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The Assassination of Olof Palme

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COMMENT: While going through some box­es con­tain­ing stored research mate­r­i­al, we came across an essay by the bril­liant Hen­rik Kruger, the author of The Great Hero­in Coup: Drugs, Intel­li­gence and Inter­na­tion­al Fas­cism. Although we read Kruger’s essay in 1989 on the three-hour show we used to do on Sun­day nights, the arti­cle has nev­er been includ­ed into the archives. For that rea­son, we offer it here.

The infor­ma­tion pre­sent­ed in Kruger’s arti­cle sup­ple­ments analy­sis in The Great Hero­in Coup, a book we have used exten­sive­ly in the past, par­tic­u­lar­ly in the Anti-Fas­cist Archive pro­grams.

With our ongo­ing series of inter­views with Peter Lev­en­da on the sub­ject of his book The Hitler Lega­cy, Kruger’s break­down of the Palme assas­si­na­tion serves to illus­trate some of the net­work­ing that fig­ures promi­nent­ly in dis­cus­sion of the World Anti-Com­mu­nist League, Oper­a­tion Con­dor and indi­vid­u­als and insti­tu­tions involved with the Iran-Con­tra machi­na­tions. Younger listeners/readers may not be famil­iar with these points of dis­cus­sion.

(The arti­cle was writ­ten in 1988 and does not appear to be avail­able on the inter­net. If it were, we would pro­vide a link.)

Detail­ing some of the inves­tiga­tive ele­ments that fig­ure promi­nent­ly in the unsolved 1986 mur­der of Swedish prime min­is­ter Olof Palme, the essay sets the crime against the back­ground of what he terms the “Inter­na­tion­al Fascista” (in The Great Hero­in Coup). 

Set­ting forth indi­vid­u­als and insti­tu­tions that were known to have borne a grudge against Palme and whose behav­ior pri­or to, at the time of, and after Palme’s killing sug­gests the pos­si­bil­i­ty of involve­ment in the crime, Kruger under­scores the inter­na­tion­al “net­work­ing” that may have been involved in event.

Some key fea­tures of Kruger’s analy­sis:

  • Olof Palme’s name was promi­nent on a list of indi­vid­u­als tar­get­ed by Oper­a­tion Con­dor.
  • Miro Baresic (aka Tony Saric)–a Croa­t­ian fascist–made explic­it death threats against Palme.
  • Con­vict­ed of tor­tur­ing and mur­der­ing the Yugosla­vian ambas­sador to Swe­den, Sar­ic was on unsu­per­vised prison leave on the day of Palme’s killing.
  • Baresic/Saric decamped to Uruguay, where he became a key oper­a­tive for the Con­dor net­works.
  • Olof Palme had done much to inter­dict the flow of Bofors arms to Iran.
  • The late Theodore Shack­ley, among oth­ers, had strong links to both the Con­dor net­works and to the Iran/Contra machi­na­tions.
  • A “brown aid” net­work that aid­ed Euro­pean fas­cist ter­ror­ists looms large in the inves­ti­ga­tion of the Palme assas­si­na­tion.
  • Swedish fas­cists with links to both WACL and Sapo (the Swedish intel­li­gence ser­vice) also fig­ure promi­nent­ly in the back­ground (fore­ground?) of the Palme assas­si­na­tion. We note that this same Swedish fas­cist milieu is front and cen­ter in the writ­ing of the late Stieg Lars­son. It is the milieu to which Carl Lund­strom (financier of the Pirate Bay web­site on which Wik­iLeaks held forth) belongs.

“The WACL Trail: Pa Sporet Af En Morder (‘On the Trail of a Mur­der’)” by Hen­rik Kruger with Agnete Vis­tar; Press; #37 12/1988; pp. 42–52.


In the mid­dle of Novem­ber, a group of police agents trav­eled to West Ger­many. Their task was clear. They would inves­ti­gate a new trail in the inves­ti­ga­tion of the Palme death. This trail came from a tip that orig­i­nal­ly came from the Swedish Prime Minister’s wid­ow, Lis­beth Palme.

The police inves­ti­ga­tion in West Ger­many is, among oth­er things, relat­ed to mat­ters sur­round­ing Miro Baresic. He is a Croa­t­ian ter­ror­ist who had ear­li­er been in Swedish prison sen­tenced for the mur­der of the Yugosla­vian ambas­sador to Swe­den.

What the inquiry was search­ing for exact­ly is not known, how­ev­er, the trip marked a new phase in the solu­tion of the mur­der. Per­haps, the Swedish police had at last got­ten a hold on the larg­er icture.

Miro Baresic is an extreme­ly inter­est­ing per­son for sev­er­al rea­sons, includ­ing his close ties to an inter­na­tion­al net­work. This net­work was com­posed of per­sons who hat­ed Olof Palme with a pas­sion.

This net­work is focused around the WACL orga­ni­za­tion. WACL stands for World anti-Com­mu­nist League. It attracts per­sons with one thing in com­mon: they hate com­mu­nists and all who have only a hint of left­ist ori­en­ta­tion.

The net­work is com­posed of politi­cians, covert oper­a­tors, financiers and ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions with con­nec­tions through­out the world. They have been involved in wars from South-East Asia to Latin Amer­i­ca and in scan­dals such as Iran/Contra. They have com­mit­ted count­less mur­ders.

At least once, per­sons with close ties to WACL con­demned Olof Palme to death. That time, in 1976, the plans came to naught as there were, appar­ent­ly, too many prac­ti­cal prob­lems.

This net­work oper­ates in a fash­ion that makes it very dif­fi­cult to iden­ti­fy the pow­er and men behind the actions. The Swedish police have on three occa­sions inves­ti­gat­ed per­sons in con­nec­tion with the Palme mur­der with­out dis­cov­er­ing that all had close ties to this net­work.

Only a few jour­nal­ists have been able to pen­e­trate into WACL and its net­work. Among those few is Dan­ish author and jour­nal­ist, Hen­rik Kruger, who for over five years has dili­gent­ly devot­ed him­self to inves­ti­ga­tion of these anti-com­mu­nists.

Through the years, he has pub­lished his exten­sive research arti­cles in a vari­ety of for­eign jour­nals, includ­ing Covert Action Infor­ma­tion Bul­letin and Swedish Kvall­sposten.

In this arti­cle, Hen­rik Kruger presents part of his exten­sive knowl­edge for Press read­ers. Here is an expli­ca­tion of some amaz­ing­ly com­plex and aston­ish­ing mate­r­i­al. This arti­cle came into exis­tance joint­ly with Press read­ers. This arti­cle came into exis­tance joint­ly with Press jour­nal­ist Agnete Vis­tar. It gives excep­tion­al insight into a world so bru­tal, that it makes the Ram­bo uni­verse of Sylvester Stal­lone seem quite tame.

Here, no meth­ods are too cyn­i­cal nor self-serv­ing, no meth­ods too bru­tal nor nasty in this net­works efforts to rid the entire plan­et of what they see as com­mu­nists and oth­er devi­ates.

Wel­come to WACL coun­try!

In 1976, when Olof Palme par­tic­i­pat­ed in the inter­na­tion­al social­ist con­gress in Madrid, he was the gath­er­ing’s best pro­tect­ed per­son­al Pri­or to his trav­el­ling to Madrid, the head of the Swedish Social Democ­rats had been cau­tioned tht Palme was on the top of a Latin Amer­i­can death­squad’s hit­less. The leader of that group was the Chilean, Michael Town­ley.

Town­ley and his group, by this time, had a lega­cy of blood on their hands from a long series of assas­si­na­tions. Town­ley had worked for the CIA’s Oper­a­tion Track II, a cam­paign of sab­o­tage and ter­ror that result­ed in Chile’s social­ist leader, Sal­vador Allen­de’s over­throw and Pinochet’s takeover of pow­er in Chile. After, Town­ley began to fig­ure into the ranks of the Chilean intel­li­gence ser­vice. There he led death patrols which mur­dered many promi­nent exiles in Latin Amer­i­ca, Europe and the Unit­ed States. The most famous of these mur­ders was car­ried out in the open street of Wash­ing­ton D.C. There, Chile’s for­mer For­eign Min­is­ter and Ambas­sador to the Unit­ed states, Orlan­do Lete­lier, was slain by a bomb placed in his car. Town­ley had under­tak­en the plan­ning for that mur­der togeth­er with CIA trained Cuban exiles.

All this came out dur­ing the 1978 tri­al of Lete­lier’s assas­sins, in which Town­ley was a rime wit­ness. From this tri­al it was fur­ther revealed that Town­ley lit­er­al­ly had a death­list that had Palme’s name at its top. At the same time, Palme him­self received a report that informed him that Town­ley, as a Chilean intel­li­gence agent, had been in Stock­holm in 1976 to plan an assas­si­na­tion attempt against him. It fur­ther stat­ed that Town­ley had also been in Madrid dur­ing the social­ist con­gress, togeth­er with the Ital­ian ter­ror­ist Stephano delle Chi­aie. Because of the keen watch over Palme, Town­ley and delle Chi­aie were not suc­cess­ful car­ry­ing out their assas­si­na­tion plans.

Ten years after these assas­si­na­tion plans of Town­ley’s, Palme was mur­dered in Stock­holm. Imme­di­ate­ly after the mur­der, swedish police inves­ti­gat­ed whether it could have been Chile’s intel­li­gence ser­vice putting their old threat to mur­der the Swedish Prime Min­is­ter into effect. Two agents were sent to the U.S. to inter­ro­gate Town­ley. Today, the for­mer mur­der­er lives under false iden­ti­ty in a secret loca­tion in the Unit­ed States. The police agents were able to get his new name and address from the FBI. (1) In return for their ques­tions, they got noth­ing out of Town­ley. He is a man who lives in per­pet­u­al dread of being liq­ui­dat­ed by the cir­cles he for­mer­ly col­lab­o­rat­ed with when he was a hit-man. By the time of the inter­view, he had been out of cir­cu­la­tion for eight years.  Town­ley was only able to speak about what he did dur­ing that ear­li­er peri­od, so the inquiry led to nought. The Swedish inves­ti­ga­tors there­fore con­clud­ed that the Chileans could­n’t have been behind the mur­der of Palme.

Death Patrols

The Swedes trav­elled home with­out accom­plish­ing any­thing, and soon the plice in Swe­den start­ed along a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent trail: that the assas­si­na­tion must have been the work of a lone Kur­dish nut. This new trail, they will lat­er see, had dis­ap­peared in the sand.

Back in his secret loca­tion in the U.S., Michael Town­ley must have been sur­prised at the Swedish police’s basic lack of insight. They were appar­ent­ly not aware of the fact that he had not worked exclu­sive­ly and only for the Chilean intel­li­gence serice. Clos­er inves­ti­ga­tion per­haps would have led to the police on a dif­fer­ent and more inter­est­ing trail.

