Iraqi Refugee Under ISIS Control CHARGED For Planning To Bomb Houston Malls

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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An Iraqi refugee, who fled to the United States under the guise of searching for protection, is now facing charges for trying to blow up two malls in Houston in support of the Islamic State.

Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan, who originally came to the United States directly from Iraq in 2009, was in the middle of learning how to design electronic transmitters to set off the explosive devices remotely, The Associated Press reports.

Federal agents nabbed the 24-year old before he ever had the chance. He now faces three charges, but he entered a plea of not guilty to all of them Wednesday. The judge refused to let Hardan out on bond because of the risk that he would run, citing testimony from Homeland Security Special Agent Herman Wittliff. Supposedly Hardan was working with another Iraqi refugee based out of California. They used Facebook to communicate. Those communications reveal discussions about weapons training and future aspirations to leave the U.S. and head to Syria, where they would fight on behalf of ISIS.

Federal authorities were keeping a close watch on Hardan, even managing to obtain a conversation between him and his wife in October 2014.

“Once I get the passport I will leave America, I will leave. I will make a widow of you,” Hardan said in the recorded conversation, which was read aloud in the courtroom. “I will go to Syria. I am not wacko. I am not wacko. I am speaking the truth. I want to blow myself up. I want to blow myself up … I am against America.” Hardan was in the middle of applying for citizenship, having been granted permanent resident status in August 2011.

The defense attorney’s excuse was that Hardan did not explicitly say he wanted to bomb America, only that he stood opposed to America.

During the search of his house, law enforcement found an ISIS flag and a sworn oath to the terror group.

As soon as Hardan was arrested by the Department of Homeland Security on Jan. 6, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott blasted the Obama administration for its open-armed refugee policies. Abbott has been a central figure opposing any plans from the federal government to settle Syrian refugees in the U.S. Back in November, Abbott said he would refuse to accept Syrians into Texas.

“Given the tragic attacks in Paris and the threats we have already seen, Texas cannot participate in any program that will result in Syrian refugees — any one of whom could be connected to terrorism — being resettled in Texas,” Abbott wrote to President Barack Obama.

Hardan may face up to 25 years in prison.

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