US Unseals Terrorism Charges Against Hezbollah Operative

US Files Terrorism Charges on Hezbollah Operative

( – In 1994, there was a brutal suicide attack on the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina, a Jewish community center. In all, 85 people died, and more than 300 suffered injuries. Authorities couldn’t find the perpetrator or hold anyone accountable for the tragedy. Now, nearly 30 years later, US authorities have levied charges against a member of Hezbollah, an Islamic Jihad Organization (IJO), in connection with the attack.

In a press release dated Wednesday, December 20, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced charges against 58-year-old Samuel Salman El Reda, who goes by many other aliases, with several offenses. Notably, he faces a count of conspiring to provide and providing material support to Hezbollah. Both of these charges carry a maximum of 20 years behind bars. Other charges include conspiring to receive and aiding and abetting in the receipt of military-type training from a designated foreign terrorist operation. Those charges carry a maximum 5-year and 10-year prison sentence, respectively.

The Justice Department accused El Reda of allegedly helping to “plan and execute the heinous attack” that resulted in several deaths and the destruction of the community. It also alleged that El Reda “has led terrorist operations on behalf of the [IJO] of Hezbollah” for decades. Officials claim he relayed information to the operatives on the day of the attack. Yet, his crimes don’t end there.

Federal prosecutors accuse El Reda of recruiting, training, and managing operatives worldwide. The government claims he deployed many of them to other countries to carry out “pre-operational surveillance” preparing for attacks. These nations included Panama, where they kept surveillance on US and Israeli Embassies and the Panama Canal. In Thailand, an operative reportedly visited to destroy explosives, including “a cache of ammonium nitrate,” kept under the watch of law enforcement.

El Reda holds dual Colombian-Lebanese citizenship. His last known location was Lebanon. He is currently at large.

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