Men Accused of Trying to Supply Hezbollah

(NY Times) Two men — including one from Flushing, Queens — have been indicted on charges that they tried to provide the Hezbollah militia in Lebanon with weapons, ammunition and vehicles, federal prosecutors said on Tuesday.

The men, Patrick Nayyar of Flushing and Conrad Stanisclaus Mulholland, agreed to sell guns, ammunition, vehicles, bullet-resistant vests and night vision goggles to a man who represented himself as a member of Hezbollah but was an F.B.I. informant, officials said.

Mr. Nayyar was in custody on Tuesday. Mr. Mulholland remained at large, according to prosecutors who believe he is currently in Britain, an official said.

Because Mr. Nayyar was hailed as a hero in The Daily News for having rescued a woman in a dispute with a cabdriver in 2007, his lawyer, Martin L. Schmukler said, “This doesn’t sound like real terrorism to me. This sounds like an investigation gone wild.”

In a series of meetings between July and September, Mr. Nayyar, 45, and Mr. Mulholland, 43, “provided the confidential informant with a handgun, a box of ammunition and a pickup truck, believing that the confidential informant would deliver the items” to the militant group in Lebanon, according to a statement from Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Both men were charged in a federal indictment, filed Monday, with four counts of attempting to provide material support to Hezbollah — labeled a “designated foreign terrorist organization” by the United States, the statement said. The charges were based on their having provided the gun, ammunition and truck to the informant, and on their agreement to provide other items, the statement said.

Mr. Nayyar, who the government says is an Indian citizen living illegally in the United States, was arrested in September on charges that he illegally possessed a handgun and hollow-point bullets, according to court papers. He entered a not guilty plea in court Tuesday on the latest charges, Mr. Schmukler said.

“It’s clearly a case that will wind up going to trial,” said Mr. Schmukler, who said he believed his client had a good chance of being acquitted.

Mr. Nayyar is a married father of three who immigrated to the United States about two decades ago, his lawyer said.

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