The two men were seeking targets. Hezbollah is Iran’s proxy terrorist organisation.
On Thursday, two members of the terrorist organization Hezbollah were arrested in the United States; one in the Bronx and one in Michigan. One was gathering information regarding operations and security at airports in the U.S. and surveilling U.S. military and law enforcement facilities in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The other was identifying areas of weakness and construction at the Panama Canal. DailyWire
Department of Justice statement:
“Today, we announce serious terrorism charges against two men who allegedly trained with and supported the Islamic Jihad Organization, a component of the foreign terrorist organization Hizballah. Recruited as Hizballah operatives, Samer El Debek and Ali Kourani allegedly received military-style training, including in the use of weapons like rocket-propelled grenade launchers and machine guns for use in support of the group’s terrorist mission. At the direction of his Hizballah handlers, El Debek allegedly conducted missions in Panama to locate the U.S. and Israeli Embassies and to assess the vulnerabilities of the Panama Canal and ships in the Canal. Kourani allegedly conducted surveillance of potential targets in America, including military and law enforcement facilities in New York City. Thanks to the outstanding work of the FBI and NYPD, the allegedly destructive designs of these two Hizballah operatives have been thwarted, and they will now face justice in a Manhattan federal court.”
Kourani, 32, was born in Lebanon and has been trained in weapons since the age of 16. He arrived in the U.S. in 2003 and earned citizenship six years later. According to Legal Insurrection, Kourani lied on his immigration application and denied having any ties to terror organizations. While living in the Bronx, Kourani earned a degree in biomedical engineering and an M.A. in business administration. In his free time he tried to buy weapons to send to the Hezbollah organization. TruthRevolt
Ali Kourani, 32, of the Bronx, New York, was charged with providing, attempting, and conspiring to provide material support to Hezbollah; receiving and conspiring to receive military-type training from Hezbollah; a related weapons offense that is alleged to have involved, among other weapons, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and machine guns; violating and conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA); and naturalization fraud to facilitate an act of international terrorism. DailyWire
El Debek, 37, lives in Livonia, Michigan, and is believed to have joined the terror organization in 2008. He is accused of traveling to Lebanon on multiple occasions for training and bomb making. Using his U.S. passport, El Debek went to Thailand in 2009 reportedly “to help clean up explosive residue left behind in a safehouse used by members of a Hezbollah-backed terror cell.” In 2011, he traveled to Panama and photographed the U.S. and Israeli embassies. A year later, he was back checking out the Panama Canal. TruthRevolt
Samer el Debek, 37, of Dearborn, Michigan, aka “Samer Eldebek,” was charged with providing, attempting and conspiring to provide material support to Hezbollah; receiving and conspiring to receive military-type training from Hezbollah; use of weapons in connection with a crime of violence that is alleged to have involved, among other weapons, explosives, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, and machine guns; and violating and conspiring to violate IEEPA.DailyWire