Wednesday, May 20, 2020
A Lebanese man has pleaded guilty in federal court in Minnesota to conspiring to export drone parts and technology from the U.S. to Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia in Lebanon.
U.S. Attorney Erica H. MacDonald said Monday that Usama Hamade, 55, pleaded guilty to conspiring to illegally export goods and technology.
His brother, Issam Hamade, pleaded guilty in March in federal court in Minnesota.
Prosecutors said the brothers acquired sophisticated technology for drones from 2009 to 2013 and illegally exported them to Hezbollah, which the U.S. considers a terrorist organization.
The Hamades were arrested in February 2018 in South Africa and were extradited to the U.S. last fall.
According to an indictment, the parts included inertial measurement units, which can be used to track an aircraft’s position, and digital compasses, which can be paired with the inertial measurement units for drone guidance systems. The parts also included a jet engine and 20 piston engines.
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