A 33-year-old man from New York, who has been planning to travel to Pakistan and then cross the border into Afghanistan to join Taliban was arrested at the John F Kennedy International Airport on Friday.Delowar Mohammed Hossain from Bronx in New York was charged in a criminal complaint with attempting to provide material support for acts of terrorism, specifically in support of killing US nationals located overseas.
Hossain was arrested at the JFK International Airport by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as he attempted to board a plane to Thailand.
The charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers said, “As alleged, Hossain planned to travel overseas and join the Taliban in order to kill American soldiers”.
According to a source quoted by PTI, Hossain said that his purpose was to “fight the American government from there…combined with the Taliban”, and that “he wants to kill some…(non-believers) before he dies”.
The criminal complaint filed in the Manhattan federal court said that beginning in the fall of 2018, Hossain expressed his desire to join the Taliban and fight against American forces. Over the months that followed, he attempted to recruit a confidential source of the FBI to travel with him from the United States to Pakistan and then to cross the border into Afghanistan to join the Taliban.He also described to the undercover source the steps he had taken to prevent detection of his plan, such as planning to reach Pakistan by first flying to Thailand, which Hossain believed would conceal his ultimate goal of joining the Taliban.
US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman said Hossain wanted to kill Americans and particularly wanted to target members of the US armed forces serving overseas.
On Friday, Afghan Taliban had expressed its willingness to travel to Pakistan and meet Prime Minister Imran Khan if he invites them for negotiations to end the 18-year conflict in Afghanistan, according to reports.
Sohail Shaheen, a spokesman for the Taliban’s political office in Qatar’s capital Doha told BBC Urdu that if Prime Minister Khan extended a formal invitation, they will accept it.
“We frequently visit countries in the region and would surely go to Pakistan too which is our Muslim neighbour, if there is a formal invitation from Islamabad,” he said.
New York Police Commissioner James O’Neil said attempting to support terrorist attacks will lead to arrest, as has been seen time and again, reports The Statesman.