US Citizen Accused of Spying on Syrian Protesters

Posted October 12th, 2011 at 10:40 am (UTC-5)
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The United States has charged a Syrian-born U.S. citizen with spying on people in the United States who are protesting the Syrian government and with providing information to Syrian agents.

U.S. officials announced Wednesday that Mohamad Anas Haitham Soueid is accused of conspiring to collect information about protesters in the U.S. and Syria, and giving materials to Syrian intelligence agencies to silence, intimidate and possibly harm the protesters.

A six-count indictment unsealed Wednesday in Virginia charges Soueid with acting as an unregistered agent of the Syrian government, and making false statements when buying weapons and to U.S. law enforcement officials.

The Justice Department said Soueid, a resident of Leesburg, Virginia, was arrested on Tuesday and will make his first appearance before a U.S. judge on Wednesday.

If convicted, he faces maximum prison terms of 15 years on conspiracy and foreign agent charges, 15 years on weapons purchase charges and 10 years on false statement charges.