A 22-year-old Queens man was arrested for attempting to travel to Syria to provide material support to Islamic State militants, authorities announced Tuesday.
Parveg Ahmed, a U.S. citizen, allegedly “sought to take up arms with violent terrorists who have killed numerous innocent victims, including Americans,” acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Bridget M. Rohde said in a statement.
Officials allege that Ahmed traveled to Saudi Arabia in June under the guise of attending an Islamic religious holiday and tried to enter a Syrian area controlled by Islamic State militants, but was detained at the border.
Prior to his trip to the Middle East, Ahmed supported the terrorist organization on social media. On July 17, after the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) obtained a search warrant for his computer, authorities found he had watched or listened to recordings by radical Islamic clerics.
A second warrant obtained Monday by the JTTF for the electronic devices Ahmed had on him when he was detained discovered messages he sent expressing his desire to go to Islamic State-controlled regions and join the group in Syria to “then join the ranks of the Shuhuda (martyrs),” officials said.
Ahmed was deported to the U.S. on Monday, where he was arrested at JFK International Airport. If convicted, he faces 20 years in prison.
“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,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr.