FBI: NY man tried to recruit for terrorist organization

Courtesy of WIVB

LACKANNA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Sources tell News 4 that the FBI executed a warrant at a home in Lackawanna Wednesday morning.

The U. S. Attorney William Hochul held a press conference Wednesday morning to discuss the arrest of Arafat Nagi’s, 44, accused of attempting to support a terrorist organization. Nagi allegedly attempted to join ISIL and pledge allegiance to the terrorist organization. In two separate trips, Nagi traveled from Lackawanna to Turkey, the criminal complaint alleges, and he purchased items including military combat gear such as night vision goggles and black flags which are sometimes associated with Isil.

His first trip only lasted one day due to a medical issue but the second trip took place last July and lasted 10 days, Hochul said Wednesday morning.

The complaint also alleges that the Lackawnna community said that Nagi espoused violent jihad and believed that he constituted a threat to those in the U.S.

Nagi could face 15 years in jail, a $250,000 fine, or both, if convicted of attempting to provide material support to Isil. The investigation is ongoing and Nagi’s communications are being analyzed. It appears, according to authorities, that he was working alone in the states. It was described during Wednesday’s press conference how Isis and similar organizations due much of their recruitment and offer support from overseas via social media, including Twitter.

FULL COMPLAINT | Download the full criminal complaint against Nagi

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The search warrant was executed at a home near Olcott Street and Ingham Avenue. There were children in the home at the time Nagi was taken into custody. Agents were aware the children were there before they entered. Neighbors tell News 4 they were woken up this morning by the sound of a swarm of agents and officers arriving on scene and a helicopter in the air overhead.

The home is one block away from a home where two members of the Lackawanna Six lived. They were a group of six men who traveled to Afghanistan before the 9/11 attacks for terrorist training.

Neighbors told News 4 that they were woken up by helicopters early Wednesday morning. One said having the FBI in the neighborhood is crazy and scary, because it’s a quiet neighborhood. One person News 4 spoke to said, “I’m confused. I don’t know what’s going on. I’m trying to figure out what’s going on.”

Nagi is not the first to be prosecuted under terrorism charges in western New York. Last year, Mufid Elfgeeh, 30, was charged with three counts of attempting to provide material support and resources to ISIS, as well as attempted murder of current and former members of the United States military, possessing firearms equipped with silencers in furtherance of a crime of violence, and two counts of receipt and possession of unregistered firearm silencers.

This is a developing story.

Copyright 2015 WIVB. All rights reserved.

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