(NEW YORK, NY) – Ali Kourani, 32, of the Bronx, NY, and Samer el Debek, 37, of Dearborn, MI, aka, Samer Eldebek, were arrested on June 1 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, and naturalization fraud to facilitate an act of international terrorism.
Kourani was presented on June 2 before Magistrate Judge Barbara Moses in Manhattan federal court.
El Debek was arrested in Livonia, MI, 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 June 5 before Magistrate Judge Henry Pitman in Manhattan federal court.
The charges contained in the complaints are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Hizballah is a Lebanon-based Shia Islamic organization with political, social, and terrorist components and its mission includes establishing a fundamentalist Islamic state in Lebanon. The organization has been responsible for numerous terrorist attacks that have killed hundreds, including U.S. citizens and military personnel.
In 1997, the US Department of State designated Hizballah a Foreign Terrorist Organization, pursuant to Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and it remains so designated today.
The Islamic Jihad Organization, which is also known as the External Security Organization and “910,” is a component of Hizballah responsible for the planning and coordination of intelligence, counterintelligence, and terrorist activities on behalf of Hizballah outside of Lebanon.