Crime & Justice

US charges Hezbollah member for Buenos Aires attack in 1994

New York, Dec 20 (EFE). – The United States Justice Department on Wednesday charged Samuel Salman El Reda, a Colombian-Lebanese national and alleged member of the Shiite Islamist group Hezbollah, with terrorism for his involvement in the 1994 bombing of the Israeli-Argentinean Mutual Association (AMIA) in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people, along with other operations for Hezbollah in South America, Asia and Lebanon.

“While it’s been nearly 30 years since this horrific terrorist attack, the FBI and our partners throughout the US government are committed to delivering justice for the victims’ families,” said Larissa L. Knapp, executive assistant director of the FBI’s National Security Division, in a statement.

El Reda, 58, is at large and based in Lebanon, according to US authorities.

“This indictment serves as a message to those who engage in acts of terror: that the Justice Department’s memory is long, and we will not relent in our efforts to bring them to justice,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen of the National Security Division.

In June, Argentine authorities issued an international arrest warrant for the suspect and his brother, José El Reda, both of whom are also accused of plotting an attack on the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires in 1992 that killed 22 people.

In the case of the AMIA attack, El Reda is accused of “relaying information to IJO operatives that was used for planning and executing the attack,” according to Wednesday’s indictment.

He then continued to recruit and train fighters around the world, the office added, using operatives in Thailand, Panama and Peru, among other countries.

El Reda is charged with providing and conspiring to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, and with aiding and abetting and conspiring to receive military-type training from a designated foreign terrorist organization.

His case is being investigated by the FBI’s New York Counterterrorism Task Force, which includes NYPD agents.EFE

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