Lackawanna ISIS supporter sentenced to 15 years in prison

Jun 11, 2018

A judge, in Buffalo, has sentenced a local man to prison for supporting a designated foreign terrorist organization.

Arafat Nagi told the court that he "used" this photo, taken in his Lackawanna home, "just to show off, nothing else."
Credit U.S. Department of Justice

Before sentencing, 47-year-old Arafat Nagi, of Lackawanna, apologized to his family and U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara, and he said, he never had intentions to hurt anyone. But, in January, Nagi admitted traveling to Turkey, in 2014, to try and join ISIS fighters in Syria. And his social media postings in support of the Islamic State included photos of beheadings. Defense Attorney Jeremy Schwartz says, Nagi is a different man now.
    
"He, again, has really looked over those tweets and the social media. And, I think, when you see them - when you're clicking a retweet button is one thing. But, when you see it all as a whole, you can see the picture that you're portraying to the outside world and, I don't think, that's the person he wants to be seen as. And, he learned from that experience," Schwartz said.

Defense Attorney Jeremy Schwartz speaking to reporters in federal court after Nagi was sentenced.
Credit Chris Caya WBFO News

But Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Lynch says, the case was never about social media postings - it was about Nagi's actions.
    
"He purchased combat gear. He bought body armor. He bought combat gloves. He stood in front of a Shahada Flag with an AK-47dressed up with all that gear on. It was very clear what his intent was. His intent was to fight. It was to join ISIS. And he even asked others to go with him," Lynch said.  
 
Nagi was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison. Schwartz says, it's up to his client whether he or not he will appeal.