Arkansas Resident Indicted For Providing Support To Al-Qaida

Bilal Al-Rayanni. Photo Courtesy: WREG Memphis. 

According to a press release, a Helena-West Helena resident has been charged with providing support to a terrorist organization.

It was announced Friday that 28-year-old Bilal Al-Rayanni, a Yemeni national living in Arkansas, was charged by a federal grand jury with supporting a terrorist organization in Yemen as well as providing a false name on a passport.

The indictment alleges that Al-Rayanni, also known as Bilal Kassim Alawdi, provided material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization known as Al Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula.

According to the superseding indictment, Al-Rayanni provided support by working as personnel for the AQAP for three months in Yemen in 2014, knowing that the organization engaged in terrorism.

Al-Rayanni lived in Arkansas before traveling to Yemen in 2014. The indictment states that this activity happened within an extraterritorial jurisdiction of the United States, meaning that Al-Rayanni’s alleged criminal actions took place out of the country before he returned to Arkansas.

Al-Rayanni was originally charged on July 11, in a one-count indictment charging him with making a false statement on a passport application in May of this year, alleging that he used a false name on the application.

He will be arraigned on Thursday. Al-Rayanni has been held in federal custody since originally arrested on the passport charge on June 27, 2019.

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