7 charged in US with conspiring to aid Taliban

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 15, 2011 11:54

NEW YORK — Seven men, including two US citizens, were charged Monday with selling drugs and weapons in an effort to help the Taliban fight US troops overseas.

Posing as representatives of the Taliban, cooperating witnesses for the Drug Enforcement Administration approached the men in Ghana last June, asking to set up a drug relationship, prosecutors said. First, the cooperators asked if they could buy large amounts of cocaine, according to court documents. Then, they asked if the men could set up safe places in West Africa to store heroin on its way from Afghanistan to the United States, Canada and Europe.

Terrorism charges were filed against Maroun Saade, Walid Nasir, Francis Sourou Ahissou, Corneille Dato, Martin Raouf Bouraima, Oded Orbach and Alwar Pouryan.

Prosecutors said the two US citizens, Orbach and Pouryan, were arrested in Romania last week and are being held there while they await extradition to the United States. The others were arrested last week in Liberia, where they are in US custody. All are expected to be prosecuted in New York.


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