August 12, an individual was arrested in New Jersey, charged
with the crimes of providing material support for terrorist
acts and smuggling firearms into the United States. And not
just any firearm, but an IGLA-2 Surface-to-Air Missile.
Fortunately the FBI...pretending to be a member of a terrorist
Fortunately undercover Russian FSB agents.
A citizen of the U.K., born in India. He was assisted in financial
transactions by two others in New York, who were also arrested
on August 12 on money laundering and conspiracy charges.
The United States of America.
extraordinary story began in the closing months of 2001 when
the FBI first made contact with the broker. From that time
until the broker's arrest, over 200 conversations took place--over
the telephone and in person, most of them video and audio
recorded. Meetings took place in New Jersey, New York, and
St. Petersberg, Russia. The deal was $85,000 for a first surface-to-air
missile coming from Russia, transshipped through St. Petersberg...with
as many as 50 missiles to follow.
the assistance of the Russian government, and particularly
the Russian FSB, a replica was substituted for the real missile...and
an empty crate, with a bill of lading citing "medical
equipment" affixed to it, was shipped to the U.S. Truly
an unprecedented international joint undercover operation
with the Russian FSB.
all, an important lesson in teamwork: In today's global village,
it takes the concerted efforts of governments--in this case
the Russian government and its Federal Security Service, FBI
Joint Terrorism Task Forces in Newark and New York, and the
U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement--to protect
citizens everywhere against the greed of international criminals
and the wrath of terrorists.