By Gina Martinez
A 22-year-old Ozone Park man was arrested at JFK airport Mondayand charged with attempting to provide material support to ISIS, prosecutors said.
According to the criminal complaint filed by Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget Rohde in Brooklyn, Parveg Ahmed traveled to Saudi Arabia in June to celebrate an Islamic religious holiday. Prosecutors said once there, Ahmed attempted to travel to Syria to enter ISIS-controlled territory, but was detained in a Middle Eastern country bordering Syria.
Prior to being detained Ahmed had repeatedly expressed support on social media for ISIS and for individuals who provided support to the foreign terrorist organization’s mission of violent extremism, prosecutors said.
On July 17, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force agents obtained a search warrant for Ahmed’s personal computer, and learned he had viewed or listened to recordings of radical Islamic clerics, the U.S. attorney said.
On Monday, task force agents obtained a search warrant for electronic devices found in Ahmed’s possession when he was detained attempting to travel to Syria. Officials discovered messages sent to third parties expressing a desire to travel to ISIS-controlled territories, prosecutors said.
According to the U.S. Attorney, officials found a message explaining that Ahmed planned to join ISIS in Syria to wage violent Jihad.
“We have made it to Dawlatul Islam in Syria,” the message is alleged to have said. “In sha Allah (God willing) we will join the Jihad very soon and in Sha Allah we will then join the ranks of the Shuhuda (martyrs). The West has invaded the land of the Muslims and is constantly attacking it.”
Officials also searched Ahmed’s browser history and found that he was researching maps of ISIS-controlled locations, prosecutors said. Ahmed was deported to the United States Monday and arrested at JFK Airport he same day.
“As alleged, Ahmed sought to take up arms with violent terrorists who have killed numerous innocent victims, including Americans,” Rohde said. “This office and our law enforcement partners will continue to work tirelessly to arrest and prosecute extremists before they are able to threaten the United States and its allies.”
FBI Assistant Director-in-ChargeWilliam Sweeney encouraged the community to notify law enforcement when they spot suspicious activity and behavior.
“As we allege, Parveg Ahmed attempted to travel to Syria, aligning himself with ISIS instead of his fellow Americans,” he said. “Like others before him who chartered a similar path to join this violent terror group, Ahmed now finds his journey ends the same way — in a New York courtroom answering for his actions.”
If convicted, Ahmed faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmart