A New York man is under arrest, charged with trying to travel to Syria to join ISIS. The man, a U.S. citizen, reportedly told a friend that jihad would be “the best” thing for America. He also told authorities he wanted to become a suicide bomber to carry out his jihad.
According to reports, Elvis Redzeppagic was not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed. He didn’t try to hide his intentions from family and friends. He made his intentions known to Facebook friends and contacts. Even after he came to the attention of the CIA, he continued to talk about his plans to join ISIS. He even bragged that he thought he had “outsmarted” CIA investigators that were looking at him.
Obviously, he was wrong about that last part.
After police on suburban Long Island arrested Elvis Redzepagic on Feb. 2 on a minor, unrelated charge, he told them: “I’m going to leave this country, and I’m going to come back with an Army — Islam is coming,” according to a federal court complaint unsealed Saturday.
The 26-year-old U.S. citizen was being held without bail after appearing in a Brooklyn federal court Saturday. He’s charged with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.
Redzepagic “was persistent in his efforts” to join Islamic militants in civil-war-ravaged Syria, making it to Turkey in 2015 and Jordan last year and even getting to the Syrian border, said William F. Sweeney, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York field office.
Redzepagic, who lives in Commack, told authorities after his arrest that he’d become a devout Muslim while in Montenegro, in the Balkans, and believed a cousin was a battalion commander in Syria for the Islamic State or the group once known as the Nusra Front, according to the court complaint. The latter group — now called the Fatah al-Sham Front, and also known at times as Jabhat al-Nusra — is an al-Qaida affiliate.
The suspect also told numerous Facebook contacts of his radical Islamic beliefs. Authorities say he told them “I just don’t like this country,” and “jihad is the best for u.” He also reportedly said “There will come a time where people will only know to say Allahu akbar.”
Since he is being held without bail, Elvis will not be leaving a federal building any time soon.