Feds say terrorism-related arrests made in 2 states

Feds say terrorism-related arrests made in 2 states

Authorities have said that two people with ties to the Islamic State have been arrested on terrorism-related charges in California and Texas, including a refugee from Syria who is charged with lying to federal investigators about his travels to the civil war in that country.

The arrests feed a national debate over whether the United State is doing enough to screen refugees from Syria for terrorists from that nation.

Court documents say the men wanted to assist terrorist organizations affiliated with the Islamic State, though one man is accused of assisting a group that allied with Islamic State after he had returned to the United States.

A criminal complaint unsealed yesterday accuses Aws Mohammed Younis Al-Jayab, 23, of Sacramento, of traveling to Syria to fight and lying to investigators about it.

US Attorney Benjamin Wagner said in a statement that while Al-Jayab was potentially dangerous, there is no indication that he planned any attacks in the United States.

Meanwhile, the US Attorney's Office based in Houston, Texas, said late Thursday that Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan, 24, of Houston, was indicted Wednesday on three charges that he tried to provide material support to the Islamic State.

There is no indication from prosecutors that Al Hardan was a threat in the United States, but his arrest sparked immediate criticism of the Obama administration's refugee policies from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

"This is precisely why I called for a halt to refugees entering the US from countries substantially controlled by terrorists," Abbott said in a statement.

"I once again urge the President to halt the resettlement of these refugees in the United States until there is an effective vetting process that will ensure refugees do not compromise the safety of Americans and Texans."

Both men are Palestinians born in Iraq, authorities said.
The complaint in federal court in Sacramento said Al-Jayab came to the United States from Syria as a refugee in October 2012.

While living in Arizona and Wisconsin, he communicated on social media about his intent to return to Syria to fight for terrorist organizations and discussed his previous experience fighting against the regime in Syria.

When he was interviewed by citizenship officials, he lied about his travels and ties, the complaint alleges.

He left the United States in November 2013, but he came to Sacramento in January 2014, the FBI said in a 20-page affidavit.

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