SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - One of two Iraqi-born men arrested earlier this month on federal terrorism-related charges pleaded not guilty in Sacramento on Friday to a charge of lying about traveling to Syria and assisting a militant group.
Aws Mohammed Younis al-Jayab, 23, who was arrested in Sacramento, is accused of making a false statement when he said he had gone to Turkey to visit his grandmother in late 2013 and 2014. Prosecutors say that after going to Turkey, al-Jayab went to Syria and became a member of a "rebel group, militia or insurgent organization."
Al-Jayab was one of two men from the Middle East who came to the United States as refugees and were arrested on federal terrorism charges earlier this month in California and Texas.
Both men are Palestinians 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.
He pleaded not guilty on Jan. 13 to charges he supplied support to the militant group Islamic State and lied to U.S. officials, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Al-Jayab came to the United States in 2012 as a refugee from Syria, court documents said.
(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)