A 23-year-old New Jersey man was sentenced to 10 years in prison today for being part of a group of Americans who planned on fighting for ISIS together and planned stateside bombings including at an aeronautics college in Queens.
Nader Saadeh of Rutherford, N.J., was arrested on Aug. 10, 2015, by the FBI-Newark Joint Terrorism Task Force. He’d discussed running off to join ISIS with Samuel Rahamin Topaz, Munther Omar Saleh and Fareed Mumuni, as well as his brother Alaa Saadeh. The group watched ISIS videos together, and Saleh showed Saadeh plans for making bombs.
Saleh and Mumuni discussed plans to carry out an ISIS bomb attack at locations in New York, including the World Trade Center, Times Square and the Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology in Queens, N.Y.
“Between 2012 and 2013, Nader Saadeh sent … electronic messages expressing his hatred for the United States and desire to form a small army that would include their friends. On July 1, 2014, the day ISIL’s leader declared an Islamic caliphate in Syria and Iraq, Nader Saadeh posted images of ISIL’s flag and the flag of the Islamic caliphate on his Facebook page,” the FBI said back at the time of Saadeh’s arrest in May 2015.
“According to an informant who was close to him for years, by April 2015, Nader Saadeh had become a radicalized supporter of ISIL who was preparing to travel overseas with other individuals. In addition, Nader Saadeh said that ISIL’s execution of a captured Jordanian Air Force pilot by burning him alive and the murders of several staff members of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris … were justified,” the FBI said. “During the investigation, the FBI obtained computer files showing that Nader Saadeh viewed ISIL propaganda videos and researched the availability of flights to Turkey, which borders Syria, where ISIL claims to control territory. The FBI also obtained electronic messages sent to Nader Saadeh on April 21, 2015, by family members living overseas, including his mother, who pleaded for him not to join ISIL.”
Nader Saadeh had faced up to 20 years each on counts of conspiracy and attempting to provide material support to ISIS. He pleaded guilty to charge of supporting ISIS.
Alaa Saadeh was sentenced to 15 years in prison on May 10, 2016, after pleading guilty to conspiring to provide material support to ISIS. Topaz, who pleaded guilty to the same charge, is set to be sentenced Tuesday.
Saleh and Mumuni pleaded guilty to related charges brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. Saleh was sentenced to 18 years in prison on Feb. 6. Mumuni was sentenced to 17 years in prison on April 26.
The men will be subject to lifetime supervised release.
“Saadeh traveled overseas for the sole purpose of joining and fighting for ISIS, an international terrorist organization that has repeatedly taken and threatened to take the lives of our citizens and allies all over the world,” said U.S. Attorney Carpenito. “Thanks to the intervention of the FBI-Newark Joint Terrorism Task Force and federal prosecutors on this case, Saadeh’s criminal aspirations were never realized. Instead of joining ISIS’ ranks, he will spend the next several years in prison.”