Representational image of Taliban fighters
Watch Afghan Crowds Rush To Enter Passport Office Reopened By Taliban Photo by Hoshang Hashimi/AFP via Getty Images

A man in New York City has been arrested on charges of allegedly trying to help the Taliban fight American troops. A federal court in Manhattan convicted Delowar Mohammad Hossain, 36, who was charged Friday with providing material support for terrorism as well as contributing funds, goods and services to the radical Islamist group.

According to ABC News, Hossain was arrested in 2019 at Kennedy Airport while on his way to Afghanistan. He had been under surveillance by the FBI for quite some time. In 2018, Hossain had begun expressing his intent to join the Taliban and actively sought recruitment of individuals who had the same interest on social media.

This enabled the government to place an informant who responded to Hossain posing as a recruit. Hossain allegedly planned to travel with the informant from the US to Pakistan and then cross into Afghanistan to join with the Taliban. The informant cited how the suspect was eager to “fight the American government from there… combined with the Taliban.”

“I want to kill some kufars (non-believers) before I die,” Hossain told the informant.

Prosecutors alleged that Hossain’s preparations involved the purchase of communications equipment as well as trekking gear. He was also found to have instructed the informant to save money to be used in buying weapons once they arrived in Afghanistan. With this, he detailed his plan of avoiding detection from agencies by first flying into Thailand.

He had purchased a plane ticket that would fly him out of JFK Airport en route to the first leg of his journey but was arrested by agents from the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Court documents revealed that US District Judge Sidney H. Stein granted the request by the government to protect the identities of all witnesses, including a New York City police officer who was also undercover while in correspondence with Hossain.

The suspect faces a maximum of 15 years in prison and was held without bail upon his arrest. However, he was released and placed on home detention in July 2020. His sentencing is set to take place on Jan. 12, 2022.

Hossain’s case follows a series of arrests of self-radicalized suspects who have tried to join or support the Islamic State group through the use of social media.

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. said that the lure of radical ideologies comes in many forms and sources. And although the Taliban may seem like an old and out of vogue extremist group, its reach should not be underestimated.

Representational image of Taliban fighter
A Taliban fighter stands guard along a road in Kunduz on October 10, 2021. Photo by Hoshang Hashimi/AFP via Getty Images

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