A Commack man was sentenced to nearly 17 years in federal prison on Friday for flying to the Middle East in an attempt to join ISIS and another terrorist group twice in recent years, authorities said federal.
Elvis Redzepagic pleaded guilty in April in federal court in Central Islip to attempting to provide material support to designated foreign terrorist organizations. US District Judge Denis R. Hurley sentenced him to 200 months in prison.
“With the imposition of today’s long sentence, Redzepagic is paying a high price for his ill-advised embrace of terrorism and his attempts to join ISIS and the al-Nusrah Front in order to carry out a violent jihad,” said Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
Prosecutors said the 30-year-old contacted an individual he believed to be the commander of a battalion in Syria and a member of ISIS or the Nusra Front in 2015.
In July of the same year, he visited Turkey and made several attempts to cross the Syrian border to join his contact, but was unable to enter the war-torn country, authorities said. . Then, in August 2016, he attempted to enter Syria via Jordan, but was arrested and deported by Jordanian authorities.
Investigators found that Redzepagic posted messages on Facebook in October 2015 indicating that “jihad” is when “you fight for the love of God” and “die for the love of Allah”, and has said he had traveled to Turkey to “carry out jihad and join Jabhat Al-Nusra,” prosecutors said.
He is one of eight people with ties to Long Island who have been involved in a terrorist plot since the September 11, 2001 attacks. Bryant Neal Vinas of Patchogue, an al Qaeda recruit turned informant, was released from prison in 2017.
native of Westbury Samir khan, the former editor of al Qaeda magazine, was killed in a drone strike in Yemen in 2011. Mohammad Younis of Centereach pleaded guilty in 2011 to unintentionally providing $ 7,000 to Faisal Shahzad, the alleged Times Square suicide bomber. And Zoobia Shahnaz of Brentwood, was sentenced last year to 13 years in federal prison for sending over $ 150,000 to ISIS.
Additionally, other Brentwood residents Marcos Alonso Zea and Justin Kaliebe were sentenced in 2016 to 25 years and 13 years in prison, respectively, for attempting to join al-Qaeda. And Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen, who grew up in Westbury, pledged allegiance to ISIS during the Orlando massacre.
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