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Friday, July 19, 2024 | Back issues
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20-Year-Old Pleads Guilty to ISIL Charge

(CN) - A former New Jersey resident admitted Thursday that he planned to travel to Syria to fight on behalf of ISIL.

Nader Saadeh, 20, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring with others to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.

A plea agreement says Saadeh knew ISIL was a U.S.-designated terrorist organization but supported the group from October 2014 through May of this year.

He admitted that he planned to travel overseas to join ISIL with other co-conspirators, according to the U.S. Justice Department. The government says Saadeh left the United States on May 5 and he admitted in court Thursday that he intended to fight for the terrorist group once he reached territory that it controlled.

Saadeh was also shown how to make homemade bombs, and two of his co-conspirators discussed plans for carrying out attacks in ISIL's name using the bombs at New York City locations including Times Square and the World Trade Center, the Justice Department said.

The former Rutherford, N.J., resident was arrested Aug. 10 and he remains detained without bail, according to the government.

If convicted, Saadeh faces a maximum of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for March 18, 2016.

"ISIL is intent on threatening the safety of Americans here and abroad, and we and our law enforcement partners are just as intent on stopping them," New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said in a statement.

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