The Swedes would have dis­cov­ered that Town­ley was active in, and had worked for, an orga­ni­za­tion named Con­dor, with threads lead­ing back to a world­wide nework of fanat­i­cal anti-com­mu­nists. (2)

Con­dor was an orga­ni­za­tion for car­ry­ing out assas­si­na­tions. The Banz­er plan (named after the Boli­vian dic­ta­tor of the same name) was an espe­cial­ly fright­en­ing and longterm oper­a­tion of Con­dor’s. It con­sist­ed of the arrest, tor­ture and mur­der of those nuns, priests and bish­ops dis­play­ing a social and polit­i­cal con­science with­in the Latin Amer­i­can coun­tries with dic­ta­tor­ships. The Banz­er plan which was orig­i­nal­ly agreed upon in 1975, has its off­shoots into the 1980’s. Death­squads of the extreme right have liq­ui­dat­ed nuns and priests by he scores. The deaths of four Amer­i­ca nuns in El Sal­vador awak­ened great inter­na­tion­al notice, but it was the assas­si­na­tion of El Sal­ado­ri­an Arch­bish­op Oscar Romero in 1980, that caused the great­est furor. The mur­der was con­demned world-wide.

Who, though, real­ly stood behind Con­dor? Today it is known that Oper­a­tion Con­dor was to a large extent sup­port­ed and financed by noth­ing less than the CIA. It was dis­closed in 1974 by an Amer­i­can Sen­ate com­mit­tee, that CIA agents in Latin Amer­i­ca had func­tioned as tor­ture instruc­tors. The CIA’s chief for its Latin Amer­i­can branch was, at this time, Theodore Shack­ley. He is a per­son we are going to meet many, many times again in this arti­cle. This dis­clo­sure about the tor­ture instruc­tion gave rise to a pub­lic scan­dal and 64 agents were sent back to the Unit­ed States. (3)

The financ­ing of Con­dor shows a great deal of the orga­ni­za­tion’s inter­na­tion­al char­ac­ter and pro­por­tions. The agens in Con­dor were sup­port­ed eco­nom­i­cal­ly by WFC (World Finance Cor­po­ra­tion), the gigan­tic bank­ing sys­tem that was set-up in Mia­mi by Cuban exiles. The mon­ey in the bank stemmed, prin­ci­pal­ly, from the sale of nar­cotics. At WFC, it was laun­dered and then chan­neled to the death­squads and the Cuban exile ter­ror­ist groups which assist­ed Con­dor per­son­nel in a long suc­ces­sion of Latin Amer­i­can ter­ror­ist actions dur­ing the 1970’s. More on this lat­er.

Com­mon to near­ly all of these ter­ror­ists, were their con­nec­tions to WACL, the world­wide orga­ni­za­tion of anti-com­mu­nist­sl It was at the 1975 gath­er­ing of WACL’s Latin Amer­i­can sec­tion in Rio de Janeiro that the plan to mur­der the social­ly aware and lib­er­a­tion the­ol­o­gy inclined priests, nuns and bish­ops was agreed uon. The lead­ers of Oper­a­tion Con­dor were prac­ti­cal­ly all WACL mem­bers from those coun­tries in Latin Amer­i­ca with dic­ta­to­r­i­al regimes.

It was with­in this WACL com­plex that assas­sin Michael Town­ley func­tioned. This was the labyrinth which the Swedish police appar­ent­ly did­n’t know about when they were in the U.S. inter­ro­gat­ing him. It was not only Chilean, but WACL p[eople that were behind the plan in 1876 to mur­der Palme. They hat­ed Palme for his involve­ment in human rights strug­gles and for his sup­port of oppressed peo­ple’s bat­tles for jus­tice.

It is next to impos­si­ble to know WACL’s true dimen­sions. Under a resectable exte­ri­or is con­cealed a net­work of dan­ger­ous under­cur­rents reach­ing over the entire plan­et. Com­mon to all sup­port­ers is a vio­lent hatred of all com­mu­nists.

WACL is a world­wide net­work of ultra-right­ist com­mu­nist haters: an umbrel­la orga­ni­za­tion which func­tions as the con­tact point for the far right groups respon­si­ble for much of the fas­cist ter­ror around the world. Both the Swedish press and pri­vate researchers have spo­ken of a right-wing extrem­ist con­spir­a­cy and WACL con­nec­tions to the Palme mur­der. It has prob­a­bly not result­ed in more than just talk because few real­ly knew any­thing about WACL and because of its dis­persed and unwieldy nature and struc­ture. Instead, the press has con­cen­trat­ed on WACL’s vis­i­ble sur­face lay­er, and not on those treach­er­ous under­cur­rents.

WACL’s offi­cial facade is the Gen­er­al Sec­re­tari­at of the right-wing Moon reli­gious move­men­t’s build­ing in Soeul, South Korea. WACL holds year­ly offi­cial con­gress­es and out­ward­ly looks like a ‘nice’ orga­ni­za­tion. (These con­gress­es were even vis­it­ed by Dan­ish politi­cians such as Mogens Glistrup, Pia Kjears­gard and con­ser­v­a­tive Hous­ing Min­is­ter Agnete Laust­sen.) But an attempt to under­stand WACL as an acronym for an ordi­nary orga­ni­za­tion is a mis­take. (Our Scan­di­na­vian cul­tur­al her­itage and idels con­tain lit­tle to help under­stand what is con­cealed behind the four let­ters.) The pat­tern is not so sim­ple.

It is impor­tant to point out that the orga­ni­za­tion is NOT gigan­tic, nor is it a cen­tral­ly run con­spir­a­cy where the big deci­sions are made from above and each mem­ber is respon­si­ble for actions assigned to them. WACL, rather, is a net­work, a wide­ly branched cat­a­lyst for pow­ers of the extreme right. This forum reach­es into every pos­si­ble aspect of a soci­ety. Drawn to it are busi­ness­men, covert oper­a­tives, ultra-con­ser­v­a­tive politi­cians mem­ber sof par­lia­ments, pub­lic office hold­ers, gen­er­als, offi­cers, exe­cu­tion­ers and var­i­ous ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions and their sym­pa­thiz­ers and run-of-the-mill pinkos. The over­rid­ing fac­tor is to com­bat all who car­ry even the scent of social­ism.

With­in WACL’s frame­work these right-wing can­cers come into con­tact with one anoth­er and main­tain that close asso­ci­a­tion. Through the WACL net­work, one can find the tools, part­ners and exper­tise in and eco­nom­ic sup­port for polit­i­cal repres­sion, pro­pa­gan­da, manip­u­la­tion, weapons, tor­ture, ter­ror­ism and assas­si­na­tion.

If one is interesed in mur­der cam­paigns, one can draw on the WACL net­work any­where in the world. In the last twen­ty years the name of WACL has, in fact, emerged in con­nec­tion with count­less crim­i­nal activ­i­ties. Among the most hor­ri­fy­ing activ­i­ties with which WACL was asso­ci­at­ed, were the death­squads which have wrought dev­as­ta­tion in Guatemala. Over 25,000 lives had been ter­mi­nat­ed with­in only four years in the ear­ly 1970’s. The death squadron’s lead­ers were mem­bers of CAL, WACL’s Latin Amer­i­can branch. Among oth­er vic­tims were the 72  per­sons killed when a civil­ian Cuban air­lin­er explod­ed over Bar­ba­dos in 1975. An entire Cuban sports team per­ished in that flight. Behind that ter­ror­ist deed was an orga­ni­za­tion which includ­ed mem­bers of the WACL Cuban exle group, Alpha-66. That is mere­ly a selec­tion of two exam­ples, but there are many, many more.

An Old Hatred for Palme

It does seem incred­i­ble that the pub­lic at large do not know more of an orga­ni­za­tion of this bru­tal­i­ty and extent, but, it fits with the meth­ods the WACL orga­ni­za­tion oper­ates by. One can find no firm com­mand chan­nels when an action is to be tak­en. The plan­ning is not car­ried out by any sin­gle group, but through a labyrinthine cell-sys­tem. It allows infor­ma­tion on a giv­en mur­der con­tract to flow through dif­fer­ent chan­nels until they arrive at the req­ui­site action groups.

These action groups, often with­out know­ing of each oth­er, then arrange the escape routes and assist with weaons, false pass­ports and assas­sins. Simul­ta­ne­ous­ly, oth­ers arrange dis­in­for­ma­tion cam­paigns which can be put into effect if, and when, nec­es­sary. The recur­ring patern is that the men behind the scenes draw upon the local group in the coun­try where the mur­der will take place., there­by reduc­ing the risk of the mur­der plot being traced back to the orig­i­na­tors of the hit, lurk­ing else­where in the shad­ows. (5)

There is noth­ing that pre­vents the WACL net­work, despite its far right con­vic­tions, from mak­ing con­tact with left­ist ori­ent­ed groups hav­ing the cor­rect reli­gious or nation­al­is­tic aims. Reli­gion and nation­al­ism are often more impor­tant for these groups than their place­ment along the polit­i­cal spec­trum. Thus, they can be manip­u­lat­ed by the promise of weapons in exchange for assas­si­na­tions.

Nowhere did abhor­rence for Palme thrive quite so strong­ly as among WACL mem­bers. It was an old hatred, stem­ming from Viet­nam War days. It increased with Palme’s sup­port for both Cuba and Chile under Allende and lat­er his sup­port of the San­din­istas in Nicaragua. This hatred was held with a pas­sion.

In the last year, it has come out that per­sons with con­nec­tions to WACL prob­a­bly had, in the months lead­ing up to Palme’s death, even more with which to feed their hate.

Today, many things point toward a host of pow­er­ful per­sons with long­time WACL con­nec­tions hav­ing been involved in Bofors’ exten­sive weapons smug­gling to Iran. When Palme, a short time before his death, con­sid­ered stop­ping these Bofors deal­ings with Iran, these peo­ple pre­sum­ably then had an obvi­ous eco­nom­ic and ide­o­log­i­cal mtove to stop him. And, in such an instance, as so often before, they would avail them­selves of WACL.

In this con­nec­tion, one fact is very impor­tant: the peo­ple that were involved in the Iran­ian weapons deals, had ear­li­er had con­nec­tions to Con­dor. In 1976, the Con­dor orga­ni­za­tion had con­demned Palme to death. One of the men involved and the most cen­tral, is named Theodore Shack­ley.

Shack­ley was the leader behind some of the CIA’s largest and most bloody actions of the 1960’s and ’70’s. He, togeth­er with close col­lab­o­ra­tors, was respon­si­ble for the cam­paigns of death in Laos, Viet­nam and South Amer­i­ca. They are sworn WACL sup­port­ers. Yet, today hav­ing offi­cial­ly left the CIA, his pow­ers are stronger than ever. He was, with his team, behind the Iran/Contra Scan­dal, for one exam­ple.

