Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #611 Update on 9/11 and Related Matters — Caution: Networks at Work

Record­ed Sep­tem­ber 23, 2007
MP3: Side 1 | Side 2

Explor­ing the eco­nom­ic and polit­i­cal net­works that both pre­cip­i­tat­ed and exe­cut­ed the 9/11 attacks, this pro­gram high­lights the links between Islamist ele­ments involved at the oper­a­tional lev­el and indi­vid­u­als and insti­tu­tions that dom­i­nate the glob­al geo-polit­i­cal land­scape. These networks—belonging to elite indus­tri­al, finan­cial and reli­gious insti­tu­tions, as well as pow­er­ful under­world syndicates—cooperate and inter­sect. The 9/11 attacks are emblem­at­ic of the results of this cor­po­rate, reli­gious and crim­i­nal alliance. The 9/11 attacks fur­ther cement­ed this insid­i­ous rela­tion­ship, advanc­ing the polit­i­cal, eco­nom­ic and social goals of the forces com­pris­ing it. Begin­ning with dis­cus­sion of the allo­ca­tion of Iraqi petro­le­um rights, the broad­cast notes that they will be going, in part, to the Hunt Oil Com­pa­ny of Bush asso­ciate Ray Hunt. Heir to ultra-rightwing bil­lion­aire H.L. Hunt, Ray Hunt sat on George W. Bush’s for­eign intel­li­gence advi­so­ry board, a posi­tion that gave him imme­di­ate access to the most sen­si­tive intel­li­gence doc­u­ments about Iraq and oth­er mat­ters. In addi­tion to the Hunt fam­i­ly, the Bush­es count the pow­er­ful Bin Laden fam­i­ly among their asso­ciates. A dom­i­nant ele­ment of the Sau­di pow­er elite, the Bin Ladens have always dis­claimed any involve­ment with the activ­i­ties of Osama. Evi­dence to the con­trary has gen­er­at­ed lit­i­ga­tion against the Sau­di Bin­ladin Group, the family’s pri­ma­ry com­mer­cial enti­ty. Turn­ing to the sub­ject of Semy­on Mogile­vich, a pow­er­ful Russ­ian orga­nized crime fig­ure, the broad­cast notes that, in addi­tion to pur­chas­ing and oper­at­ing the Hun­gar­i­an arms indus­try, traf­fick­ing in nuclear mate­ri­als and work­ing with Islamist ter­ror­ists, Mogile­vich works with the BND, Ger­man intel­li­gence. Anoth­er lumi­nary to be found in Mogilevich’s cor­ner is William Ses­sions, for­mer direc­tor of the FBI. Bar­gain­ing for Mogile­vich on pend­ing crim­i­nal charges in the U.S., Ses­sions has offered infor­ma­tion on Islamist ter­ror­ism in exchange for lenien­cy. Also in Mogilevich’s cor­ner is the lob­by­ing firm of GOP heavy­weights Haley Bar­bour and Lan­ny Grif­fith, which has rep­re­sent­ed and done busi­ness with the Mus­lim Brotherhood’s Bank Al Taqwa and the Russ­ian con­glom­er­ate Alfa, itself linked to Islamists, Russ­ian orga­nized crime, the petro­le­um indus­try and the Under­ground Reich. In addi­tion to the Bin Ladens, anoth­er pow­er­ful Sau­di appar­ent­ly involved with financ­ing Al Qae­da and oth­er Islamist ter­ror­ist groups is Yassin Qadi, a major fun­der of the Ptech firm. Deeply involved with Islamist ele­ments in Turkey, Qadi has used those con­nec­tions to evade sanc­tions against him. After review­ing the strong rela­tion­ship between Al Taqwa’s Achmed Huber, the Turk­ish Islamist par­ty and for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Erbakan, the broad­cast notes the vir­u­lent anti-Semi­tism freely dis­sem­i­nat­ed by Erbakan and oth­ers of his ilk. Far from being a rel­a­tive­ly mar­gin­al indi­vid­ual, 9/11 hijack­er Mohamed Atta has, as Mr. Emory likes to say, more con­nec­tions than a switch­board. List­ed as pres­i­dent of a Flori­da com­pa­ny, Atta’s fel­low offi­cers include a key Moroc­can diplo­mat­ic and com­mer­cial oper­a­tive and the Turk­ish naval attaché in Wash­ing­ton. Anoth­er of Atta’s south Flori­da asso­ciates was Ger­man nation­al Wolf­gang Bohringer, per­son­al pilot for Czech crim­i­nal Vik­tor Kozeny and the son of the head of the Ger­man branch of the Sev­enth Day Adven­tist Church. Con­clud­ing with dis­cus­sion of the col­lab­o­ra­tion of the Ger­man Sev­enth Day Adven­tist estab­lish­ment with the Third Reich, the broad­cast under­scores the pos­si­bil­i­ty that the col­lab­o­ra­tion may have extend­ed in to the post­war, under­ground phase of the Third Reich’s exis­tence, and that this may have fig­ured into the 9/11 oper­a­tion.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Review of the rela­tion­ship between the Hunt fam­i­ly and Ali bin Musal­im, who man­aged the Al Qae­da account at bank Al Taqwa; review of the appar­ent involve­ment of the Bin Laden family’s SICO firm with the 9/11 attacks; review of the con­nec­tions between the Mus­lim Brotherhood’s Bank Al Taqwa, the Repub­li­can Par­ty and the Bush admin­is­tra­tion; review of the Qadi-financed Ptech’s devel­op­ment of threat-assess­ment soft­ware archi­tec­ture for the Air Force, the FAA and NORAD; review of whistle­blow­er Sibel Edmonds’ alle­ga­tions of Turk­ish links to an Islamist terrorist/drug traf­fick­ing net­work.

1. Begin­ning with an inter­est­ing con­nec­tion between the Bush admin­is­tra­tion, the pow­er­ful Hunt fam­i­ly of Texas and events in the Mid­dle East, the pro­gram notes that Hunt Oil and its chief Ray Hunt have reached accom­mo­da­tion with the Iraqi Kurds to devel­op and mar­ket oil from Kur­dish ter­ri­to­ry. In addi­tion to the fact that this frac­tures the frag­ile agree­ment among the var­i­ous eth­nic fac­tions in Iraq to share the oil wealth of that region, it rais­es inter­est­ing ques­tions about the Bush/Hunt rela­tion­ship. Ray Hunt—head of Hunt Oil and heir to H.L. Hunt—sits on Bush’s for­eign intel­li­gence advi­so­ry board and was there­fore privy to the most inti­mate intel­li­gence plan­ning and doc­u­ments. Mr. Emory notes in this con­text that the al Qaeda’s account at Bank Al Taqwa was man­aged by Ali bin Musal­im, who con­spired with the Hunt fam­i­ly to cor­ner the world’s sil­ver mar­ket in the 1980’s. (For more about the al Qae­da account at Al Taqwa, the bin Musalim/Hunt con­nec­tion and the Under­ground Reich con­nec­tions of the Hunt fam­i­ly, see FTR#’s 461, 513, 556.) “An arti­cle in tomor­row’s Times reports that the long-nego­ti­at­ed com­pro­mise which seemed to be lead­ing towards an Iraqi oil law — a key ‘progress’ bench­mark — has appar­ent­ly col­lapsed. All gone down the drain. The sto­ry though con­nects up with anoth­er one we told you about just a cou­ple days ago — the deci­sion of the Kur­dis­tan region­al gov­ern­ment to sign an oil explo­ration deal with Dal­las-based Hunt Oil, run by Mr. Ray L. Hunt. The Shia and Sun­ni lead­ers believe the Kurds are opt­ing for a sort of oil seces­sion that puts them out­side the whole con­cept of a law to share the coun­try’s oil resources. And the Hunt deal is appar­ent­ly the straw that broke the camel’s back, shall we say. But remem­ber, Hunt, in addi­tion to being the son of leg­endary Texas John Birch Soci­ety extrem­ist H.L. Hunt, is also a pal of the pres­i­den­t’s. Indeed, Pres­i­dent Bush has twice appoint­ed Hunt to his For­eign Intel­li­gence Advi­so­ry Board. So while the pres­i­dent is striv­ing to get the Iraqis to meet these bench­marks one of his own pals — and more impor­tant­ly, polit­i­cal appointees — is busy help­ing to tear the whole thing apart.”
(“Oil Bud­dies” by Josh Mar­shall; TPM Muck­rack­er; 9/13/2007.)

