A 19-year-old Queens man has been arrested and charged in federal court with attempting to provide material support to ISIS.
Awais Chudhary, a naturalized American citizen born in Pakistan, was arrested Thursday and made his first appearance in court on Friday, KCPQ-TV reported.
According to U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue, Chudhary had plotted to commit acts of terror.
“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,” Donoghue said. “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.”
The criminal complaint against Chudhary stated that he planned on carrying out his attack with a knife.
“Chudhary ordered online a tactical knife, a mask, gloves, and a cellphone chest and head strap to facilitate his recording of the attack,” the complaint alleged, according to CBS News.
The teenager “intended to commit a knife attack ‘because that’s what [he] know[s].'”
Chudhary also identified and photographed several bridges as locations for his attack, the complaint continued.
KCPQ reported that sources said Chudhary wanted to carry out an “ISIS-style” attack.
Authorities learned details of Chudhary’s plans after the teenager texted an undercover agent he believed to be an ISIS sympathizer.
After learning the news, neighbors voiced their concern at Chudhary’s arrest.
“Just thinking about what could have happened here hurts me,” one woman said, according to KCPQ.
“When you hear news other places and it’s your neighbor and you can’t believe it’s happening next to you, well, this is real,” neighbor Heme Reddy told WCBS-TV.
Neighbors also mentioned that Chudhary had moved into the neighborhood only recently, KCPQ reported.
One official noted that the teenager is under constant surveillance and thus poses no danger to the public.
Chudhary will face up to 20 years in prison if he is convicted.
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