Prosecutors say 19-year-old Ibraheem Ahmed Al Bayati of Richmond used a false identity and joined a University of Houston student lecture online September second, and then interrupted and said "What does any of this have to do with the fact that UH is about to get bombed in a few days?"
Officials say Al Bayati twice uttered an Arabic phrase that means "the Islamic state will remain."
Former US Attorney Matthew Orwig says "It created fear in people and it also caused authorities to expend resources."
According to the criminal complaint, he then uttered an Arabic a phrase that means the "Islamic State will remain." Al Bayati then allegedly held up his index finger and repeated the phrase. He then left the call and was arrested two days later.
Orwig says "just as Mr. Bayati could take advantage of the new technology, law enforcement has the advantage of this being a technology that they know exactly who he is. He totally revealed himself."
Bayati is charged with making threats or conveying false information to destroy by means of fire or explosives and making a threat over interstate commerce. He made his initial court appearance Tuesday.
The US Attorney's office for the Southern District of Texas adds Al Bayati allegedly sought out ISIS supporters online, helped an individual make a "pledge" and, according to Al Bayati, was known as an ISIS recruiter. If convicted of making threats or conveying false information to destroy by means of fire or explosives, Al Bayati faces up to 10 years in federal prison in addition to a maximum of five years for making a threat over interstate commerce.