Two Hizballah operatives captured, indicted in US
The US Justice Department announced Thursday that two Hizballah operatives, both naturalized American citizens, have been arrested and indicted on terror-related charges. The department said the suspects, 32-year-old Ali Kourani from New York and 37-year-old Samer El Debek from Michigan, received military training from the terrorist organization.
In the department's statement, Acting US Attorney Joon Kim was quoted as saying "At the direction of his Hezbollah handlers, El Debek allegedly conducted missions in Panama to locate the U.S. and Israeli Embassies and to assess the vulnerabilities of the Panama Canal and ships in the Canal. Kourani allegedly conducted surveillance of potential targets in America, including military and law enforcement facilities in New York City." New York Police Commissioner James O'Neill said Kourani and others conducted surveillance of potential targets including US military bases and IDF personnel in the city.
Both Kourani and El Debek face a maximum sentence of life in prison.