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New York City Man Allegedly Trying to Join Taliban Arrested at JFK Airport on Terror Charges – NBC New York

What to Know

  • A Bronx man was arrested at JFK Airport on federal terror-related charges Friday morning.
  • The man, who had been monitored by the FBI for some time, was allegedly trying to fly overseas to join the Taliban
  • A criminal complaint read that the suspect had allegedly been planning on joining the Taliban since fall of 2018

A Bronx man was arrested at JFK Airport on federal terror-related charges Friday morning.

The man, Delowar Mohammed Hossain, had been monitored by the FBI for some time and was allegedly trying to fly overseas to join the Taliban. He was charged with attempting to provide material support for terrorism.

Hossain, 33, was arraigned Friday afternoon and will be held without bail. He is expected to face a judge this evening. Information regarding a lawyer for Hossain was not immediately available.

“The criminal complaint in this case reveals Delowar Hossain had a despicable goal. He wanted to make his way to Afghanistan, join up with Taliban forces, and kill Americans,” said FBI Assistant Director of Counterterrorism Michael McGarrity.

Hossain “particularly wanted to target members of our armed forces serving our nation overseas,” said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman. “The excellent work of the FBI and NYPD stopped Hossain’s alleged deadly plan to join the Taliban before he took flight.”

According to the criminal complaint filed in Manhattan federal court, Hossain began expressing interest in joining the terror group in the fall of 2018. In the following months, he allegedly tried to recruit a confidential FBI source to travel with him from the U.S. to Pakistan and then cross into Afghanistan to join the Taliban.

“I want to kill some kufars [non-believers] before I die,” Hossain told the FBI source, saying that his purpose was to “fight the American government from there … combined with the Taliban.”

Hossain described how he thought he could avoid detection from any agencies by first flying to Thailand, concealing his ultimate goal, the complain read. While preparing to make the trip, Hossain bought equipment like walkie-talkies and hiking gear — telling the FBI source to save some money “to buy weapons” after they reached Afghanistan, according to the complaint.

Hossain purchased a ticket to fly out of JFK Airport to Thailand on July 26 for the first leg of his journey. As he attempted to board the flight, agents from FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task force arrested him.

“The lure of radical ideologies comes from many sources, and just because the Taliban may seem like an old and out of vogue extremist group, it shouldn’t be underestimated,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr.

There was no threat to the area Friday morning, law enforcement sources said. 

Hossain faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

“As we continue to see time and again, attempting to support terrorist attacks will lead to arrest,” NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill said, praising the officers involved. “I commend the dedication of the NYPD detectives and FBI agents who, through the Joint Terrorism Task Force, remain relentless in their focus to keep New York City and our nation safe.”

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