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FBI charges Jordanian-American for supporting ISIS

Nader Saadeh, who traveled to Jordan in May in an apparent attempt to join IS fighters in Iraq or Syria

Published: Updated:

A 20-year-old Jordanian-American who flew overseas in an apparent bid to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group, appeared in court near New York on Monday on terror allegations, prosecutors said.

He is one of at least four U.S. citizens from the greater New York area arrested in recent months on suspicion of being part of a ring of supporters of the group fighting in Iraq and Syria.

Nader Saadeh, who traveled to Jordan in May in an apparent attempt to join IS fighters in Iraq or Syria, is accused of conspiring and attempting to provide material support to the extremists.

He appeared before a magistrate at a U.S. federal court in Newark, New Jersey on Monday where he heard the charges against him.

Prosecutors say that as early as 2012 Saadeh was in contact with one of the other three accused in the New York area, expressing hatred for America and wanting to form a small army of friends.

By April 2015, court papers claimed he had become a radical supporter of the IS group and was preparing to travel overseas.

He allegedly justified extremist acts, such as the burning alive of a captured Jordanian pilot and the deadly January attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris.

U.S. court papers alleged that he became increasingly withdrawn, hostile, angry and secretive as the weeks closed in on his May 5 departure from New York to Amman, the Jordanian capital.

The day before leaving, he allegedly discussed with two other conspirators their joint plan to travel onto Turkey and eventually join ISIS fighters.

But Saadeh was arrested in Jordan shortly after his arrival, before being flown back to America to answer U.S. justice.

Back in New Jersey, his 23-year-old brother Alaa Saadeh was arrested on June 29 and charged with conspiring to provide services and personnel to the Islamic State group and with witness tampering.

The head of the FBI, James Comey, last month briefed the Senate select committee on intelligence that upwards of 200 Americans have traveled or attempted to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group.