A New Jersey man has been arrested and charged with trying to help the Islamic State.
The Department of Justice arrested Alaa Saadeh Monday and charged him with conspiring to provide material support to ISIS, a designated foreign terrorist organization, and aiding and abetting an attempt to do so.
The 23-year-old is accused of plotting with others from New Jersey and New York to provide services and people to ISIS, as well as trying to convince a witness to lie to the FBI.
Saadeh’s brother allegedly left to join ISIS May 5, but was arrested in Jordan on suspicion he was plotting to join ISIS. Two other of his alleged co-conspirators were arrested earlier this month. The DOJ says the conspirators were planning a rendezvous overseas in the coming weeks.
The feds say Saadeh knowingly bought his brother’s plane ticket to join ISIS and removed the SIM card from their phone to try and hide their communication. He also allegedly plotted with his co-conspirators to join ISIS.
According to the criminal complaint, he came to believe his brother was arrested because one of his co-conspirators turned him in, which led Saadeh to say. “I’m hoping it’s not because if it is I think I’m going to kill someone.” He allegedly told someone else on a recorded phone call ”this is what Alaah [sic] wants.”
After Saadeh realized he was under government surveillance, he told a witness to “play dumb” and be “honest up to a point,” but not reveal anything about ISIS. His alleged witness coaching wasn’t enough to prevent his arrest, though. He appears in court Monday.
This arrest is just one more in a steady stream of American residents, usually young people, being arrested for supporting ISIS. Last week a North Carolina man was arrested for plotting a mass shooting in the name of ISIS after his father turned him in.