A New Jersey man accused of being a secretive Hezbollah activist in the United States for over a decade and overseeing potential targets in New York City, Boston and Washington, the prosecution said Thursday.
Morristown's 42-year-old Alexei Saab has been charged with nine charges in connection with a series of suspected terrorist activities. This included the material support of a designated foreign terrorist organization (FTO) and the military training of this group, the Ministry of Justice said.
"Although Saab was a naturalized American citizen, his true allegiance was to Hezbollah, the terrorist organization responsible for decades of terrorist attacks that killed hundreds, including US citizens and military personnel," said US attorney Geoffrey S. Berman. "Fortunately, Saab is currently in custody and must expect a significant prison sentence for his alleged offenses."
Saab is said to have overseen dozens of places in New York, including the Empire State Building, the Rockefeller Center, the Statue of Liberty, and Times Square Procuratorate and United Nations Headquarters.
He also examined various bridges, tunnels and airports, focusing on "the structural weaknesses of the sites he monitors to find out how a future attack could cause the most destruction," the Justice Department said.
Court documents show that Saab allegedly took pictures of various places, including the Brooklyn Bridge, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, the George Washington Bridge, the Federal Plaza, and other government buildings.
In 2003, Saab allegedly provided Hezbollah with information and information photos from the Port Authority's bus station, Grand Central Terminal, New York Stock Exchange, Federal Plaza, and surrounding airports, according to court documents.
According to the Department of Justice, in 2005 he also traveled to Istanbul to Turkey and tried to murder a person he believed was an Israeli spy.
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Saab is said to have joined Hezbollah in 1996, according to the Justice Department. He is said to have trained with Hezbollah since 1999 and learned how to handle firearms and grenades. In 2000, he was allegedly a member of the group's external operations department, the Islamic Jihad Organization (IJO). There he received additional training in the areas of "craft, weapons and military tactics, including the construction of bombs and other explosive devices" of the Ministry of Justice
court documents say that he later completed in 2004 and 2005, an explosive training in Lebanon and "detailed
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Saab entered the US legally and applied for naturalization of US citizenship in 2005
In addition to terrorism, he faces other charges, including marriage, naturalization, and citizenship fraud, as well as false statements. [1 9659008] Hezbollah was founded in the 1980s and is supported by Iran.
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