A Minnesota company was deceived into selling radio components that were later used to detonate roadside bombs in Iraq, a federal indictment released Tuesday alleges.
The indictment doesn't name the Minnesota business, and instead refers to it as "Company A."
The information was part of an indictment against five individuals and four companies for allegedly conspiring to defraud the United States and illegally export 6,000 radio frequency modules to Iran.
At least 16 of the company's modules were later found with unexploded improvised explosive devices, commonly known as IEDs, in Iraq, the indictment says. It alleges that the modules had been used to remotely detonate IEDs.
The Minnesota company is not accused of breaking any laws and is not named in the 49-page indictment released Tuesday. According to the indictment, the company made modules that have "encryption capabilities" and "a particularly long range that allows them to transmit data wirelessly across distances as great as 40 miles when configured with a high-gain antenna."
The indictment says that "in addition to commercial uses, these same modules have other lethal and destructive applications.
"Notably, during 2008 and 2009, United States and Coalition armed forces recovered numerous modules manufactured by Company A in Iraq where they had been utilized as part of the remove detonation system for IEDs," the indictment says.
The defendants allegedly told the company that the modules would be used lawfully in Singapore as part of a telecommunications project. The company shipped the modules to Singapore in five batches from August 2007 to February 2008, according to the indictment.
The modules were instead routed by the defendants from Singapore to Iran, the indictment said. "These defendants misled U.S. companies in buying parts that they shipped to Iran and that ended up in IEDs on the battlefield in Iraq. This prosecution demonstrates why the U.S. Attorney's Office takes cases involving misrepresentations regarding the intended use of sensitive technology so seriously," said U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen Jr. said in a statement released by the U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday.
Four of the defendants were arrested in Singapore on Monday, the statement said. The fifth defendant, Hossein Larijani, "is a citizen and resident of Iran who remains at large."