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Published On: Thu, Feb 26th, 2015

Two men arrested in New York, one in Florida, linked to ISIS

Three New York City men were arrested Wednesday on charges they allegedly conspired to join ISIS in Syria, while also trying to carry out attacks in the United States, the authorities said.

The men had planned to travel to the Middle East and had also pledged to launch attacks in this country, including one on President Obama or planting a bomb in Coney Island, Brooklyn, federal officials said.

Federal officials said Akhror Saidakhmetov, 19, was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, where he was attempting to board a flight to Istanbul.

slamic State flag in front of White House  photo taken in 2014, Twitter

slamic State flag in front of White House photo taken in 2014, Twitter

Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev, 24, had a plane ticket to travel to Turkey sometime next month. He was arrested in Brooklyn, according to the federal officials.

Abror Habibov, 30, a third man, is accused of helping fund Saidakhmetov’s efforts, authorities said. He was arrested in Florida.

The arrests came as FBI Director James Comey spoke about how ISIS (he calls them by ISIL) is recruiting members through its use of social media and propaganda.

“ISIL in particular, is putting out a siren song through their slick propaganda through social media that goes like this: ‘Troubled soul, come to the caliphate, you will live a life of glory, these are the apocalyptic end times, you will find a life of meaning here fighting for our so-called caliphate and if you can’t come, kill somebody where you are.” That is a message that goes out to troubled souls everywhere,” he said.

In August 2014, Juraboev allegedly posted this message on an Uzbek-language site of ISIS: “I am in USA now. … But is it possible to commit ourselves as dedicated martyrs anyway while here? What I’m saying is, to shoot Obama and then get shot ourselves, will it do? That will strike fear in the hearts of infidels,” according to the criminal complaint.

FBI met with Juraboev twice. He allegedly told them that he believes in ISIS’ terrorist agenda and that he would like to go to Syria to fight with ISIS “if Allah wills,” authorities said.

He also told them he would harm Obama if he could, based on president’s role in killing Muslims, his support for Israel and recent bombings of ISIS. Juraboev allegedly said he didn’t have an imminent plan to harm Obama, but that if anyone within ISIS told him to, he would, authorities said.

Reportedly in 2014, Saidakhmetov allegedly suggested he join the U.S. military so he could pass military information to ISIS and, if his plan ever fell apart, he could open fire on American soldiers, according to the charging documents.

Later Saidakhmetov said he could buy a machine gun and “shoot all police” before “go[ing] to the FBI headquarters” to “kill the FBI people,” authorities said.

“It was made quite plain based on those statements that if they were not able to go [to Syria or Iraq], that they would seek to acquire weapons here .. and seek to attack,” Bratton said. “Those aspirations were made quite clear.”

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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