An Egyptian student attending a U.S. flight school is facing deportation after threatening to kill Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on social media.
23-year-old Emad El-Din Ali Mohamed Nasr El Sayed moved to the U.S. in September 2015 on a student visa. He was learning to become a pilot, studying at the Los Angeles-based Universal Air Academy (UAA).
In February 2016, El Sayed took to Facebook, threatening the current GOP front-runner, Donald Trump.
“I am willing to kill Donald Trump and serve a life sentence,” El Sayed wrote. “The whole world would thank me for doing that.”
On Feb. 12, authorities arrested El Sayed for his post, deeming it a credible threat. The charges were later dropped by the prosecution, but resulted in the student’s visa being revoked.
El Sayed was swiftly picked up by immigration authorities and told that he was living in the country illegally. He is currently being held in an Orange County jail.
Hani Bushra, El Sayed’s attorney, claims that authorities had pressured the UAA to expel El Sayed, which voided his visa.
“This is an extraordinary step taken by the U.S. government to pressure a school owner to terminate the attendance of someone at a school,” Bushra told Egyptian Streets. He added that El Sayed was an exemplary student.
On March 1, El Sayed appeared in court, where he had made a public apology for his Facebook post. The judge ruled that he would be deported and denied him bond, deeming him dangerous.
“It seems like the government was not able to get a criminal charge to stick on him, so they used the immigration process to have him leave the country,” Bushra told the Associated Press.
“It’s just a stupid post,” El Sayed said. “You can find thousands of these every hour on Facebook and the media.”
The student added that while he was questioned, an immigration agent told him that a Muslim attending flight school in the U.S. was highly suspect.
El Sayed reportedly wrote the post out of anger over Trump’s comments toward Muslims, but claims to have immediately regretted writing the threat.
Crimes against Muslims have increased over the past year, including escalating threats against Mosques and women who wear the hijab, The Washington Post reports.
El Sayed’s next court appearance has been set for March 4.