Two US ISIS supporters thrown in jail for decades:
A Brooklyn resident, who plotted a terror attack on Times Square and attempted to provide material support to ISIS, was sentenced Friday to 20 years’ imprisonment.
Mohamed Rafik Naji, a devoted ISIS supporter, traveled from New York City to Yemen, his birth place, in March 2015. While there, he reportedly tried several times to reach ISIS-controlled territory.
“I traveled to Yemen in 2015 to join ISIS and I encouraged another person to join” said Naji during a hearing at Brooklyn federal court.
However, unknown to him, the individual with whom he was communicating was a confidential source (CS) of information for the government. “I belong to Islamic State only,” said Naji during their conversation.
Naji was in touch with his girlfriend throughout his trip and reported his progress to her. He also sent a photo of himself dressed in all black, sporting a tactical vest and large knife.
After his return to the United States in September 2015, he continued to express support for violent jihad and ISIS. Following the 2016 ISIS inspired truck attack in France that killed 86 people and injured hundreds of others, Naji expressed to the CS how easy it would be to plot a similar attack in Times Square.
“[ISIS] want an operation in Times Square,” said Naji, “if there is a truck, I mean a garbage truck and one drives it there to Times Square and crushes them…”
Naji has been incarcerated since his arrest in November 2016 and is now sentenced to 20 years.
In other news, Laith W. Alebbini, a Jordanian citizen and resident of Dayton, Ohio was sentenced to 15 years for trying to join ISIS.
Alebbini was indicted for attempting and conspiring “to provide material support and resources to ISIS in the form of personnel, namely himself.”
He was arrested in April 2017 at the Cincinnati/Kentucky International Airport en route to the Middle East. Alebbini planned to get to Syria in order to fight against the Assad regime.
“I, cousin, want to go be an inghimasi [suicide bomber] soldier” Alebbini told his friend, “I am now ready to migrate.”
This is the first terrorism-related trial to take place in the Southern District of Ohio.