FBI Arrests Jordanian Man Plotting Attack on Jews: Report

(KHOU 11 News Houston)
November 3, 2023

The FBI last month arrested a Jordanian man who police said talked about "martyrdom" and was planning to attack Jews.

Sohaib Abuayyash, a 20-year-old who applied for asylum after his U.S. visa expired, was "plotting to attack a Jewish gathering" in Houston, according to a law enforcement source quoted in a Thursday CNN report. The FBI arrested Abuayyash last month on firearm possession charges.

The news comes as anti-Semitism spikes following Hamas's Oct. 7 sneak attack on Israel. Just this week, police arrested a 21-year-old Cornell University student who threatened to "shoot up" a kosher dining hall on campus. Anti-Semitism has become so bad worldwide that many expatriate Israelis are returning to their war-torn country rather than remain abroad, the Washington Free Beacon reported Friday.

The FBI started investigating Abuayyash in August after agents saw social media videos of him "firing multiple firearms, including AR-style rifles," CNN reported. According to an Oct. 19 affidavit obtained by CNN, Abuayyash "has been in direct contact with others who share a radical mindset, has been conducting physical training, and has trained with weapons to possibly commit an attack."

U.S. Magistrate judge Christina A. Bryan, who on Oct. 24 issued an order of detention in Abuayyash's case, said that Abuayyash had "communications with another individual about martyrdom" while he talked about targeting a Jewish gathering, CNN reported.

Bryan said that Abuayyash also watched "lessons on how to construct bombs or explosive devices."

FBI director Christopher Wray during a Tuesday congressional hearing referenced Abuayyash while warning of a terrorist attack on the United States.

"Our most immediate concern is that violent extremists—individuals or small groups—will draw inspiration from the events in the Middle East to carry out attacks against Americans going about their daily lives," Wray said. "We've seen that already with the individual we arrested last week in Houston who'd been studying how to build bombs and posted online about his support for killing Jews."

Wray warned that Hamas's attack has caused the most significant terror threat to the United States in nearly a decade.