Two New York City Residents Charged With Conspiracy To Provide Material Support To Isil
Knife-Wielding Defendants Allegedly Attacked Federal Law Enforcement Officers
WASHINGTON – Yesterday, a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of New York returned an indictment charging Munther Omar Saleh, of Queens, New York, with conspiring and attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and with assaulting and conspiring to assault federal officers. The same indictment also charges Fareed Mumuni, of Staten Island, New York, with conspiring and attempting to provide material support to ISIL, assaulting and conspiring to assault federal officers, and with attempted murder of federal officers. The defendants’ arraignments are scheduled for August 20, 2015 at 11 a.m. EDT before United States Magistrate Judge James Orenstein at the U.S. Courthouse, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York.
The charges were announced by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, Acting U.S. Attorney Kelly T. Currie of the Eastern District of New York, Assistant Director in Charge Diego G. Rodriguez of the FBI New York Field Office, and Commissioner William J. Bratton of the New York City Police Department (NYPD).
As alleged in the indictment and in other court filings, during the conspiracy, the defendants expressed fervent support for ISIL. Saleh and Mumuni conspired to conduct an attack in the United States, including plotting to use a pressure cooker bomb in the New York metropolitan area on behalf of ISIL. On June 13, 2015, Saleh and another individual were arrested in Queens after they charged at a federal officer while armed with knives. On June 17, 2015, during the execution of a search warrant at his residence in Staten Island, Mumuni was arrested after repeatedly stabbing an FBI agent in the torso with a large kitchen knife. Fortunately, the knife did not penetrate the agent’s body armor. During a search of the vehicle used by Mumuni, investigators recovered a second large knife.
“According to the indictment, Munther Omar Saleh and Fareed Mumuni conspired to provide material support to ISIL and devised a plan to conduct an attack in New York. During his arrest, Mumuni stabbed an FBI agent numerous times, but thankfully the agent’s body armor protected him from the defendant’s attack and the defendant was safely apprehended by law enforcement,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin. “Counterterrorism is the National Security Division’s highest priority and we will continue to pursue justice against those who seek to provide material support to designated foreign terrorist organizations.”
“Both Munther Omar Saleh and Fareed Mumuni allegedly conspired to provide material support to ISIL. Both men also attacked law enforcement officers who work to keep our communities safe,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Currie. “The officers exercised extraordinary skill and restraint in safely subduing the defendants, who will now face the full force of justice in federal court.”
“These indictments remind us of the dangers faced by law enforcement and the community alike. The FBI remains vigilant in its pursuit against violence and restrained in its apprehension of such offenders. We are grateful for the safety of our agents and will continue to work to eliminate threats to our country with the help of our law enforcement partners,” said FBI Assistant Director in Charge Rodriguez.
“Stabbing an FBI agent and providing material support to a designated terrorist organization are a recipe for indictment, as alleged. I commend the agents and detectives from the Manhattan-based Joint Terrorism Task Force and prosecutors in the Eastern District for their work on this case,” said Police Commissioner Bratton.
If convicted, Mumuni faces a maximum sentence of 85 years’ imprisonment and Saleh faces a maximum sentence of 65 years’ imprisonment. The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alexander A. Solomon, Douglas M. Pravda, and Ian C. Richardson of the Eastern District of New York, with assistance provided by Trial Attorney Robert Sander of the Justice Department’s Counterterrorism Section.
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