A Yemeni man living in New York City was arrested and charged Monday for trying to support Islamic State, including voicing support for a terrorist attack in Times Square.
Authorities say Mohamed Naji, a 37-year-old permanent U.S. resident, traveled to Turkey and Yemen in the last year in an attempt to fight for Islamic State.
In a statement Monday, the U.S. Justice Department said Naji claimed his allegiance to Islamic State while in Yemen in March 2015, stating “I belong to Islamic State only.” The Justice Department said Naji continued to express his support for Islamic State and violent jihad after returning to the United States months later.
Officials say a law enforcement informant made contact with Naji on Facebook and met with him on several occasions, in which he recorded their conversations.
In one conversation in July, Naji allegedly expressed support for the truck attack which had just taken place in Nice, France, and voiced support for staging a similar attack in Times Square, New York.