A second gen Yemeni Muslim. Source: New York man charged with trying to aid ISIS – CBS News
NEW YORK — A home health aide was charged with trying to aid the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) after he unwittingly planned his trip to Syria under the eye of law enforcement authorities, prosecutors said Thursday.
Saddam Mohamed Raishani, 30, of the Bronx, was arrested Wednesday night as he prepared to board a plane at Kennedy Airport to begin his travel, according to a release by U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim.
It was unclear who will represent Raishani at an initial appearance in Manhattan federal court.
Kim said Raishani wanted to join and train with the militant group after helping another man get there.
“Raishani allegedly acted on his own desire to wage violent jihad, planning to leave his family and life in New York City for the battlefields of the Middle East,” Kim said.
William F. Sweeney Jr., head of the FBI’s New York office, said the arrest demonstrated “the nature of the terrorism threat and its reach into communities here at home.”
Authorities said Raishani’s plans were foiled in January after he unknowingly contacted a person who was a confidential source working at the direction of law enforcement. According to a criminal complaint, Raishani told the source that he had helped a friend shop for supplies to bring to ISIS and had driven that person to the airport and contributed money before the friend left the United States.
Raishani allegedly advised the source to “cover the camera on [the source’s] computer and turn off the computer’s microphone when watching pro-ISIS videos online,” prosecutors said.
The complaint said Raishani expressed regret that he had not gone to Syria at the same time as his friend.
“Raishani also indicated his desire to wage jihad and his belief that the Quran can be read to justify the violence, including beheadings,” according to the complaint.
Eventually, the source introduced Raishani to an undercover law enforcement officer who posed as someone who also wanted to fight for ISIS, authorities said.
The complaint said Raishani told the undercover officer that he had been in contact with other ISIS supporters and no longer felt comfortable in the U.S.
In April, the confidential source introduced Raishani to an undercover FBI agent, who also heard some of Raishani’s plans, the complaint said.
Raishani was arrested as he prepared to board a flight to Lisbon, Portugal, the complaint said.
This could be pure coincidence, but when converts to Islam are arrested, there is usually a photograph. At a minimum a court sketch. Yet here again, a Muslim is arrested and the feds, the NYPD nor the media provide a photo to the public. Coincidence?
No information provided on the mosque Raishani attended, his legal status in the U.S., his nationality or the friend he helped join ISIS. All irrelevant.
The Daily News starts to fill in some of the blanks: Bronx ISIS pledge busted at JFK while boarding Turkey flight – NY Daily News
If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in federal prison.
Raishani’s father, Mohamed Raishani, claimed his son was simply going to visit his sister in Yemen — not to fight with ISIS — at the time of his arrest.
Raishani had to travel through Turkey “because of the Yemen war, he can’t go from here,” said Mohamed Raishani, 72, before his son appeared in court.
“His sister got two operations, is very sick,” said the elder Raishani, who came to the U.S. 47 years ago from Yemen.
Raishani, who sported a bright red plaid shirt in court, waved at his father before he went before a magistrate.
His lawyers did not ask for bail, but they can at a later time.
The criminal complaint mentions Yemen, but the circumstances are very different.
Saddam Raishani, a nurse, told an informant April 27 that if they went to Yemen, he “could pose as a nurse, and (the informant) could pose as a refugee aid worker, in order to gain entry to the country without being stopped and questioned by authorities,” according to the criminal complaint.
Raishani also allegedly told an informant on Jan. 16 that a friend of his left New York City to join ISIS — and said he took his pal “shopping to buy supplies for bringing to the Islamic State” and gave him money, the criminal complaint states. Raishani is also accused of telling the informant “that he had asked his wife if she would go with him to the Islamic State.”
But “based on her reaction, he would not ask her again, because he was worried that she would report him to law enforcement,” court papers state.
His father insisted his son wanted nothing to do with ISIS — and wanted to remain at home with family.
“He’s got a wife and a baby,” he said. “He don’t want this s— over there.”