Mohamad Saeed Kodaimati

Syrian-born Mohamad Saeed Kodaimati is an American citizen and resident of California. On April 22, 2015, Kodaimati was arrested in Rancho Bernardo, California, and accused of participating in battle alongside al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate al-Nusra Front.Kristina Davis, “San Diegan accused of hiding ISIS links,” San Diego Union Tribune, April 23, 2015, http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2015/apr/23/syrian-terror-isis-arrested-saeed/. He was charged with two counts of making false statements involving international terrorism matters. On October 29, 2015, Kodaimati pleaded guilty in federal court to “lying to federal authorities about his connections to international terrorism during his time spent in Syria.”Kristina Davis, “Guilty Plea in Syrian Terror Investigation,” San Diego Union-Tribune, October 29, 2015, https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sdut-saeed-syria-terror-investigation-guilty-plea-2015oct29-story.html?_amp=true. He agreed to an eight-year prison sentence in his plea deal.Steve Fiorina, “Mohamad Saeed Kodaimati arrested, charged in international terrorism investigation,” ABC News San Diego, April 23, 2015, http://www.10news.com/news/san-diegan-mohamad-saeed-kodaimati-arrested-charged-in-international-terrorism-investigation;
Tony Perry, “Syrian immigrant, 24, admits links to Islamic State and pleads guilty to lying to FBI,” Los Angeles Times, October 29, 2015, http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-islamic-state-links-suspect-guilty-20151029-story.html.

Kodaimati is believed to have operated out of Syria at some point between 2012 and early 2015. He is accused of having worked at al-Nusra Front’s sharia court, which uses Islamic law in all legal proceedings. He is also accused of having served as a mediator between al-Nusra Front and rival group ISIS.Kristina Davis, “San Diegan accused of hiding ISIS links,” San Diego Union Tribune, April 23, 2015, http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2015/apr/23/syrian-terror-isis-arrested-saeed/.

The federal complaint alleged that Kodaimati made false statements about his activities and associations in Syria during an interview at the U.S. embassy in Turkey in March 2015. According to the complaint, Kodaimati falsely claimed that he had never been involved in any fighting with al-Nusra Front,“San Diego Man Arrested and Charged With Making False Statements in an International Terrorism Investigation,” United States Department of Justice, April 23, 2015, http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/san-diego-man-arrested-and-charged-making-false-statements-international-terrorism. that he had never used his weapon (though he admitted to owning one), and that he did not know any ISIS members.“San Diego Man Arrested and Charged With Making False Statements in an International Terrorism Investigation,” United States Department of Justice, April 23, 2015, http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/san-diego-man-arrested-and-charged-making-false-statements-international-terrorism. On March 14, 2016, he was sentenced to eight years in prison, which was the maximum sentence under his plea bargain.Dana Littlefield, “Syrian Gets 8 Years for Lying to U.S. Officials About his Ties to Terrorism,” Los Angeles Times, March 14, 2016, https://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-0315-san-diego-terrorism-20160315-story.html. He is currently imprisoned at United States Penitentiary Lompoc, with a scheduled release date of February 13, 2022.“Mohamad Saeed Kodaimati,” Inmate Lookup – Federal Bureau of Prisons, accessed January 13, 2021, https://www.bop.gov/inmateloc/.

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