New Jersey man charged with acting as Hezbollah scout, targeting locations in NY

New Jersey man charged with acting as Hezbollah scout, targeting locations in NY
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Federal prosecutors on Thursday announced charges against a New Jersey man who allegedly acted as a scout for Hezbollah for possible terror attack locations in Boston, New York and Washington.

The indictment alleges that Alexei Saab of Morristown, who was taken into custody in July, has been a member of the militant group for more than 20 years, including training in the use of M16 rifles and AK-47s as well as grenades.

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He was also trained in bomb-making and circuit assembly, falsely claiming he had never been a member or associate of a terrorist organization in 2005 when he applied for citizenship, according to the indictment. He became a U.S. citizen in 2008.

Saab surveilled landmarks including the George Washington Bridge and the Statue of Liberty to Fenway Park and the Washington Monument as possible targets.

"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 U.S. Attorney’s office said.

“Even though Saab was a naturalized American citizen, his true allegiance was to Hizballah [sic], the terrorist organization responsible for decades of terrorist attacks that have killed hundreds, including U.S. citizens and military personnel. Thankfully, Saab is now in federal custody, and faces significant prison time for his alleged crimes,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement.