A Jordanian national living in Texas allegedly trained with others of a ‘radical mindset’ after he illegally obtained firearms and was ‘plotting to attack’ Jews.
Sohaib Abuayyash, 20, was arrested on October 19 in Houston and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm.
Wray told Congress: ‘He has viewed specific and detailed content posted by radical organizations on the internet including lessons on how to construct bombs or explosive devices.
‘And that defendant has made statements to others that support the killing of individuals of particular religious faiths.’
Sohaib Abuayyash, 20, has been arrested over claims he illegally-possessed a firearm and has been accused of plotting to attack Jews
A TikTok video shared by Sohaib is said to show him at a firing range. The 20 year-old’s case was flagged in Congress by FBI director Christopher Wray
Abuayyash is pictured at a Texas firing range. He faces a federal charge of possession of a weapon by a prohibited person
A source from the FBI confirmed with Fox News that Wray was referring to Abuayyash in Congress.
Abuayyash is currently charged with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by someone with a nonimmigrant visa.
Details described in court documents allege he spoke of martyrdom in support of a religious cause, according to CBS News.
According to the outlet, U.S. Magistrate Judge Christina Bryan wrote: ‘He has viewed specific and detailed content posted by radical organizations on the internet including lessons on how to construct bombs or explosive device.’
Judge Bryan ordered that Abuayyash should be detained pending a trial, following a sealed hearing on the case.
Abuayyash had entered the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa that expired in 2019, according to court papers, but has since applied for asylum and obtained work authorization until 2025.
He has also been accused of posting images and videos of him holding and using firearms to his social media accounts.
Despite TikTok footage of him being accompanied with a caption that claimed the guns were airsoft, FBI investigators disagreed.
Investigators say the defendant, along with others, visited a handful of firing ranges.
Security camera footage from one of those facilities obtained by the FBI purportedly showed Abuayyash and an unnamed individual possessing and firing multiple rifles and pistols, according to charging documents.
Despite the majority of the charges occurring prior to the Hamas attack on Israel last month, Director Wray referenced the case as part of a warning.
He warned that Hamas’ attacks on Israel would inspire attacks throughout the world.
‘We assess that the actions of Hamas and its allies will serve as an inspiration the likes of which we haven’t seen since ISIS launched its so-called caliphate years ago,’ Wray told the Senate Homeland Security Committee.
He said the war in Gaza ‘has raised the threat of an attack against Americans in the United States to a whole ‘nother level.’
Still Wray said the FBI had ‘no information to indicate that Hamas has the intent or capability to conduct operations inside the US,’ but added ‘we cannot and do not discount that.’
Smoke and flames rise following an Israeli strike on the Tal Al Hawa neighborhood in Gaza City
FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing on threats to the United States, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. October 31
He noted that in the past few weeks foreign terrorist organizations have called for attacks on Americans and the West.
‘Al-Qaeda issued its most specific call to attack the US in the last five years,’ Wray said. ‘Hezbollah has threatened to attack US interests in the Middle East.’
He added that ISIS is ‘seeking to capitalize on this moment, galvanize supporters’ and Islamist extremists alone or in ‘small groups’ could use the war as ‘inspiration’ to plan attacks within the U.S.
Wray also warned of increasing Jewish hate crimes throughout the US and world.
‘The Jewish community is uniquely, uniquely targeted by pretty much every terrorist organization across the spectrum,’ he said.
An Israeli artillery unit fires during a military drill in the annexed Golan Heights near the border with Lebanon
A picture taken from the Israeli side of the border with the Gaza Strip on November 2, 2023
‘When you look at a group that makes up 2.4 percent roughly of the American population, it should be jarring to everyone that that same population accounts for something like 60 percent of all religious-based hate crimes. And so they need our help.’
Meanwhile Israel’s Defense Force is pushing deeper into Gaza in its bloody campaign to eradicate Hamas after the October 7 attack that killed some 1,400 Israelis.
The Palestinian death toll in the Israel-Hamas war has reached 9,061, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza.
In the occupied West Bank, more than 130 Palestinians have been killed in violence and Israeli raids.
As Israeli troops advance into Gaza, diplomatic efforts have intensified to bring about a brief pause in the conflict.