A Bronx man conducted surveillance of military and intelligence outposts in New York City as well as Kennedy International Airport in support of anticipated terrorist attacks by Hezbollah, the federal authorities said in a criminal complaint released in Manhattan on Thursday.
The man, Ali Kourani, a 32-year-old naturalized citizen from Lebanon, told the F.B.I. in a series of interviews that he believed he had been recruited to join Hezbollah’s Islamic Jihad Organization as part of an effort to develop “sleepers” who lived ostensibly normal lives but could be “activated and tasked” with conducting operations, the complaint said.
Islamic Jihad Organization is a Hezbollah group that is responsible for the planning and coordination of intelligence, counterintelligence and terrorist activities outside Lebanon, the office of Joon H. Kim, the acting United States attorney in Manhattan, said in the complaint.
Prosecutors said that a second man, Samer El Debek, 37, of Dearborn, Mich., had also been charged with working on behalf of Hezbollah. Mr. El Debek had traveled on missions for the group, including a 2011 trip to Panama where he surveilled security procedures at the Israeli Embassy and the Panama Canal, the authorities said.
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