Iranian Terror Asset Who Scouted Statue of Liberty Convicted

Some people would like to pretend that Islamic terrorism is past tense. It's not.

Just because we haven't been hit hard lately doesn't mean that the threat has actually gone away.

ALEXEI SAAB, a/k/a “Ali Hassan Saab,” a/k/a “Alex Saab,” a/k/a “Rachid,” was convicted today of receiving military-type training from a designated foreign terrorist organization, Hizballah, marriage fraud conspiracy, and making false statements...

SAAB joined Hizballah in 1996.  SAAB’s first Hizballah operations occurred in Lebanon, where he was tasked with observing and reporting on the movements of Israeli and Southern Lebanese Army soldiers in Yaroun, Lebanon.  Among other things, SAAB reported on patrol schedules and formations, procedures at security checkpoints, and the vehicles used by soldiers.  SAAB also, alongside his brother, planted an improvised explosive device that detonated and hit Israeli soldiers, seriously injuring at least one.

In approximately 1999, SAAB attended his first Hizballah training.  The training was focused on the use of firearms, and SAAB handled and fired an AK-47, an M16 rifle, and a pistol, and threw grenades.  In 2000, SAAB transitioned to membership in Hizballah’s unit responsible for external operations, the IJO, and he then received extensive training in IJO tradecraft, weapons, and military tactics, including how to construct and detonate bombs and other explosive devices and how to best use these devices in attacks.  Specifically, SAAB received detailed instruction in, among other things, triggering mechanisms, explosive substances, detonators, and the assembly of circuits. 

In 2000, SAAB entered the United States.  While living in the United States, SAAB remained an IJO operative, continued to receive military training in Lebanon, and conducted numerous operations for the IJO.  For example, SAAB surveilled dozens of locations in New York City—including the United Nations headquarters, the Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, the Empire State Building, and local airports, tunnels, and bridges—and provided detailed information on these locations, including photographs, to the IJO.  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.  SAAB’s reporting to the IJO included the materials used to construct a particular target, how close in proximity one could get to a target, and site weaknesses or “soft spots” that the IJO could exploit if it attacked a target in the future.  SAAB conducted similar intelligence gathering in a variety of large American cities, including Boston and Washington, D.C.   SAAB also was tasked by Hizballah with opening a front company that he could use to obtain fertilizer in the United States for use as an explosives precursor.

Hezbollah is a Shiite arm of Iran. What this means is that Iran has plans to attack America.

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