May. 29, 2013
Counterterrorism officials on Wednesday revealed stunning details about 44-year-old Wissam Allouche, an alleged former Hezbollah commander who was arrested in Texas after being indicted on charges of not disclosing his affiliation with terrorist groups.
In this November 12, 2010 file photo, Hezbollah fighters parade during the inauguration of a new cemetery for their fighters who died in fighting against Israel
During Allouche’s bail hearing in San Antonio Wednesday, the prosecution said the FBI recovered documents they claim he fabricated to falsely show he had security clearances. It was also alleged that Allouche tried to “hook up” with women at Fort Sam Houston to possibly to gain access to sensitive material, MySanAntonio.com reports.
And that’s not all.
As previously reported by TheBlaze, Allouche was arrested last week for failing to disclose his membership in the Amal militia and Hezbollah in Lebanon in the 1980s and lying about issues concerning his marriage to a U.S. citizen. He is also charged with failing to disclose his ties to the terror groups when he applied for a Defense Department position that required security clearance.
If you haven’t heard of Allouche or his alleged plot to gain security clearance at the Defense Department, you’re not alone. A Google news search on the frightening story yielded very few results as of Wednesday night.
The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force has reportedly been investigating Allouche for more than three years, even going as far as using an undercover agent to secretly record conversations with him.
The FBI reportedly raided his then-home in Universal City in 2011 and found documents he allegedly fabricated to show proof of security clearances, membership in U.S. special forces and Defense Department intelligence units.
“He admitted on tape that he was a member of Amal and that he was a commander of Hezbollah,” prosecutor Mark Roomberg reportedly told the judge during the bail hearing on Wednesday. U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry Bemporad agreed to keep Allouche in jail pending a trial.
Roomberg also said the suspect admitted to “sodomizing and murdering an Israeli POW.”
Jeff Cram, an Army criminal investigations agent and member of the FBI task force, testified that an investigation uncovered more details about Allouche’s ties to terror groups.
The investigator told the judge that the suspect was spotted by at least two people at Fort Sam Houston dressed in a U.S. military uniform bearing insignias from special forces.
Additionally, Cram said that the task force obtained eight photos from a source that show Allouche wielding assault rifles or rocket propelled grenades during his time with Amal and Hezbollah.
More from the report:
[Allouche] is not charged specifically with espionage or terrorist activity. Hezbollah, conceived by Muslim clericks, was formed in the 1980s in the wake of the Israeli occupation of Lebanon, and has been considered a terrorist group by the U.S. since 1997, according to testimony and news reports. Some reports said Hezbollah was formed by members of the Amal movement, and other reports say Hezbollah gets support from Iran and Syria.
Allouche entered a not guilty plea to the charges, and his lawyer, Cynthia Orr, challenged the government’s characterization of her client.
Much of “the evidence comes from his disgruntled ex-wife and his disgruntled ex-father-in-law,” Orr told the judge.
According to the defense, Allouche has been living in the U.S. since 2002 and once owned a gas station. Prior to 2009, he reportedly worked for L3, a company that provides linguistic services to the U.S. military overseas. The suspect spent several months in Iraq.
He later went through a bitter divorce with his wife, a member of the U.S. Army, in 2009. The two met in Germany in 1999.
Orr pointed out that the Department of Homeland Security found “no derogatory information” about her client’s character and he was granted citizenship. However, the department apparently asked the Joint Terrorism Task Force to look into Allouche.
Allouche faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of lying on his naturalization forms and five years in prison if convicted of lying on security clearance forms.
Editor’s note: The San Antonio Express-News’ (MySanAntonio.com) report on Allouche’s bail hearing was revised at some point Thursday night, removing several pieces of information. Information regarding the prosecutor’s claim that the suspect admitted to “sodomizing and murdering an Israeli POW” and that he was once a commander in Hezbollah has seemingly been scrubbed from the report. Additionally, references to photos of Allouche while a member of Hezbollah and/or Amal were apparently removed.