Weird, weird and even weirder:
Watch the local Arizona news station videoclip here.
Romanian government press release here, including this Youtube footage (w/o sound):
From the (American) DEA official website:
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”.
Five of the defendants – Saade, Nasr, Ahissou, Dato, and Bouraima – were arrested in Monrovia, Liberia, in coordination with Liberian authorities, on February 10 and 12, 2011, and were transferred thereafter by the Government of Liberia to the custody of the United States.
The two remaining defendants – Pouryan and Orbach – were arrested in Bucharest, Romania, in coordination with Romanian authorities, on February 10, 2011, where they remain pending extradition to the United States.
Even weirder is this from the Chicago Tribune:
A 52-year-old Highland Park father is one of two U.S. citizens charged with agreeing to sell missiles and other weapons to the Taliban for their use against American troops in Afghanistan, according to a complaint unsealed by federal prosecutors in Manhattan last week.
Oded Orbach, born in Israel, was among seven men arrested in an international sting operation by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Paid informants posing as Taliban representatives conspired with the men to ship narcotics through West Africa — with a portion intended for the United States — and to use the proceeds to buy weapons for protecting Taliban-owned heroin labs in Afghanistan, authorities said.
The accusations against Orbach flabbergasted friends, neighbors and business associates, who described Orbach as an intense, but honest man.
“This is absolutely out of character,” said Bruce Brandel, who said he was a longtime business associate of Orbach’s. “Is this really the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? … The credibility of him is 1,000 percent higher in my mind than what our government is capable of doing, as well as the people they pay to carry out these endeavors.”
Very, very freaking weird.
7 thoughts on “DEA, Taliban, Missile “Sting””
OMG!!! This is such a small world. I am from Phoenix, Arizona and only a few miles from this man’s pizza restaurant. I have probably even had a pizza delivered from there. It is amazing how the world has become so small and interconnected. On a different subject, I am very interested in moving to Romania. But, I don’t know where to start to look for jobs. Have a great day everyone.
Try and read about the capture of Viktor Bout. People say Romania was one of the biggest weapon exporter during the cold war without producing them. Try and see the connections with the AK-47’s in South America… only in Romania, now available worldwide :P
I know you can’t see my face but I sighed so deeply when I read his name in your comment. I am sorry to say that I know far more about G-n Bout that I want to. And I promised myself never to follow the trail down that rabbit hole again.
Yeah, what’s so weird about about weapons trafficking in Bucharest? I mean, Romania is a big hub for weapons trafficking, whether as an exporter or a stopover. Elements withing the various governments have sold thousands of rifles to terrorists and insurgents in the last decade, weapons which are used against us, btw.
Sorry, but I don’t get it. What is so very, very freaking weird about these news?
Well, for one you’ve got an Israeli-American citizen involved in allegedly arming the Taliban. Secondly, his friend of many years is shocked beyond disbelief and outright denies my fourth point. Third, you’ve got the DEA being the principle behind the arrest, not the FBI. Fourth, it looks like this entire case is based on a federal agent goading these men into whatever it was they allegedly did. Fifth, you can say Bucharest is a “big hub for weapons trafficking” but this is the first I’ve heard of it. The only weapons I’ve heard of coming from Romania were all of the small arms variety, not MANPADs. I’m not up to date on Romania’s arsenals but as a member of both NATO and the EU, I’m mighty surprised to hear they’ve got unaccounted Stinger missiles wandering around that shady characters have turned into a “big hub” for selling. In fact, last I heard Stinger missiles were an exclusively American product. So if this story is all true you’ve got American missiles somehow being appropriated from somewhere, shipped to Romania then re-sold to an Israeli-American and some Middle Eastern people in Romania, which is beyond weird.
If you’ve got some links I’d sure be happy to read them.
Well, Bucharest is a hub, but most of the traffic is transiting, coming from Russia and going to the Middle East or North Africa. True that the deal involving Stingers and the DEA is a bit weird, but not the Israeli-American part. There have been cases of both the US and Israel trafficking weapons to eventually justify an intervention.