New York Man Arrested for Supporting ISIS: 'Allah Will Reward for Attempting Jihad'

A member of the Iraqi forces walks past a mural bearing the logo of the Islamic State
Getty Images
June 22, 2017

A New York man was arrested Wednesday night at John F. Kennedy International Airport and charged with attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State, according to the Justice Department.

Saddam Mohamed Raishani, 30, attempted to travel overseas to join ISIS in Syria, according to a criminal complaint.

Joon H. Kim, the acting U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York, said in a press release that Raishani, who also went by "Adam," planned to "wage violent jihad."

"Having already helped another man make that trip to ISIS's heartland, 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. "Thanks to the excellent work of the FBI and NYPD, Raishani's alleged plan to support this deadly terrorist organization was cut short at the airport and now he will face federal terrorism charges."

Raishani's plans were unraveled as a result of "a confidential source working at the direction of law enforcement," the Justice Department said. The suspect's planning started after he approached the confidential source in January.

Over the course of several months, Raishani continued to contact the source, and in April he told the source that if he is "locked up," he will not care because "Allah will reward [him] for attempting jihad," according to the Justice Department.

Raishani is charged with one count of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Following the arrest, officials praised the efforts of the FBI and the New York Police Department.

"Thank you to the NYPD detectives and FBI agents who, through the original Joint Terrorism Task Force, remain relentless in their focus to keep New York City safe," said James O'Neill, commissioner of the NYPD.

O'Neill also sent a warning to those who may try to join terrorist groups.

"As we have seen many times before, allegedly attempting to join a designated terrorist organization usually has one outcome: arrest," he said.