He was a naturalized American who's true allegiance was to a terrorist organization.https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/ne ... u-n1056716
Alexei Saab allegedly took photos and video of sites such as the United Nations, the Statue of Liberty and Boston's Fenway Park as potential targets.
NEW YORK — A New Jersey man who allegedly photographed or recorded video of landmarks including the Statue of Liberty, the White House and Boston's Fenway Park as potential terrorism targets in the early to mid-2000s has been charged with terror offenses by authorities who say he was working on behalf of Hezbollah's Islamic Jihad Organization.
Alexei Saab, 42, of Morristown, was arrested July 9 after being questioned during 11 separate sessions with FBI agents since the spring. Besides terror charges in a nine-count indictment returned Thursday, he was also charged with marriage fraud. A message for comment was left with Saab's attorney.
During interviews, Saab told agents he took photographs of buildings and locations including Quincy Market and the Prudential Center in Boston and the Capitol Building, Congress and the White House in Washington, D.C., according to a criminal complaint filed in Manhattan federal court. A video of Fenway Park that authorities say was recovered from one of Saab's electronic devices was included in the complaint.
Authorities say Saab took surveillance at dozens of locations in New York City, including the United Nations, the Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, the Empire State Building and airports, tunnels and bridges and provided information on those locations to the Islamic Jihad Organization.
Besides surveillance activities in the United States, authorities said he also operated abroad, including trying to murder a man he later understood to be a suspected Israeli spy and gathering intelligence for Hezbollah in Istanbul, Turkey. The complaint said he pointed a weapon at the individual at close range and pulled the trigger twice, but the firearm did not fire.
Authorities said Saab joined Hezbollah in 1996 and attended training in 1999, where he learned about firearms, including how to handle military assault rifles and grenades. In 2004 and 2005, he was trained in explosives in Lebanon, they said.
Saab entered the U.S. legally in November 2000 and became a citizen in 2008.
Saab was charged with marriage fraud for allegedly marrying a co-conspiracy in 2012 under false pretenses.