Former FBI translator charged with lying about contact with terrorism suspect

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Virginia man who previously served as a linguist for the FBI was arrested Saturday night on charges of obstructing a federal investigation and making multiple false statements to FBI officials.

According to court documents, Abdirizak Jaji Raghe Wehelie, aka Haji Raghe, 66, of Burke, was a federal contractor for the FBI and worked as a linguist translating communications captured by court-authorized surveillance of a suspect (Person A) in a terrorism investigation. Wehelie allegedly intentionally misidentified his own voice that was captured when Person A left a voicemail message on Wehelie’s mobile telephone. When questioned by FBI investigators about this particular incident, Wehelie made several misleading and/or false statements.

Wehelie is scheduled to make his initial appearance in federal court in Alexandria today at 10:00 a.m.

Wehelie is charged with making false statements to government officials and obstruction of a federal investigation. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors

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