full-fledged” member of ISIL and expressed his intent to attack law enforcement.
The New York incident comes just two weeks after authorities fatally shot a Boston area man, also inspired by ISIL, as he advanced on a surveillance team armed with a military-style knife.
That suspect, Usaamah Rahim, had allegedly targeted police after abandoning a plot, involving two other associates to behead the organizer of a Texas event featuring cartoon drawings of the Prophet Mohammed.
In the New York case, investigators identified Mumuni as a suspect in the ISIL inquiry after tracking Saleh with the assistance of confidential informant.
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SOURCE: USA Today – Kevin Johnson