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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 15, 2016

DEARBORN MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO LYING ABOUT TRAVEL TO FIGHT FOR HEZBALLAH

A Dearborn, Michigan, man pleaded guilty to making false statements to federal agents involving terrorism, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.

McQuade was joined in the announcement by David P. Gelios, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Mohammad Hassan Hamdan, 24, admitted at his plea hearing before U.S. District Judge Gerald E. Rosen that he knowingly lied to federal agents when he was arrested, prior to boarding his flight, at Detroit Metropolitan Airport on March 16, 2014.  Hamdan told federal agents that he was going to Lebanon “to get his teeth fixed.”  Hamdan also admitted that he had told an FBI confidential source that he was going to Lebanon to join Hezbollah, a designated foreign terrorist organization, so that he could fight with Hezbollah in Syria.

Evidence presented at a hearing revealed that prior to leaving to go to Lebanon, Hamdan had packed up all his possessions, gave his car to a family member and sold his house.

“It is illegal to lie to federal agents because false statements undermine their ability to investigate crime,” McQuade said.  “Here, Mr. Hamdan lied to cover up his intent to travel overseas to fight with Hezballah, a group that have been designated by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization.”

“This case highlights the significance of the investigative work being done by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in Detroit,” stated David P. Gelios, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Detroit Field Office. “As evidenced by his own admissions, Mohammad Hassan Hamdan took steps to travel to Lebanon to join the fight on behalf of Hezbollah in Syria. This investigation demonstrates the real threat of individuals residing in the United States who want to travel to Syria to fight on behalf of Hezbollah, a designated terrorist organization and threat to our national security.”

Hamdan is scheduled to be sentenced on November 14, 2016 at 2:00 p.m.

The case was investigated by special agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald Waterstreet.

Updated August 15, 2016