The Miscreants’ Global Bust-Out (Chapter 8): Al Qaeda, Iran, and Some Mafia-tied Agents of Economic Sabotage
23 May 2011
by Mark Mitchell
Examining a pack of market manipulators tied to terrorists and the Mafia
In August 2005, Patrick Byrne, CEO of an internet retailer called Overstock.com and future founder of Deep Capture, held a conference call for around 500 Wall Street folks and financial journalists. During this call, Patrick gave a presentation, which he titled “The Miscreants Ball”. The presentation described a network of miscreant short sellers who seemed to be using a variety of dubious tactics to manipulate stock prices and damage public companies.
Patrick said that there was a famous criminal at the center of this network. He said that he wasn’t going to name the criminal for the time being, but would simply call him “the Sith Lord” – a reference to the evil mastermind from Star Wars. Patrick did not say that this criminal or any of the hedge fund managers he named in his presentation were tied to the Mafia. But he did suggest that the there were indications that the Mafia seemed to be involved in short-side market manipulation.
In addition, Patrick said that he had information that a fellow named Kevin Ingram was somehow involved, and this Ingram guy had been arrested by the FBI for his role in an illegal Stinger missile deal involving some shadowy Pakistani characters.
Patrick concluded his presentation by saying that he believed that abusive short selling posed a risk to the stability of the financial system. And he said that he was filing a lawsuit against one miscreant short seller, a guy named David Rocker, who then ran a hedge fund called Rocker Partners, later renamed Copper River.
Rocker was one of Michael Milken’s close associates. He previously worked for the Belzberg brothers – Sam and Hymie. The Belzbergs, who are also among Milken’s closest associates, had been key participants in the junk bond merry-go-round and bust out scams that Milken masterminded in the 1980s.
Though Patrick didn’t know it when he filed his lawsuit against Rocker, the Belzbergs had also been tied to the Genovese Mafia by U.S. customs agents and the Canadian Royal Mounted Police who filed reports on the Belzberg’s business dealings with the Mafia.
Of course, when the Belzberg’s ties to the Mafia were exposed, they expressed surprise that the people they had been dealing with for years were Mobsters. They had even dealt with Meyer Lansky, who was one of the most famous Mobsters in the world, without (according to the Belzbergs) knowing who Meyer Lansky was.
Whatever the truth, Rocker subsequently went to work as a top trader for Michael Steinhardt’s hedge fund. Steinhardt has since admitted that he is the son of the “biggest Mafia fence in America.” But the Belzbergs must have been surprised to learn that, too.
Rocker, meanwhile, spent much of his career telling people on Wall Street of his ties to the Mob. But maybe, like the Belzbergs, he didn’t know he had ties to the Mob.
The media response to Patrick’s “Miscreants Ball” presentation was disappointing in general, but one crew of journalists covered the presentation with relish. These journalists seemed to think it was supremely hilarious that the CEO of a sizable public company had used the “Sith Lord” metaphor.
These journalists also seemed to believe that there was something weird about a CEO talking about the Mafia and Stinger missiles. This was especially troubling, given that those journalists could have found on Google in one minute numerous news stories and government documents about the Mafia infiltrating Wall Street.
There were also plenty of detailed articles and about Kevin Ingram and his involvement with Stinger missiles and shady characters from Pakistan (see for example “Ex-Goldman Trader Stung in Arms Plot, Shocks Colleagues , New York Observer, July 1, 2001).
The journalists lambasted Patrick in stories that portrayed him as a nutcase. In some instances, they quite literally suggested that he might need psychiatric care. The New York Post printed a photo of Patrick with a UFO over his head.
Patrick proceeded to do battle with these journalists, and his battle came to my attention in January, 2006 – shortly after I had taken a job at Columbia University in New York. Specifically, I was the assistant managing editor responsible for critiquing the business press for the Columbia Journalism Review, a magazine that serves as a media watchdog.
It seemed to me that the journalists had been a bit vicious in their attacks on Patrick, so I called him, thinking I’d write a quick story about his criticisms of the New York financial media.
During our initial conversation, Patrick went on at length about the Mafia, but he did not seem in the least bit insane. In fact, I was already aware that the Mafia was active in the markets.
In 2001, while working as a correspondent for Time magazine in Asia, I had spent many weeks investigating a network of Mafia-tied brokerages that were operating out of Bangkok, Thailand. The Thai authorities had raided some of these brokerages, so their owners had gone temporarily into hiding. Which is to say they had abandoned their penthouse apartments and were living in luxury hotel suites in the center of Bangkok, ordering their lawyers to make the Thai government’s investigations go away.
I found one of them, John Kealey, owner of the Brinton Group, and he refused to comment on media reports that he had ties to the Irish Republican Army, but he did acknowledge that he had (unwittingly, in his version of the story) done business with a Mafia enforcer with the last name Ciasullo, first name Eugene, though he didn’t like to be called “Eugene” – he preferred to be called “The Animal.”
A few days later, I met a fellow named David Cordova at his office, which was around the corner from a three-story nudie bar and brothel complex called Nana Plaza. Cordova owned a Bangkok brokerage called Kensington and in addition to manipulating the markets, he was selling a fake AIDS cure with a famous Mob enforcer named Bernie Sandow.
When I met Cordova, he had just returned from Ghana, where he’d had an audience in the Manhyia Palace with Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, King of the Ashanti people.
The first thing that happened at our meeting was that Cordova’s wife arrived and announced that she was going to read my palm. She said she was a fortune teller with magic powers.
I let her read my palm, and she said that things did not look good for me–I was going to die. In fact, I was going to die really soon.
The second thing that happened was that Cordova told me he had a handgun under his desk and he was looking for some “hired help” to kill a stock broker named Danny Sterk, who’d screwed some of Cordova’s boys on a deal.
In addition, Cordova thought he might assasinate Danny Sterk. And this Sterk – well, he was a stock broker, too. But he was also a former mercenary who could kill a man with one quick jab to the throat.
Sterk, who also dealt in forex derivatives, had attracted some attention to himself when he threatened to kill an innocent airline employee. This was because the airline employee had refused to allow Sterk’s dog sit with him on a flight to Kinshasa.
So, by comparison, Patrick Byrne’s story did not seem all that strange to me. I began to investigate, and within a few weeks it was clear that the journalists attacking Patrick all had close relationships (in some cases business relationships) with certain hedge fund managers, most of whom were among the closest associates of Michael Milken, the famous financial criminal.
For details about these journalists see earlier Deep Capture stories, including “The Story of Deep Capture”, which explains how and why we came to embark on the Deep Capture project.
At any rate, back in 2006, I never did write the quick story about Patrick and the financial media that I had planned for the Columbia Journalism Review. Instead, I concluded that Michael Milken was probably “the Sith Lord” and decided to conduct a deeper investigation into the tactics of hedge funds tied to Milken.
By that time, though, Patrick had modified his “Sith Lord” analogy to say that there was probably not one man at the center of the network, but a few key figures. Patrick had publicly added that he would (hint, hint) “sack up” as to the identity of one “Sith Lord” sometime in the near future.
As everyone on Wall Street understood, but I failed to catch, Patrick was referring to SAC Capital, which is referred to colloquially on the Street as “sack,” or sometimes ‘Saks”.
