by Brian Ross
Administration officials are leaving out key facts and exaggerating
the significance of the alleged plot to smuggle a shoulder-launched
missile into the United States, law enforcement officials told
ABCNEWS. . . .
For example, Lakhani had no contacts in Russia to buy the missiles
before the sting and had no known criminal record for arms dealing,
officials told ABCNEWS.
"Here we have a sting operation on some kind of small operator . . .
who's bought one weapon when actually, on the gray and black market,
hundreds of such weapons charge hands," said military analyst Pavel
Court documents show much of the case is based on the government's
key cooperating witness, an informant seeking lenient treatment on
federal drug charges, officials told ABCNEWS. He was the first
person who led the government to Lakhani.
The missile shipped into the New York area last month was not a real
missile - just a mockup - also arranged entirely by the government.
. . .
Government officials said the case will show that Lakhani went along
with the scheme willingly and was not entrapped. But the question
remains whether any of this would have happened if the government
had not set it up.
David Johnston and Philip Shenon, "U.S. Holds Briton on
Missile Charge," New York Times, August 13, 2003
[An American Jew was among three suspects nabbed for allegedly
attempting to smuggle a missile to terror groups operating inside
the United States in order to down commercial aircraft. . . .
Two other suspected accomplices to the plot, inlcuding Yehuda
Abraham, who is Jewish, face conspiracy charges, . . .--"U.S.
Jew among 3 nabbed in plot to smuggle missile," Reuters, August
[. . . several companies, including an Israeli group, Rafael, have
begun to market competing versions of the anti-missile system. . . .
Retrofitting all 6,000 planes in the American commercial fleet with
electronic countermeasures could cost up to $10 billion.
And that's exactly what Sen. Schumer and some of his colleagues are
proposing to pay for in a new bill.-- "Small, Cheap And Deadly," 60 Minutes, August 17, 2003]
Bradley Graham, "Pentagon admits missile shield may not
work - but it may be vote winner," New York Times, March 13, 2004