Shack­ley is a com­plete­ly unique per­son, with a pow­er that seems almost incom­pre­hen­si­ble. He is the man that stood behind a long suc­ces­sion of the CIA’s most bloody and ille­gal operaions begin­ning in the ear­ly 1960’s. Dur­ing a light­ning twen­ty-five year career in the CIA, he made him­self a leg­endary reputation.Shackley came to be called the “Blond Ghost” because of the secre­tive­ness sur­round­ing him. Shack­ley’s con­tri­bu­tions to the efforts of the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency have been so gret that they have even been des­ig­nat­ed as a kind of “invis­i­ble gov­ern­ment.” Of course, he has not oper­at­ed entire­ly on his own ini­tia­tive. There is a basis to his pow­er. A polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic ‘shad­ow land’ with appar­ent­ly enor­mous pow­ers has had a use for him. Who they are, pre­cise­ly, can not be known, but Shack­ley is a per­son with enor­mous skills and an unchal­lenged orga­ni­za­tion­al capa­bil­i­ty. It is said, that among oth­er things he’s done, he car­ried out those for­eign poli­cies that the “offi­cial” Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment did not want to be seen as hav­ing con­nec­tions to.

All who have worked under Shack­ley in the CIA have said they were afraid of him. Some were so fear­ful, that they tried to have as lit­tle to do with him as pos­si­ble. Oth­ers, have had a near­ly fanat­ic sense of loy­al­ty to him . . . . also based on fear. He is described as arro­gant and as hav­ing a com­plete lack of scru­ples in his war against com­mu­nism. The enor­mous toll in lives his oper­a­tions have tak­en have earned him the addi­tion­al nick­name of “The Butch­er.”

In 1961, at only thir­ty-six, Shack­ley was already the CIA’s sta­tion chief in Mia­mi. The Mia­mi sta­tion was the most impor­tant and largest sta­tion out­side of the Lan­g­ley, Vir­ginia head­quar­ters. His clos­est col­leagues were agents Thomas Clines and David Atlee Phillips, who would remain his loy­al assis­tants through­out the years. To car­ry out his ter­ror­ist actions, he recruit­ed Cuban exiles from Mafia boss San­to Traf­fi­can­te’s nar­cotics orga­ni­za­tion. Traf­fi­cante sup­plied both per­son­nel and exper­tise for Oper­a­tion Mon­goose, the CIA’s secret war against Cas­tro and Cuba in the ear­ly 1960’s. He also took part, per­son­al­ly, in the plan­ning of the CIA’s assas­si­na­tion attempts against Cas­tro.

Traf­fi­cante was the USA’s largest nar­cotics importer and it was he who sup­pos­ed­ly gave Shack­ley the idea of financ­ing the most sen­si­tive oper­a­tions with nar­cotics prof­its, some­thing that would soon become Shack­ley’s spe­cial­ty. Lat­er, when Shack­ley was trans­ferred to Laos, he allied him­self with the hero­in gen­er­al Vang Pao and the war­riors of Vang Pao’s Meo tribes. The link to the CIA’s infa­mous war in Laos was a death cam­paign in which tens of thou­sands of men, women and chil­dren were killed by the Meo sol­diers along with Amer­i­can Green Berets from the Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Group, under the lead­er­ship of Gen­er­al John Singlaub. Under Singlaub there worked a young lieu­tenant, Oliv­er North, and also an Air Force lieu­tenant major, Richard Sec­ord. All three would become lead­ing fig­ures in the Iran/Contra affair twen­ty years lat­er. Singlaub was, at that gen­er­al peri­od of time, world direc­tor of WACL.

The cam­paign of death in Laos was con­trolled by Shack­ley. Shack­ley, North, Sec­ord and the oth­ers who worked togeth­er there have come to be known as the “Secret Team.” [This term derived from a book by Colonel L. Fletch­er Prouty and was adopt­ed by the Chris­tic Insti­tute in their ill-fat­ed RICO suit against some of the prin­ci­pals in the Iran-Con­tra affair.–D.E.] After a while, Shack­ley became the CIA’s chief of sta­tion in Viet­nam. He was lat­er called home in 1972 by his supe­ri­ors to steer the CIA’s secret oper­a­tions in Latin Amer­i­ca. He con­tin­ued his incred­i­ble career and became the chief of Oper­a­tion Track II. Track II was a cam­paign of sab­o­tage and ter­ror that led to Allen­de’s over­throw in Chile and Pinochet’s takeover of pow­er. That was the “starter’s gun,” the begin­ning of the CIA’s con­trol of, and engage­ment in, death and ter­ror cam­paigns through­out South Amer­i­ca. Shack­ley arranged for the train­ing of Cuban exiles in ter­ror­ism, who then trav­eled around assist­ing death patrols in tor­ture and mur­der. Both the death squads and the anti-Cas­tro Cuban exiles had con­nec­tions to WACL. Then some began to won­der when Asians began to appear among the death patrols. It soon became appar­ent that these were some of the Meo war­riors Shack­ley had trained in Laos.

Shad­ow Man­age­ment

Nat­u­ral­ly, the financ­ing of that exten­sive project did not come from the offi­cial CIA.  Sev­er­al of Shackley’s Cuban exiles estab­lished a huge bank­ing sys­tem – World Finance Cor­po­ra­tion – in Mia­mi where Mafia boss Trafficante’s mon­ey was laun­dered and then chan­neled into Con­dor and the Cuban exile’s ter­ror groups, such as Alpha-66, Oega‑7 and CORU.  The bank­ing sys­tem was exposed and forced to close its doors after a police inves­ti­ga­tion in the begin­ning of 1979.  The police­man who head­ed the inquiry was stopped by the CIA, but before he was muz­zled, he was able to tell the press that not less than twen­ty-eight CIA agents had worked in the bank.8

The Secret Team had also oper­at­ed anoth­er bank, the Nugan-Hand Bank in Aus­tralia, with over forty affil­i­ates around the world.  The bank was prin­ci­pal­ly used for weapons and nar­cotics trans­ac­tions.  The names of the com­pa­nies which had done busi­ness via the bank came out in 1982 when a large Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment report dis­closed infor­ma­tion about the bank.  One of these firms was Bofors, the Swedish weapons man­u­fac­tur­er.  That was the first time that Bofors’ name had been con­nect­ed with the Shack­ley crowd.9

By the id-1970’s Shack­ley had been made deputy chief of covert oper­a­tions world­wide in the CIA. Lat­er, all of his staff was fired by the new CIA direc­tor, Stans­field Turn­er. Eight hun­dred men were offi­cial­ly tossed out of the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency.  In 1977 Turn­er had been appoint­ed by the new Pres­i­dent, Jim­my Carter, in place of the ear­li­er direc­tor, George Bush.  Jim­my Carter had not cared for Shackley’s meth­ods.  He was par­tic­u­lar­ly indig­nant over a scan­dal which had worked its way into the Amer­i­can mass media by that time.  It had been dis­closed that two of Shackley’s com­pa­tri­ots had trained ter­ror­ists in Libya.  That was soon to be a bit of a let­down for Shack­ley, who’s star, oth­er­wise, shone bright­ly.  He had specif­i­cal­ly been promised the post of Direc­tor of the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency, if Ford had won the pres­i­den­cy.

But Shack­ley, appar­ent­ly, was too indis­pen­si­ble and pow­er­ful to just be fired in any ordi­nary man­ner.  He had pro­ceed­ed out­side of the Agency in such a man­ner, that today, it is very dif­fi­cult to tell what is his ‘Secret team’ and what is offi­cial CIA.  Appar­ent­ly, they couldn’t man­age with­out an entire division’s expe­ri­ence and exper­tise.  Shack­ley and his team were now more active behind the scenes than they had been at any time before.

Shackley’s close asso­ciate, David Atlee Phillips head­ed the Asso­ci­a­tion of For­mer Intel­li­gence Offi­cers (AFIO), which cae to func­tion in some cas­es as an intel­li­gence ser­vice for WACL.  One of the two from Shackley’s corps that trained ter­ror­ists in Libya was the cur­rent fugi­tive, Frank Ter­pil.  He once said to an Amer­i­can jour­nal­ist:  “It is in real­i­ty the ass­holes from AFIO that run the CIA from the out­side, as a shad­ow lead­er­ship: Ted Shack­ley, Phillips, Angle­ton, Conein…”

Shack­ley had (and has), well in order, his world of ‘behind the scenes’ polit­i­cal oper­a­tions.  The most impor­tant sup­port group is the Amer­i­can Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil.  It rep­re­sents the Unit­ed States’ mil­i­tary-indus­tri­al-com­plex and con­sti­tutes the major por­tion of the USA’s rep­re­sen­ta­tion in WACL.

Shackley’s group finances its oper­a­tions with weapons and nar­cotics smug­gling.  Simul­ta­ne­ous with those oper­a­tions, his oper­a­tives strug­gle in their sav­age war against left­ist forces of the entire face of the earth.  Slow­ly, but sure­ly, they have built up an amaz­ing shad­ow-land eco­nom­ic base, which resem­bles a mul­ti-nation­al cor­po­ra­tion.

The net­work through which these oper­a­tions take place is called ‘The Enter­prise’.  The lead fig­ures, in addi­tion to Shack­ley him­self, are Thomas Clines, Richard Sec­ord and Albert Hakim.  These names also come from the top of the lists of Iran/Contra Hearing’s wit­ness­es.  The Enter­prise has a pletho­ra of small com­pa­nies.  Some, Shack­ley owns on paper; oth­ers list him as a con­sul­tant or as an offi­cer on the board of direc­tors.

In fact, it was Shackley’s team that start­ed the entire Iran­gate scan­dal.  Among the many places in which this has been estab­lished is in the Tow­er Report.  Shack­ley has con­ced­ed that it was he who met with the Iran­ian weapons and nar­cotics deal­er, Ghor­ban­i­far, in Ham­berg.  Also, that it was he who brought the Iran­ian pro­pos­al on an exchange of hostages for weapons to Wash­ing­ton.  The Enter­prise was con­nect­ed to the weapons deals that came out of this, in fact.  Part of the mon­ey from Iran wound up going to the Nicaraguan Con­tras.  Anoth­er por­tion drift­ed direct­ly into the pock­ets of Enter­prise per­son­nel, and a por­tion has van­ished into the blue alto­geth­er.  One can only guess as to what has become of it.

The real dra­ma in the Iran/Contra scan­dal did not come out in the Wash­ing­ton hear­ings, which were trans­mit­ted to the world’s tele­vi­sion screens.  In the hear­ings, only a lit­tle was unveiled.  Flori­da was the ‘hap­pen­ing’ place, even though this was in rel­a­tive pub­lic silence.  A huge law­suit was being pre­pared in Flori­da involv­ing large scale cocaine smug­gling in con­nec­tion with Iran/Contra.  This, of course, involved the Shack­ley peo­ple.  The legal case was left to drift and then was stopped by Edward Meese, Reagan’s Attor­ney Gen­er­al.  How­ev­er, a Sen­ate inves­ti­ga­tion con­tin­ued.  Simul­ta­ne­ous­ly, there arose a civ­il suit against the same Shack­ley crowd and the ear­li­er WACL chief, John Singlaub, for the bomb­ing and assas­si­na­tion attempt on for­mer Con­tra leader Eden Pas­to­ra.  Sev­en peo­ple were killed in the bomb­ing, includ­ing four jour­nal­ists.10  

One of the main wit­ness­es in the two cas­es was Gene Wheaton, a for­mer high lev­el U.S. mil­i­tary intel­li­gence offi­cer.  He was sta­tioned at an impor­tant post in Iran dur­ing the late 1970’s.

