Feds Say Hezbollah Operative Caught Scouting Potential Attack Sites in New York, Boston and DC


Federal prosecutors unveiled charges on Thursday for a man allegedly scouting targets in New York, Boston and Washington, D.C., for the terrorist group Hezbollah.

The Justice Department made public a nine-count indictment against Alexei Saab, 42, of Morristown, New Jersey, for offenses related to the support of Hezbollah, as well as separate marriage fraud offenses.

According to WNBC, the indictment had been under seal since July, when the suspect was taken into custody.

The government stated that Saab joined Hezbollah in 1996 and has received extensive training in small arms and bomb construction.

Among the dozens of targets the man allegedly surveilled in New York City were the George Washington Bridge, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and local airports and tunnels, according to a statement from the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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Alleged targets in Boston included Fenway Park, Quincy Market and the Prudential Center.

In Washington, D.C., Saab allegedly scouted the Washington Monument, as well as the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials.

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“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 Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Prosecutors allege Saab was gathering this information for the Islamic Jihad Organization, Hezbollah’s terrorist arm.

Law enforcement officers executed search warrants on the man’s email account beginning in April 2018 and began interviewing him in March 2019, WNBC reported.

The Justice Department stated that Saab lawfully entered the U.S. in 2000 using a Lebanese passport.

“In 2005, Saab applied for naturalized citizenship and falsely affirmed, under penalty of perjury, that he had never been ‘a member of or in any way associated with … a terrorist organization.’ In August 2008, Saab became a naturalized U.S. citizen,” the DOJ statement reads.

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In addition to his surveillance activity in the U.S., Saab attempted to murder a man he believed to be an Israeli spy and conducted intelligence-gathering for Hezbollah in Istanbul, Turkey.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman stated on Thursday that Saab’s allegiance remained with Hezbollah.

“Even though Saab was a naturalized American citizen, his true allegiance was to Hizballah, the terrorist organization responsible for decades of terrorist attacks that have killed hundreds, including U.S. citizens and military personnel,” Berman said.

He added, “Thankfully, Saab is now in federal custody, and faces significant prison time for his alleged crimes.”

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith