Like other recent sensational “terror plots,” however, the criminal complaint unsealed yesterday demonstrates the key role of of an undercover law enforcement informant in both formulating and facilitating the alleged plot. It doesn’t appear that Velentzas or Siddiqui actually planned or attempted to bomb any target, nor is there any evidence of discussions about how to create a bomb before the introduction of the informant into their lives.It was only after the informant provided the pair with a copy of The Anarchists Cookbook – a manual with instructions on how to create an explosive device — that their amateurish efforts gained any traction.According to the complaint, both Velentzas and Siddiqui are alleged to have “espoused jihadist beliefs” for a prolonged period leading up to these allegations. Siddiqui, in particular, is believed to have written letters and poems in support of extremist violence, and may have been under government surveillance since as far back as 2006, when she is said to have made contact with the now-deceased former editor of Al Qaeda’s Inspire magazine, Samir Khan. While the exact nature of this contact is not specified, it is alleged that, in 2009, Siddiqui had submitted poems online to the predecessor magazine of Inspire, entitled Jihad Recollections.
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