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Judge denies bail for alleged ISIL sympathizer

Chris Caya/WBFO News

A federal judge in Buffalo has ordered Arafat Nagi be held without bail until trial. Nagi was arrested at his Lackawanna home Wednesday morning and charged with supporting and attempting to join the terror group ISIL.

Wearing a blue jump suit and shackles in U.S. District Court Friday morning, Nagi appeared alert and sat quietly as Judge Hugh Scott denied the defense's request for bail and home confinement for the 44-year-old. Scott sided with the government's contention that Nagi is a flight risk and a threat to the community.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Lynch described some of the evidence that indicates Nagi poses a threat to the community.  

"Several knives were found, tactical knives, as well as large knives in the house. A sword was also found in the garage of the residence," Lynch said.

Lynch told the judge Nagi also has access to an assault rifle that was kept at his brother's home. Nagi, who has been unemployed since 2009, was arrested after buying a ticket to fly to Turkey in August.

Credit Lackawanna Police Department
A judge denied bail Friday for Arafat Nagi of Lackawanna.

Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Buffalo office Steven Lanser says ISIL is the the number one threat for the FBI.

"ISIL has effectively recruited approximately 200 Americans to travel to Syria and fight on their behalf. Arafat Nagi was no different than some of the other 200. We look at the type of social media he looks at, what he does, how he gets recruited and, eventually, they travel and join," Lanser said.

A preliminary hearing is set for August 12.

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