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

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. [1] The new dri­ve is a 32-giga­byte dri­ve that is cur­rent as of the pro­grams and arti­cles post­ed by 12/19/2014. The new dri­ve (avail­able for a tax-deductible con­tri­bu­tion of $65.00 or more) con­tains FTR #827 [2].  (The pre­vi­ous flash dri­ve was cur­rent through the end of May of 2012 and con­tained FTR #748 [3].)

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Lis­ten: MP3

This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment [7].

[8]

AMIA Bomb­ing

[9]

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 [10].

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.

[11]

Cocaine

Recap­ping mate­r­i­al from FTR #5 [12] (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.

[13]Next, the pro­gram repris­es infor­ma­tion from FTR #109 [14] (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 [12] (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 [15] SS offi­cer Erich Priebke [16] 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 [14] (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 [17] about Sanchez-Reisse, the pro­gram fea­tures infor­ma­tion from Cocaine Pol­i­tics [18] 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.)