He, togeth­er with two col­legues, just hap­pened across the ille­gal trans­ac­tions of Shackley’s bunch in the Mid­dle East and then pre­pared a report on these activ­i­ties.  When Wheaton’s two col­leagues were on their way to Wash­ing­ton with the report, they were very con­ve­nient­ly mur­dered, and the report van­ished.  Since the mur­ders, Wheaton has used his spare time to seek addi­tion­al evi­dence against the Enter­pris­ers.

The pri­ma­ry author of this arti­cle talked with Wheaton in his Los Ange­les home in March of 1987, before he tes­ti­fied as a wit­ness.  At that time, Wheaton had a list con­tain­ing sev­en­teen names, which he was cer­tain, rep­re­sent­ed per­sons mur­dered by the Enter­prise group through­out the years.  Among those list­ed was a for­mer CIA agent, Kevin Mulc­ahy.  Mulc­ahy died the day before he would have giv­en tes­ti­mo­ny in the law­suit against World Finance Cor­po­ra­tion, the nar­co-bank­ing sys­tem.  WFC laun­dered nar­cotics mon­ey and then trans­fered it to Shackley’s Cuban exile ter­ror­ists around Latin Amer­i­ca.  Mulc­ahy was found in a Mary­land woods, not far from where the motel where he was secret­ly wait­ing for the tri­al.  His body was found with his pants down around his ankles.

“I am myself as right-wing as the peo­ple in Shackley’s team”, said Wheaton.  “I can accept much of what they do.  But not the mur­der of col­legues.”

Gene Wheaton’s life has been threat­ened by the Shack­ley squad.  He has respond­ed by shar­ing his infor­ma­tion with as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble.  In this man­ner he hopes to dimin­ish the like­li­hood of his becom­ing a tar­get for assas­si­na­tion.

Since the inter­view, Wheaton has addi­tion­al­ly sworn out depo­si­tions stat­ing that Shack­ley has a covert firm locat­ed on Andros Island in the Bahamas.  This ‘firm’ trains assas­sins.

Wheaton’s list of 17 mur­dered peo­ple appears not to have been com­plete.   Dur­ing pre­lim­i­nary inves­ti­ga­tions for the Mia­mi tri­al alone, four new wit­ness­es died.  The smug­gler and pilot, Bar­ry Seal, was shot down.  A sim­i­lar thing hap­pened to the world famous speed­boat builder, Don Arnow.  They both had had close con­nec­tions with cocaine smug­gler George Morales.  Anoth­er chief wit­ness, Steven Carr, was found dead of a drug over­dose and so on and so forth……

These wit­ness­es could have been dan­ger­ous to Shackley’s group.  For exam­ple, they could have sub­stan­ti­at­ed the accu­sa­tions about nar­cotics.  They could have ver­i­fied that the very air­planes that flew weapons from Flori­da to the Con­tras in Cos­ta Rica and Hon­duras returned with cocaine.  Accord­ing to the arrest­ed smug­glers, it was some of Shackley’s Cuban-exile weapons trans­porters that head­ed weapons smug­gling to the Con­tras.

Con­nec­tions to Bofors

Today it is still too ear­ly to say if it was in fact Olof Palme’s attempts to stop fur­ther smug­gling of weapons which cost him his life, in much the same man­ner as the four Mia­mi tri­al wit­ness­es.  Palme had tried to stop Bofors’s exten­sive weapons trans­fers to Iran.

There is much, how­ev­er, that indi­cates that a close con­nec­tion between Bofors and the Enter­prise play­ers exist­ed:

-As was men­tioned before, Bofors had done busi­ness via the ille­gal Aus­tralian Nugan-Hand Bank. A bank that by 1977 chiefly dealt in weapons and nar­cotics mon­ey.  The bank was man­aged by Enter­prise per­son­nel.

-The Dan­ish ship, Erria, which smug­gled Bofors’ weapons to both Iran and the Con­tras, was owned by Dolmy Busi­ness Inc.  Behind Dolmy stood two from with­in the Enter­prise, Richard Sec­ord and Albert Hakim.

-Bor­fors trans­ferred 188 mil­lion kro­ner (about $30 mil­lion) to the Pana­man­ian com­pa­ny, Sven­s­ka Incor­po­rat­ed.  The leader of this firm was the noto­ri­ous drug and weapons smug­gler, Steven Samos.  He was a close busi­ness part­ner of the the peo­ple in the Enter­prise and deeply involved in the Con­tra­gate Scan­dal.  Part of the mon­ey is known to have, almost cer­tain­ly, been employed for bribes in con­nec­tion with Bofors’ mul­ti-mil­lion dol­lar deals with India.  Steve Samos also led anoth­er com­pa­ny, Inter­na­tion­al Man­age­ment & Trust Corp.11   This was a ‘cov­er’ firm, which did not func­tion.  Instead, its employ­ees worked in Amal­ga­mat­ed Com­mer­cial Enter­pris­es.  A por­tion of the Enterprise’s sup­port to the Con­tras went through Amal­ga­mat­ed Com­mer­cial Enter­pris­es.

-The Bofors weapons which Iran had bought through Swedish weapons deal­er Karl-Erik Smitz were often trans­port­ed on the planes of St. Lucia Air­ways, which was oper­at­ed Enter­prise folks and direct­ed with help fro Oliv­er North.

If the Enter­prise ben­e­fit­ed finan­cial­ly from the Bofors deliv­er­ies, and if Olaf Palme attempt­ed to stop these deliv­er­ies of weapons and thus the mon­ey stream from Bofors, then would have Shack­ley and his men (and also Iran’s Aya­tol­lah Khome­i­ni) had quite a motive to mur­der the Swedish Prime Min­is­ter.  In such a case, they would prob­a­bly have used the WACL net­work, as they had so often before.  They would have had a ‘here-and-now’ need to remove him.  They are so skill­ful at such things, that they could have arranged it quick­ly.

*When Olof Palme was mur­dered, there sat in a Swedish prison, a man with an inti­mate knowl­edge of Con­dor and WACL.  His orga­ni­za­tion had pre­vi­ous­ly threat­ened to mur­der the entire Palme fam­i­ly.  Despite that, the Swedish police are only now begin­ning to become inter­est­ed in Miro Baresic.  This inter­est comes over one year after Baresic had been released and had board­ed a flight to Paraguay.*

When Palme was mur­dered, an inter­na­tion­al ter­ror­ist and mur­der­er com­plete with an enour­mous knowl­edge of Con­dor and WACL was right in Swe­den.

Ten years ear­li­er, when a death­list, com­plete with Palme’s name its top, cir­cu­lat­ed among the Con­dor crowd in Latin Amer­i­ca, this man found him­self high up in the Con­dor hier­ar­chy.  His name is Miro Baresic.  His sto­ry is noth­ing short of fan­tas­tic.

Baresic is an extreme right-wing Croa­t­ian who is con­nect­ed to the WACL orga­ni­za­tion through ABN (Anti-Bol­she­vic Bloc of Nations). ABN is an orga­ni­za­tion that col­lab­o­rat­ed with the Nazis dur­ing the Sec­ond World War.

On the 7th of April 1971, in Stock­holm, Baresic togeth­er with anoth­er Croa­t­ian, tor­tured and then mur­dered the Yugosla­vian ambas­sador to Swe­den.  On this first time around, Baresic didn’t suc­ceed in escap­ing Swedish author­i­ties.  He was arrest­ed, but before the tri­al, the murderer’s com­rades threat­ened to mur­der Palme, his wife Lis­bet and their three chil­dren, if the mur­der­ers’ sen­tences are greater than five years in prison.  The threats were tak­en very seri­ous­ly.  When Palme spoke to the May Day ral­ly in Nor­rkop­ing, Swe­den, he was sur­round­ed by a ver­i­ta­ble army of secu­ri­ty peo­ple.

The two Croa­t­ians were sen­tenced to life impris­on­ment.  Fol­low­ing that they man­aged to escape from Kum­la Prison, but were caught and jailed again.  Then in Sep­tem­ber 1972 their com­rades seized an SAS place (plane???) in Mal­mo, Swe­den.  The world’s eyes were riv­et­ed on the hostage dra­ma.  Some­time lat­er the world heard from the Croa­t­ian ter­ror­ists:  The two ambas­sado­r­i­al mur­der­ers and an addi­tion­al five oth­er impris­oned Croa­t­ians must be sur­ren­dered.  Oth­er­wise, they threat­ened to blow up the plane with the 86 pas­sen­gers aboard.   The Swedish gov­ern­ment saw no oth­er way out except to yield, and the two mur­der­ers were brought aboard the plane.

The SAS pilots were forced to fly to Spain.  There, the Croa­t­ians were at first impris­oned.  But the right­ist gov­ern­ment of Fran­co refused to sur­ren­der them up to Swe­den, and in the begin­ning of 1974 they were giv­en per­mis­sion to trav­el to the terrorist’s par­adise of Paraguay.  There they quick­ly con­nect­ed up with a Croa­t­ian WACL group that func­tioned there as a death squadron.12

Then things began to go well for Miro Baresic.  He began to work direct­ly under Condor’s infa­mous chief with­in Paraguay, Pas­tor Coro­nel, the head of the Secu­ri­ty Police.  Coro­nel is a hor­ri­fy­ing gen­tle­man, whose police force has spe­cial­ized in the advanced tor­ture tech­niques.  An Amer­i­can lawyer relates this macabre inci­dent:

One time, Coro­nel had a real­ly ‘fat’ catch:  a leader of the small ille­gal com­mu­nist par­ty.  Coro­nel had the com­mu­nist brought direct­ly into his office, where he prompt­ly shot him twice in the head with his Mag­num.  Coro­nel then ordered the head cut off and took it to the Pres­i­den­tial Palace. His mes­sage was clear – he want­ed to demon­strate how effi­cient he was at main­tain­ing the nation free from com­mu­nists.13

So it was to Coro­nel, that Baresic became the right hand.  Coro­nel is his country’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive to WACL, and par­tic­i­pates eager­ly in the orga­ni­za­tions meet­ings.  Baresic was made the chief instruc­tor for Coronel’s agents.  By this time he had changed his name to Tony Sar­ic, so he could trav­el freely.

The mur­der­er Tony Sar­ic, alias Miro Baresic, was then about to become a big gun.  Coro­nel had full con­fi­dence in him, and at the end of 1977 Baresic came to the Unit­ed States on a diplo­mat­ic pass­port.  He became, noth­ing less than, the chief of secu­ri­ty for Paraguay’s embassy in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.  He also was made the per­son­al body­guard to Ambas­sador Esco­bar, who was also a WACL del­e­gate.

