U.S. Citizen Arrested At JFK Airport For Allegedly Trying To Join Taliban

Federal prosecutors say Delowar Mohammed Hossain, 33, was trying to get to Afghanistan so he could kill U.S. soldiers through the Islamic group.

FBI agents arrested a Bronx man at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City on Friday for allegedly trying to travel to Afghanistan to join the Taliban, according to federal prosecutors.

The man, identified as Delowar Mohammed Hossain, plotted to go to Afghanistan so he could kill American soldiers abroad, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York said in a statement.

Hossain, 33, purchased a ticket for a flight scheduled to depart from New York to Thailand on July 26, according to the criminal complaint. He was arrested while trying to board the flight.

“Delowar Hossain had a despicable goal. He wanted to make his way to Afghanistan, join up with Taliban forces, and kill Americans,” FBI Assistant Director of Counterterrorism Michael McGarrity said, citing the criminal complaint. “But he failed because members of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force interrupted his plans.”

Hossain is a U.S. citizen who was born in Bangladesh, New York City news station WPIX reported.

Prosecutors detailed his arrest and charges in a press release.

Hossain allegedly began expressing a desire to join the Taliban and fight against U.S. forces in early fall 2018. The criminal complaint claims that Hossain tried to recruit a confidential FBI source to travel with him to Pakistan, where they would cross the border to Afghanistan to join the Taliban.

To disguise his intent, the complaint says Hossain wanted to first fly to Thailand before reaching Pakistan. Hossain allegedly purchased walkie-talkies and trekking gear to prepare for his travels and encouraged the FBI source to save money for weapons in Afghanistan.

Prosecutors quoted Hossain in the complaint as saying, “I want to kill some kufars [non-believers] before I die.” 

Hossain was criminally charged with attempting to provide material support for acts of terrorism, a crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison. He appeared before a judge in a federal court in Manhattan on Friday.