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Federal Charges Brought Against Suppliers of IED Equipment to Iran

American dual-use merchandise purchased primarily online was sent to Iran and then used to construct improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to kill US forces and civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. So reads a federal indictment charging a combination of 16 companies and individuals, including six Iranians living abroad.

Charges were brought against six Iranians, two of them naturalized British citizens and one said to be "residing in Malaysia," and two other people of unlisted nationality living in Germany and Malaysia. Five indicted companies were said to be based in Dubai, two in Malaysia and one in Iran. None of the indicted people is in custody.

The indictment described a sophisticated conspiracy in which items including 12,000 micro-controllers -- which can be used to trigger IEDs -- 5,000 integrated circuits and 345 Global Positioning System devices were purchased from suppliers spread across the United States via e-mail orders and wire transfers. End-users were falsely identified as universities and companies in countries including Dubai, Malaysia and Britain.

Most of the items ended up in the hands of Dubai-based trading companies, principally a firm identified as Mayrow General Trading, which then allegedly transferred them to Iran via Iran Air, the Iranian national airline.