Syrian-born arms dealer gets 30 years in prison

February 25, 2009 04:05

A Syrian-born arms dealer was sentenced Tuesday to 30 years in prison for conspiring to sell weapons to Colombian militants while knowing they sought to kill Americans. Monzer al-Kassar, 63, long suspected of aiding militants in some of the world's bloodiest conflicts, was convicted in November of conspiring to sell millions of dollars of weapons to militants in a sting operation. No weapons were ever exchanged. US District Judge Jed S. Rakoff said al-Kassar and co-defendant Luis Felipe Moreno Godoy, 60, had engaged in terrorism-related crimes that were chronicled with overwhelming evidence, including videotaped conversations. He sentenced Moreno to 25 years in prison. "I think it's fair to say Mr. al-Kassar is a man of many faces," the judge said. "It is a tragedy that a person of his intelligence has spent so much of his life in activities that certainly weren't calculated to advance the human race."

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