Three Lebanese Indicted in U.S. for Trying to Export Drone Parts to Hezbollah

Three allegedly tried to send equipment that included parts that can be used in drone guidance systems, as well as jet and piston engines for drones

FILE PHOTO: A Hezbollah fighter stands at a watch tower at Juroud Arsal, the Syria-Lebanon border, July 29, 2017. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho/File Photo
\ ALI HASHISHO/ REUTERS

A federal grand jury in Minnesota has indicted three people on charges that they conspired to export drone parts and technology to the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia in Lebanon.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for Minnesota said in the announcement Friday that two suspects — brothers Usama and Issam Hamade — are now in custody in South Africa, while Samir Ahmed Berro remains at large. All three are Lebanese citizens with dual citizenship in either South Africa or the United Kingdom.

The U.S. considers Hezbollah a terrorist organization. The indictment alleges the conspiracy operated from 2009 through December 2013. It says the equipment included parts that can be used in drone guidance systems, as well as jet and piston engines for drones.

It's not clear when the brothers were arrested.