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STOP IRAN NOW Via Washington Free Beacon Editors

December 26, 2023

Pictured: Alex Saab, Maduro's frontman with strong Hezbollah ties who was nabbed by US authorities on way from Caracas to Tehran. He is Hezbollah's moneyman in Latin America who had been intently planning terror attacks on the U.S. homeland. Why on earth would President Biden free him now?

On the surface it appears President Joe Biden inked a sweet deal with Venezuela’s tyrant leader, Nicolas Maduro, on Wednesday. Caracas will release 10 Americans and 20 members of Venezuela’s opposition in exchange for a single scumbag businessman.

Thirty for one is not bad as far as hostage negotiations go, but the math tells only part of the story. Just ask the Israelis who traded 1,072 terrorists for the freedom of Gilad Shalit in 2011.

The Biden deal will free a dangerous man at a dangerous time. Alex Saab is an operative for Hezbollah’s external security organization, known as Islamic Jihad. A jury convicted him in May of receiving training from Hezbollah and making false statements, and he was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

According to the Justice Department, Saab surveilled sites in New York City as possible targets for terrorist attacks, focusing on "the structural weaknesses of locations … in order to determine how a future attack could cause the most destruction."

In addition to providing photos back to his bosses in Lebanon, Saab sent technical information on the structures of potential targets including Rockefeller Center, the United Nations, and Times Square. He attempted to murder a man he believed to be an Israeli spy, only to find his handgun would not fire.

It’s worth asking why a Lebanese terrorist was such a high priority for a Venezuelan dictator. Maduro has pursued a strategy of selling out to more powerful rogues in order to keep his disastrous regime afloat. First Russia, then China, and now Iran, Hezbollah’s patron.

The Maduro regime signed a $460 million contract in June with Iran’s state-owned oil company to revamp Venezuela’s largest petroleum refinery, and Maduro has made it clear that Venezuela will be a safe haven for operatives associated with the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.

Israel today is learning the lesson of negotiating with and placating terrorists. Its deal to free Shalit back in 2011 set free Yahya Sinwar, then a little-known operative, who became the Hamas leader in Gaza and masterminded the Oct. 7 massacre.

Israel learned this the hard way. America should not have to.

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