In the latest case of an American being caught for connections to the Islamic State, a New Jersey man was arrested on August 10 for conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State.
Nader Saadeh, 20, from Rutherford in Bergen County, was apparently disillusioned with the United States and expressed support for recent Islamist terror attacks before he attempted to join ISIS in May.
Saadeh wanted to form a small army of his own, according to the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force. His brother Alaa, also arrested, thought of joining the Islamic State but later reneged, claiming he thought the organization was bad.
Investigators found messages from Nader’s mother pleading with him not to get involved with ISIS.
A statement from the FBI stated the charges against him:
“According to an informant who was close to him for years, by April 2015, Nader Saadeh had become a radicalized supporter of ISIL who was preparing to travel overseas with other individuals. In addition, Nader Saadeh said that ISIL’s execution of a captured Jordanian Air Force pilot by burning him alive and the murders of several staff members of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris earlier this year were justified.”
An affidavit against Saadeh filed with the U.S. District Court in New Jersey includes detailed testimony.
It explains Saadeh, a joint American-Jordanian citizen, was one of a number of Americans from New Jersey and New York arrested in connection to the investigation.
The document summarizes his radicalization after his parents were deported from the U.S. for “criminal convictions.”
The change in Saadeh’s behavior was first noticed as recently as last year:
- He became interested in Islamist views
- He began fasting and stopped drinking and smoking
- He wore heavy dark eyeliner, dyed his beard red and changed his clothing
- Saadeh began spreading his “new-found zeal for Islam,” even converting to Islam another of those subsequently arrested.