For­mer Amer­i­can wanted to form small army to fight for Is­lamic State: US gov’t

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

A for­mer Amer­i­can who trav­eled to the Mid­dle East last year wanted to form a small army to fight with the Is­lamic State group, U. S. author­i­ties said Mon­day, weeks af­ter the man’s brother was ar­rested in the same al­leged plot.

Nader Saadeh, 20, was charged with at­tempt­ing to pro­vide ma­te­rial sup­port to a des­ig­nated ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion.

He was or­dered held with­out bail fol­low­ing a brief ap­pear­ance Mon­day at a court in the At­lantic coast state of New Jersey. A judge ap­pointed a lawyer to rep­re­sent him af­ter Saadeh said he could not af­ford to pay for an at­tor­ney.

The f ormer Rutherford res­i­dent’s ar­rest came af­ter au- thor­i­ties ar­rested his 23-year-old brother, Alaa, and 21-year-old Sa­muel Ra­hamin Topaz of Fort Lee on sim­i­lar charges.

Author­i­ties say Nader Saadeh trav­eled to the Mid­dle East in May to join the Is­lamic mil­i­tant or­ga­ni­za­tion but was ar­rested in Jor­dan and had been held there in cus­tody. It was not im­me­di­ately clear when or how he re­turned to the United States.

He could face sev­eral decades in prison if con­victed on all counts.

Be­tween 2012 and 2013, Saadeh al­legedly ex­pressed his ha­tred for the United States and his wish to form a small army via elec­tronic mes­sages. Af­ter the Is­lamic State group’s leader de­clared an Is­lamic caliphate in parts of Syria and Iraq in July 2014, author­i­ties say Saadeh posted im­ages of the group’s flags on Face­book.

Pros­e­cu­tors have said the Saadeh broth­ers had nu­mer­ous meet­ings and ex­changed text mes­sages and phone calls with Topaz and 20-year-old Mun­ther Omar Saleh, a New York City col­lege stu­dent who was ar­rested in June and charged with con­spir­ing to pro­vide ma­te­rial sup­port to a for­eign ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion.

In a June 13 con­ver­sa­tion se­cretly recorded by an in­for­mant, Alaa Saadeh al­legedly spoke of his knowl­edge of his brother’s plans. He also al­legedly told the per­son what to do if the FBI, a U.S. law en­force­ment agency, be­gan ask­ing ques­tions.

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