Sinh Vihn Ngo Nguyen has been arrested and charged in Southern California federal court with providing false information in order to travel overseas to aid terrorists. The 24 year-old security guard was arrested Garden Grove was arrested Thursday in Santa Ana while waiting to board a bus to Mexico, the FBI said in a statement. Nguyen has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Since converting to Islam last year (according to his mother and brother) Nguyen has taken the name Hasan Abu Omar Ghanoum – you can view his still-live Facebook page here
The indictment is very vague, stating only that Nguyen provided false information about his name, place and date of birth, his family members’ names, and that he lied when he answered “no” to whether he had ever applied for or been issued a US passport book.
The government claims he provided this false information in order to provide aid to designated terrorist organization al-Qaeda, aid which seems to amount to Nguyen’s presentation of his own services. Nguyen is security guard and firearms enthusiast, he is licensed to carry a gun is CA.
Other than his conversion to Islam, perhaps his membership in the California State University, Fullerton Muslim Student Association, it is unclear what behavior prompted FBI suspicions, or what evidence they have against Nguyen. He remains in custody having been declared both a risk of flight and to public safety.
Another Abu Omar Ghannoum can be found on Facebook with a location given as Homs, Syria. OCWeekly has presented it as Nguyen’s, but this is not independently confirmed, and my inclination is to believe it is a mistake. If not, the posts might be some reason for alarm and might be a clue to Nguyen’s appearance on the FBI radar.