Queens Resident Sentenced to Over 12 Years in Prison for Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIS
The Defendant, a United States Citizen, Traveled to Saudi in an Attempt to Join ISIS in Syria
Earlier today in federal court in Brooklyn, Parveg Ahmed was sentenced by United States District Judge Ann M. Donnelly to 153 months’ imprisonment and 15 years supervised release for one count of attempting to provide material support or resources to the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS), a foreign terrorist organization. The defendant pleaded guilty to the charge in June 2018.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Matthew G. Olsen, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and Keechant L. Sewell, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced the sentence.
“Ahmed nearly fulfilled his goal to join a group of violent terrorists who have killed numerous innocent victims, including American citizens, and expressed that he planned to fight against ‘the West’ if he made it to Syria,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “Today’s sentence demonstrates that a significant prison sentence is the end result for radicalized individuals pursuing a misguided path of terror and violence.”
Mr. Peace thanked the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force for its exemplary work on the case.
“The defendant willingly traveled overseas in an attempt to join ISIS so he could participate in the group’s violent acts of terror. The FBI New York Joint Terrorism Task Force, along with our law enforcement partners, remain unwavering in our commitment to protect the American people. As today’s sentence should demonstrate to all, we will continue to ensure those wishing to partake in acts of terror face the consequences in the criminal justice system.”
“An American citizen, Ahmed traveled to the Middle East with the sole intention of betraying his own country by taking up arms against it in the name of ISIS,” stated NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell. “Identifying and stopping individuals like this before they can harm the United States and our people are the ideals upon which the Joint Terrorism Task Force was established. I commend and thank the investigators from the NYPD, FBI, and all of our partner agencies on the nation’s first JTTF, here in New York City, for their tireless work on this important case.”
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, Ahmed attempted to travel to Syria to join ISIS. Ahmed was apprehended in a Middle Eastern country during his attempted travel to ISIS-controlled territory.
Previously, Ahmed 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 his personal computer, and learned that he had viewed or listened to recordings of radical Islamic clerics Anwar al-Awlaki, 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, and Abdullah el-Faisal, a Jamaican-born cleric, who was found guilty in the United Kingdom of solicitation to commit murder for preaching to followers to kill individuals, including Americans, because he deemed them to be enemies of Islam. Ahmed was deported to the United States on August 28, 2017, where he was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Subsequent review of electronic devices found in Ahmed’s possession when he was detained attempting to travel to Syria also revealed draft messages explaining that the defendant planned to join ISIS in Syria to wage violent jihad and expressing farewell to the defendant’s family members. Specifically, a draft message stated “[W]e have made it to Dawlatul Islam [ISIS] in Syria. In sha Allah [God willing] we will join the Jihad very soon and in Sha Allah [God willing] we will then join the ranks of the Shuhuda [martyrs]. The West has invaded the land of the Muslims and is constantly attacking it.”
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s National Security & Cybercrime Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Craig R. Heeren and Meredith A. Arfa are in charge of the prosecution, with assistance from Paralegal Specialist Magdalena St. Surin and Trial Attorney John Cella of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.
Ozone Park, Queens