A pizza shop owner in New York admitted to actively trying to recruit fighters for the Islamic State group in Syria. A naturalized U.S. citizen, Mufid Elfgeeh pleaded guilty last week to two counts of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, ABC News reports.
His admission was under a plea agreement that landed him a reduced sentence of 22.5 years in prison.
The 31-year-old owner of the now-closed Mojoe’s Pizza in Rochester helped put one recruit in contact with an English-speaking Islamic Sate contact in Iraq by using a Facebook account. Actually, it was 23 Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter accounts to be exact.
According to court documents, Elfgeeh used those accounts to ask for donations and state his support for violent jihad and allegiance to the Islamic State and its leaders.
Elfgeeh was arrested in May 2014 for buying two handguns and silencers and planning to kill returning US soldiers with them. Elfgeeh was identified as one of the first Islamic State recruiters arrested in the US.
While in court, Elfgeeh admitted to actively trying to recruit fighters for ISIL. According to authorities, he purchased a laptop and camera for two recruits back in 2014 for a trip to Syria and paid for them to get a birth certificate and passport. He also sent money to a third person in Yemen to pay for their trip to Syria. However, two of those recruits were FBI informants.
Elfgeeh will be facing sentencing in March. His former spot was also known for their chicken and doubled as a grocery store.