N.J. software developer eyed U.S. targets for terror attacks, feds say at trial openings

NEW YORK — A prosecutor advised jurors in an opening statement Monday that a New Jersey software program developer was really a really qualified terrorist scoping out U.S. landmarks for attack from 2000 to 2005.

Alexei Saab, 45, of Morristown, experienced a double identification while he labored for Hezbollah’s Islamic Jihad Group, prepared to attack Us residents at preferred areas if Iran was attacked by the U.S., stated Assistant U.S. Lawyer Samuel Adelsberg.

By day, Saab was a software engineer doing work for know-how businesses who in shape in ample that he grew to become a U.S. citizen, the prosecutor explained.

By night time, he was “a terrorist and spy” scoping out opportunity terrorism targets in New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., and overseas in France, Turkey and the Czech Republic, Adelsberg stated.

Saab was arrested in July 2019 just after becoming questioned in the course of 11 periods in excess of quite a few weeks with FBI brokers.

Saab’s lawyer, Marlon Kirton, reported all the evidence in the case was from Saab himself and could not be regarded as reputable.

And he famous that Hezbollah had hardly ever attacked Individuals in the United States.

In courtroom files, investigators reported Saab informed brokers he took images of structures and spots such as Quincy Sector and the Prudential Center in Boston and the Capitol Setting up, Congress and the White Residence in Washington, D.C. A video clip of Fenway Park was recovered from 1 of Saab’s digital equipment.

Adelsberg said the targets investigated by Saab integrated Rockefeller Middle, Grand Central Terminal, all a few New York area airports, the Brooklyn, Triborough and George Washington bridges and the Lincoln and Holland tunnels connecting New Jersey to Manhattan, among the other spots.

“On paper, he lived a usual lifetime when in truth he was a sleeper agent for Hezbollah,” he reported.

In addition to surveillance pursuits in the United States, Adelsberg said Saab also operated overseas just after signing up for Hezbollah in 1996. He said Saab experimented with to get rid of a gentleman he afterwards comprehended to be a suspected Israeli spy by pointing a weapon at the specific at close assortment, but the firearm jammed.

Saab is also experiencing a marriage fraud cost for allegedly marrying a co-conspirator in 2012 under false pretenses. Saab’s law firm did not contest that cost.

Saab has pleaded not responsible to rates like giving materials help to a international terrorist firm, conspiracy, receiving military services-kind education from a international terrorist business, illegal procurement of citizenship to aid intercontinental terrorism and citizenship application fraud.

The most serious demand carries a most opportunity penalty of 25 decades in jail, although the prices collectively have opportunity penalties of around 100 years in prison.

Stacee R. Grigg

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