US authorities arrested a New York man who allegedly spied on political opponents of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the Justice Department said.
Pierre Girgis, 39, was charged in New York with acting illegally as an unregistered agent of the Egyptian government.
The department said in a statement that, acting at the direction of Egyptian officials, Girgis “tracked and obtained information regarding political opponents of Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.”
Girgis, a dual US-Egyptian citizen, also made arrangements for visiting Egyptian officials, including meetings with US law enforcement, the statement said.
Encrypted messages between Girgis and Egyptian officials showed he was in contact with more than one Cairo government agency for information collection between 2014 and 2019, according to the indictment.
In 2017, it said, he sent information on an anti-Sisi activist and other individuals that he obtained from the Egyptian government to US law enforcement officers.
He was charged under a law that makes it illegal to act as a representative of a foreign government without first registering with the Justice Department.
The department “will continue to strictly enforce foreign agent registration laws, which remain critically important to ensuring that our government is not secretly influenced by foreign governments,” said US Attorney Damian Williams in a statement.