NY store owner funded ISIS, plotted to send jihadists to Syria

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Federal officials have released details on the May 31 arrest of Mufid Elfgeeh, an update New York food store owner. Elfgeeh is being held in federal custody on the charges of providing material support to a terrorist group, attempted murder, and firearms possession.

CNN reported that Elfgeeh, 30, had funded ISIS, tried to send jihadists to Syria to fight for the group and even planned on killing stateside troops that had served Iraq.

Elfgeeh’s Twitter account gave some insight to where his allegiance was. Allegedly he wrote in one tweet: “Al Qaeda said it loud and clear: we are fighting the American invasion and their hegemony over the earth and the people.” On a different occasion, he wrote: “ISIS will one day rule the world with the will of Allah.”

The investigation into Elfgeeh’s activities began in 2013, before the heightened U.S. involvement in the fight against ISIS extremists. He unknowingly tried to recruit FBI informants to join ISIS as jihadists. He provided assistant in coordinating their travel, paying for passport costs, and introducing the agents to contacts in the ISIS group.

According to CNN, court documents accuse Elfgeeh of wanting to do more than provide financial assistance. He wanted to send “those who are fed up (and want) to go to war and be jihadists. Western Union records show he sent $600 to a Yemeni man who wanted to join ISIS.

It is also alleged that Elfgeeh want to some fighting of his own on U.S. soil. According to court documents, he was heard stating he might kill “five or ten already, 15, something like that…then we” will post a video or another message only. “We want to start shooting those who were in the Army who went to Iraq,” he allegedly said.

Authorities arrested Elfgeeh after he paid for and received two handguns, silencers and ammunition from one of the informants.

The public defender representing Elfgeeh, Mark Hosken, stated he had seen the indictment and will enter a plea of not guilty when his client appears in court this week.

Elfgeeh facing multiple charges. The firearms possession charges has a maximum 30 year sentences, the attempted murder charge maximum sentence is 20 years, and a count for providing material support to a terrorist group is up to 15 years. If convicted, he will serve out many years of his life in a prison cell.

CNN reported that Attorney General Eric Holder said the case shows federal authorities use of “all the investigative tools at our disposal” — from searches of social media platforms to FBI informants — “to break up these plots before individuals can put their plans into action.”

“We will remain aggressive in identifying and disrupting those who seek to provide support to ISIL and other terrorist groups that are bent on inflicting harm upon Americans,” Holder said. “We are focused on breaking up these activities on the front end, before supporters of ISIL can make good on plans to travel to the region or recruit sympathizers to this cause.”


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