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Arms Dealers Convicted

MANHATTAN (CN) - Two longtime international arms dealers were convicted of conspiring to arm foreign terrorists and conspiring to murder U.S. citizens. Monzer al Kassar and Luis Felipe Moreno Godoy were convicted of the federal charges after a 3-week jury trial.

Kassar aka Abu Munawar aka El Taous was convicted of conspiring to murder U.S. nationals, conspiracy to murder U.S. officers and employees, conspiracy to acquire and export anti-aircraft missiles, conspiracy to provide material support and resources to the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, a designated foreign terrorist organization, and money laundering. The U.S. Attorney's Office said it was the first time anyone has been charged with and convicted of the anti-aircraft missile statute.

Kassar has armed groups hostile to the United States around the world since the early 1970s, including the Palestinian Liberation Front, according to the indictment. Prosecutors described Moreno Godoy as one of Kassar's "criminal associates."

Federal prosecutors nailed him after recording telephone conversations in which he agreed to sell weapons to two undercover DEA sources. The sources said they were buying the weapons for the FARC, to attack U.S. helicopters in Colombia.

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