US arrests and charges 2 Hezbollah ‘Operatives’


hezbollah- courtTwo naturalized Americans from New York and Michigan have been charged with terrorism, accused of operating on behalf of Hezbollah in the United States, Panama and Thailand, US officials announced Thursday.

Ali Kourani, 32, and Samer el Debek, 37, were arrested on June 1 in the Bronx and just outside Detroit, respectively, US officials said. They appeared before US magistrates separately.

Both were hit with a raft of charges that include providing material support to Hezbollah — which Israel and the West consider a terror group — weapons offenses and receiving military-type training from group.

If convicted they could spend decades in a US prison.

Debek, on Hezbollah’s payroll for years, conducted surveillance in Panama, where he scoped out the US and Israeli embassies and assessed vulnerabilities of the Panama Canal and ships passing through it, US officials said.

Ali Kourani, one of the Hezbollah suspects arrested by US
Ali Kourani, one of the Hezbollah suspects arrested by US
Kourani allegedly monitored potential targets in the United States, including military bases in New York, acting Manhattan US Attorney Joon Kim said.

Hezbollah is the most powerful armed group in Lebanon. Although blacklisted as a terror group in the West, it enjoys widespread support in Lebanon because of its “resistance” to Israel and social welfare programs.

US officials said Kourani received weapons training from Hezbollah as a teenager in Lebanon before moving to the United States legally in 2003, to obtain degrees in biomedical engineering and business administration.

They alleged that he was recruited into Hezbollah’s operations unit Islamic Jihad in 2008, and the following year became a naturalized US citizen.

He communicated with his handler through coded emails, and received bouts of weapons training and drills on tactics in Lebanon, US prosecutors said.

In the United States, he allegedly scoured for firearms suppliers, Israeli military personnel, airport security information and surveilled US military and law enforcement facilities in New York, sending information back to Hezbollah.

US officials say Debek visited Thailand in May 2009 on his US passport, tasked with cleaning up explosive precursors in a Bangkok house that had been abandoned by others because they were under surveillance.

In 2012, he went on a Hezbollah
surveillance mission to Panama, tasked with identifying areas of weakness at the Panama Canal and providing information about how close someone could get to a ship passing through the Canal, officials said.

Panama’s government expressed “satisfaction” over the arrests, saying “it maintains active cooperation with international intelligence bodies to prevent this type of threat.”

The statement said US authorities had alerted Panama in 2014 that Debek might try to enter that country, and “actions were immediately taken in line with the law to impede his entry.”

Debek allegedly told the FBI that he was detained by Hezbollah
from December 2015 to April 2016, and falsely accused of spying for the United States.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation believes that his military training included extensive instruction on bomb-making.




5 responses to “US arrests and charges 2 Hezbollah ‘Operatives’”

  1. Danny Farah Avatar
    Danny Farah

    Strip them out of his citizenships and send them to Daesh to free up any americans..Lol

  2. Barry Avatar

    If they are citizens, then they are traitors.

    1. Danny Farah Avatar
      Danny Farah

      They are also many so Hezbollah members are lebanese citizen including the top dog and they don’t hold allegiance to Lebanon too. so you think the US is going to matter to them..Lol

    2. Nineveh Sargon Avatar
      Nineveh Sargon

      Amen to that. It’s disturbing to think that these Hezbollah terrorists live among us in the US and they are awaiting orders from Tehran to attack.

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