Syrian American arrested in San Diego on terrorism charge

Prosecutors say Syrian American in San Diego lied about links to Islamic State

A 24-year-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 four-month 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 involving international terrorism. He is being held without bail at the downtown federal prison.

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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Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

1:50 p.m.: This post has been updated with details of the criminal complaint against Mohamad Saeed Kodaimati.

This post was originally posted at 1:24 p.m.

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