Two NYC Men Arrested in Taliban Coat Drive
Two New York City men have been accused of conspiring to keep terrorists warm.
Humayoun Nabi and Ismail Alsarabbi thought they could help "level the playing field," in the Taliban's fight against U.S. forces in Afghanistan by arranging shipments of socks, shoes and jackets to the militant group, police said. Despite the curious nature of the case, it's one New York's top cop is not taking lightly.
"The cold weather gear and electronics that the pair sought to provide could have endangered the safety of Americans as much as supplies of guns and ammunition," New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
Nabi, a Pakistani national living in Queens, and Alsarabbi, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Kuwait who was living in Brooklyn, were arrested after a long undercover NYPD investigation.
Nabi believed "the source of the Americans' strength is their equipment, specifically good jackets, good goggles, good GPS," court records said. He was quoted telling a police confidential informant, "We send them [the Taliban] jackets so they can get warm…and realize they got something to fight with."
"The two defendants allegedly engaged in a plan to supply terrorist organizations in Afghanistan with warm winter clothing - which in the context of the fighting in Afghanistan is as serious as supplying the enemy with bullets and bombs," said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. "These supplies would have enabled the terrorists to endure the harsh Afghan winters and extend the fighting season."
The defendants, who face up to seven years in prison if convicted, were each ordered held on $500,000 bond and are expected to return to court on Oct. 25, 2013.