Abdalaziz Aziz Hamayel, 23, a Palestinian national who had attended Hialeah Senior High, and Yanny Aguila Urbay, 24, who arrived from Cuba seven years ago, have been arrested on terrorism-related charges. The two were caught in a scheme to purchase more than 300 stolen weapons, including AK-47s, M-16s, and grenades that were to be sent to the West Bank. However, the arms dealer with whom they were negotiating turned out to be an undercover officer.
Hamayel was arrested August 30 at Miami International Airport after getting off a flight that had originated in Jordan. Aguila was arrested this past Monday at his Hialeah home.
Aguila and Hamayel met some years ago, and reportedly Aguila first contacted the undercover officer about procuring the guns on Hamayel's behalf. This set up a series of meetings between the two and other undercover officers posing as arms dealers in May and June 2009.
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The criminal complaint released against Hamayel, read in part, "Hamayel contacted the confidential source to discuss the weapons and explosives he was requesting for purchase... Hamayel specifically requested a quantity of 300 M-16 rifles, 9 mm handguns, UZI sub-machine guns, silencers and grenades."
Hamayel was also interested in buying remote detonation devices, like a cell phone detonator. According to federal investigators, the intended destination of these weapons was outside the United States. "Hamayel explained that a family friend ... from the same village in the West Bank would provide the necessary funds for the purchase of the weapons and explosives," the complaint read.
However, Hamayel disappeared for more than a year, and police were not able to arrest him until he returned to the United State late last month.
Ivestigators believe that another family friend of Hamayel's who was perhaps funding the purchase has a home in Coral Gables.