A 21-year-old Dearborn Heights man was charged in a criminal complaint with possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of a controlled substance, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.
McQuade was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge David P. Gelios, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Detroit Division.
According to the complaint, on October 5, 2015, Khalil Abu-Rayyan purchased a .22 caliber revolver from a sporting goods store in Dearborn Heights. At the time of purchase, Abu-Rayyan made a false statement on ATF Form 4473, stating “no” in response to a question that asks whether the purchaser is an unlawful user of a controlled substance. On November 15, 2015, Abu-Rayyan attempted to purchase another pistol from a different sporting goods store, however, due to pending state charges, was unable to purchase the pistol. On that occasion, Abu-Rayyan again falsely stated on ATF Form 4473 that he was not an unlawful user of a controlled substance. Abu-Rayyan subsequently admitted to law enforcement that he was an habitual user of marijuana during the time period in which he purchased the .22 caliber revolver. Abu-Rayyan has also since pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana in a state case, and is currently awaiting trial in state court on the charge of carrying a concealed weapon in an automobile.
According to the complaint, photographs and postings on Abu-Rayyan's social media sites, as well as conversations with an undercover FBI employee, indicated his support for the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, a designated foreign terrorist organization, and his desire to conduct a martyrdom operation, including with the use of firearms.
On February 4, 2016, FBI agents arrested Abu-Rayyan on charges of being an unlawful user of a controlled substance (marijuana) in possession of a firearm which travelled in interstate commerce. Abu-Rayyan appeared in federal court in Detroit before United States Magistrate Elizabeth Stafford, and was assigned appointed counsel and ordered temporarily detained pending a hearing. That hearing was scheduled for today, but it was adjourned at the request of Abu-Rayyan because he has recently retained an attorney. The hearing is now scheduled for February 10.
"Threats of this nature, regardless of where they originate, or who they target, are always taken seriously," said David P. Gelios, Special Agent in Charge, FBI - Detroit Division. "The FBI acted quickly and comprehensively to investigate and arrest Mr. Rayyan upon the receipt of information that he posed a potential public safety threat. The investigative actions prior to his arrest included 24/7 surveillance to ensure there was a prompt response to any attempted violent act."
If convicted of the charged offense, Abu-Rayyan faces a term of up 10 years in federal prison.
A complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Trial cannot be held on felony charges in a complaint. When the investigation is completed a determination will be made whether to seek a felony indictment.