‘I don’t know how many times he’s gone back’: Somali-American man charged in New York

NEW YORK — A Somali-born man charged with terrorism for allegedly plotting to attack New York City and New Jersey with a bomb that could be concealed in a bicycle helmet, a toy gun and a bag of marijuana has pleaded not guilty.

The alleged plot, according to the criminal complaint, began in October and had been active since at least January.

The complaint states Mohamed Omer Hassan was arrested by authorities on Tuesday and charged with attempted murder and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction.

Hassan, who was in custody since February, allegedly told authorities that he wanted to “go to hell” for the Islamic State group and “to blow up a train station in Afghanistan,” according to prosecutors.

The federal government also filed a civil lawsuit seeking to stop Hassan from entering the United States and said it was “very concerned” about his travel plans.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan said Tuesday that it was reviewing the criminal charge.

“The government has no information to support the claim that he is a threat to the community,” the spokesman said.

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