Mich. man accused of seeking to set bomb in Israel
DETROIT (AP) — A Michigan man on the FBI’s most wanted list of terror suspects is accused of using a fake passport in an attempt to get into Israel and conduct a bombing on behalf of the Islamic militant group Hezbollah, according to an indictment unsealed in federal court in Detroit.
Faouzi Ayoub, 44, faces one count of passport fraud, according to the August 2009 indictment that was only unsealed in U.S. District Court in Detroit within the past week.
Federal prosecutors accuse the Lebanese-born Ayoub, whose last known U.S. residence was in southeast Michigan, of using a passport under the name of Frank Mariano Boschi to enter Israel in October 2000. The indictment does not indicate whether authorities believe Ayoub participated in any bombing.
The FBI’s office in Detroit could not discuss the case Wednesday, say where Ayoub was believed to be now or explain why the indictment was unsealed, spokeswoman Sandra Berchtold said. But she noted that he should be considered armed and dangerous and that anyone with information about him should contact their local FBI office, or nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
“Future indictments may be handed down as various investigations proceed in connection to other terrorist incidents,” according to a posting about Ayoub and others on the FBI’s website.
The U.S. government classifies Hezbollah, which dominates the Lebanese government coalition, as a terrorist group. Hezbollah fought a devastating, 34-day war with Israel in 2006 that that left 1,200 Lebanese and 160 Israelis dead. Lebanon and Israel technically remain at war.
It was not clear how long Ayoub’s name had been on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists, at the top of which is Egyptian Islamic Jihad founder Ayman Al-Zawahiri, indicted for his alleged role in the 1998 embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya. The attacks killed 224 people.
Al-Zawahiri’s group later merged with al Qaeda.