February 15th, 2011
10:46 AM ET

Feds: Seven men charged with conspiring to supply Taliban

Seven men, including two Americans, have been charged for allegedly conspiring to sell surface-to-air missiles and cocaine to Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, according to a U.S. Justice Department statement released Monday.

"We eliminated an entrenched global criminal network, preventing it from moving ton quantities of cocaine, laundering millions in drug money, and trading arms to the Taliban to undermine the rule of law and kill Americans," said Michele M. Leonhart, administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. "West Africa has emerged as a place where drugs and terror intersect."

The men allegedly conspired to supply undercover agents posing as Taliban and were arrested by U.S. authorities working with local law enforcement in Romania and Liberia on February 10 and 12, according to the statement.

The men allegedly "agreed to receive and store multi-ton shipments of Taliban-owned heroin" and "sell multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine to the Taliban," while the two Americans - identified as Alwar Pouryan and Oded Orbach - allegedly agreed to sell the missiles, the statement said. It did not say where the two Americans live.

They were arrested in Romania are awaiting extradition, according to the statement. The five others were arrested in Monrovia, Liberia and are currently in U.S. custody.

"This alleged effort to arm and enrich the Taliban is the latest example of the dangers of an inter-connected world in which terrorists and drug runners can link up across continents to harm Americans," U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara said in the statement.

The men face charges that include conspiracy to provide material support and resources to terrorists and conspiracy to engage in narco-terrorism, the statement said.

It was not clear whether the men had acquired legal defense counsel.

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Filed under: Taliban
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Huck Towel

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    March 19, 2011 at 7:01 am | Report abuse |
  2. Huck Towel

    Another great article. I like that you are very honest and direct to the point.

    http://www.chhipacorp.com

    March 2, 2011 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
  3. salerno

    Capt – Bangash does not need to read anything as he is living the war directly. 64 civilians were killed in Afghanistan these days by the US. You are right the Taliban are not orthodox muslims, but not all them were involved in harboring Osama and Mullah Omar had nothing to do with 9/11.
    The money US is giving to Pakistan is for the military to support the civil war, almost nothing is going to the people.

    February 20, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  4. salerno

    Bangash –
    I thought Americans supported the Northern alliance against the Taliban.
    It is not clear if you made an error in typing when you stated that Obama under the cover of Unocal ran indirectly Taliban gov. in Afghanistan, as he was not president at that time. Did you mean Osama ?
    Finally how put in your context the fact that B. Clinton tried to kill Osama in Sudan ?

    February 16, 2011 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
    • BANGASH

      Salerno by writing Obama I mean USA and here just similarity in names Of Osama and Obama aimed at USA and Alqaida as you know and Bill Clinton has also confessed that US president has no say of his own therefore we see no difference between Bush and Obama. Salerno we have three decades history in this game wherein characters and faces are being changed. First it was Osama then associated Mullah Umar, Now on Pkistan side Baitullah Mehsud Hakimullah Mehsud and Qari Hussain are US targets therefore justify drone attacks in Waziristan. IF you thoroughly followed emergence of Osama you will find a character in the making, paving the way for USA either to take over or put them according to the new world order. In Sudan similar things have happened and finally it was divided in the NORTH and South. Same policy is being followed here however here world is different where invaders come on their choice but leave on Afghans terms whether to leave or bury in Afghan soil.

      February 16, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        Understood. Osama story is complicated, but the new mondial order policy is clear. This is a tool for US corporations to penetrate in new markets. Now they are worry for Egypt as the instability alted the activity of some american oil and gas company.

        February 16, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  5. BANGASH

    DAN and DINDY this was my main point which I wished to convey, you all when I was blaming Osama and Obama for our miseries here in this region for the last three decades. Till 1992 USA openly handled Afghan war affairs in association with all these terrorists of today and then accordingly in the name of Islam US Mjahideen established rule in Kabul. This looked bigger monster then communism therefore Osama and Obama suddenly disappeared, leaving Afghan warlords fight each other till their high morale emerged after defeating a super power(USSR). By then Osama was in Sudan, another oil/ gas rich state, making it a favorite target for USA with fabricated justifications and today Sudan divided. By 1995 these once Afghan heroes were now, degraded highway robbers, therefore a new breed in the name of Taliban emerged on the scene. Osama returned from Sudan and Obama under the cover of a US corporation UNOCAL landed and ran indirectly Taliban Govt in Afghanistan till Sep 11, 2001 a moment for USA to leave the cover and come open. Since then innocent Afghans/Pakistani civilians are being killed in this war however Osama and his 50/100 friends enjoy and USA too through Black Water has collected all hard core criminals from their cities and streets and have put them in contractor style warfare in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Today among Taliban in Pakistan side more then 70% are at the payroll of USA, and this is a proof of that.
    So DINDY and DAN actions are louder then words. You must not ignore reality by linking the issue with Islam or Christianity as in both religions such barbarism and killing of innocents has been condemned and rejected. I hope both of you should see no reason to beat the drums of MIC any more and instead broaden vision to see the world as a joint home of all human community.

    February 16, 2011 at 3:18 am | Report abuse |
  6. Dan from Chicago, IL

    And you call yourself a man of God, but defend people like these men whose only concern was to help the Taliban in their futile attempt to rule Afghanistan once again.

    February 15, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      Dan – surface-to air missiles are used by Taliban to defend themselves from the US aircraft.
      As for this man, his concern was just to make money.

      February 15, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        Yacobi- yes, I am not surprised if this story is false as you say, as you are better informed than me.

        February 15, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |