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Israeli-American nabbed in Taliban weapons sting gets 25-year jail term

(JTA) — An Israeli-American man caught in a sting operation trying to sell weapons to Taliban terrorists was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Oded Orbach, 55, of Highland Park, Ill., was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. Orbach was convicted in April of conspiring to provide material support to the Taliban and conspiring to acquire anti-aircraft missiles.

He was convicted based on evidence from a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency undercover operation in which seven men, including Orbach, agreed to provide various military-grade weapons to an individual they believed to represent the Taliban. The weapons included heat-seeking surface-to-air missiles.

Another U.S. citizen caught in the sting, Alwar Pouryan, a former U.S. Army translator also from Highland Park, received the same sentence in September.

The men traveled to Africa, Ukraine and Romania in order to arrange a sale of $25 million in weapons, ammunition and training to the man they believed to be a Taliban official. They planned to make $800,000 on the deal. They were arrested in February 2011 in Romania and extradited to the United States to face trial.

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