NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A 26-year-old Brooklyn man is facing terror charges as part of a larger federal investigation that led to the arrests of three Brooklyn men who allegedly wanted to join ISIS.
In February, Kasimov met a friend at JFK Airport and gave him $1,600 to use in Syria, prosecutors said.
The friend allegedly wanted to join ISIS and participate in jihad, but federal agents arrested him before he could board the plane and took Kasimov into custody.
Feds caught on to the men, natives of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, through a Facebook page where they allegedly posted pro-jihadist messages. One apparently said “to shoot Obama and then get shot ourselves — will it do? That will strike fear in the hearts of infidels.” And another said they would plant a bomb on Coney Island if ordered to do so, CBS2’s Matt Kozar reported.
Kasimov was one of the “money men” of the operation, prosecutors said
Prosecutors charged Kasimov and three other Brooklyn men with conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.
Investigators found electronic messages showing Kasimov encouraged others to participate in violent jihad.
Two of Kasimov’s friends who allegedly planned to travel overseas worked together at a Middle Eastern take-out restaurant and shared an apartment in a Midwood building
Investigators say one of the men bought plane tickets to Istanbul at a Coney Island travel agency. From Turkey, they allegedly planned to travel to Syria.
“He was totally normal –his acting, behavior, everything is normal,” the man who sold him the plane ticket said.
Kasimov, who is from Uzbekistan, lived in a basement apartment in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Neighbors told CBS2’s Matt Kozar he lived alone and kept to himself but had frequent visitors.
“I would see him just walking in and out of the house,” one neighbor said. “He looked like a college kid.”
“We don’t really see him that much, and we do see him once in a while; he comes out,” added neighbor Frank Colorio.
Colorio said he’s disgusted to learn one of his neighbors might have tried to support ISIS.
“The thing with all these beheadings, that guy Jihadi John, why? Why take innocent people?” he said.
Kasimov is due in court Wednesday afternoon and faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted.
The charges come a week after two Brooklyn women were arrested for planning to commit terror acts in the United States.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told “60 Minutes” his agency is keeping tabs on Americans trying to join ISIS.
“Border security is not simply preventing people from getting in, but very often preventing somebody from leaving for the wrong reasons,” Johnson said.