An Auburn man who was apprehended by the FBI Monday in a years-long terrorism probe — in which he reportedly told FBI agents that he would execute a U.S. soldier if ordered to do so by an Islamic State group — was an Auburn University student enrolled in classes during the fall 2019 semester.
Preston Sparks, director of University Communications Services, confirmed to The Plainsman that Nayef Qashou, a dual Jordanian and United States citizen who grew up in Saudi Arabia, was a student.
According to The Associated Press, Qashou was charged with lying to the FBI and destroying records, as well as communicating with suspected terrorists.
National outlets reported FBI agents searched Qashou’s home in Auburn. In an unsealed affidavit, the FBI said Qashou arrived in the U.S. through Atlanta's airport in 2015 and planned to study nursing at a community college in Opelika.
Qashou agreed to interviews at the FBI's Auburn field office and voluntarily shared his desire to join fighters in Syria, according to The Associated Press, but he also tried to minimize his support of "radical Islamic ideology.”
Qashou is the latest in a series of Alabama college students being tied to alleged terrorist threats.
Last week, two University of South Alabama students were arrested on a charge of making a terrorist threat, and a former University of Alabama student pleaded guilty to concealment of terrorism financing after being charged by federal authorities a year ago.
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Auburn’s Tigermail e-mail system identifies Qashou as a junior in business administration.
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