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Queens Teen Arrested In Alleged ISIS-Inspired Terror Plot Faces Judge

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Queens teenager is being held without bail Friday after being accused of an ISIS-inspired terror plot.

The FBI and NYPD arrested 19-year-old Awais Chudhary last night at his home on Butler Street in East Elmhurst. Authorities said the arrest was part of a national security investigation.

19-year-old Awais Chudhary (Credit: Jane Rosenberg)

Chudhary is accused of plotting a terror attack using a knife in the name of ISIS somewhere in his home borough.

CBS2's Christina Fan was in the courtroom during his arraignment.

WEB EXTRA: Read the complaint (.pdf)

Chudhary was stoic as he stood before a federal judge. His attorney tried to paint the teen as a terrified young man.

On Butler Street, neighbors say they are the ones who should be afraid.

"I can't believe it. It's just like, I was telling my husband, sometime like when you hear news, other places, and it's your neighbor, and you can't believe, you know, it's happening next to you. Well this is real," said neighbor Heme Reddy.

The FBI arrested Chudhary Thursday, accusing him of boasting to an undercover agent via text messages his desire to carry out a knife or bomb attack in the name of ISIS. Court papers allege the teen had been conducting surveillance on areas near his home, and also wanted to record the attack to inspire others.

One of the locations was a pedestrian bridge over the Grand Central Parkway.

"It was a great example, a textbook case of cooperation and great work and investigative work by the Joint Terrorism Task Force," said NYPD Chief James Waters.

The suspect's family had nothing to say as they walked out of court Friday. Neighbors were also at a loss for words.

"I feel so confused, like, you know... what can I say?" one neighbor said.

Chudhary's attorney tried convincing the judge to grant bail at the arraignment, arguing the accusations were all a fantasy not a real plot. He said the 19-year-old was kind and shy, just completed his first semester of college and had started a part-time pharmacy job to help take care of his sick father.

The judge denied the request, instead ruling for a permanent order of detention.

Chudhary's next hearing will be Sept. 13 at 11 a.m.

Investigators say officers arrested Chudhary while he was on his way to pick up a tactical knife that he ordered online.

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