A 19-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen was arrested and charged with attempting to provide “material support or resources” to the terrorist organization the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, the Eastern District of New York confirmed Friday.
Awais Chudhary was arrested on Thursday and was ordered to be held without bail, a press release from the Eastern District said. Chudhary was born in Pakistan and lived in Queens, N.Y., according to the criminal complaint filed in Brooklyn.
“The defendant allegedly planned to conduct a deadly attack in New York on behalf of ISIS,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers in a statement from the Department of Justice. “The National Security Division, working with our partners, will remain vigilant in our efforts to identify, disrupt, and hold accountable those who would conduct a terrorist attack on our soil. I want to thank the agents, analysts, and prosecutors who are responsible for this case and prevented this defendant from carrying out his deadly plans.”
Chudhary’s lawyer did not response immediately to a call and an email requesting comment.
According to the criminal complaint, Chudhary allegedly communicated to undercover law enforcement agents that he planned to carry out a knife attack or a bombing in the name of ISIS. He also allegedly told the undercover law enforcement that he planned on recording the attack. The complaint alleges that he had mentioned the pedestrian bridges over the Grand Parkway and the area of the World’s Fair Marina, both in Queens N.Y., as possible locations.
Chudhary had allegedly ordered a knife, a mask, gloves, and a cellphone chest and head-strap to record the attack, according to the complaint, and was arrested while attempting to pick up the packages in Queens.
“As alleged, Awais Chudhary planned to kill innocent civilians on behalf of ISIS and record the bloodshed in the hope of inspiring others to commit attacks,” said Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, in a statement. “This Office, together with the FBI, the NYPD and all members of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force will continue working tirelessly to identify ISIS sympathizers like the defendant and prevent them from carrying out their murderous intentions.”
If found guilty, the Eastern District said in a press release, Chudhary faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.