NEWARK, NJ – A New Jersey woman has been charged by the Department of Justice for her part in the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Building. Feds say she was on their radar since November.
According to the FBI, during national news coverage of the event, video footage which appeared to be captured on mobile devices of persons present on the scene depicted evidence of violations of local and federal law, including scores of individuals inside the U.S. Capitol building without authority to be there.
One of those people, feds say was Lebanese born Rasha Abual-Ragheb, of New Jersey. During the FBI’s investigation, they found a Facebook account with the display name Rasha Abu that participated in Facebook and Telegram group chats involving the New Jersey chapter of the American Patriot 3%.
In the Facebook chat, user Rasha Abu advised the revolution will start not by standing by but by standing up. In addition, she advised civil war is coming and they need to show support, and rise up and fight for our Constitution.
An Open Source research identified an individual named Rasha Abual-Ragheb, residing at a specific address in New Jersey, as a possible user of the Facebook account. As part of the FBI’s assessment of Rasha Abual-Ragheb, she was interviewed. During the interview, she advised she was a Trump supporter, attended Trump rallies, and was blocked from making posts on Facebook and Twitter for pro-Trump postings.
Additionally, Rasha AbualRagheb advised she was born in Lebanon and fled to Jordan when she was a child due to the civil war there. She further advised that she has lived in the United States for 21 years and she provided the interviewing agents with her telephone number.
The FBI investigation revealed a name variant of Rasha Abu. A driver’s license photo obtained through the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission for Rasha Abual-Ragheb was a match for the profile picture of the Facebook account provided by an FBI informantnt. In addition, FBI Newark Division (FBI Newark) recently obtained, through the legal process, records associated with the Facebook account with the display name Rasha Abu. The Facebook records link the Rasha Abu account to the same phone number that Rasha Abual-Ragheb provided the interviewing agents in November of 2020.
FBI Newark also recently obtained, through legal process, records associated with the phone number provided by Rasha Abual-Ragheb, which confirmed Rasha Abual-Ragheb was in fact the subscriber. On January 7, 2021, CHS 1 reported to the FBI Philadelphia Division (FBI Philadelphia) that he/she observed Rasha Abual-Ragheb’s Facebook page (display name Rasha Abu) showing Rasha Abual-Ragheb at the protest in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021 (attachment 1). A post made by Rasha Abual-Ragheb on the Facebook page revealed she checked into the Kimpton George Hotel.
In another Facebook post, Rasha Abual-Ragheb posted the following: “Just left Dc… I got tear gas, paper spray!!! But I was part of the history. We the people won’t take it anymore. Antifa were between us, i and other MAGA people told Dc police, get that Antifa they didn’t do anything. He had black metal chair… The police would order to use full force on us from the beginning when we start marching to the capital, the use teargas 3 and pepper spray and rubber bullet, they shot the woman that was standing peacefully without a a weapon, they hit women’s kids. They hit people with the pat metal one.”
On January 6, 2021, another FBI informant advised the FBI Philadelphia that on the night of January 6, 2021, they encountered a woman on the sidewalk of the Kimpton George Hotel in Washington D.C. dressed in distinct clothing and making a scene. The woman on the sidewalk identified herself as “Rasha,” admitted to being in the U.S. Capitol, and showed the informant a picture of herself in the building. That ifnormant further reported Rasha Abual-Ragheb said she was in the U.S. Capitol and saw a woman get shot. On January 12, 2021, a photo of Rasha in the U.S. Capitol, was provided to U.S. Capitol Police Officer Mark Smoot, who is detailed to the U.S. Capitol Police First Responders Unit (FRU).
The FRU is a unit assigned to the U.S. Capitol building itself. Officer Smoot advised he was certain the provided picture was taken inside of the U.S. Capitol building. Officer Smoot further advised the background in the picture appeared to be taken inside the first floor on the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol building.
The archway and white shutters in the picture made him certain this picture was taken inside the U.S. Capitol. Officer Smoot provided pictures of the location from inside the U.S. Capitol building described herein, which depict the same molding, archway, and white shutters as the picture provided by the informant.
Based on the evidence, she was charged with Knowingly Entering or Remaining in the U.S. Capitol without lawful entry, engining in disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.