Nation

Police say two plotted to aid Taliban

NEW YORK — Two men tried to buy boots, winter coats, and other gear for Taliban and Al Qaeda soldiers fighting US troops in Afghanistan, authorities said Thursday in announcing state-level terrorism charges.

Humayoun Nabi, 32, and Ismail Alsarabbi, 27, were arrested after a two-year investigation that involved confidential informants and undercover detectives, police said.

Lawyers who represented the men at their initial court appearance this week in Queens said their clients had been manipulated by police.

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‘‘If you have to spend more than 18 months trying to get someone to send coats and shoes to the people of Afghanistan, and you have all these cops on the case, to me that sounds like entrapment,’’ said Ken Finkelstein, Nabi’s lawyer. ‘‘If you remove the police from this, you have nothing.’’

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Nabi, working with Alsarabbi, wanted to buy socks, shoes, coats, and electronics to ship oversees to a warehouse. They met with a man set up by detectives who provided the men with sample gear, authorities said.

ASSOCIATED PRESS