on November 30, 2007 by in Uncategorized, Comments (0)

Michigan Man Pleads Guilty to Supporting Hizballah

DETROIT, Nov. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A former resident of Dearborn,Michigan, pleaded guilty today to providing material support to Hizballah, a designated foreign terrorist organization, Stephen J. Murphy, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, and Kenneth L. Wainstein, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, announced today. They were joined in the announcement by Andrew Arena, FBI Special Agent inCharge in Detroit, and Brian Moskowitz, Special Agent in Charge of Departmentof Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), in Detroit.Fawzi Assi, 47, formerly of Dearborn, Michigan, entered the guilty plea inUnited States District Court before Judge Gerald E. Rosen. Mr. Assi admittedthat, on July 13, 1998, he attempted to board an airplane at Detroit MetroAirport on an international flight for Lebanon. At the time he had in hispossession two Boeing global positioning satellite modules. He also had nightvision goggles and a thermal imaging camera in his luggage. He was attemptingto deliver these items to a person in Lebanon, who was purchasing theequipment for Hizballah, which was at the time, and currently is, a designatedforeign terrorist organization. “We will be unswerving in our pursuit of those who seek to supportinternational terrorists,” said Mr. Murphy. “Anyone who gives money,technology, or other material support to any terrorist organization will beprosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I applaud the excellent work ofthe FBI, ICE and the dedicated lawyers in our office, whose tireless work ledto the successful resolution today.”FBI Special Agent in Charge Andrew G. Arena said, “This case was initiatedbefore September 11, 2001 and I would like to thank the dedicated agents whohave been a part of this case. Material support of terrorism is a very seriousoffense and the FBI will continue to aggressively investigate and pursue thesematters.”"I commend the excellent work of our partners, the FBI and CBP on thisnational security investigation,” said Brian M. Moskowitz, Special Agent inCharge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Detroit. “This collective workprevented the illegal exporting of licensable technology and military items toa designated terrorist organization.” Moskowitz’ area of responsibility coversthe states of Michigan and Ohio.At the time of his arrest Mr. Assi had been living in Dearborn and was amechanical engineer for the Ford Motor Company. Shortly after his arrest in1998, Mr. Assi was ordered released from custody during a hearing in which thegovernment sought to have him detained. He fled to Lebanon and remained thereuntil May 2004 when he returned to the United States. He has been in custodysince that time.Under the terms of the plea agreement, Mr. Assi faces up to ten yearsimprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000. SOURCE U.S. Department of JusticeU.S. Department of Justice, +1-202-514-2007, TDD: +1-202-514-1888