A New Jersey man has been held in federal custody since July for allegedly scouting several American landmarks as potential targets for the terrorist organization Hezbollah. According to federal prosecutors, Alexei Saab, a naturalized American citizen and Morristown resident, allegedly looked at locations in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Boston. Saab allegedly sent back intel on the Statue of Liberty, the George Washington Bridge, Fenway Park, and the Washington Monument to the group’s leadership in Lebanon. “Even though Saab was a naturalized American citizen, his true allegiance was to Hizballah, the terrorist organization responsible for decades of terrorist attacks,” reads a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
“Saab operated in the streets of New York as a covert operative for Hizballah, gathering intelligence and sizing up targets for potential attacks on US soil,” NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill said. “This case brings us another important piece of the puzzle in our long term investigations into the terrorist groups targeting New York City.” Prosecutors allege that Saab joined Hezbollah in 1996 and received “extensive training” in weapons and constructing bombs. He is charged with “providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization,” among other related charges.