Although the indictment does not say so, officials confirm that the conversations are from wiretaps authorized by a special court that reviews law enforcement applications to eavesdrop on foreigners suspected of intelligence activities.
In the indictment's recounting of the conversations, the principals converse in what officials describe as code, referring to arms shipments and attack plans as sporting events or, on some occasions, as vegetables.
But any such efforts to conceal the nature of the subjects discussed were seemingly clumsy. In one conversation, for instance, Adham Amin Hassoun talks with another defendant, Mohamed Hesham Youssef, about soccer equipment. The indictment says that Mr. Hassoun later told investigators he had indeed been referring to sports equipment, but that he was unable to explain why he had then asked Mr. Youssef if he had enough"soccer equipment" to"launch an attack on the enemy."
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