Four Charged in Federal Court Over Incident Leading to Death of Navy SEALs in the Arabian Sea

In a significant development, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has charged four individuals in federal court in connection with an incident that resulted in the tragic death of two Navy SEALs in the Arabian Sea in January.

Muhammad Pahlawan, Mohammad Mazhar, Ghufran Ullah, and Izhar Muhammad are facing charges related to the January 11 incident, during which Navy Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Christopher J. Chambers and Navy Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class Nathan Gage Ingram lost their lives while attempting to seize Iranian-made weapons in the Arabian Sea, as per the DOJ statement. The United States Navy officially declared Chambers and Ingram dead on January 22.

Court documents reveal that the SEALs were part of a mission to seize components for ballistic missiles from a dhow, a common cargo ship in the Middle East, originating from an Iranian port. The USS Lewis B. Puller, an expeditionary support ship stationed in the region with the United States Coast Guard’s Maritime Safety and Security Team (MSST), served as the operational base for the SEALs.

FBI Special Agent Patrick Francisco, in a DOJ court filing, stated, “During a search of the dhow, the Boarding Team ultimately located and seized what is believed to be Iranian-made advanced conventional weaponry.” The weaponry, including components for medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBM) and anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCM), was discovered packaged without markings, labels, or identification in compartments near the front of the dhow.

The charges against Pahlawan, Mazhar, Ullah, and Muhammad include making false statements to federal law enforcement agents. Additionally, Muhammad Pahlawan, identified as the captain of the dhow, faces an additional charge of transporting explosives.

FBI Special Agent Francisco emphasized that the suspected Iranian advanced conventional weaponry was concealed inside tubing or among buoys on the dhow.

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