Seven Arrested Over Plot to Sell Drugs to Arm Taliban

Taliban flag

Taliban flag

Selling drugs to finance arms purchases — why does that sound so familiar? The New York Times reports:

A group of men agreed to assist the Taliban in a conspiracy to ship narcotics through West Africa to the United States and with the proceeds buy weapons for use against American forces in Afghanistan, federal prosecutors in Manhattan announced on Monday.

The charges stemmed from a sting operation run by the Drug Enforcement Administration, in which paid informants posed as representatives of the Taliban and discussed arrangements for the proposed drugs and weapons deals with the accused conspirators in meetings in West Africa and Eastern Europe.

One conspirator told the confidential informants that they could obtain heat-seeking surface-to-air missiles, antitank missiles, grenade launchers, night vision equipment, sniper rifles and AK-47 assault rifles, according to a criminal complaint unsealed in Federal District Court in Manhattan.

The defendants included two Americans, who were both accused of conspiring to provide surface-to-air missiles to the Taliban and to provide material support to terrorists.

As part of the sting, an informant acting as a Taliban representative explained that the missiles were needed to protect the Taliban’s heroin laboratories from attacks by American Cobra and Blackhawk helicopters.

Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, said the defendants “were prepared to provide millions of dollars in dangerous narcotics and lethal weapons to men they believed represented the Taliban.”

“This alleged effort to arm and enrich the Taliban,” Mr. Bharara said, “is the latest example of the dangers of an interconnected world in which terrorists and drug runners can link up across continents to harm Americans.”…

For more information, see original article.

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  • Simiantongue

    Personally, I blame capitalism for this.

    • Simiantongue

      Also

      “Mr. Orbach was born in Israel, and Mr. Pouryan in Iran. Both men were arrested last week in Bucharest, Romania, and were being held pending extradition to the United States, the government said.

      Five other defendants were arrested in Monrovia, Liberia, were transferred to the United States and were arraigned late Monday in Manhattan.

      All five entered pleas of not guilty and were ordered held pending further proceedings.

      Those five included Maroun Saade, whom the indictment described as a narcotics trafficker in West Africa; Walid Nasr, who was said to be one of his associates; and three other men described as being involved in the drug trade in West Africa: Francis Sourou Ahissou, Corneille Dato and Martin Raouf Bouraima.”

      People from Israel, Iran and West Africa working together? Maybe the tactics the US employs IS bringing the world closer together in cooperation.

  • Simiantongue

    Personally, I blame capitalism for this.

  • Simiantongue

    Also

    “Mr. Orbach was born in Israel, and Mr. Pouryan in Iran. Both men were arrested last week in Bucharest, Romania, and were being held pending extradition to the United States, the government said.

    Five other defendants were arrested in Monrovia, Liberia, were transferred to the United States and were arraigned late Monday in Manhattan.

    All five entered pleas of not guilty and were ordered held pending further proceedings.

    Those five included Maroun Saade, whom the indictment described as a narcotics trafficker in West Africa; Walid Nasr, who was said to be one of his associates; and three other men described as being involved in the drug trade in West Africa: Francis Sourou Ahissou, Corneille Dato and Martin Raouf Bouraima.”

    People from Israel, Iran and West Africa working together? Maybe the tactics the US employs IS bringing the world closer together in cooperation.

  • Simiantongue

    Also

    “Mr. Orbach was born in Israel, and Mr. Pouryan in Iran. Both men were arrested last week in Bucharest, Romania, and were being held pending extradition to the United States, the government said.

    Five other defendants were arrested in Monrovia, Liberia, were transferred to the United States and were arraigned late Monday in Manhattan.

    All five entered pleas of not guilty and were ordered held pending further proceedings.

    Those five included Maroun Saade, whom the indictment described as a narcotics trafficker in West Africa; Walid Nasr, who was said to be one of his associates; and three other men described as being involved in the drug trade in West Africa: Francis Sourou Ahissou, Corneille Dato and Martin Raouf Bouraima.”

    People from Israel, Iran and West Africa working together? Maybe the tactics the US employs IS bringing the world closer together in cooperation.

  • Hadrian999

    this is stupid, there was no conspiracy, the whole thing was a creation of the D.E.A. to drum up headlines,
    much in the same way the F.B.I. manufactures home grown terror threats to bust for big headlines and political advantage. how often are we going to fall for this?

  • Hadrian999

    looks like they took the least effective way to stop the problem.
    the smart way would be to allow the transaction to go through and track the entire network, what are 7 people against the chance to snatch the people who deliver and receive the eventual weapons shipments, way to go guys

  • Anonymous

    So no drugs, no weapons and no actual Taliban ie nothing actually happened. Who knows what the miscreants really intended, likely just rob the informant when the informant turned up with something worth stealing. Also how much were the paid informants paid and in reality did those informants simply target desperate gullible dolts who would ‘agree’ to anything but were actually incapable of doing any of the things they agreed to.
    In a lot of countries conspiracy charges are completely meaningless, unless an actual crime is committed, so no drugs, no weapons and no Taliban (actual tried and convicted not suspects) means no crime.

  • rtb61

    So no drugs, no weapons and no actual Taliban ie nothing actually happened. Who knows what the miscreants really intended, likely just rob the informant when the informant turned up with something worth stealing. Also how much were the paid informants paid and in reality did those informants simply target desperate gullible dolts who would ‘agree’ to anything but were actually incapable of doing any of the things they agreed to.
    In a lot of countries conspiracy charges are completely meaningless, unless an actual crime is committed, so no drugs, no weapons and no Taliban (actual tried and convicted not suspects) means no crime.