Rochester, N.Y., store manager pleads not guilty to aiding Islamic State

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 18, 2014 3:58 PM

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A convenience store manager from western New York accused of trying to provide material support to the Islamic State militant group pleaded not guilty in federal court on Thursday, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office said.

Mufid Elfgeeh, 30, was indicted on seven counts earlier this week, with charges ranging from helping people to travel to Syria to fight for Islamic State, which has seized swaths of Iraq and Syria, to plotting to murder American soldiers.

Elfgeeh, who remains in custody, pleaded not guilty to all seven counts during his arraignment in Rochester, New York, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan Feldman, said Barbara Burns, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney for New York's Western District.

Elfgeeh, a Rochester resident, was born in Yemen but is now a naturalized U.S. citizen.

The three charges of material support to Islamic State each carry a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, and the attempted murder charge carries up to a 20-year sentence.

He is due to return to court for a pretrial hearing on Oct. 1, where prosecutors will update the court on how long it might take to complete translating the evidence into Arabic, Burns said.

(Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Peter Cooney)