The verdict of a Philadelphia woman who authorities said carried out a terrorist plot in the name of ISIS has fueled outrage on the streets of New York City, where crowds of angry people protesting the verdict crowded a subway station in Union Square and marched through the Midtown Village streets.
A grand jury declined to indict Samantha Elauf on two counts of terrorism charges after she was arrested last year.
Prosecutors said she called 911 and told an operator she needed to “save the entire world” from a “coming terrorist event,” before placing a bomb at the corner of Eighth and Urbana streets.
She claimed to be working for ISIS but later said she meant it in the context of helping refugees in Syria.
Prosecutors said police arrested Elauf after officers spotted something suspicious in her vehicle. Her attorney has said she only wanted to make a donation to a group advocating for Syrian refugees.
Demonstrators in Union Square outside a Starbucks also chanted “ISIS is not afraid of us” on Thursday.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio joined the crowds and called the verdict a “disappointment.” He said police officers and other city workers had to work “under all kinds of stress and peril.”
Protests also erupted outside Los Angeles International Airport on Thursday, where demonstrators yelled, “ISIS is not here” and “plans are evil.”
In San Francisco, protesters blocked subway tracks outside a local police station. There were also protests around the Los Angeles area and Texas.