Months later, I was still investigating, and I was far down the rabbit hole, thinking I had seen it all. But I hadn’t seen it all, because a number of strange things were about to happen, the first of which was the appearance in my office of a former operative for a foreign intelligence agency.
This former spy announced that he had spent many years investigating Michael Milken and his friends, and he said that one key to understanding this network was a guy named Gene Phillips, who was deeply tied to the Mafia. He also said that Milken and his associates were holding secret meetings in Costa Rica, where they were planning the destruction of some big companies.
The former spy didn’t know all the details, but he said these meetings had something to do with Real Estate Investment Trusts, or REITs. He said that mortgage companies and something called “collateralized debt obligations” were also being discussed at these meetings in Costa Rica.
In addition, the former spy said that he had confirmed that Kevin Ingram, the guy mentioned by Patrick Byrne – the guy tied to the Stinger missile deal — was working for the Milken network, and had mysterious ties to the Pakistani intelligence services.
There was also something about a guy in Costa Rica. It seemed this guy in Costa Rica was hosting the secret Milken meetings, and there was a lot that was strange about this guy — he had ties to the Mafia, and jihadis, and he worked out of the same building as the Israeli embassy, and…
And, well, that’s when I started to tune out. At this stage in my investigation, I had determined that the Mafia certainly had a presence on Wall Street and was manipulating the markets. Indeed, I had spent some time looking into the murder of one Mafia-tied naked short seller.
But I was not yet at the stage where I could believe that some prominent American investors were tied to the Mafia. And when the former spy began talking about jihadis and secret meetings in Costa Rica and the Israeli embassy and mysterious ties to Pakistan – well, it all seemed a bit too much.
It seemed, in fact, like the kind of conspiratorial story that a former spy might tell to toot his own horn and make it seem like he was in possession of special secrets known only by him. I did not believe what the former spy told me, and I escorted him out of my office thinking he was an interesting character, worthy of a novel, perhaps, but not of use to my investigation.
After the former spy was gone, I glanced at the stack of documents he had given me, but it was just a glance before I dumped the documents in a drawer and promptly forgot about them.
I didn’t believe that former spy. I didn’t look closely at those documents. I didn’t immediately follow up on any of the information that he had given me. And these are among my life’s greatest regrets.
I now know that when I met that former spy, I had become complacent. I could believe that bad things were happening in Bangkok. I had personally witnessed bad things happening in places like the Congo and Aceh and the Philippines. But I could not believe that such things could happen in America.
In short, I was a comfortable journalist, back in the United States with a comfortable job, disinclined to think the worst or examine notions that seemed, on their surface, to be outlandish.
However, I did know back in 2006 that I was on to a big story. And in some subconscious fold of my brain, I must have realized that anything was possible. So it eventually occurred to me that I should put that former spy’s documents in a safe place. The thought hadn’t crystalized, but somehow I believed that those documents might one day come in handy.
And now – five years later – there are some things that I know.
I know, for example, that what that former spy told me was true. And I know that there was much more to the story – that what the spy told me was only a tiny fraction of it. Moreover, I now understand why a former spy (a fellow who had spent much of his career tracking jihadi terrorists) would have taken a special interest in some of the people in the Milken network – especially those who were gathering in Costa Rica.
Kevin Ingram, the guy linked to the attempted Stinger missile deal, was at some of those meetings in Costa Rica. And he wasn’t just working for the Milken network, he was playing a key role in devising some of the schemes that the network would perpetrate against big companies and the mortgage markets.
In 2007, a blogger who was writing under pseudonyms (sometimes he called himself “Bob O’Brien”, sometimes he called himself “the Easter Bunny”) used some clever internet forensics to determine that Ingram was helping members of the Milken network, including David Rocker, orchestrate a short selling attack on a mortgage company called Novastar Financial.
I know it is weird to cite someone who calls himself the Easter Bunny as a credible source, and believe me – the Easter Bunny is a weird guy. But sometimes weird is a good thing to be. Sometimes weird people are smart, and when the Easter Bunny was still writing his blog (TheSanityCheck.com), he was a keen observer.
Moreover, the Easter Bunny’s conclusion that Ingram assisted the short selling attack on Novastar Financial has since been confirmed by people who have assisted my investigation, and who know Ingram well.
These people say that Ingram also helped devise the self-destruct CDO scam that I described at the outset of this story. As you will recall, “synthetic” CDOs (collateralized debt obligations) were designed by short sellers who made sure they contained the mortgages most likely to default. The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission has blamed these instruments for the 2007 collapse of the mortgage markets.
Ingram knew quite a bit about collateralized debt obligations because he had previously worked as the head of the mortgage-backed securities desks at Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank. After leaving the big banks, Ingram ran his own high-flying company that specialized in trading mortgage bonds and mortgage derivatives, such as CDOs.
In addition, according to the DOJ, Ingram had gone into multiple lines of business with an Egyptian named Diaa Badr Mohsen, who had warehouses full of weapons – including Cobra helicopters, and Stinger missiles – in Miami and New Jersey.
Acting on a tip from a diamond trader named Randy Glass, the FBI began investigating the Egyptian as part of a larger sting operation focused on a mysterious Pakistani who was trying to buy components for nuclear weapons.
The court documents in the Ingram case do not name the Pakistani, but they make it clear that the Egyptian, Diaa Badr Mohsen, had expressed interest in supplying weapons to him. They also make it clear that the Egyptian had previously sold a lot of weapons to people in Pakistan and that he laundered the money from these weapons sales through Kevin Ingram.
In June 2001, the FBI arrested Ingram as he was about to board his private airplane and fly to Europe with more than $2 million in cash that he had obtained from undercover FBI agents posing as arms dealers.
The FBI also arrested the Egyptian Diaa Badr Mohsen, along with a Pakistani liquor store owner in New Jersey named Mohammed Raja Malik, who also dealt in sophisticated weaponry.
A few months later, the September 11 attacks occurred, and the FBI questioned the Egyptian Diaa Badr Mohsen extensively. This was because the FBI determined that it was likely that the Egyptian Diaa Badr Mohsen was tied to Al Qaeda. Indeed, the bureau suspected that the Egyptian might have direct ties to the 9-11 hijackers.
I do not know what came of that investigation (I have found no records that the Egyptian was ever indicted on terrorism charges), but study Pakistan long enough and you will know that illegal arms deals to that country inevitably lead to Al Qaeda, or to its fellow travelers, likely including Pakistan’s spy agency, the ISI.
In short, Kevin Ingram (former head of the Goldman Sachs mortgage bond desk; important errand boy for a network of market manipulators with ties to the Mafia; and a money launderer for an arms dealer with possible ties to both Al Qaeda and to a Pakistani who was in the market for components that could be used to build nuclear bombs) is perhaps not someone who should be handling “financial weapons of mass destruction” (e.g., self-destruct, synthetic CDOs).
As for those meetings in Costa Rica – well, there is much more I have to say about them, beginning with the fact that they were hosted by a man named Jonathan Curshen.
