Monday, December 1, 2008

Madsen on Mumbai

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Nov 29

WMR previously reported that the violent and bloody attack on Mumbai represents a pay-back from exiled Indian Muslim Mumbai gangland warlord Dawood Ibrahim who fears that the CIA was conspiring with the Pakistani government to extradite him from Pakistan to India. Such an event would effectively cede control of Mumbai's lucrative organized crime territory to Hindu extremist criminal syndicates allied with the Hindu terrorist Shiv Sena group.

The targeting of the Lubavitcher Chabad House in Mumbai, where a New York rabbi and his wife were killed by one team of gangsters that arrived by sea from Pakistan, was likely more score settling by Ibrahim who suspected that Israeli Mafiosi were conspiring with Hindu extremist gangs to supplant Ibrahim's criminal influence in Mumbai.

There is a history of Chabad Houses not only being used as safehouses and logistics centers for Israeli intelligence but as storefronts for criminal activity. In March 1989, US law enfocement rounded up a criminal network in Seattle, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Colombia, and Israel that involved a Chabad House that was involved in money laundering and currency violations.

AP reported from Newark, New Jersey that Adi Tal, a former employee of Israel's El Al Airlines who emigrated to the US from Israel in 1983, and his chief assistant Nir Goldeshtein, were found guilty by the US District Court in Newark of laundering $25m. The cash was sent to Panama and Colombia directly and smuggled to Britain, West Germany, and Israel as personal and cashier's checks, money orders, and cash. The money was then wired to Panamanian bank accounts. Tal and Goldeshtein lived in Edison, New Jersey. They had moved there from Seattle. Goldeshtein had attempted to deposit $437k in Citibank's London branch.

Federal prosecutors said Tal conspired with Jose Stroh, one of the Cali, Colombia drug cartel's chief money launderers. Sixteen people were indicted in the case but five were never captured. Of the five, Nir Levy, Rea Lev-Ari, and Dov Feldman, escaped to Israel and avoided extradition back to the US. Among the fugitives was Tal's recruiter, Enrique Korc of Israel. Among those indicted was Rabbi Sholom Levitin, the founder and head of the Chabad House in Seattle. Tal claimed that the laundered money was Israeli "investments" and Levitin denied knowing that the money he was laundering was illegally obtained. Federal prosecutors said Tal told his "mostly Israeli operatives" that the money was not connected to organized crime but, according to the Mar 23 1989 AP report from Newark, told them "the cash came from Israel for investment in the US or that it was somehow connected to the Mossad, Israel's secret service."

UPI reported on March 17, 1989 that one of the Israelis indicted and found guilty, former Israeli Air Force Captain Moshe Begim, said he was told the cash was Mossad money being used to fund anti-Communist guerrillas in Central America. Federal prosecutors described Begim and another member of the Israeli gang, Baruch Zeltzer, as leaders of the Los Angeles and Seattle operations, respectively. Zeltzer lived at the Chabad House in Seattle. Another Seattle Israeli military veteran, Avsholom Hazan, was also found guilty and sentenced to prison. Two Israelis in Begim's Los Angeles operation, Alon Redko and Guy Marom, also an ex-Israeli Defense Force member, were also found guilty and sentenced to imprisonment. Most of the Israelis indicted were also former employees of El Al.

In 2007, Israeli police arrested top Chabad leaders for laundering money from Kfar Chabad, Israel. Israel's Channel 10 reported that one of the suspected money launderers using the Chabad operation was Arkadi Gaydamak, a Russian-Israeli mafiosi figure who recently ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Jerusalem. Among those arrested was Yosef Aharanov, director of the Young Chabad Association, who the JPost reported had been the head of the "Bibi is Good for the Jews" campaign that championed Chabad support for Likud's Binyamin Netanyahu as Prime Minister in 1996.

There are Chabad Houses located in Bogota and Barranquilla, Colombia; La Paz, Bolivia; Kinshasa, Congo; San Jose, Costa Rica; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Quito, Ecuador; Tbilisi, Georgia; Baku, Quba, and Sumqait, Azerbaijan; Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, China; Guatemala City, Guatemala; Luang Prabang, Laos; Cancun and Tijuana, Mexico; Thamel District of Kathmandu, Nepal; Cusco and Lima, Peru; Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Koh Samui, Thailand; Caracas, Venezuela; and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

In addition to Mumbai, Chabad Houses are also located in Bangalore, Goa, and Manali, India.

Nov 27

WMR's Asian intelligence sources have provided additional information on the wave of terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Under pressure from Washington, this past May Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani cut a secret deal with the United States and India to turn over to Delhi a number of residents of Pakistan wanted by India for terrorism. One of those included in the deal was the CIA's erstwhile asset, Mumbai-born Dawood Ibrahim, a veteran of CIA operations in Afghanistan during the mujaheddin war against the Soviets.

