It’s not just illegal invaders who commit horrific crimes, it’s student visa holders too.
Saudi students from at least eight different states have fled the U.S. after being charged or convicted of serious crimes including manslaughter, rape and possession of child porn, it has been revealed.
After the Saudi government was accused last month of helping five citizens studying in Oregon flee after they were accused of crimes, an investigation by The Oregonian has found similar cases in Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.
Another two cases were discovered in Nova Scotia, Canada.
So far, at least 17 young Saudi men, all studying at college, have disappeared following accusations or convictions, with what appears to be assistance from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Abdulrahman Semeer Noorah, 23, is believed to have fled on a private jet with the help of his country’s consulate in June last year just weeks before he was due to stand trial for killing a 15-year-old girl.
Ron Wyden said in a letter, first obtained by The Oregonian, to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker, Friday that the new theory from authorities that Noorah used an illicit passport to fly home on a private jet provided by the Saudi consulate should be reason to push forward with action.
Noorah’s case made international headlines in December following uproar over the killing of U.S.-based Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered inside the country’s consulate in Istanbul in October.
Officials believe Noorah escaped on a private jet with help from the Saudi consulate last year.
An investigation by The Oregonian revealed that four other Saudi students, who were studying in Oregon and facing similar circumstances to Noorah, have also fled the U.S. in recent years.
Courtesy of KOIN
All were young men studying at one of Oregon’s public colleges or universities with assistance from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Officials revealed in December that they were working to get Noorah extradited back to the U.S. after he removed his court-ordered ankle monitor and supposedly used an illegal passport to flee the country.
Noorah vanished just two weeks before he was due to stand trial on manslaughter charges for killing 15-year-old Fallon Smart with his car when she was crossing a road in Portland in August 2016.
The Saudi government only recently informed U.S. authorities that Noorah, who was a Portland Community College student, had returned to Saudi Arabia seven days after he went missing.
Noorah had been released from jail at the time on a $100,000 bond that the Saudi consulate paid. He vanished after being picked up from his college campus in a black SUV.
Now it has emerged that his was not an isolated case, with four other men also fleeing either before or after their cases went to court.
Portland State University student Suliman Ali Algwaiz was arrested in August 2016 after he drunkenly struck a homeless man with his car.
He fled the scene but was later sentenced to 90 days in jail.
Algwaiz was serving his sentence at weekends, but vanished before completing the 90 days and a warrant for his arrest is still outstanding.
Waleed Ali Alharthi, who was an Oregon State University student, was found in possession of child porn in April 2015.
Police found pornographic videos on his laptop involving children. He was arrested and booked on 10 counts of encouraging child sex abuse.
The consulate also put up the security deposit for his $500,000 bail.
Alharthi attended multiple court hearings related to his case but failed to attend a status check in April 2015.
His lawyer told the court that she feared he was dead but authorities learned he had flown from Mexico City to Paris the week before.
In a similar case a few years prior, Abdulaziz Al Duways was arrested in December 2014 over the rape of a female classmate at Western Oregon University.
Arrest affidavits related to his case show that the alleged victim accused Al Duways of giving her marijuana and whiskey shots prior to the attack.
She called 911 during the alleged attack and when police arrived they found her crying in his bed.
Al Duways had allegedly told her: ‘Tell them I’m your girlfriend’ and ‘I’ll give you anything. I’ll do anything if you don’t tell them’.
He was charged with rape and held on a $500,000 bond. Days later, a Saudi consulate official paid his bond and Al Duways vanished before he faced court.
In 2012, Oregon State University student Ali Hussain Alhamoud was charged with raping a young woman.
He was released on bail, which the Saudi government posted, and he flew back to Saudi Arabia that same day.
The first four cases were all represented by the same attorney, Ginger Mooney. She has represented at least nine Saudi students since 2014.
Mooney declined to comment in relation to the Oregonian investigation. Her attorney said any suggestion of unethical or improper conduct by her client was ‘completely unfounded’.
According to The Oregonian report, men from other states include Mohammed Zuraibi Al-Zoabi, of Nova Scotia, Canada.
He disappeared in December 2018 after being charged with sexual assault, assault and forcible confinement of a woman between 2015-17.
Sami Suliman Almezaini, of Gallatin County, Montana, is accused of raping his female roommate in July 2017, the same month he disappeared.
Saud Alabdullatif, of Spokane County, Washington, disappeared in May 2016. He was charged with forcible second-degree rape and unlawful imprisonment after he forced a woman to perform oral sex on him that month.
Faisal Altaleb, Gallatin County, Montana, disappeared November 2016, after he allegedly sexually assaulted a woman he linked up with at a bar.
Monsour Alshammari, of Utah County, Utah, was charged with first-degree rape and obstruction of justice.
He is accused of sexually assaulting a woman in February 2015. He disappeared in April 2015 and was captured later that month.
Abdullah Almakrami, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, disappeared one month after he allegedly sexually assaulted a woman at his apartment in March 2014.
Hani Alshammary, of Erie County, Pennsylvania, is accused of sexually assaulting a woman in April 2014.
He was charged with attempted rape, forcible compulsion, unlawful restraint, harassment and disorderly conduct.
Fahad Al Ghuwainem, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, disappeared in December 2014, two months after he allegedly raped a man with male accomplice after the three linked up at a gay bar.
Taher Ali Al-Saba, of Nova Scotia, Canada, disappeared January 2007. He was charged with sexually assaulting two children the year prior.
Siraj Marakeey, of Snohomish County, Washington, disappeared July 1991. He was accused of first-degree rape for sexually assaulting a child in June 1991.
Abdulrahman Ali Al-Plaies, of Greene County, Ohio, disappeared November 1988. Another student has not been identified.
In June 1988, he was accused of causing a fatal car crash that claimed the life of an elderly woman.
When the case involving Noorah came to light last year, Oregon senator Ron Wyden urged the U.S. government to investigate and to take action.
‘These are shocking claims in any event, but with the barbaric murder of US resident Jamal Khashoggi, they suggest a brazen pattern of disregard for the law and abuse of diplomatic privileges,’ Wyden wrote.
‘If they are accurate, they would require significant restrictions on Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic privileges and call into question the future of America’s bilateral relationship with the Saudis.’