The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested and charged Hassan Mohammad Komeiha, originally from Lebanon, and Dani Nemr Tarraf, after Tarraf arrived in Philadelphia to examine weapons he planned to ship to Israel’s enemies. Three other members of the ring are still at-large, two of them overseas.
The smuggling ring developed from Komeiha’s original link with an undercover FBI agent who sold him laptop computers, cell phones and PlayStation game consoles which Komeiha believed were stolen.
‘Take down an F-16’
During the two-year investigation, the defendants raised the ante from computer games to night vision camera lenses and then to missiles and rifles. Tarraf specifically asked the undercover agent if he could supply him with guided missiles that could “take down an F-16.”
The US-made F-16 fighter jet is a central component of several advanced air forces, including those of Israel and the USA.
Tarraf, Komehai’s boss and who was identified as having residences in Lebanon and Slovokia, was charged with conspiracy to buy and ship anti-aircraft missiles and machine guns. Tarraf’s associate was his brother Douri Nemr Tarraf, both of whom wired tens of thousands of dollars to the undercover agent for the goods they bought.
Authorities refused to state whether any of the defendants were connected with a terrorist organization, but both Iran and Syria are described by the United States as countries that support terror.