Long Island Man Sentenced to 200 Months’ Imprisonment for Attempting to Provide Material Support to Terrorists
CENTRAL ISLIP, NY — Earlier today, at the federal courthouse in Central Islip, Elvis Redzepagic was sentenced by United States District Judge Denis R. Hurley to 200 months’ imprisonment for attempting to provide material support and resources to the designated foreign terrorist organizations the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and the al-Nusrah Front. Redzepagic, a U.S. citizen, pleaded guilty to the charge in April 2021.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Matthew G. Olsen, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, and Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), announced the sentence.
“With the imposition of today’s lengthy sentence, Redzepagic pays a steep price for his misguided embrace of terrorism and his attempts to join ISIS and the al-Nusrah Front in order to wage violent jihad,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “This Office, together with our law enforcement partners, will remain vigilant in protecting the public from terrorist threats and in thwarting their violent attacks here and abroad.”
Mr. Peace thanked the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs, the FBI Legal Attaché Office for Serbia, and the Government of Montenegro Ministry of Justice, Prosecutor’s Office, and Special Police Unit for their assistance in this case.
In early 2015, Redzepagic began communicating with an individual he believed to be both the commander of a battalion in Syria and a member of ISIS or the al-Nusrah Front, and made attempts to join that individual’s battalion to engage in violent jihad. In July 2015, Redzepagic traveled to Turkey and made multiple unsuccessful attempts to cross the border into Syria. Unable to enter Syria from Turkey, Redzepagic traveled to Jordan in August 2016, but was stopped and deported by Jordanian authorities.
In Facebook messages from October 2015, Redzepagic explained that “jihad” is when “you fight for the sake of God” and “die for the sake of Allah.” Redzepagic stated that he traveled to Turkey to “perform Jihad and join Jabhat Al-Nusra.” He predicted, “there will come a time where people will only know to say Allahu Akbar.”
A search of the defendant’s laptop yielded a variety of ISIS-specific extremist propaganda, including ISIS nasheeds, or Islamist hymns, including the “ISIS Anthem” in English. Redzepagic also repeatedly accessed the website “Put hilafeta,” or “Way to the Caliphate,” a Bosnian-language website for prospective foreign fighters from the Balkans who primarily sought to join ISIS and wage jihad in Syria.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s National Security and Cybercrime Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Saritha Komatireddy and Artie McConnell are in charge of the prosecution, with assistance provided by Trial Attorney Stephanie Sweeten of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.
Commack, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 17-CR-228 (DRH)
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Eastern District of New York