But Baresic’s sto­ry is not over yet. At the leg­endary WACL con­fer­ence held in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. from the 27th – 30th of April 1978, Sar­ic appeared as the Croa­t­ian del­e­gate.  The year­ly WACL con­fer­ences have a rep­u­ta­tion of being a frame­work for the great­est show­ings of inter­na­tion­al ter­ror­ists, neo-Nazis and fas­cists since the Sec­ond World War.  They swarm with right-wing extrem­ists.  At that con­fer­ence, for exam­ple, there were twen­ty-one del­e­gates from the Cuban exile ter­ror group, Alpha-66, alone.  Also in atten­dance were a series of Swedish right-wing extrem­ists, who we will meet fur­ther on in this arti­cle.

Exit With­out Escort

Two years lat­er, things start to go wrong for Tony Sar­ic.  After hav­ing just won a large karate com­pe­ti­tion in the Unit­ed States he jubi­lant­ly ran around the are­na with a Croa­t­ian flag.  Among those in the audi­ence were two FBI agents, who found some­thing in Saric’s con­duct sus­pi­cious.  They know that some bomb-sabo­teurs in the U.S. have had con­nec­tions with Croa­t­ians hav­ing con­nec­tions to Paraguay.  When they returned to the FBI head­quar­ters in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. they dove into the exten­sive files, and after some hunt­ing around, were shocked to dis­cov­er that Sar­ic was iden­ti­cal with the want­ed mur­der­er and ter­ror­ist, Miro Baresic.

The ham­mer fell, Baresic was arrest­ed and, after one year, he was returned to Swe­den.  But he was, evi­dent­ly, no ordi­nary pris­on­er.  In prison he was a celebri­ty.  When it was announced he was about to mar­ry a Swedish woman, there was talk that he would be released.  Accord­ing to Swedish press reports, a ‘diplo­mat-like’ man who trav­elled in a big car pre­sent­ed him quan­ti­ties of dol­lars as a wed­ding gift.  Who that man was, is a sto­ry not yet unrav­eled.  How­ev­er, it is an indis­putable fact that the ter­ror­ist and mur­der­er Baresic has been grant­ed leave from prison many times, often with­out escorts.

Lat­er, in Decem­ber of 1987, Miro Baresic was released and togeth­er with his wife board­ed a flight to his beloved Paraguay.

Miro Baresic is an inter­est­ing fig­ure because of the infor­ma­tion he could have pro­vid­ed the Swedish police regard­ing WACL and Con­dor.  Fur­ther­more, he was of inter­est because of an intu­itive feel­ing on the part of Lis­bet Palme imme­di­ate­ly after the mur­der.  She told the Swedish press that she felt her hus­band was mur­dered by Croa­t­ian ter­ror­ists, and that she had a feel­ing that there was some­thing famil­iar about the mur­der­er.

Only now are the Swedish police begin­ning, seri­ous­ly, to turn their atten­tion toward the Croa­t­ian right-wing extrem­ists.  This, after Baresic has been released.  And, released despite the fact that his cir­cles ear­li­er had been con­nect­ed with Swedish ter­ror­ist actions and mur­der; includ­ing hav­ing threat­ened to liq­ui­date the entire Palme fam­i­ly.  The author­i­ties had not noticed that the same cir­cles were close­ly linked to the Latin Amer­i­can groups that had had Palme on their death­list.

Just now a group of Swedish police are in West Ger­many to inves­ti­gate some of the Croa­t­ian exiles who belong to the Ustachi cir­cles around Baresic.

One thing is cer­tain­ly thought pro­vok­ing:  Baresic, the mur­der­er and ter­ror­ist has only served sev­en years of his sen­tence, at a time when the world was tak­ing such a hard line against ter­ror­ists.

Only now, just as this arti­cle is being writ­ten (12/88), it has been learned that Baresic had leave on Feb­ru­ary 28, 1986 – the very day that Palme as mur­dered!  What occu­pied his time that day is not known.  His Croa­t­ian friends have pro­vid­ed him with an ali­bi.

Also recent­ly dis­closed is that Yugoslavia had repeat­ed­ly and unsuc­cess­ful­ly pressed to have Baresic extra­dit­ed.  Instead, he was giv­en his free­dom in 1987, and flew off to Paraguay.

Sev­er­al times before Pale’s mur­der, Baresic had pre­sent­ed peti­tions for clemen­cy.  These requests were blocked by Palme, who inter­vened per­son­al­ly, accord­ing to the Swedish Social Demo­c­ra­t­ic paper, Afton­bladet.  Lenien­cy came after Palme’s assas­si­na­tion.

*The broad and mul­ti-branched WACL net­work has sup­port­ers world-wide.   When Olof Palme was killed, four Scan­di­na­vian WACL adher­ants with exper­tise in get­away routes and deep con­nec­tions into the Swedish police could have been found in Swe­den.  While, it should be empha­sized that this does not con­sti­tute proof of any direct con­nec­tion to the Pale mur­der, it is sug­ges­tive of what ought to be inves­ti­gat­ed.*

The Baresic trail leads direct­ly into the WACL net­work.  All of the Croa­t­ian exiles around Baresic were WACL peo­ple and part of the same labyrinthine under­world which Shack­ley and the Iran/Contra team had drawn upon.  The Bofors trail also leads into WACL.

This, how­ev­er, is not the only trail with Swedish con­nec­tions that points toward WACL.  At the time of the Palme mur­der, two neo-Nazis with inter­na­tion­al get­away route exper­tise and con­nec­tions to WACL, were in Swe­den.

We need to back­wind the cal­en­dar to April, 1978, when the infa­mous Wash­ing­ton, D.C. WACL con­fer­ence was in ses­sion.

As men­tioned pre­vi­ous­ly, Baresic was present under the pseu­do­nym Tony Sar­ic.  Despite that, any must have rec­og­nized him.  Aong those who no doubt did, were two Swedes, Ake J. Ek and Anders Lars­son, as well as the Nor­we­gian, Tor Pet­ter Had­land.  The remain­der of this arti­cle will deal with these three Scan­di­na­vian con­nec­tions.  We will take the in turn:  Tor Pet­ter Had­land first along with his con­nec­tions to anoth­er Nor­we­gian Nazi, Erik Blucher.

Had­land was the leader of the Nor­we­gian neo-Nazi party’s group, the Nor­we­gian Front Stormtroop­ers.  When the Nor­we­gian Front Stormtroop­ers began in 1977 to appear in con­nec­tions to WACL, it was Had­land who rep­re­sent­ed these Nor­we­gian Nazis at the WACL meet­ings held around the world.  Had­land was Erik Blucher’s right-hand man.  Blucher as leader of the Nor­we­gian neo-Nazis had sev­er­al times been involved in scan­dals involv­ing both mil­i­tary train­ing of young neo-Nazis and ille­gal weapons in Nor­way.

In 1979, along with Had­land And oth­er Euro­pean Nazis, Blucher attempt­ed to stage a pow­er coup with­in the Euro­pean branch of WACL.  A more ‘mod­er­ate’ group, how­ev­er, was vic­to­ri­ous.  The two neo-Nazis were forced to leave WACL offi­cial­ly, but con­tin­ued to work with­in WACL behind the scenes.

Then in ’81, Blucher’s and Hadland’s paths diverge for two years.  Had­land took up res­i­dence in Ore­bro, Swe­den and Blucher trav­eled to Lon­don, where he quick­ly con­tact­ed the neo-Nazi cir­cles who had oper­at­ed a get­away-route-cen­tral called Brown Aid.  This escape route cen­ter helped, among oth­ers, twen­ty-three Ital­ian ter­ror­ists.14  Two of these Ital­ians had been sought in con­nec­tion with the mas­sive bomb­ing of the Bologna train sta­tion in Italy.

This get­away-rout­ing cen­ter was exposed in 1981 by the British tele­vi­sion sta­tion, Grana­da.  After the expo­sure, the cen­ter need­ed both a new inter­na­tion­al get­away ‘trav­el’ sec­re­tary found and to be built up again.  Accord­ing to British sources, Erik Blucher became that new sec­re­tary.

In 1983 the Eng­lish police had start­ed to sus­pect Blucher, and he trav­eled to Swe­den where his old friend, Tor Pat­ter Had­land, had pro­cured him an apart­ment.  Blucher signed his name as Erik Olsen.

Exact­ly what Blucher, the escape route expert, and Had­land, the orga­niz­er, did after that, we can only spec­u­late about.  Cer­tain of the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing their fur­ther move­ments are unknown, but it has been pos­si­ble to sketch and out­line of them:

In Novem­ber of 1984, Tor Pet­ter Had­land aban­doned Ore­bro and fled to an apart­ment locat­ed at 32 Block­sten­vagen in Stockholm’s sub­urb of Han­den.  Blucher often had stayed at the same address.

Less than one year lat­er, in Sep­tem­ber 1985, Blucher was liv­ing in a slum-clear­ance apart­ment in Hels­ing­borg at 15‑C Blakul­la­gatan.  This address is not far from the bor­der cross­ing point to Den­mark, although Blucher was nev­er there.

Blucher, addi­tion­al­ly, estab­lished a firm named Edel­weiss Sur­vival.  He main­tained a post box in Snekker­sten, near Helsin­gor, Den­mark.  Edel­weiss Sur­vival had two address­es:  Box 7094 in Sund­by­berg and anoth­er at P.O. Box 13026, Hels­ing­borg, Swe­den.  Per­haps it was a coin­ci­dence that the get­away route expert, Blucher, had apart­ments and post box address­es in Stock­holm and on the bor­der between Swe­den and Den­mark, per­haps not.15

The well-informed British mag­a­zine, Search­light, report­ed in 1985 that a secret cen­ter for Euro­pean neo-Nazi activ­i­ties had been estab­lished in Stock­holm.  For­mer WACL peo­ple were involved.  Some evi­dence indi­cat­ed that Had­land and Blucher were involved.

Whether or not they had any­thing to do with the mur­der of Olof Palme on the 28th of Feb­ru­ary, 1986 is not known.  It does seem strange, though, that none of the Swedish author­i­ties had any inter­est in the two Nazi’s exper­tise in escape routes inter­na­tion­al­ly and of their orga­ni­za­tion­al capa­bil­i­ties.  One thing, how­ev­er, we do know:

Three months after the death of Palme, Had­land gave notice on his apart­ment out­side of Stock­holm and moved home to Nor­way.  At the same time, Blucher once again changed his name (to Tor Erik Nielsen) and give notice at his apart­ment in Hels­ing­borg.  The get­away route experts had found new pas­tures.


Anoth­er inter­est­ing devel­op­ment par­al­leled the activ­i­ties of Blucher and Had­land.  It took place around yet anoth­er WACL big­wig, the Swedish Anders Lars­son.  We turn back the clock to 1978 to the WACL con­fer­ence in D.C. for the last time when both Tor Pet­ter Had­land and Miro Baresic (under the false name of Tony Sar­ic) were in atten­dance.  Anders Lars­son also was at this Wash­ing­ton con­fer­ence of WACL.

