Times Square
Times SquareFlash 90

A man has been arrested after he discussed purchasing explosives with the intention of detonating them in New York's Times Square, a law enforcement source told CNN on Friday.

The suspect expressed interest in buying firearms and grenades, and had talked about killing police and government officials in Times Square, the source said, adding that the man had been under surveillance for some time.

The man, whose name has not been released, was taken into custody Thursday, according to the New York Daily News.

The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force along with the New York Police Department handled the operation to investigate and arrest the man.

Details about how and where the arrest happened, and how authorities learned of his intentions, are scarce. CNN affiliate WCBS, citing police sources, reported that police set up an undercover operation to catch him when he went to buy weapons.

The suspect is expected to be in federal court in Brooklyn on Friday, WCBS reported.

Times Square, the commercial and entertainment hub around Broadway and 7th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, draws about 380,000 pedestrians a day.

The area has been the subject of terror plots before. In 2010, Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad tried, and failed, to set off a bomb in a vehicle in Times Square. He was arrested after street vendors tipped off police to the abandoned car.

The Islamic State (ISIS) has in the past threatened to attack targets in the US, including a threat on Times Square.

Since 2013, American prosecutors have charged hundreds of radicalized individuals with ISIS-related crimes.

In April, a US Army veteran was arrested for allegedly plotting a large-scale terror attack near Los Angeles.

Earlier that month, a Maryland man was charged with stealing a rental truck that he wanted to use to kill pedestrians at National Harbor in Maryland, in an attack similar to the 2016 truck terror attack in Nice, France.

In January, a man suspected of planning an attack on a synagogue in Ohio was indicted on charges of targeting a Jewish house of worship, as well as with attempting to provide material support to the ISIS, attempting to commit a hate crime and possessing firearms in furtherance of a crime of violence.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)