19°C / 4°C
  • Fri
  • 19°C
  • 4°C
  • Sat
  • 19°C
  • 4°C
  • Sun
  • 20°C
  • 4°C
  • Mon
  • 20°C
  • 4°C
  • Tue
  • 20°C
  • 4°C
  • Wed
  • 19°C
  • 4°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 10°C
  • Sat
  • 20°C
  • 11°C
  • Sun
  • 20°C
  • 11°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 11°C
  • Tue
  • 20°C
  • 9°C
  • Wed
  • 16°C
  • 12°C
  • Fri
  • 24°C
  • 15°C
  • Sat
  • 24°C
  • 15°C
  • Sun
  • 24°C
  • 14°C
  • Mon
  • 24°C
  • 15°C
  • Tue
  • 23°C
  • 15°C
  • Wed
  • 24°C
  • 15°C
  • Fri
  • 21°C
  • 11°C
  • Sat
  • 21°C
  • 12°C
  • Sun
  • 24°C
  • 13°C
  • Mon
  • 26°C
  • 16°C
  • Tue
  • 26°C
  • 16°C
  • Wed
  • 24°C
  • 13°C
  • Fri
  • 17°C
  • 5°C
  • Sat
  • 18°C
  • 6°C
  • Sun
  • 19°C
  • 6°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 7°C
  • Tue
  • 19°C
  • 6°C
  • Wed
  • 18°C
  • 5°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 9°C
  • Sat
  • 22°C
  • 7°C
  • Sun
  • 21°C
  • 7°C
  • Mon
  • 21°C
  • 6°C
  • Tue
  • 21°C
  • 7°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 6°C
  • Fri
  • 23°C
  • 13°C
  • Sat
  • 23°C
  • 15°C
  • Sun
  • 25°C
  • 14°C
  • Mon
  • 23°C
  • 12°C
  • Tue
  • 23°C
  • 12°C
  • Wed
  • 16°C
  • 10°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 12°C
  • Sat
  • 19°C
  • 12°C
  • Sun
  • 25°C
  • 14°C
  • Mon
  • 27°C
  • 18°C
  • Tue
  • 26°C
  • 19°C
  • Wed
  • 24°C
  • 14°C
  • Fri
  • 19°C
  • 8°C
  • Sat
  • 21°C
  • 9°C
  • Sun
  • 21°C
  • 8°C
  • Mon
  • 21°C
  • 6°C
  • Tue
  • 21°C
  • 8°C
  • Wed
  • 20°C
  • 9°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 8°C
  • Sat
  • 21°C
  • 9°C
  • Sun
  • 21°C
  • 7°C
  • Mon
  • 21°C
  • 6°C
  • Tue
  • 21°C
  • 6°C
  • Wed
  • 20°C
  • 6°C
  • Fri
  • 19°C
  • 14°C
  • Sat
  • 19°C
  • 13°C
  • Sun
  • 22°C
  • 15°C
  • Mon
  • 21°C
  • 14°C
  • Tue
  • 21°C
  • 13°C
  • Wed
  • 16°C
  • 13°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 4°C
  • Sat
  • 19°C
  • 5°C
  • Sun
  • 19°C
  • 5°C
  • Mon
  • 20°C
  • 6°C
  • Tue
  • 20°C
  • 4°C
  • Wed
  • 20°C
  • 4°C

Two Middle East refugees arrested in US on terrorism charges

They are the latest in a series of similar cases in a US campaign against extremism.

An American has died fighting for ISIS in the Middle East, officials believe hundreds of others may be with jihadis in Syria. Picture: Supplied
Isis,refugees,Middle east
World

SACRAMENTO – Two men from the Middle East who came to the United States as refugees were arrested on federal terrorism charges in California and Texas for supporting Islamic militant groups, US officials said on Thursday.

They are the latest in a series of similar cases in a US campaign against extremism. Neither man was charged with plotting an attack on the United States. One man was charged with supporting the Islamic State militant group overseas and both were charged with providing false information about their ties to what were described as international terrorist groups.

There have been more than 75 publicised arrests of US residents who have allegedly become radicalised by Muslim militants since 2014.

The men, arrested in Sacramento and Houston, were not involved in a single plot, but they may have been in contact with each other, a source familiar with the two cases said.

Both men are Palestinians who were born in Iraq. The man arrested in Houston, Omar Faraj Saeed Al-Hardan, entered the United States as an Iraqi refugee in November 2009, according to a court document.

In Sacramento, the US Department of Justice said Aws Mohammed Younis Al-Jayab, 23, came to the United States in 2012 as a refugee from Syria.

Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, a Tea Party Republican, cited the arrest in Houston as a reason why Texas has been seeking to block the resettlement of Syrian refugees.

“This is exactly what we have repeatedly told the Obama administration could happen and why we do not want refugees coming to Texas. There are serious questions about who these people really are, as evidenced by today's events,” Patrick said in a statement.

Republican leaders have been calling on President Barack Obama, a Democrat, to move with caution in allowing refugees from Syria to resettle in the United States.

Obama said last year that the United States would take in 10,000 Syrian refugees by 1 October 2016, prompting vows of defiance from more than 30 governors who warned of risks to national security.

Most of the 75 cases for activity inspired by Islamic State involve young men allegedly seeking to support the militant group by traveling to fight with them in Syria or helping others join Islamic State abroad.

The Justice Department “will continue to hold accountable those who seek to join or aid the cause of terrorism, whether at home or abroad,” Assistant Attorney General John Carlin said in a statement.

Al-Hardan was charged with providing material support to the Islamic State militant group and for making false statements about ties to the group when seeking US naturalisation, according to an indictment in federal court in Houston unsealed on Thursday.

In California, Al-Jayab was arrested on Thursday on a federal charge of making a false statement involving international terrorism, the US Department of Justice said.

The US attorney for Sacramento, Benjamin Wagner, said in a statement there were no indications Al-Jayab had planned any attacks in the United States.

“While he represented a potential safety threat, there is no indication that he planned any acts of terrorism in this country,” Wagner said.

Wagner's spokesperson, Lauren Horwood, said: “There is no current threat to public safety associated with this arrest.”

In a criminal complaint, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said Al-Jayab lied about traveling back to Syria and about posting on social media his support for what the government said were terrorist groups.

“O God, grant us martyrdom for your sake while engaged in fighting and not retreating; a martyrdom that would make you satisfied with us,” the FBI said Al-Jayab wrote to someone. The court filing did not name the individual, but it indicated the person lives in Texas, where Al-Hardan was arrested.

The Justice Department said that the year after Al-Jayab came to the United States, he went overseas, and later told officials that he had gone to Turkey to visit family.

The complaint includes numerous social media postings and other communications in which Al-Jayab discussed jihad as well as using assault rifles and training with militants. He also said he was in Syria.

Al-Jayab is scheduled to appear in federal court in Sacramento on Friday, Horwood said.


Comments

EWN welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

- Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
- Sexism
- Homophobia
- Religious intolerance
- Cyber bullying
- Hate speech
- Derogatory language
- Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the EWN community a safe and welcoming space for all.

EWN reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

EWN reserves the right to close comments on selected content pages.

EWN is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.