SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Two California men who authorities say aspired to join the Islamic State group have pleaded not guilty in the case.
Nader Elhuzayel and Muhanad Badawi entered the plea Monday in federal court in Santa Ana to charges including conspiring to provide material support to a terrorist group.
Federal prosecutors announced the charges against the men, both 24 years old, on May 22. Prosecutors say the men wanted to join the Islamic State and bought a plane ticket for one of them to travel to Turkey in hopes of becoming a martyr.
The FBI says in a court affidavit that the men shared their support for the Islamic State group on social media and in conversation, saying it would be a blessing to join the fight and die on the battlefield.