Lebanese Immigrant Allegedly Scouted U.S. Landmarks for Terrorist Attack
A Lebanese immigrant to the United States allegedly scouted famous American landmarks in cities like New York City, Boston, and Washington, D.C. for a potential terrorist attack by the Islamic terrorist group Hezbollah.
Alexei Saab, a 42-year-old legal immigrant from Lebanon, is accused of helping Hezbollah find a U.S. landmark target for a potential terrorist attack, receiving military-type training from the terrorist organization, and committing immigration fraud in a nine-count indictment that was unsealed this week.
Despite joining Hezbollah in 1996 and receiving training in how to make bombs in 2000, Saab was legally admitted to the U.S. using his Lebanese passport in November 2000, according to the indictment. In 2005, Saab was able to apply for American naturalized citizenship, which he was eventually awarded in August 2008.
While living in the U.S., Saab allegedly scouted multiple landmarks on which Hezbollah terrorists could execute an attack against Americans. Some of the places surveilled by Saab include New York City’s United Nations headquarters, the Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, the Empire State Building, and even airports.
Other locations allegedly scouted by Saab included Boston, Massachusetts’ Prudential Center and Fenway Park, as well as Washington, D.C.’s Washington Monument, the U.S. Capitol building, and the Lincoln Memorial.
Federal prosecutors allege that Saab traveled back and forth from the U.S. to Lebanon a total of ten times between 2000 and 2019. In one case, while travelling back to the U.S. after receiving training in how to detonate explosives, Saab was stopped in Turkey after border agents detected substances associated with explosives on his luggage. When Saab arrived back at John F. Kennedy airport in Queens, New York, he was questioned about the explosive substance on his luggage but denied having any knowledge of where it may have come from.
Saab now faces up to 100 years in prison for the allegations against him.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.