Nagi Pleads Guilty to Supporting ISIS

Federal prosecutors say he went to Turkey with intent to reach Syria

Tom Puckett
January 22, 2018 - 4:45 pm
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Buffalo, NY (WBEN) A Lackawanna man pleads guilty to attempting to provide material support to ISIS. 47 year old Arafat Nagi admitted, in his plea, that the attempted to provide material support to a terrorist organization by personally traveling to Turkey in an effort to enter Syria and fight on behalf of ISIS.

Prosecutors say a resident alerted the FBI in 2014 about violent jihad to various people in the Lackawanna community and it was common for Nagi to get into verbal complaints over his jihadi beliefs. They add Nagi pledged allegiance to ISIS and the leader of the terrorist group, Abu Bakr al Bagdadi. Investigators learned that he traveled to Turkey on two occasions, in October 2012 and July 2014, with the intention of meeting with members of ISIS. Prior to traveling to Turkey, Nagi purchased a large number of military combat items, including a tactical vest, army combat shirt, body armor, Shahada Flag, combat boots, backpack, burn kit, a hunting knife, machete and night vision goggles. Once in Turkey, Nagi purchased a SIM card and activated a Turkish cell phone number. Facebook messages showed that the defendant contacted other individuals, who were prepared to help the defendant enter Syria to join ISIS, and exchanged Turkish cell phone numbers. In addition, evidence seized from his electronic devices showed that Nagi, while in Turkey, was researching how to travel from Istanbul to cities close to the Syrian border.

“Arafat Nagi’s plea should serve as a sobering reminder that terrorism’s reach is not confined to obscure individuals operating in far-away lands,” noted U.S. Attorney Kennedy. “Nagi is not the first individual in our community who has sought to provide support to and fight on behalf of ISIS or some other terrorist organization. Likewise, he is not the first terrorist recruit to be turned over to law enforcement by others in the community. Today’s plea illustrates just how critical it is for all of us as members of this community to remain vigilant in our duty both to protect the lives of Americans at home and abroad and to preserve those values—such as liberty, tolerance, and justice—which define us as Americans around the world.”

“As important as catching those who would commit violence against our country, it is vital to cut off the money and counter their recruiting efforts which is the lifeblood of these organizations,” said Federal Bureau of Investigation Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge Philip E. Frigm, Jr.   

Nagi faces 15 years in prison when sentenced in May.

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