Pakistani man sentenced to 18 years in prison in drugs-for-missiles plot

Last of three plotters to be sentenced in US Federal Court

26 September 2006: The last of three men in a drugs for missiles plot was sentenced in federal court in San Diego Monday to 18 years in prison. Syed Mustajab SHAH, 55, pleaded guilty last March in federal court to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin and hashish. Shah, along with Ilyas ALI of St. Paul, Minnesota., a naturalized U.S. citizen born in India, and Muhamed Abid AFRIDI, 32, plotted to obtain and sell Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to the Taliban and al-Qaeda.SHAH admitted that he tried to sell five tons of hashish and a half-ton of heroin in exchange for cash and four shoulder-fired Stinger missiles, which he, ALI and AFRIDI intended to sell to Islamic terrorists. Such missiles could be used to shoot down airplanes, including commercial jets, flying at low altitudes.

ALI was sentenced in April to more than five years in prison for his role in the plot, while AFRIDI received a slightly lesser sentence. The three men were arrested on September 20, 2002, by police in Hong Kong who received a tip from the FBI. They were covertly videotaped in meetings days earlier with undercover FBI agents at a Hong Kong hotel. ALI also met with an undercover agent in San Diego in April 2002.