NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A New Jersey man has pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State militant group.
Alaa Saadeh, of West New York, pleaded guilty in federal court on Thursday.
His lawyer told the judge that Saadeh will not cooperate with the government and won’t testify against anyone else.
“He’s prepared to serve his sentence for the crime he committed, and he deeply regrets any involvement whatsoever,” his attorney, Maria Noto, said outside court. “He has no history of violence, no history of being involved in anything like this.”
Saadeh was charged along with his brother Nader and two other men in late June, sparking increased fears of terror threats surrounding the Fourth of July holiday.
One of the men, 21-year-old Fort Lee resident Samuel Rahamin Topaz, pleaded guilty last month to a similar charge as Saadeh.
WEB EXTRA: Read The Criminal Complaint
Saadeh admitted that he planned to travel overseas to join the Islamic State group and that he discussed those plans with his brother, Topaz and a fourth man, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
Saadeh, in a recorded conversation, revealed his support for the terror group “including its use of beheadings and mass killings to impose its violent agenda,” according to a criminal complaint.
Saadeh allegedly said he was ready to join the fight, and “pick up my life and go to Jordan, or go overseas and go live over there.”
Saadeh admitted letting his brother buy a plane ticket with his credit card to fly to the Middle East and join ISIS.
The criminal complaint also alleged he told a friend to lie if questioned by the FBI.
“You just play stupid,” Saadeh said, according to the complaint. “Like you just really don’t know. That all you know is that he was going to see his parents.”
The Saadehs’ father, Khaled Saadeh, lives in Jordan. He told The Associated Press that Saadeh had told the family that Nader might travel to Syria via Turkey to join the extremists. Khaled Saadeh said Nader came to Jordan instead, where he was detained by authorities in May.
Khaled Saadeh said at the time he believed Nader “had no serious intentions” of joining the extremists.
Saadeh faces a maximum of 20 years in jail when he is sentenced Feb. 16.
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