Potential Terror Attack Thwarted! NYPD Captures Suspected Jihadist Near Airport; Weapons Cache Found in SUV

Nearly a dozen weapons, an NYPD bulletproof vest, and 179 rounds of ammunition were found inside the black Ford Explorer

A suspected jihadist from Queens, apprehended with a cache of weapons in his SUV, was ordered held without bail on Thursday. Shocking new details emerged during the court proceedings.

Judd Sanson, 29, was stopped by alert police officers just blocks from LaGuardia Airport, New York, early Wednesday morning. Prosecutors revealed that Sanson nervously reached under his seat during the initial moments of the encounter. Officers subsequently discovered a loaded 9mm Glock pistol under the driver's seat.

"Sorry, there are a lot of drunk people nowadays," Sanson allegedly told the officers after they pulled him over for having obscured license plates. "I live in Jamaica. I was visiting my uncle." However, police had already noticed a knife strapped to Sanson's leg. Inside the vehicle, they found an MTA reflective vest, a makeshift axe hanging from the ceiling, and a makeshift sword, according to Queens Assistant District Attorney Dylan Nesturrick.

In total, nearly a dozen weapons, an NYPD bulletproof vest, and 179 rounds of ammunition were found inside the black Ford Explorer. Investigators also discovered a "disturbing photo" on Sanson's Facebook page, though details were not provided.

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

Sanson appeared before Judge Julieta Lozano wearing a black T-shirt that read, "Dreamer: Into reality," with a rose design. Prosecutors noted that Sanson has addresses in Tennessee and Maryland, but currently lives with his father in the Hollis section of Queens. He has a 1-year-old daughter.

Sanson's lawyer, Thomas Montella of Queens Defenders, described him as a "self-employed mechanic" who supports his young daughter. Montella requested reasonable bail for his client, arguing, "This is, at the end of the day, a gun case."

However, the judge agreed with prosecutors and ordered that Sanson be held at Rikers Island without bail, pending his return to court on Monday. "It is concerning that he was a few blocks away from the airport," said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz after the arraignment. "You have to question the intent."

Judd Sanson

Sanson was arrested around 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday and questioned at the 110th Precinct stationhouse before being led out in handcuffs on Thursday. He smiled and grinned broadly when asked by reporters if he had purchased his arsenal on Amazon.

Meanwhile, police executed a search warrant at his father's apartment and were seen entering and exiting the Jamaica Avenue building on Thursday. Prosecutors mentioned they found a Glock holding case inside.