New York Man Charged With Providing Material Support to ISIS
A grand jury returned a superseding indictment today charging Adam Raishani, aka, “Saddam Mohamed Raishani,” 30, of the Bronx, N.Y., with conspiring to provide, providing and attempting to provide, and aiding and abetting the provision and attempted provision of material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization, by allegedly facilitating another ISIS supporter’s travel to join ISIS overseas. Raishani had already been charged, in an Indictment filed on June 29, with attempting to provide material support to ISIS, by allegedly attempting to travel abroad to join ISIS himself.
Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana J. Boente, Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim for the Southern District of New York, Assistant Director in Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. of the FBI’s New York Field Office and Commissioner James P. O’Neill of the NYPD made the announcement. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Gregory H. Woods.
Raishani was arrested on June 21, at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in Queens, N.Y., as he allegedly attempted to travel overseas to join ISIS. The Superseding Indictment adds charges against Raishani for allegedly facilitating another individual’s travel to join ISIS abroad in the fall of 2015.
“According to the charges, Raishani conspired to provide material support to ISIS and helped another individual travel to join the designated terrorist organization before attempting to do the same,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Boente. “The National Security Division’s highest priority is countering terrorist threats, and we will continue to work to stem the flow of foreign fighters abroad and bring to justice those who conspire to provide material support to designated foreign terrorist organizations. I would like to thank all of the agents, analysts and prosecutors who are responsible for this case.”
“As alleged, Adam Raishani provided material support to ISIS by helping a co-conspirator travel abroad to fight for that terrorist organization,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Kim. “A year later, Raishani himself attempted to travel overseas to join ISIS. Fortunately through the outstanding work of law enforcement, Raishani’s travel plans were detected and thwarted before he was able to inflict any further harm.”
“As we allege, Raishani not only provided support to another individual located in the US who was determined to join ISIS overseas, but arranged for his departure, and expressed disappointment for not being able to travel with that individual at that time,” said Assistant Director in Charge Sweeney, Jr. “Along with our partners on the Joint Terrorism Task Force, we'll continue to identify those who support terrorist organizations and their agenda in any way, as we’ve done here today”
“Over the past several weeks, there have been a number of defendants charged with helping others travel to Syria or prepare to engage in their own Jihad,” said Commissioner O’Neill. “This is the latest – troubling – example. My thanks for the detectives and agents whose investigation on the original Joint Terrorism Task Force here in Manhattan led to today’s arrests.”
As alleged in the Superseding Indictment filed today and the criminal Complaint initially filed against Raishani:
Beginning in at least the fall of 2015, Raishani conspired with another ISIS supporter (CC-1) to provide material support to ISIS by means of CC-1 traveling abroad to join and fight for ISIS. On or about Oct. 30, 2015, CC-1 departed from JFK Airport for Istanbul, Turkey. Raishani arranged for the transportation of CC-1 from the Bronx, New York, to JFK Airport, and Raishani accompanied CC-1 from the Bronx to JFK Airport.
Raishani continued communicating with CC-1 following CC-1’s departure. For example, on or about Jan. 2, 2016, Raishani sent an email to CC-1 stating: “Glad tidings brother. Its [sic] been some time since your voyage. I pray to Allah The ALL MIGHTY to grant you success. Until next time." On or about April 1, 2016, Raishani sent another email to CC-1 stating: “I hope Allah has bestowed you what you were seeking. . . . May Allah grant you sincere and clean intentions and make you among the righteous in Janatal Firdaus [a reference to Islamic paradise]. . . . Please return this email and respond to what we agreed upon before your departure. Until next time.” On or about May 3, 2016, CC-1 responded to Raishani, informing Raishani that CC-1 was “fine and well,” that CC-1 “wished you [Raishani] were here with me,” and that “here we are living with izza [honor].”
Also in May 2016, CC-1 posted content on a particular social media application (“Application-1”) indicating that CC-1 was living in the Islamic State and fighting on its behalf. For example, CC-1 sent messages to another user of Application-1 stating: “I’m living in the Islamic state safely and secure by the permission of Allah,” “[h]ere we are fighting the kuffars [non-believers],” and “I left the land of kuffars now I’m living in the khilafah [the caliphate].” CC-1 also posted a photograph on Application-1 that shows CC-1 carrying an assault rifle and a flag representative of ISIS.
Between January and June of 2017, Raishani engaged in a series of meetings with an individual who was, unbeknownst to Raishani, a confidential source working at the direction of law enforcement (the CS). In the course of those meetings, Raishani admitted to the CS that, some time ago, he had helped another person to travel overseas to join the Islamic State. Raishani told the CS, among other things, that he took that person to JFK Airport and gave him money on the day of his departure for the Islamic State. Raishani expressed regret to the CS at not having traveled himself to join ISIS at that time, and Raishani revealed that, as of April 2017, he was actively planning to travel abroad to join and serve ISIS. Raishani indicated that he aspired to join ISIS in Syria and that he aimed to travel before the end of Ramadan, an Islamic holy month that ran from approximately May 26 through June 24 of this year. In June 2017, Raishani made preparations to leave, including by paying off debts and purchasing clothing that he intended to wear for training with ISIS overseas. On June 21, Raishani attempted to board a flight bound for Turkey (via Portugal) at JFK Airport, where he was arrested by the FBI.
Raishani is charged with allegedly conspiring to provide, providing and attempting to provide, and aiding and abetting the provision and attempted provision of material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The charges contained in the Superseding Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes. If convicted of any offense, the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court after considering the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Mr. Boente and Mr. Kim praised the outstanding efforts of the FBI’s New York Joint Terrorism Task Force, which principally consists of agents from the FBI and detectives from the NYPD, and the NYPD’s Intelligence Division. Mr. Kim also thanked the Counterterrorism Section of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division, as well as the New York Office of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys George D. Turner, Sidhardha Kamaraju and Jane Kim of the Southern District of New York, and Trial Attorney Kevin C. Nunnally of the Counterterrorism Section of the National Security Division are prosecuting the case.