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Lackawanna man asks for terrorist charges to be dropped

U.S. Attorney's Office

A Lackawanna man, accused of making plans to join the Islamic State group in Syria, wants the charges against him dropped.

Arafat Nagi's lawyer has filed a motion to dismiss an indictment charging the man with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. A federal court hearing is scheduled today in Buffalo.

Authorities say Nagi was planning his third trip to Turkey, with plans to continue to Syria to join the fighters, at the time of his arrest last summer. They say he had bought a machete, night goggles and body armor, and pledged allegiance online to the Islamic State group.

Defense lawyer Jeremy Schwartz says charging Nagi for allegedly trying to join a particular group violates his constitutional rights, including freedom of speech.

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