A Saudi Arabian national living in Oklahoma pled guilty to visa fraud in federal court last week, having lied to federal authorities about his attendance at an al-Qaeda terrorist training camp in Afghanistan in 2000.
An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) press release announced that Naif Abdulaziz M. Alfallaj had pled guilty to charges of visa fraud and lying to an FBI agent. Alfallaj had been arrested back in February after a lengthy national security investigation. Alfallaj’s fingerprints had been identified on an application to al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan recovered by the U.S military, known as ‘al-Farooq.’ An emergency contact listed on the application was traced back to Alfallaj’s father in Saudi Arabia.
Alfallaj stated on the application that he wanted to be “a mujahid for the sake of God.” The charges against Alfallaj place him at the terrorist training camp in September of 2000, where he would have trained in the use of firearms, explosives and chemical weapons. The camp, located outside of Kandahar, Afghanistan, was where some of the 9/11 hijackers underwent training.
Alfallaj’s apparent Islamist views don’t seem to have prevented him from going through a legal process to enter the United States on a nonimmigrant visa, eligible on the basis of his wife’s application for a student visa. A DOJ press release described Alfallaj as “having answered several questions on his visa application falsely,”
Alfallaj also made an application to a flight school in the United States, incurring another criminal charge on the basis of using his fraudulently-obtained nonimmigrant visa to do so.
Between the charges of lying to the FBI and visa fraud, Alfallaj faces up to 18 years of prison and $250,000 in fines. He will be sentenced in 90 days, and already agreed to an order of removal from the United States as a stipulation of his guilty plea.
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