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Arkansas man charged with helping terrorist group

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A Yemeni national living in Arkansas has been charged with providing support to a terrorist organization.

The U.S. Department of Justice said Bilal al-Rayanni was charged Thursday with supporting al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula between October and December of 2014 while he was in Yemen.

The 28-year-old was initially charged on July 11 with making a false statement on a passport application in May. According to the original complaint, he allegedly used the name Bilal Kassim Alawdi, which he had been using on passport documentation since he was a small child.

Al-Rayanni is a resident of Helena-West Helena, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) east of Little Rock. He’s set to be arraigned Thursday.

Al-Rayanni’s lawyer could not be reached for comment.

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