A FILIPINO doctor has denied accusations that he financed a thwarted jihadist plot targeting New York’s subway system and Times Square in May 2016.
Appearing in a Manila Court on Tuesday, November 7, orthopedic surgeon Russell Salic explained that authorities from the United States may have mistaken the money he sent to a charity as funding for attacks.
“That’s not true,” Salic told reporters when asked about the allegations. “I just donated money without any malicious intent.”
Salic’s lawyer Manuel Dalucapas also claimed that there is “no proof” showing the doctor wanted to bomb New York.
He added that their camp is ready fight the case in the Philippines and not in the United States.
But the U.S. Department of Justice maintained that it would do everything to have Salic extradited and stand trial in the U.S.
U.S. Department of Justice representative Christopher Cardani, who attended the Tuesday’s hearing, stressed that the case is “an extremely serious matter in the United States.”
“It’s been alleged these three individuals conspired to build a bomb and explode it at Times Square in New York in the summer of 2016 and it doesn’t get any more serious than that,” Cardani added.
According to U.S. court documents released October 6, the Filipino doctor sent $423 to the other suspects for the operation.
U.S. authorities said the FBI agent posed as an IS supporter and communicated with Salic and two other alleged plotters: Canadian Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, and American citizen living in Pakistan Talha Haroon.
The U.S. Department of Justice said it has requested Salic’s extradition following his arrest in the Philippines in April of this year.
In the Philippines, Salic is also under investigation in connection with the abduction of six and the murder of two sawmill workers in April in the province of Lanao del Sur, located at the Southern part of the country.
Salic is likewise accused of being connected with the Maute terrorists, the IS-pro group behind the attack in Marawi City, also in the Lanao del Sur. (AJPress)