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Monzar al Kassar, The Prince of Marbella, Extradited to the United States
Well, time finally ran out for Monzar al-Kassar, a weapons merchant and friend of various terrorist organizations. Today, after months of legal wrangling, he was extradited to the United States to stand trial.

Al-Kassar was arrested in a DEA operation in June 2007 The operation was then largely replicated for the arrest of Viktor Bout earlier this year.

Al-Kassar, like Bout, had many friends in high places, and had worked for different governments, including that of the United States, when he was involved in the Iran-Contra affair. His most notorious terrorist connections were with Abu Abbas, the notorious leader of the Palestine Liberation Front; Farah Aideed in Somalia; and Baathist insurgents in Iraq until last year.

As the London Observer noted:

The litany of allegations against him, even aside from his links to Abu Abbas, is jaw-dropping. Government files in various countries indicate that he was jailed in the UK on hashish charges in the 1970s, although he denies it. The official US Iran Contra report says he sold weapons to the 'Enterprise' arming the Contras. A UN report says he violated arms embargoes to Croatia and Somalia in 1992. A Swiss court froze and later released millions related to a multi-million-pound arms sale to Croatia. Documents in US court related to a Spanish inquiry indicate he has been investigated, but not prosecuted, on allegations of providing a silenced 9mm pistol used to shoot a suspected Israeli agent in 1984. He may have been involved in procuring components of a Chinese anti-ship missile for Iran, according to records cited by the Washington Post. He has been investigated in Argentina on charges of passport fraud. A report in the Library of Congress relays charges that he delivered explosives to a group headed by a known terrorist in Brazil, and that he had earlier sold arms to Iranian militias in Cyprus.

In both cases, the DEA targeted what they call "shadow facilitators," a concept and strategy that acknowledges the growing relationship between terrorist and criminal organizations.

Both of these groups need to rely on the same cadre of document forgerers, money launderers and movers, weapons traffickers etc. to stay in business. They overlap in the world of the facilitators like al-Kassar and Bout, which is why taking out those pieces of the enterprise hurts more than one organization in a significant way.

Like the Bout operation, the DEA set up a sting operation that led al-Kassar to believe he was selling weapons to the FARC in Colombia. According to the indictment in New York, al-Kassar not only agreed to sell assault rifles, RPGs and sniper rifles to the FARC with the express aim of killing Americans, he also volunteered to provide surface-to-air missles, which the sting operators had not even put on the list.

In addition, al-Kassar offered to send 1,000 men to the CSs to fight with the FARC against United States military officers in Colombia, and also offered to supply the CSs with C4 explosives, detonators, and experts to train the FARC to use them against these United States armed forces.

Al-Kassar will have his day in court, which is more than his most famous victim, Leon Klinghoffer, a retired, disabled Jewish American in a wheelchair, was killed and tossed overboard by the terrorists in the 1985 Achille Lauro ship jacking.

Now, let's see if Mr. Bout will also get his day in court here, rather than being allowed to flee back to Russia.

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