Bronx Man Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Support ISIS
A Bronx man faces up to 45 years in federal prison after pleading guilty on February 21 to attempting to provide material support to ISIS and committing passport fraud. Sajmir Alimehmeti (right) was arrested in May 2016 at his residence, where an ISIS flag was discovered by authorities. The FBI was alerted about Alimehmeti after he was denied entry into the United Kingdom twice in 2014. An undercover agent posing as a wannabe terrorist started meeting with Alimehmeti, who showed him ISIS videos that included beheadings. In 2016, Alimehmeti tried to help an individual who was actually an undercover agent travel to Syria to join ISIS. Additionally, he made false claims in an application for a new passport in October 2015. Prosecutors said Alimehmeti received propaganda while in jail from Ahmad Khan Rahimi, who is serving life sentences following bombings in Manhattan and New Jersey in 2016. Alimehmeti is scheduled to be sentenced on June 7.
Threats Against New Jersey Schools Investigated in Wake of Florida Shooting
In the aftermath of the shooting in Parkland, Florida, on February 14 that resulted in 17 deaths, a number of threats toward schools in New Jersey were investigated. On February 20, a middle-school student in Chatham (Morris County) was suspended while authorities looked into social media posts referencing a school shooting. A student in the Matawan-Aberdeen (Monmouth County) Regional School District was arrested and charged with making terrorist threats on February 17. Charges were also filed against two other individuals: an 18-year-old from Voorhees (Camden County) was charged on February 15 with threatening to terrorize students and staff at a high school after he was allegedly overhead stating he would shoot up the school, while a Franklin Township (Somerset County) student was suspended and charged a day later with making terrorist threats on social media against a high school. Public schools in Nutley (Essex County) were closed on February 16 after a video was posted on social media depicting an individual at a firing range with a song about school shootings playing in the background. On the same day, a Parsippany (Morris County) middle school was placed on lockdown after a bullet was discovered in a hallway.
Former Metro Officer Receives 15-Year Sentence for Attempting to Provide Support to ISIS
The first US police officer to face terrorism charges will spend the next 15 years in prison for attempting to provide support to ISIS. Nicholas Young of Alexandria, Virginia, got caught up in a sting operation that resulted in him purchasing more than $200 in gift cards he believed were for mobile apps ISIS could use to communicate securely. Instead, the 38-year-old was assisting an FBI informant in the July 2016 transaction. Young, who worked as a patrol officer in the Washington, DC, region’s Metrorail system, was convicted by a jury in federal court on multiple counts, including attempted material support of a terrorism group, on December 18. He also lied to investigators about the travel plans of an associate he thought joined ISIS, but was actually an FBI source. Young was under FBI surveillance for six years, in part because of two trips he made to Libya in 2011 to fight with anti-government rebels. Prosecutors also presented evidence during trial that Young had an interest in Nazism. Following his prison term, Young will be subjected to 15 years of supervised release.