The FBI recently arrested a San Antonio man on charges that he lied to gain entry into the U.S. and then attempted to obtain a sensitive position at the Department of Defense.
The man, identified as Wissam Allouce, 44, appeared in court for an initial hearing on Friday afternoon, the San Antonio Express-News reports. He supposedly shook his head as U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry Bemporad read the charges against him in a federal indictment. The judge ordered Allouche be held pending a bail hearing and his arraignment, which is scheduled for Tuesday.
FBI special agent Erik Vasys said the man “allegedly tried to cover up his affiliation with Hezbollah.”
“It is believed he was looking to secure a sensitive position with the U.S. government at some point,” he added.
The federal indictment revealed Allouche had married a U.S. citizen and was going through the naturalization process when he was arrested. When asked by officials if he had ever been associated with a terrorist organization, he replied no. That apparently turned out to be a lie.
According to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, he was a militant with the Amal militia in Lebanon in the early to mid-1980s. He was reportedly captured as a Israeli prisoner of war, but was later released to become a commander of the Amal militia.
“News reports at the time said Hezbollah was formed by religious members of the Amal movement,” the Express-News notes.
In addition to lying about his terror ties, Allouche is also accused of lying about his relationship with his ex-wife. He falsely claimed on his application forms in 2009 that he and his wife were married and living together for the past three years. In reality, they had no lived together since May 2007 and they filed for divorce in December of 2007.
Last but not least, Allouche is accused of making a false statement on Oct. 14, 2009, on a questionnaire required to obtain security clearance from the Defense Department. The indictment says he allegedly claimed to never have participated in militias for paramilitary groups. However, the document did not say what position he was applying for or why.
Allouche faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.