“As alleged, the defendant was persistent in his efforts to join ISIL and support its terrorist objectives,” prosecuting attorney Robert Capers said in a statement.
Mohamed Rafik Naji, 37, expressed his support for the Islamic State on social media and in conversations with an undercover FBI informant.
He spoke to the informant after the terrorist atttack in Nice, France, where 84 people were killed at a Bastille Day parade.
“They want an operation in Times Square, reconnaissance groups already put out a scene, the Islamic State already put up scenes of Times Square…I said that was an indication for whoever is smart to know,” he told the informant on July 19.
While in Yemen, he reportedly attempted to join the Islamic State. His wife wired him thousands of dollars from America to support his mission. In April 2015, Naji sent her an email titled “First Day on the Job” with a video in which gunfire could be heard. In another email, he sent a picture of himself wearing a tactical vest and a grey and black bandana over his mouth while holding a knife.
Naji allegedly shared photos of an Islamic State flag and videos of jihadists fighting and an ISIS spokesperson calling on Muslims to carry out attacks against Western targets, according to court documents.
He was charged with attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization.