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For The Record  

FTR #574 Interview with Daniel Hopsicker – Victor Kozeny’s Last Stan

Record­ed Octo­ber 29, 2006

Lis­ten: MP3  Side 1  Side 2

Intro­duc­tion: Updat­ing cov­er­age of the activ­i­ties of 9/11 hijack­er Mohamed Atta in Flori­da, Daniel Hop­sick­er sheds fur­ther light on some of the Russ­ian crim­i­nal ele­ments that were part of what British Prime Min­is­ter Tony Blair termed a “glob­al net­work” to which the 9/11 hijack­ers belonged. Deeply involved with mas­sive drug smug­gling, this net­work appears to include, among oth­ers, Edgar Valles Diaz and Igor Rabaev, the lat­ter a native of Uzbek­istan and an appar­ent orga­nized fig­ure. A Mus­lim who (like many orga­nized fig­ures from the for­mer Sovi­et Union) claimed Jew­ish her­itage in order to gain asy­lum in Israel and, lat­er, entry into the Unit­ed States, Rabaev is said to have been involved with oth­er Islam­ic rad­i­cals in some of the oth­er “stans” that emerged as inde­pen­dent nations fol­low­ing the breakup of the for­mer Sovi­et Union. [Those “stans” are referred to in the title of the pro­gram.] Rabaev joins, among oth­ers, “Pirate of Prague” Vic­tor Kozeny in the pan­theon of East­ern Euro­pean crim­i­nals who par­tic­i­pat­ed in the crim­i­nal net­work that nur­tured the 9/11 hijack­ers in South Flori­da. After set­ting forth dis­crep­an­cies between the “offi­cial” ver­sion of Mohamed Atta’s activ­i­ties in Flori­da and what can be ver­i­fied from cell-phone records and oth­er, cred­i­ble, infor­ma­tion sources, Daniel men­tioned that he is the focal point of nui­sance law suit by con­ve­nience store own­er Makram Chams, at whose estab­lish­ment the 9/11 hijack­ers received mon­ey orders. (For more about Makram Chams, see FTR#554.) Hop­sick­er appealed for finan­cial sup­port, so that he can fight the suit and, most impor­tant­ly, depose Makram Chams.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Flight school own­er Wal­ly Hilliard’s links to oper­a­tives who par­tic­i­pat­ed in the Iran/Contra scan­dal; evi­den­tiary trib­u­taries con­nect­ing Hilliard’s oper­a­tions with ele­ments asso­ci­at­ed with the recent bust in Mex­i­co of a plane car­ry­ing 5.5 tons of cocaine; review of Vic­tor Kozeny’s rela­tion­ship with Atta asso­ciate Wolf­gang Bohringer; Kozeny’s links to peo­ple involved with Ronald Reagan’s Star Wars project.

1. The foun­da­tion of the pro­gram is an arti­cle by Daniel Hop­sick­er that sets forth more about what British Prime Min­is­ter Tony Blair described as a “glob­al net­work” that was behind the 9/11 attacks. Using Huff­man Avi­a­tion as a vehi­cle, this net­work was engaged in drug smug­gling on a mas­sive scale, and some mem­bers were involved with Russ­ian orga­nized crime ele­ments. (For more about Russ­ian crim­i­nal ele­ments and their links to the milieu of 9/11, see FTR#’s 530, 536, 570, 573.) “A Venezue­lan man bust­ed with forty-three pounds of hero­in on a Lear­jet belong­ing to the own­er of the Venice FL flight school at which Mohame­dAt­ta and his body­guard Mar­wan Al-She­hhi were enrolled is a major king­pin in an inter­na­tion­al drug traf­fick­ing net­work run by the Russ­ian Mob. Edgar Valles Diaz was arrest­ed on Wal­ly Hilliard’s Lear­jet (N351 WB) at Orlan­do Exec­u­tive Air­port on July 25, 2000, in what the Orlan­do Sen­tinel called ‘the biggest bust in Cen­tral Flori­da his­to­ry.’ The paper quot­ed offi­cials stat­ing it was ‘the largest find of its kind in the south­east­ern Unit­ed States in recent years.’ Court doc­u­ments revealed that Valles Diaz was a major nar­cotics traf­fick­er in his native Venezuela who had flown Hilliard’s Lear­jet for thir­ty-nine weeks in a row. Each flight orig­i­nat­ed in Venezuela, stop­ping in Fort Laud­erdale and Orlan­do before fly­ing to New York.” (“Russ­ian Mob Link to 9/11 Hijack­ers” by Daniel Hop­sick­er; Mad Cow Morn­ing News; 10/25/2006; avail­able at: http://www.madcowprod.com/10252006.html.)

2. One of the alleged par­tic­i­pants in this net­work is Igor Boriso­vich Rabaev, from the for­mer Sovi­et Cen­tral Asian Repub­lic of Uzbek­istan, one of the “stans” that is now an inde­pen­dent coun­try. Accord­ing to law enforce­ment sources famil­iar with Rabaev, he is a Mus­lim pre­tend­ing to be a Jew in order to obtain asy­lum in Israel. The same source also alleges that he is linked to Islamists in oth­er for­mer Sovi­et Republics, now inde­pen­dent “stans.” “Accord­ing to one of the flight crew on the Lear­jet, Valles Diaz would be greet­ed upon arrival by an orga­nized crime fig­ure from the Russ­ian enclave in Brighton Beach named Igor Boriso­vich Rabaev. ‘When we land­ed in New York Valles-Diaz would be met by his ‘boyfriend,’ a mem­ber of the Lear jet’s flight crew stat­ed. ‘He gets picked up at the air­port by an Uzbek named Igor Rabaev, his hero­in con­nec­tion from Cen­tral Asia.’ Cur­rent­ly want­ed on two con­ti­nents, Igor Rabaev is a promi­nent mem­ber of a Russ­ian Mob fam­i­ly which uses the Uzbek cap­i­tal of Tashkent as a trans­ship­ment point for hero­in from Afghanistan, we learned. ‘Igor Rabaev is a name to be con­jured with in cer­tain cir­cles,’ a for­mer U.S. covert oper­a­tive in Cen­tral Asia told us. ‘He’s from Uzbek­istan, and escaped from Rus­sia to Israel by say­ing he was Jew­ish, back when it was the only way you could get out. But he’s not Jew­ish. He’s Mus­lim, and he’s got close ties with rad­i­cal Mus­lim cir­cles in the ‘Stans’ who serve as a con­duit for hero­in com­ing out of Afghanistan.’” (Idem.)

3. Appar­ent­ly, it is not unusu­al for Russ­ian mob­sters to claim Jew­ish ances­try, move to Israel, gain Israeli cit­i­zen­ship, and then move to the Unit­ed States. “Uzbek­istan is final­ly on the map, if only because of the new Borat movie.) ‘Non-Jew­ish Russ­ian mob­sters often fraud­u­lent­ly claimed Jew­ish ances­try in order to gain eas­i­er move­ment in and out of Israel, where the Russ­ian Mafia has estab­lished a large oper­at­ing base,’ said the source. ‘It was a real scam by Russ­ian orga­nized crime; it was eas­i­er for lots of these peo­ple to say they were Jew­ish to get into Israel, and then from Israel to become instant cit­i­zens, get Israeli pass­ports, and then into the U.S.’ We received con­fir­ma­tion that there were, indeed, Mus­lim Mob­sters from the for­mer USSR pos­ing as Jews in ‘Red Mafiya,’ by Stephen I Fried­man, the defin­i­tive book about the Russ­ian Mob in Brighton Beach.” (Idem.)

4. In addi­tion to his Russ­ian mob con­nec­tions, Valles Diaz was a part­ner in a jet char­ter com­pa­ny with Wal­ly Hilliard, who was the co-own­er of Huff­man Avi­a­tion (through which 9/11 hijack­er Mohamed Atta infil­trat­ed.) “The head of the New York FBI’s Russ­ian Mob unit told Fried­man that there were three or four major Russ­ian crime fam­i­lies oper­at­ing in Brighton Beach; the largest con­sist­ed pri­mar­i­ly of Jew­ish emi­gres from Odessa, fol­lowed by a sec­ond fam­i­ly from Tashkent, in Uzbek­istan, which the FBI had pegged as Mus­lim, but which peo­ple in the com­mu­ni­ty insist­ed was Jew­ish. In addi­tion to being asso­ci­at­ed with the Russ­ian Mob, Valles Diaz was also a part­ner in the com­pa­ny ‘leas­ing’ the Lear­jet, Amer­i­can Jet Char­ters, along with the planes own­er, 75-year old Wal­lace J. Hilliard, the Wis­con­sin insur­ance exec­u­tive who says he ‘retired’ to Flori­da, but who, instead—within a year of his sup­posed ‘retire­ment’— had assem­bled a fleet of between twen­ty to thir­ty long-range pri­vate jets, as well as flight schools like the now-infa­mous Huff­man Avi­a­tion.” (Idem.)

5. Next, the arti­cle reviews Vic­tor Kozeny, for whom Atta asso­ciate Wolf­gang Bohringer worked. Dur­ing the dis­cus­sion, Daniel relat­ed that a physics pro­fes­sor who was one of Kozeny’s first con­tacts in the U.S. was asso­ci­at­ed with Reagan’s Star Wars pro­gram. In addi­tion, anoth­er of the peo­ple who trav­eled in Kozeny’s cir­cle at this time was a key Air Force offi­cer in charge of pro­cure­ment for the Star Wars pro­gram. Note that Kozeny was only 18 years old at the time and that he was new­ly arrived in the Unit­ed States! “The news that Wal­ly Hilliard’s Lear­jet had been used by Russ­ian Mob­sters came hard on the heels of the recent rev­e­la­tion about one of Mohamed Atta’s clos­est asso­ciates in Flori­da, Wolf­gang Bohringer, the per­son­al pilot for Vic­tor Kozeny, known as the ‘Pirate of Prague, ‘ and also pur­port­ed to have Russ­ian Mob con­nec­tions. Late last month Kozeny was ordered extra­dit­ed to New York by a court in the Bahamas to face charges of defraud­ing Amer­i­can investors, includ­ing for­mer Sen­ate Major­i­ty Leader George Mitchell, of almost $150 mil­lion. Dur­ing the North­ern Ire­land peace talks, which Mitchell bro­kered in 1999, he had been flown to the nego­ti­a­tions in Kozeny’s per­son­al jet, accord­ing to pub­lished reports. The dis­clo­sures raise the ques­tion of the Russ­ian Mob’s pos­si­ble role as the ‘glob­al net­work’ which British Prime Min­is­ter said had assist­ed the ter­ror­ists while they were in the U.S.” (Idem.)

6. Next, the arti­cle high­lights the alle­ga­tions of FBI whistle­blow­er Sibel Edmonds: “FBI trans­la­tor Sibel Edmonds, who for­mer Attor­ney Gen­er­al John Ashcroft went all the way to the Supreme Court to silence, revealed she saw doc­u­ments indi­cat­ing the U.S. State Depart­ment was cov­er­ing up a drug traf­fick­ing net­work asso­ci­at­ed with the ter­ror­ists involved in the 9/11 attack. Could this ‘drug traf­fick­ing net­work’ be, or involve, the Russ­ian Mob? The recent news under­lines the sig­nif­i­cance of the Cen­tral Asia ‘Stans’’— Uzbek­istan, Kyr­gyzs­tan, Kaza­khstan, Tajik­istan, Turkmenistan—which has become increas­ing­ly appar­ent recent­ly, even in news sto­ries where they appear to be only periph­er­al­ly involved.” (Idem.)

7. Daniel touch­es on some of the oth­er unrav­el­ing GOP polit­i­cal scan­dals that involve Russ­ian, East­ern Euro­pean and/or Cen­tral Asian con­nec­tions: “Take Repub­li­can Rep. Curt Wel­don ‘s cur­rent dif­fi­cul­ties, for exam­ple, in pro­vid­ing his daugh­ter with entree, lob­by­ing assis­tance, and mon­ey that for­eign gov­ern­ments and com­pa­nies are only too hap­py to pro­vide for friend­ly access in Wash­ing­ton D.C. Just a few years ago, this scan­dal would have had a Sau­di face. Today it’s cen­tered in the Cen­tral Asian ‘republics.’” (Idem.)

8. “Then there’s the soon-to-be-incar­cer­at­ed Bob Ney. On the road to his bribery con­spir­a­cy plea, Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio crossed paths with a col­or­ful Broward ex-con who swin­dled Elvis and snitched on the mob. But that’s not all... In addi­tion to being one of Jack Abramoffs ‘altar boys,’ he was gam­bling in Lon­don with a Syr­i­an ‘busi­ness­man’ named Fouad al Zay­at, known as the ‘Fat Man.’ Al-Zay­at is one of the top dozen high stakes gam­blers in the world, owns car­go avi­a­tion com­pa­nies, and freely con­sorts with known criminals...In oth­er words, he’s a junior Adnan Khashog­gi. Only his play­ground isn’t Riyadh. It’s Tashkent.” (Idem.)

