USA v. Al Fawadi, Chasib Hafedh Saadoon
As'ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH)
Chasib Hafedh Saadoon Al Fawadi, an Iraqi citizen residing in Geddes, New York, was sentenced in May 2022 to serve 48 months in federal prison for his convictions for making false statements in a U.S. immigration application for permanent residence, and making false statements to U.S. Immigration officials during an oral interview for permanent residency. As part of his guilty plea, Al Fawadi admitted that in a written application mailed to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in Syracuse, New York, in June 2017 he falsely denied being a member of any group engaged in violent activities. Al Fawadi's statement was false because since after his 26th birthday while living in Iraq, he was a member of and affiliated with As'ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH), an Iranian-backed Shiite militia and paramilitary organization. Al Fawadi also admitted that he falsely reaffirmed his previous written statements during an in-person oral interview with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in Syracuse in April 2019. Al Fawadi's participation in AAH—a group which since has been formally designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. Department of State—included travel to Syria in 2013. The purpose of the travel was apparently to engage in combat operations in support of the Syrian regime that less than a month before Al Fawadi arrived, killed over 1,400 of its own citizens in the Ghouta chemical weapons attack. Al Fawadi concealed his travel to Syria, Iran, and Jordan when he applied for refugee classification and again in his application for permanent resident status.