7 charged in US in Taliban plot for weapons, drugs

By Agence France-Presse
Monday, February 14, 2011 16:50 EDT
google plus icon
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Email this page

WASHINGTON – Seven people, including two US citizens, were charged in connection with a plot to aid the Afghan Taliban by sending weapons to the insurgents and moving tons of Afghan heroin through West Africa, officials said Monday.

The US Justice Department said the two Americans were charged with conspiracy to sell surface-to-air missiles, automatic rifles and other weapons to the Taliban to help the rebels protect their narcotics operations.

The two Americans, identified as Alwar Pouryan and Oded Orbach, were arrested in Romania last week and are being held for extradition to the United States, a statement said.

Five others, who operated drug trafficking rings in Benin and elsewhere in Africa, were indicted in connection with a scheme “to receive, store, and move ton-quantities of Taliban-owned heroin through West Africa, portions of which they understood would then be sent to the United States,” the statement said.

Some also plotted to sell cocaine in the United States to benefit the Taliban.

The five, identified as Maround Saade, Walid Nasr, Francis Sourou Ahissou, Corneille Dato and Martin Raouf Bouraima, were arrested in Monrovia, Liberia, in coordination with Liberian authorities, on February 10 and 12, and later transferred to US custody, officials said.

A complaint charging the two Americans and an indictment charging six of the defendants was unsealed in New York Monday following undercover investigations involving US agents who negotiated for deals on weapons and drugs.

US Attorney Preet Bharara said the accused “were prepared to provide millions of dollars in dangerous narcotics and lethal weapons to men they believed represented the Taliban.”

He added, “This alleged effort to arm and enrich the Taliban 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. We will continue to work with our trusted law enforcement partners here and abroad to incapacitate and hold accountable anyone who takes steps to assist enemies of the United States.”

Officials said agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration working undercover were in contact with the defendants and held a series of meeting over several months in Benin, Ghana, Ukraine, and Romania.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
By commenting, you agree to our terms of service
and to abide by our commenting policy.
  • Anonymous

    Wouldn’t it be a lot easier if we just pulled out and let the Iranians take care of the drug traffickers?

  • Knot

    US Attorney Preet Bharara said the accused “were prepared to provide millions of dollars in dangerous narcotics and lethal weapons to men they believed represented the Taliban.”

    So there were no Taliban involved in this? I assume that maybe some Taliban have connections to sell heroin in the US, but it seems pretty unlikely. The warlords that are allied with the US seem a lot more likely as people that would have connections to US transportation routes and American connections. Besides, I thought the Taliban were an oppressive enough regime to win the war on drugs in their country? Maybe the DEA should hire some Taliban guys to train them to fight the war on drugs in the US.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe Fox can have their very own expert on this sort of crime tell everyone how it works! Ollie North should be in prison for this sort of thing, but instead he works for Fox.

  • Iconoclasm

    Interesting, however I must ask, why did Neocons Marc Grossman, Richard Perle and Dennis Hastert get a pass? This information was/is valid. These “dual class” citizens committed treason and were just let go:


  • http://www.rawstory.com/ hounddogg

    where does it say they’re Zionists?…Zionists and the Taliban are not allies…

  • Greg Eckhart

    Even James Bond can’t figure this one out …. until the third reel and then he discovers the Taliban are a front for a fat white bald guy with a cat.

    But I bet Bond can’t figure out which of the two Americans actually set it up…who will do 4 years….flown from country to country giving secret military tribunal testimony about other plots he set up…and BOO!…people protected by the largest military ever assembled in human history will still look under their beds.