New York man charged with supporting Islamic State denied bail

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 31, 2015 2:49 PM

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. magistrate judge rejected a bail request on Friday for a New York man arrested on charges of supporting Islamic State and traveling to Turkey to meet with members of the militant group, a court official said.

Arafat Nagi, 42, of Lackawanna, New York, was charged on Wednesday with attempting to materially aid Islamic State and stash military gear and weapons.

Nagi is accused of pledging allegiance to Islamic State and traveling to Turkey in October 2012 and July 2014 to strengthen ties with the group.

His arrest followed a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe prompted by a tip from one of Nagi's neighbors in Lackawanna, which is located in upstate New York near Buffalo. The neighbor told the FBI that Nagi regularly argued with local residents about his beliefs, which included support of Islamic State's actions and anger toward the United States, according to a criminal complaint.

Upon searching Nagi's apartment, law enforcement said they found military equipment, including body armor, a machete and night vision goggles, the complaint said.

Nagi's attorney, Jeremy Schwartz, said he disagreed with the judge's ruling on Friday that his client was a flight risk and a threat to the community.

"I am disappointed with the outcome. There are certainly other conditions that the judge could have put in place," said Schwartz, who requested a $75,000 bond of property and an ankle bracelet for Nagi.

Schwartz said there was "still a long way to go" in terms of finding out the extent of evidence the government has against his client.

Nagi faces up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on August 12.

(Reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by Leslie Adler)