Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri (Al-Qaeda video)

Saudi Man Pleads Guilty to Visa Fraud, Lying to FBI About al-Qaeda Training

A 35-year-old Saudi man pleaded guilty in federal court Friday for making false statements to federal investigators about attending an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan and falsifying his visa documentation. Naif Abdulaziz M. Alfallaj, who has been in custody since February, faces up to 18 years in prison and could be fined up to $500,000.

Alfallaj, who was living in Weatherford, Okla., at the time of his arrest, moved from Saudi Arabia to the U.S. with his student wife on a non-immigrant visa in late 2011. He spent over six years in the U.S. before investigators in Afghanistan matched 15 of his fingerprints on an application from the late 2000s to the “al Farooq” al-Qaeda training camp.

“The document is also alleged to include an emergency contact number associated with Alfallaj’s father in Saudi Arabia,” the Justice Department said in a release.

Alfallaj pleaded guilty to one count of visa fraud and one count of making a false statement to the FBI relating to international terrorism. He also admitted using that same false visa information to take lessons at a private flight school in Oklahoma.

As part of his plea agreement, Alfallaj will be removed from the U.S. after serving his sentence.

Multimedia journalist James Cullum has reported for over a decade to newspapers, magazines and websites in the D.C. metro area. He excels at finding order in chaotic environments, from slave liberations in South Sudan to the halls of the power in Washington, D.C.

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