2. The orig­i­nal New York Times arti­cle allud­ed to the in blog above can be found in its entire­ty in the “Sup­ple­men­tal” sec­tion.
(“Com­pro­mise on Oil Law in Iraq Seems to Be Col­laps­ing” by James Glanz; The New York Times; 9/13/2007.)

3. In response to alle­ga­tions in one of the many law­suits stem­ming from 9/11, the Sau­di Bin­ladin Group has denied involve­ment with the attacks and with al Qae­da. (To exam­ine evi­den­tiary trib­u­taries sug­gest­ing that SICO–the Euro­pean hold­ing com­pa­ny for SBG and the Bin Laden family–was com­plic­it with the attacks, see—among oth­er programs—FTR#’s 498, 499.) “The Sau­di Bin­ladin Group is not liable for the Sept. 11 attacks, attor­neys for the multi­na­tion­al engi­neer­ing firm wrote that in 1993, the ter­ror­ist mas­ter­mind was forced out as a share­hold­er in two com­pa­nies his fam­i­ly owns. The com­pa­ny filed the defense papers late Fri­day in U.S. Dis­trict Court in answer to claims brought by rep­re­sen­ta­tives, sur­vivors and insur­ance car­ri­ers of the vic­tims. The plain­tiffs, who seek bil­lions of dol­lars in dam­ages, allege ‘The Sau­di Bin­ladin Group is not liable for the Sept. 11 attacks, attor­neys for the multi­na­tion­al engi­neer­ing firm claim, because it made Osama bin Laden sur­ren­der his stake in the com­pa­ny 14 years ago. Respond­ing in fed­er­al court to law­suits over the attacks, the lawyers the Sau­di Bin­ladin Group, along with numer­ous banks, char­i­ties and indi­vid­u­als world­wide, pro­vid­ed mate­r­i­al sup­port and assis­tance to al-Qai­da pri­or to the attacks. . . .”
(“Bin­ladin Group: Not Liable for 9/11” by Lar­ry Neumeis­ter; San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle; 9/4/2007; p. A5.)

4. In pre­vi­ous dis­cus­sion of the work of Daniel Hop­sick­er, we have exam­ined the asso­ci­a­tion between East­ern Euro­pean orga­nized fig­ures and the milieu of Mohamed Atta. In par­tic­u­lar, Czech Repub­lic orga­nized crime king­pin Vik­tor Kozeny main­tained a close rela­tion­ship with Wolf­gang Bohringer, one of Atta’s Ger­man asso­ciates. Anoth­er denizen of the Czech crime scene is Semy­on Mogile­vich, asso­ci­at­ed with Kozeny accord­ing to some sources. Mogile­vich has, as Mr. Emory likes to say, “more con­nec­tions than a switch­board.” His asso­ci­a­tion with Islamists and his nuclear traf­fick­ing has gar­nered him some pow­er­ful allies in the Unit­ed States—more about that below. Of con­sid­er­able inter­est is the appar­ent asso­ci­a­tion between Mogile­vich and the BND—the Ger­man fed­er­al intel­li­gence ser­vice and the suc­ces­sor orga­ni­za­tion to the Rein­hard Gehlen Nazi spy out­fit. (For more about Gehlen, see—among oth­er programs—FTR#558.) Note that the “vet­er­ans of the Afghanistan war” men­tioned in the arti­cle below may refer to Russ­ian vet­er­ans, not Islamists as Mr. Emory sur­mised. Mr. Emory has heard it alleged by knowl­edge­able sources that Mogile­vich does use Islamists as oper­a­tives. In two posh vil­las out­side the small town of Ricany, near Prague, one of the most dread­ed mob fam­i­lies in the world sav­age­ly mur­ders its ter­ri­fied vic­tims. The mob’s young enforcers, trained by vet­er­ans of the Afghanistan war, are infa­mous for their extreme bru­tal­i­ty. Their quar­ry, usu­al­ly busi­ness­men who have balked at extor­tion demands, are repeat­ed­ly stabbed and tor­tured, then muti­lat­ed before they are butchered. The car­nage is so hideous that it has scared the day­lights out of com­pet­ing crime groups in the area. The tor­ture cham­bers are run by what inter­na­tion­al police offi­cials call the Red Mafia, a noto­ri­ous Russ­ian mob fam­i­ly that in only six years has become a nefar­i­ous glob­al crime car­tel. Based in Budapest, it has key cen­ters in New York, Penn­syl­va­nia, South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, and as far away as New Zealand. The enig­mat­ic leader of the Red Mafia is a 52-year-old Ukrain­ian-born Jew named Semi­on Mogile­vich. He is a shad­owy fig­ure known as the ‘Brainy Don’–he holds an eco­nom­ics degree from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Lvov–and until now, he has nev­er been exposed by the media. But the Voice has obtained hun­dreds of pages of clas­si­fied FBI and Israeli intel­li­gence doc­u­ments from August 1996, and these documents–as well as recent inter­views with a key crim­i­nal asso­ciate and with dozens of law enforce­ment sources here and abroad–describe him as some­one who has become a grave threat to the sta­bil­i­ty of Israel and East­ern Europe. . . . Alle­ga­tions of Mogile­vich’s dev­il­ish array of crim­i­nal activ­i­ties are exten­sive­ly detailed in the reports: The FBI and Israeli intel­li­gence assert that he traf­fics in nuclear mate­ri­als, drugs, pros­ti­tutes, pre­cious gems, and stolen art. His con­tract hit squads oper­ate in the U.S. and Europe. He con­trols every­thing that goes in and out of Moscow’s Shereme­tye­vo Inter­na­tion­al Air­port, a ‘smug­glers’ par­adise,’ says Elson. Mogile­vich bought a bank­rupt air­line in a for­mer Cen­tral Asian Sovi­et repub­lic for mil­lions of dol­lars in cash so he could haul hero­in out of the Gold­en Tri­an­gle. Most wor­ri­some to U.S. author­i­ties is Mogile­vich’s appar­ent­ly legal pur­chase of vir­tu­al­ly the entire Hun­gar­i­an arma­ments indus­try, jeop­ar­diz­ing region­al secu­ri­ty, NATO, and the war against ter­ror­ism. In one typ­i­cal crim­i­nal deal, Mogile­vich and two Moscow-based gang­sters sold $20 mil­lion worth of pil­fered War­saw Pact weapons from East Ger­many, includ­ing ground-to-air mis­siles and 12 armored troop car­ri­ers, accord­ing to the clas­si­fied Israeli and FBI doc­u­ments. The buy­er was Iran, says a top-lev­el U.S. Cus­toms offi­cial who request­ed anonymi­ty. . . . To the con­ster­na­tion of inter­na­tion­al law enforce­ment offi­cials, Mogile­vich began to legal­ly pur­chase much of Hun­gary’s arms indus­try. . . . On April 28, the Ger­man nation­al tele­vi­sion net­work ZDF report­ed that the BND (the Ger­man intel­li­gence agency) had entered into a secret con­tract with Mogile­vich to pro­vide infor­ma­tion on the Russ­ian mob. The charges were made by sev­er­al sources, includ­ing Pierre Delilez, a high­ly regard­ed Bel­gium police inves­ti­ga­tor who spe­cial­izes in Russ­ian Orga­nized Crime. Because of this deal with the BND, police in Bel­gium, Ger­many, and Aus­tria have com­plained that it is now impos­si­ble to inves­ti­gate the ‘Brainy Don.’ . . .”
(“The Most Dan­ger­ous Mob­ster in the World” by Robert I Fried­man; Vil­lage Voice; 5/20–26/1998.)

5. Among those run­ning inter­fer­ence for Mogile­vich are for­mer FBI direc­tor William Ses­sions and the con­sult­ing firm of Mis­sis­sip­pi gov­er­nor Haley Bar­bour. Bar­bour main­tains a num­ber of inter­est­ing clients and asso­ciates, includ­ing ele­ments asso­ci­at­ed with the Al Taqwa net­work and the Alfa Group. (For more about these con­nec­tions, see FTR#’s 438, 573.) “For­mer Fed­er­al Bureau of Inves­ti­ga­tion direc­tor William Ses­sions once con­demned Rus­si­a’s ris­ing mafia. ‘We can beat orga­nized crime,’ he told a Moscow secu­ri­ty con­fer­ence in 1997. Today, Mr. Ses­sions is a lawyer for one of the FBI’s ‘Most Want­ed’: Semy­on Mogile­vich, a Ukraine-born Russ­ian whom the FBI says is one of Rus­si­a’s most pow­er­ful orga­nized-crime fig­ures. Mr. Ses­sions is try­ing to nego­ti­ate a deal with the U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice for his client, who is charged with rack­e­teer­ing and is a key fig­ure in a sep­a­rate Jus­tice Depart­ment probe of ener­gy deals between Rus­sia and Ukraine. . . . In 2004, for instance, a Unit­ed King­dom shell com­pa­ny called Foru­per Ltd., which had no assets or employ­ees, paid Bar­bour Grif­fith $820,000. Foru­per was estab­lished by an attor­ney who struc­tured the nat­ur­al-gas deals being inves­ti­gat­ed by the U.S. Jus­tice Depart­ment. Pros­e­cu­tors are inves­ti­gat­ing whether there are ties between the attor­ney who set up Foru­per and Mr. Mogile­vich, Mr. Ses­sion­s’s client. In its fil­ings, Bar­bour Grif­fith said the fees were for ‘pro­mo­tion of greater coop­er­a­tion and finan­cial ties between East­ern Europe and the West.’ . . . In 2002 and 2003, a group called ‘Friends of Ukraine’ paid Bar­bour Grif­fith $320,000. Tax records show that Friends of Ukraine, which no longer exists, was head­quar­tered at Bar­bour Grif­fith’s own office in Wash­ing­ton. The group’s chair­man was firm part­ner Lan­ny Grif­fith. Mr. Grif­fith said in an email that the firm as a pol­i­cy does­n’t dis­cuss client mat­ters but added that Bar­bour Grif­fith ‘has been scrupu­lous in our com­pli­ance’ with laws gov­ern­ing the dis­clo­sure of lob­by­ing clients. . . . Mr. Ses­sion­s’s client, Mr. Mogile­vich, is accused in a 45-count rack­e­teer­ing and mon­ey-laun­der­ing indict­ment in Philadel­phia of mas­ter­mind­ing an elab­o­rate stock fraud using a web of shell com­pa­nies in Europe. The Jus­tice Depart­ment also is inves­ti­gat­ing whether there are any ties between Mr. Mogile­vich and a recent series of bil­lion-dol­lar nat­ur­al-gas deals between Russ­ian gas giant OAO Gazprom and Ukraine, peo­ple famil­iar with the mat­ter said. The probe is being led by the Jus­tice Depart­men­t’s Orga­nized Crime and Rack­e­teer­ing Sec­tion. Accord­ing to peo­ple famil­iar with the mat­ter, Mr. Ses­sions recent­ly approached for­mer col­leagues at Jus­tice with an unusu­al offer: Mr. Mogile­vich would pro­vide the U.S. with intel­li­gence on Islamist ter­ror­ism if pros­e­cu­tors opened nego­ti­a­tions to resolve his legal prob­lems in the U.S. Fed­er­al pros­e­cu­tors reject­ed that offer, lawyers and oth­ers famil­iar with the mat­ter said. . . .”
(“How Lob­by­ists Help Ex-Sovi­ets Woo Wash­ing­ton” by Glenn R. Simp­son and Mary Jaco­by; The Wall Street Jour­nal; 4/17/007; pp. A1-A16.)

6. Next, the pro­gram turns to the sub­ject of Yassin Qadi, a Sau­di mag­nate long known to have fund­ed Islamist ter­ror­ism. In addi­tion to hav­ing con­tributed direct­ly to Islam­ic char­i­ties that sup­port Al Qae­da and oth­er Islamist ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions, Qadi helped to finance Ptech, a high tech firm that devel­oped the threat-assess­ment soft­ware archi­tec­ture for—get this—the Air Force, the FAA, NORAD and the Depart­ment of Ener­gy (that man­ages nuclear pow­er plants). In addi­tion to Qadi, Ptech has been financed by and direct­ed by peo­ple asso­ci­at­ed with Al Qae­da, the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and the ele­ments bust­ed in the 3/20/2002 Oper­a­tion Green Quest raids. (For more about Qadi, Ptech and Oper­a­tion Green Quest, see—among oth­er programs—FTR#’s 462, 464, 467.) Alarm­ing­ly, Qadi also has close con­nec­tions with the “mod­er­ate” Islamist estab­lish­ment in Turkey. “Yassin Qadi is a well-known mul­ti­mil­lion­aire, founder of a large super­mar­ket chain here and a close friend of the Turk­ish pre­mier. ‘I trust him the same way I trust my father,’ Prime Min­is­ter Recep Tayyip Erdo­gan said on nation­al tele­vi­sion last year. But the Sau­di busi­ness­man also is a major financier of Islam­ic ter­ror­ism with close busi­ness asso­ciates who are mem­bers of Al Qae­da, accord­ing to the U.S. Trea­sury and the Unit­ed Nations Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil. At Washington’s request, the asset freeze has large­ly crip­pled Mr Qadi’s inter­na­tion­al busi­ness empire. But pre­vi­ous­ly undis­closed records show he has man­aged to free up mil­lions of dol­lars of hold­ings in Turkey, in appar­ent vio­la­tion of the Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil sanc­tions and with­out incur­ring pun­ish­ment by Turk­ish author­i­ties. The case of Mr. Qadi shows the chal­lenges Wash­ing­ton faces in sep­a­rat­ing friend from foe in the Islam­ic world. The records detail­ing his busi­ness activ­i­ties also sug­gest how easy it can be to skirt sanc­tions designed to restrict fund­ing of ter­ror­ism, espe­cial­ly for well-con­nect­ed fig­ures. Mr. Qadi’s friend­ship with the prime min­is­ter also plays into the grow­ing debate in Turkey over the role of Islam in a sec­u­lar soci­ety. Turkey’s Par­lia­ment for the first time Tues­day elect­ed a politi­cian with an Islamist back­ground, For­eign Min­is­ter Abdul­lah Gul, to the pres­i­den­cy. . . .”
(“Well Con­nect­ed, a Sau­di Mogul Skirts Sanc­tions” by Glenn R. Simp­son; The Wall Street Jour­nal; 8/29/2007.)

7. “ . . .Since com­ing to pow­er in 1972, the Jus­tice and Devel­op­ment Par­ty has run one of the most pro-West­ern gov­ern­ments to rule Turkey. It has encour­aged a West­ern-style mar­ket econ­o­my and made painful over­hauls in a bid to join the Euro­pean Union. The par­ty just won an over­whelm­ing new man­date in par­lia­men­tary elec­tions. But ten­sions are like­ly to per­sist. U.S. diplo­mats lodged strong objec­tions last year when the Erdo­gan gov­ern­ment inter­vened in Turk­ish courts to try to lift the freeze on Mr. Qadi’s assets, accord­ing to U.S. offi­cials. The Turk­ish gov­ern­ment reversed course. . . .” (Idem.)

