Thursday, January 06, 2011

Terrorism: Awais Younis Indicted for Making Threats Against Metrorail System Via Facebook

Awais Younis, 25, of Arlington, Virginia, was indicted by a federal grand jury today of threatening to bomb the Metro in statements he made on Facebook.

Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement. On Nov. 6, 2010, Younis was arrested on the same charge and has been detained pending further court action. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison if convicted.

According to the indictment, through a Facebook profile under the name of Sudullah “Sunny” Ghilzai, Younis chatted online with another individual. In November 2010, Younis allegedly threatened to injure the individual by harming her father, who lives in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area and rides Metrorail to work. The indictment alleges that Younis described to the individual a potential attack he planned to carry out against the Metro and warned “tell your father to cancel work tomorrow.”

The public should be reassured that Younis’ activities prior to his arrest were carefully monitored. Younis poses no current threat against Metrorail or the general public in the Washington, D.C., area.

This case was investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office. Assistant United States Attorney Ronald L. Walutes Jr. is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.

United States Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Virginia