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Press Release

Complaint Unsealed Charging Two with Making Terrorist Hoax

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Today, Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma, and Jim Finch, FBI Special Agent in Charge, announced that a criminal complaint was unsealed this afternoon charging ISRAA JAFAR ALI, 19, from Oklahoma City, and SAJJAD HUSSEIN AL FEHAIDAH, 23, from Saudi Arabia, with making a false report of a purported suicide bomber targeting an unspecified Christian church near the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) campus in Edmond, Oklahoma.

According to the complaint, on September 19, 2014, Ms. Ali made a 911 call to the Edmond Police Department using the cell phone of her boyfriend, Mr. Al Fenaidah.  During that call, Ms. Ali reported that a terrorist act may occur in Edmond.  Specifically, according to the complaint, Ms. Ali identified an international student who she claimed to have overheard talking about committing a suicide bombing by strapping on a vest with nails that would explode and kill people at an unspecified Christian church near the UCO campus.  According to the complaint, Mr. Al Fenaidah assisted Ms. Ali by allowing her to use his cell phone to make the false report and by looking up biographical information about the student who was wrongfully accused of making the threat.

Based on the 911 call and report, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force vigorously investigated the threat until it was determined that it was, in fact, a hoax. 

Mr. Al Fenaidah was arrested yesterday and appeared in U.S. District Court this afternoon in Oklahoma City.  He was ordered detained until a detention/preliminary hearing on Monday, February 9, 2015, at 1:30: p.m. 

Ms. Ali was arrested today in Nashville, Tennessee, and appeared in U.S. District Court in Nashville.  She was ordered to appear in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City on February 20, 2015.

If convicted, each defendant faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  Reference is made to the criminal complaint and affidavit for further information.  The public is reminded this is simply a charge and both defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they are convicted in court.

The FBI and United States Attorney’s Office would like to thank the Edmond Police Department and the following members of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force who assisted in the investigation: the Oklahoma City Police Department, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the United States Secret Service, and the Department of Homeland Security. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ed Kumiega.

Updated February 9, 2015