ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A Syrian-born man pleaded not guilty on Friday to charges that he was an agent of the Syrian intelligence service and spied on protesters in the United States who oppose President Bashar Assad's government.

Mohamad Soueid, 47, was ordered detained pending trial by US Judge Claude Hilton after prosecutors argued that he was a serious flight risk, citing multiple passports they found, including a recently acquired Syrian one.

A naturalized US citizen, Soueid was arrested earlier this month and is charged with acting as an agent of the Syrian intelligence service and collecting video and audio recordings as well as information about protesters who opposed Assad and his government.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger