Delowar Mohammed Hossain was arrested today at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK Airport) in Queens, New York. Hossain was charged in a criminal Complaint today with attempting to provide material support for acts of terrorism, specifically in support of killing U.S. nationals located overseas. Hossain was presented today before Magistrate Judge Stewart D. Aaron in Manhattan federal court.
“As alleged, Hossain planned to travel overseas and join the Taliban in order to kill American soldiers,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers. “The threat of terrorism at home and abroad remains, and the National Security Division is committed to preventing individuals from carrying out deadly plans such as this. I want to thank the agents, analysts, and prosecutors who are responsible for this case.”
“As alleged, Delowar Hossain plotted to travel to Afghanistan to join the Taliban, specifically so he could commit acts of terrorism,” said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman. “Hossain wanted to kill Americans, and particularly wanted to target members of our armed forces, serving our nation overseas. The excellent work of the FBI and NYPD stopped Hossain’s alleged deadly plan to join the Taliban before he took flight, and he now faces federal terrorism charges.”
As alleged in the criminal Complaint filed today in Manhattan federal court, beginning in the fall of 2018, Hossain expressed his desire to join the Taliban and fight against American forces. Over the months that followed, Hossain attempted to recruit a confidential source of the FBI (CS-1) to travel with Hossain from the United States to Pakistan, and then to cross the border into Afghanistan to join the Taliban. Hossain told CS-1 that his purpose was to “fight the American government from there . . . combined with the Taliban,” and that “I want to kill some kufars [non-believers] before I die.” Hossain described to CS-1 steps he had taken to prevent detection of his plan, such as planning to reach Pakistan by first flying to Thailand, which Hossain believed would conceal his ultimate goal of joining the Taliban. At the same time, Hossain made preparations to fight in Afghanistan, including buying equipment such as walkie-talkies and trekking gear and instructing CS-1 to save money “to buy weapons” after reaching Afghanistan.
Hossain purchased an airline ticket for a flight scheduled to depart on July 26, 2019, from JFK Airport, to Thailand, for the first leg of the route to Afghanistan that Hossain had described to CS-1. On July 26, Hossain traveled to JFK Airport, where the FBI arrested him after he attempted to board that flight.
Hossain, 33, of the Bronx, is charged with one count of attempting to provide material support for terrorism, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by a judge.
Assistant Attorney General John Demers and U.S. Attorney Berman praised the outstanding efforts of the FBI’s New York Joint Terrorism Task Force, which consists principally of agents from the FBI and detectives from the NYPD.