8. More about Qadi’s Turk­ish Islamist ties: “ . . . Mr. Qadi, whose busi­ness empire is based most­ly in Sau­di Ara­bia, is a long­time part­ner of Turk­ish busi­ness­man Cuneyd Zap­su, as well as oth­er key Jus­tice and Devel­op­ment fig­ures. Over the past year, Turk­ish media and oppo­si­tion lead­ers have dis­closed that Turkey’s finan­cial police inves­ti­gat­ed the activ­i­ties of Mr. Qadi and alleged Al Qae­da sup­port­ers in Turkey. That led them to delve into the rela­tion­ships of Mr. Qadi and oth­er Saud­is with senior Jus­tice and Devel­op­ment fig­ures, includ­ing Mr. Erdo­gan. Among Mr. Qadi’s largest Turk­ish invest­ments is the dis­count-super­mar­ket chain BIM, one of Turkey’s biggest com­pa­nies, with more than 1,500 out­lets and annu­al sales of about $1.5 bil­lion. BIM, which trades on the Istan­bul Stock Exchange, is a dis­counter mod­eled in part on Wal-Mart and oth­er low-price chains. Mr. Zap­su also was among BIM’s found­ing part­ners. Mr. Zap­su, who in 2001 helped Mr. Erdo­gan found the Jus­tice and Devel­op­ment Par­ty, also sup­port­ed an Islam­ic char­i­ty Mr. Qadi found­ed that is at the cen­ter of the U.S. and Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil deci­sion to freeze the Sau­di busi­ness­man­’s assets. A Turk­ish finan­cial-police report seen by The Wall Street Jour­nal found that in the 1990s, Mr. Zap­su and his moth­er gave $300,000 to Mr. Qadi’s Muwafaq char­i­ty, which U.S. offi­cials labeled a front for Al Qae­da short­ly after 9/11. Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency reports say Muwafaq, now defunct, spe­cial­ized in pur­chas­ing and smug­gling arms for Islam­ic rad­i­cals. The U.S. gov­ern­men­t’s spe­cial com­mis­sion on the Sept. 11, 2001, attack and law-enforce­ment agen­cies have cit­ed Sau­di-backed Islam­ic char­i­ties as a pri­ma­ry source of fund­ing for Al Qae­da. Mr. Zap­su also has busi­ness ties to two Islam­ic banks fund­ed with Sau­di cap­i­tal — Dal­lah Al Bara­ka and Dar Al Mal Al Islam — that were accused of sup­port­ing Al Qae­da in civ­il suits filed by fam­i­lies of Sept. 11 vic­tims in the U.S. Dis­trict Court for the South­ern Dis­trict of New York. Both defen­dants adamant­ly deny the alle­ga­tions, and the court dis­missed claims against Al Bara­ka. Mr. Zap­su said in an email that his busi­ness and per­son­al rela­tion­ships with Mr. Qadi were inves­ti­gat­ed by Turk­ish police. He said pros­e­cu­tors decid­ed last year ‘that there was no rea­son for a court case and no wrong­do­ing.’ Mr. Zap­su said he sold his inter­est in BIM in 2003 and no longer is involved with the com­pa­ny. . . .” (Idem.)

9. The pro­gram high­lights Qadi asso­ciate (and Prime Min­is­ter Erdo­gan men­tor) Necmet­tin Erbakan, his Refah par­ty and its rela­tion­ship to the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. The pro­gram high­lights Erbakan’s rela­tion­ship with Al Taqwa’s Ahmed Huber. It was Huber’s rela­tion­ship with Erbakan that pre­cip­i­tat­ed Huber’s ascen­sion to his posi­tion as a direc­tor of Al Taqwa! (For more about Huber and Al Taqwa, see—among oth­er programs—FTR#’s 343, 352, 354, 356, 357, 454, 455, 456, 537.) Speak­ing of the décor of Huber’s res­i­dence: “A sec­ond pho­to­graph, in which Hitler is talk­ing with Himm­ler, hangs next to those of Necmet­tin Erbakan and Jean-Marie Le Pen [leader of the fas­cist Nation­al Front]. Erbakan, head of the Turk­ish Islamist par­ty, Refah, turned to Achmed Huber for an intro­duc­tion to the chief of the French par­ty of the far right. Exit­ing from the meet­ing (which took place in Sep­tem­ber 1995) Huber’s two friends sup­pos­ed­ly stat­ed that they ‘share the same view of the world’ and expressed ‘their com­mon desire to work togeth­er to remove the last racist obsta­cles that still pre­vent the union of the Islamist move­ment with the nation­al right of Europe.’ Last­ly, above the desk is dis­played a poster of the imam Khome­i­ni; the meet­ing ‘changed my life,’ Huber says, with stars in his eyes. For years, after the Fed­er­al Palace in Bern, Ahmed Huber pub­lished a Euro­pean press review for the Iran­ian lead­ers, then for the Turk­ish Refah. Since the for­mer lacked finan­cial means, Huber chose to put his efforts to the ser­vice of the lat­ter. An out­post of the Turk­ish Mus­lim Broth­ers, Refah thus became Huber’s prin­ci­pal employ­er; and it was through the inter­me­di­ary of the Turk­ish Islamist par­ty that this for­mer par­lia­men­tary cor­re­spon­dent became a share­hold­er in the bank Al Taqwa.”
(Dol­lars for Ter­ror; Richard Labeviere; Algo­ra Pub­lish­ing [SC]; Copy­right 2000; ISBN 1–892941-06–6; p. 142.)

10. For­mer Prime Min­is­ter Erbakan is indeed a ripe one. It is not sur­pris­ing that he is asso­ci­at­ed with a Mus­lim Nazi like Ahmed Huber. A sam­ple of Erbakan’s received wis­dom: “Who recent­ly said: ‘These Jews start­ed 19 Cru­sades. The 19th was World War I. Why? Only to build Israel.’ Some holdover Nazi? Hard­ly. It was for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Necmet­tin Erbakan of Turkey, a NATO ally. He went on to claim that the Jews — whom he refers to as ‘bac­te­ria’ — con­trolled Chi­na, India and Japan, and ran the Unit­ed States. . . .”
(“Look­ing for a Scape­goat” by Vic­tor Davis Han­son; San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle; 9/13/2007; p. B7.)

11. Return­ing to the sub­ject of Daniel Hopsicker’s research into the activ­i­ties of 9/11 hijack­er Mohamed Atta’s activ­i­ties in South Flori­da, the pro­gram notes that Atta was list­ed as the pres­i­dent of a com­pa­ny in Orlan­do! Among his part­ners in this enter­prise were a Moroc­can nation­al close­ly con­nect­ed to the Moroc­can embassy in Wash­ing­ton D.C. “Gov­ern­ment records in Flori­da reveal that Mohamed Atta was the Pres­i­dent of a com­pa­ny in Orlan­do with a busi­ness part­ner whose web of dum­my shell com­pa­nies appear char­ac­ter­is­tic of the type used in ter­ror­ist financ­ing and illic­it mon­ey laun­der­ing, the Mad­Cow­Morn­ingNews has learned. One day after the 9/11 Com­mis­sion Report says the ter­ror­ist ring­leader fin­ished mak­ing with­drawals in Vir­ginia Beach, VA, total­ing $18,000 from a Sun­Trust Bank account, on April 5th, 2001 Has­san Erroudani, an Orlan­do man with close ties to the Moroc­can Embassy in Wash­ing­ton D.C., filed incor­po­ra­tion papers with the state of Flori­da list­ing the Pres­i­dent of KARAM LLC as ‘Mohamed Atta.’ The doc­u­ment lists an address for ‘Pres­i­dent’ Atta in Mar­seilles, France, which can be traced to a graph­ic design firm there. (Once again, Aman­da Keller’s tes­ti­mo­ny is vin­di­cat­ed. Atta told her he was French.) Incor­po­ra­tion doc­u­ments give the names of the KARAM LLC’s offi­cers as Has­san Erroudani, Mohamed Atta, and Jamal Erroudani. Karam LLC was delist­ed in 2002 by the state of Flori­da for fail­ing to file an annu­al report. When the firm filed for rein­state­ment on Jan­u­ary 13, 2003, it once again list­ed ‘Mohamed Atta’ as a cor­po­rate offi­cer. But Atta had now been demot­ed to Com­pa­ny Sec­re­tary. And his address has changed as well. Not to Par­adise, or Vir­gin City, but Orlan­do, a long way from heav­en, accord­ing to those who’ve been there. Atta’s cur­rent address, if Flori­da Divi­sion of Cor­po­rate Records can be believed, is 4124 West Colo­nial Dr, Orlan­do, FL., the loca­tion of an Inter­na­tion­al House of Pan­cakes.”
(“Mohamed Atta, Flori­da Entre­pre­neur” by Daniel Hop­sick­er; Mad Cow Morn­ing News; 6/12/2007.)

