Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to
Provide Support to Hizballah
Mahmoud Youssef Kourani (4/22/71) formerly of Dearborn, Michigan
and Yater, Lebanon pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Provide Material
Support to the Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, Hizballah,
Tuesday, March 1 in federal court in Detroit. The guilty plea
was entered before United States District Judge Robert H. Cleland.
presented to the court at the time of the guilty plea showed that
Mahmoud Kourani organized and hosted meetings at his Dearborn
residence during Ramadan of 2002. During the meetings, a guest
speaker from Lebanon solicited the participants to make donations
to Hizballah. Pursuant to the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death
Penalty Act, effective October 8, 1997, the Secretary of State
designated Hizballah as a foreign terrorist organization by finding
that the organization is a foreign organization that engages in
terrorist activity threatening the security of United States nationals
or the national security of the United States. Hizballah, also
known as "Party of God," also known as "Islamic
Jihad," among other names, is a worldwide terrorist network
which has conducted numerous high profile terrorist attacks in
the name of Islamic fundamentalism. The money solicited by Kourani’s
conspiracy was intended to support Hizballah’s "orphans of
martyrs" program to benefit the families of those killed
in Hizballah terrorist operations or by Hizballah’s enemies.
the guilty plea, United States Attorney Craig S. Morford commended
the work of the Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,
who conducted the investigation, and the Bureau of Immigration
and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security, and
Assistant United States Attorney Kenneth R. Chadwell who handled
terrorism is the number one priority of the Department of Justice,
and this prosecution underscores our commitment to disrupt the
funding of terrorist organizations," said United States Attorney
Craig S. Morford. "Raising money for designated terrorist
organizations, like Hizballah, is a serious crime which will be
vigorously pursued in the Eastern District of Michigan."
Roberts, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation,
said "The FBI views counter-terrorism as its highest priority.
We thank all the members of Detroit’s Joint Terrorism Task Force
for their assistance in the successful outcome of this investigation.
This investigation is further evidence of the FBI’s commitment
to combat terrorism nationwide, including the Detroit area."
A copy of
the superseding information is attached. Sentencing is scheduled
for June 14, 2005. Kourani faces a maximum penalty of five years
imprisonment and a $250,000 fine, to be followed by deportation