Back in 2006, Curshen was one of Costa Rica’s more prominent residents, known for the large-scale money laundering and brokerage operation he ran out of a company called Red Sea Management. He was also known for the raucous parties that he held with other Costa Rica residents, including a man named Steve Cohen.
That’s not the Steve Cohen who runs SAC Capital (although Curshen knows him, too). It’s the Steve Cohen who was Michael Milken’s cellmate in prison.
When the two men got out of prison, Cohen came to possess a potentially lucrative internet domain – Sex.com – and was looking to partner with someone who could develop it into a big business. Milken introduced Cohen to his best friend, Steve Wynn, the Las Vegas Casino operator, and Wynn seemed interested.
But before that deal could happen, it emerged that Cohen did not actually own the Sex.com domain, but had used an elaborate scheme to steal it from an online dating entrepreneur named Gary Kreman, who filed suit against Cohen. When Cohen lost the lawsuit, he fled to Latin America. In 2005, he was arrrested on the Mexican border and charged for failing to pay a $65 million court judgement.
Jonathan Curshen, the host of the meetings in Costa Rica, had a colorful cast of clients that included a number of shady characters from the Middle East, and people like James Arion, owner of a string of Canadian brothels, including Lady Godiva Escorts, Dangerous Curves, Cupid Escorts, and Sweet Dreams.
Arion also ran a money laundering operation through the All Saints Greek Orthodox Church in Toronto while engaged in some kind of business with Jonathan Idema, an American mercenary who was convicted in 2004 for running a secret, private prison in Afghanistan and torturing Afghan citizens.
The precise nature of Arion’s business with Idema remains unclear, just as it remains unclear what (aside from torturing people) Idema was doing in Afghanistan. He often claimed to be a covert operative, working for the U.S. government, but those claims were almost certainly false.
At other times, he claimed to run a private security company that was hunting Al Qaeda, and exposing the terrorist group’s ties to Iran, Russia, and other rogue states. But the information that he provided to the press was routinely false. Indeed, it seemed he was conducting deliberate disinformation campaigns. At least one video that he made was used by Al Qaeda for propaganda purposes.
When Idema came under investigation, he tried to curry favor with the FBI by telling the bureau that he had penetrated the Russian Mafia and had information about the trafficking of nuclear weapons to terrorists. But when the FBI pressed him for details, he refused to provide them, stating that he believd that the FBI had been infiltrated by Russian intelligence, which (in his version of the story) wanted him dead.
So Idema is a bit of a mystery. But one thing is certain: Johnathan Curshen has ties to jihadis and the Russian Mafia. He famously led a group of investors that was going to buy an outfit called YBM Magnex right at the time in 1998 when government investigators in the United States and Canada had determined that YBM Magnex was controlled by Semion Mogilevich, the Russian Mafia boss who also stands accused of trying to sell highly enriched uranium to Al Qaeda.
The charges against Mogilevich for his role in YBM Magnex, which was a massive stock fraud and money laundering operation, are what initially earned Mogilevich his place on the FBI’s list of the world’s “Ten Most Wanted” criminals.
Curshen had additional ties to the Mogilevich Organization, and he was following the familiar pattern – people in the Milken network buying the criminal operations of others in the network as soon as those operations come under investigation.
As it happened, a year after Curshen moved to acquire YBM Magnex, new evidence showed that YBM was part of a bigger money laundering and market manipulation enterprise. This was the one that saw more than $7 billion of Russian Mafia and government money laundered through the Bank of New York.
In addition to Mogilevich, Russsian Mobster Grigori Loutchansky (suspected of trafficking in nuclear weapons materials) was also tied to the Bank of New York scandal. Recall that others tied to the Bank of New York scandal included a number of Michael Milken’s closest associates, including Randolph Pace and Judah Wernick.
In fact, Milken himself was tied to that scandal. And it was not just a Mafia money laundering scandal; it was one of the biggest market manipulation schemes in history, perpetrated with the full cooperation of the Russian government, in league with people — such as Marc Rich, Edmund Safra, and Abbas Gokal (the Pakistani intelligence agent) — who had close ties to the regime in Iran.
I first came to suspect Milken’s involvement in the Bank of New York affair when a young organized crime expert in Boston sent me some information suggesting that a certain Gene Phillips had played an instrumental role. In the fall of 2010, I was investigating Phillips and calling Zuhair Karam, the jihadi who worked for that little Chicago outfit, Tuco Trading.
Recall that some interesting Russian characters had an account called “Orange Diviner” at Tuco Trading. The Russians behind Orange Diviner included: 1) the top henchmen of Roman Abramovich (prime minister Putin’s right-hand man); 2) traders associated with Mikhail Fridman (financier of Iran’s nuclear program); and 3) two Mogilevich henchmen, one of whom (Sergei Maximov) had worked for YBM Magnex, and another of whom (Maxim Mishin) worked for the MDM Group, which, like YBM, was tied to the Bank of New York scandal.
Recall also that I had received a tip that a certain Iranian was behind a couple of Tuco accounts (one with more than 2,000 subaccounts based in China) that had, in the month before the 2008 collapse of Bear Stearns, transacted manipulative trading equal to more than 20 percent of the volume at the largest brokerage on the planet.
In the fall of 2010, I had not yet learned the identity of this Iranian, but I was learning more about Gene Phillips and beginning to make some progress with Zuhair Karam. During one of my conversations with Zuhair, I suddenly remembered that former spy whom I had met in 2006. I recalled that the former spy had also mentioned Gene Phillips.
It was only then, in the fall of 2010, that I finally took a close look at those documents that the former spy had given me–those documents that I had instinctively stored in a safe place way back in 2006.
Information in those documents and other information that I later uncovered would help me learn that many of the people tied to the massive Bank of New York scandal had moved on to bigger things by 2008. Indeed, they had contributed mightily to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
Some of them had also been at those meetings in Costa Rica, where Michael Milken and his friends had discussed mortgage derivatives, REITs, and ways in which to destroy some big companies.
More on the Bank of New York scandal and the events of 2008 later. First let us consider some additional information about the host of those Costa Rica meetings, Jonathan Curshen, white knight for Russian Mafia boss Semion Mogilevich’s YBM Magnex fraud.
In February, 2011, Curshen was indicted for his role in what seems like a small-time stock manipulation scheme, but the FBI might have targeted Curshen because he was involved in much bigger crimes.
While Curshen was still operating in Costa Rica, a Deep Capture operative with an elaborate cover traveled to San Jose to meet with Curshen. Before he could enter the offices of Curshen’s Red Sea Management, the Deep Capture man was frisked and questioned at length by guards armed with machine guns.
This was because Red Sea Management was, in fact, located on the fifth floor of the heavily fortified building that housed the Israeli embassy (just as the former spy had told me).
During the meeting, Curshen admitted to the Deep Capture undercover man that he had been a major league naked short seller since the 1990s, and had taken down multiple companies in league with a pack of other miscreants, many of them friends of Michael Milken.
In a subsequent meeting at a luxury hotel in a different Central American location, Curshen hinted to the Deep Capture man that he had also laundered money for Colombian drug cartels.
This was unsurprising, because in 2006, at the time when Curshen was hosting the Milken meetings, counter-narcotics officers searched a DC-9 airplane at a remote Mexican airport and found that it was loaded with more than 5 tons of cocaine. And the plane was tied either to Curshen or Curshen’s clients, or both.
