NEW YORK — Seven men, including two American citizens, were charged yesterday with selling drugs and weapons in an effort to help the Taliban fight US troops overseas.
Posing as representatives of the Taliban, cooperating witnesses for the Drug Enforcement Administration approached the men in Ghana last June, asking to set up a drug relationship, prosecutors said.
The cooperators asked if they could buy large amounts of cocaine, according to court documents. Then, they asked if the men could set up safe places in West Africa to store heroin from Afghanistan headed to the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Terrorism charges were filed against Maroun Saade, Walid Nasir, Francis Sourou Ahissou, Corneille Dato, Martin Raouf Bouraima, Oded Orbach, and Alwar Pouryan.
Prosecutors said the two US citizens, Orbach and Pouryan, were arrested in Romania last week and are being held there while they await extradition to the United States. The others were arrested last week in Liberia, where they are in US custody. All are expected to be prosecuted in New York.
The supposed Taliban representatives told the men that the drugs would be sold to help finance Taliban operations against the United States, court documents said.
“Saade responded that it would please him to support the Taliban’s cause,’’ prosecutors wrote in the indictment.