One of the world's most notorious arms dealers was extradited to the U.S. today to face charges of selling millions of dollars of arms to Colombian rebels to fight and kill U.S. forces.
Monzer al Kassar was arrested in Spain in June of last year after being indicted in US federal court for his role in a scheme to sell nearly 8,000 machine guns, 2 million rounds of ammunition, 120 rocket-propelled grenades, 2,400 hand grenades, surface to air missiles, and large quantities of C4 explosives to the FARC, the leftist rebel group in Colombia. The arms were worth over $8 million.
Kassar also offered to send 1,000 men to help the FARC fight US forces. He was negotiating with two confidential sources who were secretly working for the US Drug Enforcement Administration.
In the past, Kassar has provided military equipment and weapons to terrorist groups and factions in Nicaragua, Brazil, Cyprus, Bosnia, Croatia, Somalia, Iran and Iraq.
"Monzer Al Kassar has long been one of the most prolific arms deals in the world. He has supported terrorists and insurgents by providing them with high-powered weapons that have fueled the most violent conflicts in the last three decades," US Attorney Michael Garcia told reporters last year when Kassar was arrested.
Kassar faces four counts of terrorism charges. He is expected to appear in court later today. Click to read the indictement.
By Rob Hendin