Hizballah operative convicted of terror charges after surveilling targets in New York City
[Long Wars] On May 16, a jury in Manhattan found Ali Kourani guilty of committing various crimes on behalf of Hizballah’s Islamic Jihad Organization (IJO), which plans terrorist operations around the world. The Department of Justice announced the jury’s verdict the following day.
Among other offenses, Kourani surveilled various targets in New York City for possible IJO-orchestrated terrorist attacks. Kourani, who lived in the Bronx, scoped out JFK Airport, US military and law enforcement facilities, including the Jacob Javits federal building at 26 Federal Plaza in Manhattan.
The IJO, which oversaw Kourani’s work, has an extensive terrorist history. Hizballah’s external operations arm first began targeting the US in Lebanon during the 1980s. It was led by Imad Mugniyah, Iran’s master terrorist, who was responsible for orchestrating some of the first jihadist suicide bombings in the modern era. Mughniyah was killed in 2008, but Hizballah obviously stayed in the terrorism business after his demise.
[For an overview of the case against Kourani, his alleged role within the IJO, and Hizballah’s anti-American terrorism, see FDD’s Long War Journal report, Analysis: 2 US cases provide unique window into Iran’s global terror network.]
The DOJ describes the IJO as a "highly compartmentalized component of Hizballah" that is "responsible for the planning, preparation, and execution of intelligence, counterintelligence, and terrorist activities" outside of Lebanon’s borders.
It is also known as External Security Organization and "910." The IJO was responsible for a worldwide Iranian terror campaign in 2012, targeting a bus full of Israeli tourists in Burgas, Bulgaria, a bombing that left six people dead and wounded 32 others. Other IJO plots that same year were thwarted by authorities.
Posted by: Besoeker 2019-05-21