By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — Mohammad Hamdan, 24, pleaded guilty to lying about his travel plans to the Middle East and joining a designated foreign terrorist group.
During the plea hearing Aug. 15 before U.S. District Court Judge Gerald Rosen, Hamdan pleaded guilty to making false statements to federal agents involving terrorism.
The initial incident occurred in March 2014 when Hamdan was arrested before boarding his flight at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.
At the time of his arrest, Hamdan knowingly lied to federal agents when he stated his reason for travel was “to get his teeth fixed” in Lebanon.
“It is illegal to lie to federal agents because false statements undermine their ability to investigate crime,” U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Barbara McQuade said. “Here, Mr. Hamdan lied to cover up his intent to travel overseas to fight with Hezbollah, a group that have been designated by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization.”
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan, Hamdan admitted that he told a FBI confidential source that he was going to Lebanon to join Hezbollah.
“This case highlights the significance of the investigative work being done by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in Detroit,” Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Detroit Field Office David Gelios said.
“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.”
The case was investigated by special agents from the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald Waterstreet.
His sentencing is scheduled for 2 p.m. Nov. 14 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)