U.S. blacklists three alleged Hezbollah members/Lebanese-born Texas man gets 5 years for lying about Hezbollah links


U.S. blacklists three alleged Hezbollah members
The Daily Starظ Apr. 29, 2015/BEIRUT: The U.S. State Department has designated as terrorists two Lebanese men allegedly members of Hezbollah who are accused of involvement in the 2012 Bulgaria bus bombing that killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver.
A third Lebanese man accused of being a member of Hezbollah’s “overseas terrorism unit” was also blacklisted, a statement released Tuesday said. “The Department of State has designated Meliad Farah, Hasan al-Hajj Hasan, and Hussein Atris as Specially Designated Global Terrorists under Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism,” the State Department statement said. Farah and Hasan have been accused by Bulgarian authorities of involvement in the bus attack. Atris was jailed in Thailand from 2012 to 2014 after he was found hiding chemicals used for explosives. The statement said the three suspects are believed to be members of Hezbollah, which the State Department also considers a terrorist group, and living in Lebanon. Hezbollah has denied involvement in the Bulgaria attack.

 Lebanese-born Texas man gets 5 years for lying about Hezbollah links

The Daily Star/Apr. 29, 2015/BEIRUT: A U.S. court sentenced a Lebanese man living in Texas to five years in jail for knowingly lying to federal authorities after failing to reveal his former links with the Amal Movement and Hezbollah when he applied for U.S. citizenship.
Wissam “Sam” Allouche, 45, was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the San Antonio Joint Terrorism Task Force in May 2013. He became an American citizen in 2009 after marrying a U.S. army soldier. The announcement, made by the FBI office in San Antonio, Texas, said Allouche was sentenced to five years in federal prison for making a false statement to a federal agent and for unlawfully attempting to procure and obtain naturalization and citizenship. Jurors convicted Allouche on both charges in February 2015 after finding that there was evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that Allouche was a member of the Amal Movement and had command authority in Hezbollah. Testimony during the trial revealed that Allouche, who emigrated to the United States after marrying his wife, failed to disclose in January 2009 to United States immigration authorities the fact that he was an Amal member in the 1980s in order to remain in the United States, according to the announcement. In addition, while seeking a position as contract linguist with the United States Department of Defense that required top security clearance, Allouche failed to disclose that he was held as a prisoner of war by Israel. Relatives also testified that Allouche later claimed he killed an Israeli pilot captured by Hezbollah in retaliation for his imprisonment.