New York Man Attempts To Join ISIS, Then Police Move In To Make Arrest

A New York City resident was arrested over the weekend as authorities accused him of traveling to Turkey and Jordan in recent years to try to “wage violent jihad” with terrorist groups.

Elvis Redzepagic was arrested on Friday at his home in Commack, N.Y., and faces charges of attempting to provide material support and resources to terrorists, according to federal law enforcement authorities.

The 26-year-old Redzepagic allegedly tried to join the Islamic State or the Nusra Front in both 2015 and 2016, based on a criminal complaint.

“This defendant made numerous attempts to travel to Syria to wage violent jihad,” Robert L. Capers, the United States attorney in Brooklyn, noted. “We will continue to track down and prosecute individuals like the defendant before they are able to become foreign fighters or harm the United States and its allies.”

The complaint alleges Redzepagic first spoke to federal agents after being arrested in Suffolk County earlier this year for an unrelated offense. In interviews, he explained he had become a Muslim while he was in Montenegro.

It seems that beginning in mid-2015, Redzepagic began to communicate with a cousin who he believed was a member of the Islamic State or the Nusra Front and a senior fighter in Syria.

Redzepagic claimed that the unidentified cousin told him to travel to Istanbul and then contact him when he got there.

The complaint also alleges Redzepagic told investigators “he was prepared to strap a bomb on and sacrifice himself for jihad.”

However, when he could not contact his cousin and became “frustrated by the lack of assistance he was receiving, and unable to enter Syria,” Redzepagic returned to the US.

Investigators eventually obtained permission to search a Facebook account used by Redzepagic, where they found messages that included “I read a lot about jihad,” and “since I got back from turkey from trying to perform Jihad and join Jabhat Al Nusra the CIA has been bothering me,” according to the complaint.

Then, in August of 2016, Redzepagic went to Jordan to try and enter Syria. However, he was caught by Jordanian officials and sent back to the US.

Redzepagic’s lawyer, Mildred M. Whalen, wrote in an email that her client had been “fully cooperative with law enforcement.”

“We will be working with his family in the hope that the court and the government will see that what he needs is counseling and support, not imprisonment,” Whalen remarked.

Source: New York Times
Photo: New York Daily News

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