Anders Lars­son is a strange gen­tle­man.  It was he, para­dox­i­cal­ly, that had maneu­vered Blucher, Had­land and their new-Nazi com­rades ‘out’ of WACL.  It was also Lars­son who was one of the prin­ci­pal peo­ple behind the prepa­ra­tion of the WACL ‘Blue Doc­u­ment’ which dis­closed the Nazi affil­i­a­tions of some of the more ‘clean’ –appear­ing WACL mem­bers.16

Many things point, how­ev­er, to Larsson’s ‘war’ against the neo-Nazis hav­ing been for strate­gic pur­pos­es.  As one mem­ber of the cir­cle around him wrote in a let­ter dat­ed 2/25/81: It seems as if Lars­son oper­at­ed under the mot­to – “Our Nazis are good Nazis, but their Nazis are bad Nazis.”  Or to say it anoth­er way, Larsson’s bat­tle against the Nazis was not ide­o­log­i­cal, but rather exclu­sive­ly a pow­er strug­gle.  Lars­son had good rela­tions, for exam­ple, with the Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors from the ABN (Anti-Bol­she­vik Block of Nations) which is an umbrel­la orga­ni­za­tion under WACL.  ABN is the same orga­ni­za­tion to which Miro Baresic belonged.

Lars­son was known for his being an ardent Palme-hater.  He nev­er tried to hide his con­tempt for the Swedish Prime Min­is­ter who he thought deserved to be exter­mi­nat­ed.  As far back as the 1970’s, Lars­son, with the help of Amer­i­can con­tacts, had arranged for large anti-Palme demon­stra­tions in the Unit­ed States.

Lars­son was WACL’s gen­er­al sec­re­tary in Swe­den.   He with­drew from that posi­tion in 1983.  He often signed his let­ters with the sig­na­ture “anti-Palme”.

Two months pri­or to Palme’s mur­der, Lars­son along with a right-wing prison offi­cer sur­veilled the Swedish Prime Min­is­ter dur­ing the funer­al of Alva Myrdal.  On the 20th of Feb­ru­ary, Lars­son deliv­ered a mys­te­ri­ous let­ter to the Swedish State Min­istry.  Inside the enve­lope lay a news­pa­per head­line with the text:  “Palme Dead”.

One week lat­er Olof Palme was shot and killed.

The Palme hat­ing Anders Lars­son was, in fact, the very first per­son inves­ti­gat­ed fol­low­ing the mur­der.  But why should Lars­son deliv­er a warn­ing let­ter to Palme if he him­self was involved in the mur­der con­spir­a­cy?  An expla­na­tion could be that Lars­son knew some­thing via his old WACL con­nec­tions and act­ed as he did as part of a pow­er strug­gle in extreme right cir­cles.  He may have want­ed to warn of the assas­si­na­tion plans then, but lat­er was afraid to tell any­thing about it.

Swedish jour­nal­ists and Palme inves­ti­ga­tors say that today Lars­son appears very fright­ened and has all but gone under­ground.17

When Anders Lars­son retired from his WACL work in 1983, his func­tions in Swe­den were tak­en up by police agent Ake J. Ek.  Ek was a sea­soned WACL mem­ber. PRESS has ear­li­er demon­strat­ed (issue #35) var­i­ous con­nec­tions between the Swedish police and WACL vis-à-vis the so-called ‘police trail’.  Ake J. Ek, who is a well known extrem­ist right winger could be anoth­er one of these con­nec­tions.

Ek was also at the Wash­ing­ton WACL con­fer­ence back in 1978.  There he had var­i­ous deal­ings, side-by-side, with Tor Peter Had­land, Anders Lars­son, Miro Baresic, numer­ous oth­er neo-Nazis, tor­tur­ers, exe­cu­tion­ers, and mem­bers of death­squads.  Ek had been an instruc­tor of psy­chol­o­gy at the Swedish Police Acad­e­my for a num­ber of years.  Thus, at this acad­e­my he was on the ped­a­gog­i­cal side of things.  It was in this ‘intel­lec­tu­al shad­ow­land’ that a long suc­ces­sion of the noto­ri­ous Nor­rmalm police mem­bers were trained.  Nor­rmalm Police Watch Dis­trict #1 is in the spot­light today pre­cise­ly because of these right-wing police agents’ pecu­liar move­ments in the neigh­bor­hood of the crime scene on the night of Palme’s death.  There are indi­ca­tions that some of the police have had con­nec­tions to Nazi cir­cles.  One of the police­men had a Nazi hel­met in his apart­ment which also con­tained an unspec­i­fied col­lec­tion of radio com­mu­ni­ca­tion equip­ment.

Sol­dier of For­tune

There are many strange sto­ries sur­round­ing Palme’s assas­si­na­tion.  One exam­ple is the tale about a Yugosla­vian sol­dier of for­tune by the name of Ivan von Berchan.  One month before Palme’s death, von Berchan, alleged­ly, approached Sapo, Sweden’s intel­li­gence agency.  The sol­dier of for­tune relat­ed that a CIA agent using the cov­er name George Moran had been offered a con­tract  for $2,000,000 to mur­der Palme.  He had known the CIA agent from Libya at the end of the ‘70’s. This was just at the time that per­son­nel from the Secret Team was train­ing ter­ror­ists in Libya.  With this con­nec­tion, we are back to Shack­ley and the peo­ple behind Iran/Contra.

The Sapo agent who the sol­dier of for­tune approached was Alf Karls­son.  Karls­son asserts that von Berchan first approached him after the mur­der of Palme.  That, how­ev­er, direct­ly con­tra­dicts a state­ment from Stockholm’s may­or, Inger Baven and his sec­re­tary.  Accord­ing to both Inger Baven and the sec­re­tary, Ivan von Berchan com­mu­ni­cat­ed the same infor­ma­tion one month before Palme’s being ter­mi­nat­ed.

It was the Sapo agent, Karls­son, who in 1984 had orig­i­nal­ly denounced the small Kur­dish par­ty, PKK, as a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion.  In addi­tion it was he who per­sis­tent­ly sup­port­ed Hans Holmer in his hunt for the Kurds involved in the assas­si­na­tion of Palme.  And last­ly, it was Karls­son who had been on watch at Sapo the day the mur­der of Palme was com­mit­ted.  He, there­fore, must have known that by after­noon Palme had called off the super­vi­sion of the Sapo agents which usu­al­ly func­tioned as his body­guards.

Alf Karls­son is known to be part of the Swedish far right.  He has sub­se­quent­ly resigned from his posi­tion with­in the Swedish intel­li­gence ser­vice.  He cur­rent­ly works in for­mer Sapo chief, P.G. Vinge’s pri­vate firm loca­tion in Stock­holm, Vinge Pro­tec­tion AB.  The fir exer­cis­es ‘social con­trol’ activ­i­ties with­in cor­po­ra­tions.  In the news­pa­per, Sven­s­ka Dag­bladet, Karls­son described Ing­var Bratt (a for­mer Bofors employ­ee who dis­closed the Bofors smug­gling to Iran) as an exam­ple of “a cat­a­stro­phe that took place because of a human leak in an oth­er­wise per­fect secu­ri­ty sys­tem”.  It was just those types of human leaks that Vinge and Karls­son, with their con­sult­ing firm’s exper­tise, set out to stop.   Vinge had for many years been one of Sweden’s most zeal­ous Palme haters.  His dif­fi­cul­ties col­lab­o­rat­ing with Palme caused Vinge’s res­ig­na­tion as Sapo chief in 1970.  It was Vinge, dur­ing his time as Sapo chief, who alleged­ly brand­ed Palme a ‘secu­ri­ty risk’.

These cir­cum­stances do not prove that Karls­son was involved in the plan­ning and even­tu­al mur­der of Palme.  How­ev­er, can one rea­son­ably rely on the Swedish author­i­ties to inves­ti­gate those trails which involve these very same Swedish author­i­ties?

Clear­ly, what is need­ed is to start again from the begin­ning.   It is nec­es­sary to attempt to assem­ble the loose ends that appear to have been over­looked in the con­fu­sion.  Nec­es­sary to see with fresh eyes the motives, log­ic and pos­si­ble trails.  And, as this arti­cle sought to pro­vide analy­sis for, start over again with a look toward the right-wing extrem­ist orga­ni­za­tion named WACL … pre­cise­ly because this orga­ni­za­tion is exten­sive enough and moti­vat­ed to have inter­vened in all o f the major trails in con­nec­tion to the mur­der of Olof Palme. . . . .


1)     His new iden­ti­ty was pro­vid­ed accord­ing to the U.S. wit­ness pro­tec­tion pro­gram, under U.S. law.

2)    In a report, clas­si­fied Secret, to the For­eign Rela­tions Com­mit­tee it was report­ed:  “Argenti­na, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay have effec­tu­at­ed a coor­di­nat­ed a coop­er­a­tive intel­li­gence oper­a­tion called Oper­a­tion Con­dor.  This joint effort con­sists of three phas­es.  Phase three involves the cre­ation of spe­cial groups, which will car­ry out sanc­tions, includ­ing assas­si­na­tions, against ene­mies of the regimes in the named coun­tries.”

3)    Many of them were lat­er deployed in the new­ly formed inter­na­tion­al nar­cotics police, DEA.  Four­teen of them were Cuban exiles trained by Shack­ley in ter­ror­ism.  A rather long suc­ces­sion of them lat­er returned to Latin Amer­i­ca cam­ou­flaged as nar­cotics agents.  There they resumed their old func­tions as tor­ture instruc­tors.

4)    The trav­el­ling death­pa­trols went by the gener­ic name of ‘White Hand’.  Among the one found chiefly exiled Cubans and Chileans, but also French, Ital­ian and Croa­t­ian ter­ror­ists.  A mem­ber of the White Hand told jour­nal­ist Jack Ander­son of the Wash­ing­ton Post in 1984: “CAL is the white Hand”.  CAL is the Latin Amer­i­can branch of WACL.

5)    For exam­ple, when exiled Cuban ter­ror­ists were to mur­der Bernar­do Leight­en (for­mer Par­lia­ment leader of Chile) in Rome.  They had already teamed up with Ital­ian fas­cist and ter­ror­ist Stephano del­la Chi­aie.

6)    Shack­ley brought Vang Pao togeth­er with mafia boss San­to Traf­fi­cante some years lat­er in Saigon.  After that, the stream of nar­cotics into the Unit­ed States increased.

7)    The Water­gate Scan­dal began to trick­le out in 1972.  It appeared that tr=here of the per­sons who broke into the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Head­quar­ters in Wash­ing­ton oper­at­ed direct­ly under Shack­ley.

8)    Dis­trict Attor­ney Jerome Sand­ford quit in anger over the CIA’s actions.

9)    By 1977, Secret Team mem­bers were already, via Nugan-Hand mid­dle­men, in the ille­gal busi­ness that revolved around Bofors’ anti-air­craft weapons to Thai­land.

10) As an exam­ple of the rather incred­i­ble abil­i­ties of Shackley’s peo­ple at dis­in­for­ma­tion, one can cite the the­o­ry about the KGB being behind the cocaine smug­gling that sud­den­ly appeared in sev­er­al major news­pa­pers when the case began to roll.  The false trail was con­struct­ed in Cana­da, pre­sum­ably long before there was even talk about a tri­al.  All they had to do was to push the but­ton when threat­ened by dis­clo­sure.

