One of the men, Akhror Saidakhmetov, was arrested Wednesday morning as he attempted to board a flight to Istanbul at JFK airport. Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev was arrested in Brooklyn; the Associated Press reports he had a ticket to travel to Istanbul next month. A third suspect, Abror Habibov, was arrested in Florida.
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?"
Officials said they believed he planned to travel from Turkey to Syria to join the terror group. Prosecutors say he, along with Saidakhmetov, 19, also threatened an attack in the U.S. if they were unable to join the Islamic State. Juraboev's plans included attacks against President Barack Obama or planting a bomb on Coney Island, officials said.
All three were charged with attempt and conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist group. If convicted, each faces a maximum of 15 years in prison.