Ter­ror­ism charge for Syr­ian re­turnee

U.S. cit­i­zen is ac­cused of ly­ing to feds about Is­lamic State ties.

Los Angeles Times - - OBITUARIES - By Tony Perry tony.perry@la­times.com Twit­ter: @LATsandiego

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.

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