DOJ’s press release is below, and a brief (one-count) indictment is attached. Looks like they are not sure which group this person affiliated with in Syria, and hence the charge is under 2339A rather than 2339B (the latter requiring that the support go to a specific designated foreign terrorist organization, the former requiring no particular organizational link but instead requiring support knowing or intending that it will facilitate commission of one of many predicate criminal acts).
WASHINGTON – Aws Mohammed Younis Al-Jayab, 23, of Sacramento, California, was indicted today in the Northern District of Illinois for attempting to provide material support to acts of violence overseas.
The indictment was announced by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, U.S. Attorney Zachary T. Fardon of the Northern District of Illinois, Special Agent in Charge Monica M. Miller of the FBI’s Sacramento Division and Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Anderson of the FBI’s Chicago Division.
Al-Jayab was also indicted earlier this year by a grand jury in Sacramento for allegedly making a false statement involving international terrorism. He pleaded not guilty to that charge, and his next court appearance will be a status hearing on May 12, 2016, at 9:00 a.m. PDT, before U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. of the Eastern District of California.
According to a criminal complaint filed in the Eastern District of California, Al-Jayab is a Palestinian born in Iraq, who came to the United States as an Iraqi refugee in October 2012. Between October 2012 and November 2013, while living in Arizona and Wisconsin, Al-Jayab communicated via social media with numerous individuals about his intention to go to Syria to fight for terrorist organizations, the complaint alleges. The complaint further alleges that on Nov. 9, 2013, he flew from Chicago to Turkey and then traveled to Syria.
According to the complaint, between November 2013 and January 2014, Al-Jayab reported on social media that he was in Syria fighting with terrorist organizations. Al-Jayab returned to the United States on Jan. 23, 2014, and settled in Sacramento.
The indictment returned in California contends that Al-Jayab gave false statements to agents from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services during an interview on Oct. 6, 2014. In the interview, Al-Jayab indicated that he never supported terrorist groups and that the purpose of his trip to Turkey was to visit his grandmother. The California indictment contends that both statements were false.
The statutory maximum sentence for attempting to provide material support is 15 years in prison. An arraignment date has not yet been set.
An indictment is merely an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The investigation was led by the Sacramento Joint Terrorism Task Force, which is comprised of FBI special agents and representatives from numerous federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of California and the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Security Division provided assistance in the investigation. The case in Chicago is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Barry Jonas and Shoba Pillay of the Northern District of Illinois and Trial Attorney D. Andrew Sigler of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.
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