A 19-year-old in the Queens borough of New York City has been charged with attempting to provide material support to ISIS, according to a criminal complaint filed Friday in Brooklyn federal court. In an initial court appearance, Awais Chudhary was ordered held without bail.
Chudhary wasnight as part of a national security investigation, according to authorities. He allegedly communicated with undercover agents via text about his plan for a knife or bomb attack on various locations in New York City, possibly including pedestrian bridges and the World's Fair Marina in Queens, having scouted those locations earlier this month.
Chudhary allegedly pursued plans to conduct a stabbing attack. According to the criminal complaint, "Chudhary ordered online a tactical knife, a mask, gloves, and a cellphone chest and head strap to facilitate his recording of the attack." He allegedly hoped to use the video footage to inspire further attacks. Authorities say Chudhary sent a screenshot of a document detailing his plans, titled "Islamic State."
According to the complaint, Chudhary "intended to commit a knife attack 'because that's what [he] know[s],'" but told the undercover agent he'd consider a bombing attack as well, if the agent could instruct him "on how to build a bucket bomb."
He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Chudhary has one prior arrest. In 2018, he was accused of stealing a Nerf toy gun from a Walgreens and punching an employee as he tried to get away.
Neighbors interviewed by CBS New York were surprised at the news of his arrest, with many calling his family quiet.
"When you hear news other places and it's your neighbor and you can't believe it's happening next to you, well, this is real," neighbor Heme Reddy told the station.