9. Daniel’s arti­cle high­lights some of the many con­nec­tions of Wal­ly Hilliard, includ­ing links to pow­er­ful polit­i­cal fig­ures on both sides of the aisle, as well as black-ops vet­er­ans involved in the milieu of the Iran/Contra Scan­dal. (For more about this sub­ject, see—among oth­er programs—FTR#’s 482, 483, 484.) “We had already dis­cov­ered, in ‘Wel­come to TERRORLAND,’ that ‘retired insur­ance exec­u­tive’ Wal­ly Hilliard had friends in high places... every­one from for­mer Demo­c­rat fund-rais­er Tru­man Arnold to Flori­da Repub­li­can Gov­er­nor Jeb Bush. Even reviled for­mer Flori­da Sec’y of State Kather­ine Har­ris put in a good word, prais­ing his nonex­is­tent air­line. Hilliard does­n’t restrict his wheel­er-deal­ing to domes­tic politi­cians, either. We’ve already report­ed exten­sive­ly, for exam­ple, on his involve­ment with Sau­di bil­lion­aire and Iran Con­tra fig­ure Adnan Khashog­gi.” (Idem.)

10. “The man who came up to Venice from his $4 mil­lion estate in Naples FL ‘only when the new­er jets came in’ appar­ent­ly has ties to almost every­one fin­gered in the Iran Con­tra Scan­dal. Adnan Khashog­gi lieu­tenant Ramy El-Batrawi ran an air car­go car­ri­er com­pa­ny for Khashog­gi called Jet­bourne Inter­na­tion­al which flew 23 tons of mis­siles to Iran for Oliv­er North. El-Batrawi also is in busi­ness with Sky­Way Air­craft, the shad­owy St Peters­burg FL avi­a­tion com­pa­ny which has an appar­ent ‘green light’ from the DEA to load 5.5 tons of cocaine aboard DC9’s and get away with it. But Hilliard is also in busi­ness, we recent­ly dis­cov­ered, with two more Iran Con­tra vet­er­ans, in a com­pa­ny offer­ing HD-TV chips called SPATIALIGHT, INC.” (Idem.)

11. Hilliard’s asso­ciates were involved with the net­works that swirled around for­mer CIA offi­cer Ed Wil­son, as well as Wilson’s supe­ri­ors and co-con­spir­a­tors Theodore Shack­ley and Thomas Clines. (For more about this sub­ject, see—among oth­er programs—FTR#’s 4, 29–34, avail­able from Spit­fire.) “FarhadAu­ma and Man­sour Ras­navad both have illus­tri­ous CIA pedi­grees. Azi­ma, an Iran­ian whose fam­i­ly was close to the Shah, owns a car­go air­line in Mia­mi that deliv­ered what­ev­er Iran Con­tra swag El-Batraw­i’s car­go air­line left behind. Azi­ma’s Glob­al Inter­na­tion­al Ah (exec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent Man­sour Ras­navad) was part of Oliv­er North’s logis­ti­cal net­work ship­ping arms—including a ship­ment of 23 tons of TOW mis­siles to Iran—to the Aya­tol­lah. ‘Our guns go to those who need them.’ Their rela­tion­ship with the agency which goes back to the late 1970s when he sup­plied aid and logis­ti­cal sup­port to EATSCO (Egypt­ian Amer­i­can Trans­port and Ser­vices Cor­po­ra­tion) a com­pa­ny owned by for­mer CIA agents Thomas Clines, Theodore Shack­ley, and Richard Sec­ord, and which was promi­nent­ly involved in the activ­i­ties of for­mer CIA agent Edwin Wil­son. It does­n’t get any more Iran Contra‑y than that. In fact, their com­pa­ny was once even cit­ed for char­ter­ing a Boe­ing 707 to the PLO, who used it to ship a load of weapons to the San­din­istas. There were, pre­sum­ably, red faces all around. Still, the lev­el of inter­na­tion­al intrigue this caper attests to marks them as spooks extra­or­di­naire.” (Idem.)

12. “Before mov­ing on, we feel oblig­ed to point out that the com­pa­ny on whose behalf the two men were sign­ing: Argyle Cap­i­tal. Remem­ber Argyle Equi­ties, the Texas invest­ment firm with the big stake in Sky Way Air­craft’s DC9 Cocaine One? This is all just a coin­ci­dence.” (Idem.)

