Syrian government denies US spying allegations

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) ? The Syrian government strongly denies allegations from federal prosecutors that a Virginia man was spying on American protestors who oppose President Bashar Assad’s regime.

The Syrian embassy issued a statement Wednesday denying that Mohamad Anas Haitham Soueid (SWAYD) is an agent for Syria or that he met personally with Assad.

It called the accusations “absolutely baseless and unacceptable.”

A federal magistrate ordered Soueid held pending a detention hearing Friday after prosecutor Dennis Fitzpatrick said Soueid represents “a serious risk of flight.”

Soueid wore a black fleece pullover and blue jeans. He said he had not yet had a chance to contact his attorney, but did not say who his attorney is. Court records do not list a defense attorney.