Two Americans, Five Others Charged with Conspiring to Aid Taliban
Posted: February 15, 2011
Seven men, including two Americans, have been charged for allegedly plotting to help the Taliban fight American troops in Afghanistan, according to a February 14, 2011, U.S. Justice Department statement. The men allegedly conspired to sell weapons and drugs to Taliban fighters.
The Americans, Oded Orbach and Alwar Pouryan, were arrested in Romania and charged with conspiring to provide surface-to-air missiles to the Taliban and to provide material support to terrorists. Orbach, born in Israel, and Pouryan, born in Iran, are naturalized citizens. They are being held in Romania pending extradition to the United States.
The five other men, who allegedly operated drug trafficking rings in Africa, were detained in Liberia and charged with plotting to sell heroin to the U.S. for the Taliban, according to the Justice Department statement.
“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,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.
The charges are the result of a sting operation run by the Drug Enforcement Administration, in which informants posing as Taliban representatives met with the accused conspirators in African and Europe to discuss drugs and weapons deals.
Once extradited, all seven are expected to be tried in New York.