USA v. Kourani, Ali, et ano.
Bronx, NY

Hizballah (Islamic Jihad Organization)

[SDNY] Ali Kourani of the Bronx, New York, and Samer el Debek of Dearborn, Michigan, aka, "Samer Eldebek," were arrested for terrorist activities on behalf of the Islamic Jihad Organization, a component of the foreign terrorist organization Hizballah. Recruited as Hizballah operatives, Samer El Debek and Ali Kourani, allegedly received military-style training, including in the use of weapons like rocket-propelled grenade launchers and machine guns for use in support of the group's terrorist mission. At the direction of his Hizballah handlers, El Debek allegedly conducted missions in Panama to locate the U.S. and Israeli Embassies and to assess the vulnerabilities of the Panama Canal and ships in the Canal. Kourani allegedly conducted surveillance of potential targets in America, including military and law enforcement facilities in New York City. Kourani was convicted for covert terrorist activities on behalf of Hizballah's Islamic Jihad Organization and sentenced to 40 years in prison. In July 2021, the conviction of Kourani was upheld by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan after Kourani challenged his conviction and his sentence.

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