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FTR #835 Tangled Web: Overview of the AMIA Bombing Investigation

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This program was recorded in one, 60-minute segment.

AMIA Bombing

Pan Am Flight 103 bombing: allegedly assisted by Monze Al-Kassar

Introduction: With the recent shooting death of Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman, the complex events woven in, and around, the 7/18/1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires has come back into public view. Initially described as a “suicide,” Nisman’s death came after he was moving to indict Argentina’s president Kirchner for covering-up the attack.

In this program, we detail some of the deep politics surrounding the AMIA attack, preparatory to a discussion of developments in the investigation of Nisman’s death in FTR #836.

The dizzying melange of individuals, institutions and events connected to the AMIA bombing involves: several people linked to former Argentinian president Carlos Menem; individuals linked to the Iran-Contra scandal; neo-Nazi elements in Argentina; investigations into fugitive Nazi war criminals; the resignations of two justice ministers involved in the AMIA investigation; the suspicious deaths of numerous individuals linked to one or another of the elements figuring in several related investigations; evidentiary tributaries linking the AMIA bombing to the Oklahoma City Bombing, the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland and the Achille Lauro hijacking in 1985.


Recapping material from FTR #5 (recorded in August of 1996), the program examines the possible role of Syrian terrorist, weapons dealer and drug smuggler Monzer Al-Kassar in the AMIA bombing, as well as the bombing of the Israeli embassy in Argentina two years earlier. Al-Kassar was a primary operative functioning on behalf of George Bush, Oliver North and company in the Iran-Contra Scandal. In addition to Al Kassar’s possible role in the bombings, the broadcast touches on the probable involvement of Argentine security forces in the attacks, as well as possible retribution against investigators pursuing leads in the case.

Next, the program reprises information from FTR #109 (recorded on 9/2/1998). At the time that Oliver North had him on the White House payroll and was using him to ship weapons to the Contra guerillas in Nicaragua as well as to the Iranians, Al-Kassar was importing 20 % of the heroin that came to the United States (according to the DEA). Al-Kassar has apparently figured prominently in numerous terrorist incidents, some as he was working for North’s “counter-terror” operations for the Reagan White House.  The discussion highlights his connections to the late Alfredo Yabran, a Mafia-like wheeler dealer who (like Al-Kassar) had strong connections to the government of Argentina. Argentine president Carlos Menem, Yabran and Al-Kassar are all from the same town in Syria. In addition, the program contains information about international connections to the AMIA bombing (one of the bombings Al-Kassar was allegedly involved with), as well as the mysterious “suicide” of Yabran.

Program Highlights Include: Review of the fact that AMIA housed records of Nazi war criminals who fled to Argentina; the suspicious deaths of two witnesses against Al-Kassar in the Achille Lauro hijacking; the kidnapping of the family of another of the witnesses against Al-Kassar in the Achille Lauro affair; links of Alfredo Yabran to the explosives Al-Kassar allegedly brought into Argentina for the AMIA bombing; the role of former Syrian intelligence officer Ibrahim al Ibrahim to the AMIA affair; Ibrahim al Ibrahim’s marriage to Carlos Menem’s former sister-in-law; the resignations of two different Argentinian justice ministers during the course of the AMIA investigation (read: “cover-up”); participation by Argentine security officers in a stolen vehicle ring (one of the vehicles was apparently used in the AMIA bombing); the affiliation of Argentine security personnel involved at the operational level in the bombing with Tom Metzger’s White Aryan Resistance; the death of Menem’s son in a helicopter crash (the day after Menem agreed to extradite SS officer Erich Priebke to Italy); an attack on Menem’s brother as the Al-Kassar/AMIA controversy was brewing; review of Al-Kassar’s operations for Oliver North, including his use of arms firms linked to the ODESSA network.

1. Reprising information from FTR #5 (recorded in August of 1996), we note Swiss allegations that Al-Kassar may have brought the explosives used in the AMIA bombing into Argentina. (“Syrian Linked to Bombings” [Jewish Telegraphic Agency]; Northern California Jewish Bulletin; 6/21/1996.)

