Queens Resident Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIS
Defendant, a United States Citizen, Attempted to Travel to Syria
Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, Parveg Ahmed pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Ann M. Donnelly to one count of attempting to provide material support or resources to the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (“ISIS”), a designated foreign terrorist organization. When he is sentenced, Ahmed faces a statutory maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and James P. O’Neill, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced the guilty plea.
As detailed in publicly filed court documents, Ahmed is a United States 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 detained in a Middle Eastern country during his attempted travel to ISIS-controlled territory and was deported back to the United States on August 28, 2017, where he was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
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 United States-born cleric and prominent leader of the foreign terrorist organization al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula who was killed on or about September 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 government’s case is being handled by the Office’s National Security & Cybercrime Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Craig R. Heeren and Margaret E. Lee are in charge of the prosecution, with assistance from Trial Attorney Joshua Champagne of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.
Queens, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 17-CR-378 (AMD)