US Federal Agents have arrested Samer El Debek, of Dearborn Michigan, and Ali Kourani, of the Bronx New York, last week. The two appeared in a Manhattan federal courtroom on Thursday for their arraignment. Authorities reported that both suspects are Hezbollah supporters and that had both recently traveled to Lebanon where they are alleged to have received extensive weapons and bomb-making training.
Kourani is being accused of seeking out targets in the United States, specifically Israeli, U.S. military and law enforcement facilities. He sought out firearms suppliers, airport security information and passed on the information to Hezbollah. He used code embedded emails sent through a type of carrier which is much harder to trace than just normal email servers. He had also received para-military training with Hezbollah on several occasions during the past decade.
Debek, who is a naturalized U.S. citizen. Is being accused of scouting targets in Panama. Which include the United States and Israeli embassies. He also tried to figure out vulnerabilities of ships passing through the Panama Canal.
If convicted these two Muslim terrorists will be heading to prison.
The Department of Justice of the Southern District of New York official press release:
Bronx Man And Michigan Man Arrested For Terrorist Activities On Behalf Of Hizballah’s Islamic Jihad Organization
Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Dana Boente, the Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security, William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and James P. O’Neill, the Commissioner of the Police Department for the City of New York (“NYPD”), announced that ALI KOURANI and SAMER EL DEBEK, a/k/a “Samer Eldebek,” were arrested on Thursday, June 1, 2017, on charges related to their alleged activities on behalf of Hizballah, a designated foreign terrorist organization.
KOURANI was arrested in the Bronx for providing, attempting, and conspiring to provide material support to Hizballah; receiving and conspiring to receive military-type training from Hizballah; 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. KOURANI was presented on Friday, June 2, 2017, before Magistrate Judge Barbara Moses in Manhattan federal court.
EL DEBEK was arrested in Livonia, Michigan, outside of Detroit, for providing, attempting, and conspiring to provide material support to Hizballah; receiving and conspiring to receive military-type training from Hizballah; 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. EL DEBEK was presented on Monday, June 5, 2017, before Magistrate Judge Henry Pitman in Manhattan federal court.
Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said: “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.”
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. said: “The charges announced today reveal once again that the New York City region remains a focus of many adversaries, demonstrated as alleged in this instance by followers of a sophisticated and determined organization with a long history of coordinating violent activities on behalf of Hizballah. Our announcement today also reveals, however, that the dozens of agencies working together with our FBI JTTFs nationwide are just as determined to disrupt the plans of those working to harm our communities. I’d like to thank the hundreds of investigators who comprise the FBI’s New York JTTF and display constant vigilance on our behalf, and I encourage the public to remain engaged and to immediately report suspicious activity to law enforcement.”
NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill said: “As part of his work for Hezbollah, Kourani and others allegedly conducted covert surveillance of potential targets, including U.S. military bases and Israeli military personnel here in New York City. Pre-operational surveillance is one of the hallmarks of Hezbollah in planning for future attacks. As alleged, Kourani, on at least two occasions, received sophisticated military training overseas, including the use of a rocket propelled grenade. In addition, El Debek is charged in an unrelated complaint, for allegedly possessing extensive bomb making training received from Hezbollah. Today’s charges of two for their work on behalf of Hezbollah is a tribute to the collaborative work of the agents and detectives of the Joint Terrorism Task Force.”
As alleged in the criminal Complaints against KOURANI and EL DEBEK, both of which were unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:
It seems only a matter of time before another terrorist attack happens right here at home!
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