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U.S. charges four foreign nationals with transporting Iranian-made weapons in Arabian Sea

A weapon United States officials described as an Iranian-made warhead seized in the Arabian Sea. Associated Press/U.S. Department of Justice

U.S. charges four foreign nationals with transporting Iranian-made weapons in Arabian Sea

The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday unsealed an indictment against four men who were allegedly shipping Iranian-made weapons components to Houthi terrorists in Yemen. U.S. Navy SEALs last month seized the shipment after intercepting the defendants’ vessel in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Somalia. The SEALs captured 14 crew members on board the smuggler’s boat during the operation. Navy Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Christopher Chambers and Navy Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class Nathan Ingram died during the operation after falling into the rough waters.

What charges are the defendants facing? The DOJ alleges that Muhammad Pahlawan, Mohammed Mazhar, Ghufran Ullah, and Izhar Muhammad provided false information to the U.S. Coast Guard after their arrest. Pahlawan has also been charged with unlawfully transporting a warhead to the Houthis for use against cargo ships and American vessels, DOJ National Security Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen wrote in the statement. U.S. officials are detaining as witnesses the 10 other people captured during the operation. All defendants are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Dig deeper: Read A.S. Ibrahim’s column in WORLD Opinions about the Houthis.

Lauren Canterberry

Lauren Canterberry is a reporter for WORLD. She graduated from the World Journalism Institute and the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism, both in 2017. She worked as a local reporter in Texas and now lives in Georgia with her husband.

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