13. In the con­clud­ing para­graph of the arti­cle, Daniel again returns to the sub­ject of Hilliard’s involve­ment with a glob­al net­work, as well as his “get out of jail free card.” “Here we recall a ques­tion Wal­ly Hilliard’s for­mer jet mechan­ic Dave Mont­gomery once asked out loud over a beer: ‘I used to ask myself: ‘Why is Wal­ly doing busi­ness with all these for­eign­ers? Diego Levine, Alfon­so Bowe, Mark Shu­bin, Per­vez Khan... It did­n’t make sense.’ More­over there appears to be no account­abil­i­ty at the lev­el these men are on. Hilliard, for exam­ple, was cit­ed in a fed­er­al com­plaint accus­ing him and Mag­ic Dutch Boy Rudi Dekkers of numer­ous ‘unau­tho­rized and unsu­per­vised flights’ dur­ing 1999. Two years before the 9/11 attack, Hilliard and Dekkers were fly­ing unnamed Saud­is to unspec­i­fied des­ti­na­tions in the U.S. on unknown mis­sions. ‘They were fer­ry­ing Sau­di princes all over the U.S.,’ said an avi­a­tion exec­u­tive famil­iar with the oper­a­tion. ‘You can go to jail for the kind of things they’re charged with. But all they’re get­ting is a slap on the wrist. What they were doing is bla­tant­ly ille­gal.’ ‘With­out a Fed­er­al Avi­a­tion Admin­is­tra­tion air car­ri­er oper­at­ing cer­tifi­cate, the Gov­ern­ment has no idea where those planes went, or even who was on board. Who­ev­er they were fly­ing did­n’t want any­one to know.’” (Idem.)

14. “Igor Rabaev is from Tashkent, a key trans­ship­ment loca­tion as Afghan hero­in wends its way to Rus­sia and the West. We want­ed to learn more about the Russ­ian Mob fig­ure who had been fly­ing a Wal­ly Hilliard Lear­jet filled with hero­in dur­ing the same month Mohamed Atta arrived to attend Hilliard’s flight school. So we asked the DEA to com­ment. They declined. Our sub­se­quent frus­tra­tion must have been evi­dent, because, unbid­den, a source in Venice told us: ‘You should ask Hilliard’s part­ner about him. Mark Shu­bin knows him.’ Mark Shu­bin? Small world. Mark Shu­bin had shared own­er­ship of a hand­ful of top-of-the-line pri­vate jets—Gulfstream’s, Fokker’s, Challengers—with Wal­ly Hilliard, includ­ing two with high­ly unusu­al ‘tail’ num­bers: N11 UN and N111 UN.” (Idem.)

15. “Shu­bin also owned a com­pa­ny in Flori­da called ‘Inter­na­tion­al Diplo­mat­ic Couri­er Ser­vices.’ And did we men­tion, he used to be a U2 pilot for the CIA? We could­n’t locate Shu­bin. Per­haps he was busy doing ren­di­tions, and unavail­able for com­ment. But we found some­one who used to fly with him, and learned that, as tall as we thought the cot­ton already was... it was about to get a lot taller. And a lot more seri­ous. Geo-polit­i­cal­ly speak­ing, that is. Because Igor Rabaev had tried to mur­der the Min­is­ter of Ener­gy for the Ukraine.” (Idem.)

16. Daniel not­ed that he is being sued by for­mer Venice con­ve­nience store own­er Makram Chams, who has fig­ured in sev­er­al of his arti­cles, as well as Wel­come to Ter­ror­land. He made an appeal for funds, with which to fight the case, in which he plans to depose Makram Chams. You can read more about this at: http://www.madcowprod.com/11072006c.html. For more Makram Chams, see FTR #554.

17. Anoth­er [recur­rent] point of infor­ma­tion is that there has been an active cov­er-up by the FBI and oth­er fed­er­al insti­tu­tions of Mohamed Atta’s pre­cise where­abouts and activ­i­ties in the run-up to the 9/11 attacks. In part, this cov­er-up may be due to the fact that Atta was sup­posed to have spent time in Prague [Czech Repub­lic] meet­ing with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Sad­dam Hussein’s intel­li­gence ser­vice. This dis­in­for­ma­tion was a key part of the administration’s ratio­nal­iza­tion for invad­ing Iraq. For more about this, see this arti­cle.


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