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Press Release

Two Men Arrested and Charged With Illegally Exporting UAV Parts and Technology to Hizballah

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

The indictment of Usama Darwich Hamade, 53, Samir Ahmed Berro, 64, and Issam Darwich Hamade, 55, was announced today for their conspiring to illegally export goods and technology from the United States to Lebanon and to Hizballah, a designated foreign terrorist organization, in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), the Export Administration Regulations, and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.  Defendants Usama Hamade and Issam Hamade are currently in custody in South Africa. Samir Ahmed Berro remains at large.

Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Edward C. O’Callaghan and U.S. Attorney Gregory G. Brooker of the District of Minnesota made the announcement.

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.

According to the Indictment, those goods included inertial measurement units (IMUs) suitable for use in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), a jet engine, piston engines and recording binoculars.

The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI, the U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Export Enforcement, and Homeland Security Investigations.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Docherty and David MacLaughlin are prosecuting the case, with assistance from Trial Attorney David Recker of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.

Updated July 22, 2022

Export Control
Press Release Number: 18-204