Undercover Law Enforcement Catches New York ISIS Sympathizer

Josh Hamburger Contributor
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A New York man has been arrested Tuesday on a charge of “attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIS) after giving key information to an undercover law enforcement employee.

Sajmir Alimehmeti, 22, offered assistance to an individual claiming to fly to Syria to join ISIS to fight for their cause, according to a statement released by the Department of Justice. He gave information about purchasing supplies, communication methods once overseas and even provided transportation to the airport. However, that person was really an undercover agent, who collected Alimehmeti’s contact information and evidence of his illegal support.

“I’m ready to . . . go with you man . . . you know I would. I’m done with this place,” Alimehmeti told the undercover agent.

The ISIS sympathizer’s attempt to help the terrorist organization has been ongoing since at least 2014. In October and December of that year, United Kingdom authorities barred his entry into the area after finding ‘military gear’ and ISIS-related images on his phone and computer. However, that didn’t stop him from trying to help the terrorist group’s cause.

“When he returned home, to the Bronx, he allegedly turned to helping others join the terrorist organization as he built his own arsenal of weapons,” NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton said.

Within the past year, Alimehmeti has purchased “military-style equipment,” in addition to donning an ISIS flag in his Bronx apartment. He also possessed various videos of the group, including beheadings, and showed them to undercover agents.

Alimehmeti is also charged with “making a false statement in an application for a U.S. passport” because he stated that he had lost his passport, even though that was not the case. His passport contained rejection stamps from his previous trips to the U.K., which he thought would make future travel difficult.

The charges could land Alimehmeti in prison for decades, if convicted. His attempted material support holds a maximum 20 year sentence, while the passport false statement charge has a 10 year maximum, according to the DOJ statement.