PHOTO: DOJ
Now playing
01:15
NJ man charged with scouting US targets for terror group
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 16:  Physician to U.S. President Donald Trump Dr. Ronny Jackson listens during the daily White House press briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House January 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. Dr. Jackson discussed the details of President TrumpÕs physical check-up from last week.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Alex Wong/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 16: Physician to U.S. President Donald Trump Dr. Ronny Jackson listens during the daily White House press briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House January 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. Dr. Jackson discussed the details of President TrumpÕs physical check-up from last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:14
DOD releases scathing review of former White House physician
PHOTO: CNN/Getty
Now playing
02:10
'Highly misleading at best': Dale reacts to Pence's op-ed
PHOTO: Gov. Cuomo's office
Now playing
03:35
Gov. Andrew Cuomo addresses women's allegations
Commanding General District of Columbia National Guard Major General William J. Walker testifies before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs/Rules and Administration hearing to examine the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol on Capitol Hill on March 3, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Nash / POOL / AFP) (Photo by GREG NASH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: GREG NASH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Commanding General District of Columbia National Guard Major General William J. Walker testifies before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs/Rules and Administration hearing to examine the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol on Capitol Hill on March 3, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Nash / POOL / AFP) (Photo by GREG NASH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
03:01
DC National Guard commander: 'Unusual' Pentagon restrictions slowed response to Capitol riot
Supporters of President Donald Trump hold up their phones with messages referring to the QAnon conspiracy theory at a campaign rally at Las Vegas Convention Center on February 21, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
PHOTO: Mario Tama/Getty Images
Supporters of President Donald Trump hold up their phones with messages referring to the QAnon conspiracy theory at a campaign rally at Las Vegas Convention Center on February 21, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Now playing
03:00
Hear why QAnon supporters believe Trump will be president on March 4th
FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the January 6th insurrection, in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on March 2, 2021. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / POOL / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: MANDEL NGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the January 6th insurrection, in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on March 2, 2021. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / POOL / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
02:55
Watch FBI director debunk conspiracy theories pushed by Trump supporters
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 10: Neera Tanden, nominee for Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), testifies at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Budget Committee on February 10, 2021 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Tanden helped found the Center for American Progress, a policy research and advocacy organization and has held senior advisory positions in Democratic politics since the Clinton administration. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 10: Neera Tanden, nominee for Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), testifies at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Budget Committee on February 10, 2021 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Tanden helped found the Center for American Progress, a policy research and advocacy organization and has held senior advisory positions in Democratic politics since the Clinton administration. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:33
Neera Tanden releases statement on pulling her nomination
PHOTO: KCAL/KCBS
Now playing
01:41
Multiple people killed in crash after SUV and semitruck collide
nigeria kidnapped schoolgirls released Busari pkg intl ldn vpx_00000423.png
nigeria kidnapped schoolgirls released Busari pkg intl ldn vpx_00000423.png
Now playing
02:09
Tears of joy and relief as 279 Nigerian schoolgirls return home
New satellite images taken by Maxar show that North Korea sometime in the past year built a structure that may be intended to obscure entrances to an underground facility where nuclear weapons or nuclear weapons components are stored.
PHOTO: Courtesy Maxar
New satellite images taken by Maxar show that North Korea sometime in the past year built a structure that may be intended to obscure entrances to an underground facility where nuclear weapons or nuclear weapons components are stored.
Now playing
01:47
See images US intelligence claims is a secret weapons site
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 23: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during the daily media briefing at the Office of the Governor of the State of New York on July 23, 2020 in New York City. The Governor said the state liquor authority has suspended 27 bar and restaurant alcohol licenses for violations of social distancing rules as public officials try to keep the coronavirus outbreak under control. (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Jeenah Moon/Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 23: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during the daily media briefing at the Office of the Governor of the State of New York on July 23, 2020 in New York City. The Governor said the state liquor authority has suspended 27 bar and restaurant alcohol licenses for violations of social distancing rules as public officials try to keep the coronavirus outbreak under control. (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:29
NYT: Third woman comes forward against Gov. Andrew Cuomo
PHOTO: Courtesy Penguin Random House
Now playing
01:00
These 6 Dr. Seuss books won't be published anymore
John King Magic Wall 0301
PHOTO: CNN
John King Magic Wall 0301
Now playing
03:00
US coronavirus numbers coming down, but not enough
FILE - In this Jan. 29, 2011 file photo, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks on his cellphone at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Saud Al-Mojeb, Saudi Arabia's top prosecutor, is recommending the death penalty for five suspects charged with ordering and carrying out the killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi. Al-Mojeb told a press conference in Riyadh Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018,  that Khashoggi's killers had been planning the operation since September 29, three days before he was killed inside the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File)
PHOTO: Virginia Mayo/AP
FILE - In this Jan. 29, 2011 file photo, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks on his cellphone at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Saud Al-Mojeb, Saudi Arabia's top prosecutor, is recommending the death penalty for five suspects charged with ordering and carrying out the killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi. Al-Mojeb told a press conference in Riyadh Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, that Khashoggi's killers had been planning the operation since September 29, three days before he was killed inside the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File)
Now playing
02:52
3 names mysteriously removed from Khashoggi Intel report
Protesters take cover behind homemade shields as tear gas is fired during a demonstration against the military coup in Yangon on March 1, 2021. (Photo by STR / AFP) (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: STR/AFP/AFP via Getty Images
Protesters take cover behind homemade shields as tear gas is fired during a demonstration against the military coup in Yangon on March 1, 2021. (Photo by STR / AFP) (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
02:16
Footage shows tear gas, flash bangs used on protesters in Myanmar
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference at a COVID-19 vaccination site in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, Pool)
PHOTO: Seth Wenig/Pool/AP
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference at a COVID-19 vaccination site in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, Pool)
Now playing
01:12
Gov. Andrew Cuomo responds to allegations of sexual harassment
(CNN) —  

A New Jersey man served as a US-based operative for Hezbollah’s terrorism-planning wing for years, scouting landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building for possible attacks, a federal grand jury has alleged.

