The Miami Herald reports this morning that the Hialeah “terrorists” trial started this week in South Florida.
Abdalaziz Aziz Hamayel, a Palestinian national, and his co-conspirator Yanny Agula Urbay, a Cuban national, sought to purchase and export to the Palestinian Authority at least 300 M-16 rifles, 9 mm handguns, Uzi submachine guns, silencers, and grenades. Fortunately, an undercover federal operation foiled their plans.
According to court records, there are more individuals involved in this matter that were not arrested. It may also involve other jurisdictions as Hamayel appears to have spent time in Chicago before making trips to the West Bank to meet with buyers.
As events in Mexico in recent years, Colombia for the past decade or so, and just ninety miles from our shores with state sponsor of terrorism Cuba, the Western Hemisphere has its special cases of security challenges.
The region’s proximity to Latin America, as well as its international trade infrastructure and culture, attracts a few bad seeds seeking to do bad in the Americas and in faraway places such as the Middle East.
Miami has become a favorite for characters such as Hamayel and Urbay. In fact, counter-terrorism work in the South Florida region seems to have increased at a high clip since 2001. Fortunately, U.S. law enforcement has had a good record of nabbing these people before they cause serious harm to U.S. security.
You can read a prior post on this particular case here.