A small-time crook from the New York suburbs was arrested by federal authorities for providing material support to the terror groups ISIS and the al-Nusrah Front.
Elvis Redzepagic, 26, of Long Island, was taken into custody on Friday at his home in Commack, where he lives with his parents.
Redzepagic, who has been arrested several times before — his latest arrest was for jumping a turnstile in the NYC subway system — told authorities that he was willing to blow himself up to be a martyr and would have “died for the sake of Allah.”
According to court documents, Redzepagic tried to enter Syria to join ISIS several times beginning in July of 2015 but failed.
While in Turkey, Redzepagic contacted a supposed battalion commander in Syria, who was also an ISIS member, and asked if he could “engage in violent jihad.”
According to federal investigators, Redzepagic tried multiple times to cross the border from Turkey, but couldn’t find a way into the country. In August 2016, he tried to enter through Jordan but was deported by Jordanian authorities as he tried to cross the border.
Redzepagic’s uncle, Ricky Redzepagic, described his nephew this way:
“This kid’s not normal. He never works. He does drugs.”
Redzepagic is a major repeat offender in NYC and has been apprehended six times for charges ranging from drug possession to a robbery, in 2012.
His latest arrest was on Tuesday at 9 p.m. in midtown Manhattan where he tried to go through an emergency gate to evade a turnstile on a New York City subway platform so he wouldn’t have to pay the nominal entrance fee.
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According to the Daily News, after his arrest, he told FBI officials that he was planning to “engage in jihad,” and that he was “prepared to strap a bomb on and sacrifice (himself) for jihad.”
Redzepagic said, “I’m going to leave this country, and I’m going to come back with an Army — Islam is coming.”
The Feds confiscated his computer and found several maps of Syria and Turkey on it, as well as a file called “nasheed for jihad.”
Redzepagic also posted Facebook messages praising the ISIS jihad, writing:
“You fight for the sake of God” and “die for the sake of Allah. Since i got back from turkey from trying to perform Jihad and join Jabhat Al Nusra the CIA has been bothering me. Its annoying but i outsmarted them,” adding, “I just don’t like this country.”
The U.S. Department of Justice’s director-in-charge, William Sweeney said:
“Homegrown violent extremists, especially individuals who demonstrate determination like Redzepagic, are only mitigated through the joint efforts of local and federal law enforcement working together to protect our communities.”
On Saturday, Redzepagic appeared in a Brooklyn federal court and is incarcerated until his bail hearing which is set for Monday in Central Islip, New York.
H/T: Daily News
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