Bilal Al-Rayanni, 28, a Yemini national living in Helena-West Helena, has been charged with providing support to a terrorist organization in Yemen and providing a false name on a passport, the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Arkansas and the FBI announced today.
According to the announcement, Al-Rayanni, also known as Bilal Kassim Alawdi, provided support to Al Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula by working for the terrorist group for three months in 2014. He was living in Yemen at the time, but previously lived in Arkansas.
Al-Rayanni has been held on a federal charge of making a false statement on his passport since June. He was to be arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jerome Kearney today.
If convicted, Al-Rayanni faces a sentence of no more than 20 years on the support of a terrorist organization charge and not more than 15 years on providing a false statement on a passport. He could be fined $250,000 on each charge.
The FBI, the Little Rock Joint Terrorism Task Force and the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service investigated.