New York Man Pleads Guilty to Trying to Help ISIS

Mufid Elfgeeh, 31, was arrested in May 2014.

ByABC News
December 17, 2015, 3:21 PM

— -- A New York man has plead guilty to providing material support to ISIS after being caught trying to convince two people to join the terror group's fight.

Mufid Elfgeeh, 31, was arrested in May 2014 and just accepted a plea deal, authorities said. The Justice Department and Elfgeeh's attorneys have struck a deal for a sentence of 270 months in prison, which equates to 22 and a half years behind bars. His sentencing date has not been set.

Elfgeeh is a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Yemen and owned a pizza shop in upstate New York, according to the Associated Press.

The plea deal details how prior to his arrest, he was active on social media and used Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter to spread messages about ISIS and other foreign terrorist groups.

"In late 2013, Elfgeeh wanted to be a source of support for violent jihad and serve as a facilitator for violent jihadists who wanted to travel overseas and fight," the plea deal states.

Some of his actions included arranging travel, making connections for, and arranging the purchase of weapons for two individuals who he believed wanted to travel to Syria and join the Islamic State, the deal states.

Elfgeeh, however, did not know that both of those individuals "were cooperating with" the FBI, so the government was able to detail how Elfgeeh helped procure passports and give advice to the individuals ahead of their alleged trip.

"Elfgeeh counseled individuals A and B to dress like tourists and use matching cover stories (relating to their destination, the reason for their travel, and the duration of their stay) during the trip to avoid drawing suspicion from government and law enforcement authorities at the airports," the plea deal states.

The third individual that Elfgeeh attempted to help was a man in Yemen to whom he sent funds in order to help that man's planned trip to Syria to join ISIS, according to the plea deal. That individual went on to exchange Facebook messages with one of the first two individuals that was cooperating with the FBI.