11) An almost iden­ti­cal firm name, Euro­pean Man­age­ment & Trust Corp., emerged in Vaduz, Liecht­en­stein.  This firm was owned by Alfred Buh­ler who for sev­er­al years had been a mid­dle­man for the CIA’s weapons deals in the Mid­dle East.  In 1983 the New York Times dis­closed that Buh­ler had ear­li­er been involved in the abduc­tion of the Con­golese polit­i­cal leader, Moi­se Tsombe.  Buh­ler had also, at the time, worked togeth­er with Thomas Clines, a front fig­ure in the Iran/Contra scan­dal and a mem­ber of the ‘Secret Team’.  Buh­ler resides in Vaduz today.  Just recent­ly CIAOU, the large weapons con­sor­tium in Vaduz has been paid 14 mil­lion Dan­ish kro­ner by Bofors.

12) The group mur­dered, among oth­ers, the Uruguayan ambas­sador to Paraguay.  This was ‘jus­ti­fied’ as a ‘acci­dent’ – the Croa­t­ians had mis­tak­en him for the Yugosla­vian ambas­sador.

13) The vic­tim was Miguel Sol­er.  The episode is described in the book, Labyrinth, by Eugene Prop­per, who was the lead pros­e­cu­tor in the tri­al for the mur­der of Orlan­do Lete­lier in Wash­ing­ton.

14) The worst of these, Alle­san­dro Ali­bran­di, was sought for the mur­ders of a jour­nal­ist and of an inves­tiga­tive judge in Rome.  The Ital­ian terrorist’s leader, Stephano del­la Chi­aie, and Elio Mas­sagrande had tak­en part in the WACL con­gress held in 1981 in Paraguay.

15) The extra­or­di­nary coin­ci­dence, how­ev­er, is that the name of the Blucher firm, Edel­weiss Sur­vival, is very close to the name of two oth­er firms – Edel­weiss, and Sur­vival Sup­ply – which are owned by a retired British major.  His name is Ian Souter-Clarance, and he is a known per­son in Eng­lish neo-Nazi cir­cles.  He had been involved in the Brown Aid escape route net in Eng­land, just as Blucher had been.

16) This purge was, how­ev­er, not excep­tion­al­ly whole-heart­ed.  Tor Pet­ter Had­land, for exam­ple, instead par­tic­i­pat­ed in meet­ings of WACL’s youth orga­ni­za­tion, WYACL.  The brains behind the neo-Nazis ‘coup’ attempt, for­mer WACL leader Roger Pear­son, func­tioned con­tin­u­ous­ly in the Amer­i­can WACL group four years lat­er.  The ter­ror­ist and exe­cu­tion­er also con­tin­ued as a WACL mem­ber.

17) Lars­son is a close friend of for­mer South African agent, Bertil Wedin, who is begin­ning to come under media inves­ti­ga­tion.  He had been the source of dis­in­for­ma­tion in the Turk­ish right-wing press about the Kur­dish trail.  See PRESS #35.

All Hon­or­able Men by James Stew­art Mar­tin; Lit­tle Brown [HC]; pp. 252–253. 

. . . .One of the mys­ter­ies of World War II has been the unex­plained inter­na­tion­al rela­tions of the Swedish indus­tri­al orga­ni­za­tion, A.B. Sven­s­ka Kul­lager- Fab­riken, known as SKF, Swe­den’s largest indus­tri­al con­cern and the world’s largest man­u­fac­tur­er of ball and roller bear­ings. The prin­ci­pal Swedish inter­est in SKF is held by the Wal­len­bergs through their Enskil­da Bank and its invest­ment sub­sidiary, A.B. Investor. The actu­al extent of Ger­man or oth­er for­eign con­trol, either direct­ly or through the Wal­len­bergs, has not been dis­closed.

For many years the active man­age­ment of SKF was in the hands of Sven Wingquist, the founder of the firm. In 1941, he gave up the day-to-day man­age­ment but remained as chair­man of the board. From time to time, begin­ning in 1933 and 1934, Sven Wingquist came into the world spot­light as one of a col­or­ful clique of inter­na­tion­al adven­tur­ers, who gained spe­cial noto­ri­ety by their buzzing around Edward VIII at the time of his abdi­ca­tion in 1936. They includ­ed Axel Wen­ner-Gren, the yachts­man; Charles Bedaux, inven­tor of a labor speed-up sys­tem; and Jacques Ler­nai­gre-Dubre­nil, French banker and veg­etable-oil man of West Africa.

Axel Wen­ner-Gren will he remem­bered as a yachts­man with a remark­able record of coin­ci­dences. He cruised the seas through­out much of the war in his yacht, the South­ern Cross, and turned up to res­cue sur­vivors of Ger­man sub­ma­rine attacks, begin­ning with the Ger­man sink­ing of the British ship Athe­nia in 1939 and con­tin­u­ing through the Caribbean sub­ma­rine cam­paign of 1942. At the time, some peo­ple spec­u­lat­ed about how one yacht could hap­pen along so often when a sub­ma­rine spot­ted a ves­sel; but the coin­ci­dences were nev­er explained. . . .

. . . . Sven Wingquist and Axel Wen­ner-Gren had tak­en an active part after World War I in the Ger­man plans to mask the own­er­ship of sub­sidiaries abroad. To get around the Ver­sailles Treaty, firms like Carl Zeiss, man­u­fac­tur­ers of mil­i­tary opti­cal equip­ment, set up branch­es such as the “Nedin­sco” firm at Ven­lo in the Nether­lands and car­ried on as before. The Krupp firm did the same in Spain, Swe­den, and oth­er coun­tries.

In 1934 the Swedish gov­ern­ment dis­cov­ered that Krupp con­trolled a block of shares in the Bofors steel and muni­tions works through a Swedish dum­my hold­ing com­pa­ny called “Boforsin­ter­essen­ten.” Sven Wingquist, who was chair­man of the board of the Bofors steel and muni­tions works, was one of the two Swedish cit­i­zens who had been vot­ing this stock for Krupp at stock­hold­ers’ meet­ings.

The Krupp con­cern con­trolled approx­i­mate­ly one third of Swedish Bofors in this man­ner and had main­tained enough addi­tion­al vot­ing strength through Axel Wen­ner-Gren to con­trol the affairs of Bofors. . . . .

Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Man­ning; Copy­right 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stu­art Inc.; ISBN 0–8184-0309–8; pp. 133–134.

. . . . An inter­est­ing side­light to this strug­gle between the Allies and Ger­many for influ­ence on Swe­den is the pecu­liar role played by Mar­cus and Jacob Wal­len­berg, mem­bers of Swe­den’s most impor­tant bank­ing fam­i­ly. Mar­cus head­ed a gov­ern­ment com­mis­sion which nego­ti­at­ed with Britain and the Unit­ed States through­out the war. At the same time, his broth­er Jacob was the chief nego­tia­tor for the Swedish gov­ern­ment with Nazi Ger­many. Thus were both sides cov­ered for Swedish busi­ness, includ­ing the fam­i­ly’s very own sub­stan­tial eco­nom­ic inter­ests. Fol­low­ing World War II, this fam­i­ly empire was to achieve its most spec­tac­u­lar pros­per­i­ty, as Ger­man invest­ments under the Bor­mann pro­gram matured in their Swedish safe-havens.

In this way, impres­sive wealth accrued to the Wal­len­bergs, as well as to the oth­er Swedish and Ger­man invest­ment groups con­trol­ling large hold­ings in the many Swedish com­pa­nies under Ger­man dom­i­nance in 1944. . . . [This would cer­tain­ly have includ­ed the Wen­ner-Gren assets. Note that James Stew­art Mar­tin dis­cuss­es the Wal­len­berg con­nec­tion at great length in All Hon­or­able Men.–D.E.]



2 comments for “The Assassination of Olof Palme”

  1. http://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/nugan-hand-bank-mystery-michael-hand-found-living-in-the-united-states-20151107-gkthas.html

    Nugan Hand bank mys­tery: Michael Hand found liv­ing in the Unit­ed States

    »> Novem­ber 9 «<, 2015

    One of Aus­trali­a’s most want­ed fugi­tives, Michael Hand, the co-founder of the Syd­ney-based inter­na­tion­al mer­chant bank Nugan Hand, has been found alive and well and liv­ing in small-town Amer­i­ca.

    He van­ished in 1980 amid rumours of CIA and organ­ised crime involve­ment in the bank as the Unit­ed States attempt­ed to back anti-com­mu­nist gov­ern­ments and anti-com­mu­nist insur­gents at the height of the Cold War.

    Syd­ney author Peter Butt found Hand. In his new book, Mer­chants of Men­ace, Butt reveals that Hand, 73, is liv­ing under the name Michael Jon Fuller and resides in the small town of Ida­ho Falls.

    Hand man­u­fac­tures tac­ti­cal weapons for US Spe­cial Forces, spe­cial oper­a­tions groups and hunters.

    Hand dis­ap­peared in June 1980 after his part­ner, Grif­fith-born lawyer Frank Nugan, then 37, was found dead beside a .30-cal­i­bre rifle in his Mer­cedes-Benz out­side Lith­gow and as cor­po­rate and police inves­ti­ga­tors, ASIO and the FBI start­ed inves­ti­gat­ing the Nugan Hand bank. A coro­ner found­ed Nugan had killed him­self.

    The bank col­lapsed with debts in excess of $50 mil­lion and a sub­se­quent roy­al com­mis­sion found evi­dence of mon­ey-laun­der­ing, ille­gal tax avoid­ance schemes and wide­spread vio­la­tions of bank­ing laws.

    Over the years, the two words Nugan Hand became short­hand for drug-deal­ing, gun-run­ning, organ­ised crime and clan­des­tine intel­li­gence activ­i­ties.

    But nobody has been con­vict­ed. Gov­ern­ments, secu­ri­ty and espi­onage agen­cies ran dead or appeared to look the oth­er way. Many men asso­ci­at­ed with the bank’s affairs in Aus­tralia, the US and Asia have died ear­ly or in mys­te­ri­ous cir­cum­stances.

    The most prob­lem­at­ic death was William Col­by’s. Direc­tor of the CIA between 1972 and 1976 as the US wound down its involve­ment in Viet­nam, Col­by became a legal advis­er to the Nugan Hand bank. He was found face-down in the water after leav­ing his Mary­land home on a solo canoe trip in 1996.

    Butt thought Hand had been pro­tect­ed since flee­ing Aus­tralia in June 1980.

    “It turns out that the FBI could have dealt with Michael Hand long ago. A sim­ple back­ground check reveals Fuller’s social secu­ri­ty num­ber is iden­ti­cal to the one allo­cat­ed to Michael Hand in New York in 1960,” he said.

    “The fact that Hand has been allowed to live the free life in the Unit­ed States sug­gests that he belongs to a pro­tect­ed species, most like­ly of the intel­li­gence kind. Indeed, an intel­li­gence doc­u­ment I found places Michael Hand back work­ing for the CIA in Cen­tral Amer­i­ca 18 months after his dis­ap­pear­ance.”

