June 7 (UPI) -- New York City and federal authorities have arrested a man they say was planning to detonate grenades in Times Square, reports said Friday.
The man, who was not immediately identified, was set to appear in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn Friday. Officials said he was arrested by the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force, but he's not believed to be part of any large terrorist network. The task force is comprised of New York City police detectives and FBI agents.
Authorities said they began monitoring the Queens resident after they'd received information he spoke about acquiring a "suicide vest" so he could attack lawmakers in New York City and Washington, D.C. He was taken into custody when he tried to buy illegal firearms, which had their serial numbers removed.
Times Square has been a popular target for planned attacks. In 2010, Faisal Shahzad drove a vehicle loaded with explosives into the area and tried to set it off. The bomb didn't work and Shahzad was captured two days later as he tried to flee the country. He pleaded guilty to a five-count criminal complaint and was sentenced to life in prison. Two years earlier, a bomb attack at a military recruiting station in the square caused some light damage but didn't harm anyone.