Legal perspective on the terrorism case against Arafat Nagi

Jul 31, 2015

As terrorism-related charges move forward against a Lackawanna man, both prosecutors and defense attorneys will be focusing on the evidence and circumstances  in an effort to prove their case. Arafat Nagi , 44, is facing charges of providing material support and resources, namely personnel, to a foreign terrorist organization, ISIL.

Nagi was arrested Wednesday morning following an FBI raid on his Olcott Street home.

In regards to Nagi's prosecution, Attorney Terry Connors says, "What they have to show really is that this individual attempted to provide himself, that's the material resource and personnel, as an ally an asset to a foreign terrorist organization. So they look to see circumstantially, what were his activities over the past year-and-a-half. Well, what did he say? What did he do? Did he study? Did he purchase tickets? Did he try to recruit people? All of those things have to add up to the definition of material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization."

"The defense will say that you don't punish an individual in the United States for words and thoughts," adds Connors. "We're allowed to support organizations that are contrary to the United States. We just can't do active work that would support a terrorist organization. So that's where the line will be drawn in the sand."

"Is it just someone spouting off with no real intention to do anything about it," says Connors. "Is he talking about items that are conversational and sensational or does he really intend to help ISIS. Does he intend to actually recruit people? Does he intend to do things that would further the activities of a foreign terrorist organization? That would be illegal. That's where the debate will focus."