A 37-year-old Brooklyn resident has been arrested for allegedly trying to fight for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Yemen, according to court documents filed Saturday.
Prosecutors say Mohamed Rafik Naji, a citizen of Yemen and legal permanent resident of the U.S., has been expressing support for ISIS on social media since September 2014.
He is alleged to have traveled to Turkey and Yemen between March 22, 2015 and September 9, 2015 in an effort to join ISIS fighting in Yemen.
On July 19th, 2016 in a conversation with a confidential informant, he allegedly expressed support for carrying out attacks in Times Square, similar to the attack in Nice, France.
Officials have long expressed fears about ISIS supporters who appear to be self-radicalized in the U.S. Arrests have been piling up since the rise of the terrorist group in 2014.
The feds made the arrest three days before Thanksgiving as the NYPD remains on high alert for an ISIS inspired attack in the holiday parade.
The Thanksgiving Parade is not mentioned in Naji’s complaint, but the court papers note that “jihadist propaganda has long counseled followers to commit acts of violence like the one describe by Naji.”