A Jackson Heights man, who was arrested for plotting a lone wolf terror attack in Times Square in 2019, is facing five years in prison followed by his deportation from the U.S. as part of his plea deal.
Ashiqul Alam, 25, pleaded guilty Friday in Brooklyn federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert M. Levy to knowingly receiving a firearm with an obliterated serial number.
As part of his plea agreement, Aslam, a citizen of Bangladesh, agreed to the entry of an order of removal so he will be deported after completing his sentence.
As set forth in court filings, between August 2018 and June 2019, Alam allegedly repeatedly expressed a desire to purchase firearms for use in a mass-casualty attack. He identified two targets, either Times Square or Washington, D.C., in order to kill a senior government official. In January 2019, he conducted several “recon” trips to Times Square, using his cell phone to make video recordings of the area as he searched for potential targets.
Alam allegedly conducted research about firearms on the internet and discussed firearms with an undercover law enforcement officer.
In March 2019, Alam told the officer that he would be interested in buying a Glock 9mm pistol and the officer introduced him to an “associate,” who offered to help Alam procure two illegal Glock19 pistols.
In April 2019, Alam underwent Lasik eye surgery, a procedure whose value he explained: “Let’s say you are in an attack, right, say that my glasses fall off. What if I accidentally shoot you? You know what I mean. Imagine what the news channel would call me the ‘Looney Tunes Terrorist’ or the ‘Blind Terrorist.’”
In May 2019, Alam was told by the same undercover officer that the firearms he wanted to buy would have obliterated serial numbers, and he replied, “Oh, that’s good man.”
On June 6, 2019, Alam met the individual he believed was going to sell him firearms and was shown two Glock19 semi-automatic pistols with obliterated serial numbers. Alam provided $400 towards the purchase of the two pistols and asked whether the Glock19 pistol he had just purchased was compatible with a silencer.
Alam was arrested that day, June 6, 2019, by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, which is comprised of detectives from the NYPD and agents from the FBI.
“With today’s guilty plea, Alam has admitted to purchasing a firearm for use in a full-scale, mass-casualty attack in Times Square,” U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said. “Protecting our national security and the residents of this city, state and nation from the threat of terrorist attacks at home or abroad continues to be one of the highest priorities of this Office and its law enforcement partners.”