An Israeli citizen who had served a six-month prison term in the US for conspiracy to export sensitive military technology to Hizbullah was deported to Israel on Friday, US immigration authorities said.
Tomer Grinberg, 33, was found guilty last April of being a co-conspirator in attempting to ship night-vision goggles and infrared aiming scopes to Hizbullah, a Lebanon-based Shiite guerilla group enlisted as a terrorist organization by Washington.
One of the group's publicly stated goals include the destruction of the state of Israel.
On May 19, 2004, Grinberg and a co-conspirator were arrested as they prepared to ship the restricted military equipment to Greece for Hizbullah without obtaining proper licenses for the shipment.
Grinberg, of Nahariya, was released into the custody of immigration officials for deportation after completing his criminal sentence at the federal correctional institution in Allenwood, Pa., on Dec. 28.
During his sentence, immigration authorities put Grinberg into removal proceedings and an immigration judge ordered him removed last November.
In fiscal year 2006, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) removed 190,349 illegal aliens including 87,888 with criminal convictions.
“Identifying and removing criminal aliens is one of the keys to protecting national security and promoting public safety in Pennsylvania and throughout the country,” Thomas Decker, ICE Field Office Director in Philadelphia told the ICE's official Web site. “Last year, of the 3,572 illegal aliens removed through the Philadelphia field office, nearly 70 percent had criminal convictions.”
Grinberg was identified through an ICE Office of Detention and Removal's Criminal Alien Program (CAP). The program focuses on identifying criminal aliens who are incarcerated federal, state and local facilities and ensuring that they are not released into the community by securing a final order of removal before the termination of their sentence. Since June, ICE has processed more than 4,337 inmates in federal prisons eligible for removal.
Grinberg was escorted by ICE deportation officers and arrived in Tel Aviv at 5:30 a.m. Saturday where he was met by Israeli authorities.