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A Lebanese immigrant to the United States allegedly scouted famous American landmarks in cities like New York City, Boston, and Washington, D.C. for a potential terrorist attack by the Islamic terrorist group Hezbollah.
Alexei Saab, a 42-year-old legal immigrant from Lebanon, is accused of helping Hezbollah find a U.S. landmark target for a potential terrorist attack, receiving military-type training from the terrorist organization, and committing immigration fraud in a nine-count indictment that was unsealed this week.
The article goes on to state the following:
Despite joining Hezbollah in 1996 and receiving training in how to make bombs in 2000, Saab was legally admitted to the U.S. using his Lebanese passport in November 2000, according to the indictment. In 2005, Saab was able to apply for American naturalized citizenship, which he was eventually awarded in August 2008.
Authorities have stated that, while living in the United States, Saab scouted out the following locations in New York City and Boston for a potential future terror attack:
- New York City’s United Nations headquarters
- Statue of Liberty
- Rockefeller Center
- Times Square
- Empire State Building
- and airports
- Boston, Massachusetts’ Prudential Center and Fenway Park
- Washington, D.C.’s Washington Monument
- U.S. Capitol building
- Lincoln Memorial
In a press release, the Justice Department provided the following additional details:
While living in the United States, Saab remained an IJO operative, continued to receive military training in Lebanon, and conducted numerous operations for the IJO. For example, Saab surveilled dozens of locations in New York City—including the United Nations headquarters, the Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, the Empire State Building, and local airports, tunnels, and bridges—and provided detailed information on these locations, including photographs, to the IJO. In particular, Saab focused on the structural weaknesses of locations he surveilled in order to determine how a future attack could cause the most destruction. Saab’s reporting to the IJO included the materials used to construct a particular target, how close in proximity one could get to a target, and site weaknesses or “soft spots” that the IJO could exploit if it attacked a target in the future. Saab conducted similar intelligence gathering in a variety of American cities. The FBI recovered photographs from Saab’s electronic devices reflecting his surveillance activities, including photographs of New York City landmarks.
He even got married in order to obtain U.S. citizenship:
Finally, unrelated to his IJO activities, in July 2012, Saab married another individual (CC-1) so that CC-1 could apply for naturalized citizenship in the United States based on their marriage. On March 13, 2015, Saab and CC-1 jointly filed a petition seeking to obtain naturalized citizenship for CC-1. In doing so, Saab and CC-1 falsely claimed under penalty of perjury that their marriage was “not for the purpose of procuring an immigration benefit.”
New Jersey Man Indicted for Terrorist Activities on Behalf of Hizballah’s Islamic Jihad Organization https://t.co/SbmW2hxAoe
— Justice Department (@TheJusticeDept) September 19, 2019
Lebanese Immigrant Allegedly Scouted U.S. Landmarks for Terrorist Attackhttps://t.co/8q2vTW2Mte
— John Binder 👽 (@JxhnBinder) September 21, 2019
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