Mohamed Rafik Naji, 37, a legal permanent resident of the United States who traveled to Yemen and Turkey in attempts to join ISIS, has been arrested and charged with conspiring to provide material support for the Islamic State.
Charging documents filed in federal court on Nov. 21 describe the suspect’s plans to use a garbage truck in an attack similar to the July 2016 attack on Bastille Day revelers in Nice, France, that took 87 lives. He revealed his plans to an FBI informant posing as a confidant.
The suspect planned to attack Times Square.
Naji, according to charging documents filed by the US District Attorney’s Office, apparently said, “If there is a truck, I mean a garbage truck, and one drives it there to Times-Square and crushes them […] Times-Square day.”
Naji had regularly posted support for terrorism on Facebook as far back as December 2014, including video of ISIS leader Abu Muhammad Al-Adnani advocating violence against civilian targets. He joins a growing list of American residents arrested on American soil and charged with supporting acts of terror.
Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York issued a statement, saying, “New York must remain vigilant in the face of hate and intolerance and continue to advance the core values of democracy that this state and nation were founded upon.”