NEWARK, N.J. — A Muslim man in New Jersey plead guilty this week to conspiring to provide material support to the barbaric terror group ISIS by helping to recruit a “small army” to join the organization.
Alaa Saadeh, 24, of Rutherford admitted his guilt on Thursday in federal court. He was arrested in June after investigators believed that he was providing his brother, Nader, with financial aid so that he could travel to Syria.
In August, after taking Nader Saadeh into custody, the FBI reported that he sent “electronic messages expressing his hatred for the United States and desire to form a small army that would include their friends.” Alaa Saadeh was believed to be in on the plot.
“Saadeh conspired with his brother and others to travel overseas to join ISIL,” said Assistant Attorney General John Carlin in a press release issued this week by the FBI.
According to investigators, Saadeh planned to fly to the Middle East himself, and told the court on Thursday that high school friend Samuel Rahamin Topaz, acquaintance Munther Saleh and his brother all wanted to join ISIS. He likewise acknowledged that he watched ISIS propaganda videos, which included execution videos, with his brother and Topaz.
“Saadeh further admitted assisting Nader Saadeh with these plans by letting him purchase airline tickets using Saadeh’s credit card, removing the SIM card from Nader’s smartphone and resetting the smartphone in an effort to avoid detection,” the FBI reports.
“After becoming aware that the FBI was investigating this matter, Saadeh instructed an individual who knew of Nader Saadeh’s support for ISIL to lie if questioned by the FBI on the subject,” it states. “Saadeh further admitted telling this individual to ‘just play stupid,’ ‘pretend it never happened’ and ‘keep it honest up to a point.'”
Saadeh will be sentenced in February 2016 and faces up to 15 years in prison. His co-conspirators are in custody, and in September, Topaz likewise plead guilty to providing material support for ISIS. NJ.com reports that Topaz told his attorneys that the group plotted to stage a small attack on the White House since they could not leave the country.
Khaled Saadeh, Alaa and Nader’s father, who lives in Oman, told the outlet that he urged his boys to come to Jordan in order to keep them from joining ISIS. He is opposed to his sons’ actions.
“I did what I have to do like a father to protect my sons, but the government is not doing enough to protect our kids from this kind of group, who try to brainwash our kids,” he said.
The Saadeh’s mother also begged them via text not to “go anywhere if you love me.”
“The fight against these kinds of groups is going on around the world, but is also being waged here at home,” said U.S. attorney Paul Fishman. “They are intent on threatening the safety of Americans here and abroad, and we and our law enforcement partners are intent on stopping them.”