Heights man denied bond, second competency exam ordered

By ZEINAB NAJM
Times-Herald Newspapers

HEIGHTS — A Dearborn Heights man said to have made threats to shoot up a Detroit church in support of ISIS remains in jail after he was denied bond.

U.S. District Court Judge George Caram Steeh also ordered a second competency exam because the psychologist who conducted the first exam was not qualified to evaluate Khalil Abu-Rayyan’s mental competency.

Abu-Rayyan’s attorney, Todd Shanker, filed a complaint regarding unreleased text messages from the FBI along with the results of the first competency exam.

According to the complaint, clinical psychologist Lyle Danuloff found that “he does not exhibit symptoms of any psychological disorder or deficit, and possess a ‘very low’ level of dangerousness.”

In a court brief filed April 15, Shanker wrote “the government resorted to a mind-boggling double-team against Rayyan with not one, but two young, fictitious Islamic women, who mercilessly manipulated him and pretended to be potential wives to Rayyan, a young U.S. citizen with no prior criminal history before the government’s aggressive involvement in his personal life.”

On April 12, prosecutors filed a motion opposing the March 29 bond request from the defense.

“There is clear and convincing evidence that he is a danger to the community based on his expressed support of a designated foreign terrorist organization, his continually voiced desire to engage in a martyrdom operation, his fascination with death and killing, particularly beheadings, his on-going mental health issues, his possession and attempted possession of firearms, his drug use, and his prior assaultive conduct,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald Waterstreet said in the motion.

Abu-Rayyan, 21, is not facing terrorism charges for his threats to shoot up a church in Detroit in support of ISIS which he made in May 2015.

He was under surveillance of the FBI when he posted footage and tweets about ISIS beheading videos on his Twitter account.

A photo posted also showed Abu-Rayyan holding a semi-automatic pistol, while making a common ISIS gesture in two others.

A grand jury declined to arraign Abu-Rayyan with terrorism based charges in February.

Abu-Rayyan is being held in jail until his trial for an attempt to carry a concealed weapon and possession of controlled substance, marijuana.

He is scheduled to face trial at the federal level for the charges at 9 a.m. June 21 in front of U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh.

(Zeinab Najm can be reached at zeinabnajm92@gmail.com.)