By Joseph Ax
NEWARK, N.J. (Reuters) - A New Jersey man was sentenced on Tuesday to a maximum 15 years in federal prison for his role in a conspiracy to support Islamic State that prosecutors say involved six men in New York and New Jersey.
Alaa Saadeh, 24, pleaded guilty to one conspiracy count in October, four months after federal prosecutors charged him with helping his younger brother, Nader, travel overseas to join the militant group.
The Saadeh brothers were also in contact with Munther Omar Saleh, a college student from the New York City borough of Queens who was charged with planning to set off an explosive device in the city, according to prosecutors.
Federal investigators have charged a total of six men as part of a broader investigation into the group.
U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton in Newark, New Jersey, imposed the maximum sentence allowed under federal statute, despite pleas from Saadeh and his lawyer for a more lenient penalty.
"I feel like I let my family down, my brother down and myself down," Saadeh told the judge, before repudiating Islamic State.
In addition to both Saadeh brothers and Saleh, prosecutors have charged another New Jersey man, Samuel Topaz, and two New York men, Imran Rabbani, 20, and Fareed Mumuni, 21.
Rabbani and Saleh were taken into custody in June 2015 when the two men got out of their car and ran at a law enforcement vehicle that had been following them during the investigation. They were charged with plotting to set off a pressure cooker bomb.
Days later, investigators arrested Fareed Mumuni, a New York man also accused of conspiring with Saleh, when he attacked a federal agent with a knife during the execution of a search warrant at his home.
Rabbani pleaded guilty last month to a non-terrorism charge in Brooklyn federal court.
Topaz, who was charged with plotting with the Saadeh brothers to travel overseas to join Islamic State, has also pleaded guilty.
U.S. authorities have charged more than 80 individuals with Islamic State-related crimes since 2014. The extremist group, which controls territory in Syria and Iraq, has claimed responsibility for a series of spectacular attacks, including the Paris attacks in November that killed 130 people.
(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)