A jury in Manhattan found Ali Kourani, a Hezbollah operative who carried out surveillance of targets in New York, guilty of committing various crimes on behalf of Islamic Jihad Organization (IJO), which plans terrorist operations around the world on behalf of Hezbollah, on May 16th.
The jury’s verdict was announced the following day.
The U.S. DoJ’s verdict statement partially reads:
“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 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. Such covert activities conducted on U.S. soil are a clear threat to our national security and I applaud the agents, analysts, and prosecutors who are responsible for this investigation and prosecution.”
“Ali Kourani was recruited, trained and deployed by Hizballah’s Islamic Jihad Organization to plan and execute acts of terrorism in the United States,” said U.S. Attorney Berman. “Kourani’s chilling mission was to help procure weapons and gather intelligence about potential targets in the U.S. for future Hizballah terrorist attacks. Some of the targets Kourani surveilled included JFK Airport and law enforcement facilities in New York City, including the federal building at 26 Federal Plaza in Manhattan. Today, Kourani has fittingly been convicted for his crimes in a courthouse that stands in the shadow of one of his potential targets.”
“This case shows Hizballah’s Islamic Jihad Organization is a threat to the American people and not just to those living abroad,” said FBI Assistant Director McGarrity. “The IJO enlisted Kourani to help plan an attack on high profile U.S. locations where many people could have been killed or injured. Thanks to the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force his plans were not carried out.”