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Palestinian asylum seeker arrested in Texas on gun charge, allegedly was planning to attack Jews

Sohaib Abuayyash is set to appear for his arraignment Nov. 13.

Published: November 4, 2023 12:47pm

A 20-year-old Jordanian citizen was arrested in Houston, Texas, for illegal possession of a firearm and was allegedly planning an attack on Jews, the FBI confirmed Friday. 

According to a report from KHOU 11 News Houston, Sohaib Abuayyash was in the U.S. on a tourist visa, but overstayed that visa and was in the country illegally for months before applying for asylum. 

The United States Attorney's Office in the Southern District of Texas put out a press release Friday saying that Abuayyash is set to appear for his arraignment Nov. 13.

"According to the criminal complaint filed upon his arrest, Abuayyash entered the United States on a nonimmigrant visa, which expired in 2019, and has allegedly been in direct contact with others who share a radical mindset," the release reads. "The charges further allege he has been conducting physical training and has trained with weapons to possibly commit an attack."

CNN reports that when FBI Director Christopher Wray, during his Senate testimony this week, said the FBI arrested a man “who’d been studying how to build bombs and posted online about his support for killing Jews,” he was referring to Abuayyash. 

A law enforcement source told the outlet that he was “plotting to attack a Jewish gathering.”

The FBI is currently conducting an investigation. If convicted, Abuayyash could face up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. 

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