CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) — A North Carolina man has been charged by federal prosecutors with lying to agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his efforts to help someone he thought was traveling to Syria to join ISIS.
Alexander Samuel Smith, who a federal indictment also identifies as “Amir Alexander,” was arrested Thursday on two counts of making false statements to an agency of the United States, court records show.
Smith was indicted by a grand jury last week. The charges stem from an FBI investigation into whether Smith helped book discounted airfare for a man he thought was trying to travel to Syria to join ISIS.
According to the indictment, Smith booked discount airline tickets for an unidentified person to fly from Tampa to the US-Canada border near Buffalo. Smith booked the discounted ticket using his girlfriend’s buddy passes, a discounted ticket available to family and friends of airline employees.
The indictment does not identify which airline Smith’s girlfriend worked for.
The indictment also claims Smith had a desire to go to Syria and join ISIS, too.
“SMITH discussed with this individual his desire and plans to travel to Syria and offered his assistance in helping others to travel to Syria in support of ISIS,” the indictment reads.
But, later, the indictment says Smith denied both wanting to travel to Syria and his support for ISIS in an interview with FBI agents.
He also denied helping anyone travel to Syria in an interview with FBI agents, the indictment says.
Smith made his first appearance in federal court Thursday, court records show. His next court date is July 1, 2017.
This story was originally posted by CBS contributing station WBTV.