Father: New Jersey man had no intent to join Islamic State

AP News
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Posted: Aug 11, 2015 2:16 PM

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — A New Jersey man who allegedly plotted with others to fight alongside Islamic State extremists had "no serious intentions" to join the group, his Jordanian father said Tuesday.

Khaled Saadeh spoke to The Associated Press a day after his 20-year-old son Nader was charged in New Jersey with attempting to provide services and personnel to the militants.

Nader's arrest came after authorities arrested his 23-year-old brother, Alaa, and 21-year-old Samuel Rahamin Topaz, another New Jersey resident, on similar charges.

The Islamic State group, which holds a third of both Iraq and Syria, has attracted thousands of foreign fighters.

The elder Saadeh said Alaa told the family that Nader might travel to Syria via Turkey to join the extremists. Khaled Saadeh said he urged Nader to come to Jordan instead, and that his son arrived there May 7.

"I felt comfortable when Nader came to Jordan and made sure that he had no serious intentions to fly to Turkey, though he had the chance to do it," Saadeh said. "I was going to inform the FBI about Nader's intentions, to protect him, but everything was OK when he arrived in Jordan."

Jordanian intelligence twice summoned his son for questioning before detaining him on May 11, Saadeh said.

Nader was in Jordanian custody for three months, during which his family was allowed to visit twice, Saadeh said. He said he learned from U.S. media that Nader had been sent back to America.

Jordanian government spokesman Mohammed Momani declined to comment.

Nader Saadeh could face several decades in prison if convicted on all counts. Prosecutors alleged that between 2012 and 2013, he expressed his hatred for the United States and his wish to form a "small army."

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This story has been corrected to show that the first name of the New Jersey suspect's father is Khaled, not Khader.