Tragedy averted as suspected jihadist is caught with arms near major New York airport

Saturday, June 15, 2024 - A suspected jihadist was caught with an arsenal of weapons in his SUV near La Guardia International Airport.

Judd Sanson, 29, was just blocks from the major airport in New York when he was stopped by alert cops early Wednesday morning, June 12 and was ordered held without bail on Thursday, June 13.

When police stopped him, he nervously reached under the seat of his SUV during the first few tense moments of the encounter with the officers, prosecutors revealed. They later found a loaded 9mm Glock pistol under the driver’s seat.

“Sorry, there is a lot of drunk people nowadays,” Sanson allegedly told the cops after they stopped him for having obscured license plates on the vehicle.

“I live in Jamaica. I was visiting my uncle.”

But police had already spotted a knife strapped to Sanson’s leg, along with an MTA reflective vest and “a makeshift axe hanging from the ceiling” and a “makeshift sword” inside the vehicle, Queens Assistant District Attorney Dylan Nesturrick said in Queens Criminal Court.

In all, the prosecutor said nearly a dozen weapons, an NYPD bullet-proof vest and 179 rounds of ammunition were found inside the black Ford Explorer. He also said investigators found a “disturbing photo” on Sanson’s Facebook page but did not elaborate.

“This car stop averted what could have been a disaster for the citizens of Queens, New York City and potentially even the country,” Nesturrick said.

Sanson stood before Judge Julieta Lozano with his mane of long hair flowing over a black t-shirt that read, “Dreamer: Into reality” and had a rose next to it.

Prosecutors said he has addresses in Tennessee and Maryland, but lives with his father in the Hollis section of Queens and has a 1-year-old daughter.

His lawyer said Sanson works as a “self-employed mechanic” and supports his young daughter.

Thomas Montella of Queens Defenders asked Lozano to set reasonable bail for his client.

“This is, at the end of the day, a gun case,” Montella said. But the judge sided with prosecutors, who asked that he be held at Rikers Island without bail pending a return court appearance on Monday.

“It is concerning that he was a few blocks way from the airport,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said after the arraignment.

“You got to ask about the intent.” Sanson was arrested around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, and was questioned at the 110th Precinct stationhouse until he was led out in handcuffs earlier on Thursday for his date in court.

He smiled as he was questioned by reporters and broke into a wide grin when one asked if he had purchased his weapons arsenal on Amazon.

Meanwhile, cops executed a search warrant at his father’s apartment and were in and out of the Jamaica Avenue building on Thursday, with prosecutors saying they found a Glock holding case inside.

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