The federal government says a Virginia man has been collecting video and audio recordings and doing research on people in the U.S. and Syria who have been protesting the government of Syria in an attempt to keep them quiet and possibly intimidate or harm the protestors.
Mohamad Anas Haitham Soueid, 47, is a Leesburg, Va. resident who also goes by the names “Alex Soueid” or “Anas Alswaid.”The Syrian-born U.S. citizen was charged in a six-count indictment by a federal grand jury on Oct. 5, 2011 with “acting as an agent of the Syrian government in the United States without notifying the Attorney General as required by law; two counts of providing false statements on a firearms purchase form; and two counts of providing false statements to federal law enforcement,” according to DOJ.
Soueid has allegedly been working as an agent of the Syrian Mukhabarat, a term referring to the country’s intelligence agencies. The Syrian government allegedly paid for him to travel to Syria, where he met with intelligence officials and spoke with President Bashar al-Assad in private. Said DOJ:
In addition to the recordings, Soueid is accused of providing the Mukhabarat contact information, including phone numbers and email addresses, for protestors in the United States. In a handwritten letter sent to [unindicted coconspirator one], Soueid allegedly expressed his belief that violence against protestors – including raiding their homes – was justified and that any method should be used to deal with the protestors. The indictment also alleges that Soueid provided information regarding U.S. protestors against the Syrian regime to an individual who worked at the Syrian Embassy in Washington, D.C.