A Pakistani man was sentenced Monday to nearly five years in prison for his role in a plot to obtain and sell Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to the Taliban and al-Qaida.
Muhamed Abid Afridi, 32, pleaded guilty in federal court in March 2004 to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin and hashish.
Two other men pleaded guilty to the same charges. Sentencing for Syed Mustajab Shah, 57, also of Pakistan, is set for June 19. Ilyas Ali, 58, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in India, is scheduled to be sentenced April 10.
Afridi admitted that he tried to sell five tons of hashish and a half-ton of heroin to undercover U.S. law enforcement officials in exchange for cash and four shoulder-fired Stinger missiles, which he and the other defendants intended to sell to members of the Taliban. Such missiles could be used to shoot down airplanes, including commercial jets, flying at low altitudes.
Afridi knew at the time of the Taliban’s ties to al-Qaida, prosecutors said.
The defendants were arrested in 2002 by police in Hong Kong. The three had been secretly videotaped in meetings with undercover FBI agents at a Hong Kong hotel.