update deskAntisemitism

Man FBI head said planned attacks on Jews goes on trial in Houston

A man who overstayed his tourist visa by years faces a gun charge but may have planned for much more.

A judge's gavel. Credit: Corgarashu/Shutterstock.
A judge's gavel. Credit: Corgarashu/Shutterstock.

The trial of Sohaib Abuayyash, 20, got underway in Houston on Monday. He is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by an alien; if convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

FBI director Chris Wray said during congressional testimony in October that the FBI had arrested a man—later identified as Abuayyash—who “had been studying how to build bombs and posted online about his support for killing Jews.”

Abuayyash came to the United States in 2019 on a tourist visa. After it expired he requested asylum, claiming to be a Jordanian citizen.

The defendant’s order of detention, which kept him in custody until his trial, stated he supported radical groups, viewed bomb-making materials, called for killing “individuals of particular religious faiths” and referred to a Houston religious group’s event as a potential terror target.

According to a police source speaking with CNN, Abuayyash had been “plotting to attack a Jewish gathering.”

During jury selection, lawyers quizzed potential jurors on their views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and gun rights.

Abuayyash has pleaded not guilty.

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war.

JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you.

The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support?

Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates