Man who sought “sniper rifle” to return to Jordan

By Justin Wier


A Youngstown man who sought to purchase a “sniper rifle for training” at a Boardman sporting goods store will return to his home country of Jordan as part of his sentence.

Abdul Alabadi appeared Wednesday before Judge Solomon Oliver Jr. in U.S. District Court in Cleveland for sentencing after he pleaded guilty to making a false claim of citizenship.

In addition to entering an order of judicial removal, Judge Oliver sentenced Alabadi to two years’ probation.

At his November plea hearing in Youngstown, Alabadi told the court he wanted to return to Jordan to see his ailing mother.

Alabadi will not be allowed to return to the United States.

An employee at the Boardman sporting goods store reported Alabadi to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in September because he said it is uncommon for people to refer to firearms as “sniper rifles.”

The manager told an ATF agent Alabadi had previously purchased a 9 mm handgun and several knives at the store. When attempting to purchase the rifle, he had been in the store for two to three hours and had another person attempt to purchase the weapon for him, according to an affidavit filed in federal court.

Alabadi failed to identify himself as a noncitizen on an ATF form he filled out while purchasing the handgun, which led to the charges.

Noncitizens can purchase firearms, but they are required to list a U.S.-issued identification number.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David Toepfer said the government agreed not to bring further charges against Alabadi in exchange for the plea but declined to disclose the potential charges.

The federal affidavit also accused Alabadi of lying on immigration forms.

In his 2015 application for an immigrant visa, Alabadi said he had never been refused admission to the U.S. Records from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, however, show the State Department refused Alabadi visas once in 2007 and twice in 2012, according to the affidavit. He also admitted traveling to Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Morocco in the first 2012 visa application, but not the second.

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.