New Jersey man admits plotting to back Islamic State group

AP News
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Posted: Sep 09, 2015 3:10 PM

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey man has admitted that he conspired with three other men to provide material support to the Islamic State group, according to federal prosecutors.

Samuel Rahamin Topaz, 21, of Fort Lee, pleaded guilty to the charge Wednesday. He remains locked up without bail and faces up to 20 years in prison when he's sentenced Nov. 18.

Federal agents arrested Topaz at his home in June.

Authorities say Topaz admitted that he sympathized with the Islamic State group and its activity, that he watched Islamic State group videos that depicted beheadings and that he agreed with the three other men to travel abroad to join the Islamic State group.

Topaz's alleged co-conspirators — Nader Saadeh and Alaa Saadeh, who are brothers, and Munther Omar Saleh — face similar charges and remain in federal custody.

Speaking in court Wednesday, Topaz said Nader Saadeh left the United States on May 5 and planned to travel overseas to join the Islamic State group. Topaz said he and the two other men planned to travel overseas separately and meet up with Nader Saadeh before they all traveled together to join the extremists.

"The crimes Samuel Topaz admitted today threatened the safety of Americans here and abroad," said Paul Fishman, the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey. "Our efforts to cut off the flow of fighters and resources to known terrorist organizations will not stop with his guilty plea ... We remain vigilant against these terrorist operations."