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Terrorist Network Dismantled:New York-Based Group Planned to Send Members to Syria:They were roommates who lived seemingly ordinary lives. One chopped vegetables at a Brooklyn gyro shop; another worked at a shopping mall kiosk. Like many young people, they spent considerable time online.

 

But Abdurasul Juraboev and Akhror Saidakhmetov came to the attention of the FBI when Juraboev posted an ominous message on a terrorist-affiliated website: He was willing to engage in an act of martyrdom on U.S. soil by killing then-President Barack Obama to “strike fear in the hearts of infidels.” The investigation subsequently revealed that Juraboev and Saidakhmetov, a co-conspirator, planned to travel to Turkey and then Syria to wage violent jihad on behalf of ISIS. And that Saidakhmetov had also posted messages on the Internet supporting ISIS.

Juraboev later communicated online with an Iraq-based ISIS website administrator, who encouraged Juraboev to travel to ISIS-controlled territories to fight with the terrorist group. Juraboev indicated his willingness to support the activities of ISIS and said he wanted to leave the United States undetected to go to the Middle East.

“It was a very serious plot,” said Special Agent Andrew Pachtman, who supervised the case as part of the FBI’s New York Joint Terrorism Task Force. “Over several months, we collected very strong evidence of what they were planning to do. They were working to get weapons and funding for the trip.”

FBI and U.S. Secret Service interviews with the men, as well as further investigation, showed they were serious about traveling to Syria or—if they weren’t able to travel abroad—conducting attacks against the president or against law enforcement officers in the United States. They also had help from associates in raising money and arranging travel.

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