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Sep 11, 2012

Yasser Safa; “I’m not a terrorist”

Yasser Safa

Two Belizeans are making headlines across the globe tonight. Justin George Abdalah Elders and Yasser Safa who lived in Belama as well as the Los Lagos area are being linked to the radical movement, Hezbollah. Safa, a naturalized Belizean, is originally from Lebanon. The third man who was arrested, Rafik Mohammed Labboun Allaboun, is a U.S. national, who was wanted by his government and has been confirmed as a member of Hezbollah. All three men were arrested in Merida, Yucatan late Saturday in a raid that involved the use of armored vehicles as well as a Barret M-82 or Light Fifty ‘anti materiel’ rifle. Inside the building that was under seige was Safa’s Belizean born wife, Janine Gabb, and their children, who were initially detained but they were eventually released since they are legally living in Mexico It was a highly risky raid because the rounds on the Light Fifty can immobilize a vehicle, breach barriers, penetrate commercial brick walls and concrete blocks. Mexican immigration agents and the police were working in conjunction with the US Homeland Security and the FBI.   Reports show that intelligence agencies in the United States were tracking the group as, “part of a cell of Hezbollah-linked Arab terrorists who were operating in Mexico and Central America.” Safa and his brother have been in some trouble in Belize but nothing of this magnitude. In his defense, Safa told News Five late this evening that he had met Allaboun five days ago and he never suspected that the man was involved in terrorism. Safa called from Mexico to say that he and his family are innocent and he is not under arrest.


Jose Sanchez

“Yasser, are you a terrorist? Are you related to Hezbollah?”


Rafik Mohammed Labboun Allaboun

Via Phone: Yasser Safa, Says He is not a Terrorist

“From when I will be related to Hezbollah because I am a Lebanese man? Over twenty years I have lived in Belize and my wife is Belizean; all my children live in Belize. My son he is a thirteen year old; his name is Justin Yasser Safa—he is thirteen years old and they say he is a terrorist? They have to look at that too and right now they are looking for me in Mexico and in Belize now they are looking for me—a lot of checkpoints and they say they are looking for a terrorist.”


Jose Sanchez

“Yasser, they are saying the man you were found; that U.S. Citizen, he is involved with Hezbollah, he is an associate of yours and perhaps you may have assisted him in getting a Belizean passport with the name that sounds like a Mennonite’s name.”


Via Phone: Yasser Safa

“I noh getting no passport for nobody, number one; and I noh know this man past. Somebody from Belize called to recommend if I could give this man help in Mexico like four, five days—that he’s a Lebanese and anybody Lebanese could come and if they need help and I could help them. Like any Belizean right now coming to Merida to hospital we help too here. I don’t know what the man doing before and what is the problem. And he walking with my brother is not walking with me. Walking in the street and the police come and arrest and take the two and then say he is a terrorist and then have my brother arrested.”


Jose Sanchez

“So the other Belizean that was detained or arrested is your brother?”


Via Phone: Yasser Safa

“Yes. He is my brother, Samer Safa.”


Jose Sanchez

“Now Yasser, I understand that during this entire thing that your wife and kids were also detained?”


Via Phone: Yasser Safa

“Yes they were detained because they say my wife is Janine Gabb and because she’s my wife and I am a Lebanese then she is a terrorist. So they take her, locked her down over fifteen hours—she and my son and daughter and my next son. And next thing; about the mechanic, George Elders—everybody knows him by Coney Drive he gets same thing in Merida with us because he’s Lebanese; they say he is terrorist too that belongs to Hezbollah.”


Jose Sanchez

Samer Safa

“Yasser, how long have you met this American guy who they say is actually related to Hezbollah? They have traced his background. How long have you known him since you’ve been introduced to him?”


Via Phone: Yasser Safa

“Five days we know this man. We have a pack in my house with the commandant of police, with the federales, we make food and this man normal like us; like we noh think that he is a terrorist. We very sudden find out that he is a terrorist and all the information come in by the TV and the newspapers and everything come back to me.”


Jose Sanchez

“Did he ever tell you he was a Belizean or he’s an American? Did he show you this passport that he had from Belize?”


Via Phone: Yasser Safa

“He never showed me the passport. He said he was going to Free Zone one day, but to meet a cousin. I don’t know who he meet, but he gone and come back the next day; that’s all. He said that he lives in the U.S. over twenty, twenty-five years and that he is a teacher—I don’t know—in a university. And I noh know nothing about his past.”


