An illegal immigrant from Lebanon was sentenced Tuesday to 4 1/2 years in prison for conspiring to raise money for the Islamic militant group Hezbollah, which the United States has designated a terrorist group.
Not far from the agent and the four illegal aliens, Mahmoud Youssef Kourani, 30, of Yater, Lebanon, had also just infiltrated America. No Border Patrol agent intercepted him in his hiding spot: the trunk of a car crossing the border (he paid someone to smuggle him across). Kourani had arrived in Mexico after bribing a Mexican consular official in Beirut with $3,000. Soon after the successful infiltration into the land of the Great Satan, Kourani’s brother, head of security in southern Lebanon for Hezbollah, was notified that all was well and the operation devised in Lebanon and Iran was progressing.
In fact, Kourani had received extensive training in terror trade craft–counterintelligence, weapons acquisition and employment, target reconnaissance, covers (he would become a carpenter in Dearborn, Michigan, which has a huge Muslim immigrant population), logistics, fund raising–in Lebanon and Iran, with the latter’s government funding, training, equipping and deploying Hezbollah.
Kourani had just become a key member of a Hezbollah cell, joining at least nine other Hezbollah cells in the United States.