New Jersey Man Pleads Guilty to Providing Material Support to Hezbollah
by Jim Kouri
Lev L. Dassin, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Saleh Elahwal, 55, of Matawan, New Jersey, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Manhattan federal court to providing material support to Hezbollah, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization. According to the count (Count Two) of the Superseding Indictment to which Elahwal pleaded guilty, and statements made during his guilty plea proceeding before United States District Judge Richard M. Berman:
Hezbollah ("Party of God") is a Lebanon-based organization whose stated mission is the establishment of a fundamentalist Islamic State and the destruction of the State of Israel. Hezbollah regards the United States as its enemy in this struggle and has pursued its mission through, among other things, attacks on civilian targets.
Hezbollah operates a television station in Lebanon known as Al Manar ("the beacon") to cultivate support, including raising funds and recruiting volunteers for attacks. Hezbollah was designated on October 8, 1997, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. On October 31, 2001, Hezbollah was further designated a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, and Al Manar itself was so designated on March 23, 2006.
In pleading guilty, Elahwal admitted that between approximately September 2005 and August 2006, he knowingly provided satellite transmission services to Al Manar, for which he was paid thousands of dollars. Elahwal admitted that he knew that Al Manar was operated by Hezbollah and that Hezbollah had engaged in acts of terrorism as defined by federal law.
Elahwal pleaded guilty to a charge of providing material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, which carries a maximum penalty of fifteen years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for February 19, 2009, at 10:00 a.m. before Judge Berman in Manhattan federal court.
On December 23, 2008, Elahwal's codefendant, Javed Iqbal, also pleaded guilty to providing material support to Hezbollah. His sentencing is scheduled for March 24, 2009, at 12:45 p.m. before Judge Berman. Mr. Dassin praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Joint Terrorism Task Force in conducting the investigation.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.