Saudi Who Attended Al Qaeda Camp Is Arrested in Oklahoma

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Naif Abdulaziz M. Alfallaj, 35, a citizen of Saudi Arabia and a former resident of Weatherford, Oklahoma, has pleaded guilty to visa fraud and making a false statement to the FBI by, among other things, concealing his application to and attendance at an al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan in late 2000.

On Feb. 5, Alfallaj was taken into custody by the FBI without incident, based on a criminal complaint signed in the Western District of Oklahoma. 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. Alfallaj has been detained in federal custody since his arrest on Feb. 5.

On Feb. 6, a grand jury returned a three-count indictment against Alfallaj. The indictment charged two counts of visa fraud. Count One alleged that from March 2012 to the present, Alfallaj possessed a visa obtained by fraud. Count Two alleged he used that visa in October 2016 to apply for lessons at a private flight school in Oklahoma. The third count charged him with making a false statement to the FBI involving an offense of international terrorism, when he denied ever having associated with anyone from a foreign terrorist group.

At today’s hearing, Alfallaj pleaded guilty to one count of visa fraud and one count of making a false statement to the FBI relating to international terrorism. In particular, he admitted he possessed a nonimmigrant visa from March 2012 to early 2018 that he obtained by fraud. He also admitted he falsely told agents during the December 2017 interview that he had never visited Afghanistan or participated in religious, tactical, or military training outside Saudi Arabia, and otherwise affirmed falsely that all of the answers on his nonimmigrant visa application were true and correct.

Alfallaj faces up to ten years in prison on the visa-fraud offense. He faces up to eight years in prison for making a false statement involving international terrorism. He could also be fined up to $250,000 on each count.

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