Terrorist Caught Illegally Crossing Border Says He Was 'Here To Make A Bomb'

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Mar 22, 2024 - 03:40 AM

Authored by Alice Giordano via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

A member of the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah was caught entering the country illegally at the Texas border, where he told agents he was plotting to make a bomb once settled in the country, according to a March 19 federal court document.

A group of more than 1,000 illegal immigrants walks toward a U.S. Border Patrol field processing center after crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico in Eagle Pass, Texas, on Dec. 18, 2023. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Basel Bassel Ebbadi, a Lebanese national, told a Texas border agent that he was “here to make a bomb” and that he spent several years training with the Hizballah terrorist group, an alternate name for Hezbollah, and he “was taught to kill people who were not Muslim.”

The group’s main operations are in Lebanon, Mr. Ebbadi’s native country.

Mr. Ebbadi, who is listed as being 22 years old, was transferred to the El Paso Sectors Human Intelligence Unit for further questioning, according to the criminal complaint filed by Border Patrol agent Jose L. Benitez-Medina in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.

Mr. Benitez-Medina wrote in his complaint that Mr. Ebbadi entered the United States on March 9 by crossing the Rio Grande in an area of Texas that is not a designated port of entry for migrants.

Instead, he crossed into the United States about four miles from the Bridge of The Americas Port of Entry in El Paso. According the court document, the border agent indicated that Mr. Ebbadi volunteered his ties to Hezbollah and was initially processed for entry.

Mr. Ebbadi is currently being held at the El Paso Hardened Facility.

Past Terror Against US

As part of his court complaint, the border patrol agent noted that on Oct. 8, 1997, the United States designated Hezbollah a foreign terrorist organization and that in 2017, officials added “Lebanese Hizballah” as an alias for Hezbollah. He also listed several other aliases for Hezbollah, including Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine, Islamic Jihad, Organization of Right Against Wrong, Followers of the Prophet Muhammad, and the Revolutionary Justice Organization.

The terrorist group has been found responsible for a number of large-scale terrorist attacks against the United States, including the deadly 1983 suicide truck bombings of the American Embassy and U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut. It has also planted bombs on buses and hijacked passenger airplanes around the world.

In 1994, 85 people were killed when the group detonated bombs at a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

In 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) levied terrorism charges against a Hezbollah member found to be plotting attacks against U.S. embassies.

In 2004, the national commission appointed to study 9/11 and other terrorist attacks released a 585-page report that concluded that Hezbollah was involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The 9/11 Commission also linked the group to Hamas, the radical militia group that carried out the recently grisly attacks on Israeli civilians on Oct. 7, 2023. Hezbollah leaders praised the attack.

In 2008, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) started Project Cassandra as a way to stymie Hezbollah drug and weapons trafficking operations and money laundering activity in the United States.

However, the DEA initiative was ended by President Barack Obama soon after he took office in 2009.

In 2015, Defense Department financial crimes analyst David Asher, who helped start Project Cassandra, told Politico that the Obama administration expressed concerns the project would lead to alienating Iranian officials.

“They serially ripped apart this entire effort that was very well supported and resourced, and it was done from the top down,” Mr. Asher said.

In May 2023, the DOJ seized 13 website domains it said Hezbollah was using to plot future terrorist attacks, including against the United States.

Today’s web domain seizures deny terrorist organizations and affiliates significant sources of support and make clear we will not allow these groups to use U.S. infrastructure to threaten the American people,” Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen said in a statement about the Hezbollah domains.

Suspected Terrorists Living in the US

Earlier this week, the New York Post reported it had obtained internal documents from the agency showing a Hezbollah member had been nabbed at the border in El Paso.

ICE’s El Paso Enforcement and Removal Office declined repeated requests by The Epoch Times to confirm Mr. Ebbadi’s detention.

After several requests made over the course of two days about Mr. Ebbadi, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol finally responded on March 18 with an email indicating only that “the individual referenced is in U.S. custody.”

Media outlets all over the world, including The Jerusalem Post and Hindustan Times, reported on the news that a Hezbollah terrorist was found to have crossed illegally into the United States.

Members of other known terrorist organizations have been living illegally in the United States.

In February, Patrick Lechleitner, President Joe Biden’s acting ICE director, said that in 2023, a Somali terrorist from the Islamic military group al-Shabaab was released into the United States after illegally crossing the U.S. border, The Daily Caller reported. He had been freely roaming until his arrest on Jan. 20 in Minneapolis, according to ICE records.

Al-Shabaab is known to have ties with the al-Qaeda terrorist group, which was linked to the 9/11 attacks.