A fourth American citizen has been arrested in the greater New York area in less than a week on allegations of supporting the Islamic State (ISIS) extremist group, officials said Thursday, according to the AFP news agency.
Samuel Rahamin Topaz, 21, from Fort Lee, New Jersey, was charged with conspiracy to provide material support to the group, which has declared a "caliphate" based in Iraq and Syria.
He faces 15 years in prison if convicted and was remanded without bail after being arrested at home on Wednesday, prosecutors said.
Court papers allege he was in close contact with Munther Omar Saleh, a 20-year-old student from New York who was arrested last Saturday after trying to stab an FBI surveillance officer.
The FBI accused Saleh of trying to recruit Topaz, who was allegedly making plans to travel to join ISIS in the Middle East.
The pair allegedly met up at a Manhattan subway station a few blocks from the World Trade Center on May 31.
Prosecutors in New York have accused Saleh of planning to carry out a bomb attack in the city.
Saleh’s arrest follows that of 21-year-old Fareed Mumuni, a self-declared supporter of ISIS who was detained on Wednesday in connection with the same plot.
Topaz allegedly posted selfies on Facebook dressed in militant-style head garb and wrote about his intention to go to Jordan, which prosecutors called a cover story for travel to ISIS-controlled territory.
He allegedly told a friend, when asked what he thought of ISIS, that "it was not bad because they are protecting what they believe in and that news in the United States is corrupted."
After his arrest, prosecutors said he confessed to sympathizing with the ISIS cause.
The terror plot illustrates the growing concern over the threat of radicalized citizens planning terror attacks in their home countries or travelling to join jihadists in Iraq or Syria.
In March, California resident Adam Dandach, who tried to travel to Syria last year, was charged with attempting to join ISIS.
A week earlier, three New York residents were arrested for plotting to join ISIS in Syria. One of the suspects had expressed intent to buy a machine gun and shoot police officers and FBI agents if thwarted in his plan to join ISIS.
Last October, three American teenage girls from a suburb of Denver were stopped in Germany on their way to join ISIS in Syria.
Three months earlier, in July, 19-year-old Shannon Maureen Conley was arrested at Denver International Airport as she was on her way to join the group in Syria.