< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://bokertov.typepad.com/ btb/" >

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Israeli Jew indicted in Manhattan for aiding Hez B'Allah

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The head of a Canadian shipping company and an Israeli citizen were indicted on Wednesday for a scheme to ship the highest level of night vision technology equipment to Lebanon-based Hezbollah.

Naji Antoine Abi Khalil, 39, chairman and general manager of New Line Services, a shipping company based in Montreal, and Tomer Grinberg, 30, an Israeli citizen living in New York, were named in the indictment filed in Manhattan federal court.

Khalil, who holds dual citizenship in Canada and Lebanon, is charged with attempting to provide material support and resources to a terrorist organization and attempting to contribute goods to a specially designated terrorist. He and Grinberg are both charged with conspiring to export sensitive military nightvision equipment out of the country without first obtaining licenses from the U.S. government.

Prosecutors accuse Khalil of agreeing to send night-vision goggles, infrared aiming devices and other equipment to Hezbollah, which the indictment describes as a Lebanon-based terrorist group. The charges allege that on May 17 and 18, Khalil met with an undercover FBI agent at a Times Square area hotel to discuss a shipment of stolen electronics that needed to be exported out of the country.

During the meetings, the agent told Khalil that he had a customer who wanted to ship night-vision goggles to Hezbollah in Athens, Greece. Khalil is accused of saying that it was not a problem and he had "friends."

The charges state that during another meeting, the agent introduced Khalil to another undercover FBI agent who was posing as the customer.

The "customer" gave Khalil the address of individuals who would receive the shipment and Khalil agreed to create a fictitious bill of lading so that the items and the identity of the shipper would not be revealed.

On May 19, Khalil and Grinberg met with the undercover agent at a Manhattan storage facility to pick up the night-vision equipment, the indictment said.

The undercover agent showed the two defendants a crate filled with fourteen pieces of "Generation 3" night-vision equipment. This is the highest level of night-vision technology and cannot be exported without a license.

Khalil and Grinberg loaded the equipment inside a minivan and Khalil accepted a $2,500 down payment from the agent for the shipment to Greece.
Oy, my husband's maternal grandmother was a Greenberg/Grinberg.