New York man convicted of supporting Hezbollah

Jury convicts New York man of Lebanese origin of providing material support to Hezbollah terrorist organization.

Elad Benari ,

Hezbollah supporters
Hezbollah supporters

A New York jury on Thursday convicted a New York man of Lebanese origin of providing material support to the Hezbollah terrorist organization, The Associated Press reported.

The jury returned its verdict against the man, Ali Kourani, in Manhattan federal court. He could face life in prison at a sentencing scheduled for September.

The Bronx man has been held without bail since his June 2017 arrest.

Prosecutors say Kourani surveilled American targets, including military and law enforcement facilities in New York City.

Authorities say the Lebanon-born Kourani received sophisticated military training overseas at least twice, including in 2000 at age 16. They say he was trained in the use of a rocket propelled grenade, according to AP.

Authorities said Kourani came to the US legally in 2003, eventually earning bachelor's and master's degrees. His lawyer has said he'll appeal the conviction.

Hezbollah is blacklisted as a terrorist organization in the US, which in recent years has imposed several rounds of sanctions on Hezbollah and officials affiliated with the terror group.

Last October, President Donald Trump signed new sanctions targeting Hezbollah.

A week earlier, then-US Attorney General Jeff Sessions designated five groups, including Hezbollah, as transnational criminal organizations to target with tougher investigations and prosecutions.

Before that, the Treasury sanctioned one of the financiers of Hezbollah and its representative to Iran, as well as five entities based in Europe.