DOJ indicts Syrian national on four felony gun charges
By Christen Smith
The Department of Justice indicted a Syrian national last week on four felony gun-related counts in Indiana.
Majd Al Helwani, 24, of Fishers — a suburb 20 miles northeast of Indianapolis — faces federal charges for unlawfully purchasing and possessing firearms and lying on background check forms, according to court documents filed July 18.
“Aggressively prosecuting individuals who are not lawfully permitted to purchase or possess firearms is a cornerstone of a safe society,” said U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler. “We are grateful to the collaborative partners who brought this to our attention and encourage all citizens to adhere to the campaign: If you see something, say something.”
Investigators said Helwani drew the suspicion of a security system repairer during a service call at his residence in November 2017. The repairer told FBI agents Helwani acted “very paranoid” about protecting his apartment — despite its lack of any furniture or valuables inside — and refused to install wireless internet so he could monitor it remotely.
The repairer returned to the apartment on several more service calls over the next month, according to investigators, and noticed Helwani kept a black rifle bag in the closet of the master bedroom. Helwani allegedly complained about struggling to fix