It is not certain that Curshen or his clients themselves were drug smugglers, but people who checked the plane’s tail numbers discovered that it had been registered as belonging to a shell company called DuPont, which was located at the same address as Curshen’s company, Red Sea.
In 2004, DuPont had transferred the plane to Skyway Communications, a Curshen-linked company that had a partnership with an outfit called Lantex, which was in the business of providing counter-terrorism services to government and corporate clients. Since Lantex (through an outfit called Titan) had contracts with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), this might explain why the plane carrying 5 tons of cocaine was adorned with a DHS logo.
The plane had also been registered at various times in the names of a number of companies controlled by Curshen’s clients or closest associates. For example, the plane was once registered in the name a company called Southmark, controlled by the myterious Gene Phillips.
Later, the plane was registered in the name of Genesis Aviation, which was incorporated by Curshen’s Red Sea client Ramy El Batrawi.
At the same time, El Batrawi was running a company called GenesisIntermedia that was controlled by another Curshen associate, the Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khasshogi, who was a key figure in various BCCI scandals, including Capcom, the Saudi intelligence operation that traded through Michael Milken’s Drexel Burnham in the 1980s.
Meanwhile, many other Curshen clients were traders who had been implicated in stock manipulation schemes involving Khashoggi. One of these was Rafi Khan, the son of a Pakistani diplomat (some of Khan’s associates say that Khan’s father was, in fact, with the ISI, Pakistan’s spy service).
Khan was involved with the Holy Land Foundation, the outfit that was tied to Tuco trader Zuhair Karam’s Bridgeview Mosque and which was identified by prosecutors as the principal U.S. front for Hamas, the jihadi group whose stated mission is to wipe Israel off the map. Federal prosecutors, recall, named Nihad Awad (parnter of Omar Amanat, designer of Tuco’s trading platform, Lightspeed) as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land case.
Given that Curshen’s associates were financing Hamas, one can understand why a former spy (who had once worked closely with the Israelis) would wonder how it came to be that Curshen chose to locate his offices in the same building as the Israeli embassy.
There are, in fact, many other reasons why a former spy would be interested in this network, and to better understand these reasons, we need to go back to September 10, 2001 – the day before Al Qaeda hijackers crashed airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon
On September 10, 2001, a famous short seller named Anthony Elgindy, also known as Amr Ibrahim Elgindy, liquidated some accounts that he held at Salomon Smith Barney. In explaining to his broker why he was liquidating these accounts, Elgindy said that a major event was going to occur on the next day that would cause the Dow Jones market average to fall to 3,000 (it was then trading at 9,600).
Of course, just such an event did occur on September 11, and the Salomon broker called the FBI to express his suspicions that Elgindy had advance knowledge the Al Qaeda attacks.
The FBI proceeded to investigate, and key to its investigation was evidence that had been compiled by the man who would later go undercover to befriend Jonathan Curshen in Costa Rica. This man knew that Curshen and Elgindy were close associates and had often joined together to perpetrate manipulative short selling attacks on public companies.
In fact, Elgindy and a larger pack of closely affiliated traders had destroyed a company in which this man once had a large investment, so needless to say, the man was motivated to see some of these traders put in prison.
He was more than motivated. You could say he was obsessed. And beginning in 1999, he had gained access to a private internet chat site that Elgindy controlled – a chat site where Elgindy and his pack discussed in detail their short selling attacks on public companies.
It was also learned that Elgindy had paid off a couple of FBI agents, who were helping the short sellers by providing them with confidential information about the companies that they were attacking.
Seeing multiple crimes in progress, the businessman hired a secretary to work full time printing out transcripts of the discussions taking place on Elgindy’s chat site.
Soon enough, the businessman’s garage was stacked high with these transcripts, and when Elgindy came under investigation after the 9-11 attacks, the businessman handed the transcripts over to the FBI. The transcripts provided clear evidence that Elgindy and his crew had manipulated the stocks of hundreds of public companies.
Meanwhile, the FBI began to track the FBI agents who were on Elgindy’s payroll and learned that one of them, Jeffrey Royer, had warned Elgindy that he was a target of the FBI’s investigation into the Al Qaeda attacks.
Later, the SEC inspector general (aided by those same transcripts) concluded that Elgindy also had friends at the SEC . Indeed, not only had the SEC failed to prevent Elgindy’s market manipulation, but some SEC officials had helped him attack certain companies by launching investigations of whatever companies Elgindy instructed them to investigate, and by providing Elgindy with confidential information about the status of these investigations, as well as other investigations that the SEC was conducting.
Which, in gambler’s parlance, is known as “a lock.” In economists’ jargon, Elgindy and his crew had “captured” the SEC and a couple people within the FBI. Which seems rather amazing, given what we now know about this particular market manipulator: for example, that he tried to liquidate his Salomon Smith Barney portfolio on September 10, 2001.
Another thing we know is that after Elgindy was arrested, federal prosecutors argued vehemently in court that he had ties to terrorists and advance knowledge of Al Qaeda’s attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
As evidence, the prosecutors noted that Elgindy had delivered large sums of money to Mercy International, a “charity” that appeared to be an Al Qaeda front. Elgindy’s defense council argued that Elgindy had not given money to Mercy International, but rather to Mercy USA, which was somehow different.
The prosecutors eventually abandoned their Mercy argument, which is a shame, because it is now clear that Mercy International and Mercy USA were one and the same. When Mercy International came under scrutiny it simply changed its name to Mercy USA, and much of the money that went to Mercy ended up with Al Qaeda.
Indeed, Osama bin Laden, in a taped conversation with a senior lieutenant, Jamal Ahmed al-Fadl, stated that Mercy was Al Qaeda’s third most important source of funding. Moreover, as you might remember, Mercy officials were directly involved in the planning of Al Qaeda’s attacks on the U.S. embassies in Africa.
And as Elgindy probably knew, Mercy USA’s director, Mohammad Mabrook, was, among other distinctions, the president of Global Chemical, the bomb-making factory set up by hedge fund manager Yasin al-Qadi, who was later labeled by the U.S. government as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” because of his ties to so many other Al Qaeda fronts.
That information was never presented in court. Instead, Elgindy’s prosecutors pursued a different line of argument, noting that Royer, one of the FBI agents who was in Elgindy’s pocket, had told his supervisor that prior to September 11 Elgindy had informed him of an imminent terrorist attack and had said on precisely what day it would happen.
The prosecutors said that the supervisor was “willing to take the stand, swear under oath that Mr. Royer told him…that a few days before September 11th, Mr. Elgindy told him that there was going to be a major event related to terrorism. He’s willing to take the stand and swear to that. That’s competent evidence.”
Unfortunately, that supervisor never took the stand because the judge quickly put an end to prosecutors’ attempts to link Elgindy to terrorism. The judge said that any discussion of terrorism so soon after the 9-11 attacks would prejudice the jury and that prosecutors should focus on the more demonstrable charges of market manipulation and bribing FBI agents.
It is possible that the judge was influenced by The Wall Street Journal, which was following the Elgindy trial, and later published a front page story. This story was rather amazing, and is worth quoting at length.
