Venezuelan authorities have arrested an American accused of terrorism

Previously, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said that law enforcement agencies had detained a U.S. intelligence agent at a refinery in the west of the country.

Riot police shoot tear gas at students during anti-government protests in Caracas, Feb. 15.

A court in Caracas ordered the arrest of US citizen Matthew John Heath, who was detained last week in Venezuela on suspicion of espionage, as well as seven local nationals. This was reported on Wednesday in a statement by the Supreme Court of the Republic.

“The court decided to impose a preventive punishment in the form of imprisonment for citizens of Heath, Matthew John (U.S. citizen), Daven Henrique Rodriguez Argueta, Marco Antonio Garcés Carapaique, National Guard Sergeant Darwin Adreiso Urdaneta Pardo, Yvonne Koromoto Barrios Finola, Leobaldo Antonio Gutierrez, Andri Ramon Finola and Asterio José González Garcia are charged with terrorism, treason, criminal conspiracy and arms trafficking”, –  the document says.

On September 11, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro reported that law enforcement agencies of the country detained a U.S. intelligence agent on the territory of an oil refinery in the west of the country. Later, the Attorney General of Venezuela charged Heath with terrorism.

According to the Attorney General of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Tarek William Saab, the American planned “acts of sabotage against the oil industry and the national power supply system” with the support of accomplices in Venezuela. During his detention, several weapons were confiscated from him and photographs of oil refineries and military facilities were found in his phone. Saab said the American was found to have worked as a mercenary in Iraq at CIA bases from 2006 to 2016.