Authorities in New York City announced on Thursday a nine-count indictment against Alexei Saab for relaying intelligence to Hezbollah. Saab acted as a scout, looking for U.S. terror locations in Washington DC, New York and Boston. Saab joined Hezbollah in 1996 and received training in explosives and firearms. He was naturalized as a U.S. citizen in 2008 and lived in New Jersey. He directly reported to the Islamic Jihad Organization (IJO), which is an active terror wing of Hezbollah that has carried out attacks as recent as 2017.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said, “Even though Saab was a naturalized American citizen, his true allegiance was to Hezbollah, the terrorist organization responsible for decades of terrorist attacks that have killed hundreds – including U.S. citizens and military personnel.” Saab relayed photos taken on his cellphone back to terror leadership and gave detailed analysis of “soft spots” including the George Washington Bridge, Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Herald Square and local airports and tunnels. He is also known to have attempted murder on what he thought to be an Israeli spy.
Why does this isolated incident in New York matter in the grand scheme of geopolitics? It all ties back to Iran. Hezbollah is a terrorist militia working for the Iranian regime and recently, Iran has been testing the West & United States. Iran launched pinpoint drone strikes on a Saudi oil facility last weekend in order to destabilize energy resources. Since Europe is highly dependent on OPEC (Middle East) oil, reduced Saudi oil production will pressure Europe into saving a 2015 nuclear deal. This deal gives Iran the ability to generate weapons and they hope that by pressuring Europe, they will convince the U.S. to re-enter the deal (Trump pulled the U.S. out of the deal last May). Iran also knows the U.S. 5th fleet is anchored off the coast of Saudi Arabia in Bahrain. The drone strikes were meant to demonstrate Iran’s ability to destroy U.S. ships.
There are people in the world actively looking to harm Americans. Often we forget the fragility of our peaceful existence. Iranian leadership literally chants “death to America” in their legislative assembly. The call the United States “the Great Satan” and Israel “the Little Satan.” No amount of appeasement or negotiating with these people will stop them. They believe they are instructed by Allah to destroy the western world. Only a show of strength will put them in their place.