Judge orders accused Syrian spy from Leesburg to be held in jail

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) -{ } A federal judge has ordered that a Virginia man accused of acting as a Syrian spy be held in jail while he awaits trial.

The judge's ruling Friday overturns a magistrate judge's order last week that would have allowed ordered 47-year-old Mohamad Soueid (SWAYD) of Leesburg free on home detention.

Soueid is awaiting trial on charges that he worked with intelligence agencies in Damascus to monitor Syrian expatriates in the U.S. opposed to President Bashar Assad's regime.

The magistrate said that, at worst, Soueid appears to be no more than a low-level operative.

But prosecutors disputed that in appealing the magistrate's bail order. They said Soueid is connected to the highest levels of the Syrian regime, including Assad himself.