Friday, October 20, 2023

Texas-based Palestinian Asylum Applicant Arrested After TikTok Shows Him Using a Rifle; Federal Authorities Suspect Potential 'Attack' Plans

United States District Court Southern District of Texas

Palestinian Asylum Applicant in Texas Arrested for Displaying Firearm Activity on TikTok; Alleged Plans of 'Attack' Under Investigation

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The individual in question, Sohaib Abuayyash, 20, arrived in the US on a tourist visa in 2019 and later sought asylum in 2020.

Texas authorities apprehended a 20-year-old Palestinian asylum applicant named Sohaib Abuayyash on Thursday after he uploaded TikTok videos of himself discharging firearms, including a weapon resembling an AR-15. The prosecutors suggest he had been communicating with individuals of extreme views and could have been preparing for a hostile act.

The video that brought Abuayyash under the FBI's radar, dated Aug. 11, 2023, appeared to depict him discharging a rifle and multiple semi-automatic handguns at a Houston shooting range. The clip, which gained attention on TikTok, seemingly displays Abuayyash releasing 15 shots from the semi-automatic gun, followed by using two sidearms, as stated in the federal legal document disclosed Friday in Texas.

Around the two-minute mark of the footage, Abuayyash is seen holding the rifle, overlaid with an Arabic phrase that, when translated, reads: “Is it permissible to wed a weapon?”, as per the court records.

United States District Court Southern District of Texas

In a declaration submitted Thursday, an FBI representative stated that Abuayyash “has established direct links with individuals with extremist views, has been participating in physical workouts, and has undergone weapons training, perhaps with an intent to carry out an assault.”

However, the declaration doesn't specify which "extremist views" Abuayyash might adhere to or furnish specifics regarding any potential assault he might have been contemplating.

His visa conditions did not grant him the right to access or own firearms, as highlighted in the declaration.

Further examination revealed that, apart from his TikTok post, Abuayyash had also visited another shooting range in Saddle River Spring, Texas, accompanied by two individuals identified in legal papers as “AJ” and “MD.”

Upon analyzing security videos from the range on Sept. 17, 2023, agents observed Abuayyash discharging nine shots from a modern handgun equipped with optics, which AJ had purchased just a week earlier, as indicated in the declaration.

Charges against Abuayyash include illegal possession of a firearm by a non-citizen granted entry to the US on a temporary visa.

Following his preliminary hearing in a Houston federal court on Friday, he was detained, with another hearing set for the coming Tuesday.

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  1. If hes a T, he should be pounded hard. If he was just trying to feel freedom, then FBI is bad. Just remember that direct ties means anything they want it to mean. Imagine a family member goes on a self snuff against some israeli cars and because of that you're arrested.

  2. Non citizens on a visa are not allowed to own firearms per the article. I’m good with that

  3. Rifle looks like a Sig MCX Spear.
    $4000+ less optics.

  4. Hahaha…
    Be it in your hand, your sitting at it or it’s wired into your tv.

    This thing, is not your friend.
    At best, it’s a CI working against you.