|Rafic Labboun is Wilhelm Dyck|
FBI spokesman Julianne Sohn said Monday that Rafic Labboun was arrested in Mexico over the weekend on suspicion he violated terms of probation. He was transported to a prison in Houston and appeared in court Monday.
A judge ordered Labboun be returned to the San Jose division of the Northern District of California.
Labboun was carrying a fake passport identifying him as a citizen of Belize at the time of arrest. Authorities suspect him of involvement with a branch of Hezbollah active in Central America and the Yucatán, according to Mexican daily La Reforma.
Once a prominent Shiite-Muslim leader in Northern California [active at Saba Islamic Center, Fatimiyya Islamic Center, Iraqi Community Association, etc.], Labboun spent over two years in prison for credit card fraud, CBS News reports. Authorities suspected that the $100,000 in credit card fraud was linked to Hezbollah’s money laundering activities, but could not prove the charge in court.
Labboun was born in Beirut, but came to the United States in 1986 and became a dual citizen.
According to El Universal, the two other men arrested in Mérida are George Abdallah Elders and Yasser Youssef Safa.
CBS News says Labboun was arrested along with two other “known Hezbollah members,” though it does not cite Elters and Safa by name.
This story was first published by Fox News Latino.
Rafic Labboun is an imam with the Northern California-based Shia Association of Bay Area (Saba Center of San Jose) and Fatimiyya Islamic Center of Hayward.