SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- A federal court ruled Tareq Abufayad, an Arab from Gaza accused of being a Hamas sympathizer, can be deported, but Abufayad said no country will take him.
Abufayad, 24, was on his way to join his family in San Mateo, Calif., from college in Egypt four years ago, when an airport customs agent questioned him and said he had a "confrontational" attitude, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday. Abufayad's computer was then searched, and allegedly jihadist materials and documents pertaining to the terrorist organization, Hamas, were discovered.
Abufayad has been in immigration jails since then, the Chronicle reported.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said immigration officials had concluded reasonably, based on a Department of Homeland Security agent's testimony, that Abufayad was likely to support or engage in terrorist activities if permitted into the United States. The court said Abufayad consorted with friends and relatives who were Hamas members and sympathizers, and as a computer science student, would be an "exceptionally attractive target for recruitment" by the terrorist group.
The court accepted government assurances that Abufayad may be deported safely to Gaza or the West Bank, but his lawyer, Love Suh, said Israel would not allow such a return.
Suh said immigration officials told her Saudi Arabia, Abufayad's birthplace, and Egypt, where he studied, have refused to accept him.
Suh said she was trying to get her client released from an immigration jail so he may stay with his family under electronic monitoring while the government tries to find a country that will allow him in.