New Jersey Man Arrested in ISIS-Related Raid, 4th Tri-State Terror Arrest This Week: Officials

A man suspected of supporting ISIS-related activities was arrested as FBI agents raided a home in New Jersey early Thursday, accused of conspiring with at least one of the other men arrested in the area this week in the same investigation, law enforcement officials said.

The Fort Lee man, Samuel Rahamin Topaz, 21, appeared in federal court in Newark Thursday on material support for terror charges. He is being held without bail.

His attorney, Borse Martinoski, declined to comment. 

The arrest is the fourth person allegedly linked to ISIS this week in the tri-state area. Outside his Center Avenue apartment Thursday, his brother Eyal Topaz told NBC 4 New York that the FBI took his brother's phones and computers, and "they just took him and left." 

The investigation into Topaz, a U.S. citizen, began when a friend reported to the FBI that he may try to travel overseas, according to the criminal complaint. 

Topaz watched ISIS videos with co-conspirators and held meetings with other suspects, including one near the World Trade Center site, the complaint stated.

There were dozens of phone calls and text messages between Topaz and his alleged co-conspirators, including the Queens college student arrested Saturday in the same case. Text messages showed Topaz was planning to travel to Iraq or Syria by way of Jordan; one allegedly said: "I'm saving my money for it, bro, trust me, I got it." 

A Facebook page showed photos of Topaz dressed as a jihadist fighter, according to the complaint. 

The FBI said Topaz also met regularly with two others who have not been charged -- dual citizens of the U.S. and Jordan, ages 20 and 23. The younger one left the U.S. on May 5 for Jordan and presumably attempted to travel on to Syria, the FBI said. 

Under questioning, Topaz said he sympathized with ISIS and watched videos, and admitted speaking with three others about wanting to join ISIS, the complaint stated. 

In his most recent public Facebook post dated April 25, Topaz said he was planning to delete his social media accounts until "I leave the country," though he didn't specify why he planned to leave. 

On another Facebook post showing him dressed as an apparent ISIS fighter, he wrote: "Which assassin am I, or am I all of them?" 

His older Facebook posts appear to be a mix of long-winded rants, reflections on Islam and his conversion to the religion, selfies and videos of himself singing -- including covers of Frank Ocean and Stevie Wonder. He mentions in one 2013 post he was preparing to audition for NBC's "The Voice." There are frequent status posts describing how "lonely" or "bored" he feels.

On Saturday, 20-year-old Queens college student Munther Omar Saleh and a 17-year-old were arrested near the Whitestone Bridge.

Saleh is accused of allegedly scouting possible targets for an ISIS-inspired attack. Court documents say Saleh also charged law enforcement officers with a knife when he saw them conducting surveillance of him and another alleged conspirator Saturday. No one was hurt.

The 17-year-old faces state charges in Queens.

The charges against Saleh accuse him of trying to acquire knowledge and materials to build a bomb and carry out some kind of attack here; the charges against Topaz make no allegation that he intended to carry out any kind of attack in the U.S. 

FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard Frankel said Thursday: "Topaz conspired to provide services and personnel to ISIL. Topaz discussed his desire to travel to Syria to join ISIL. Fortunately, this threat did not materialize due to the indefatigable efforts of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. I ask the citizens of New Jersey to assist us in this task by remaining vigilant and contacting the FBI or the police if they see or hear anything suspicious.”

On Wednesday, 21-year-old Fareed Mumuni was charged with attempting to murder an FBI agent after he allegedly tried to repeatedly stab the agent -- and others -- who entered his home to conduct a search warrant in connection with the ongoing ISIS investigation involving Saleh.

No serious injuries were reported, and Mumuni was also accused of conspiring to provide material support to ISIS and trying to assist the terror group in carrying out an attack in the New York area. Saleh allegedly gave authorities Mumuni's name while cooperating with officials after his arrest.

Mumuni allegedly discussed building pressure cooker bombs and using guns to target landmarks and kill police officers.

Relatives and lawyers for Saleh and Mumuni have said they deny the charges.

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