US Charges 3 Men with Exporting Drone Parts to ‘Hezbollah’

US Charges 3 Men with Exporting Drone Parts to ‘Hezbollah’

Saturday, 17 February, 2018 - 06:30
The exterior of the US Department of Justice headquarters building in Washington, DC, US on July 14, 2009. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Asharq Al-Awsat
A federal grand jury in Minnesota has charged three men with illegally exporting drone parts and other material from the United States to Lebanon's “Hezbollah”, the US Justice Department said on Friday.

It said in a statement that two of the suspects – brothers Usama and Issam Hamade - were in custody in South Africa while the third, Samir Berro, remained at large.

According to the indictment, the trio conspired and attempted to export goods including inertial measurement units suitable for use in drones, a jet engine, piston engines and recording binoculars to “Hezbollah” from 2009 to 2013, the statement said.

The US considers “Hezbollah” a terrorist organization.

The updated indictment unsealed Friday was dated Oct. 11, 2017, but the original was filed in 2015 and kept sealed to keep the investigation secret from the three men.

The brothers were arrested Tuesday in South Africa for extradition to the United States to face trial in Minnesota, according to another prosecution filing Friday. They appeared before a magistrate there and were ordered held pending another hearing Feb. 26.

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