RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A Jordanian national who previously lived in Rutherford admitted Thursday that he conspired to support foreign terrorism in Iraq.
Nader Saadeh, 20, was the last of several defendants charged by federal agents for "trying to provide material support" to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said.
Saadeh, who Fishman said flew to the Middle East in May to join ISIL, joins his brother, Alaa Saadeh of West New York, who was arrested in late June, and Samuel Rahamin Topaz, a Fort Lee resident who formerly sang in a rock band from Englewood who was taken into custody two weeks earlier, among others.
Fishman said the brothers "discussed plans to carry out an attack in ISIL’s name using homemade bombs at locations in New York City, including Times Square, the World Trade Center, and Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology, in Queens."
Between 2012 and 2013, Saadeh sent a cooperator electronic messages "expressing his hatred for the United States and desire to form a small army that would include their friends," according to Fishman, Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin and FBI Newark Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel.
By April of this year, Saadeh "had become a radicalized supporter of ISIL who was preparing to travel overseas with other individuals," they wrote in a release.
"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, France, earlier this year were justified," it says.
FBI agents obtained computer files showing that Saadeh "viewed ISIL propaganda videos and researched the availability of flights to Turkey, which borders Syria, where ISIL claims to control territory." They also seized electronic messages sent by family members pleading with Saadeh not to join ISIL..
Saadeh "admitted that once he reached ISIL-controlled territory he intended to fight on behalf of ISIL," the government said. "Saadeh further admitted that Saleh assisted him by giving him a contact who would facilitate his travel from Turkey to ISIL in Syria."
He also admitted reviewing drawings for homemade bombs, it said.
Saadeh’s alleged conspirators remained in federal custody. Two have pleaded guilty and were awaiting sentencing.