From Reuters, “British Businessman Found Guilty in U.S. Weapons Case”
NEWARK, N.J. – A British man was found guilty of trying to provide material support to terrorists on Wednesday for selling a shoulder-launched missile to an undercover FBI informant posing as an Islamic militant seeking to attack the United States.
Hemant Lakhani, 69, a British citizen born in India, was found guilty of five criminal charges by a U.S. District Court jury in Newark, New Jersey, that began deliberating on Tuesday.
Lakhani was arrested in August 2003 after a two-year international sting operation and charged with trying to provide material support to terrorists, unlawful arms sales, smuggling and money laundering. He faces 25 years in prison.
Prosecutors provided videotapes and taped telephone conversations of Lakhani making the deal with an undercover FBI informant posing as an Islamic militant.
But while the prosecution depicted Lakhani as an enthusiastic broker eager to supply a terrorist group, the defense said he was a victim of overzealous law enforcement in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
What could the defense say? He was “trying to smuggle shoulder-held missiles into the United States and offering to obtain a radioactive “dirty bomb” for terrorists.” Other than that, he was a wonderful man.