The United States has arrested two refugees from the Middle East on terrorism charges.
The two men who came to the US as refugees more than three years ago were arrested on federal charges in California and Texas, officials said on Thursday.
The detainees, arrested in Sacramento and Houston, were not involved in a single plot, but they may have been in contact with each other, Reuters cited a source familiar with the two cases as saying.
Both men are Palestinians who were born in Iraq.
The man arrested in Houston, Omar Faraj Saeed Al-Hardan, entered the United States as a refugee in November 2009, according to a court document.
In Sacramento, the US Department of Justice said Aws Mohammed Younis Al-Jayab, 23, came to the United States in 2012 as a refugee from Syria.
Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, a Tea Party Republican, cited the arrest in Houston as a reason why Texas has been seeking to block Syrian refugees from resettling there.
“This is exactly what we have repeatedly told the Obama administration could happen and why we do not want refugees coming to Texas. There are serious questions about who these people really are, as evidenced by today’s events,” Patrick said in a statement.
Now director and chief editor of the Attackthesystem.com tells Press TV that despite the fact that terrorism is a real and serious issue, one needs to approach such announced cases with skepticism as the charges brought against them are mostly vague.
Republican leaders have been calling on President Barack Obama, a Democrat, to move with caution in allowing refugees from Syria to resettle in the United States.
Al-Hardan was charged with providing material support to the ISIL militant group and for making false statements about ties to the group when seeking US naturalization, according to an indictment in federal court in Houston unsealed on Thursday.
In California, Al-Jayab was arrested on Thursday on a federal charge of making a false statement involving international terrorism, the US Department of Justice said.
The US attorney for Sacramento, Benjamin Wagner, said in a statement there were no indications Al-Jayab had planned any attacks in the United States.
In a criminal complaint, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said Al-Jayab lied about traveling back to Syria and about posting on social media his support for what the government said were terrorist groups.