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New York residents arrested for planning to join IS

NEW YORK: Three New York residents from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have been arrested for allegedly trying to join the Islamic State (IS) group fighting in Syria, officials said Wednesday.

Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev, 24, Akhror Saidakhmetov, 19, and Abror Habibov, 30, have been charged with attempt and conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

The teenage Saidakhmetov, a Kazakh citizen but a Brooklyn resident, was arrested Wednesday at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport attempting to board a flight to Istanbul.

US prosecutors say that he and Juraboev, an Uzbek citizen but another Brooklyn resident, plotted to travel to Turkey and then to Syria to wage war on behalf of IS.

Juraboev bought a plane ticket to travel from New York to Istanbul next month, federal prosecutors said in New York.

The third suspect, Habibov, is accused of helping to fund Saidakhmetov’s efforts to join the Syrian jihadists and is scheduled to appear in a court in Florida later on Wednesday.

Juraboev and Saidakhmetov are due to appear before a US judge in Brooklyn later on Wednesday, officials said.

The FBI said “several of the defendants” planned to commit acts of terror in the United States if they could not travel.

“The defendants looked to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, by flying to Turkey in a vain attempt to evade detection,” said FBI assistant director in charge Diego Rodriguez.

“And several of the defendants planned to commit acts of terror here in America if they could not travel, to include killing FBI agents,” he added. (AFP)

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