The FBI has revealed shocking details of a 19-year-old Queens man’s alleged plans to carry out a lone wolf knife and bomb attack on the World’s Fair Marina for ISIS.
Awais Chudhary, 19, was arrested on Thursday in Queens as he picked up a ‘tactical knife’ and other supplies from an Amazon locker, following an undercover online sting operation.
Chudhary, a Pakistani-born naturalized U.S. citizen, is being held without bail on a charge of attempting to provide material support to ISIS, a designated foreign terrorist organization.
In charging documents released on Friday, Special Agent Seth Yockel describes how undercover agents posing as ISIS sympathizers connected with Chudhary online and learned of his twisted alleged plot.
Awais Chudhary (center) is seen in a court sketch at his arraignment in US Eastern District of New York on Friday afternoon after his arrest on terror charges
The parents of 19-year-old Awais Chudhary are seen leaving Brooklyn Federal Court after he was charged with providing material support to ISIS on Friday
Chudhary lived with his parents (above) in Queens while prosecutors say he developed a twisted plot to attack cars and pedestrians near the Flushing Promenade
Just a week ago, on August 23, Chudhary told an undercover agent that he need videos and information regarding ‘the proper knife’ for committing a stabbing attack, as well as information regarding ‘how to not leave traces of finger prints, DNA, etc,’ according to the documents.
The Queens teen also wrote that he was praying ‘not let us get caught or imprisoned, for indeed the entire plot belongs to Allah alone,’ and asked for information ‘on how to build a bucket bomb,’ Yockel wrote.
The documents say that Chudhary told the undercover agent that he had pledged allegiance to ISIS, and wanted to conduct a ‘lone wolf’ attack for the group.
Chudhary then sent videos of an area that he planned to attack, including a pedestrian bridge over the Grand Central Parkway to the Flushing Promenade, and the World’s Fair Marina on Flushing Bay, according to the documents.
Both locations are near Citi Field, where the New York Mets play, and the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, where the US Open is currently underway.
The FBI says Chudhary was interested in attacking on a pedestrian bridge near the Flushing Promenade, and the World’s Fair Marina. Both locations are near Citi Field, where the Mets play, and the venue where the US Open is currently underway
At one point, Chudhary allegedly said he wanted to drop ‘bucket bombs’ into rush hour traffic from pedestrian bridges over the Grand Central Parkway such as this one
The FBI says that Chudhary described a plan to drop ‘bucket bombs’ onto traffic from the bridge above during rush hour, and then attack pedestrians with a knife.
In further conversations with the undercover agents, Chudhary allegedly sent diagrams titled ‘Places to Strike,’ ‘The Ideal Knife,’ and ‘Knives to Avoid.’
The instructions included a diagram of the human body depicting where to stab victims with a knife, the charging documents say.
He also sent videos of bomb attacks illustrating the type of bombs he was interested in building, according to the FBI, writing: ‘This is what I mean by bucket bomb or something hefty as you see he placed it and then moved away for its hefty explosion with the grace of Allah.’
Asked whether he was ‘ok’ with dying Chudhary said yes and wrote, ‘May Allah not turn our hearts away or make us ever doubt or hesitate.’
In the conversations, Chudhary seemed to obsess over which type of knife would be best for the attack, sending photos to the undercover agent and asking for advice, according to the documents.
The teen allegedly wrote that he wanted to start off by buying a knife, ‘because buying materials for explosives … bring suspicion by the crusaders and their miserable worshipers.’
He also wrote asking the undercover agent to send ‘training videos on how to effectively use knife and training in general … as training for Jihad for Allah is worshiping in itself,’ the FBI says.
Chudhary is seen in a court sketch. Undercover agents talked to him online and learned of his plans to carry out a knife and bomb attack in Queens, prosecutors say
Investigators staked out the home (above) where Chudhary lived with his parents and followed him as he appeared to conduct reconnaissance near the Flushing promenade
Investigators quickly identified the phone number associated with the text messaging app that Chudhary was using, as well as an address associated with his account.
On Monday August 24, agents surveilled Chudhary as he left the home and appeared to conduct reconnaissance on the Flushing Promenade, covertly recording with his cell phone at times.
On Tuesday August 25, Chudhary again asked the undercover agent for a video demonstrating the use of a knife in an attack ‘so he could ‘use it effectively,’ and stated that he had never ‘shot a real gun nor used a knife to spill the impure blood of a kafir,’ the charging documents state.
Chudhary allegedly said that he hoped to capture his attack on cell phone video in order to inspire other ‘lone wolf’ attacks.
Asked when he planned to carry out the attack, Chudhary indicated that he hoped to strike as soon as Friday.
On Wednesday August 26, the FBI says that Chudhary used an online retailer account supplied by the undercover agent to order a 420 High Carbon Stainless Steel Fixed Blade Survival Tactical Knife, a cellphone chest and head strap, ‘tactical lightweight assault cargo pants,’ a black face mask, and a pair of ‘Hard Knuckle Full Finger Tactical Gloves.’
The FBI says that Chudhary purchased this ‘420 High Carbon Stainless Steel Fixed Blade Survival Tactical Knife’ online and was arrested while picking it up from an Amazon locker
Chudhary was picking up items from an Amazon locker inside this Flushing shopping center when the FBI and NYPD swooped in and arrested him
The charging documents do not name the online retailer, but it is understood to be Amazon.
On Thursday, agents surveilled Chudhary as he went to an Amazon locker location at the SkyView shopping center in Queens.
As he opened the locker containing the knife and other items, FBI agents and NYPD officers swooped in and made the arrest.
‘Awais Chudhary had accepted the call from ISIS to kill fellow New Yorkers in the city he called home,’ NYPD Commissioner O’Neill said in a statement. ‘He had carefully planned, conducted reconnaissance, picked a target, and was in the process of obtaining the weapon. All he has left to do was to strike.’
Chudhary made his initial appearance on Friday before United States Magistrate Judge James Orenstein.
Prosecutors say that there is no current or ongoing threat related to the plot after Chudhary’s arrest.