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Immigrant allegedly failed to reveal Hezbollah membership

May 30, 2013 at 5:43 PM   |   Comments

SAN ANTONIO, May 30 (UPI) -- An immigrant living in Texas has been charged with failing to reveal his former membership in Hezbollah when he applied for U.S. citizenship.

Wissam Allouche, 44, who became a citizen in 2009, was arrested last week by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, the San Antonio Express-News reported Thursday. He has also been charged with failing to reveal membership in Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group classified as terrorist by the U.S. government, when he sought a security clearance.

A federal judge ordered Allouche held without bail after a hearing Wednesday.

Allouche has lived in the United States for more than a decade. His attorney, Cynthia Orr, said he owned a gas station at one point.

Allouche formerly worked for L3 Communications, a military contractor that supplies interpreters and translators. He spent several months with the company in Iraq.

While Allouche is not charged with terrorism or espionage, investigators with the task force suggest he went to Fort Sam Houston dressed in a military uniform and tried to pick up Army women. While they acknowledge he could have had simpler motives, they suggested he might have been trying to recruit women into espionage by setting "honey traps."

Orr charges that most of the damaging information about Allouche comes from his ex-wife, who was in the Army when they met in Germany. The couple divorced shortly after Allouche became a citizen.

The FBI says Allouche was a Hezbollah commander and a member of a predecessor organization.

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