12. Erroudani’s links to the Moroc­can diplo­mat­ic estab­lish­ment are pro­found. “Has­san Erroudani has close ties with the Moroc­can Embassy in Wash­ing­ton D.C. He is also the Pres­i­dent of the Moroc­can-Amer­i­can Cham­ber of Com­merce. More­over Flori­da records show Erroudani is also busi­ness part­ners, in a com­pa­ny called JMH INVESTMENT GROUP, with Mohammed Ari­ad, the eco­nom­ic coun­selor of the Moroc­can Embassy in Wash­ing­ton D.C. Atta was, of course, in Orlan­do on numer­ous occa­sions. For exam­ple, his car, a red 1989 Pon­ti­ac Grand Prix two-door coupe, was said to have been seen last in down­town Orlan­do. Still, the idea that the ‘Mohamed Atta’ who flew Flight 11 into the Twin Tow­ers on Sep­tem­ber 11, 2001 had been list­ed as a cor­po­rate offi­cer in a Flori­da com­pa­ny, with­out it hav­ing become pub­lic knowl­edge by now, seemed a tad unlike­ly, per­haps even a lit­tle far-fetched. At least, it did, until after we spoke with KARAM LLC prin­ci­pal and founder Has­san Erroudani, who we reached by phone at his Orlan­do home. We had­n’t count­ed on either Erroudani’s flat refusal to answer any ques­tions about the ‘Mohamed Atta’ list­ed as an offi­cer in his com­pa­ny, or his tone of evi­dent hos­til­i­ty. Trust us... We had been noth­ing if not polite, even to the point of sug­gest­ing a rea­son for why the whole thing might be just a big mis­un­der­stand­ing... ‘Was it per­haps just a case of two dif­fer­ent men with sim­i­lar names?’ we asked help­ful­ly. Erroudani’s force­ful response: ‘I don’t have any­thing to say about that.’ And then he hung up. Why would some­one do that... unless they pos­sess what is com­mon­ly known as guilty knowl­edge? His behav­ior seemed both inex­plic­a­ble and sus­pi­cious.” (Idem.)

13. Anoth­er of Atta’s com­pa­tri­ots in the Flori­da com­pa­ny was the Turk­ish Naval Attache from Wash­ing­ton D.C. As Hop­sick­er notes, a sig­nif­i­cant Turk­ish drug trafficking/Islamist con­nec­tion was exposed by whistle­blow­er Sibel Edmonds. Tak­en in com­bi­na­tion with Yassin Al Qadi’s Turkish/Islamist ties and the pro­found links between for­mer Turk­ish Prime Min­is­ter Erbakan’s links to the Al Taqwa net­work, the Oner/Atta con­nec­tion augurs poor­ly for the future. Will the only Mus­lim coun­try in NATO go Islamist, despite the Turk­ish military’s avowed sec­u­lar­ism? “Among the red flags denot­ing Has­san Erroudani’s var­i­ous enter­pris­es which we nev­er got the oppor­tu­ni­ty to ques­tion him about: He ran a wire trans­fer ser­vice called Rapid Cash from out of his home. (Atta and Mar­wan made fre­quent use of wire ser­vices to get mon­ey.) He owned a com­pa­ny, Sea­west Car Import/Export, which appears to be in the busi­ness of export­ing lux­u­ry vehi­cles to the Mid­dle East. One of the cor­po­rate offi­cer in Sea­west, until recent­ly, was one ‘Murat Oner.’ Lt Cdr Murat Oner is the Turk­ish Embassy’s Naval Attaché in Wash­ing­ton. (Recall whistle­blow­er Sibel Edmonds long and coura­geous strug­gle to tell Amer­i­ca what she knows about, among oth­er things, Turk­ish influ­ence in the inter­na­tion­al drug trade.) . . .” (Idem.)

14. Con­clud­ing with infor­ma­tion sup­ple­ment­ing Daniel Hopsicker’s infor­ma­tion about Atta asso­ciate Wolf­gang Bohringer, the pro­gram high­lights the close col­lab­o­ra­tion between the Sev­enth Day Adven­tist Church and Nazi Ger­many. Bohringer’s father head­ed the Sev­enth Day Adven­tist denom­i­na­tion in Ger­many, as well as being a key mem­ber of the Fly­ing Club of Munich. This infor­ma­tion is pre­sent­ed in the con­text of the well-doc­u­ment­ed and suc­cess­ful attempts by the Nazis to go under­ground after their mil­i­tary defeat. Var­i­ous insti­tu­tions were used as repos­i­to­ries for clan­des­tine Third Reich oper­a­tives, pos­si­bly includ­ing the Sev­enth Day Adven­tist denom­i­na­tion in Ger­many. (For more about the Nazis’ plans to go under­ground, see Kurt Reiss’s book The Nazis Go Under­ground avail­able for down­load for free on this web­site. More about these plans is avail­able in FTR#180.) “Nazi Ger­many was a hor­ri­ble place for small denom­i­na­tion­al church­es because there was no reli­gious lib­er­ty. One small denom­i­na­tion that sur­vived was the Sev­enth-day Adven­tist denom­i­na­tion. When Adolf Hitler rose to pow­er in Ger­many, the Ger­man Sev­enth-day Adven­tist denom­i­na­tion (here­after referred to as Adven­tists) believed it was time for a strong leader in Ger­many. Hitler seemed to be the best can­di­date because of ‘his per­son­al ded­i­ca­tion and his absti­nence from tea, cof­fee, alco­hol and meat, prac­tices shared by the Adven­tists, [there­fore] he was wel­comed as a savior.’[1] I hope to point out, because of the will­ing­ness to com­pro­mise the decent of the Ger­man Adven­tist denom­i­na­tion from the moral issues list­ed below, to where they end­ed at the end of World War II. They end­ed in com­pro­mise, loss of per­son­al integri­ty, and denom­i­na­tion­al integri­ty, split­ting of the denom­i­na­tion and were racial­ly dam­aged as a Chris­t­ian orga­ni­za­tion because they were unable to hold fast to the tenets of their beliefs. They tied the denom­i­na­tion to the Ger­man State giv­ing up their reli­gious free­dom in attempt to sur­vive through com­pro­mis­es. This posi­tion of com­pro­mise brought shame upon the Ger­man denom­i­na­tion as well as the world­wide denom­i­na­tion after the end of World War II. . . .”
(“Sev­enth Day Adven­tists” by Cor­rie Schroder.)

15. “ . . . The Sev­enth-day Adven­tists believe in reli­gious lib­er­ty, but instead of voic­ing their out­rage over the per­se­cu­tion of the Reform­ers and the Jews, the Adven­tist lead­ers decid­ed to take action against these two groups. The Adven­tist lead­ers ‘issued direc­tives to pre­vent the Reform­ers from join­ing the Adven­tist Church.’[31] And they expelled Adven­tists who had a Jew­ish back­ground from the Church.[32] The Adven­tists were unwill­ing to even pro­tect their own mem­bers if they thought the Nazi gov­ern­ment would dis­ap­prove. The state was able to con­trol the Church because there was no reli­gious lib­er­ty. . . .” (Idem.)

16. “ . . . The Adven­tists believed that along with their wel­fare pro­gram, their health ideals were lead­ing the way for a new Ger­many. Adolf Minck, soon to be pres­i­dent of the Ger­man Adven­tist Church, said, ‘We are not unpre­pared for the new order. After all, we have helped pre­pare the way for it, and helped to bring it about.’[40] The prob­lem with sup­port­ing the Nazi gov­ern­ment in their health pro­gram was the government’s belief in the prin­ci­ples of Dar­win­ism. The Adven­tists denom­i­na­tion­al stance was against Darwin’s prin­ci­ples. The Ger­man Adven­tists sac­ri­ficed this prin­ci­ple for the Nazi gov­ern­ment. In order to gain favor with the Nazi gov­ern­ment, the Adven­tists changed what was writ­ten in their pub­li­ca­tions and reformed their health mes­sage. The Adven­tists ‘fre­quent­ly print[ed] neg­a­tive com­ments about the Jews.’[41] They also tried to show that even though the Adven­tists teach­ings about the Sab­bath seemed Jew­ish, they were not Jewish.[42] The Adven­tists also believed in the ster­il­iza­tion pro­gram. Direct state­ments and the reprint­ing of non-Adven­tist arti­cles showed their sup­port for sterilization.[43] . . .” (Idem.)

