June 2, 2014 / 8:55 PM / in 4 years

Man plotted to kill returning U.S. soldiers, government says

BROCKPORT N.Y. (Reuters) - The owner of a western New York food market faced accusations in court on Monday that he illegally bought guns to shoot and kill members of the U.S. military returning from Iraq, according to official documents.

Mufid Elfgeeh, 30, of Rochester, was arrested by federal agents on Saturday on illegal weapons charges.

According to a criminal complaint, Elfgeeh bought two handguns equipped with unregistered silencers and ammunition from a confidential informant.

“We wanted to start shooting those who were in the Army who went to Iraq,” Elfgeeh was quoted in the complaint as saying. “It is a war.”

The FBI has been investigating Elfgeeh, a naturalized U.S. citizen of Yemeni descent, since early 2013, according to an affidavit from FBI Special Agent Albert Zenner.

The charges stemmed from confidential sources, recorded conversations and Twitter posts attributed to Elfgeeh that advocated violence and martyrdom, Zenner wrote.

Elfgeeh, who runs the Halal Mojo and Food Mart, was arrested in a Rochester parking lot after accepting a tackle box containing guns, ammunition and silencers from a confidential informant, authorities said.

At a court appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan Feldman, Elfgeeh was appointed public defender attorneys. He did not enter a plea and a bail hearing was set for June 16.

Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst; Editing by Jim Loney

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