A Lebanese exported tech drone parts from the U.S. to Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia
According to the ‘Associated Press’, a Lebanese citizen is accused of conspiring to export tech drone parts and technology from the U.S. to Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia in Lebanon has begged guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate U.S. export laws. Issam Hamade pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in Minnesota. His brother, Usama Hamade, faces similar counts and is also investigated by US authorities for smuggling. Prosecutors said the brothers developed sophisticated technology for drones from 2009 to 2013 and illegally transferred them to Hezbollah, which the U.S. considers a terrorist group. Issam Hamade faces up to five years in prison when sentenced next month, but district attorney plan to ask for 30 months, according to a plea agreement. Hamade’s lawyers plan to ask for time served. He’s expected to be deported.
Hamades brothers were halted in February 2018 in South Africa and were extradited to the U.S. last fall. According to the accusation, the parts included inertial quantity units, which can be used to track an aircraft’s position, and digital compasses, which can be paired with the inertial measurement units for drone guidance systems. The parts also included a jet engine and 20 piston engines. In the appeal agreement publicly filed Tuesday, Issam Hamade admitted that his brother organised to buying parts and technology from various nations, including the U.S., from 2009 to 2011. He also admitted that he transferred money from Beirut to accounts in South Africa at his brother’s demand, knowing the money was being used to buy these parts. The public prosecutors say Hamade had reason to believe the parts and technology were going to Syria, in violation of U.S. export laws.