“Mr. Elgindy’s defense team thinks that references to the suspicions [of terrorism]…unduly influenced the jury,” wrote The Journal, which gave no sign of disagreeing with the defense team.
The rest of the story went on at length about the horrible agony that Elgindy’s wife and son were suffering as a result of the trial. “Mrs. Elgindy,” the Journal wrote, “says she doesn’t know what she will do if her husband receives a lengthy sentence. ‘He was the first person who gave me the courage and strength to question what I had been taught,’ she says…”.
The Journal continued: “After the arrest, Mrs. Elgindy was suddenly a single parent with three sons…who were alternately angry and withdrawn. The situation has been particularly tough for their youngest son, Sammy. On a recent family visit to the New York jail, Sammy sat on his father’s lap and told him, ‘Daddy, if I could stay here with you, I would.’…”
Apparently, Elgindy had “captured” not only SEC officials and FBI agents, but also financial journalists (including John Emshwiller, the author of the Journal story) who had come to depend on Elgindy for negative stories about public companies.
I do feel badly for Elgindy’s son, but if The Journal wanted to elicit sympathy for Elgindy, it might have instead noted that the Russian Mafia chopped off Elgindy’s finger.
When Elgindy appeared in court with the missing finger, the judge asked what had happened to it. Elgindy said he lost his finger in a barbecue. But an investigator close to the Elgindy case says that Elgindy’s Russian Mafia colleagues cut off the finger as a warning to keep him from ratting on his wider network of stock manipulators. Which is not surprising, given that Elgindy sat right at the center of the jihadi-Mafia nexus that I wish to highlight with this story.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Elgindy was a principal at Blinder, Robinson, the Milken-financed brokerage that (we know) traded in league with a host of organized crime figures, such as Genovese Mafia capo Thomas Quinn. The other key principals at Blinder (a.k.a. Blind’em and Rob’em) were Mr. Blinder himself and Steven Schonfeld, the guy who would later buy the Mafia-tied Datek Securities and Lightspeed, both of which were founded by Omar Amanat.
Recall that Lightspeed provided Tuco with one of the trading platforms that Tuco used to transact manipulative trading equal to 20 percent of the volume at the largest brokerage on the planet. Recall also that Omar Amanat co-founded with the jihadi outfit Hamas an Islamic TV station whose CEO later chopped of his wife’s head.
Also tied to Blinder, Robinson was a fellow named Alexander Shvarts, who later went on to manage a brokerage called Global Equities, and is now manager of Carlin Equities, the outfit linked to Arik Kislin, associate (according to the U.S. government) of Yaponchik, or “Little Japanese” — once the top boss of the Russian Mafia in the United States.
Kislin, recall, is also a former business partner of Babeck Seroush, the Iranian arms dealer who has worked with Russian military intelligence. Shvarts is also invested, along with Kislin, in a company called Edulink.
Mr. Blinder (first name Meyer) was a Russian Mafia figure from Kiev, Ukraine. While Elgindy was helping run Blinder’s Mafia brokerage, Elgindy’s family was arranging for Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami al-Arian to move to the United States and obtain work as a professor at the University of South Florida.
That is the same Sami al-Arian who was on close terms with Tuco Trading’s Zuhair Karam and the 19 Hamas leaders (including Omar Amanat’s partner Nihad Awad) who were at that secret meeting in Philadelphia in 1993. The meeting was secretly recorded by the FBI, so we know that those Hamas leaders plotted to secure the release from prison of the Blind Sheikh, who masterminded the 1993 World Trade Center attack while living at the home of Awad’s partner, Omar Ahmad.
It is also the same Sami al Arian who was a key figure (along with the above-mentioned Yasin al-Qadi and others) in the SAAR Network of terrorist financiers. Some FBI investigators have suspected that Sami al-Arian provided assistance to the September 11 hijackers.
As we know, Sami al-Arian was, perhaps not incidentally, also taking instructions from Iranian agents working out of the United Nations mission in New York. The Iranian regime, of course, is also an important sponsor of Hamas.
As of 2001, Elgindy and a small pack of affiliated market manipulators were trading through just a few remarkable and eminently criminal brokerages. One of these brokerages was called Global Securities.
A trader who once worked closely with Global Securities has told Deep Capture that the brokerage had subsidiaries that were affiliated with people who were working for the Iranian regime. Global was founded by a fellow named Art Smolensky, but it was managed by several Iranian guys–Aarif Jamani, Nashrulla Jamani, and Ferzana Jamani.
Documents that Deep Capture obtained by means that we believe to have been reasonably legal show that Aarif Jamani and a host of other people associated with Global Securities were later clients of Red Sea, Jonathan Curshen’s outfit in Costa Rica.
I have not been able to confirm with 100 percent certainty that Global Securities is tied directly to the Iranian regime, but it is true that the brokerage had a subsidiary–Global American–that appears to have been tied to some of the incorporators of the Assa Corporation, the outfit that would in 2009 be charged by the DOJ with espionage and funding Iran’s nuclear program.
This is the same Assa Corporation that was part of the Alavi Foundation, which was (like Elgindy crony Sami al-Arian) taking orders from Iranian diplomats at the UN mission in New York. I will remind you also that the Alavi Foundation’s director was scribbling notes to himself about the “Mafia” and some “conspiracy.”
I have no idea what those notes meant, but I do know that Global Securities and a few other brokerages catered not just to Anthony Elgindy, but to a whole pack of market manipulators with extremely close ties to both the Mafia and the Iranian regime, or its proxies, such as Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas.
One trader in this pack was Rafi Khan, the son of a Pakistani diplomat (or ISI spy). This is the same Rafi Khan who was involved with the Holy Land Foundation, a Hamas front that was indicted for financing terrorism. I’ll repeat that an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land case was Nihad Awad, Omar Amanat’s partner in the Islamic TV station.
Rafi Khan, we know , was a client of Red Sea Management, the Costa Rica outfit owned by Jonathan Curshen.
Then there was Global Securities client Mansur Ijaz, who has close ties to Iran and is a paid lobbyist for the Pakistani government. Ijaz has publicly claimed to have had direct contact with Osama bin Laden.
Shortly before the September 11 attacks, Ijaz founded Crescent Investment Management with James Abrahamson, who was a board member of an anti-terrorism and security company called Stratesec.
The FBI investigated a Stratesec director who was suspected of having advance knowledge of the September 11 attacks because he was tied to Mansur Ijaz, and he purchased a large number of Stratesec shares shortly before the attacks occurred. However, no charges were filed.
According to a Rafi Kahn associate, the above-mentioned Alexander Shvarts (partner of Russian Mafia figure Arik Kislin) was also trading through Global Securities. Some people in this crowd say that Shvarts’s Global Equities and Global Securities were affiliated, but I have yet to be able to verify that beyond a shadow of a doubt.
There is no question, though, that Shvarts’ Mafia associates were dealing with Global Securities. In 2001, Shvarts was indicted for a money laundering scheme that he perpetrated with a diamond merchant named Aleks Paul. Soon after, Paul was indicted for his role in the massive stock manipulation scheme that was perpetrated by Russian Mafia boss Felix Sater, La Cosa Nostra and A.R. Baron (clearing firm to Omar Amanat’s Datek).
