New Jersey Man Charged With Plotting to Support ISIS
A New Jersey man who prosecutors said tried to organize support for the Islamic State was arrested on Monday.
The man, Nader Saadeh, 20, wanted to “form a small army” that would include his friends, according to the United States attorney for New Jersey. Mr. Saadeh lived in Rutherford, N.J., until he left the United States in May but was detained in Jordan.
Mr. Saadeh was charged with conspiracy and seeking to provide material support to a terrorist group.
A person who knew Mr. Saadeh alerted the Federal Bureau of Investigationand the Joint Terrorism Task Force, the criminal complaint says, telling federal agents in April that the men were headed overseas to join the Islamic State, which is also known as ISIS or ISIL.
That person lived with Mr. Saadeh and his brother, Alaa, 23, for several years after their parents were deported. The brothers lived together in Fort Lee, N.J., from 2012 to 2014, and this year moved back in with the same person in Rutherford.
The person said Nader Saadeh began to change after he moved in, “praying five times a day” and wearing “traditional Muslim attire in place of the Western clothing he had previously worn,” the criminal complaint says. He also became agitated when the conversation was not about Islam, the complaint says. When the Islamic State burned alive a Jordanian pilot, Mr. Saadeh said it was justified, according to the person, and he also said theattack on the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo was justified.
By April, the person said, Mr. Saadeh changed his phone number and began speaking in Arabic, which was not his first language, rather than English, when they were together.
Federal authorities then searched Mr. Saadeh’s email and social-media accounts and found messages supporting the Islamic State.
In messages from 2013, Mr. Saadeh and a friend discussed building a “small army” of their friends. “Think of it, it will probably be like 2-4 yrs from now, we will be in the prime of our lives,” he wrote.