WASHINGTON – A former New Jersey resident has been arrested and charged with allegedly conspiring and attempting to provide support to the Islamic State, the U.S. Department of Justice said Monday.
Nader Saadeh, 20, a former Rutherford, N.J., resident, was expected to appear before a federal judge Monday afternoon.
The charges against Saadeh stem from an FBI investigation into a group of individuals from the New Jersey-New York area. Saadeh is the sixth man to be arrested in the two-state sting. His brother, Alaa Saadeh, was arrested on June 29.
Federal investigators say Saadeh sent “electronic messages” between 2012 and 2013 that expressed his anger and hatred for the United States. At that time, he also expressed interest in forming “a small army” that would include his friends. He also, reportedly, posted images of the black and white ISIS flag on his Facebook page in 2014.
According to an informant working with the FBI, Saadeh told friends in April 2015 that he was preparing to travel overseas. It was around that same time authorities say Saadeh became a “radicalized supporter” of ISIS and expressed solidarity with those behind the terror attacks in Paris. In that attack, 12 people were killed at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical magazine that published controversial cartoons about the prophet Muhammad.
The investigation into Saadeh started when a friend, identified as “individual 1” in court documents, contacted the FBI and expressed concern that Saadeh, his brother and their friends were planning a trip overseas where they might join a terror group.
Individual 1 told investigators that Saadeh’s interest in ISIS as well as his “adoption of stringent religious behavior” coincided with other statements he made in support of ISIS.
Investigators say they also obtained emails from April 2015 that were sent to Saadeh by family members, including one from his mother, begging her son not to join the terror group.
A third New Jersey resident, Samuel Rahamin Topaz, was arrested on June 17, 2015. Topaz was also charged with conspiring to provide material support to ISIS.
In a post-arrest interview, Alaa Saadeh, told authorities his brother Nader and Topaz watched ISIS propaganda videos together and discussed going overseas to join the group.
Saadeh, a dual U.S.-Jordanian national, got on a May 5 flight from New York to Amman, Jordan. He was detained upon arrival, though it was not immediately clear when he was returned to the United States.
If Saadeh is found guilty, he could face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.