The FBI on Monday arrested and charged a Brooklyn man with attempting to provide support to ISIS after he allegedly expressed support for a Nice-style attack on New York's Times Square.
Mohamed Rafik Naji, a 37-year-old Yemeni citizen who is a legal permanent resident of the US, was charged with knowingly and intentionally attempting to join and provide support to ISIS.
According to a complaint unsealed in federal court, Naji began expressing support for the militant group on Facebook and in communications with a paid FBI informant.
He also allegedly traveled to Yemen and Turkey between March and September 2015, trying repeatedly to reach ISIS-controlled territory before returning to the US.
"Since his return, he has continued to express his support for [ISIS] and violent jihad," US Attorney Robert Capers wrote in a letter urging a judge to issue a permanent order of detention.
After a man used a truck in the French city of Nice to plow down crowds during Bastille Day celebrations, killing more than 80 people, Naji allegedly told the paid FBI informant that ISIS wanted followers to attack Times Square.
"I was saying if there is a truck, I mean a garbage truck and one drives it there to Times-Square and crushes them shshshshsh...Times-Square day," he allegedly said on July 19, five days after the Nice attack.
"They want an operation in Times-Square, reconnaissance group already put out a scene, the Islamic State already put up scenes of Times-Square, you understand. I said that was an indication for whoever is smart to know," he allegedly said.
Read the criminal complaint:
David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News in New York.
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