17. The Sev­enth Day Adven­tist Church in Ger­many con­tin­ued to be a repos­i­to­ry for unre­con­struct­ed Nazis sev­er­al years after the war. Did this sit­u­a­tion per­sist for a longer peri­od of time? Are there still key Under­ground Reich oper­a­tives in the Sev­enth Day Adven­tist Church? Is that the rea­son under­ly­ing the Bohringer/Atta asso­ci­a­tion? “ . . . The sur­vival of the church was what was impor­tant to the Ger­man Adven­tist lead­ers, and in order to sur­vive they need­ed to com­pro­mise. Only in May 1948, did the Gen­er­al Con­fer­ence take a clos­er look at the Ger­man Adven­tists’ actions dur­ing the Nazi regime. The rea­son why the Gen­er­al Con­fer­ence took inter­est was because of a let­ter writ­ten by Major J.C. Thomp­son, chief of the Reli­gious Affairs Sec­tion of the Amer­i­can Mil­i­tary Gov­ern­ment in Berlin.[78] The let­ter want­ed to know why the Adven­tists had not removed all the Nazis from their lead­er­ship posi­tions with­in the denomination.[79] . . .” (Idem.)

18. Two video pro­duc­tions are being gen­er­at­ed by a cou­ple of doc­u­men­tary film­mak­ers. One is a DVD of a three-lec­ture series called “The First Refuge of a Scoundrel: The Rela­tion­ship Between Fas­cism and Reli­gion.” In addi­tion, there will soon be a doc­u­men­tary about Mr. Emory, titled “The Anti-Fas­cist.” For more about this project, vis­it TheAntiFascist.com.


2 comments for “FTR #611 Update on 9/11 and Related Matters — Caution: Networks at Work”

  1. [...] FTR #611 [...]

    Posted by The controlled demolition of America on 9/11: Meet the Saudis and their Islamic nano-thermites | lys-dor.com | September 14, 2011, 10:33 am
  2. With mas­sive anti-cor­rup­tion protest grow­ing in Moldo­va — some are call­ing it a Moldovan Maid­an, although it’s not actu­al­ly about mov­ing clos­er to the EU but appears to be more a gen­er­al protest against endem­ic cor­rup­tion fol­low­ing a mas­sive bank scan­dal — here’s one rea­son why the world real­ly does­n’t want to actu­al­ly see a Moldovan Maid­an that some­how spi­rals out of con­trol and results in a desta­bi­lized gov­ern­ment or turns vio­lent. Grant­ed, there are all sorts of rea­sons the world should­n’t want to see Moldo­va implode, like basic decen­cy, but this is a pret­ty com­pelling rea­son for the world (espe­cial­ly Amer­i­cans) to help Moldo­va find a sta­ble path for­ward:

    AP INVESTIGATION: Nuclear black mar­ket seeks IS extrem­ists
    Oct. 7, 2015 3:45 PM EDT

    CHISINAU, Moldo­va (AP) — Over the pul­sat­ing beat at an exclu­sive night­club, the arms smug­gler made his pitch to a client: 2.5 mil­lion euros for enough radioac­tive cesium to con­t­a­m­i­nate sev­er­al city blocks.

    It was ear­li­er this year, and the two men were plot­ting their deal at an unlike­ly spot: the ter­race of Cocos Prive, a dance club and sushi bar in Chisin­au, the cap­i­tal of Moldo­va.

    “You can make a dirty bomb, which would be per­fect for the Islam­ic State,” the smug­gler said. “If you have a con­nec­tion with them, the busi­ness will go smooth­ly.”

    But the smug­gler, Valentin Grossu, was­n’t sure the client was for real — and he was right to wor­ry. The client was an infor­mant, and it took some 20 meet­ings to per­suade Grossu that he was an authen­tic Islam­ic State rep­re­sen­ta­tive. Even­tu­al­ly, the two men exchanged cash for a sam­ple in a sting oper­a­tion that land­ed Grossu in jail.

    The pre­vi­ous­ly unpub­li­cized case is one of at least four attempts in five years in which crim­i­nal net­works with sus­pect­ed Russ­ian ties sought to sell radioac­tive mate­r­i­al to extrem­ists through Moldo­va, an inves­ti­ga­tion by The Asso­ci­at­ed Press has found. One inves­ti­ga­tion uncov­ered an attempt to sell bomb-grade ura­ni­um to a real buy­er from the Mid­dle East, the first known case of its kind.

    In that oper­a­tion, wire­taps and inter­views with inves­ti­ga­tors show, a mid­dle­man for the gang repeat­ed­ly rant­ed with hatred for Amer­i­ca as he focused on smug­gling the essen­tial mate­r­i­al for an atom­ic bomb and blue­prints for a dirty bomb to a Mid­dle East­ern buy­er.

    In wire­taps, video­taped arrests, pho­tographs of bomb-grade mate­r­i­al, doc­u­ments and inter­views, AP found that smug­glers are explic­it­ly tar­get­ing buy­ers who are ene­mies of the West. The devel­op­ments rep­re­sent the ful­fill­ment of a long-feared sce­nario in which orga­nized crime gangs are try­ing to link up with groups such as the Islam­ic State and al-Qai­da — both of which have made clear their ambi­tion to use weapons of mass destruc­tion.

    The sting oper­a­tions involved a part­ner­ship between the FBI and a small group of Moldovan inves­ti­ga­tors, who over five years went from near total igno­rance of the black mar­ket to wrap­ping up four sting oper­a­tions. Infor­mants and police pos­ing as con­nect­ed gang­sters pen­e­trat­ed the smug­gling net­works, using old-fash­ioned under­cov­er tac­tics as well as high-tech gear from radi­a­tion detec­tors to cloth­ing thread­ed with record­ing devices.

    But their suc­cess­es were under­cut by strik­ing short­com­ings: King­pins got away, and those arrest­ed evad­ed long prison sen­tences, some­times quick­ly return­ing to nuclear smug­gling, AP found.

    For strate­gic rea­sons, in most of the oper­a­tions arrests were made after sam­ples of nuclear mate­r­i­al had been obtained rather than the larg­er quan­ti­ties. That means that if smug­glers did have access to the bulk of mate­r­i­al they offered, it remains in crim­i­nal hands.

    The repeat­ed attempts to ped­dle radioac­tive mate­ri­als sig­nal that a thriv­ing nuclear black mar­ket has emerged in an impov­er­ished cor­ner of East­ern Europe on the fringes of the for­mer Sovi­et Union. Moldo­va, which bor­ders Roma­nia, is a for­mer Sovi­et repub­lic.

    Moldovan police and judi­cial author­i­ties shared inves­tiga­tive case files with the AP in an effort to spot­light how dan­ger­ous the black mar­ket has become. They say a break­down in coop­er­a­tion between Rus­sia and the West means that it is much hard­er to know whether smug­glers are find­ing ways to move parts of Rus­si­a’s vast store of radioac­tive mate­ri­als.

    “We can expect more of these cas­es,” said Con­stan­tin Mal­ic, one of the Moldovan inves­ti­ga­tors. “As long as the smug­glers think they can make big mon­ey with­out get­ting caught, they will keep doing it.”

    The FBI declined to com­ment. The White House and the U.S. State Depart­ment would not com­ment on the specifics of the cas­es.

    “The Unit­ed States gov­ern­ment is com­mit­ted to counter the threat of nuclear smug­gling, and ensur­ing that ter­ror­ist groups who may seek to acquire these mate­ri­als are nev­er able to do so,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. “Seizures of nuclear and radioac­tive mate­ri­als in Moldo­va demon­strate the Moldovan gov­ern­men­t’s com­mit­ment to coun­ter­ing these tac­tics.”

