FBI arrests Iraqi immigrant for lying about ties to Islamic State

The Federal Bureau of Investigation on Thursday arrested an Iraqi immigrant to the United States who traveled to Syria for allegedly lying to investigators about pledging allegiance to the leader of Islamic State, a court document said.

In a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Dallas, the FBI accused Bilal Abood, 37, of traveling via several countries, including Mexico and Turkey, to Syria in April 2013 and returning to the U.S. in September of that year.

Upon his return, the complaint said, Abood, who had also tried to leave the United States in March 2013 but was barred from boarding his flight, was interviewed by the FBI.

He admitted to agents that he had gone to Syria, the complaint said, and claimed that he went there to fight with the Free Syrian Army, a supposedly moderate group of rebels fighting, with U.S. government backing, to oust President Hafez al-Assad.

When the FBI, armed with a search warrant, seized his computer last year, it discovered that Abood had “pledged an oath to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” according to the complaint. It said that on July 19, 2014, using an Islamic pseudonym, Abood tweeted: “I pledge obedience to the Caliphate Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi”…

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