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  • This could have been bad....

    Great job to our British and Russian friends. They may have just prevented another attack.

    NEWARK A British man and one of two alleged accomplices arrested on suspicion of being involved in a plot to smuggle a surface-to-air missile into the U.S. appeared in federal court Wednesday morning.

    The Briton, Hemant Lakhani, a 68-year-old London arms dealer with ties to Indian organized crime, was charged with attempting to provide material support to terrorists and trying to sell arms without a license.

    "This morning, the terrorists who threatened America lost an ally in their quest to kill our citizens," Christopher Christie, U.S. attorney for New Jersey, said during a press briefing following the hearing.

    For the first charge, if convicted, Lakhani faces 15 years maximum in prison and a fine of $250,000. For the second charge, he could face 10 years in prison and up to a $1 million fine.

    Lakhani was nabbed Tuesday as part of a joint U.S.-Russian-British sting operation at a hotel near Newark Liberty International Airport (search) in northern New Jersey.

    Soon afterward, a raid at a jewelry dealership in Manhattan yielded the two other suspects, who were arrested on suspicion of money laundering.

    The other two suspects were identified as Yehuda Abraham, a diamond-district businessman, and Moinuddeen Ahmed Hameed.

    Both were discussed during the hearing, but only Hameed actually appeared in court. Both will be charged with money laundering. Their detention hearing is set for the end of August.

    There will be another hearing later Wednesday for Abraham, who did not appear in federal court in the morning.

    Lakhani was nabbed after agreeing to sell a sophisticated Russian SA-18 Igla missile (search) to an undercover FBI agent posing as a Muslim terrorist. Christie said the plot included a plan to sell 50 missiles to potential terrorists.

    U.S. attorneys said Wednesday that Lakhani knew exactly what he was doing trying to sell arms to people he thought were terrorists for the sole purpose of using them in the United States to shoot U.S. airliners out of the sky.

    "There is no question that Mr. Lakhani was someone who was sympathetic to the beliefs of the terrorists who were tying to do damage to our country," Christie said.

    Prosecutors said there were recordings of Lakhani calling Americans "bastards," referring to the Sept. 11 attacks as a "good thing" and calling Usama bin Laden a "hero."

    He had just flown to Newark from London to close the deal. More arrests may be possible.

    U.S. officials said part of the suspect's sales pitch was that the missile could shoot down Air Force One, the president's personal jet.

    Sources told Fox News that the U.S. Secret Service (search) never thought it was a credible threat to the president or the aircraft. Air Force One is widely believed to possess anti-SAM capabilities, which often include infrared jamming or releasing flares.

    Tom Mangold, a British intelligence specialist who broke the story for the BBC, said in an interview with The Washington Times that the Briton paid $85,000 for a single missile from a Russian factory that produces them.

    It was the arms dealer who suggested to the undercover agents that he could sell another 50 Iglas capable of shooting down Air Force One, Mangold said.

    Justice Department officials had no immediate comment on the case.

    Full article... http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,94580,00.html
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  • #2
    Really, what could of happened is that poorly built SA-18 missile probably would have missed what ever plane it was pointed at and hit some boater on his way to the runway at JFK!

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    • #3
      im sure something like that is inevitable, sooner or later, given the current world climate politically.
      i think the u.s. has blown the chance of using the 9/11 momentum to get rid of alot of problems, and instead opened the pandoras box that will lead to more and more problems with nothing but short term profit for certain ppl in mind.
      but yeah sams must be heavily regulated and controlled. i think thats hardly possible tho :/
      aviation chat on irc: #[email protected]

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      • #4
        hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
        Some people in today's society are so thick!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by zak
          im sure something like that is inevitable, sooner or later, given the current world climate politically.
          /
          how do you get that statement from the joke I made about an errant sam falling on boaters trying to get on JFK's runway? <satire>

          or did you just need a soapbox?

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