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Saturday, July 20, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

New Jersey Man Admits Plotting to Aid ISIL

(CN) - A New Jersey man pleaded guilty Thursday to providing material support to Islamic State of Iraq and Levant by helping his brother travel to Syria and join the group.

Appearing in the Newark Federal Court, Alaa Saadeh accepted responsibility for his actions, but nevertheless told U.S. District Judge Thomas Vanaskie that he won't cooperate with terrorism investigators or testify against anyone else.

Saadeh, 24, was charged along with his brother Nader and two others with conspiring to support ISIL. Another of the plotters, Samuel Rahamin Topaz, 21, pleaded guilty to a similar charge last month.

Saadeh admitted that he both planned to travel overseas to aid the Islamic group and watch videos related to its activities, including those that showed the executions carried out by ISIL members.

He also admitted to allowing his brother to buy an airline ticket to Turkey with his credit card for the purpose of joining up with ISIL in the Middle East.

Prosecutors said Saadeh was captured on a recording made by an informant speaking of his knowledge of his brother's plan. He also allegedly encouraged a friend to lie in order to cover up these activities.

"Just play stupid," Saadeh said, according to the complaint."

If pressed, Saadeh said, the informant was to tell investigators that Nader was traveling to visit family in Jordan.

Alaa Saadeh is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 16. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.

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