California Capital Hosts Refugee Case

Iraqi refugee lied about activities abroad.

The question of refugees and their links to terrorism got a showcase last Friday in California, a state where on December 2 in San Bernardino Islamic terrorists Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik gunned down 14 people. The recent case centers on Iraqi refugee Aws Mohammed Younis Al-Jayab, 23, who came to the United States in 2012 and drew a rather favorable review in the Sacramento Bee.

Aws Mohammed Younis Al-Jayab “appears to be a typical young man trying to make it in America,” said the January 9 piece by Sam Stanton, Stephen Magagnini and Denny Walsh. The American River College student had hopes of studying computer science and held a job at the Ramada Inn. Aws Mohammed Younis Al-Jayab, “evidently likes sleek, fast cars, judging from the many photos he posted on Facebook, and has a penchant for posing before the Golden Gate Bridge and elsewhere wearing the chic clothing you might see young hipsters wearing at any American shopping mall.” But according to the feds, the Iraqi refugee “has another, darker side.”

In 2014 Aws Mohammed Younis Al-Jayab told everybody he was going to visit his grandmother in Turkey but really went “to join up and fight with terror groups in Syria before returning to this country and settling in Sacramento.” The refugee is charged with lying about what he did while abroad. As the Bee writers had it, he was “marched into an eighth-floor courtroom at the federal courthouse,” with his arms and legs shackled.

Judge Carolyn Delaney ordered the refugee held without bail. His lawyer Benjamin Galloway told the court there was no indication that Aws Mohammed Younis Al-Jayab planned any acts of terror in this country or sought to harm anyone. A statement by U.S. Attorney Ben Wagner described the Iraqi refugee as a “potential safety threat.”

Local CAIR director Basim Elkarra told reporters he had surveyed local mosques and “no one recognizes this guy.” Neither did anyone at the Salam Islamic Center know Aws Mohammed Younis Al-Jayab, who had participated in local Muslim festivities. Basim Elkarra is now the Islamic spokesman of choice in Sacramento. The previous incumbent was Imam Mohamed Abdul-Azeez, spiritual leader of the Sacramento Area League of Associated Muslims (SALAM). In 2009 the FBI gave Abdul Azeez its Community Leadership Award for “preventing violence, creating understanding, bringing people together,” FBI special agent Drew Parenti said at the time.

After the Boston Marathon attack in 2013, Abdul Azeez expressed “deepest condolences to the families of the victims of today’s explosions in Boston.” But the imam was “weary of having to deal with this pressure all the time, whenever something stupid happens in the world. I feel similar to a gun owner worried about gun laws all the time because people are shooting people, or a Jew who has to worry about the atrocities being committed in Israel.” The whole thing, Abdul Azeez said, “has a fishy stench to it,” and he questioned the Islamic credentials of “these two kids,” the Tsarnaev brothers, who perpetrated the attack.

Mohammed Abdul Azeez is now president of the Tarbiya Institute in the Sacramento-area community of Carmichael. Tarbiya “denotes a comprehensive process of personal progress, whereby an individual grows spiritually, intellectually and socially to achieve a godly life. In the context of Islamic work, its about helping individuals acquire the needed skills and knowledge base through a structured educational process to achieve harmony between their divine obligations and worldly responsibilities.” Tarbiya’s vice-president of business and marketing is Sherif Aziz, Mohammad’s brother, who “recently decided to move to Sacramento” to “further Islamic work in the U.S.”

Sacramento also hosted the proceedings against Nicholas Teausant, a Californian who sought to join ISIS and spoke of bombing a “Zionist” daycare center. On December 1, a day before the San Bernardino attack, Teausant pleaded guilty to supporting a terrorist organization. He faces 15 years in prison and will be sentenced on March 8. Already serving time on similar charges is Hamid Hayat, a Californian who attended terrorist training camps in Pakistan.

Aws Mohammed Younis Al-Jayab, meanwhile, was not alone in court on January 8. According to the Sacramento Bee story, his brother Samer Mohammed Al-Jayab, 19, faced charges of possessing stolen goods in Milwaukee, including cell phones he had allegedly purchased from an FBI source. Unlike his older brother, Samer Mohammad gained release on bail. His interpreter told reporters he might have difficulty making a court appearance in Milwaukee because he is constantly delayed by security checks.