Federal officers have arrested a Morristown, New Jersey man acting as an agent for Hezbollah to case possible targets for terror attacks.
He had been casing terror targets in NYC, Boston and Washington DC. The targets in NYC includes the George Washington Bridge, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and local airports and tunnels. In Boston they were Fenway Park, Quincy Market and the Prudential Center. And in Washington DC it was the Washington Monument, as well as the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials.
Alexei Saab was arrested and charged with for offenses related to the support of Hezbollah, as well as separate marriage fraud offenses.
Federal prosecutors unveiled charges on Thursday for a man allegedly scouting targets in New York, Boston and Washington, D.C., for the terrorist group Hezbollah.
The Justice Department made public a nine-count indictment against Alexei Saab, 42, of Morristown, New Jersey, for offenses related to the support of Hezbollah, as well as separate marriage fraud offenses.
According to WNBC, the indictment had been under seal since July, when the suspect was taken into custody.
The government stated that Saab joined Hezbollah in 1996 and has received extensive training in small arms and bomb construction.
“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,” the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Prosecutors allege Saab was gathering this information for the Islamic Jihad Organization, Hezbollah’s terrorist arm.
Law enforcement officers executed search warrants on the man’s email account beginning in April 2018 and began interviewing him in March 2019, WNBC reported.
The Justice Department stated that Saab lawfully entered the U.S. in 2000 using a Lebanese passport.
“In 2005, Saab applied for naturalized citizenship and falsely affirmed, under penalty of perjury, that he had never been ‘a member of or in any way associated with … a terrorist organization.’ In August 2008, Saab became a naturalized U.S. citizen,” the DOJ statement reads.