War on Terrorism

Monday, February 14, 2011

Seven Defendants Charged with Conspiring to Aid the Taliban

NEW YORK – Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator Michele M. Leonhart and Preet Bharara, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today the unsealing of charges against seven defendants for conspiring to provide various forms of support to DEA confidential sources whom they believed to be representatives of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The seven defendants are: Maroun Saade, Walid Nasr, aka "David Nasr," Francis Sourou Ahissou, aka "Francois," Corneille Dato, aka "Pablo," Martin Raouf Bouraima, aka "Raul," Alwar Pouryan, aka "Allan," aka "Alberto," and Oded Orbach, aka "Dedy," aka "Jesse".

As alleged in the charging documents unsealed today in Manhattan federal court, the assistance the defendants allegedly agreed to provide the Taliban took various forms. Some of the defendants agreed to receive, store, and move ton-quantities of Taliban-owned heroin through West Africa, portions of which they understood would then be sent to the United States. Some defendants agreed to sell substantial quantities of cocaine that the Taliban could sell at a profit in the United States. Saade, along with U.S. citizens Pouryan and Orbach, agreed to sell weapons to the Taliban, including surface-to- air missiles ("SAMs"), to be used to protect Taliban-owned heroin laboratories against United States attack in Afghanistan.

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