United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Gaafar Muhammed Ebrahim Al-Wazer, 25, of Altoona, PA, was charged by Indictment with three counts of making false statements to Task Force Officers with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Philadelphia Joint Terrorism Task Force. The defendant was previously arrested at his home in Altoona on November 7, 2019, pursuant to a Criminal Complaint, and has been detained since then, following a finding by U.S. Magistrate Judge Marilyn Heffley that he presented a risk of flight and danger to the community.

According to the Indictment and Criminal Complaint, FBI counterterrorism investigators questioned Al-Wazer, a Yemeni citizen, on May 17, 2016 about his affiliation with the Houthi movement, known formally as Ansar Allah. Ansar Allah is the armed rebel group that toppled Yemen’s government and has fought in an ongoing civil war there for years. Al-Wazer allegedly denied to the FBI that he was aligned with the Houthi movement, whose motto is “Allah is the greatest of all, Death to America, Death to Israel, Curse upon the Jews, Victory to Islam,” and further denied that he had ever fired a weapon or participated in military or militia training.

Read more: Department of Justice