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Woman gets 16 years in prison for plotting IS-inspired terrorist attack in NYC

June 17 (UPI) -- A 33-year-old woman has been sentenced to more than 16 years in prison for planning an Islamic State-inspired terrorist attack in New York City, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Noelle Velentzas was sentenced after pleading guilty with co-defendant Asia Siddiqui to charges of teaching or distributing information pertaining to the making and use of an explosive, destructive device or weapon of mass destruction, the Justice Department said Wednesday.

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The pair pleaded guilty in 2019. Siddiqui was given 15 years for her role in the plot.

According to court documents, the roommates plotted a terrorist attack between 2013 and the time of their arrest in 2015.

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Prosecutors said the two taught each other chemistry and electrical skills to create a bomb, bought materials for an explosive device and discussed the devices that were used in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center and the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, prosecutors said.

Charging documents say Velentzas expressed terrorist sympathies and viewed Osama bin Laden as her hero.

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"The defendant expressed her support for foreign terrorist organizations like al-Qaida and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham by learning how to build bombs and other explosive devices and targeting members of law enforcement with terror," Acting U.S. Attorney Mark Lesko of the Eastern District of New York said in a statement Wednesday.

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"Today's sentence imposes a just punishment on the defendant for her planned horrific crimes."

Authorities said police found propane gas tanks, soldering tools, car bomb instructions, machetes and knives were found during a search of their apartment when Velentzas and Siddiqui were arrested six years ago.

"With the sentence imposed by the court, Velentzas has been held accountable for her crimes," added Justice Department National Security Division Attorney General John Demers.

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