- Congressman: McAuliffe victory means gun control a winning message
- Clinton aide admits soliciting disgraced D.C. fundraiser; says actions were legal
- Joel Osteen church victimized in $600K theft
- Obama goes shopping at Gap as minimum-wage thanks
- N.J. woman charged after client dies from black-market butt injections
- CIA chief Brennan ‘determined’ to speak out more this year
- Reset? What reset? U.S.-Russia ties at worst since Cold War
- 9/11 terror recruiter released in Syrian prisoner swap
- D.C. elections board gives green light to marijuana legalization initiative
- Elephants can tell difference between human languages: study
Three arrested in arms plot to kill Americans
A suspected international arms dealer was arrested yesterday in Spain and charged with conspiracy to sell millions of dollars in weapons to a State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization in Colombia to kill Americans.
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator Karen P. Tandy said Syrian national Monzer Al Kassar, 61, of Marbella, Spain, along with suspects Tareq Mousa Al Ghazi, 60, of Lebanon, and Luis Felipe Moreno Godoy, 58, also of Marbella, were arrested as they prepared to finalize a multimillion-dollar deal with the Marxist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, to pay for the weapons.
“Monzer Al Kassar commands a global munitions empire, arming and funding insurgents and terrorists across the globe, particularly those who wish to harm Americans,” Mrs. Tandy said. “He operates in the shadows, the silent partner behind the business of death and terror.”
According to a federal grand jury Indictment unsealed in New York, since the early 1970s, Mr. Kassar, an international weapons trafficker, has been a ready source of weapons and military equipment for armed factions engaged in violent conflicts around the world.
The indictment said he provided weapons and military equipment to Bosnia, Brazil, Croatia, Cyprus, Iran, Iraq, Nicaragua and Somalia, among other countries, some of which went to known terrorist organizations, such as the Palestinian Liberation Front.
According to the indictment, to carry out his weapons-trafficking business, Mr. Kassar developed an international network of criminal associates, including co-defendants Mr. Ghazi and Mr. Moreno Godoy, as well as front companies and bank accounts in Bulgaria, Iraq, Poland, Romania, Spain and Syria and the United Kingdom.
Additionally, it said, Mr. Kassar engaged in money-laundering transactions in bank accounts throughout the world to disguise the illicit nature of his proceeds.
Between February 2006 and May 2007, the indictment said, Mr. Kassar, Mr. Ghazi and Mr. Moreno Godoy agreed to sell to the FARC millions of dollars worth of weapons — including thousands of machine guns, millions of rounds of ammunition, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and surface-to-air missile systems.
During a series of recorded telephone calls, e-mails, and in-person meetings, it said Mr. Kassar, Mr. Ghazi and Mr. Moreno Godoy agreed to sell the weapons to two confidential informants working with the DEA, who said they were acquiring the weapons for the FARC to use to attack U.S. helicopters in Colombia.
The indictment said Mr. Kassar, Mr. Ghazi and Mr. Moreno Godoy gave the informants a schematic of the vessel to be used to transport the weapons, specifications for the missiles they agreed to sell and bank accounts in Spain and Lebanon to be used to conceal more than $400,000 from DEA undercover accounts that the informants represented.
It said Mr. Kassar also promised to provide the FARC with ton-quantities of C4 explosives, as well as expert trainers from Lebanon to teach the FARC how to effectively use improvised explosive devices, commonly known as IEDs.
An America drowning in red ink is the land of the free no more
- Inside the Beltway: A new interest in Rahm Emanuel for 2016?
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- David Jolly wins in Florida, GOP keeps swing district seat
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- 80 people publicly executed across North Korea for films, Bibles
- Brennan: Russia 'absolutely' could invade eastern Ukraine
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Atheists sue to remove 'Ground Zero Cross' from 9/11 museum
- CARNES: Kissinger's flawed and offensive analysis of Ukraine
- HURT: John Kerry The ridiculous face of a ridiculous U.S. diplomacy
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again