The suspect is expected to appear in federal court on Friday in Downtown Brooklyn, and there is no larger threat to New York City

By Claudia Harmata
June 07, 2019 10:22 AM

An unidentified man is in custody after he was investigated by authorities for allegedly plotting to detonate explosive devices in New York City’s Times Square.

The Queens, New York, man was intercepted by the Joint Terrorism Task Force between the New York Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and there is no imminent or larger threat to the area, according to local authorities, CBS New York reported.

The NYPD referred all questions to the FBI, and the FBI did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

According to NBC New York, the suspect had been under surveillance by authorities for quite some time, while an undercover agent helped track him. His official arrest was on suspicion of attempting to purchase firearms with the serial numbers removed, but he allegedly spoke about wanting to acquire a suicide bomb vest with the intention of targeting politicians in New York City and Washington, D.C., the outlet reported.

He also inquired about purchasing grenades and talked about using them in Times Square, ABC News reported. The area has been a frequent target for attempted terrorist attacks given its reputation as a high tourist attraction.

The man is expected to appear in federal court on Friday in Downtown Brooklyn.

In 2017, three people were injured when a man allegedly detonated an explosive device attached to his body in a New York City subway tunnel. N.Y.C. Mayor Bill de Blasio described the explosion as “an attempted terrorist attack,” at the time.