By Victoria Bekiempis
A Bronx man was collared at JFK Airport before boarding a plane to Turkey — on his way to join ISIS, officials said Thursday.
Saddam (Adam) Mohamed Raishani, 30, faces one count of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office said. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in federal prison.
Raishani’s father, Mohamed Raishani, claimed his son was simply going to visit his sister in Yemen — not to fight with ISIS — at the time of his arrest.
Raishani had to travel through Turkey “because of the Yemen war, he can’t go from here, said Mohamed Raishani, 72, before his son appeared in court.
“His sister got two operations, is very sick,” said Mohamed Raishani, who came to the U.S. 47 years ago from Yemen.
Raishani, who sported a bright red plaid shirt in court, waved at his father before he went before a magistrate.
His lawyers did not ask for bail, but they can request it at a later time.
The criminal complaint mentions Yemen, but the circumstances are very different.
Raishani, who is a nurse, told an informant on April 27 that if they went to Yemen, he “could pose as a nurse, and (the informant) could pose as a refugee aid worker, in order to gain entry to the country without being stopped and questioned by authorities,” according to the criminal complaint.
Raishani also allegedly told an informant on Jan. 16 that a friend of his left New York City to join ISIS — and said he took the friend “shopping to buy supplies for bringing to the Islamic State” and gave him money, the criminal complaint states.
Raishani is also accused of telling the informant “that he had asked his wife is she would go with him to the Islamic State.”
But “based on her reaction, he would not ask her again, because he was worried that she would report him to law enforcement,” court papers state.
His father insisted his son wanted nothing to do with ISIS — and wanted to remain at home with family.
“He’s got a wife and a baby,” he said. “He don’t want this s— over there.”