Man 'curious about jihad' arrested at NC airport, accused of lying about terror links

A Pakistani man was arrested at an airport in North Carolina on Tuesday after officials said he lied about his involvement with two terrorist organizations.

Waqar Ul-Hassan, 35, was picked up at Charlotte Douglas International Airport on two charges of making false statements involving terrorism during two separate interviews with the FBI in 2015, WBTV reported.

Court documents revealed that in May 2015, Hassan told FBI agents that he “did not support any terrorist groups or extremists” or know anyone who did. Several months later, in a second interview, Hassan denied ever sending money to Syria to support the Islamic State (ISIS) terror organization, and denied ever inquiring about how to send money.

Waqar Ul-Hassan was picked up at Charlotte Douglas International Airport on two charges of making false statements involving terrorism during two separate interviews with the FBI in 2015. (Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office)

Waqar Ul-Hassan was picked up at Charlotte Douglas International Airport on two charges of making false statements involving terrorism during two separate interviews with the FBI in 2015. (Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office)

But federal prosecutors allege that Hassan knowingly made false statements to the FBI, aware that doing so would be a crime. They included two statements in a complaint filed on Tuesday that  Hassan allegedly wrote in November 2015, which indicate his involvement with both ISIS and a Pakistani terrorist group called Jaish-e-Mohammed, WBTV reported.

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Said the first statement: “I met with Mujahiden in 2014, while in Pakistan. I traveled to the border and stayed with them two or three days. I also spent half a day at their Mosque in Deska. I went there because I was curious about jihad. I wanted to find out how they do jihad. I talked to ... a representative of the Mujahiden about jihad several times. I gave between $400.00 & $500.00 for the Mujahiden medrasa. This Mujahiden is known as Jaish.”

Hassan said in a second statement that he traveled throughout Gujrat in Pakistan between 2013 and 2014 and made attempts to collect money for a terrorist organization. He also seemed to acknowledge making false statements.

“I lied because I was scared of getting in trouble because I participated in collecting money, food and passing out the newspaper for Jaish Mujahadin which is a terrorist group but they also help the poor in Pakistan.”

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He also allegedly admitted sending money to ISIS and jihadists in Syria.

Hassan and his family moved to the U.S. from Pakistan in 1999 and he later became a naturalized citizen. He maintained dual citizenship and moved back to Pakistan where he lived until his arrest in North Carolina on Tuesday.