Allegations scaled back for Virginia man indicted in Metro bomb threat on Facebook
Wednesday, March 9, 2011; 10:40 PM
An Arlington County man who had been charged with threatening on his Facebook page to put pipe bombs on Metro cars or in Georgetown at rush hour pleaded guilty Wednesday to making a threat against another person on the Internet, after the allegations against him were scaled back.
Awais Younis, 25, had pleaded not guilty to one count of making a threat via interstate communications. But federal agents searched his home and found nothing that would have allowed him to carry out that threat, lawyers said in court. Younis's attorney, Frank Salvato of Alexandria, said his client had "no intention of ever harming anyone."
"The court and the government acknowledged that this was an isolated heated exchange with no actual or intended harm to anyone," Salvato said.
Judge T.S. Ellis III ordered Younis to serve two years of supervised release and credited him for having served three months in jail. Younis was expected to be released Wednesday from federal custody.
"The time-served sentence and a short period of supervision are more than enough in this case, and my client is looking forward to resuming his normal life," Salvato said.
On Wednesday, Younis pleaded guilty to sending the messages, which were perceived as threatening, in December to another Facebook user. He was charged with one count of interstate communication of a threat.
In a previous court filing, prosecutors said federal agents became aware of Younis in November after a Facebook user in Louisiana tipped them off to discussions with Younis, who was using the name Sundullah "Sunny" Ghilzai online. The person who had exchanged messages online with Younis on Facebook again went to the FBI in December and described how agitated and angry Younis seemed in an online chat.
"You are sticking your nose where it doesn't belong into something bigger than you and I," Younis wrote. "that is the problem with Americans they cant leave well enough alone until something happends then they sit there wondering why we dropped the twin towers like a bad habit hahaha."