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Press Release

New York Man Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIS

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Parveg Ahmed, 22, of Queens, New York, pleaded guilty today to attempting to provide material support or resources to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization.

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue for the Eastern District of New York, Assistant Director in Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. of the FBI’s New York Field Office, and Commissioner James P. O’Neill of the NYPD, announced the guilty plea, which was accepted by U.S. District Judge Ann M. Donnelly.

As detailed in publicly filed court documents, the defendant is a U.S. citizen who traveled to Saudi Arabia in June 2017, purportedly to celebrate an Islamic religious holiday.  Upon his arrival in Saudi Arabia, the defendant attempted to travel to Syria to join ISIS.  The defendant was apprehended in a country bordering Syria, during his attempted travel to ISIS-controlled territory.  Ahmed was deported back to the United States on Aug. 28, 2017, where he was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

Prior to his travel, the defendant had repeatedly expressed support on social media for ISIS and for individuals who provided support to the foreign terrorist organization’s mission of violent extremism.  On July 17, 2017, JTTF agents obtained a search warrant for the defendant’s personal computer, and learned, among other things, that the defendant had viewed or listened to recordings of radical Islamic clerics Anwar al-Awlaki and Abdullah el-Faisal.  Al-Awlaki was a U.S.-born cleric and prominent leader of the foreign terrorist organization al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula who was killed on or about Sept. 30, 2011.  El-Faisal, a Jamaican-born cleric, was found guilty in the United Kingdom of, among other things, solicitation to commit murder, for preaching to followers to kill individuals, including Americans, because he deemed them to be enemies of Islam.  Additionally, agents learned that, on the same day the defendant left the United States for the Middle East, the defendant researched how to erase the data on his computer.

The defendant faces a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison at sentencing.  The maximum potential penalty is prescribed by Congress and provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Craig R. Heeren and Margaret E. Lee of the Eastern District of New York are in charge of the prosecution, with assistance from Trial Attorney Joshua Champagne of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

Updated June 20, 2018

Press Release Number: 18 - 814