US: Muslim terrorist who surveilled New York targets for Hezbollah gets 40 years in prison
A New Yorker Muslim terrorist convicted of providing material support to Hezbollah by seeking targets in New York City for terrorist attacks was sentenced Tuesday to 40 years in prison.
Muslim terrorist Ali Kourani, 35, spied for Hezbollah and considered himself a “sleeper agent” of the terror group. He called his family “the bin Ladens of Lebanon”.
Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a release that Kourani spent years conducting surveillance at federal buildings, airports including Kennedy International Airport and even daycare centers after he was recruited, trained and deployed by Hezbollah’s Islamic Jihad terror group.
The prosecutor said Kourani was the first member of the terror group to be convicted and sentenced for his crimes against the US.
In addition to the 40-year-term, Kourani, now 35, was also sentenced to five years of supervised release.
The prosecutor said that Kourani’s case had huge implications for Hezbollah’s patron, Iran, as well as public safety around the world.
Authorities said Kourani came to the US legally in 2003, earning a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering in 2009 and a master’s degree in business administration in 2013. He became a naturalized US citizen in April 2009 and was issued a US passport.
Kourani was recruited by the terrorist group after a family residence was destroyed in 2006 during the war between Israel and Hezbollah.
They said he traveled to Lebanon in 2011 when he learned to use a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, assault rifles, a submachine gun, a machine gun, and a Glock pistol.
The government had claimed Kourani tried to selectively share intel on Hezbollah with the feds in exchange for help getting his children back from his estranged wife, who had moved to Canada. After numerous meetings, the feds chose to arrest him.