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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

AQIM Smuggles Drugs for FARC

NEW YORK — A Malian man faces up to 15 years in jail after pleading guilty to trafficking cocaine to fund the activities of Al-Qaeda and FARC guerrilla fighters in Colombia, US prosecutors said on Tuesday.
Oumar Issa, who was arrested in Ghana in December 2009 at the request of the United States, and subsequently transported to New York, admitted one count of "conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization."

  • Court papers said he agreed to move cocaine through West and North Africa to support the drug-trafficking activities of Al-Qaeda, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
  • From September 2009 through December 2009, Issa and two other Malians agreed to provide the FARC with "logistical assistance and secure transportation for a shipment of cocaine across Africa, (and) false identification documents," despite knowing the FARC "was engaged in terrorist activity," prosecutors said.
  • "The defendants also agreed to provide material support and resources, including property, and currency and monetary instruments to Al-Qaeda and AQIM, knowing that these groups were engaged in terrorist activities," they added.

Issa is scheduled to be sentenced by US District Judge Richard Holwell on February 15, 2012. Cases against his two conspirators are ongoing.

Preet Bharara, US Attorney for the southern district of New York, said narcotics trafficking provided vital cash to terrorist organizations, and Issa's guilty plea underscored prosecutors commitment to catching wrongdoers.

The Rest @ AFP

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