Ibrahim, according to our sources, has been under the protection of Pakistan's ISI since June. He is being protected in Quetta, near the Waziristan tribal region. The CIA is fearful that if Ibrahim is deported to India, RAW and Russia's Vladimir Putin will obtain the entire dossier on the CIA's sponsorship of criminal activities and terrorist attacks. ISI would prefer Ibrahim to move to the UAE, perhaps Dubai, where he has extensive financial interests. Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari is a business rival of Ibrahim and the ISI would like Ibrahim to be at a distance from Pakistan's president and "settle scores" with his old "allies" and new enemies in Langley from outside Pakistani territory.

Ibrahim is reportedly using his gangland "muscle" in India to send a clear message to Delhi and Washington that he is a force to be reckoned with. The son of a Bombay (Mumbai) police constable who, himself, dabbled in organized criminal activity, Ibrahim has his informants and agents peppered throughout the Indian police, RAW, and Pakistan's ISI. Ibrahim also knows a great deal about the CIA's operations on the sub-continent, including having the "goods" on the CIA's "Afghanist" agents, as well as agency veterans of Kathmandu who dabbled in personal loans from Ibrahim to pay off gambling debts, personal favors for the CIA, highly sought after prostitutes, and drugs. Many of these veterans of Nepal are now senior analysts and operational personnel at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

The CIA has every reason to blame the Mumbai attacks on a coterie of "Islamist" groups, including Lashkar-e-Taiba, "Al Qaeda," and a new group called "Deccan Mujahedin." If the media takes a closer look at Ibrahim they will find links to Langley and that is something neither the CIA or Pakistan or India wants to see happen lest other "dirty laundry" also comes to the forefront. Ibrahim's joint casino interests with the CIA in Kathmandu apparently involves money laundering for top Indian politicians in New Delhi, as well as some of India's more well-known "Bollywood" actors.

Indian police are now reporting they have seven small boats in their custody that were used by the Mumbai terrorists to sail from Pakistan to the Indian coast. WMR has learned the boats in question are inflatables used by Ibrahim's commandos who landed on the Mumbai seafront from Karachi with AK-47s and walked down the sidewalk into the lobbies of 5-star hotels and simply opened fire. Part of Ibrahim's motive is not only to send a message to Washington, London, and Delhi that he will not be traded in a double cross engineered by the CIA but also to send a warning to the extremist Hindu Shiv Sena terrorist gang that he is not ceding Mumbai's gangland turf to Shiv Sena without a fight.

Ibrahim also sent a warning message to Israel by seizing Chabad House in Mumbai, reportedly a haven for right-wing Jewish Orthodox groups and Israeli military "trainers" who pose as backpackers on holiday in Kashmir during their reconnaissance missions. Apparently, the Israelis' uncouth behavior toward Kashmiri locals, including cheating taxi drivers and lodges, became known to Ibrahim who figured he could also take advantage of his assault on Mumbai to teach the Israelis a couple of lessons. The Israelis are in Kashmir to train Indians on their side of the India-Pakistan Kashmiri Line of Control. The Israelis maintain a military training facility, known as the Ibex Center, outside of Leh, the capital of Ladakh. There, the Israelis train Tibetan exiles and local Buddhist soldiers who serve in the Ladakh Scouts, the mountain commandos who patrol the Indian side of the Line of Control and the Siachen Glacier. Also trained by the Israelis is the "Tibetan Army," the Indian Army unit also known as the Special Frontier Force. The training takes place at the Mussorie parajump base in northern India. Kashmiri separatists claim Israeli trainers have served with Tibetan commandos in putting down insurgencies in Assam and Manipur in northeastern India.

The Israelis began operating out of Chabad House after receiving a contract in 1996, a year after a group of Western tourists were captured by militants in Kashmir. A Norwegian was beheaded in the incident. The attack was condemned by every mujahedin group in Kashmir and Pakistan. Some blamed Israelis for the kidnapping of the Westerners in exchange for the security contract and the use of Indian Air Force bases in Jammu, part of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Jammu bases are within a 20-minute striking range of Pakistan's nuclear facilities and missile bases. Pakistani ISI alleges that Israeli fighter bombers as the Jammu bases are disguised with false Indian markings and are armed with nuclear weapons.

WMR's Asian intelligence sources report that Chabad Houses are fronts for Israeli military intelligence and Mafia activities in other Asian cities. In Bangkok, Israeli military pilots and drivers who stay at the Chabad House there train Thai Army commandos, divers, and pilots who are fighting a Muslim secessionist movement along the southern border with Malaysia. Bangkok police have long suspected Chabad House as a center for the Israeli Mafia, which runs its Ecstasy and Ice trade from Bangkok for all of Southeast and East Asia. The Israeli Mafia also reportedly runs heroin labs in Myanmar, where an Israeli military officer serves in Myanmar's feared military counter-intelligence agency.

By torching the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai, Ibrahim has also earned a few extra points with Pakistan's government. The Taj Mahal is owned by the Taj Group, an enterprise of the multi-billionaire Tata family of India. Tata stands to make a fortune from the US-India nuclear technology sharing pact as a defense supplier for India's future modernized nuclear arsenal. The targeting of the Tata-owned hotel was a stark warning, via Ibrahim's gang, that America will pay dearly for backing India's expanded nuclear ambitions. And for that, Islamabad obviously looked the other way as Ibrahim's men deployed to Mumbai by sea from Karachi.