    Wire­tapped con­ver­sa­tions exposed plots that tar­get­ed the Unit­ed States, the Moldovan offi­cials said. In one case, a mid­dle­man said it was essen­tial the smug­gled bomb-grade ura­ni­um go to Arabs, said Mal­ic, an inves­ti­ga­tor in all four sting oper­a­tions.

    “He said: ‘I real­ly want an Islam­ic buy­er because they will bomb the Amer­i­cans.’ ”



    Mal­ic was a 27-year-old police offi­cer when he first stum­bled upon the nuclear black mar­ket in 2009. He was work­ing on a fraud unit in Chisin­au, and had an infor­mant help­ing police take down a euro coun­ter­feit­ing ring stretch­ing from the Black Sea to Naples, Italy.

    The infor­mant, an aging busi­ness­man, casu­al­ly men­tioned to Mal­ic that over the years, con­tacts had peri­od­i­cal­ly offered him radioac­tive mate­r­i­al.

    “Have you ever heard of ura­ni­um?” he asked Mal­ic.

    Mal­ic was so new to the nuclear rack­et that he did­n’t know what ura­ni­um was, and had to look it up on Google. He was hor­ri­fied — “not just for one coun­try,” he said, “but for human­i­ty.”

    “Soon after, the infor­mant received an offer for ura­ni­um. At about that time, the U.S. gov­ern­ment was start­ing a pro­gram to train Moldovan police in coun­ter­ing the nuclear black mar­ket, part of a glob­al mul­ti-mil­lion dol­lar effort.

    In Mal­ic’s first case, three peo­ple were arrest­ed on Aug. 20, 2010, after a sam­ple of the mate­r­i­al, a sawed-off piece of a deplet­ed ura­ni­um cylin­der, was exchanged for cash. That kind of ura­ni­um would be dif­fi­cult to turn into a bomb.

    Author­i­ties sus­pect­ed, but could­n’t prove, that the ura­ni­um had come from the melt­ed down Cher­nobyl reac­tor in Ukraine, Mal­ic said.



    Sev­er­al months lat­er, a for­mer KGB infor­mant, Teodor Chetrus, called Mal­ic’s source, the Moldovan busi­ness­man. Chetrus told him he had ura­ni­um to sell, but was look­ing for a Mid­dle East­ern buy­er.

    Unlike Mal­ic’s first case, this one involved high­ly enriched ura­ni­um, the type that can be used to make a nuclear bomb.

    Smarter and more cau­tious than the mem­bers of the pre­vi­ous gang, Chetrus was a bit of a para­dox to the inves­ti­ga­tors. He was edu­cat­ed and well dressed, yet still lived in his dilap­i­dat­ed child­hood farm­house in a tiny vil­lage on Moldova’s bor­der with Ukraine.

    In many of the smug­gling cas­es, the ring­lead­ers insu­lat­ed them­selves through a com­plex net­work of mid­dle­men who nego­ti­at­ed with buy­ers in order to shield the boss­es from arrest. In this case, Chetrus was the go-between.

    But he had his own agen­da. Chetrus clung to a Sovi­et-era hatred of the West, Mal­ic said, repeat­ed­ly rant­i­ng about how the Amer­i­cans should be anni­hi­lat­ed because of prob­lems he thought they cre­at­ed in the Mid­dle East.

    “He said mul­ti­ple times that this sub­stance must have a real buy­er from the Islam­ic states to make a dirty bomb,” Mal­ic said.

    Chetrus and the infor­mant ham­mered out a deal to sell bomb-grade ura­ni­um to a “buy­er in the Mid­dle East” over months of wire­tapped phone calls and meet­ings at Chetrus’ house.

    The infor­mant would show up with a record­ing device hid­den in a dif­fer­ent piece of cloth­ing each time. On the oth­er side of the road would be Mal­ic, dis­guised as a migrant sell­ing fruit and grains from a van — watch­ing the house for signs of trou­ble.

    In one ear­ly phone call, the infor­mant pressed Chetrus to find out whether he had access to plu­to­ni­um as well as ura­ni­um, say­ing his buy­er had expressed inter­est, accord­ing to wire­taps. But Chetrus was sus­pi­cious, and insist­ed that before big quan­ti­ties of either sub­stance could be dis­cussed, the buy­er had to prove that he was for real and not an under­cov­er agent.

    Chetrus’ boss decid­ed to sell the ura­ni­um in install­ments, start­ing with a sam­ple. If the buy­ers were plants, he rea­soned, the police would strike before the bulk of the ura­ni­um changed hands — an accept­able risk.

    “I have to tell you one thing,” Chetrus told the infor­mant in a wire­tapped phone call. “Intel­li­gence ser­vices nev­er let go of the mon­ey.”

    Even­tu­al­ly they worked out the terms of a deal: Chetrus would sell a 10-gram sam­ple of the ura­ni­um for 320,000 euros ($360,000). The buy­er could test it and if he liked what he saw, they could do a kilo­gram a week at the same rate — an aston­ish­ing 32 mil­lion euros every time until the buy­er had the quan­ti­ty he want­ed. Ten kilo­grams of ura­ni­um was dis­cussed — about a fifth of what was used over Hiroshi­ma.

    The two lat­er met in the dirt court­yard of Chetrus’s house to dis­cuss plu­to­ni­um. The infor­mant had a video cam­era hid­den in his base­ball cap. Chetrus can be seen in an army-green V‑neck, talk­ing ani­mat­ed­ly as a roost­er squawks in the back­ground.

    “For the plu­to­ni­um,” Chetrus said, “if they prove they are seri­ous peo­ple, we will pro­vide the sam­ple for free. You can use a small amount to make a dirty bomb.”

    He spread his hands wide. Then waved them around, as if all before him was laid to waste.

    Mal­ic found the video chill­ing. “I was afraid to imag­ine what would hap­pen if one of these sce­nar­ios hap­pened one day.”



    The man behind the bomb-grade ura­ni­um deal was Alexan­dr Agheen­co, known as “the colonel” to his cohorts. He had both Russ­ian and Ukrain­ian cit­i­zen­ship, police said, but lived in Moldova’s break­away repub­lic of Trans-Dni­ester.

    A sep­a­ratist enclave that is a noto­ri­ous haven for smug­gling of all kinds, Trans-Dni­ester was beyond the reach of the Moldovan police.

    In a self­ie includ­ed in police files, the colonel is bald­ing, mus­ta­chioed, and smil­ing at the cam­era.

    In June 2011, he arranged the ura­ni­um swap. He dis­patched a Trans-Dni­ester police offi­cer to smug­gle the ura­ni­um to Moldo­va, accord­ing to court doc­u­ments. At the same time, he sent his wife, Gali­na, on a “shop­ping out­ing” across the bor­der to the cap­i­tal.

    Her job was to arrange a hand­off of the ura­ni­um to Chetrus.

    Gali­na Agheen­co arrived in down­town Chisin­au in a Lexus GS-330, park­ing near a cir­cus. She met the police offi­cer, who hand­ed her a green sack with the ura­ni­um inside.

    Mean­while, the infor­mant and Chetrus, sport­ing a dark suit and striped tie, pulled up at the Vic­to­ri­a­bank on the city’s main drag in a chauf­feur-dri­ven gray BMW X5. Inside the bank, Chetrus inspect­ed a safe deposit box with 320,000 euros, court doc­u­ments show. He count­ed the bills and used a spe­cial light to check whether they were marked.

    Sat­is­fied, Chetrus went to col­lect the ura­ni­um pack­age from the Lexus, where the colonel’s wife had left it. When he turned it over to the infor­mant, the police pounced.

    The bust, cap­tured on video, shows offi­cers in bal­a­clavas forc­ing Chetrus to his knees and hand­cuff­ing him. Gali­na was arrest­ed, too.

    But the police offi­cer-turned-smug­gler man­aged to escape back to Trans-Dni­ester, where he and the colonel could not be touched by Moldovan police.

    The arrests took Mal­ic by sur­prise. He and the infor­mant had been told that police would allow the sam­ple exchange to go for­ward, so they could lat­er seize the moth­er­lode of ura­ni­um and arrest the ring­lead­ers.

    Mal­ic was furi­ous. Instead of cap­tur­ing the gang lead­ers intent on sell­ing nuclear bomb-grade mate­r­i­al to extrem­ists, his Moldovan boss­es had jumped the gun.

