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Extradited Colombian who would have planned to attack embassy

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NEW YORK –

The United States announced on Friday the extradition of a Colombian accused of helping plan a possible attack on the US embassy in Bogotá.

Through a statement, the Justice Department said that Carlos Fernando Melo was extradited to the United States and arrived in New York on Thursday to face charges of narco-terrorism, weapons and drug trafficking.

Melo, 58, was arrested in April 2021 in Colombia, at the request of the United States, for conspiring with alleged paramilitary groups to provide them with weapons and explosives with the aim of carrying out attacks in his country, including the potential kidnapping and murder. of a US drug enforcement agency (DEA) agent, the statement said. Those attacks also included the planning of a possible attack against the United States embassy in Bogotá, assures the North American country.

Melo is expected to appear before a judge in New York on Friday.

According to the Justice Department, between September and December 2019, Melo attempted to purchase weapons and explosives from individuals he thought were arms dealers but were actually undercover DEA agents.

The weapons were for dissidents from the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN), he assured them. In meetings with undercover agents, Melo requested more than 300 weapons for the FARC and explosive material for the ELN, the statement said. The Colombian also explained to the undercover agents that the FARC would pay for the weapons with cocaine, although he later said that they would pay for them with cash.

The weapons, he said at the meetings, were because FARC and ELN dissidents wanted to carry out attacks in Colombia, including the kidnapping of the DEA agent and the bombing of the embassy. On the other hand, Melo hired another person to take pictures of the US embassy, ​​the statement said.

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