New York Man Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Join ISIS on Saudi Visit

Parveg Ahmed, 22, of Queens, New York, pleaded guilty today to attempting to provide material support or resources to ISIS.

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, an American-born al-Qaeda recruiter, and Abdullah el-Faisal, a Jamaican-born cleric 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 Ahmed 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.

Read more at the Justice Department

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