Federal authorities in New York have taken three people into custody for allegedly plotting to travel overseas to join the Islamic state.
The U.S. Department of Justice says the three men, ages 19, 24 and 30, were apprehended overnight.
Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev, Akhror Saidakhmetov, and Abror Habibov are charged with attempt and conspiracy to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.
Juraboev and Saidakhmetov were arraigned in Downtown Brooklyn Wednesday afternoon.
Adam Perlmutter, the public defense attorney assigned to the case said, "I know for a fact these two young men were detained by the FBI. They were interrogated without the benefit of council and we will have to—we have not had their statements produced to us. We don't know what they claimed to have said and we don't know the circumstances of those interrogations."
Habibov was also arraigned Wednesday in Jacksonville, Florida.
All three are being held without bail.
In a statement, FBI Assistant Director in Charge Diego Rodriguez said, in part, "The defendants violated the true tenants of their faith in pursuit of their radical, violent agenda. We rely on help from the community, the public and religious leaders to be mindful of those who could be radicalized. We cannot do this alone."
Federal investigators say Juraboev and Saidakhmetov planned to travel to Turkey and then to Syria for the purpose of fighting on behalf of ISIL.
Saidakhmetov, a resident of Brooklyn and a citizen of Kazakhstan, was arrested early Wednesday morning at John F. Kennedy International Airport where he was attempting to board a flight to Istanbul, Turkey.
Juraboev, a resident of Brooklyn and a citizen of Uzbekistan, had previously purchased a plane ticket to travel from New York to Istanbul and was scheduled to leave the U.S. next month.
Habibov, a resident of Brooklyn and a citizen of Uzbekistan, is accused of helping to fund Saidakhmetov’s efforts to join ISIL. CUNY's New York City College of Technology confirmed that Habibov was enrolled as a part-time student in spring of 2013, but they say he is not currently enrolled.
The men hit the FBI's radar in August when the 24-year-old Juraboev posted on a foreign website that he wanted to join the terror group.
He allegedly asked if it would be possible to become martyrs while in the U.S, allegedly writing, "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."
In a tweet, the FBI's New York office says Juraboev was also preparing to carry out a terror attack on U.S. soil. They allegedly included attacks against President Barack Obama or planting a bomb on Coney Island.
They also say Saidakhmetov expressed his intent to buy a machine gun and shoot police officers and FBI agents.
One defense attorney, Adam Perlmutter, said his client would plead not guilty. He claimed that the U.S. government is overly aggressive when dealing with young Muslim men, and he said he's concerned about the FBI's use of a paid confidential informant in this case.
"I know for a fact that these two young men were detained by the FBI. They were interrogated without the benefit of counsel," Perlmutter said.
This comes on the heels of the Senate's last-minute approval of a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security, avoiding a partial shutdown. The House Committee on Homeland Security Wednesday also announced the creation of bipartisan task force to investigate terror threats.
Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of that committee, said, "This threat is precisely why my colleagues on the committee and I launched a bipartisan Task Force today. Americans are continuing to try to join and aid ISIS and more must be done to keep them off the battlefield. We must have a strategy to stop jihadists groups from recruiting them and to prevent those who have already traveled to join terrorists overseas from coming back and threatening our security. The Task Force will be working diligently to investigate this growing threat and ways we can deter and disrupt terror travel in the near term."
Sen. Charles Schumer said, in part, "This foiled ISIS plot sends shivers down the spine of New Yorkers and clearly underscores that we must remain ever-vigilant in the face of terror threats, and that funding our national security must be a top priority of the federal government, at all times."