Police arrested a Jordanian national, who allegedly lent support to the killing of Jews, for unlawfully possessing a firearm, according to multiple reports.
Sohaib Abuayyash, 20, was the individual whom FBI Director Christopher Wray referenced Tuesday during his testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security, FOX 26 Houston reported.
“Here in the United States, our most immediate concern is that violent extremists … will draw inspiration from the events in the Middle East to carry out attacks against Americans going about their daily lives … We’ve seen that already with the individual we arrested last week in Houston, who’d been studying how to build bombs and posted online about his support for killing Jews,” Wray said in part.
Abuayyash, who visited the U.S. for two months from Jordan in 2016, reentered the U.S. using a Palestinian passport in 2019 and applied for asylum in 2020, per FOX 26 Houston. While his asylum application was pending, Abuayyash reportedly received a two-year work authorization in August.
Abuayyash allegedly posted several photographs and videos of himself using what he referred to as “airsoft guns.” The FBI, however, disagrees with Abuayyash’s description of the weapons, per FOX 26. Abuayyash reportedly is not allowed to possess firearms based on his current legal status in the U.S.
“Abuayyash has been in direct contact with others who share a radical mindset, has been conducting physical training, and has trained with weapons possibly to commit an attack,” court documents alleged, ABC 13 Houston reported. He is reportedly currently in custody. (RELATED: Kathy Hochul Says ‘Person Of Interest’ In Custody After Threats To University Jewish Center)
“As the [Israel-Hamas] conflict continues, the FBI has seen an increase in reports of threats against Jewish, Muslim, and Arab communities and institutions, raising our concern that violent extremists and lone offenders motivated by or reacting to ongoing events could target these communities,” the FBI said, per ABC 13 Houston.