Two city women were arrested Thursday on terror-related charges for allegedly trying to build a homemade bomb and stage an attack in the U.S.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says Noelle Velentzas, 28, in the sketch above on the left, and Asia Siddiqui, 31, on the right, are charged with conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction against persons or property in the United States.
The arrests were made following an investigation by the Joint Terrorism Task Force and NYPD.
FBI officials say they were taken into custody in Jamaica, Queens.
The two women appeared in Brooklyn federal court Thursday afternoon. Neither entered a plea. They are due back on May 4.
According to the complaint, the two women were looking to "make history" by carrying out a terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
Federal investigators say since at least August 2014, they researched and were able to gather car bomb components much like the ones used in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.
They also allege the pair had gotten propane gas tanks and instructions from an online jihadi publication on how to turn them into explosive devices.
Prosecutors say Velentzas showed interest in attacking military or government targets.
They say she discussed attacking a large gathering of police, like those at the funerals for slain police officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.
Siddiqui is accused of being in contact with militants overseas, even having a poem published in an al-Qaida magazine in 2009.
"My client will enter a plea of not guilty, if and when there's an indictment, and she and I will address everything in the courtroom where it belongs," said Tom Dunn, Siddiqui's attorney.
The FBI said the public was never in any real danger during the investigation.
The defendants live in Queens and had local ties to Jamaica.
NY1 spoke with Abu Bakr, Velentzas' husband, who said he didn't see anything like this coming.
"I'm surprised," he said. "Just, like, it was a knock at the door, and everything changed. Didn't see anything like this happening. Didn't see anything like this coming. Just right now, loss for words."
Velentzas' husband said the couple has two children, a 5-year-old and an adopted 11-year-old.
Both women worshipped at a mosque in Jamaica, according to Charles Aziz Bilal, the imam at the mosque. He said there was never any talk of any terrorism plot that would indicate anything was wrong.
"That's not what we promote here," Bilal said. "We have spoken against that many, many times here. It's not our faith to deal with any kind of terrorism or whatever it is. That's not what our religion is all about."
If convicted, both women could face a life sentence in prison.