United States Flag
Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security

Report Crimes: Email or Call 1-866-DHS-2-ICE

Counter Proliferation Investigation Unit
11/24/2009

Indictment charges 4 with conspiracy to support Hezbollah

6 others charged with related crimes

PHILADELPHIA - As the result of a multi-agency investigation, which included U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), 10 individuals have been indicted in federal court for various crimes aimed at providing weapons and material support to Hezbollah. The charges include conspiracy to export sophisticated Colt carbines from Philadelphia to the Port of Latakia, Syria.

The announcement was made by David S. Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, Department of Justice, and U.S Attorney Michael L. Levy, together with Janice K. Fedarcyk, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (Philadelphia), John P. Kelleghan, Special Agent in Charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Philadelphia, Don Fort, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service (Philadelphia), and Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.According to the indictment, Hassan Hodroj and Dib Hani Harb attempted to provide material support to Hezbollah in the form of approximately 1,200 Colt M4 Carbines (machine guns). Harb and other defendants - including Moussa Ali Hamdan and Hasan Antar Karaki - were also charged with conspiring to provide material support to Hizballah in the form of proceeds from the sale of fraudulent passports, counterfeit money, and stolen (genuine) money. In addition, Hamdan and several other defendants (listed below) were charged with several counts of transporting stolen goods, trafficking-in counterfeit goods, and making false statements to government officials.

"The allegations contained in this complaint demonstrate how terrorist organizations rely on a variety of underlying criminal activities to fund and arm themselves. I applaud the many agents, analysts, and prosecutors who worked tirelessly to bring about these charges and arrests," said David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security.

"ICE will continue to work with its law enforcement partners to disrupt networks involved in the illegal sale and distribution of weapons and critical technologies," said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Assistant Secretary John Morton. "Today's arrests are a clear indication of the federal government's commitment to keeping Americans safe."

"This investigation demonstrates the dedication and cooperation of law enforcement agents from numerous agencies," said U.S. Attorney Michael L. Levy. "These cases show the breadth of criminal activity engaged in by those who oppose us. The crimes charged here range from the purchase of stolen and counterfeit goods, to the purchase of false visas and passports, to the purchase of weapons. I want to compliment the law enforcement agents, the Assistant United Attorneys, and the attorneys in the National Security Division of the Department of Justice for their efforts."

According to a related criminal complaint that was also unsealed today, Moussa Ali Hamdan began purchasing purportedly stolen cellular telephones from a cooperating witness acting as an agent of the government (hereinafter "the CW") in or about late 2007. Over the next several months, Hamdan and other defendants - including Hamze El-Najjar, a/k/a "Hamze Al-Najjar," Moustafa Habib Kassem, Latif Kamel Hazime, a/k/a "Adanan," Alaa Allia Ahmed Mohamed, a/k/a "Alaa Ahmed Mohamed Abouelnagaa," Maoda Kane, and Michael Katz - participated in the purchase and transportation of purportedly stolen goods on numerous occasions. These stolen goods included cellular telephones, laptop computers, Sony Play Station 2 systems, and automobiles, which the conspirators caused to be transported to destinations outside Pennsylvania, including overseas.

At the same time, according to the complaint, the CW sold counterfeit goods - namely, counterfeit Nike® shoes and Mitchell & Ness® sports jerseys - to Hamdan and his associates, including defendants Hamze El-Najjar, Moustafa Habib Kassem, Alaa Allia Ahmed Mohamed, a/k/a "Alaa Ahmed Mohamed Abouelnagaa," Maodo Kane, and Michael Katz.

The complaint details efforts by defendants Moussa Ali Hamdan, Dib Hani Harb, and Hasan Antar Karaki to sell the CW counterfeit United States currency for the purpose of raising funds for Hizballah. In total, the conspirators provided the CW with approximately $9,800 in counterfeit United States currency.

In this same vein, the complaint alleges that defendants Moussa Ali Hamdan, Dib Hani Harb, and Hasan Antar Karaki generated additional funds for Hizballah by selling fraudulent passports. The CW and the defendants participated in the purchase of two fake passports - one from the United Kingdom and one from Canada - for the benefit of Hizballah.

Finally, the complaint alleges that defendant Dib Hani Harb worked with Hodroj in furtherance of a conspiracy to provide material support to Hizballah in the form of approximately 1,200 Colt M4 Carbines (machine guns).

"The FBI remains resolutely committed to working with our law enforcement partners to find and stop those individuals who commit crimes, such as those alleged today, which are intended to provide financial and other material support for those individuals and groups operating on behalf of designated foreign terrorist organizations," said Special Agent-in-Charge Janice K. Fedarcyk, of the Philadelphia Division of the FBI. "Today, through the well-coordinated effort of all involved agencies, a blow has been struck to Hizballah's efforts to fund its terrorism activities."

