May 6 (UPI) -- A former FBI linguist was indicted Monday after he allegedly covered up personal contacts with a terrorism investigation suspect.
Abdirizak Jaji Raghe Wehelie, of Burke, Va., was arrested Saturday at a Washington airport. He was charged with one count of obstructing an investigation and seven counts of making false statements to the FBI.
He was translating messages captured by court-ordered surveillance of a suspect's cellphone in 2016, court documents state. One call was a message left on Wehelie's personal voicemail system which Wehelie identified as from a "UM," or "unidentified male," and Wehelie failed to note that he was the intended recipient of the message.
When investigators questioned him, he denied engaging in telephone conversations with the suspect, adding that he knew the suspect, but not very well. He later admitted that the two had known each other for years, and were in telephone contact with each other since as early as 2010.
Prosecutors said that the charges center on allegations that the suspect, identified in court documents as Person A, aided an American resident's attempt to travel to Somalia to join the al-Shabab terrorist group.
Wehelie was due in federal court in Alexandria, Va., for an arraignment.