Jose Sanchez

“But Yasser, unfortunately, you know your name has come up in the news before. So people say, oh you know Yasser may have been involved with some things in the past so why not now? What do you have to say to those people who judge you?”


Via Phone: Yasser Safa

“Look, I could involve with a lot of thing illegally maybe—something small. I don’t have time to go with terrorist people; I don’t go like that. If I am a terrorist person, my wife she is a catholic and I have her dress clothes and like a Muslim—I give her her own religion, follow her own religion and I follow my own religion. I noh believe about god too. How dehn people say I am a terrorist.”


Jose Sanchez

“Yasser, at this point, you are on the run; your face is known, you can’t hide. At some point do you think you should maybe go and talk to authorities to let them know that you are innocent; just tell them what you know of this guy that you’ve met for a few days?”


Via Phone: Yasser Safa

“The police of Merida, Yucatan, they already said that they have nothing against me; they noh have nothing. Only the news them make this story that FBI looking for me. And I already talked to the Big Chief of Police. We gone to a lot of people here; what happen man; please lock me down. I am here in the street and I noh have no problem. I am the owner of restaurant, Habibi.”


Allaboun was released this summer from a federal prison, where he had served twenty-seven months for credit card fraud that authorities suspected was linked to fundraising for Hezbollah  in the U.S. Though he was released from prison only months ago, Allaboun fled to Mexico using a Belizean passport with the name Wilhelm Dick, hoping to pass as a Belizean Mennonite.  Though it is unconfirmed, several news organizations allege that Allaboun’s cell may be related to the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. Allaboun was immediately taken to a detention center in the U.S. for questioning. News Five attempted several times to speak to the Public Relations Officer for the Ministry of National Security, Delroy Cuthkelvin, who said he would get back to us since he is trying to clarify a few details about Allaboun’s Belizean passport.  We have a few details we also want clarified. When was the passport for the American citizen with a criminal past issued? Which person at the Ministry of Immigration signed the passport, and better yet, who authorized the passport to be issued in the name of Wilhelm Dick?  If the person whose face is in the passport is required to take his photo at the Immigration Office, how did Allaboun get his face on the passport without being in the country? One thing is clear, established policies continue to be disregarded, but under whose leadership was the passport issued? From all account, the Belizean identity continues to be flaunted as a cover for criminals and in this case a member of the radical terrorist group, Hezbollah.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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18 Responses for “Yasser Safa; “I’m not a terrorist””

  1. Al says:

    America better keep a strong eye on Belize. I believe that Belize could become a launching ground for terrorism against the United States. America needs to withhold aid from this government until they clean up the free-for-all attitude of the leaders.

    Amazing how Barrow has seamingly dissapeared, or just lost his ability to speak. All these horrible things that are happenning, there is no leadership voice being heard, why?

    People of Belize, I call upon you to take to the streets and ask other countries to send in observers to help get the country’s leaders to get a plan in place to turn things around. I ask this question of all Belizeans, who is in charge of the country, and please do not say Barrow.

    Act now if you want things to get better or just plain turn around towards a better direction.

  2. ugh! says:

    The biggest terrorists that walketh on this earth are Americans so they think everyone else is too.” As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he “.These people are paranoid beyond belief so like old folks would say people,before you start judging this man and his family, believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see.I don’t know him,never seen or heard of him before but I sure do believe him.As a matter of fact i’ve never,ever believed them just because they are so paranoid. I really believe that if you insist on bullying people,then expect a backlash.Leave people alone and your mind will be at ease.

  3. Storm says:

    Belizean immigration officials: the best that money can buy!

    I’ll stay tuned to see how wide and deep the story goes. I’ll bet this is just the tip of the iceberg.

  4. Hatari says:

    Yet another passport scam. This kind of criminal activity within the various departments of the GOB will continue until “we the people” put a stop to it by demanding that our politicians clean up their acts and be accountable. Who is to blame? The people of Belize! Who just sit back and let these unqualified, unethical, self-serving fools run our country. What a shame!

  5. Simone says:

    So they have ties to Belize-they got calls from here-he visited his cousin here? who next?