    “What they did was sim­ply cre­ate a scene for the news media,” Mal­ic said. “We lost a huge oppor­tu­ni­ty to make the world safer.”

    Tests of the ura­ni­um seized con­firmed that it was high-grade mate­r­i­al that could be used in a nuclear bomb. The tests also linked it to two ear­li­er seizures of high­ly enriched ura­ni­um that inves­ti­ga­tors believed the colonel was also behind.

    A search of Chetrus’ house showed just how dan­ger­ous the smug­glers were. After police made their arrests in Chisin­au, Mal­ic combed through doc­u­ments in the farm­house.

    He found the plans for the dirty bomb. Worse, there was evi­dence that Chetrus was mak­ing a sep­a­rate deal to sell nuclear mate­r­i­al to a real buy­er.

    Inves­ti­ga­tors found con­tracts made out to a Sudanese doc­tor named Yosif Faisal Ibrahim for attack heli­copters and armored per­son­nel car­ri­ers, gov­ern­ment doc­u­ments show. Chetrus had a copy of Ibrahim’s pass­port, and there was evi­dence that Chetrus was try­ing to help him obtain a Moldovan visa. Skype mes­sages sug­gest­ed that he was inter­est­ed in ura­ni­um and the dirty bomb plans.

    The deal was inter­rupt­ed by the sting, but it looked like it had pro­gressed pret­ty far. A lawyer work­ing with the crim­i­nal ring had trav­eled to Sudan, offi­cials said. But author­i­ties say they could not deter­mine who was behind Ibrahim or why he was seek­ing mate­r­i­al for a nuclear bomb. AP efforts to reach Ibrahim were unsuc­cess­ful.

    Con­se­quences for the smug­glers were min­i­mal. Gali­na Agheen­co got a light 3‑year sen­tence because she had an infant son; and Chetrus was sen­tenced to a 5‑year prison term. Inter­pol notices were issued for the colonel and the Trans-Dni­ester police­man who got away.

    Moldovan offi­cials say there were indi­ca­tions from a for­eign intel­li­gence agency that the colonel fled with his infant son through Ukraine to Rus­sia short­ly after the bust.

    The author­i­ties don’t know if the colonel also took a cache of ura­ni­um with him.

    “Until the head of the crim­i­nal group is sen­tenced and jailed, until we know for sure where those sub­stances seized in Europe came from and where they were going to, only then will we be able to say a dan­ger is no longer present,” says Ghe­o­rghe Cav­cal­i­uc, the senior police offi­cer who over­saw the inves­ti­ga­tion.



    In mid-2014, an infor­mant told Mal­ic he had been con­tact­ed by two sep­a­rate groups, one offer­ing ura­ni­um, the oth­er cesium. The Moldovan police went direct­ly to the FBI, who backed up their oper­a­tions.

    Mal­ic vol­un­teered to work under­cov­er, pos­ing as an agent for a Mid­dle East­ern buy­er. He did not have much train­ing, and strug­gled with his nerves, resort­ing to shots of vod­ka before each meet­ing. He went into them with no weapon — show­ing a cool face while tam­ing a pound­ing heart.

    The FBI fit­ted him with a spe­cial shirt that had micro­phones woven into the fab­ric, so that even a pat-down could not reveal that he was wired. They also set him up in a white Mer­cedes S‑Class to look like a gang­ster.

    It worked. At one point, the unwit­ting smug­gler said in text mes­sages obtained by the AP that his gang had access to an out­dat­ed Russ­ian mis­sile sys­tem capa­ble of car­ry­ing a nuclear war­head. The man said he could obtain two R29 sub­ma­rine-based mis­siles and pro­vide tech­ni­cal back­ground on how to use them.

    Fol­low­ing the same script as in 2011, the team wrapped up the inves­ti­ga­tion after a sam­ple of 200 grams of unen­riched ura­ni­um was exchanged for $15,000 on Dec. 3, 2014. Six peo­ple were arrest­ed, five got away.

    What wor­ried Mal­ic was what appeared to be a revolv­ing door of smug­glers. Three crim­i­nals involved in the new case had been tak­en into cus­tody fol­low­ing the ear­li­er inves­ti­ga­tions. Two of them had served short sen­tences and imme­di­ate­ly rejoined the smug­gling net­work, help­ing the new ring acquire the ura­ni­um. A third crim­i­nal was none oth­er than the man who drove Chetrus to make his ura­ni­um deal.

    The inves­ti­ga­tors tracked the new ura­ni­um for sale to an address in Ukraine. Although they report­ed it to the author­i­ties, they nev­er heard back.

    As Mal­ic’s frus­tra­tion grew, so did the dan­ger to him and his col­leagues.

    Ear­ly this year, at the Cocos Prive night­club in Chisin­au, the stakes became appar­ent. The mid­dle­man, Grossu, warned that his cesium sup­pli­er was a retired FSB offi­cer with a rep­u­ta­tion for bru­tal­i­ty.

    If there was any trou­ble, Grossu told a wired infor­mant, “They will put all of us against the wall and shoot us,” Mal­ic recalled.

    Grossu’s boss­es want­ed the cesium to reach the Islam­ic State. “They have the mon­ey and they will know what to do with it,” he said.

    The sell­ers claimed to have a huge cache of cesium 137 — which could be used to make a dirty bomb. As in pre­vi­ous cas­es, they insist­ed that the buy­ers prove their seri­ous­ness by first pur­chas­ing a sam­ple vial of less-radioac­tive cesium 135, which is not potent enough for a dirty bomb.

    They were bust­ed on Feb. 19. Grossu and two oth­er men were arrest­ed. The sus­pect­ed FSB offi­cer and the remain­ing cesium dis­ap­peared.

    It is not clear whether the Moldovan cas­es are indica­tive of wide­spread nuclear smug­gling oper­a­tions.

    “It would be deeply con­cern­ing if ter­ror­ist groups are able to tap into orga­nized crimes net­works to gain the mate­ri­als and exper­tise required to build a weapon of mass destruc­tion,” said Andy Weber, for­mer U.S. assis­tant sec­re­tary of defense, who over­saw counter-pro­lif­er­a­tion until a year ago.

    On May 28, the FBI hon­ored Mal­ic and his team at an awards cer­e­mo­ny for the two recent inves­ti­ga­tions. But by then the Moldovan police depart­ment had dis­band­ed the team amid polit­i­cal fall­out and police infight­ing.

    Chetrus’ 5‑year prison sen­tence was sup­posed to run into next year. But Chetrus’ sis­ter said this sum­mer that he had been released in Decem­ber, which the AP con­firmed.

    He had served bare­ly three years for try­ing to sell a nuclear bomb to ene­mies of the Unit­ed States.

    “The pre­vi­ous­ly unpub­li­cized case is one of at least four attempts in five years in which crim­i­nal net­works with sus­pect­ed Russ­ian ties sought to sell radioac­tive mate­r­i­al to extrem­ists through Moldo­va, an inves­ti­ga­tion by The Asso­ci­at­ed Press has found. One inves­ti­ga­tion uncov­ered an attempt to sell bomb-grade ura­ni­um to a real buy­er from the Mid­dle East, the first known case of its kind.”

    So in terms of shut­ting down the nuclear smug­gling net­works oper­at­ing in Moldo­va, it sounds like it’s sort of a good news/bad news sit­u­a­tion: The good news is that at least it does­n’t seem like there’s a par­tic­u­lar­ly large num­ber of peo­ple involved in these nuclear smug­gling net­works. The bad news of course being that this appears to be the case because the same smug­glers keep get­ting arrest­ed:

    What wor­ried Mal­ic was what appeared to be a revolv­ing door of smug­glers. Three crim­i­nals involved in the new case had been tak­en into cus­tody fol­low­ing the ear­li­er inves­ti­ga­tions. Two of them had served short sen­tences and imme­di­ate­ly rejoined the smug­gling net­work, help­ing the new ring acquire the ura­ni­um. A third crim­i­nal was none oth­er than the man who drove Chetrus to make his ura­ni­um deal.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 7, 2015, 6:01 pm

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