The U.S. Department of Justice has arrested two men and charged them will illegally exporting parts for unmanned aerial vehicles to the Hezbollah terrorist group.
The indictments of Usama Darwich Hamade, 53, Samir Ahmed Berro, 64, and Issam Darwich Hamade, 55, were announced Feb. 16. Defendants Usama Hamade and Issam Hamade are currently in custody in South Africa. Samir Ahmed Berro remains at large.
The three are charged with violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), the Export Administration Regulations, and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.
Hezbollah is considered to be a terrorist organization by the United States.
According to the Indictment, from 2009 through December 2013, Usama Hamade, Berro and Issam Hamade willfully conspired to export and attempted to export from the United States to Lebanon, and specifically to Hizballah, goods and technology without obtaining the required export licenses from the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of State, in violation of IEEPA, the Export Administration Regulations, the Arms Export Control Act, and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations. [source]
Analysis: Militant groups in the Middle East and Africa have increasingly used drones/UAVs as weapons of war, modifying them to carry munitions and destroy targets with precision. UAVs are hard to detect and, as such, hard to stop. As for this particular case, it might be accurate to conclude that Iran is having difficulty getting UAV parts since Hezbollah is one of Iran’s most important proxy forces.