A New Jersey man pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State group by helping his brother fly to the Middle East to join the extremists.
At his plea hearing in U.S. District Court in Newark, Alaa Saadeh's attorney told the judge he won't cooperate with the government or testify against anyone else.
Saadeh, 24, of West New York, faces a maximum of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced Feb. 16. He has been in custody since his arrest in June.
"He's prepared to serve his sentence for the crime he committed, and he deeply regrets any involvement whatsoever," his attorney, Maria Noto, said outside court. "He has no history of violence, no history of being involved in anything like this."
Saadeh was charged along with his brother Nader and two other men with plotting to support the terror group. One of the men, 21-year-old Fort Lee resident Samuel Rahamin Topaz, pleaded guilty last month to a similar charge as Saadeh.
Saadeh admitted that he planned to travel overseas to join the Islamic State group and that he discussed those plans with his brother, Topaz and a fourth man, according to the U.S. attorney's office. Saadeh also admitted he watched Islamic State group-related videos with his brother and Topaz, some of which depicted the execution of people considered enemies of the group.
He also admitted letting his brother buy a plane ticket with his credit card for the purpose of flying to the Middle East to join the Islamic militant organization. A criminal complaint also alleged he told a friend to lie if questioned by the FBI.
In a conversation secretly recorded by an informant, Saadeh spoke of his knowledge of his brother's plans and told the person what to do if the FBI began asking questions.
"You just play stupid," Saadeh said, according to the complaint. "Like you just really don't know. That all you know is that he was going to see his parents."
The Saadehs' father, Khaled Saadeh lives in Jordan. He told The Associated Press in August that Alaa had told the family that Nader might travel to Syria via Turkey to join the extremists. Khaled Saadeh said Nader came to Jordan instead, where he was detained by authorities in May.
Khaled Saadeh said at the time he believed Nader "had no serious intentions" of joining the extremists.