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Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Syrian Ambassador To Washington Moved To China
By Josh Rogin
Syrian Ambassador Imad Mustapha
Syrian Ambassador to Washington Imad Moustapha has been missing in action for
months. So where did he go? As it turns out, he moved to China!
who is the subject of an FBI investigation for his alleged role in intimidating
Syrian-American protesters and their families, is still listed as the Syria's
ambassador to the United States on the Syrian embassy's website. But on his
personal blog Feb. 8, he suddenly announced he and his family had moved to
China, in a post entitled "A Fresh Start from the Middle Kingdom."
that we have moved to China, I plan to resume blogging about my life, family
and friends in China, as well as writing on Chinese culture, history and
art," he wrote in his first post since August 2011. "I have a feeling
that this is going to be a wonderful journey of learning, exploring, and, most
importantly, serendipitously discovering one of the most remarkable world civilizations.
I hope you will enjoy my Chinese adventure."
had been implicated in the Justice Department's look into Syrian spying
activities in Washington, an investigation that resulted in the October arrest
of Mohamad Anas Haitham Soueid, a Syrian-American living in Virginia. Soueid
stands accused of working as an agent for the Syrian intelligence service as
part of a conspiracy to harass the Syrian-based families of protesters and
dissidents in the United States.
Ambassador to the U.S. Imad Mustafa is involved in activities that vary between
espionage, threatening Syrian dissidents, and lobbying and organizing rallies
in favor of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad," wrote Hussain
Abdul-Hussain, the Washington bureau chief of the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai, in
July, it was reported that the FBI and the State Department's Diplomatic
Security Bureau were investigating the Syrian embassy for using its diplomatic
staff to spy on Syrian-Americans in Washington for the purpose of threatening
their families back in Syria.
August, the Wall Street Journal reported that the embassy's information was
being used back in Syria to arrest and even attack family members of
protesters. Moustapha dismissed the allegations as "slander and sheer lies."
But he stopped blogging and disappeared from Washington soon thereafter.
Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford returned to Washington last week, not as a
diplomatic punishment to the Syrian regime, but because the streets surrounding
the American compound in Damascus became too dangerous. But if Washington wants
to formally expel the Syrian ambassador to the United States, it will have to
send that notice to him in Beijing.
the State Department can just leave a comment on his blog, since he seems to be
using it again.
Moustapha himself seemed to predict the currently unfolding events in Syria on
his blog last March, when he wrote a post about the Egyptian revolution and the
fall of Hosni Mubarak.
has happened in Egypt in the past month is something of great historic
significance," he wrote. "The ramifications of this revolution will
continue to unfold, and its impact will reverberate for years to come."
-This report was published in Foreign Policy on 14/02/2012