This is the official announcement from the Department of Justice, its headline is almost as unhelpful as the AP headline above:
Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Dana Boente, the Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security, William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and James P. O’Neill, the Commissioner of the Police Department for the City of New York (“NYPD”), announced that ALI KOURANI and SAMER EL DEBEK, a/k/a “Samer Eldebek,” were arrested on Thursday, June 1, 2017, on charges related to their alleged activities on behalf of Hizballah, a designated foreign terrorist organization.Well down in this announcement, we learn that Kourani, the Bronx man, was originally a "Lebanon man":
KOURANI was arrested in the Bronx for providing, attempting, and conspiring to provide material support to Hizballah; receiving and conspiring to receive military-type training from Hizballah; a related weapons offense that is alleged to have involved, among other weapons, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and machine guns; violating and conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”); and naturalization fraud to facilitate an act of international terrorism. KOURANI was presented on Friday, June 2, 2017, before Magistrate Judge Barbara Moses in Manhattan federal court.
EL DEBEK was arrested in Livonia, Michigan, outside of Detroit, for providing, attempting, and conspiring to provide material support to Hizballah; receiving and conspiring to receive military-type training from Hizballah; use of weapons in connection with a crime of violence that is alleged to have involved, among other weapons, explosives, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, and machine guns; and violating and conspiring to violate IEEPA. EL DEBEK was presented on Monday, June 5, 2017, before Magistrate Judge Henry Pitman in Manhattan federal court.[More]
KOURANI, who was born in Lebanon, attended Hizballah-sponsored weapons training in Lebanon in 2000 when he was approximately 16 years old. After lawfully entering the United States in 2003, KOURANI obtained a Bachelor of Science in biomedical engineering in 2009, and a Masters of Business Administration in 2013.The basic question is "Why was a Lebanese Muslim allowed to 'lawfully enter' the United States—two years after 9/11, and at the beginning of the Iraq War?"
KOURANI and certain of his relatives were present during the summer 2006 conflict between Israel and Hizballah in Lebanon, when a residence belonging to his family was destroyed. KOURANI was subsequently recruited to join the IJO by 2008. In August 2008, KOURANI submitted an application for naturalization in the United States in which he falsely claimed, among other things, that he was not affiliated with a terrorist organization. In April 2009, KOURANI became a naturalized citizen and was issued a United States passport. Despite claiming in his passport application that he had no travel plans, KOURANI traveled to Guangzhou, China – the location of Guangzhou Company-1 – on May 3, 2009. He later claimed to the FBI that the purpose of the trip was to meet with medical device manufacturers and other businessmen.