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(NEWARK, N.J. )(CNBNewsnet)– A Fort Lee, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 96 months in prison for conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito, Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, and Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie of the FBI’s Newark Division announced.
Samuel Rahamin Topaz, 24, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton to an information charging him with one count of conspiring with others to provide services and personnel to ISIS. Judge Wigenton imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this and related cases and statements made in court:
Topaz admitted that prior to his arrest by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force on June 17, 2015, he planned to travel overseas to join ISIS and saved money for that purpose. Topaz discussed plans to join ISIS with Nader Saadeh, Alaa Saadeh, and Munther Omar Saleh, and he admitted that at various times each of them indicated they wanted to join ISIS. Topaz also admitted that he and the other defendants watched ISIS-related videos, some of which depicted the execution of non-Muslims and individuals regarded as apostates from Islam.
On May 5, 2015, Nader Saadeh departed the United States with plans to travel overseas for the purpose of joining ISIS. Topaz admitted that he and others planned to travel overseas separately, meet up with Nader Saadeh, and then travel together to join ISIS. After Nader Saadeh left the United States, Topaz met with Saleh and contacted Alaa Saadeh to discuss those plans.
Topaz admitted knowing that ISIS was a designated foreign terrorist organization that was taking over territory overseas, expelling non-Muslims from their homes, and executing individuals who did not obey ISIS’ commands.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Wigenton sentenced Topaz to a lifetime of supervised release.
Nader and Alaa Saadeh both pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support to ISIS. Alaa Saadeh was sentenced to 15 years in prison on May 10, 2016. Nader Saadeh was sentenced to 10 years in prison on April 30, 2018. Saleh pleaded guilty to related charges brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and was sentenced to 18 years in prison on Feb. 6, 2018.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito and Assistant Attorney General Demers credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Ehrie in Newark, and the Newark Joint Terrorism Task Force with the investigation. The task force is comprised of agents and officers from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations, Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, New Jersey State Police, Paterson Police Department, and New York City Police Department, among other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dennis C. Carletta and Francisco J. Navarro of the U.S. Attorney’s Office National Security Unit in Newark, with assistance from Trial Attorneys Justin Sher and Robert Sander of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.
Defense counsel: Ian J. Hirsch Esq., Hackensack, New Jersey