Two New Yorkers Arrested for Taliban ‘Coat Drive’

By
Photo: Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images/Getty

Two New Yorkers, busted for allegedly trying to materially support terrorists, planned to send not money or arms or soldiers to Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, but warm clothing to help them fight through the winter, Queens prosecutors said. They face conspiracy charges for allegedly plotting to send shoes, socks, jackets, and electronics, "which in the context of the fighting in Afghanistan is as serious as supplying the enemy with bullets and bombs," District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement. One of the pair, Humayoun Ghoulan Nabi, a Pakistani national from Queens, "stated that the source of the Americans' strength is their equipment, specifically good jackets, good goggles, good GPS, and this was how they fight."

A confidential informant told prosecutors he had met with Nabi and and Ismail Alsarabbi, 32, a U.S. citizen from Brooklyn, and that the pair had rented a warehouse in Queens from which to ship the gear. Nabi reportedly confessed, according to the New York Times. However, Alsarabbi's lawyer "said his client had 'no idea' the outerwear was heading for terrorists in Afghanistan," and suggested he was being set up by an informant who was either being paid or trying to work off some other charge.