SEATTLE — Two Seattle-area men face federal charges that they smuggled guns to Turkey — weapons that were ultimately destined for Kurdish fighters in Iraq.
A grand jury late Wednesday indicted 51-year-old Paul Brunt, of Bellevue, and 29-year-old Rawnd Khaleel Aldalawi, an Iraq native who lives in Seattle. Prosecutors say Brunt bought the firearms and the men shipped them hidden in the side panels of vehicles.
The U.S. attorney’s office says the first shipment, in February 2017, involved 30 guns hidden in three cars. The second, last November, included 47 guns hidden in two cars. The latter shipment was discovered by Turkish authorities, prompting the investigation.
Aldalawi’s lawyer declined to comment. Brunt’s did not immediately return an email seeking comment.
Investigators say the men admitted their actions in interviews and that Aldalawi said he was supporting the Peshmerga military in northern Iraq, because the Iraqi government did not help defend the region from the Islamic State group.