Terror Plot: New Jersey Man Arrested for Affiliation with al-Shabab

A New Jersey man, Karrem Nasr, 23, was arrested in Kenya and has been brought back to the U.S. to face charges related to his alleged attempt to provide support to a Somalia-based terror group. Nasr is accused of being motivated by the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7 and expressing a desire to join al-Shabab, an affiliate of al-Qaida.

According to federal prosecutors in New York, Nasr moved to New Jersey from Egypt in July and expressed his desire to join al-Shabab in communications with someone he thought was a facilitator for the group, but who was actually an FBI source. Nasr is accused of making statements online suggesting that he was prepared to engage in violent jihad and even posted warnings about a future attack in the U.S. using emojis of airplanes, bombs, and fires.

Nasr was apprehended by Kenyan authorities as he attempted to transit into Somalia from Egypt. He is expected to appear in a Manhattan federal court to face charges of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, a charge that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams stated that Nasr, a U.S. citizen, was motivated by the terrorist attack perpetrated by Hamas and was devoted to waging violent jihad against America and its allies. The case against Nasr reflects the government’s ongoing efforts to apprehend individuals who express intentions of supporting or engaging in terrorist activities.