Saudi citizen who attended terrorist training camp indicted

AP News
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Posted: Feb 06, 2018 7:41 PM

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A federal indictment returned Tuesday accuses a Saudi Arabian man of falsifying immigration paperwork when he failed to disclose he attended a terrorist training camp before entering the United States.

A federal grand jury in Oklahoma City handed up the indictment against Naif Abdulaziz M. Alfallaj, 34, of Weatherford, Oklahoma, who is charged with two counts of visa fraud and one count of making false statements. He has lived in Oklahoma since 2012.

Court records do not indicate whether Alfallaj is represented by an attorney.

The indictment alleges Alfallaj attended the al-Qaida-operated al Farooq terrorist training camp near Kandahar, Afghanistan, around September 2000 and filled out a form using a nickname. The FBI later found 15 of Alfallaj's fingerprints on the document after it was recovered by the U.S. military from an al-Qaida safe house in Afghanistan.

The document is also alleged to include an emergency contact number associated with Alfallaj's father in Saudi Arabia.

Authorities said Alfallaj entered the U.S. in late 2011 on a nonimmigrant visa based on his wife's status as a foreign student. The indictment said Alfallaj answered "no" on an immigration application when asked if he supported terrorist organizations or had received firearms or other specialized training.

Alfallaj is accused of obtaining his visa fraudulently and using the visa to apply for lessons at a private flight school in Oklahoma in October 2016, authorities said. Alfallaj is also accused of making a false statement during an FBI terrorism investigation when he denied associating with anyone from a foreign terrorist group.

Kathryn Peterson, head of the FBI in Oklahoma, said the charges are an isolated incident and the investigation has not uncovered other potential threats.

Alfallaj was arrested on Monday. He faces up to 10 years in prison on each count of visa fraud and up to eight years for making false statements. Authorities said Alfallaj is expected to face deportation proceedings once the criminal case is concluded.