New York Pizzeria Owner Found to Be Recruiting for ISIS

Staff Writer
Mufid Elfgeeh, a naturalized American citizen who owns a pizzeria in New York, pleaded guilty to recruiting for ISIS
He faces at least 22-and-a-half years in prison following his guilty plea.

Police Headshot/Shutterstock

He faces at least 22-and-a-half years in prison following his guilty plea.

It’s a terrifying thought: while Mufid Elfgeeh served pizza to the hungry residents of Rochester, New York, he was actively attempting to recruit for the Islamic State.

Elfgeeh, a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Yemen who owned Mojoe's Famous Pizza and Chicken, a pizza shop in this upstate New York city, has pleaded guilty in federal court to two counts of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. He faces at least 22-and-a-half years in prison, according to the Associated Press.

Elfgeeh, 31, emigrated to the United States at an undisclosed age. While he ran a pizza shop (the name of which was not disclosed in court documents), he was actively using social media to show his support for jihad and to recruit followers. In May 2014, after purchasing two handguns that he had planned to use to kill returning American soldiers, Elfgeeh was arrested by the Joint Terrorism Task Force. He was one of the first ISIS recruiters arrested in the United States.

"Elfgeeh wanted to be a source of support for violent jihad and serve as a facilitator for violent jihadists who wanted to travel overseas and fight," the plea agreement says. "In Elfgeeh's own postings and messages on social media and statements ... Elfgeeh stated that a person who helps or sponsors a fighter to engage in violent jihad obtains the same religious rewards from Allah (God) as the fighter himself."

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