Two Hamas agents have been arrested in the US while laying the groundwork for a terror attack against Israeli targets in the Western Hemisphere, federal prosecutors revealed Thursday.
Ali Kourani and Samer El Debek were taken into custody last week for their ties to the Iran-backed terror organization.
Authorities say the pair were conducting “pre-operational surveillance” on behalf of the Shi’ite terror group, and that both men had been trained in the manufacture of bombs and use of firearms in Lebanon.
Kourani and El Debek reportedly scouted out targets for Hezbollah, including the US and Israeli embassies in Panama and Israeli targets in New York.
Officials say El Debek has been a member of Hezbollah since 2008, and repeatedly visited Hezbollah training facilities in Lebanon over the past nine years. Kourani, prosecutors said, has been affiliated with the terror group from age 16, and falsely claimed on his immigration application that he had no ties to foreign terror groups.
According to acting US Attorney Joon Kim, the pair received “military-style training, including in the use of weapons like rocket-propelled grenade launchers and machine guns for use in the support of the group’s terrorist mission.”