Federal prosecutors have unsealed a two-year-old indictment against Faouzi Ayoub, a Lebanese-born man wanted in America for passport fraud committed as part of an attempted terrorist act.
An FBI spokeswoman said that the indictment was unsealed because Ayoub was added to the FBI's Most Wanted List. Ayoub's page on the list describes him as 44 years old, 5 feet 7 inches tall, and speaks English and Arabic.
Ayoub, a former resident of Dearborn, Mich., entered Israel on October 8, 2000, discarding his Canadian documents and using a false American passport bearing the name Frank Mariano Boschi, the indictment alleges. His entry was connected with a Hizballah plot to carry out terror attacks against Israeli targets. He was also suspected of instructing Palestinian extremists in bomb-making techniques in the West Bank.
Ayoub was captured in 2002 in the West Bank, first by the Palestinian Authority and later during an Israeli counterterrorism raid. "I came here, I came as a volunteer to do one operation as a volunteer," he testified during his time in an Israeli prison. He claimed his attack was motivated by faith, saying, "Islam says that anyone who is oppressed has a right to protect themselves." He also said it was "tough luck" if innocents died during his action.
He was later released from Israeli prison as part of a prisoner exchange deal, which saw Israel release 436 Palestinian and Lebanese terrorists in exchange for drug dealer Elhanan Tannenbaum and the bodies of three Israeli soldiers.
The terror attack was not Ayoub's first. He was sentenced to seven years by a Romanian court following a failed hijacking attempt in 1986, according to journalist Stewart Bell's book, Cold Terror. Ayoub only served 10 months, and returned to Lebanon to rejoin Hizballah. The plane was hijacked by other Hizballah terrorists the next day. More than 60 people died after grenades went off on board and the plane crashed in a Saudi Arabian desert.