A former Uggs salesman has been found guilty for working as a “sleeper” agent for Hezbollah while living in the Bronx, assisting the terrorist group in planing attacks on New York City.
Ali Kourani, 34, was found guilty on eight counts by a jury, which deliberated for less than day. The charges consisted of providing support to the U.S.-designated terrorist entity.
Kourani, who was born in Lebanon and legally immigrated to the United States in 2003, “looking business casual in a rumpled white dress shirt and dark pants, sat motionless as the jury of eight women and four men rendered its verdict following a weeklong trial. He was hauled in on the charges in 2017 after he spilled his guts to the feds with hopes of becoming an informant, rather than a convicted felon facing a potential life sentence,” reported The New York Post.
Five years after arriving in the United States, he was recruited in Hezbollah’s Islamic Jihad Organization arm, performing surveillance on airports and military sites in New York City.
Targets included two military facilities in Manhattan and a Secret Service site in Brooklyn.
In 2016, after a trip to Lebanon, where Kourani said Hezbollah members shot bullets at his family’s house, he sought to cooperate with federal authorities in return for financial assistance and immigration benefits for his family.
“He met with two FBI agents five times at Seton Hall University School of Law with a defense attorney present, which prosecutors say amounted to five separate confessions. Prosecutors have also maintained that the agents never made any promises that Kourani wouldn’t face consequences himself,” reported the Post.
Kourani’s lawyer announced he will appeal the decision.
Sentencing has been set for Sept. 27.