  6. Rod says:

    This useless incompetent corrupt gov at work again hip hip hurray for barrow and the udp what a job they are doing this is why your children are being killed and raped because of the negligence of the gov and this pm now we have even terrorist coming into the country all they have to do is pay judas their few pieces of silver hip hip hurray for the udp gov.

  7. solo says:

    this is a crook i know this dude he really crooked he sells stolen cars from guatemala, he has been doing that for years, everybody know this crook he should stay in merida

  8. Eyes wide shut says:

    Belize-Libya-Haiti- heard any good news about Belize lately?

  9. verymad says:


  10. Liberty and Freedom says:

    It is easy to become a Belizean National. All you need to do is find the right person in Immigration and give them several thousand dollars – instant citizenship. Even if you are a whistle blower, the court system is so corrupt that they will convict the Immigration people. Then you will fear for your life – they have corrupt friends in the police. Not everyone is corrupt, however, most have a price..
    Yes, there are terrorists in Belize. There is a large Lebanese population. It does not make all Lebanese terrorists. Many Lebanese are Christians. The radicals are Muslims. Not all Muslims are terrorists. The GOB needs to use the special branch of the police to catch these people. Then they need to deport them, since they won’t hang them.

  11. Ex Al says:

    @ Al…… Seriously who the !@#$ are you? TO stand there and make your dumb @$$ assumptions without any validation at all? Not because Belize is 3rd world doesn’t mean there aren’t standards. But then again little attacks have been formulated through several Central American countries and have anything happened? Do you have any idea how impossible it is to obtain a visitors visa to the US not to mention how degrading the process is? Then again where were the terrorists from that was successful at the worst attack on the US in all of history? Take a guess wise guy? In the US! Legalized and trained right in Uncle Bens backyard. I hate d very act of terrorism however if they succeeded at getting by the great US gov what is there to be Belize’s intervention? When we know everything money n resource wise is stretched so thinly.

  12. Seletar says:

    Ugh, I have a lot better opinion of America than you do. I think it is ironic, ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF WHEN MUSLIM EXTREMISTS MURDERED 3,000 AMERICANS, you think America is paranoid.

    I’ve traveled the world enough to know that Muslim-run countries don’t allow freedom for anyone, and they enforce their fascist views with violence.

    I do not want Belize to become a haven for Muslim extremists, and I’ll accept help from anyone to prevent that from occurring.

  13. ROMNEY says:

    This is what happens when you let in ALL TYPES OF PARASITES, the country is too small to deal with its own problem let alone a PROBLEM of this MANITUDE. How comes I don’t hear any Gov’t official & PM addressing this issue, SHAME ON YOU ALL.

  14. Be Real says:

    A few words one should put together: “Lebanese, Arabs, Belizean Passports, which GoB was playing hanky panky with rich underworld Arabs in Belize? and which GoB had people in high places with Arab heritage?” Don’t lie to yourself because if you put together what I have just said then you done know during which era these passports were issued.

  15. Seletar says:

    I want to make clear my comments above are against Muslim EXTREMISTS, RADICALS, and TERRORISTS, not against the religion generally. I spent time working in Turkey and Morocco long ago, and saw nothing alarming among the Muslims all around me. But it has been a different story in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and everywhere else the intolerant flavor of the religion has appeared, with girls banned from learning and murdered for “honor,” people beheaded for dancing, and so on. Entire neighborhoods in France, Belgium, and cities in England are controlled by these extremists, and they are too dangerous even for police to enter. That form is dangerous and a threat to everyone around it.

  16. cayobway says:

    dem get deh passport and visa fra shyne, oh excuse mi, fra mosh levi ben david.

  17. andress says:

    it is so true, it is easy to come and live and pass tru belize., immigration, worse.. i cud make my own passport using immigration machines.. belize is easy location for criminal.s terrorist, drug cartels to live and be free,
    All you need to do is find the right person in Immigration and give them several thousand dollars – instant citizenship..first chinese, then aliens(salvadorean, guatemalans, hondurans, ) live in belize now, lebanese, russians, ,, all of criminal idnetity, , drug, kingpins, terrorist, ,, belize is corrupt, itss a small paradise to harbour criminals. thanks to the GOB, our country is unsecure………………………………..if theGOB doesnt tighten up, we will be no more belizeans of unity….. other people coming to take over our country

  18. jack says:

    this guys is not a terrorist . and come on child 13 years old a terrorist . the news is bs people.

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