WASHINGTON (JTA) – Two men living in the U.S. have been charged for working for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.
A release from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan on Thursday said Ali Kourani, 32, and Samer El Debek, 37, were arrested on June 1 for providing material support to and receiving military training from the Lebanese militia, which is designated by the United States as a terrorist group.
Kourani allegedly identified possible weapons suppliers in the United States and obtained military training in Lebanon. He also identified Israeli army personnel in the United States and cased U.S. airports, military bases and police stations, it said.
El Debek was also charged with being trained by Hezbollah. El Debek allegedly traveled to Panama in 2011, where his assignment included “locating the U.S. and Israeli Embassies, casing security procedures at the Panama Canal and the Israeli Embassy, and locating hardware stores where explosive precursors could be purchased.”
A year later, El Debek returned to Panama allegedly to identify “areas of weakness and construction at the Panama Canal, as well as provide information about how close someone could get to a ship passing through the Canal.”
Each man was charged with an array of crimes, which could bring sentences of between five and 20 years each.