Two men to be charged upto 110 years for helping air Al-manar TV in the US

November 21st, 2006 | Posted in Repression, War and Terror

US prosecutor charges 2 for helping air Al-Manar

NEW YORK: Two men have been charged with terrorist offences in New York for allegedly providing access to a television station banned in the United States and linked to Hizbullah, prosecutors said Monday. Pakistani-born Javed Iqbal, 42, and US citizen Saleh Elahwal, 53, are accused of conspiring to provide viewers with satellite broadcasts by Al-Manar, considered the mouthpiece for the Lebanese resistance party.

They face a sentence of up to 110 years in jail if convicted on the charges of providing material support or resources to a foreign “terrorist” organization.

Prosecutors said Iqbal and Elahwal ran a satellite television business and allegedly offered to provide Al-Manar to an undercover agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The station, which was listed as a terrorist entity by US authorities in March, allegedly paid thousands of dollars to Iqbal’s firm in return. Iqbal was arrested on related charges in August.

Court documents released at the time said that Iqbal was interviewed at New York’s Kennedy Airport in May on returning from a trip to Lebanon.

An FBI agent entered his satellite television store some two weeks later, when Iqbal was alleged to have offered broadcasts of the banned channel.

The indictment further alleges that the two shipped satellite receivers to Al-Manar.

“Javed Iqbal and Saleh Elahwal engaged in transactions that support the terrorist organizations Hizbullah and Al-Manar, and did so for financial profit,” US Attorney Michael Garcia said in a statement. “As terrorist organizations become more sophisticated,” he added, “it is critical that we respond using all the enforcement tools the law provides.” – AFP

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