Felix Sater’s market manipulation network was, as we shall see, tied in with the larger Bank of New York scandal. Meanwhile, Felix was among a closely affiliated pack of market manipulators who were, back in 2001, trading through Global Securities.
According to several of Sater’s associates, Sater has close ties to the Russian intelligence services. These associates (and an article in the New York Times) report that Sater escaped jail on charges of market manipulation by offering to help the U.S. government buy Stinger missiles from Al Qaeda.
Nowadays, as I have mentioned, Sater’s alleged money laundering outfit, Bayrock, has a partnership with Tamir Sapir, the Russian Mafia figure who used to sell high-tech electronics equipment to the KGB with Semion Kislin.
Semion Kislin, recall, is the uncle of Arik Kislin (business partner of the above-mentioned Shvarts, and former business partner of the Iranian arms dealer and intelligence agent Babeck Seroush).
Felix Sater’s other Bayrock partner is Leon Black’s Apollo fund. Maybe it’s also worth recalling at this point Leon Black’s importance to Credit Suisse, the investment bank that was caught financing Iran’s nuclear program while helping Libya, Sudan (and also the above-mentioned Iranian espionage outfit, the Assa Corporation, according to initial findings by a former staffer of the Manhattan District Attorney’s office) conduct securities transactions — probably manipulative trading — through a network of other brokerages.
At any rate, back in 2001, Elgindy was trading through Global Securities with a pack of closely affiliated market manipulators. Many of them were plotting their moves in discussions on Elgindy’s private chat sit, and a future Deep Capture operative was still secretly printing out transcripts of the discussions.
One trader who was a member of this private forum was Dan Loeb, who used the screen name “Mr. Pink” – a reference to a gangster in the movie “Reservoir Dogs”.
Loeb now runs Third Point Capital, one of the more powerful short selling hedge funds in America. He got his start working for Jeffries & Co with a number of Milken’s former top employees from Drexel. His first big deal was to buy certificates of beneficial interest that Milken had issued just before going to jail.
Also trading in league with Elgindy was Jeffrey Thorp, who ran a hedge fund called Langley Partners. He is the son of Edward Thorp, famous for working with the Genovese Mafia to invent a method for beating the black jack tables in Las Vegas casinos.
In addition to collaborating with the Mafia on gambling schemes, Edward Thorp ran a hedge fund called Princeton Newport, which was raided by the FBI in 1989
I mentioned before that Milken’s more famous criminal co-conspirator Ivan Boesky (who worked out of the Iranian Assa Corporation’s building in New York) refused to testify against Milken. He said he was afraid because Milken had “friends in Vegas.” Contrary to many media reports, Milken’s 99-count indictment cited little in the way of information provided by Boesky.
Instead, the indictments that were leveled against Milken mostly cited evidence that the FBI had hauled away when it raided Thorp’s Princeton Newport. In fact, that evidence showed that Princeton Newport was one of the most important components of Milken’s nationwide stock manipulation network. And the Princeton Newport evidence, more than any other evidence, is what earned Milken time in prison.
In 2001, Thorp’s son, Jeffrey, was nailed for orchestrating (in league with Elgindy) naked short selling death spiral schemes that, according to the SEC, crippled or destroyed more than 20 companies. To escape criminal charges, Thorp cooperated with the authorities’ investigation of Elgindy.
In 2001, another trader in the Elgindy pack was Adnan Khasshoggi, the investor and arms dealer who was involved in Capcom, the Saudi intelligence trading outfit that was a unit of BCCI and conducted more than $90 billion in trades through Milken’s shop at Drexel Burnham.
Khasshoggi is one of the world’s most fascinating characters. He is the subject of countless conspiracy theories that are probably false, but there are some facts about him that are indisputably true.
For one, in the 1980s, Khashoggi was said to be the richest man in the world. Though he no longer holds that title, he is still, in the well-chosen words of former CIA operative Robert Baer, “almost a cartoon of the Saudi wheeler dealer,” – a wheeler dealer who owns two commercial-size jets; twelve Mercedes stretch limos; countless homes, including a $30 million, thirty-thousand square foot apartment on Fifth Avenue; and a 282-foot yacht that was used in the James Bond movie “Never Say Never Again.”
Khashoggi is a regular feature at New York high-society parties hosted by the sort of people who think that no party is fashionable without a rogue arms dealer in attendance. Khashoggi is, moreover, a close associate of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, for whom he used to work as a mediator, and of the regime in Iran.
Because of his ties to Iran, he became a key player in the Iran-Contra scandal, which saw Khashoggi and an Iranian arms dealer named Manucher Ghorbanifar, broker a deal for the United States to sell weapons to the Iranian regime in return for the regime’s commitment to secure the release of American hostages being held by Iran’s terrorist proxies, including Hezbollah and Sami al-Arian’s Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
In the end, only two American hostages were released, and many more were taken, which is to say that Iran stiffed the United States, and so did Khashoggi, who brokered the deal.
Nowadays, there is some dispute as to whether Khashoggi is a shady character who cares about nothing other than money, or a shady character who also supports the Grand Jihad. Either way, Khashoggi is certainly on close terms with many of the Grand Jihad’s leading figures, including “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” Yasin al Qadi and, until his death in 2009, Al Qaeda Golden Chain member Sheikh Mahfouz.
Khasshogi got his big start in business working with Shiekh Mahfouz selling construction equipment to Osama bin Laden’s father, Mohammed bin Laden, who founded Saudi Arabia’s largest construction company.
Many people who have nothing to do with jihad have done business with the bin Laden construction firm, and there is no evidence that the firm itself supported Osama’s terrorism. But in the case of Khashoggi, who has a history of playing both sides of geopolitical conflicts, these relationships may have significance.
It is also possibly significant that Khashoggi’s Iran-Contra partner, Manucher Ghorbanifar, was involved in Bank Al Taqwa, along with “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” Yasin al Qadi (Osama bin Laden’s favorite financier) and many others tied to terrorism. Bank Al Taqwa, a Muslim Brotherhood financial institution, has been charged with supporting multiple jihadi groups, including Al Qaeda.
Among its many depredations, Bank Al Taqwa founded and funded the Islamic Cultural Center of Milan, which the U.S. Treasury Department has described as the “main Al Qaeda station house in Europe [responsible for] the movement of weapons, men, and money around the world.”
Regardless of whether Khashoggi supports his friends in the Grand Jihad, there is no question that he is one of the more destructive financial criminals the world has ever known. BCCI was, of course, a massive fraud, but there are many other examples. To name just one, Khashoggi was implicated in the collapse of Bangkok Bank of Commerce, a catastrophe that precipitated the Asian financial crisis of 1997.
Also implicated in that disaster were two other traders – Sherman Mazur and Rakesh Saxena – who, as of 2001, had gone on to join the Elgindy pack trading through Global Securities.
Rakesh Saxena is also a leader and the principal source of finance for the Marxist Naxalite rebels in India. It might seem counter-intuitive that Marxists and jihadis would collaborate, but there is a significant body of evidence that the Naxalites have had close contact with a number of jihadi groups that are closely tied to Al Qaeda and who share the Naxalites’ desire to cause mayhem in India.
