3 nabbed in NYC, Florida in plot to join Islamic State group

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video at top: Brooklyn ISIS men arrested
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3 nabbed in NYC, Florida in plot to join Islamic State group
#Breaking: Three Brooklyn residents arrested and charged with attempting to provide material support to #ISIL
All three defendants were arrested overnight. One at John F. Kennedy airport while attempting to board a flight to Turkey.
One defendant, Juraboev was also preparing to carry out a terror attack here in the United States
Juraboev plans for a terror attack included attacks against President Obama or planting a bomb on Coney Island
A different defendant, Saidakhmetov, expressed his intent to buy a machine gun and shoot police officers and FBI agents
All the details on the three Brooklyn residents arrested and charged with supporting #ISIL: http://t.co/MUBFj9yZbH
BREAKING: FBI arrests 3 men in Brooklyn for allegedly attempting to travel to join ISIS.
3 Brooklyn men arrested for plotting to join ISIS - @FBI
More: Men arrested in Brooklyn had talked of carrying out domestic attacks if they did not succeed in joining ISIS. -@andytriay
Breaking: 3 Brooklyn men arrested as planning to travel to #Syria to join #ISIS - 2 citizens of Uzbekistan, 1 of Kazakhstan, says FBI
#BREAKING: 3 Brooklyn residents arrested for attempting to join #ISIS. They were prepared to attack domestically if unable to leave.
3 Brooklyn men who allegedly planned to join ISIS were taken into custody during FBI terror raids in the borough: http://t.co/UPsw81VIdF
NYC: FBI reporting 3 Brooklyn people arrested for attempting to join #ISIS. They were prepared to attack domestically if unable to leave.
Investigators say one terror expressed his intent to buy a machine gun and shoot police officers, FBI agents http://t.co/uhGARBXIf4
A police officer walks in front of the Federal Courthouse in New York's borough of Brooklyn where two of three Brooklyn residents, who have been arrested for plotting to join extremists fighting in Syria and two threatened to carry out attacks within the US, are arraigned before a judge on February 25, 2015. Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev, 24, Akhror Saidakhmetov, 19, and Abror Habibov, 30, have been charged with attempt and conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. The teenage Saidakhmetov, a Kazakh citizen, was arrested Wednesday at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport attempting to board a flight to Istanbul, before traveling onto Syria. US prosecutors said he recently expressed intent to buy a machine gun and shoot US police officers and FBI agents if thwarted in his plan to join the Islamic State (IS) group fighting in Syria. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 25: New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton speaks at a news conference where he discussed the arrest of three Brooklyn men who allegedly plotted to travel to Syria to join ISIS on February 25, 2015 in New York City. The men, two Uzbekistan citizens and a 19-year-old Kazakhstan citizen,all lived in Brooklyn and were corresponding with the terrorist group over social media. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Two police officers guard an entrance of the Federal Courthouse in New York's borough of Brooklyn where two of three Brooklyn residents, who have been arrested for plotting to join extremists fighting in Syria and two threatened to carry out attacks within the US, are arraigned before a judge on February 25, 2015. Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev, 24, Akhror Saidakhmetov, 19, and Abror Habibov, 30, have been charged with attempt and conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. The teenage Saidakhmetov, a Kazakh citizen, was arrested Wednesday at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport attempting to board a flight to Istanbul, before traveling onto Syria. US prosecutors said he recently expressed intent to buy a machine gun and shoot US police officers and FBI agents if thwarted in his plan to join the Islamic State (IS) group fighting in Syria. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
A Homeland Security police officer, left, joins a Federal Court policeman, right, as security is enhanced during the arraignment of two men on terrorism related charges, Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015, in Brooklyn, N.Y. The men were arrested along with a third man Wednesday on charges of plotting to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group and wage war against the U.S. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
New York Police Commissioner William Bratton, second from left, and Diego Rodriguez, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York field office, arrive for a news conference at police headquarters, Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015, in New York, regarding three men who were arrested on charges of plotting to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group and wage war against the U.S. Akhror Saidakhmetov was arrested at Kennedy Airport, where he was attempting to board a flight to Istanbul, authorities said. Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev had a ticket to travel to Istanbul next month and was arrested in Brooklyn, federal prosecutors said. Abror Habibov, 30, accused of helping fund Saidakhmetov's efforts, was arrested in Florida. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
The U.S. Justice Department announced Wednesday the arrests of three men accused of planning or support ISIS in Syria.
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NEW YORK (AP) -- Three men were arrested Wednesday on charges of plotting to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group and wage war against the United States, and federal officials said one of them spoke of shooting President Barack Obama or planting a bomb on Coney Island.

