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Queens Chronicle

Jax Hts. man arrested over jihadist plot

Feds: Ashiqul Alam was caught buying Glocks with serial numbers removed

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Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2019 10:30 am

A 22-year-old Jackson Heights man was taken in by federal law enforcement for allegedly trying to plan a Times Square terrorist attack, U.S. prosecutors say.

Ashiqul Alam is also accused of knowingly buying two Glock pistols with scratched-off serial numbers and discussing purchasing hand grenades. The weapons were bought from undercover law enforcement officers.

“As alleged, Ashiqul Alam bought illegal weapons as part of his plan to kill law enforcement officers and civilians in a terrorist attack on Times Square,” U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Richard Donoghue said in a prepared statement.

In conversations with an undercover officer over a 10-month period, the defendant allegedly identified two potential targets — Times Square and Washington, DC, the latter being where a senior government official could be killed — to carry out his attack.

Alam and the undercover even visited Time Square multiple times for some “recon,” which led the defendant to agree to the officer’s suggestion that the area around Father Duffy Square be targeted, according to prosecutors. “That is the place we hit,” the complaint quoted him as saying. “That is the place.” The Jackson Heights man is accused of contemplating carrying out the attack there with a suicide vest or by using AR-15 assault rifles.

He spoke admiringly to the undercover about the Islamic State and Osama bin Laden, saying that the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were “a complete success, thousands of American soldiers died and trillions of their monies gone in the war,” federal prosecutors said.

The undercover asked him: Could anybody ever replace bin Laden?

He allegedly responded: “yeah ... he did his job[.] He did what he is supposed to do. Now it’s up to us.”

While driving to a Pennsylvania shooting range in January, the pair were allegedly discussing ISIS, with Alam saying, “I want to die fighting, man.”

A few months later, the defendant got Lasik eye surgery. The complaint quoted him as telling the undercover the following: “Let’s say we are in an attack, right, say that my glasses fall off. What if I accidentally shoot you? You know what I mean. Imagine what the news channel would call me the ‘Looney Tunes Terrorist’ or the ‘Blind Terrorist.’”

According to the criminal complaint, on June 6 the defendant met a second undercover officer, one who the first one told him would be able to sell him guns. Alam allegedly offered $400 to acquire the two Glocks and also asked if he could buy a silencer.

Not long after that, he was arrested.

Reports said the defendant is a student at the CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan. Not much can be gleaned about him from his Facebook profile, though he did “like” a page for fans of “Avengers: Infinity War.”

Authorities have arrested other Queens men in recent years in terrorism-related cases. Last June, Ali Saleh of Jamaica pleaded guilty to charges related to him trying to join the Islamic State. In the same month, Parveg Ahmed of Ozone Park copped to charges for trying to fight for the same jihadi group.

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  • livelyreggie posted at 11:07 am on Mon, Jun 17, 2019.

    livelyreggie Posts: 58

    More crap in our country, from third world shit-holes, yes....just as our President said, and with an Islamic Mega Center continuing to grow to astronomical proportions in Hollis, New York, our state will be taken over by these miscreants in a few short years. That's because of the feckless, spineless, gutless politicians we have not just in NYS but in Congress as well as our weakened judicial system, thanks to Obama. Liberal judges in every court stymieing Trumps attempts to quell immigration from the Middle East. Why do we need this here in our country, why? Who needs more garbage?

  • 204th Street Jack posted at 8:10 pm on Thu, Jun 13, 2019.

    204th Street Jack Posts: 23

    This person is a citizen or non citizen? How'd he wind up in the USA regardless if not born here? This article begs for follow up or additional information. ''Student'' from where?