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The DOJ in New York announced today the arrests of two men suspected of plotting terrorist activities in the area of the Panama Canal.

For it's part, the Canal Authority is offering reassurances that vigilance and security remain top priority.




Edited by Keith Woolford
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Terrorist Threats Made Against Panama.png

ACP 8 June 2017.png


What follows is an automated translation of the above sidebar document. Fidelity of the translation is not guaranteed.


Thursday, June 8, 2017 - In connection with the announcement by the Department of Justice of the United States of America of the arrest and criminal charges against two men between 2011 and 2012 in New York City, Evaluation of diplomatic facilities in the Republic of Panama and the Panama Canal as possible terrorist targets, we communicate the following:

The Panama Canal Authority reiterates that it takes these types of situations very seriously and takes action against any information that might compromise the safety and security of its facilities and, above all, the operations of the Panama Canal. To this end, we work in close co-ordination and collaboration with the Panamanian State security agencies in daily tasks of information exchange and evaluation of any internal or external threats.The Panama Canal complies with the standards and measures of protection established by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), through the Code for the Protection of Ships and Port Facilities (known by its acronym in English as ISPS). Ship risk assessments are carried out on a daily basis, and strict access control measures are maintained, particularly in those installations which are vital for the operation and transit of ships.

The Panama Canal complies with established standards and protection measures by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), through the Code for the Protection of Ships and Port Facilities (known by its acronym in English as ISPS). Fisheries risk assessments are regularly carried out on a daily basis to transit and strict measures of access control are maintained, mainly in those facilities vital to the operation and transit of ships.


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US arrests Canal terror attack suspects


AN AMERICAN  suspected of belonging to the Lebanese Shi’ite Hezbollah movement who carried out missions to monitor the  Panama Canal as a possible terrorist target, is one  of two men   arrested and charged said the  US Justice Department said on Thursday, June 8.

Samer El Debek, 37, of Dearborn, Mich., conducted missions in Panama to locate the US and Israeli embassies and assess the vulnerabilities of the Panama Canal and ships on the canal, said Southern District Prosecutor Joon Kim.

The other is a Lebanese who arrived in the United States in 2003 and was naturalized in 2009.  Prosecutors said Ali Kourani, 32, a resident of the Bronx, New York, allegedly onitored potential targets in the United States, including military and police facilities in New York

In Panama, the State Department of Communications reported that the National Security Council, “in coordination with its counterpart in the United States,” monitored airports and border crossings for Samer El Debek and Ali Kourani .

“The United States authorities alerted Panama to the possible arrival of El Debek in July 2014 and immediately,  took actions within  the law to prevent them from entering the country,” said a press release from the State Department of Communication.

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) says  that it has worked in close collaboration and coordination with Panamanian state security agencies reports La Prensa.

The two men arrested carried out evaluation tasks at the two embassies and the waterway in 2011 and 2012.

“Daily ship risk assessments are carried out and strict access control measures are maintained, especially in installations vital to the operation and transit of ships,” said the ACP.

Kourani was arrested in the Bronx, New York, on June 1. Meanwhile, El Debek was arrested the same  day, in Livonia, Michigan.

According to information from the Justice Department, El Debek and Kourani reportedly received military­type training, including the use of rocket­propelled grenade launchers and rifles “and are accused among other charges of supporting a terrorist organization and receiving Hezbollah training,” Said Joon Kim.

Created in the 1980s, Hezbollah is considered one of the allies of the Syrian Assad government regime.



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