Akhror Saidakhmetov was arrested at Kennedy Airport, where he was attempting to board a flight to Istanbul, authorities said. Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev had a ticket to travel to Istanbul next month and was arrested in Brooklyn, federal prosecutors said. The two were held without bail after a brief court appearance.

A third defendant, Abror Habibov, is accused of helping fund Saidakhmetov's efforts and was ordered held without bail in Florida.

The three are charged with attempt and conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organization. If convicted, each faces a maximum of 15 years in prison.

"This is real," New York Police Department Commissioner William Bratton said. "This is the concern about the lone wolf, inspired to act without ever going to the Mideast."

The Department of Justice has charged roughly 20 people in the past year with planning to travel to the Middle East to fight alongside militants like the Islamic State group. Federal officials have been concerned about Americans going overseas to train with these groups and returning with plots to carry out attacks at home.

Federal prosecutors say Juraboev, 24, first came to the attention of law enforcement in August, when he posted on an Uzbek-language website that propagates the Islamic State ideology.

"Greetings! We too want to pledge our allegiance and commit ourselves while not present there," he wrote, according to federal authorities. "Is it possible to commit ourselves as dedicated martyrs anyway while here?

"What I'm saying is, to shoot Obama and then get shot ourselves, will it do? That will strike fear in the hearts of infidels."

Officials said they believed he planned to travel from Turkey to Syria to join the terror group. Prosecutors say Saidakhmetov, 19, also threatened an attack in the U.S. if he was unable to join the Islamic State. Juraboev's plans included attacks against Obama or planting a bomb on Coney Island, officials said.

Federal officials say Juraboev identified Saidakhmetov as a friend with a shared ideology. The two exchanged messages on how to get overseas, and Saidakhmetov and an informant watched videos of Islamic State training camps in Syria, according to court papers.

Saidakhmetov told the informant in September that he wanted to travel to Syria for jihad, or holy war, but that his concerned mother confiscated his passport so he couldn't travel, the complaint said. He said he would lie and tell her he planned to go to Uzbekistan to visit relatives. When he called to ask for his passport back, she hung up the phone.

"The flow of foreign fighters to Syria represents an evolving threat to our country and to our allies," said state U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch, who is Obama's choice to be U.S. attorney general.

Saidakhmetov's attorney, Adam Perlmutter, said his client was a "young, innocent kid" who would plead not guilty.

"This is the type of case that highlights everything that is wrong with how the Justice Department approaches these cases," Perlmutter said.

Juraboev's attorney had no immediate comment.

Saidakhmetov booked a flight to Turkey on Feb. 19 and seemed like just another "regular American teenager," said workers who helped him at Nil Travel in Coney Island.

"He was just like anyone around us. He was totally normal. He wasn't nervous," said assistant manager Frank Cakir. "It's just scary."

Cakir said Saidakhmetov asked for the least expensive flight to Turkey and paid $571 by credit card for a round-trip ticket.

Habibov, 30, operates kiosks that repair phones and sell kitchenware in malls in Jacksonville, Florida; Savannah, Georgia; and Philadelphia. He employed Saidakhmetov last fall and winter and said he would help fund his travel, prosecutors said. The two were spotted in Brooklyn purchasing a ticket for Saidakhmetov to travel to Turkey, officials said.

Farhod Sulton, president of the Brooklyn-based Vatandosh Uzbek-American Federation, knew Habibov and said he was a "lost man."

"Abror was not educated. He was so eager to learn Islam, and he had a lot of questions," Sulton said. "A couple of times I remember warning him about his thoughts and where he was getting his information."

Saidakhmetov is a Brooklyn resident and citizen of Kazakhstan. Juraboev is a Brooklyn resident from Uzbekistan. Habibov is also from Uzbekistan and had been in the U.S. legally, but his visa had expired. He was appointed a public defender on Wednesday.

The Islamic State group largely consists of Sunni militants from Iraq and Syria but has also drawn fighters from across the Muslim world and Europe.

The FBI for the last year has expressed worries about the flow of Western fighters to Syria.

Bratton said this was the first public case in New York, but he hinted at ongoing investigations.

Earlier on AOL.com:

3 Arrested In Plot To Join ISIS

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