Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Possibly Interviewing an American Criminal at The Hot Zone - No Exit

At Kevin Sites' blog in his article No Exit American citizens are caught in the crossfire in southern Lebanon while trying to flee the fighting. He seems to have made an interesting choice of an interview subject-
TYRE, Lebanon - For the Chahines, of Dearborn, Mich., spending summers in south Lebanon is a family tradition. It also helps to keep them in touch with their Arabic heritage. But this summer that tradition almost cost them their lives....

"Mr. Chahine, who came to the U.S. 32 years ago, built a business and raised a family there. "

Is this the same Talal Chahine of Dearborn who fled the US to Lebanon under indictment for tax fraud and funneling money to Hezb'allah?

I guess we know why he and his family are there if its the same "Chahine of Dearborn":
Defendant: Talal Khalil Chahine (La Shish Restaurant) OWNER AND FINANCIAL MANAGER OF “LA SHISH” RESTAURANT ARE CHARGED WITH TAX EVASION U.S. Department of Justice Federal charges were unsealed today in Detroit against Talal Khalil Chahine, 51, of Dearborn Heights, Michigan and the owner of the “La Shish” restaurant chain, and Elfat El Aouar, 39 of Plymouth, a “La Shish” financial manager and Chahine’s wife. Chahine and El Aouar are charged by the federal grand jury Indictment with four Counts each of Income Tax Evasion, in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7201. Each Count carries a maximum penalty of 5 years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Elfat El Aouar was arrested earlier today from her home in Plymouth. A bail hearing and arraignment is scheduled to occur at 1:00 p.m. in federal court. Talal Chahine is presently outside the United States and is believed to be in Lebanon. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

The Detroit News also picked up the story of the indictment.

Now, did Sites know who Chahine was and fail to report this interesting bit of information? Cetainly it is somewhat suspicious as Sites report gives the first name of everyone else he talks with but not Chahine's. Given that Chahine is alleged to have funelled money to Hezb'Allah, his use as an interviewee without disclosing this information makes his story and credibility as an eyewitness quite suspect. Especially since Sites takes Chahine's assertion at face value.that
"I didn't see any Hezbollah fighters in our village," says Mr. Chahine, "so why are they bombing there?"
Hopefully Kevin Sites will be able to clarify if this is the same Chahine and why he did not use his first name in his report.

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