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Brooklyn man arrested in alleged ISIS terror plot

November 22, 2016 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn resident Mohamed Rafik Naji was charge in Brooklyn Federal Court for attempting to provide material support and resources to Islamic State (ISIS). Eagle file photo by Dipki Kumar
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The federal government on Monday arrested a Brooklyn man who allegedly attempted to join Islamic State.

In papers released by federal court in Brooklyn, the man was also recorded by the FBI in plotting an attack on Times Square.

Authorities charged Mohamed Rafik Naji, 37, for attempting to provide material support and resources, including himself, to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also called ISIS. Naji is a citizen of Yemen.

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According to court papers, over the last two years Naji expressed his support for Islamic State on Facebook accounts and through communications with a “confidential human source” and another individual. On two different Facebook accounts, Naji used the names “M Ali Salah” and “Abu Yousef Almuhajer.”

Between March 16, 2015 and Sept. 12, 2015, NAJI allegedly travelled to locations overseas, including Turkey and Yemen, in an effort to join Islamic State. In a conversation recorded in July 2016, Naji expressed his support for staging an attack in Times Square, similar to the attack in Nice, France for which Islamic State had claimed responsibility.

In the phone conversation, Naji said the terror group had already surveyed Times Square for the potential attack.

Susan Kellman, Naji’s attorney, told the Wall Street Journal that Naji “had a legitimate reason for being in Yemen,” because he had a wife and three children living there.

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