SACRAMENTO (CBS) — An Iraqi-born Sacramento man who allegedly lied to federal investigators about traveling to Syria between 2013 and 2104 has been charged with providing support to terrorists.
Al-Jayab was initially arrested in Sacramento in January on suspicion of lying to federal investigators but a federal grand jury in Chicago indicted 23-year-old Aws Mohammed Younis Al-Jayab Thursday on the more serious charge.
A complaint filed on January 6, 2016 against Al-Jayab, described as a Palestinian born in Iraq who came to the United States as an Iraqi refugee in October 2012, alleges that “the defendant traveled to Syria to take up arms with terrorist organizations and concealed that conduct from immigration authorities.”
The complaint also alleges that he communicated on social media with others about his intent to return to Syria to fight for terrorist organizations.
Analysis of IP addresses and other information established that Al-Jayab accessed the Internet via a satellite that covered both eastern Turkey and areas of northern Syria during his travels abroad over the winter of 2013-2014, according to the complaint.
Al-Jayab allegedly lied about traveling to Syria to fight against the Syrian government, according to the complaint.
The alleged lies could lead to eight years in prison for Al-Jayab if he is convicted of making a false statement involving international terrorism. Providing material support to terrorists carries a maximum 15-year prison term.
Defense attorney Ben Galloway said in January that Al-Jayab did not plan attacks in the United States and told the judge then Al-Jayab was suffering by being held in isolation.
A second man charged from the same investigation, Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan, 24, of Houston, faces up to 25 years in prison based on allegations that he attempted to support the Islamic State organization.
By Hannah Albarazi – Follow her on Twitter: @hannahalbarazi.