The FBI Tuesday arrested three men
in Newark, New Jersey on suspicion of attempting to smuggle surface-to-air missiles
into the United States.
Law enforcement officials describe one man as a British national of Indian
descent. The other two men are described as Afghans. Their names were not released.
The British man allegedly sought to smuggle a Russian-built surface-to-air
missile into the United States.
Officials say he is an arms dealer and does not appear to be connected to
any terrorist group. But they say he probably intended to sell the shoulder-fired
weapon in the United States for terrorist purposes. The Afghan men were allegedly
involved with the transfer of money in the sale. Authorities say the arrests
were not linked to a specific terror threat.
In November terrorists believed to be linked to al Qaida used similar shoulder-fired
rockets during a failed attempt to hit an Israeli plane as it departed from
FBI, British and Russian agents put together the international sting operation
that led to the three arrests. FBI officials were not available for comment.