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Rochester man charged with supporting ISIS

U.S. Attoreny of Western District, William Hochul
WBFO News file photo
U.S. Attoreny of Western District, William Hochul

The manager of a Rochester convenience store is behind bars on allegations he was promoting terrorism by trying to send people to Syria to fight with the militant group ISIS.

Apparently, the case began with tips to the FBI about the social media postings of Mufid Elfgeeh, both against the U.S. and in support of al-Quaida. U.S. Attorney William Hochul says the man went beyond words since he put up some cash to help send an unidentified person to Syria to fight for the Islamic State, came here to help that person get his passport and bought handguns and silencers.

He faces a very long period behind bars if convicted on the charges. He's expected to plead innocent during a court appearance today in Rochester.

"Mr. Elfgeeh is accused in this indictment of providing material support to the terrorist group ISIL, also sometimes goes by a variety of different acronyms including ISIS," Hochul explained.

"The particular material support alleged in the indictment consists of sending personnel or attempting to send personnel."

Hochul says Elfghee is a native of Yemen although he is a naturalized U.S. citizen. Neither Hochul nor FBI Special Agent in Charge Brian Boetig would be specific about the two cooperating witnesses who are key elements in the prosecution.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.