The U.S. doesn't like the Hezbollah, and U.S. Attorneys certainly don't like Hezbollah TV, as they charged Staten Island TV salesman Javed Iqbal with providing customers with a Hezbollah TV station in a satellite TV package. The U.S. Treasury called Al Manar a terror organization earlier this year, leading to the feds to bust Iqbal. The Foundation for Defense of Democracies' Mark Dubowitz tipped the feds about Iqbal's transmissions, and then here's the Post's explanation of how he was found out:
In June, a "wired" FBI informant walked into Iqbal's Brooklyn office, asking to be hooked up to the "DISH network."
The informant explained he was Lebanese and wanted to watch the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation, which transmits secular or Christian shows. Iqbal asked if he was "Lebanese Christian" and when the informant said no, he asked, "Why don't you watch Al Manar?" court papers say.
He described different service packages that would allow the customer to receive Al Manar and other Arab networks, including Al-Jazeera.
Court papers also say Iqbal falsely told the customer that Al Manar broadcasts were legal in the United States - and a month later changed his sales pitch to say they would soon be legal.
Of course, this case is testing civil rights issues, and the NYCLU said, "It appears that the statute under which Mr. Iqbal is being prosecuted includes a First Amendment exemption that prevents the government from punishing people for importing news communications." But Dubowitz calls Al Manar "a terrorist organization masquerading as a TV channel" that broadcasts "bank account numbers where viewers can donate money to Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations."
Iqbal, who is a legal resident of Pakistan, is being held on $250,000 bail.