Man arrested at Charlotte airport for lying about contacts with terrorist organizations

Waqar ul-Hassan

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A man was arrested after arriving in North Carolina Tuesday for lying about his contacts with terrorist organizations.

Waqar ul-Hassan, 35, was returning from Pakistan and had gotten off a flight at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport Tuesday night when he was arrested on two counts of making false statements in 2015 interviews involving terrorism, according to an FBI criminal complaint.

It is unclear if Hassan has an attorney.

According to the complaint, the FBI began an investigation into Hassan in 2014 because the organization had information that he was communicating with people involved in terrorist organizations.

Hassan was interviewed by FBI agents and told them in some of those interviews that he did not support any terrorist or extremist group and did not know anyone who was a member of one, according to the complaint.

In later interviews, he confessed to having lied, the complaint says, and admitted to “extensive contacts” with a recruiter about jihad.

Hassan also admitted to traveling and staying with extremists for two or three days in 2014 and to giving up to $500 to and collecting food and money for a terror organization. The FBI complaint identified the group as Jaish-e-Mohammed, an organization the US considers a terrorist group.

After initial denials, Hassan signed a statement acknowledging he also attempted to send money to ISIS “[b]ecause [he] was angry about what was happening to Muslims around the world,” but said he ultimately did not because he didn’t have a way to get it there, the federal complaint says.

It is unclear why he was not detained in 2015.

Hassan came to the United States from Pakistan in 1999 and is a naturalized US citizen who maintained his Pakistani citizenship. In 2016, he left for Pakistan and did not return to the US until Tuesday.

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