Attempted murder suspect, former UI student Ali Younes flees to Jordan

Younes, who was scheduled to go to trial on May 16, has fled to the country of Jordan, the Johnson County Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.


Alejandro Rojas, News Reporter

Former University of Iowa student and attempted murder suspect Ali Younes has fled the U.S.,  the Johnson County Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

The attorney’s office released Tuesday that Younes fled to Jordan on May 6 using Jordanian travel documents to board a Royal Jordanian Airlines flight at O’Hare airport in Chicago, according to a press release.

Younes was scheduled to go to trial on May 16 to face charges of attempted murder, first-degree robbery, and first-degree theft. He had been placed on house arrest and was living with his parents in O’Brien County, Iowa, while awaiting his trial.

On May 6, Younes cut his ankle monitor, and the attorney’s office was made aware of the situation. Law enforcement had been searching for him in the days since and issued a warrant for his arrest.

In the press release, the attorney’s office also announced that Younes’ parents, Alfred and Lima Younes, were arrested for aiding and abetting Ali Younes’ escape.

Alfred Younes was arrested on May 9 in Omaha, Nebraska, while attempting to board a plane that was headed to Amman, Jordan. The release states he is awaiting extradition to Johnson County.

Lima Younes was also arrested on May 9 in Sioux County and is awaiting transport to Johnson County. Both parents have been charged with escape from custody and aiding and abetting, a class D felony.

Despite fleeing the country, Johnson County Attorney Rachel Zimmermann Smith said in the release that her office will continue working to hold Ali Younes responsible.

“My office, along with the University of Iowa Police Department and local and federal law enforcement partners, is committed to ensuring that Younes does not escape justice,” she states in the press release. “We will do everything we can to hold him accountable, as well as those who assisted him in fleeing the country.”

Ali Younes was a first-year student at the UI in 2021 when he was charged with an attempt to commit murder, first-degree robbery, and first-degree theft after he allegedly strangled a woman and stole her earrings in the spring of 2022. The incident occurred outside of the UI Art Building West on April 25, 2022.

Before his arrest on April 27, 2022, Ali Younes was the subject of multiple complaints to the UI Office of Campus Safety where he allegedly stalked, sexually harassed, and sexually assaulted individuals on four different occasions at Slater Residence Hall.

His trial had been postponed twice prior to his escape, with it originally scheduled for Dec. 6, 2022, before being pushed to March 28 and finally May 16.