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Associate of International Arms Dealer Monzer Al Kassar Found Guilty of Terrorism Offenses

Alex Constantine - March 18, 2009

SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice

NEW YORK, March 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Lev L. Dassin, the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Michele M. Leonhart, the Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), today announced that Tareq Mousa Al Ghazi, 62, an associate of international arms dealer Monzer Al Kassar, was found guilty late yesterday of charges relating to a conspiracy to sell millions of dollars worth of weapons to the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (the FARC) - a designated foreign terrorist organization - to be used to kill U.S. officers and employees in Colombia.

Al Ghazi was found guilty following a two-week jury trial before U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff in Manhattan federal court.

According to the superseding indictment and the evidence at trial:

Between February 2006 and June 2007, Al Ghazi and Al Kassar agreed to sell millions of dollars worth of weapons to the FARC, including thousands of machine guns, millions of rounds of ammunition, rocket-propelled grenade launchers (RPGs), and surface-to-air missile systems (SAMs). During a series of recorded telephone calls, e-mails, and in-person meetings, Al Ghazi and Al Kassar agreed to sell the weapons to two individuals who were in fact confidential sources working with the DEA. The confidential sources represented that they were acquiring these weapons for the FARC to use in attacks directed at U.S. helicopters in Colombia.

Al Ghazi was found guilty of conspiracy to murder U.S. officers and employees; conspiracy to acquire and export anti-aircraft missiles; and conspiracy to provide material support and resources to the FARC, a designated foreign terrorist organization; as well as money laundering. Al Ghazi was found not guilty of conspiracy to murder U.S. nationals.

Al Ghazi is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Rakoff on June 16, 2009, at 4:00 p.m.

The convictions for conspiracy to kill U.S. officers and employees and conspiracy to acquire and export surface-to-air missiles each carry a maximum sentence of life in prison. The charge of conspiracy to acquire and export surface-to-air missiles carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison. In addition, Al Ghazi faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison for conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

Al Ghazi co-defendants Monzer Al Kassar and Luis Felipe Moreno Godoy were previously sentenced by Judge Rakoff to 30 and 25 years in prison, respectively, after being found guilty at trial of related charges.

Mr. Dassin praised the investigative work of the DEA, the Romanian Border Police and the Spanish National Police. Mr. Dassin also thanked the Justice Department Criminal Division's Office of International Affairs and the U.S. Department of State. Mr. Dassin also expressed gratitude to the U.S. Embassies in Spain and Romania.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Boyd M. Johnson III and Brendan R. McGuire are in charge of the prosecution.


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  1. Most of us at Goucher are not pleased with the way Sandy Ungar has handled this. He and his Provost knew Munyakazi was wanted by Interpol. He is lying and everyone at Goucher knows it and is angry. See the Baltimore Sun article in which Munyakazi makes it clear that the College management knew about the charges against him and his assertion that the Rwandan violence was not genocide.

  2. Sandy Ungar should have stood by Leopold Munyakazi. Accusations leveled by the regime in Kigali are worth little to nothing considering the fact the current leadership is accused of serious crimes against humanity and genocidal acts inside Rwanda and the Congo. But most American’s still follow the news about Rwanda from a “Kinzer perspective”. Which equals to sticking your head in the sand.

  3. Did you also know that terrorism affects women more than any other demographic

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    I would really value your opinion and the opinion of your readers. The long-term goal of this project is to facilitate a more diplomatic American foreign policy in the years ahead.
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