US Task Force Targets Illegal Arms Sales

Groups will handle complex prosecutions, inter-agency teamwork
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2007 5:26 PM CDT
A news photographer films a display of night vision equipment, an anti-tank weapon and other restricted U.S. military and dual-use technologies targeted for illegal acquisition by foreign nations and...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The Justice Department announced today that it will create special task forces charged with blocking the efforts of hostile nations to illegally export US-made parts and technology for the enrichment of their weapons systems, the Los Angeles Times reports. The National Counterproliferation Initiative will target the middlemen and front companies clandestine buyers use to get around trade restrictions.

The US has been closely tracking the problem since cases arose four years ago involving the sale of US nuclear parts to Pakistan and Pakistani nuclear sales to North Korea and Iran. But inter-agency turf battles and the complex nature of prosecuting multinational arms sales has stymied progress—a trend the new task forces hope to reverse.