New Jersey man arrested for allegedly spying for Hezbollah

Alexei Saab was indicted on charges he supported Hezbollah by scouting possible targets in the U.S. for an attack, according to the FBI.
2:23 | 09/20/19

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Transcript for New Jersey man arrested for allegedly spying for Hezbollah
Now to that terror arrest. Disturbing new details about a New Jersey man accused of scouting dozens of high-profile locations for possible attacks including the statue of liberty, the U.S. Capitol and places like the George Washington bridge. Whit Johnson is there this morning. Whit, good morning. Reporter: Tom, good morning to you. Prosecutors say alexei Saab trained with Hezbollah overseas and then came to the U.S. Before 9/11 even happened. For nearly two decades he was accused of conducting surveillance on so-called hot spots like the George Washington bridge behind me here and then feeding that information back to terrorists. For years federal authorities say some of America's most iconic landmarks were watched and scouted for possible attacks. Times square, the statue of liberty, the U.N., major airports and bridges, dozens of locations in New York alone. This morning, 42-year-old alexei Saab under arrest accused of supporting Hezbollah. Hezbollah is a terrorist organization that's controlled an funded by Iran. They're across the world. They've been associated or involved in a number of attacks. Reporter: The FBI says it's now recovering photos and videos from Saab's devices depicting highly populated locations in other major cities like Boston's Fenway park and the U.S. Capitol where they say he looked for structural weaknesses to maximize damage. Saab was living in New Jersey. Investigators say he came to the U.S. In 2000, applied for citizenship in 2005, becoming a naturalized citizen just three years later. Authorities say he traveled to Lebanon ten times in 17 years getting extensive weapons training. Ak-47s, M-16s and bombmaking. Court documents showing draws Saab allegedly made of explosives. It's those kind of locations they're looking for because they want to inflict maximum fear and then potentially maximum economic damage on the united States. Reporter: Prosecutors also say that Saab attempted to murder a man he suspected to be an Israeli spy and then he confessed to a sham marriage in which he was allegedly paid $20,000 to marry a woman he hardly knew to try to gain her citizenship. If convicted he faces years in prison.

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