According to authorities, two Iraqi-born refugees were arrested in California and Texas on separate terrorism offenses. A criminal complaint that was unsealed on Thursday shows "Sacramento resident Mohammed Younis Al-Jayab, 23, allegedly traveled to Syria in 2014 to fight alongside terrorists and then covered up the trip when interviewed by U.S. officials."
Al-Jayab came to the U.S. as a refugee from Syria in 2012 and wrote about his intent to return to Syria on social media. He received money transfers to fund his travel.
“America will not isolate me from my Islamic duty. Only death will do us part. My only wish is to see you and start the action,” he wrote in April 2013 to an unidentified contact likely located in Syria, the complaint said.
He discussed his intent to travel back to Syria and weapons training with an unidentified man in Texas.
"O God, grant us martyrdom for your sake while engaged in fighting and not retreating,” he wrote in one message to the Texas man.
U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner of the Eastern District of California said that the Al-Jayab did not appear to be planning any terrorist attacks in the U.S.
“While he represented a potential safety threat, there is no indication that he planned any acts of terrorism in this country," Wagner said.
In Texas, authorities arrested Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan, "in conjunction with a three-count indictment alleging he attempted to provide material support to ISIS, made false statements to government officials and unlawfully applied for naturalization."
“Based on the facts, as we know them, today’s action may have prevented a catastrophic terror related event in the making and saved countless lives,” Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said in a statement.