Updated: Thursday, September 18 2014
Rochester, N.Y. – A man living in Rochester, accused of recruiting for the terrorist organization, ISIS, was in court Thursday. Mufid Elfgeeh pleaded not guilty to all seven charges.
Elfgeeh was born in Yemen, but is a naturalized U.S. citizen. He owned Mojoe’s Pizza Shop on North Clinton Avenue. The 30-year-old was arrested in May, accused of trying to buy weapons to use against police officers and U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq. Elfgeeh allegedly gave one FBI informant $1,050 in cash to purchase two handguns equipped with silencers and ammunition.
The indictment unveiled on Tuesday alleges Elfgeeh used two separate Twitter accounts to seek funding for terrorists in Syria. Prosecutors said Elfgeeh also expressed support for ISIS and violent Jihad. Elfgeeh appears to be the first person in the U.S. to be accused of recruiting for the Islamic State.
Elfgeeh allegedly sent money to help a Yemeni man travel to Syria to join the terrorist group.
“We will remain aggressive in identifying and disrupting those who seek to provide support to ISIL and other terrorist groups that are bent on inflicting harm upon Americans,” said U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. “We are focused on breaking up these activities on the front end, before supporters of ISIL can make good on plans to travel to the region or recruit sympathizers to this cause.”
Elfgeeh faces seven criminal charges in the indictment:
– three counts of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization
– one count of attempting to kill “officers and employees of the United States”
– two counts of possession of an unregistered firearm silencer
– one count of possession of firearms and silencers in furtherance of a violent crime.