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Saudi Citizen Charged in Oklahoma With Concealing Attendance at Al Qaeda Training Camp

Wednesday, February 7, 2018 11:33
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Naif Abdulaziz M. Alfallaj, 34, a citizen of Saudi Arabia and a current resident of Weatherford, Oklahoma, has been arrested for visa fraud, and making false statements to the FBI by, among other things, concealing his application to and attendance at an al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan in late 2000.
Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Edward C. O’Callaghan, Acting U.S. Attorney Robert J. Troester of the Western District of Oklahoma and Special Agent in Charge Kathryn Peterson of the FBI’s Oklahoma City Division made the announcement.
Based on a criminal complaint signed in the Western District of Oklahoma and unsealed today, Alfallaj was taken into custody by the FBI without incident on February 5.  A grand jury returned a three-count indictment against him today.  He was arraigned this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Bernard M. Jones and is currently in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.
According to the complaint, the FBI found 15 of Alfallaj’s fingerprints on an application to an al Qaeda training camp, known as al Farooq, which was one of al Qaeda’s key training sites in Afghanistan.  The document was recovered by the U.S. military from an al Qaeda safe house in Afghanistan.  The document is also alleged to include an emergency contact number associated with Alfallaj’s father in Saudi Arabia.  Alfallaj is alleged to have first entered the U.S. in late 2011 on a nonimmigrant visa based on his wife’s status as a foreign student.  According to the complaint, he answered several questions on his visa application falsely, including whether he had ever supported terrorists or terrorist organizations. 
The indictment returned today charges two counts of visa fraud.  Count One alleges that from March 2012 to the present, Alfallaj possessed a visa obtained by fraud.  Count Two alleges he used that visa in October 2016 to apply for lessons at a private flight school in Oklahoma.  The third count in the indictment charges Alfallaj with making a false statement to the FBI during a terrorism investigation when he was interviewed and denied ever having associated with anyone from a foreign terrorist group. 
If convicted of visa fraud, Alfallaj faces up to ten years in prison on each count.  He also faces up to eight years in prison for making a false statement involving international terrorism.  Deportation proceedings are expected to commence at the conclusion of these criminal proceedings.  Reference is made to the criminal complaint and the indictment for further information.  The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.  An indictment is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
This case is the result of an investigation by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes members from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Secret Service, the Transportation Security Administration, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the University of Oklahoma Police Department, the Oklahoma City Police Department, and the Edmond Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matt Dillon and Scott E. Williams of the Western District of Oklahoma and Trial Attorney C. Alexandria Bogle of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting the case.


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