A U.S. citizen living in Egypt tried to join the terrorist organization Al Shabaab and wage a violent jihad against America and its allies in the aftermath of Hamas’s attack on Israel on Oct. 7, federal prosecutors said Friday.
Karrem Nasr, 23, of Lawrenceville, New Jersey, was arrested on December 14 after flying from Egypt to Nairobi, Kenya, where prosecutors say he planned to meet with Al Shabaab members before traveling to Somalia to train , where the terrorist group is based. .
Nasr was returned to the US on Thursday and was scheduled to appear before a federal magistrate in Manhattan on Friday. He is accused of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. If convicted, he faces 20 years in prison.
Court records did not list a lawyer who could speak on Nasr’s behalf.
Nasr, also known as Ghareeb Al-Muhajir, expressed his desire to join Al Shabaab in online messages and communications with a paid FBI informant posing as a facilitator for terrorist organizations, according to an indictment unsealed Friday.
Nasr told the informant that “the greatest enemy is America,” which he described as the “head of the snake,” according to the complaint. He posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, that jihad would “soon be coming to a U.S. location near you,” according to the complaint. The post, under the name “Egyptian Muslim,” contained airplane, bomb and fire emojis.
Nasr, who moved to Egypt in July, began communicating with the FBI informant through an encrypted messaging app in November, the indictment said. He told the informant that he had been thinking about waging jihad for “a long time” but was “unable to do so” before Hamas attacked Israel, the complaint said.
“After the events of October 7, I felt like something had changed,” Nasr told the informant, according to the complaint. “For the better, I mean. I felt pride and dignity returning to the Muslims.”