The six-count indictment was announced more than three months after the
United States warned that Assad was trying to intimidate anti-regime
activists, Middle East Newsline reported. Assad agents were said to have monitored protests and intimidated
relatives of opposition activists in Syria.
Prosecutors said Soueid, who faces 15 years in prison, worked for the
Assad regime and obtained video and audio recordings of
opposition members for Syrian intelligence. They said he also supplied
e-mail addresses and phone numbers of opposition activists in the United
"Spying for another country is a serious threat to our national
security, especially when it threatens the ability of U.S. citizens to
engage in political speech within our own borders," U.S. Attorney Neil
Soueid was also said to have recruited Americans to work for Syrian
intelligence to monitor the opposition. In June, the indictment said,
Soueid was ordered to fly to Syria where he met Assad.
The indictment said Soueid was supervised by an unidentified Syrian
intelligence official known only as an unindicted co-conspirator. The
intelligence official was said to have urged Soueid to continue his
monitoring despite interrogation by the FBI.
"The FBI will be counted on to detect and deter unregistered agents who
attempt clandestine activities on behalf of a foreign political power and
work to bring them swiftly to justice," FBI assistant director James