Three men facing extradition to the United States after an FBI sting in Hong Kong appear to be 'money-hungry chancers' rather than hardcore al-Qaeda operatives, say global security experts. The trio were snared after allegedly offering undercover FBI agents a huge haul of heroin and hashish in exchange for anti-aircraft Stinger missiles. 'They are not the bad guys of al-Qaeda,' said analyst Tim Ripley, of the United Kingdom-based Centre for Defence and International Security Studies. Indian-born Ilyas Ali, 55, of Minnesota, and Syed Saadat Ali Faraz, 54, and Muhammed Abid Afridi, 29, both from Peshawar, Pakistan - were arrested in the Conrad Hotel on September 20. They had earlier been indicted by a Californian court on three charges of conspiracy to distribute and import 600kg of heroin and five tonnes of hashish as well as providing material support or resources to designated foreign terrorist organisations. Last Monday they agreed to be extradited to San Diego to stand trial in the US District Court. But doubts have been cast over any global terror network link. 'If they were the bad guys of al-Qaeda a black jet from the US would have arrived in the middle of the night and they would have been whisked off to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba four months ago,' Mr Ripley said. 'These guys are more likely money-hungry chancers who got themselves caught in the web of the war on terror.' But Mr Ripley said the fact that the men were being extradited to face trial through the US judicial process was of huge significance. 'No illegal combatants, those with direct links to al-Qaeda, have ever before been brought into the US to face trial.' Bradley Allan, a political and terror analyst who is director of risk consulting at security firm Pinkertons, also voiced his doubts saying there were 'too many unanswered questions'. 'I think they were chancers,' he said. 'It was just too late when they realised the dumb white guys they were dealing with were undercover agents. 'They will go back to the States, get done on drug charges, and disappear into the morass of the US penal system.' Mr Allan said intelligence obtained by Pinkertons showed the Taleban and Osama bin Laden had no need of any extra anti-aircraft missiles. Deputy principal government counsel Wayne Walsh said the men would probably be extradited to the US within three weeks. Ali has claimed he was set up by FBI agents who befriended him, paid for his ticket to Hong Kong and then had him arrested.