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US federal court indicts Hezbollah leader in 1994 Argentina shul bombing

Samuel Salman El Reda, who remains at large in Lebanon, is accused of “conspiring to provide and providing material support to Hezbollah.”

The ruins of the AMIA Jewish Community Center after the 1994 bombing in Buenos Aires. Credit: La Nación via Wikimedia Commons.
The ruins of the AMIA Jewish Community Center after the 1994 bombing in Buenos Aires. Credit: La Nación via Wikimedia Commons.

The U.S. Department of Justice charged Samuel Salman El Reda, 58, on Wednesday with “with, among other offenses, conspiring to provide and providing material support to Hezbollah, a designated foreign terrorist organization.”

The United States has sanctioned El Reda in connection with the July 18, 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 people and injured hundreds of others. El Reda “allegedly helped plan and execute the heinous attack,” Matthew Olsen, assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s national security division, said on Wednesday. 

“This indictment serves as a message to those who engage in acts of terror: that the Justice Department’s memory is long, and we will not relent in our efforts to bring them to justice,” he said.

“The career prosecutors of this office have not forgotten the pain and suffering that El Reda has allegedly caused, and we thank the dedication of our law enforcement partners for pursuing this important case,” saidDamian Williams, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

The U.S. State Department designated Hezbollah a foreign terrorist organization in 1997.

The charges El Reda faces carry a collective maximum penalty of 45 years in prison, and another 10 years or a fine.

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