A New York state man was arrested for attempting to join ISIS and recruiting people in western New York to enlist with the terror group. Arafat M. Nagi, 44, allegedly proselytized to people in the city of Lackawanna about jihad and made plans to join up with the self-declared Islamic State in Turkey. He is believed to have traveled to Istanbul and Yemen last year. Upon his return, he told agents he did not support militant groups—a claim they say is inconsistent with his posts on a Twitter account and his Web searches. Authorities also claim that text messages between him and an individual on his phone show he had traveled to Syria during a prior trip, and intended to go again. His online purchases included a “tactical vest with armored plates” and various other combat accessories.
A neighbor told The Daily Beast she was shocked at news of the arrests. “I don’t know why they arrested him. I’m shocked,” Maria Spurlock said. “They’re a good family, they’re helpful.” She added that the family appears to have a disabled child who they take good care of, and that kids often play in their yard. “Most of my neighbors are Arabian,” Spurlock said. “And you know what? They take care of their property and they do good things.”