Also in this report is the interesting note that Faouzi Mohamad Ayoub “was recruited by Hizballah’s Canadian branch.” Needless to say, Hizballah shouldn’t have a “Canadian branch.” “Feds unseal indictment against ex-Dearborn resident in alleged terror plot,” from the Detroit Free Press, July 6 (thanks to Kenneth):
Federal prosecutors in Detroit have unsealed a two-year-old criminal indictment against a former Dearborn man who, they say, tried to use a phony U.S. passport to sneak into Israel in 2000 to carry out a bombing for Hizballah.
The indictment, handed down in August 2009, said Faouzi Mohamad Ayoub, 44, who also goes by the name Fawzi Ayoub, used a passport in the name of Frank Mariano Boschi to try to get into Israel. The U.S. State Department has designated Hizballah as a Lebanese terrorist group.
The indictment was unsealed Friday, two days after the FBI added the man’s name and photo to its most wanted terrorist list. There are 31 others on the list.
It’s unclear why Ayoub was added to the list so long after the 2000 incident, whether he was arrested in the episode and when and how long he lived in Dearborn.
There was no immediate comment from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit or the Detroit FBI field office, which is handling the case.
The Israeli government reported that its forces arrested Ayoub in June 2002 during a raid in the West Bank city of Hebron. The Israelis said he was a senior Hizballah fighter who took part in Hizballah attacks on civilians. Ayoub denied the charges.
The government said he was born in Lebanon, immigrated to Canada and was recruited by Hizballah’s Canadian branch.
Canadian news outlets reported after his arrest that he had entered Canada in 1988 and became a citizen in the 1990s. They said he and relatives lived in Toronto.
In 2004, the Israeli government swapped Ayoub and 435 other prisoners in exchange with Hizballah for an Israeli businessman and the bodies of three solders killed in October 2000 while on patrol in northern Israel. Ayoub’s wife and son greeted him at the airport in Beirut, the news reports said.
Ayoub’s current whereabouts are unknown.