2. Next, we note the resignation of the Argentine Justice Minister Rodolfo Barra. During the course of the AMIA “investigation,” he was discovered to have worked for a neo-Nazi organization in Argentina. (Argentine Quits: Neo-Nazi Past” [Los Angeles Times]; San Francisco Chronicle; 7/12/1996.)

3. The day after Barra’s resignation was announced, Menem’s brother was attacked. Menem’s son was killed in the crash of a helicopter the day after Menem agreed to extradite SS officer Erich Priebke to Italy to stand trial in the Adreatine Caves massacre. (“Attack on President’s Brother Confounds Uneasy Argentina” by Sebastian Rotella; The Los Angeles Times; 7/13/1996.)

4. Members of the Argentine police were arrested for involvement in a stolen vehicle ring. One of the vehicles was apparently used in the AMIA bombing. (“Argentine Police Held in Bombing” [Reuters]; San Francisco Examiner; 7/14/1996.)

5. Reprising information from FTR #109 (recorded on 9/2/1998), the program notes Al-Kassar’s role as an Argentine government weapons trafficker. (“Al-Kassar to Come to Argentina in August”; Clarin; 7/19/1998.)

6. Reviewing the cover-up of Al-Kassar’s involvement in the Achille Lauro hijacking, the program notes the murder of Moustapha Nassini, a witness against Al-Kassar, this after Nassini’s family was kidnapped. Another witness against Al-Kassar–Ismail Jalil–allegedly “committed suicide.” Yet another witness Abu Mershed, changed his testimony after his family was kidnapped. Alfredo Yabran–in charge of the warehouses where Al-Kassar’s explosives for the AMIA bombing were allegedly stored–“committed suicide,” as well. Another Justice Minister–Elias Jassan–resigned after it was discovered that he had logged 102 phone calls to Monzer Al-Kassar. It should be noted that Al-Kassar obtained his Argentine passport in record time, with the assistance of Amira Yoma–the sister of Carlos Menem’s ex-wife (who was married to Ibrahim al Ibrahim.) (“Witness Against Al-Kassar Assassinated”; Clarin; 6/21/1998.)

7. Recall that Yabran controlled the warehouses in which Al-Kassar’s explosives were stored, preparatory to the AMIA bombing. An associate of Al-Kassar’s–Srian intelligence officer Ibrahim al Ibrahim–was a key customs officer at the Argentine airport at which Yabran operated and through which the explosives for the AMIA bombing allegedly transited. Ibrahim was married to Amira Yoma, the sister of Menem’s ex-wife. Amira Yoma, her sister Zulema (Menem’s wife), Menem himself and Al-Kassar were all from the tiny city of Yabrud, Syria. (“Government Worried About Visit of Al-Kassar;” Clarin; 8/2/1998.)

8. Another figure involved with the Iran-Contra scandal–former Argentinian intelligence officer Leonardo Sanchez-Reisse–gave testimony about the AMIA bombing. Sanchez-Reisse allegedly trained the Contra guerillas and was also deeply involved with the anti-Castro Cuban milieu that figured in the Iran-Contra affair, as well as figuring in the milieu of the World Anti-Communist League. Sanchez-Reisse also claimed to have links to both the CIA and DEA. (“Former Spy Released from Jail After 34 Days;” Clarin; 8/9/1998.)

9. Fleshing out information about Sanchez-Reisse, the program features information from Cocaine Politics by Peter Dale Scott and Jonathan Marshall.

10. The discussion concludes with the FBI’s finding that Argentinian police implicated in the operational phase of the AMIA bombing belonged to Tom Metzger’s White Aryan Resistance, to which Timothery McVeigh allegedly belonged. (“AMIA Bomb Plotters’ Connection;” La Nacion; 7/27/1997.)



2 comments for “FTR #835 Tangled Web: Overview of the AMIA Bombing Investigation”

  1. Interesting how Imad Mughniyeh was assassinated just one month after the Interpol red notice was finally issued for this AMIA bombing.


    Posted by adam | September 15, 2016, 6:17 am
  2. This Monzer al-Kasser lived in Marbella where this Adnan Khashoggi owned a mountain. If i am right in that, might we infer some connection? If true that would be the third suspicious tie-in I know of between Khashoggi and Hizbullah.

    Posted by adam | September 15, 2016, 6:20 am

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