Alexei Saab, a 42-year-old Lebanon native and naturalized US citizen, was charged in an indictment Thursday with nine offenses, which include providing material support to Hezbollah, the US Justice Department said.

Saab, of Morristown, is in federal custody, awaiting trial in federal court in New York. He was arrested July 9.

He is at least the third American charged since 2017 with being an agent for Hezbollah, an Iranian-linked, Lebanon-rooted Shia Islamic group considered a terrorist organization by the United States.

“As a member of the Hezbollah component that coordinates external terrorist attack planning, Alexei Saab allegedly used his training to scout possible targets throughout the US,” said US Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman on Thursday.

“Even though Saab was a naturalized American citizen, his true allegiance was to Hezbollah,” Berman said.

CNN has reached out to Saab’s attorney, Marlon Kirtin, for comment

He wrote a report on New York landmarks and focused on weaknesses, authorities allege

Saab joined Hezbollah in Lebanon before coming to the United States in 2000 and becoming a naturalized US citizen in 2008, authorities allege.

Hezbollah had given him extensive training in Lebanon, and made him a member of its wing that plans terror attacks outside of Lebanon, the Islamic Jihad Organization (IJO), the Justice Department says.

While he was in Lebanon in 2003, a Hezbollah handler asked him to prepare a detailed guide to New York City. So, he returned to the US and scouted numerous sites in New York, focusing on “the structural weaknesses of locations … to determine how a future attack could cause the most destruction,” the Justice Department said.

Saab gathered information and took photographs of the sites, according to the Justice Department, including:

• The United Nations headquarters

• The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

• Times Square

• The Empire State Building

• Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange

• Rockefeller Center

• Federal, state and local government buildings

• Local airports

Later that year, he returned to Lebanon and wrote a report about the potential targets, and also turned in the corresponding photographs, a complaint filed in court reads.

“Saab understood that the information he provided to the IJO would be used to calculate the size of a bomb needed to target a particular structure and the ideal location in which to place explosive devices to maximize damage,” the complaint reads.

During an investigation, the FBI found photographs of these locations in Saab’s electronic devices, the Justice Department says.

The FBI says these photos of New York City landmarks -- including the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge; the George Washington Bridge; and the Brooklyn Bridge -- were found on Saab's electronic devices.
PHOTO: DOJ
The FBI says these photos of New York City landmarks -- including the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge; the George Washington Bridge; and the Brooklyn Bridge -- were found on Saab's electronic devices.

He’s also accused of scouting landmarks in Boston and Washington

Saab “also conducted other surveillance for the IJO in preparation for a potential attack in other cities in the United States,” the criminal complaint reads.

The complaint cites videos and photos found in Saab’s electronic devices, including Boston landmarks such as Fenway Park, the Prudential Center and Quincy Market.

The videos and photos also show sites in Washington, D.C., including the US Capitol, the White House, and the Lincoln Memorial, the complaint reads.

And he’s accused of marrying someone to help that person gain US citizenship

Saab’s charges include: conspiracy to provide material support to Hezbollah; providing material support to Hezbollah; conspiracy to receive military-type training from Hezbollah; receiving military-type training from Hezbollah; unlawfully obtaining citizenship or naturalization to facilitate international terrorism; marriage fraud conspiracy; citizenship application fraud; naturalization fraud; and making false statements.

Some of the charges relate to allegations – unrelated to his alleged activities for Hezbollah – that he married someone in 2012 so that person could apply for naturalized citizenship in the United States based on their marriage, the Justice Department said.

Government is investigating Hezbollah’s capabilities in the US

Saab’s charges come two years after two other American men were charged with serving as terrorist operatives for Hezbollah.

Hezbollah is an organization believed to have been responsible for several deadly attacks around the world, outside of the United States, over the past three decades, some of which killed Americans.

Although federal law enforcement has arrested numerous people in recent years associated with or inspired by Sunni Muslim extremist groups like al Qaeda and ISIS, the FBI has also disrupted the operational activity of a small number of people linked to the Shiite Muslim Hezbollah.

In 2017, two other American men were charged with serving as terrorist operatives for Hezbollah.

US counterterrorism officials have not publicly released estimates of how many Hezbollah members are suspected of being in the country. But a senior US national security official told CNN earlier this year that the government continues to investigate and degrade Hezbollah’s capabilities in the United States.

“Hezbollah is certainly a national security priority, because they have the capacity to commit hostile acts but have not necessarily had the motive to do so,” the senior US official said. “Our efforts have been to reduce their capacity in case their motives shift.”

CNN law enforcement analyst Josh Campbell contributed to this report.