A New York man was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Friday for “repeatedly attempting” to join ISIS in 2015 and discussing plans to stage a terror attack in NYC with a garbage truck. Mohamed Rafik Naji, 40, was sentenced to 20 years for attempting to provide material support or resources to ISIS after pleading guilty in February 2018, the Justice Department said in a press release. Prosecutors allege Naji became a “committed supporter of ISIS” in 2014, often sharing the foreign terrorist organization’s mission on social media. In March 2015, the 40-year-old traveled to Yemen in an effort to join ISIS, but was stopped by authorities, prosecutors said. In a conversation with an undercover agent, Naji allegedly “proclaimed his allegiance to ISIS, stating, ‘I belong to Islamic State only.’” Following the July 2016 ISIS-inspired terrorist attack in Nice, France, Naji is said to have bragged to the undercover agent the same attack could be carried out in Times Square. “[ISIS] want an operation in Times Square,” Naji allegedly said. “If there is a truck, I mean a garbage truck and one drives it there to Times Square and crushes them,” he was quoted as saying.
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