Federal prosecutors say three Saudi nationals are charged in Southern California with buying gun parts in the U.S. while on student visas and smuggling them to Saudi Arabia
Three Saudi nationals were charged in Southern California with violating national export laws by purchasing $100,000 value of gun parts in the U.S. while on student visas and smuggling them to Saudi Arabia, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.
An indictment returned this week fees Hatim Humeed Alsufyani, 36, and Mosab Alzahrani, 27, with conspiracy and knowingly exporting weapons parts with no permit, the U.S. Department of Justice said.
Another indictment charges Abdulwahab Mohammed A. Alabdulwahab, 30, with similar points, in addition to smuggling.
All three are thought to be in Saudi Arabia and couldn’t be reached for comment.
Alsufyani and Alzahrani allegedly conspired between 2014 and 2018 to smuggle firearms parts from the U.S. into Saudi Arabia by identifying rifle barrels, rifle triggers and other objects as “shower curtain rods” or “car parts,” according to a news release.
On Dec. 10, 2016, Alzahrani tried to board a flight from Los Angeles to Riyadh with 30 firearms parts hidden in his checked luggage, the indictment alleges.
Alzahrani was permitted to leave the country after being found with weapons components, spokesman Thom Mrozek said. Mrozek wasn’t positive if he was permitted to depart that day or at a later date.
Between 2015 and 2018, Alabdulwahab contacted U.S.-based firearms parts retailers to buy firearms components for the purpose of illegally exporting those parts to Saudi Arabia, court documents said.
Mrozek said the timing of the indictments has nothing to do with another case in Northern California alleging the Islamic authorities recruited Twitter employees to collect confidential information about thousands of accounts which included prominent opponents.