INFORMATION REGARDING THE DEFENDANTS

INFORMATION REGARDING THE DEFENDANTS
NAMEADDRESSYEAR OF BIRTHMAX. SENTENCE (if convicted)
Hassan HodrojBeirut, Lebanonunknown15 years
Hasan Antar KarakiBeirut, Lebanon195915 years
Moussa Ali HamdanBrooklyn, New York197225 years
Hassan El-Najjar, a/k/a "Hassan Al-Najjar"Brooklyn, New York198210 years
Moustafa Habib KassemStaten Island, New York198010 years
Latif Kamel Hazime, a/k/a "Adanan"Margarita Island, Venezuela & Dearborn, Michigan19805 years
Alaa Allia Ahmed Mohamed, a/k/a "Alaa Ahmed Mohamed Abouelnagaa"Brooklyn, New York19665 years
Maodo KaneBronx, New York19715 years
Michael KatzPlainsboro, New Jersey19425 years

INFORMATION REGARDING THE CHARGES

INFORMATION REGARDING THE CHARGES
Hassan HodrojCount 118 U.S.C. § 2339B (conspiring to provide material support to a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization)
Maximum penalty: 35 yearsCount 218 U.S.C. § 2339B (attempting to provide material support to a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization)
Count 418 U.S.C. § 371 (conspiracy to transport weapons in interstate commerce)
DIB HANI HARBCount 118 U.S.C. § 2339B (conspiracy to provide material support to a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization)
Count 218 U.S.C. § 2339B (attempt to provide material support to a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization)
Maximum penalty: 90 yearsCount 318 U.S.C. § 2339B (conspiracy to provide material support to a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization)
18 U.S.C. § 371 (conspiracy to transport weapons in interstate commerce)
Count 418 U.S.C. § 371 (conspiracy to deal in counterfeit obligations or securities)
Count 518 U.S.C. § 473 (dealing in counterfeit obligations or securities)
Count 618 U.S.C. § 371 (conspiracy to commit passport fraud)
18 U.S.C. § 1543 (passport fraud)
Count 7
Count 8
HASAN ANTAR KARAKICount 318 U.S.C. § 2339B (conspiracy to provide material support to a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization)
Count 518 U.S.C. § 371 (conspiracy to deal in counterfeit obligations or securities)
Maximum penalty: 55 yearsCount 618 U.S.C. § 473 (dealing in counterfeit obligations or securities)
18 U.S.C. § 371 (conspiracy to commit passport fraud)
Count 718 U.S.C. § 1543 (passport fraud)
Count 8
MOUSSA ALI HAMDANCount 318 U.S.C. § 2339B (conspiracy to provide material support to a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization)
Count 518 U.S.C. § 371 (conspiracy to deal in counterfeit obligations or securities)
Maximum penalty: 260 yearsCount 618 U.S.C. § 473 (dealing in counterfeit obligations or securities)
18 U.S.C. § 371 (conspiracy to commit passport fraud)
Count 718 U.S.C. § 1543 (passport fraud)
Count 818 U.S.C. § 371 (conspiracy to transport stolen goods)
Count 918 U.S.C. §§ 2314 & 21 (transportation of stolen goods)
Counts 10-1918 U.S.C. § 371 (conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods)
Count 2018 U.S.C. §§ 2320 & 21 (trafficking in counterfeit goods)
Counts 21-2818 U.S.C. § 1001 (false statements to government officials)
Counts 29-3018 U.S.C. § 371 (conspiracy to commit passport fraud)
Count 31
HAMZE EL-NAJJAR a/k/a "Hamze Al-Najjar"Count 918 U.S.C. § 371 (conspiracy to transport stolen goods)
Counts 16-1718 U.S.C. §§ 2314 & 21 (transportation of stolen goods)
Maximum penalty: 40 yearsCount 2018 U.S.C. § 371 (conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods)
Count 2618 U.S.C. §§ 2320 & 21 (trafficking in counterfeit goods)
MOUSTAFA HABIB KASSEMCount 918 U.S.C. § 371 (conspiracy to transport stolen goods)
Counts 16-1718 U.S.C. §§ 2314 & 21 (transportation of stolen goods)
Count 2018 U.S.C. § 371 (conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods)
Maximum penalty: 40 yearsCount 2618 U.S.C. §§ 2320 & 21 (trafficking in counterfeit goods)
LATIF KAMEL HAZIME, a/k/a "Adanan" Count 918 U.S.C. § 371 (conspiracy to transport stolen goods)
Count 1518 U.S.C. §§ 2314 & 21 (transportation of stolen goods)
ALAA ALLIA AHMED MOHAMED a/k/a Alaa Ahmed Mohamed Abouelnagaa Count 2018 U.S.C. § 371 conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods)
Count 2518 U.S.C. §§ 2320 & 21 (trafficking in counterfeit goods)
Maximum penalty: 15 years
MAODO KANECount 2018 U.S.C. § 371 (conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods)
Maximum penalty: 15 yearsCount 2518 U.S.C. §§ 2320 & 21 (trafficking in counterfeit goods)
MICHAEL KATZ Count 2018 U.S.C. § 371 (conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods)
Maximum penalty: 15 yearsCount 2518 U.S.C. §§ 2320 & 21 (trafficking in counterfeit goods)

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Joint Terrorism Task Force, the New Jersey State Police, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Internal Revenue Service, the United States Secret Service, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Philadelphia Police Department, the Department of Commerce, Customs and Border Protection, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Federal Air Marshals, Pennsylvania State Police, and the Department of State.

It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Nancy Beam Winter and Stephen A. Miller, and National Security Division Counterterrorism Section Trial Attorney Jolie F. Zimmerman.