A 19-year-old man of Pakistani origin was on Friday charged for plotting a “lone wolf” attack inspired by the terror group Islamic State (ISIS) in New York City.According to a criminal complaint filed against Awais Chudhary, a US naturalised citizen born in Pakistan, the suspect was planning to carry out a knife attack in Queens area on behalf of the ISIS and wanted to record his attack to inspire others to commit such violent acts.
The suspect allegedly ordered a tactical knife, a mask, gloves and a cellphone chest-and-head strap to record the attack. He was arrested on Thursday night while trying to pick up those items from an online vendor’s retail location, Fox News reported. The next day, a court charged the suspect on one count of attempting to provide material support to a “designated foreign terrorist organisation”. His bail request was also denied.
Police said that Chudhary had planned to conduct attacks at two locations in Queens — the World’s Fair Marina and a pedestrian bridge over the Grand Central Parkway to the Flushing Bay Promenade.
The Counterterrorism Bureau of the New York Police Department (NYPD) said that Chudhary conducted pre-operational surveillance of the target location, surrounding areas and possible escape routes.
“In collaboration with our federal partners at the FBI New York Joint Terrorist Task Force (JTTF), we have intercepted and thwarted a planned terrorist attack in the Flushing area of Queens,” it tweeted.
“Awais Chudhary was planning to carry out a “lone wolf” style knife attack targeting the residents of #NYC in the name of ISIS. This case moved rapidly from planning to execution. Chudhary’s target was the Flushing Bay Promenade near the World’s Fair Marina,” the bureau said.
“Thanks to great work of the JTTF, made up of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, we are glad to be reporting an arrest in this case instead of a successful attack,” it wrote.
If convicted, Chudhary faces up to 20 years in prison.