NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York City teenager accused last year of helping a college student plan an Islamic State-inspired plot to set off a pressure cooker bomb in the city has pleaded guilty to a non-terrorism charge of conspiring to impede federal officers.
Imran Rabbani, who was 17 when he was arrested in June, pleaded guilty on Friday in federal court in Brooklyn, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Robert Capers said late on Monday.
As part of a plea deal, Rabbani agreed to drop an appeal of a November ruling allowing him to be tried as an adult for a prior charge of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State, said his lawyer, Richard Willstatter.
Rabbani, who faces a maximum of six years in prison, was one of six young men in New York and New Jersey charged last year in the investigation of a group of alleged supporters of Islamic State, which has seized control of parts of Iraq and Syria.
More than 80 people have been charged since 2014 in U.S. federal cases related to Islamic State, which has claimed responsibility for the Brussels bombings in March that killed 31 people and the Paris attacks in November that killed 130.
Authorities previously alleged that Rabbani, now 18, discussed with Munther Omar Saleh, a college student in the borough of Queens, plans to assemble an explosive device to set off in the New York metropolitan area.
In June, law enforcement followed the two men in a surveillance vehicle when Rabbani and Saleh got out of their vehicle and ran at the agents, prompting their arrest at gunpoint, authorities said.
The plea by Rabbani, previously identified only as “John Doe,” regarded only the June incident.
“My client is not a member of ISIS and never claimed to be a member of ISIS,” said Willstatter, using another name for Islamic State.
The other men in related cases in New Jersey have pleaded guilty. Nader Saadeh pleaded guilty in December to conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State.[nL1N13Z213]
Prosecutors said Saadeh traveled to Jordan in May intending to get to either Iraq or Syria to join Islamic State, but was detained by Jordanian authorities.
Prosecutors said Saadeh discussed his plans to join Islamic State with his brother, Alaa Saadeh, as well as Samuel Rahamin Topaz, Saleh and Mummuni.
Alaa Saadeh and Topaz, who prosecutors said also planned to join Islamic State, have also pleaded guilty.
Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler