The United States accuses four foreigners of sending Iranian-made weapons to the Houthis in Yemen – La Opinion

The United States accuses four foreigners of sending Iranian-made weapons to the Houthis in Yemen – La Opinion

Four foreign nationals were arrested and charged Thursday with transporting suspected Iranian-made weapons for Yemen’s Houthis on a ship intercepted by U.S. naval forces in the Arabian Sea last month. Two Navy SEALs died during the mission.

The criminal complaint unsealed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Richmond alleges that the four defendants, all of whom carried Pakistani identification cards, were transporting suspected Iranian-made missile components for the type of weapons used by Houthi rebel forces in recent attacks and accuses Muhammad Pahlawan, Mohammad Mazhar, Ghufran Ullah and Izhar Muhammad, of providing false information to US Coast Guard officials after their arrest.

The Department of Justice reported in a statement that There are 10 other people detained as witnesses.

Prosecutors wrote that the ship was carrying “propulsion and guidance components” for medium-range ballistic missiles and anti-ship cruise missiles, as well as a warhead. According to investigators, the weapons were likely destined for Houthi rebels in Yemen, who have attacked dozens of commercial and military ships in recent months.

“The flow of missiles and other advanced weapons from Iran to Houthi rebel forces in Yemen threatens the people and interests of the United States and our partners in the region,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said in the news release.

Pahlawan was also accused of illegally transporting a warhead knowing that it would be used by the Houthi rebels to attack commercial and naval vessels in the Red Sea, as part of a campaign of attacks against vessels that the group has carried out in protest of the Israeli war in Gaza.

Matthew Olsen, assistant attorney general for national security at the Justice Department, said Pahlawan “attempted to smuggle advanced missile components, including a warhead, to Houthi rebels for use against American cargo ships and vessels.”

“The Department of Justice, along with U.S. partner agencies, is working tirelessly to deny malign actors the means to threaten international shipping and endanger the lives of our men and women in uniform,” Olsen said in the statement. .

Two SEAL Marines died in the capture operation

On January 11, in the Arabian Sea, Navy SEALS boarded a dhow, a small ship, transporting missile components and weapons parts to Yemen. The SEALS were deployed in front of the Lewis B. Puller, an expeditionary mobile base ship.

The SEALS captured 14 crew members on the ship and They seized the gun partswhich according to the United States would have been used for medium-range ballistic missiles and anti-ship cruise missiles.

U.S. officials said Navy Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Christopher J. Chambers was boarding the ship on Jan. 11 and slipped into the space created by high waves between the ship and the U.S. fighter craft. SEAL.

When Chambers fell, Navy Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class Nathan Gage Ingram jumped in to try to save him, according to U.S. officials familiar with what happened. They both died.

Navy Special Warfare Operators Christopher J. Chambers (left) and Nathan Gage Ingram died during the mission.
Navy Special Warfare Operators Christopher J. Chambers (left) and Nathan Gage Ingram died during the mission.
Credit: Department of Defense/File/ via AP | AP

“The Department of Justice extends our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the two Navy SEALs who lost their lives on January 11 while conducting an operation in the Arabian Sea,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland.

“The charges resulting from that interdiction make clear that the Department of Justice will use all legal powers to hold accountable those who facilitate the flow of weapons from Iran to the Houthi rebel forces, Hamas and other groups that endanger the security of the United States. and our allies,” said Garland.

“Two Navy SEALs tragically lost their lives in the operation that thwarted those charged today for allegedly smuggling Iranian-made weapons that the Houthis could have used to attack US forces and threaten freedom of navigation and a vital artery for commerce.” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco.

The 14 crew members were taken back to the Lewis B. Puller and the four charged Thursday were eventually arrested, while the other 10 members were detained as witnesses, according to the Justice Department.

Pahlawan faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison if convicted of illegally transporting a warhead, and the four defendants face a maximum penalty of five years in prison if convicted of the crime of false statements.

Keep reading:

– Houthi rebels attack cargo ship bound for Iran with missiles, US military confirms
– US attacks unmanned Houthi explosive craft in Yemen
– The United States and the United Kingdom launched heavy attacks on Houthi sites in Yemen

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