Another former New Jersey resident was arrested Monday and charged with trying to join the Islamic State.
Nader Saadeh, 20, allegedly conspired with three other New York and New Jersey residents to provide material support to ISIS, and attempted to provide material support, the Department of Justice announced. All four U.S. citizens are now in FBI custody.
Saadeh, his brother Alaa, former New Jersey resident Samuel Rahamin Topaz, and a former Queens, New York, resident allegedly planned to reunite overseas after leaving the country separately to join ISIS. Alaa, Topaz and the Queens resident were also recently arrested.
The FBI made the arrests with the help of an informant, who has known the brothers since 2002 and lived with them for several years after their parents were deported on criminal convictions. The informant became suspicious after Nader converted to Islam and became secretive and hostile.
He allegedly dramatically changed his appearance — i.e. wearing dark heavy eyeliner and dyeing his new beard red — and began whispering with his brother in Arabic when around the informant. Nader was allegedly overheard saying the Charlie Hebdo slaughter and ISIS execution of a Jordanian pilot were “justified,” and that ISIS fighters are his brothers.
But the informant became especially suspicious when Nader said he wanted to study theology in Jordan, because, according to the informant, Nader “had never been very studious.”
The informant contacted the FBI in April, and the FBI later found electronic messages from Nader expressing his hatred for the U.S. and desire to form “a small army” that would include his friends. On the day ISIS’s leader declared an Islamic caliphate in Syria and Iraq, Nader posted images of ISIL’s flag on his Facebook page.
Nader traveled to Jordan in May, where he is also a citizen and where his mother lives, allegedly intending to then fly into Turkey and then cross into ISIS territory in Syria. His mother pleaded with him not to join ISIS in electronic messages obtained by the FBI.
He was arrested Monday and scheduled to appear before a New Jersey court.
A North Carolina man was recently arrested for plotting a mass shooting in the name of ISIS after his father turned him in, and in April the FBI busted an alleged homegrown jihadi terror ring in Minnesota. (RELATED: FBI Now Refers Some Potential Terror Suspects To Counseling)
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