Three residents of New York City – two with citizenship in Uzbekistan and one who is a Kazakhstan citizen – allegedly plotted to travel Syria where they would join the Islamic State militant group and wage jihad announced the Justice Department Wednesday.
One of the three allegedly offered to kill President Barack Obama if he was ordered to, states the criminal complaint. The men are Brooklyn resident 24-year old Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev from Uzbekistan; 19-year old Brooklyn resident Akhror Saidakhmetov from Kazakhstan; and 30-year old Abroro Habibov a Brooklyn resident and Uzbekistan citizen.
Federal prosecutors said two of the three came under the radar of law enforcement last summer after expressing support on line for the militant group.
Early Wednesday, officers arrested Saidakhmetov at the John F. Kennedy Airport as he was attempting to board a plane to Istanbul, said authorities. Juraboev had airline tickets to leave on March 29. The third defendant, Habibov helped to fund the trip of Saidakhmetov, said the complaint.
The two hoped to join IS but if they had problems with their travel plans, they intended to commit terrorist attacks in the U.S., said prosecutors. Juraboev allegedly offered to assassinate the president if the IS gave the order.
Saidakhmetov if stopped from joining the IS, wanted to buy a machine gun and shoot law enforcement personnel, said the complaint prepared by prosecutors.
Loretta Lynch a U.S. Attorney said the government would vigorously prosecute those attempting to travel to Syria to carry out violent jihad for the IS and those who are supporting them.
The three were charged officially with conspiracy to provide Islamic State material support. If they are convicted, each of the three would face maximum sentences of 15 years behind bars.
All three are expected to make an appearance in court on Wednesday.
Officials in the U.S., Europe and other areas are worried about their citizens traveling to Syria, training and fighting with IS and then returning to possibly carry out acts of domestic terror.