The media has been obsessed recently with Americans who have joined the neo-Nazi/White Supremacist movement. So why didn’t the national media report on the Americans who recently tried to join ISIS and bankroll their terror attacks?
In two separate incidents, two men from the New York City area were in court this week over charges they tried to join and support ISIS. While local New York media covered the story, the national media turned a blind eye. It would have been hard to ignore them had they been successful in their plan, however.
According to NBC 4 in New York City, a 22-year old man from Queens flew to Saudi Arabia with the intent of crossing over into Syria and fighting with ISIS. He is charged with attempting to provide support to a terror organization.
It has become a common practice for radicalized young Muslims (especially in Europe) to leave their countries to go to fight with ISIS in Syria and the surrounding region. Many are arrested while attempting to do so, and only recently have a number of European countries started to crack down on the practice. Many ISIS fighters were allowed to return to their countries with no questions or investigation, but after some were implicated in terror attacks across Europe, countries began banning their return or prosecuting them.
In the Queens case, relatives say Parveg Ahmed, 22, of Ozone Park, had only recently become religious, and yet went from being a newly-practicing Muslim to radical within a few months. They claim to be in shock at his actions, saying they never saw this coming. Ahmed is a naturalized citizen from Bangladesh, graduated from high school in America, and worked as a math tutor. He managed to fly to Saudi Arabia but was arrested trying to enter Syria.
More from NBC 4 in New York City.
After Joint Terrorism Task Forces got a search warrant for Ahmed’s personal computer in July they found he’d been listening to recordings of radical Islamic terrorists. One of the recordings was from Abdullah el-Faisal, a Jamaican born cleric found guilty in UK of solicitation to commit murder.
A cell phone search warrant turned up messages to people expressing a desire to travel to ISIS controlled areas, and a message indicating he planned to join ISIS in Syria to wage violent jihad. His browser history also turned up research of maps of ISIS controlled locations, officials said.
Ahmed is charged with attempted material support for terror.
“As alleged, Ahmed sought to take up arms with violent terrorists who have killed numerous innocent victims, including Americans,” said Acting US Attorney Bridget Rohde in a statement.
Ahmed was flown back to New York late Monday, where he was arrested by members of the FBI Joint Terrorist Task Force. At a hearing in federal court in Brooklyn Tuesday afternoon, Ahmed was ordered held without bail.
Ahmed’s father and brother, who declined to give their names, told NBC 4 New York they were “in shock” and had seen no signs of anything untoward.
“He got religious in the last year. Not radical, just religious,” his brother said “He said ISIS was bad just a few months ago.”
In a separate incident, a Brooklyn man is charged with attempting to bankroll ISIS recruits to go to war. It is not clear if the man, who is from Uzbekistan, is a U.S. citizen or a legal resident. He does, however, own a number of businesses in the eastern United States.
The man, Abror Habibov, attempted to pay for a friend (and others) to get training and join ISIS.
Abror Habibov pleaded guilty Tuesday to agreeing to bankroll a ring of ISIS sympathizers and wannabes who planned for Middle East mayhem but never made it out of New York.
Brooklyn federal prosecutors said Habibov — who operated a string of mall kiosks from Florida to Pennsylvania — pledged cash to Akhror Saidakhmetov, a Brooklyn resident from Kazakhstan, so he could buy a ticket to Turkey.
Saidakhmetov bought a $571 round trip from John F. Kennedy International Airport to Turkey, which was set to leave February 2015. The plan was to continue on to Syria.
Habibov also repeatedly promised money so Saidakhmetov could get a firearm, court papers said.
Authorities arrested Saidakhmetov at the airport. It’s not clear if Habibov’s cash came from his kiosk business.
Habibov admitted to conspiring to provide material support to a terrorist organization and conspiracy to use a firearm. “While doing these things, I knew it was illegal,” Habibov said.
He faces up to 35 years in prison.
The feds first got wise to the ring when another defendant, Abdurasul Juraboev, ran his mouth on an Uzbek-language website spewing ISIS propaganda. Juraboev said he’d be willing to kill then-President Barack Obama for the craven cause.
H/T: Pamela Geller