Terrorism charge for Syrian returnee
U.S. citizen is accused of lying to feds about Islamic State ties.
SAN DIEGO — A 24year-old Syrian American was arrested in San Diego on suspicion of lying to federal officials about his links to the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria.
Mohamad Saeed Kodaimati traveled to Turkey from San Diego in late 2012 and was in Turkey and Syria until he returned to the U.S. in March, according to prosecutors.
When he returned to the U.S., Saeed lied to agents from the FBI, Customs and Border Protection and the State Department when he said he had not been involved in fighting in Syria, did not know any Islamic State fighters and had never been involved in a sharia court, according to court documents.
But in conversations with associates and postings on Facebook, Saeed said he was affiliated with a sharia court that dispenses Islamic justice, that he believes in the cause of Islamic State and that he fought in a fourmonth gun battle, according to court documents. Pictures show him holding weapons.
“I am currently the media person for the Shari’ah Authority,” Saeed is alleged to have told an associate.
Saeed was arrested in the Rancho Bernardo neighborhood without incident Wednesday.
He is charged with making false statements to federal officials involving international terrorism. In a brief court appearance Thursday, he was ordered held in the downtown federal prison without bail.
Born in Syria, Saeed came to the U.S. in 2001 and became a U.S. citizen in 2008. He has lived in Charlotte, N.C., and San Diego, according to court documents.