    But­t’s pre­vi­ous “big reveal” was in 2006 when his well-watched and Logie award-win­ning ABC doc­u­men­tary, Who Killed Dr Bogle and Mrs Chan­dler?, claimed their unsolved deaths on New Year’s Day 1963 may have been caused by acci­den­tal hydro­gen sul­phide poi­son­ing from indus­tri­al waste that had con­cen­trat­ed in the bot­tom mud of the Lane Cove Riv­er.

    While Aus­tralian and Amer­i­can author­i­ties failed to find Hand after he dis­ap­peared in 1980, Butt hit upon the idea of using the for­mer US Green Beret’s most for­ma­tive expe­ri­ence to track him down.

    In 1965, Hand was in a small con­tin­gent of Spe­cial Forces troops dis­patched to Dong Xoai on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. In June, Hand’s out­post came under fierce Viet Cong attack. This was free-fire war­fare with­out con­straint. Only six of the 19 Amer­i­cans sur­vived. Hand saved four of them. He was award­ed a Dis­tin­guished Ser­vice Cross, Amer­i­ca’s sec­ond-high­est brav­ery award. His chutz­pah brought him to the atten­tion of the CIA – out of bul­lets, Hand end­ed up in a hand-to-hand com­bat, dur­ing which he killed a killed a num­ber of attack­ers with a Ka-Bar com­bat knife.

    “Hand now man­u­fac­tures tac­ti­cal weapons for US Spe­cial Forces, spe­cial oper­a­tions groups and hunters. Many of his weapons are designed to work in the unfor­giv­ing con­di­tions of com­bat and hark back to that Tech­ni­col­or Kodak moment in the bat­tle of Doing Xoai when Hand used his Ka-Bar knife to rip through the ster­num of a Viet Cong attack­er before remov­ing the man’s head from his body with his bare hands,” he said.

    “It appears that Hand has spent the last 17 years alchemis­ing that crit­i­cal, exis­ten­tial moment in his life when a blade honed and sharp­ened to a microme­tre rep­re­sent­ed the line between life and eter­ni­ty.

    “He now pro­duces tens of thou­sands of such weapons a year, many of which he exports to coun­tries around the world, includ­ing Aus­tralia.”

    On Sun­day night, the Nine Net­work pro­gram 60 Min­utes, using infor­ma­tion pro­vid­ed by Butt, filmed Hand emerg­ing from a phar­ma­cy in his local shop­ping mall.

    Shocked and befud­dled, Hand said noth­ing but drove home and locked him­self behind closed doors refus­ing a request for an inter­view.

    Butt said he would inform the Aus­tralian Fed­er­al Police and the NSW Police of Hand’s new iden­ti­ty and where­abouts.

    He said he would also pro­vide author­i­ties with details unearthed dur­ing years of research about Hand’s crim­i­nal deeds, includ­ing mon­ey-laun­der­ing for drug traf­fick­ers, tax eva­sion schemes, gun-run­ning, for­eign exchange fraud, false evi­dence to a roy­al com­mis­sion, fab­ri­ca­tion of a false pass­port and false dec­la­ra­tions to cus­toms.

    “Aus­tralians who lost their life sav­ings in the Nugan Hand deba­cle may wish to see Hand face his day in court, but it would be naive to believe this would come to pass,” he said.

    “Extra­di­tion from the US would require a seri­ous mea­sure of polit­i­cal will. It would also demand answers of our Amer­i­can friends as to why Hand, who had become an Aus­tralian cit­i­zen, was allowed to set­tle back into the Unit­ed States when the Aus­tralian police and Inter­pol were des­per­ate­ly try­ing to track him down.”

    Posted by newsgrabber | November 8, 2015, 3:01 pm
  2. Well look at that: Fugi­tive bank Michael Hand may have been found after decades on the run. But as the arti­cle below points out, any actu­al inter­est from author­i­ties in find­ing him was lost a long time ago. And has yet to be found:

    The Aus­tralian

    Inter­est in arrest appears lost as rogue Nugan Hand banker found

    Novem­ber 10, 2015 12:00AM

    Cameron Stew­art, Asso­ciate Edi­tor

    Ean Hig­gins, Reporter

    For 35 years, fugi­tive banker Michael Hand has been on the run from Aus­tralian author­i­ties. But nobody, it seems, has been inter­est­ed in chas­ing him.

    As ear­ly as 1982, ASIO was told the co-founder of the noto­ri­ous Syd­ney-based Nugan Hand Bank was work­ing as a US mil­i­tary advis­er in Cen­tral Amer­i­ca after flee­ing Aus­tralia under a false name in 1980.

    This tip-off, along with oth­ers, was ignored, fuelling spec­u­la­tion Hand was a US intel­li­gence oper­a­tive whose Cold War ser­vice has pro­tect­ed him from pros­e­cu­tion.

    And now Hand has been found in a town in the north­west­ern US state of Ida­ho, Aus­tralian author­i­ties still do not seem anx­ious to arrest the 73-year-old for­mer swindler.

    An Aus­tralian Secu­ri­ties & Invest­ments Com­mis­sion spokesman said: “ASIC does not com­ment on oper­a­tional issues, but notes that this mat­ter is well over three decades old and we would need to sat­is­fy our­selves any inves­ti­ga­tion ben­e­fit­ed the pub­lic inter­est.

    The Aus­tralian Fed­er­al Police declined to say if it would inves­ti­gate, but said it would assess the new infor­ma­tion.

    The luke­warm reac­tion to the dis­cov­ery of Hand this week will only fuel spec­u­la­tion intel­li­gence agen­cies have delib­er­ate­ly gone dead on bring­ing the for­mer US spe­cial forces Viet­nam vet­er­an to jus­tice.

    Nugan Hand was rumoured to have been used by the CIA in Asia to laun­der dirty mon­ey to help fund anti-com­mu­nist regimes and insur­gents dur­ing the height of the Cold War in the 1970s.

    The Nine Network’s 60 Min­utes pro­gram, using infor­ma­tion unearthed by Syd­ney author Peter Butt, tracked down Hand, who was liv­ing under an alias in Ida­ho Falls.

    The inter­na­tion­al mer­chant bank col­lapsed in 1980 with debts of more than $50 mil­lion. Sydney’s Mar­rickville and Leichardt coun­cils came close to los­ing about $1.5m in unreg­is­tered secu­ri­ties dur­ing liq­ui­da­tion pro­ceed­ings.

    The bank was sub­se­quent­ly linked to mon­ey laun­der­ing, tax-avoid­ance schemes and clande­stine intel­li­gence activ­i­ties, with some of those asso­ci­at­ed with the bank dying mys­te­ri­ous deaths.

    After bank co-founder Frank Nugan was found shot dead with a rifle by his side in 1980 (an inquest found it was sui­cide), Michael Hand fled under a false name. A war­rant was issued for his arrest in Decem­ber 1980 for try­ing to per­vert the course of jus­tice.

    How­ev­er, an ASIO cable sent from the Aus­tralian embassy in Wash­ing­ton to “Scor­pi­on” — the code name for ASIO chief Har­vey Bar­nett — in Decem­ber 1982 reveals the agency had infor­ma­tion on Hand’s where­abouts.

    The cable said it had received infor­ma­tion from an Aus­tralian police team sent to the US to chase Hand that he was employed “as a (US) mil­i­tary advis­er to the Puma Bat­tal­ion involved in the Honduras/Nicaragua dis­pute”.

    “Hand said to be sta­tioned on Mos­qui­to Coast at Durzana, eight KMS south of the Moco­ran refugee camp and to be known to Colonel Jose Ser­ra Heran­des and Ricadic­go Pabil­lar, both promi­nent polit­i­cal fig­ures,” it said.

    The cable said the Aus­tralian police had asked the FBI for help, but it could not assist. It says ASIO then told the police it “doubt­ed” it could help bring Hand to jus­tice because “ASIO had no direct liai­son in Honduras/Nicaragua region and also there was no Aus­tralian embassy there”.

    At that time, the CIA and Wash­ing­ton were increas­ing mil­i­tary assis­tance and train­ing to Hon­duras to exert as much pres­sure as pos­si­ble on the left-wing San­din­ista gov­ern­ment in neigh­bour­ing Nicaragua. If Hand was help­ing to train elite troops of the Puma Bat­tal­ion in Hon­duras, he would almost cer­tain­ly have been work­ing for the US gov­ern­ment and pos­si­bly the CIA. The CIA has always denied it employed Hand.

    The sus­pi­cion that intel­li­gence agen­cies went cold on pros­e­cut­ing Hand was rein­forced in 1991 when The Eye mag­a­zine report­ed that Hand was believed to be liv­ing in a sub­urb in Wash­ing­ton state.

    It even pub­lished his alleged address — 1075 Belle­vue Way — but the rev­e­la­tion gen­er­at­ed no inter­est from Aus­tralian author­i­ties despite an arrest war­rant still being in place. In the 60 Min­utes report, Butt, author of a book about the scan­dal, Mer­chants of Men­ace, says Hand has been liv­ing in the US under the same social secu­ri­ty num­ber he was giv­en in 1960.

    “The fact that Hand has been allowed to live the free life in the Unit­ed States sug­gests he belongs to a pro­tect­ed species, most like­ly of the intel­li­gence kind,” Butt said.

    William Col­by, CIA direc­tor from 1972–76, and who became a legal advis­er to Nugan Hand Bank, was found face down in the water on a solo canoe trip in 1996.

    For­mer NSW Lib­er­al leader and jurist John Dowd QC yes­ter­day sug­gest­ed the fact that ASIO’s Cold War ally the CIA was alleged­ly involved might have less­ened Aus­tralian author­i­ties’ eager­ness to pur­sue Hand. “It may just have been iner­tia or maybe we were not upset about what the CIA were doing,” he told The Aus­tralian.

    In the late 1970s, Mr Dowd launched his own inves­ti­ga­tion of Nugan Hand, trav­el­ling to Chi­ang Mai in Thai­land, where he dis­cov­ered the bank had an office next door to the US Drug Enforce­ment Admin­is­tra­tion.

    Mr Dowd said “the British Secret Ser­vice sent some­body” to inter­view him about what he had dis­cov­ered about Nugan Hand.

    “They prob­a­bly knew it was a CIA oper­a­tion and they were inter­est­ed in fol­low­ing what the Amer­i­cans were doing,” Mr Dowd said. “Hand got them (the CIA) inter­est­ed in mov­ing mon­ey for var­i­ous pur­pos­es.”

    Mr Dowd said he believed that Aus­tralian and US author­i­ties should still go after Hand now his where­abouts were again known.

    “It was $50m, a lot of it Aus­tralian,” Mr Dowd said. “A crime is a crime is a crime.”


    An Aus­tralian Secu­ri­ties & Invest­ments Com­mis­sion spokesman said: “ASIC does not com­ment on oper­a­tional issues, but notes that this mat­ter is well over three decades old and we would need to sat­is­fy our­selves any inves­ti­ga­tion ben­e­fit­ed the pub­lic inter­est.”

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 10, 2015, 2:22 pm

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