Mohamad Soueid is a US citizen who spied on American protesters, critical of the Syrian regime. The Virginia man brought personal information about the protesters to the Syrian government. One wonders how an American citizen could become involved in spying for any foreign government, let alone one who is committing human rights abuses so blatantly.
Soueid managed to infiltrate groups in America who protested on behalf of the Syrian people, where he was able to gain access to their personal information, including e-mail addresses and phone numbers, in the effort to ultimately intimidate them into silence. Soueid also tried to recruit others to get this information, including reporting "internal conflicts", presumably to exploit problems within the groups. He also gathered information about leaders of the movements, as well as logistics of protests.
The charge is quite serious, as the right to peacefully protest is a deeply held right in America, and actions like these jeopardize all American citizens.
Mohamad Soueid actually traveled to Syria with the information about the American protesters and had a private meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and other government officials. he was rewarded with an expensive watch. According to the Alaska Dispatch, Soueid allegedly "turned over 23 audio recordings and nine video recordings to Syrian intelligence officials in Damascus." It is shocking that this man was so deeply entrenched in the Syrian government that he actually had the ear of the president.
Back in October, this dodgy character was involved in another serious case, as six Syrian and American citizens filed a federal lawsuit that charged that he was a "part of the criminal conspiracy to torture, maim, and kill Syrians" by transmitting information about protesters to Syrian officials."
United States attorney Neil MacBride stated, "While the autocratic Syrian regime killed, kidnapped, intimidated, and silenced thousands of its own citizens, Mr. Soueid spearheaded efforts to identify and intimidate those protesting against the Syrian government in the United States."
He has been sentenced to 18 months in prison, which seems like a shockingly light sentence, due to the nature of the crime and the previous allegations.