A Pakistani-born teenager was arrested Thursday in Queens, New York, for allegedly planning to carry out a knife and bomb attack for the Islamic State (ISIS), reports said.
Awais Chudhary, 19, was arrested by FBI officals when he went to pick up a knife and other supplies from an Amazon locker, according to the Daily Mail.
On Friday, documents released by authorities said Chudhary was planning to “carry out a lone wolf knife and bomb attack on the World’s Fair Marina for ISIS.”
Reports said the teenager is being held without bail on a charge of attempting to provide material support for the designated foreign terrorist organization.
“He allegedly communicated with undercover agents via text about his plan for a knife or bomb attack on various locations in New York City,” according to a CBS News report, “possibly including pedestrian bridges and the World’s Fair Marina in Queens, having scouted those locations earlier this month.”
In a press release on Friday, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said Chudhary, a naturalized U.S. citizen, had previously recorded video and taken photos of the Flushing Bay Promenade and the World’s Fair Marina in preparation for the attack.
“The National Security Division, working with our partners, will remain vigilant in our efforts to identify, disrupt, and hold accountable those who would conduct a terrorist attack on our soil,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers.
“I want to thank the agents, analysts, and prosecutors who are responsible for this case and prevented this defendant from carrying out his deadly plans,” Demers concluded.
New York Police Department Commissioner James O’Neill said in a statement that Chudhary had “accepted the call from ISIS” to kill New Yorkers and praised law enforcement officials for their work to thwart his plans.
“He had carefully planned, conducted reconnaissance, picked a target, and was in the process of obtaining the weapon. All he has left to do was to strike,” O’Neill commented. “The FBI agents and NYPD detectives of the JTTF [Joint Terrorism Task Force] should be commended for the disruption of this plot. Their work almost certainly saved lives.”
Prior to his arrest, Chudhary reportedly sent screenshots of a document titled “Islamic State” to an undercover agent. The document told readers what knives were “ideal” for stabbing and how to do it.
“The charge in the complaint is an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Chudhary faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment,” the press release by the DOJ concluded.