NEW YORK CITY — A Queens man who federal prosecutors say worshiped radical Islamic clerics and defended the 9/11 attacks was charged Tuesday with trying to aid ISIS in Syria through "violent jihad."
Parveg Ahmed, 22, was arrested Monday at JFK Airport after being deported from the Middle East, where he had been trying to enter Syria, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Eastern District Office.
He was charged with attempting to provide material support to ISIS and was expected to appear in Brooklyn Federal Court Tuesday.
Investigators found a text on his phone from June stating, "[W]e have made it to Dawlatul Islam (ISIS) in Syria. In sha Allah (God willing) we will join the Jihad very soon and in Sha Allah [God willing] we will then join the ranks of the Shuhuda (martyrs). The West has invaded the land of the Muslims and is constantly attacking it,” according to court papers.
They also found a picture of five men hanging by their necks with the caption, "Gay men to be hanged," as well as texts justifying the 9/11 attacks and a picture of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, prosecutors said.
Ahmed also took to social media to post support statements for terrorist organizations, including, “Who are Jihadis? Muslims who fight to establish the Sharia IN THEIR OWN LANDS, wanted by MAJORITY of the people. USA are the real terrorists,” according to a criminal complaint.
His internet browsing history also showed he researched maps of ISIS-controlled locations, prosecutors said.
FBI Assistant Director William Sweeney said the bureau is on high alert for threats against the city.
"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," Sweeney said in a statement.
He faces up to 20 years if convicted.