A New York man was recently convicted of acting as an operative for the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah.
According to the Justice Department statement, Ali Kourani a.k.a. Jacob Lewis was, in the words of a U.S. attorney who assisted with the prosecution, “recruited, trained and deployed by Hezbollah’s Islamic Jihad Organization (IJO) to plan and execute acts of terrorism in the United States.”
The details of Kourani’s mission for Hezbollah were nothing short of shocking. “While living in the United States, Kourani served as an operative of Hizballah in order to help the foreign terrorist organization prepare for potential future attacks against the United States,” said Assistant Attorney General John Demers. “The evidence at trial showed that Kourani searched for suppliers who could provide weapons for such attacks, identified people who could be recruited or targeted for violence, and gathered information about and conducted surveillance of potential targets within our country.”
Perhaps the most concerning of all the facts presented in the case was that Kourani managed to relay important intelligence back to his bosses in Lebanon, including his surveillance of police and military installations in New York.
Among his numerous offenses, Kourani surveilled various targets in New York City for possible IJO-orchestrated terrorist attacks. Kourani, who lived in the Bronx, scoped out JFK Airport and U.S. military and law enforcement facilities, including the Jacob Javits federal building at 26 Federal Plaza in Manhattan.
This is the second prosecution of an Islamist militant agent to be announced by Washington in the recent period.