CHICAGO – Federal prosecutors say a former California college student charged with providing material support for a terrorist group isn’t entitled to the sort of immunity that often applies to soldiers in national armies during wartime.
Aws Mohammed Younis Al-Jayab is accused of traveling overseas to fight with terrorist organizations and lying about his activities to immigration authorities. Lawyers for Al-Jayab argued that he should be entitled to immunity because he hooked up with the kind of Syrian rebels the U.S. has backed to topple the Bashar al-Assad regime, not with terrorists, and that the conflict is international in scope.
But in a Friday court filing, prosecutors said the Syrian conflict doesn’t qualify as international and that Al-Jayab was part of terrorist-linked groups, not a legitimate army.
Al-Jayab has pleaded not guilty in the case, which was brought in Chicago. He could face up to 15 years in prison.