Three Brooklyn residents were charged on Wednesday, February 25 with attempt and conspiracy to provide material support to the terrorist group ISIL (also known as ISIS), according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District.
The youngest of the three men, Akhror Saidakhmetov, 19, was arrested on Wednesday morning at John F. Kennedy International Airport while attempting to board a flight to Istanbul from where, prosecutors said, he had allegedly planned to travel to Syria to link up with the terrorist group.
Saidkakhmetov and Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev – a 24-year-old who, in August of 2014, made an online offer to kill the president of the United States and, more recently, threatened to shoot members of the NYPD and plant a bomb in Coney Island if his plans to join ISIL were thwarted – are scheduled to appear later today in Brooklyn federal court.
The third man, Abror Habibov, 30, who allegedly helped fund Saidkakhmetov’s efforts to join the terrorist group, is scheduled for a court appearance today in Jacksonville, Florida.
According to court documents, Juraboev and Saidakhmetov allegedly planned to assist in acts of terrorism within the United States if they were unable to travel abroad to join ISIL, or if ordered to do so by the militant group.
“The defendants looked to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, by flying to Turkey in a vain attempt to evade detection. And several of the defendants planned to commit acts of terror here—in America—if they could not travel, to include killing FBI agents,” said FBI Assistant Director in Charge Diego Rodriguez. “The defendants violated the true tenets of their faith in pursuit of their radical, violent agenda.”
“ISIL calls on its followers to come fight for the terrorist organization in Syria,” said New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton, “and in messages to followers outside Syria, ISIL has called on them to attack police, intelligence officers or the military in their home countries including the United States. By pledging allegiance to ISIL, these defendants allegedly conspired to fight for a designated foreign terrorist organization, either in Syria or even New York.”
Locally, Brooklyn Congressmember Hakeem Jeffries was quick to commend law enforcement agencies and condemn the alleged defendants.
“This development is a chilling reminder of why we must fund the Department of Homeland Security immediately,” Jeffries said. “These three terror suspects appear to have been plotting to take the lives of innocent Americans, including New Yorkers. The FBI, NYPD and law enforcement community should be commended for their diligent work in this case. The time for political gamesmanship by House Republicans has come to an end.”
Councilmember Mark Treyger, who represents Coney Island, agreed.
“Today’s arrests reinforce the serious and growing threat of terrorism here in Brooklyn and the critical need to fully fund the Department of Homeland Security,” he said. “It is especially disconcerting to learn that this plot included targeting Coney Island and the innocent New Yorkers who live, work and spent time in this community. Simply put, the decision by some in Congress to put politics before public safety must end now.”
Funding for DHS is currently in jeopardy. The deadline for renewing it without a lapse is Friday, February 27. Currently, Republicans in the House of Representatives have attached renewal of the funding to a variety of immigration provisions designed to stymie executive actions on immigration taken by President Barack Obama. In the Senate, an agreement has been reached whereby funding for DHS will be voted upon with no immigration riders attached.
One of the defendants is said to reside at East 10th Street near Avenue O in Midwood.