Prosecutors say man aimed to fight for jihad
A New York man repeatedly traveled to the Middle East to try to join the Islamic State or another extremist group in Syria and told authorities he had been prepared to strap on a bomb to sacrifice himself for jihad, U.S. prosecutors said Saturday.
After police on suburban Long Island arrested Elvis Redzepagic on Feb. 2 on a minor, unrelated charge, he told them, “I’m going to leave this country, and I’m going to come back with an Army — Islam is coming,” according to a federal court complaint unsealed Saturday.
The 26-year-old U.S. citizen was being held without bail after appearing in a Brooklyn federal court Saturday. He’s charged with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.
His lawyer, Mildred Whalen, noted Redzepagic had cooperated with law enforcement.
Redzepagic “was persistent in his efforts” to join Islamist militants in Syria, making it to Turkey in 2015 and Jordan last year and even getting to the Syrian border, said William F. Sweeney, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York field office.