Queens Man Accused of Going to Syria to Help ISIS

Parveg Ahmed, 22, a U.S. citizen of Queens, New York, was arrested Monday on charges of attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a foreign terrorist organization.

The defendant is scheduled to make his initial appearance at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, New York before U.S. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein.

The charges were announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana J. Boente, Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Rohde for the Eastern District of New York, Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney, Jr. of the FBI’s  New York Field Office and Commissioner James P. O’Neill of the NYPD.

As alleged in the complaint, the defendant traveled to Saudi Arabia in June 2017, purportedly to celebrate an Islamic religious holiday.

Bridget M. Rohde, Acting United States Attorney
Bridget M. Rohde, Acting United States Attorney

Upon his arrival in Saudi Arabia, the defendant attempted to travel to Syria to enter ISIS-controlled territory.

The defendant was deported back to the U.S. on August 28, where he was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York.

“Ahmed sought to take up arms with violent terrorists who have killed numerous innocent victims, including Americans,” said acting U.S. Attorney Bridget Rohde.

“This office and our law enforcement partners will continue to work tirelessly to arrest and prosecute extremists before they are able to threaten the United States and its allies.”

Prosecutors say Ahmed had repeatedly expressed support on social media for ISIS and for individuals who provided support to the foreign terrorist organization’s mission of violent extremism.

James P. O'Neill, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (Image Credit: Twitter)
James P. O’Neill, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (Image Credit: Twitter)

“Ahmed also took extraordinary measures to destroy the electronic foot print he created,” said NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill.

“This type of work goes on every day at the nation’s first Joint Terrorism Task Force here in Manhattan.”

Federal agents obtained search warrant for his home computer and found disturbing propaganda, such as lectures by radical clerics Abdullah el-Faisal and Anwar al-Awlaki.

Additionally, Ahmed had bookmarked lectures in support of ISIS.

If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.  The charge in the federal complaint are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes.


If convicted of any offense, the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court after considering the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s National Security & Cybercrime Section and the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alexander A. Solomon and Craig R. Heeren are in charge of the prosecution, with assistance provided by Trial Attorney Joshua D. Champagne of the Counterterrorism Section of the National Security Division.