New York

New Jersey Man Who Tried to Help Organize ‘Small Army' of ISIS Fighters Pleads Guilty

A 24 year-old New Jersey man who tried to help organize a "small army" of ISIS fighters in the Garden State and New York pleaded guilty Thursday to terror-related charges.

Alaa Saadeh was part of a group of men who were trying to support the ISIS terror group. Saadeh admitted he gave money and credit cards to other members of the group to try to help them travel to Syria. He and others in the group watched ISIS propaganda including beheadings and other killings by the terror group. His brother, Nader Saadeh, was among the group charged in the scheme. 

Saadeh pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support to ISIS in Newark federal court before Judge Sarah Wigenton.

He is set to be sentenced Feb. 16 and could face up to 15 years in prison.

His defense attorney said Saadeh does not plan to cooperate with prosecutors as part of his plea deal.

Saadeh is the second man to plead guilty in connection with this New Jersey cell. In September, Samuel Topaz admitted he wanted to join ISIS. His lawyer said if members of the group had failed to get to Syria or Iraq on their own, they had discussed an alternate plan of buying guns inside the US and targeting the White House and other landmarks for an attack.

In the past year, the FBI has arrested 7 men in all from New York and New Jersey for their alleged ties to this homegrown, ISIS-inspired terror cell. Officials have said the investigation is ongoing.

Officials have said the parents of Alaa and Nader Saadeh were deported more than a decade ago in connection with an alleged credit card fraud case. The Saadeh children were allowed to stay with custodians in New Jersey because they were US citizens, officials said.

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