A New Jersey man was arrested for allegedly scouting out possible targets for terrorist attacks on behalf of Hezbollah.
Alexei Saab, 42, of Morristown, who is also known as Ali Hassan Saab, Alex Saab, or Rachid, was charged Thursday with nine counts related to his support for the terrorist organization and marriage-fraud offenses.
“According to the allegations, while living in the United States, Saab served as an operative of Hezbollah and conducted surveillance of possible target locations in order to help the foreign terrorist organization prepare for potential future attacks against the United States,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers said in a statement. “Such covert activities conducted on U.S. soil are a clear threat to our national security, and I applaud the agents, analysts, and prosecutors who are responsible for this investigation and prosecution.”
Saab's time in Hezbollah, the Lebanese terrorist organization, began in 1996 where he was "tasked with observing and reporting on the movements of Israeli and Southern Lebanese Army soldiers," the DOJ statement reported. "Then, approximately three years later, he began his firearm training where he focused on firing an AK-47, an M16 rifle, a pistol, and he dealt with grenades."
He entered the U.S. in 2000 legally using a Lebanese passport, and became a naturalized citizen in 2008. Some of the targets he surveilled on Hezbollah's behalf include the United Nations headquarters, the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, the Empire State Building, and a number of local airports, tunnels, and bridges.