Lawyers for Canadian cite mental illness in NY terror case

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NEW YORK – Attorneys for a Canadian citizen accused of plotting a terrorist attack on Times Square say he has a history of drug abuse and psychological problems.

The claims were made last year when the lawyers for Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy complained about his conditions at a federal jail in Manhattan, according to court papers made public this week.

They said the 19-year-old El Bahnasawy was suffering from "significant mental health issues" while being held in a high-security unit. A separate filing described him as fighting a drug addiction.

The assertions add a layer of complexity to a case that the government kept secret until Friday, when the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan announced that Bahnasawy had been arrested in New Jersey in May 2016.

Prosecutors declined comment on Tuesday.

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