NEW YORK — Two 16-year-old girls from New York City have been arrested on immigration charges after federal authorities said they planned to become suicide bombers, according to a published report.
The teenagers were arrested March 24 and were being held in a detention center in Leesport, Pa., The New York Times reported Thursday, citing a government document provided by a federal agent.
According to the document, the FBI found that the girls posed “an imminent threat to the security of the United States based upon evidence that they plan to be suicide bombers,” the Times said.
The evidence was not described in the document.
Manny Van Pelt, a spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, would confirm only that two juveniles had been arrested on “administrative immigration violations” and remained in custody.
The girls — one from Bangladesh, one from Guinea — were living in the United States illegally, the Times reported.
Adam Carroll, a community activist with the Islamic Circle of North America, told the Times one of the girls had been arrested after she stopped attending public high school in September. Federal immigration agents investigated her home and discovered an essay about suicide and Islam on her computer, Carroll said.
The case seemed to be “an investigation that’s gotten out of hand, like a lot of other so-called terror investigations,” Carroll told the newspaper.