As just one example, Indian officials learned that members of Lashkar-e-Taiyyba (which is, for all intents and purposes, a subsidiary of Al Qaeda with close ties to Pakistan’s ISI) held meetings with Naxalite leaders shortly before Lashkar staged the 2008 terrorist attacks on major hotels and a synagogue in Mumbai with the cooperation of Dawood Ibrahim and his D-Company henchmen.
In addition to serving as a leader of the Naxalites, Saxena planned and funded a coup plot in Sierra Leone. According to a report by Britain’s parliament, Saxena paid British mercenary Tim Spicer of Sandline International to orchestrate a coup to reinstate Sierra Leone’s former president Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, who (allegedly) had agreed to give Saxena a large diamond concession.
Saxena denies the diamond allegation, and says he financed the ultimately aborted coup only for “ideological reasons”. However, he has done business with Ibrahim Bah, a Libyan-trained jihadi who has (as was first reported by Douglas Farah, then the chief Africa correspondent for the Washington Post) brokered diamond deals between Al Qaeda and rebel forces in Sierra Leone. So perhaps diamonds did have something to do with Saxena’s coup attempt.
In 2009, Saxena was deported from Canada to Thailand to face charges for his role in the Bangkok Bank of Commerce disaster, but before that he was one of North America’s most active market manipulators. Whether he committed his crimes for “ideological reasons” or simply to make money, I do not know. But one thing is certain: all of the people in the pack that was trading through Global Securities in 2001 (and who, with a couple of exceptions, remain in business today) have interesting backgrounds.
Re: The Miscreants’ Global Bust-Out Chapter 1 -
Post by sandi66 on May 24, 2011, 5:13am
Chapter 8 (Continued)
For example, another Global Securities client was Ali Nazerali. Mr. Nazerali was among the people (along with Kevin Ingram, Michael Milken, Gene Phillips, and others to be discussed) who attended those secret meetings in Costa Rica, where a network of market manipulators planned the destruction of some big companies.
Mr. Nazerali is also the fellow who had worked at high levels for Abbas Gokal before launching the BCCI subsidiary First Commerce Securities with Irving Kott and the Mafia. Nazerali’s relatives, as I have mentioned, were involved with Capcom, the Saudi intelligence outfit that transacted $90 billion in trades through Milken’s shop at Drexel.
After Abbas Gokal (who, we know, was an agent for the Pakistani ISI) served his prison sentence for his role in the BCCI affair, he moved to Tehran, where he is now once again serving as financial advisor to the Iranian regime.
First Commerce Securities was shuttered by Dutch authorities in the late 1980s, after which point Nazerali’s business partner, Irving Kott, gained control of a brokerage called Adler Coleman. The principal function of Adler Coleman was to serve as the clearing firm to Hanover Sterling, a brokerage controlled by Alphonse “Allie Shades” Malangone, a capo in the Genovese Mafia family.
According to the federal government,which indicted a number of Hanover’s brokers and managers in 1997 (but, oddly, allowed Hanover to remain in business), the brokerage manipulated stocks in league with the Colombo organized crime family. Other cases reveal that it manipulated stocks with the DeCalvacante organized crime family, the Gambino organized crime family, and the Russian Mafia.
Hanover Sterling is yet another brokerage that has gone down in history as a “bucket shop,” the implication being that all it did was sell stock in small-time bogus companies. But the history is incomplete. Hanover Sterling’s principal function was to provide “death spiral” finance to good companies, positioning them to be destroyed by affiliated naked short sellers.
One person who was later charged by the government for naked short selling companies that received death spiral finance from Hanover Sterling was Milken crony John Fiero, who had long manipulated stocks in league with other Milken cronies, including Anthony Elgindy. Fiero was one of the traders who orchestrated attacks on Elgindy’s private internet chat site. He went by the screen name “Bond”.
Another trader charged for naked short selling Hanover “death spiral” victims (in league with Fiero) was Phillip Abramo, the DeCalvacante Mafia capo known as the “King of Wall Street”. Nazerali and Kott had gotten to know the DeCalvacante Mafia back in the 1970s when the Mafia tried to kill Kott and Nazerali brokered the deal that prevented another assassination attempt and brought La Cosa Nostra into First Commerce Securities.
Abramo’s right hand man, Phil Gurian, was (recall) the guy who was caught with accounts at Hamas partner Omar Amanat’s Datek Securities under the name Martin Clainey. Gurian is currently being sued by multiple companies for stock manipulation schemes that he allegedly perpetrated with Sherman Mazur, the guy who helped take down Bangkok Bank of Commerce with Khashoggi and Rakesh Saxena.
When the Feds were closing in on Abramo and Fiero, Hanover and Adler Coleman simultaneously declared bankruptcy – which is often what brokerages in this network do when they face scrutiny from law enforcement. Once the brokerages go bankrupt, the Feds stop investigating their broader criminal activities, and their assets (including all of their crooked employees) end up with another company in the network, or are simply reconfigured into a new company with a new name.
In this case, the friendly receiver in the Adler Coleman bankruptcy was Edwin Mishkin, who was the personal lawyer to Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky. And Berezovsky had been, along with Irving Kott, a silent owner of Adler. At this time, Berezovsky and Roman Abramovich were orchestrating the rise to power of Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
Mishkin handed off most of Adler’s assets to an outfit called JB Oxford, a Mafia brokerage that was also secretly controlled by Irving Kott and Boris Berezovsky. Which is to say, Adler Coleman’s operations remained intact under a new name – JB Oxford. One of JB Oxford’s other principals was the above-mentioned Rafi Khan.
Meanwhile, Ali Nazerali and his brother, Shafiq, launched several death spiral hedge funds, one of which was Valor Invest, which in later years participated in a number of schemes with MIT Ventures, whose proprietor is “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” Yasin al Qadi (Osama bin Laden’s favorite financier).
A director of the Nazeralis’ Valor Invest was Pierre Besuchet, a shadowy banker in Geneva who has also served as director of Yasin al Qadi’s Faisal Finance. Indeed, Nazerali and Yasin al Qadi are limited partners in each others’ funds.
Faisal was the vehicle that Yasin al Qadi used to invest in Al Shamal, a bank in Sudan, the founder of which was the Emir of Jihad himself, Osama bin Laden. Al Shamal has also been linked to Benevolence International, the outfit that had contacts with people trying to buy nukes for Al Qaeda.
Meanwhile, Besuchet and Yasin al Qadi held board positions at the massive and secretive financial labyrinth known as Dar al Maal al Islami, or “The House of Islamic Money”. This the same “House of Islamic Money” whose CEO was hosted by Sungard, owner of Assent, the brokerage (recall) whose traders were doing business with Zuhair Karam’s Tuco Trading, Omar Amanat’s Lightspeed, and Carlin Equities, the outfit tied to Arik Kislin.
Carlin’s manager, the above-mentioned Alexander Shvarts, formerly worked for Assent. As you might also remember, Sungard, owner of Assent, not only did business with the House of Islamic Money, but also owned Lava Trading, whose CEO ran Aleo Capital, one of the three outfits that attended the bogus auction for Bernie Madoff’s brokerage.
