A U.S. grand jury has indicted a Jordanian-born man on firearms and conspiracy charges, alleging that explosives, detonators and fusing devices he is accused of buying illegally in the United States were destined for Lebanon.
The indictment, returned Monday in Richmond, charges that Abdul-Hafiz Mohammed Nassar, 29, alias Ruby Joe, obtained the materials through two unindicted coconspirators and was storing the explosives in an Alexandria warehouse when he was arrested last month.
Nassar, who was arrested by FBI and Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents in Albuquerque, N.M., is in custody in D.C. Jail in lieu of $750,000 bond. He is scheduled for arraignment Friday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria.
The coconspirators were identified by the grand jury as Harold Eugene McDowell and Harold Wendell Greene. Law enforcement officials yesterday refused to give further details.
According to the indictment, McDowell made four trips to Beirut in the past 19 months in connection with the alleged scheme, carrying radio-controlled fuse equipment on his latest trip in March of this year.
The grand jury also said that Greene delivered two cases of explosives to Nassar in September of last year in Phoenix, Ariz.
Greene earlier told the FBI he had purchased the explosives and stored them at an Arizona mine site, but that they subsequently were stolen, according to an FBI affidavit in the case.
Funds to carry out the alleged plan came from overseas, the indictment charged. McDowell allegedly received a total of $52,000 from Nassar and other unidentified sources. The indictment said that McDowell later wrote checks totaling $25,000 in January of this year for the production of radio equipment to be used in fusing the explosives.
FBI spokesman Al Hein said last month that 95 sticks of industrial grade explosives were discovered in a locker at the Self-Service Storage Corp. 4551 Eisenhower Ave., Alexandria, by a company official after Nassar failed to pay the rent.
Nassar entered the United States legally in 1973, according to the FBI.