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US man arrested at JFK Airport for trying to join LeT

Washington, Feb 9 (IANS) A 29-year-old American was arrested at the JFK Airport while he was about to leave the country to join Pakistani terror organization Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which was responsible for the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.

Authorities said on Friday, Jesus Wilfredo Encarnacion from Manhattan allegedly told an unnamed co-conspirator in November he wanted to contact the terror group, which was behind the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people, the New York Post reported. He was arrested from the airport on Thursday.

“I want to execute. I want to behead. Shoot,” Encarnacion told an undercover agent, according to a Manhattan federal criminal complaint..

According to prosecutors, Encarnacion also went online in a bid to join LeT, which has been designated global terrorist organisation by the UN and the US.

“Encarnacion allegedly attempted to travel to Pakistan to join a foreign terrorist organisation and conspired with another individual to provide that organisation with material support,” said Assistant Attorney General John Demers.

The co-conspirator connected Encarnacion with a “recruiter” to help him travel to Pakistan and be trained with the terror group, officials said. But the “recruiter” was actually an undercover agent, the complaint stated.

It said Encarnacion told the agent since the 9/11 attacks he has dreamed of carrying out a terror assault. “The terrorist attack. 9/11. I want to be (the) one to attack,” he said.

He told the agent that he couldn’t wait to go to Pakistan, the papers said. 

Encarnacion appeared in the Manhattan federal court on Friday, where a judge remanded him. He was charged with attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organisation and conspiring to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organisation. If convicted, he could get 40 years in prison.

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