Three men suspected of being al-Qaida associates have been indicted on charges they plotted to ferry drugs through the Sahara Desert to raise money for terrorist attacks.
The charges of narcoterrorism conspiracy and conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists were contained Wednesday in an indictment returned in Manhattan.
Oumar Issa (OO'-mahr EE'-sah), Harouna Toure (hah-ROO'-nah TOHR'-ay), and Idriss Abelrahman (EE'-drihs ah-behl-RAH'-muhn), believed to be in their 30s and from Mali, are being held without bail.
Authorities say the case marks the first time the U.S. has captured and charged al-Qaida suspects in a drug trafficking plot in Africa. They were brought to the U.S. this month after being arrested in Ghana.
A lawyer for the suspects did not immediately return a call for comment.