A Syrian-born naturalized U.S. citizen, Mohamad Anas Haitham Soueid has been accused of being an agent of the Syrian intelligence service.
Soueid resides in Leesburg, Virginia, outside Washington. The U.S. government charges he has paid individuals to compile information on demonstrators and forwarded the information to the Syrian embassy in Washington.
According to a 15-page indictment Soueid flew to Syria in June and met with the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad.
He was arrested on Tuesday on charges of acting as an unregistered foreign agent operating in the United States, conspiracy, making false statements to FBI agents and lying on forms he filled out while buying a .40 caliber pistol.
The Syrian embassy in Washington issued an extensive contradiction, saying that Soueid did not work for the Syrian government, did not meet with Assad, was never paid by Damascus and had not provided any information about U.S. protesters.
Assad and his government have been hit with sanctions by the United States since the start of the brutal crackdown on protestors. According to the United Nations, at least 2,700 people have been killed in the country thus far in the chaos.