SACRAMENTO, Calif. — An Iraqi-born man living in California swore that “America will not isolate me from my Islamic duty” as he used a social media account associated with the Islamic State group to plot a return to Syria, according to court documents made public Friday.
Aws Mohammed Younis Al-Jayab was indicted in Sacramento Thursday on one federal charge that he lied to investigators about traveling to Syria to fight against the government there. He was arrested last week and remains jailed, though prosecutors and his attorney say there is no indication he intended harm within the United States.
Authorities say Al-Jayab fought in Syria as a teenager before coming to the United States and went to Syria again in late 2013 and early 2014, joining a group later affiliated with the Islamic State. He faces up to eight years in prison if he is convicted of falsely telling investigators he was visiting his grandmother in Turkey.