The Nazeralis also did business with the “House of Islamic Money” and surely they knew this outfit was one of Al Qaeda’s most important sources of funding. Most likely, they knew it in 2001, back when they and the rest of their pack were trading through Global Securities and the future Deep Capture undercover man was monitoring the private internet chat site where Elgindy (who was soon to front run the 9-11 attacks), was discussing his stock manipulation schemes.
Meanwhile, the future Deep Capture man discovered that Elgindy’s private chat site was hosted by a company called Infocom, which the U.S. government would later learn was a front for Hamas, the jihadi outfit that receives support from the Iranian regime and others.
One owner of Infocom was Elgindy’s close associate Ghassan Elashi, a Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas figure who was later convicted for trading with Libya and Sudan, and for engaging in prohibited financial transactions with “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” Mousa Abu Marzook. Indeed, Infocom (host of Elgindy’s private chat site) was founded by Mousa Abu Marzook, who is Elashi’s cousin.
As of 2011, Marzook was serving as Hamas’s political chief, based out of Syria. Both of these guys were, of course, closely tied to the Holy Land Foundation, the Hamas front that was funded by some of Elgindy’s other trading partners. And Elashi had been among those Hamas leaders (including Omar Amanat’s partner) who attended the secret 1993 meeting at a Marriot Hotel in Philadelphia.
Marzook was also involved in a banking outfit called BMI Inc. with Yasin al Qadi (Osama bin Laden’s favorite financier). BMI, in turn, was one of the founding shareholders of Bank Al Taqwa, which not only set up Al Qaeda’s main operating base in Europe, but also served as one the principal financial institutions that funded the operations of Hamas.
In 1999, the future Deep Capture man was obsessively printing out those transcripts of the discussions on Elgindy’s private internet chat site. By now his home’s principal decorative feature was piles of these transcripts. Most of the discussions in the transcripts concerned schemes to destroy public companies, but at one point Elgindy announced to the members of his chat site that he was in Macedonia, operating under the “protection” of an Albanian “Mafia boss”.
He also told his colleagues that he was working as an “agent” for the Mother Theresa Humanitarian Association, an outfit that was under the command of the Kosovo Liberation Army.
When people started asking questions about this, Elgindy, of course, insisted that he had been in Macedonia only on a charity mission. Meanwhile, though, he had posted a letter in which KLA leader Rexhep Hoti thanked Elgindy for funding his travels to the United States.
This was before anyone knew (as has since been established by the U.S. government) that the KLA and the Albanian Mafia were deeply tied to Al Qaeda. For example, during the same month that Elgindy was in Macedonia working as an “agent” for the KLA outfit, Osama bin Laden’s deputy, Aymen al-Zawahiri, was in Macedonia, personally directing the KLA’s training camps.
The Al Qaeda deputy was conducting this training under the auspices of the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO), which was the SAAR Network outfit that would later be named by U.S. government officials as an entity that provides material support to Al Qaeda.
The Phillippines offices of the IIRO, recall, were run by Muhammad Khalifah, who was an Al Qaeda operative and Osama bin Laden’s brother in law. Khalifa used the IIRO to train and fund the Abu Sayyaf terrorist organization until the UN declared the IIRO offices in the Phillippines to be “an Al Qaeda front.”
Recall also that the IIRO was tied to, among other entities, Sana-Bell Inc., owned by “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” Yasin al-Qadi (Osama bin Laden’s favorite financier). And one principal of the IIRO was Mohammad al-Zawahiri, the brother of Al Qaeda deputy Aymen al-Zawahiri.
Another principal of the IIRO was Khaled Elgindy, the brother of none other than — Anthony Elgindy, who, in 1999, was not only an associate of Hamas working as a KLA “agent” in Macedonia, but was also one of the most destructive criminal short sellers ever to operate in the United States until he came under FBI investigation for potential ties to the September 11 attacks.
Rembember also that the Elgindy family sponsored the move to America of Sami al-Arian, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader who was taking directions from Iranian agents and stands accused of assisting the 9-11 hijackers. Of course, the Hamas leaders who hosted Elgindy’s private chat site, also receive support from the Iranian regime.
I have referred often to the connections that these characters have to Iran because Iran will figure in my later discussion of the 2008 financial crisis, and because Iran’s ties to Al Qaeda are too often ignored.
Not many people seem to pay much attention, for example, to the fact that the above-mentioned Aymen al Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man (likely to be named the new leader of Al Qaeda), once worked with the Iranian regime to plot a coup in Egypt.
In addition, National Security Administration files reviewed by the 9-11 Commission revealed that at least eight of the Al Qaeda hijackers involved in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon traveled to Iran in the months before the plot unfolded.
The NSA files also contain indisputable evidence that Iranian officials had made special arrangements for some of the 9-11 hijackers’ trips to Tehran, and that in several cases, senior officials of Hezbollah (Iran’s proxy) were closely monitoring the hijackers’ travels. Three of the hijackers flew to Iran on the same plane as a senior Hezbollah official.
According to some U.S. government officials, after the 9-11 disaster, Osama bin Laden’s son, Saad, and many other Al Qaeda operatives took refuge in Iran for a time. And as of late 2010, Abu Hamza, a top Al Qaeda leader, was residing in a luxury guesthouse in Tehran, a guest of the Iranian regime. He is not the only Al Qaeda leader who has been treated to similar hospitality.
The Iran connection to Al Qaeda was downplayed in the 9-11 Commission’s final report, but Commission investigator Lloyd Salvetti told New York Times correspondent Philip Shenon (who wrote about it in his best-selling book, “The Commission”) that the inference of the NSA files was that “there was implicit collaboration between the [Al Qaeda] jihadists and elements of Hezbollah and Iran.”
It might be significant that Anthony Elgindy, a guy who was on close terms with terrorists tied to Iran was, in the lead up to 9-11, destroying American companies with manipulative trading that he transacted through Global Securities, a Mafia-affiliated outfit with a subsidiary tied to Assa Corp, the Iranian espionage company.
It might also be significant that aside from his ties to people like Al Qaeda’s number two and the leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Anthony Elgindy’s brother, Khaled, also co-founded, along with Abdurrahman Alamoudi, an outfit called the American Muslim Council.
I know it is hard to keep track of these names, so I will remind you that Abdurrahman Alamoudi is the Al Qaeda operative who is now serving a 23 year prison sentence for, among other things, leading an Al Qaeda plot to kill the then crown prince of Saudi Arabia. He’s the fellow who was investigated (according to court documents) after customs officials at Heathrow airport caught him with a suitcase in which was hidden $350,000 cash that had been given to him by Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi.
Alamoudi is also the fellow who was (according to U.S. Senate investigators) inserting Al Qaeda spies (at least one of whom was indicted for espionage) into the U.S. military, in cooperation with Sheikh DeLorenzo, the guy with ties to a host of jihadi groups and the Pakistani ISI – the guy (recall) who convinced the SEC to let him deploy, in 2007, the financial weapon of mass destruction known as Al-Safi Trust, the apparent purpose of which is to enable naked short sellers to flood the markets with phantom shares.
To be continued…