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New Jersey Man Gets 15 Years in Prison for Trying to Join Islamic State

  • Ken Schwartz

FILE - A helmet belonging to an Islamic State militant is seen on the ground in the town of al-Melabiyyah, south of Hasaka city, Syria, Nov. 24, 2015.

FILE - A helmet belonging to an Islamic State militant is seen on the ground in the town of al-Melabiyyah, south of Hasaka city, Syria, Nov. 24, 2015.

A New Jersey man will spend 15 years in prison for attempting to join Islamic State and helping his brother fly to Syria to fight with the terrorist group.

Alaa Saadeh was arrested last June by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force and later pleaded guilty in federal court.

"Today's sentence is an appropriate punishment for his role in a conspiracy that would have supplied new recruits to a terrorist organization that regularly threatens American lives at home and abroad," U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said Tuesday.

Saadeh paid for his brother Nader's ticket for a flight from the U.S. to Turkey, where he planned to cross into Syria. He also altered Nader's cellphone so he could avoid detection, officials say.

Saadeh and another suspect, Samuel Rahamin Topaz, also planned to head to Syria. Saadeh urged an acquaintance who knew about the brothers’ plan to lie to the FBI if agents questioned him.

Nader Saadeh and Topaz also have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

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