U.S. prosecutors on Thursday charged a Bronx, New York, man with trying to travel to Syria in order to fight for the Islamic State group.
Saddam Mohamed Raishani, 30, was arrested Wednesday after passing through security at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. He was trying to board a flight for Portugal, where he would have transferred to Istanbul.
He was charged Thursday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan with one count of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years upon conviction. He was being held without bail.
Raishani's purported plans were uncovered when he contacted a person who was a confidential source for the FBI. The source put Raishani in contact with an undercover New York Police Department detective. Raishani repeatedly demonstrated support for IS to both undercover agents, who started recording the conversations they had with him in January, officials said.
In those conversations, the FBI learned that Raishani was watching online content produced by IS on Web browsers designed to conceal his online identity. Agents said they also learned that Raishani previously helped a friend join IS, by helping him purchase supplies and dropping him off at the airport.
By June, Raishani had paid off all of his outstanding debts and quit his job. He bought supplies and a pair of boots from a New York sporting goods store before attempting to board his flight at JFK.
He was unable to persuade his wife to join him and decided to leave her and his children behind in the Bronx, authorities said.
This report contains some information from Reuters.