The FBI arrested a New Yorker from Yemen on Saturday after uncovering his plot to kill U.S. troops and Shi’ite Muslims for their actions in wars and conflicts abroad.
Mufid Elfgeeh, 30, paid an FBI informant $1,050 for two handguns and two silencers in a plan to kill U.S. soldiers returning from war and Shi’ites in the Rochester, N.Y. area for their role in the Syrian civil war.
The FBI’s investigation into Elfgeeh, which began last year, turned up tweets sent from alias Twitter accounts praising al-Qaida and Jihadis. He also expressed support for Sunni insurgent groups fighting in the Syrian civil war, according to The Boston Globe. His various twitter accounts celebrated al-Qaida as “our only savior.”
Elfgeeh, a U.S. citizen, manages the Hala Mojo and Food Mart in Rochester, N.Y. According to an FBI affidavit, Efgeeh told an informant during a taped conversation in December “I’m thinking about just go buy a big automatic gun from off the street or something and a lot of bullets and just put on a vest or whatever and just go around and start shooting.”
The FBI informant sold Elfgeeh a Walther PPK .32-caliber handgun and a Glock 26, 9 mm handgun with silencers attached to both barrels and two boxes of ammunition for each gun, according to the affidavit. Elfgeeh was immediately arrested after the transaction was complete for possession of silencers not in his name. U.S. Attorney William Hochul said Elfgeeh faces up to 10 years in prison for each silencer and a $250,000 fine.
Elfgeeh told the FBI informant that he changed his plans in March to kill returning U.S. soldiers, saying in a taped conversation “It could be right now in the daytime . . . I could just go back and wait for him to when he leave to go to his garage, and just walk up slowly, boom, boom, boom, inside his garage.”
Elfgeeh appeared Monday in front of a federal magistrate and was sent to Monroe County Jail. A bail hearing has been scheduled for June 16.