The Miscreants’ Global Bust-Out (Chapter 17): A Brief Note on the Unimaginable
Posted on 18 June 2011 by Mark Mitchell
Tags: A.C. Nuclear Opportunities Fund, Abdul Qadeer Khan, Adlene Hicheur, Al Qaeda, Alfa Bank, Ali Nazerali, Andrey Cherkasenko, AQ Kahn, Bashiruddin Mahmood, Bushehr, Center for Public Integrity, CERN, Dawood Ibrahim, economic warfare, Egor Chernov, European Organization of Nuclear Research, Financial Terrorism, George Bush, Graham Allison, Grigori Loutchansky, Harvard, heroin, Iran, James Woolsey, Karachi stock exchange, Lashkar-e-Tayibah, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Libya, Luch, Mikhail Fridman, Miss Atom, Naresh Patel, North Korea, nuclear, nuclear black market, nuclear proliferation, nuclear weapons, Semion Mogilevich, Sergei Chemezov, Solnytsevo, Times of London, uranium, Yank Barry, Yasin al Qadi
This is Chapter 17 of a multi-chapter story. On your right is a Table of Contents to all chapters so far published.
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We have more to learn about Penson Financial, Tuco Trading, and the cast of destructive financial operators associated with those brokerages. And upcoming chapters of this story will introduce a larger network of U.S. brokerages with ties to organized crime and (in some cases) to terrorist financiers.
Those chapters will present a clearer picture of the damage has been done to the American economy by these brokerages and a close-knit network of hedge fund managers (many with ties to the Mafia, some with ties to jihadi outfits or the governments of rogue states, and some with both). By the end of this story, I think readers will have much better understanding of the global bust-out that brought the financial system to its knees in 2008.
In short, the reader will be convinced by a preponderance of evidence that the United States was victimized by a deliberate attack on the financial markets and the pillars of the American economy.
Moreover, as we will see, there is every reason to believe that it can and will happen again, because authorities have failed to repair what Osama bin Laden (who was a keen observer of American weaknesses) used to refer to as the “cracks in the Western financial system.”
The biggest crack is our clearing and settlement system, which simply does not perform its intended function–to deliver in a timely manner the securities that are sold in the marketplace.
As a recent story in the Economist magazine noted, these “failures to deliver” create “phantom” securities, and they are used by market manipulators to depress prices. As the Economist aptly expressed it: clearing and settlement “can be taken for granted–until things go wrong, when their importance becomes painfully apparent. The financial crisis of 2007-2009 and the ‘flash crash’ of American stock markets in May 2010 revealed numerous faults in the plumbing.”
As the magazine made clear, these faults have not been adequately addressed, and are presently being exploited to inflict on the markets damage that could become far more severe.
Furthermore, the Economist (arguably the most “level-headed” of all publications) put its carefully considered stamp of approval on the notion that “phantom” stock “could be used by terrorists to destabilize financial systems.”
So, yes, the remaining chapters of this series will identify many more of the brokerages and hedge funds that have used “failures to deliver” of phantom stock to damage the markets. And we will come to a better understanding of how these failures to deliver have been (and still are) deployed in tandem with similar financial weapons of mass destruction, most premised on the same basic idea: that it is possible to create synthetic supply that distorts the market regarding the value of underlying assets.
We are engaging in this exercise because most of the U.S. financial media continues to adhere uncritically to a paradigm that holds that the financial crisis of 2007-2009 was simply the result of overly zealous financiers and “greedy bankers” who created a “bubble” economy that just had to burst.
No doubt, there was a bubble, and there was greed. The track record of Deep Capture demonstrates that there are none more critical of both.
But we assert there was something more, something deliberate.
The U.S. media and regulators embrace the notion that financial operators can pump up a market. But, oddly, they seem incapable of grasping the corollary, which is that (under the right circumstances) financial operators can crack a market as well.
At any rate, the evidence is clear: disasters have been manufactured, time and time again. And the remaining chapters of this story will demonstrate that the disasters that occurred in 2007 and 2008 were not happenstance, and were not limited to the property bubble and poor financial accounting at the big banks.
The financial crisis had many causes. But its severity was the result of a carefully choreographed bust-out, perpetrated by a distinct network of miscreants.
And make no mistake: if something is not done to seal the cracks in the system that have been exploited by these miscreants, someone will do it again. There will be another cataclysm, and then we will indeed be in dire straights.
So, stay tuned: we have much ground to cover in the remaining chapters of this series.
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However, I will devote the rest of this brief chapter to an altogether different subject: the trafficking of nuclear weapons and radioactive materials. At first glance, of course, this is completely off-topic–it has nothing to do with the economy. But perhaps because I’ve glanced at it one too many times, it seems to me that it might not be entirely unrelated.
There are, at any rate, a number of market manipulators who seem intent on damaging the American economy, and who have also taken an interest in nuclear weaponry.
It is not my intention to scream apocalyptic verses, but a brief mention of the nuclear menace seems worthwhile, if only to make it clear that there are some dangerous people in the world who harbor disdain for the United States and the existing global order.
As we have seen, the Mogilevich organization, implicated in some of the most destructive financial schemes ever perpetrated (and the capture of the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation, where “failures to deliver” begin), tried to sell highly-enriched uranium to Al Qaeda and has (according to a declassified FBI report) successfully trafficked in radioactive materials to unknown buyers.
Grigori Loutchansky, a Russian mobster linked (along with Mogilevich and many other financial criminals in this story) to the scandal that saw the Russian government and the Russian Mafia manipulating the U.S. markets (often with phantom stock) and laundering more than $7 billion through the Bank of New York, has also been accused of trafficking in nuclear materials.
We also know that Benevolence International (tied to Yasin al Qadi, Sheikh DeLorenzo, and other death spiral, phantom stock market manipulators in this story) had contacts with those trying to help Osama bin Laden buy nukes from Chechens with ties to Russian organized crime.
In addition, Yasin al Qadi helped set up Ptech, the software firm that not only penetrated America’s largest financial institutions (likely in order to gain access to data that could be useful to market manipulators), but also gained access to the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons facility.
The Ptech software developers who accessed Rocky Flats were simultaneously working for an outfit (CARE International) that had been set up by Osama bin Laden. At the time, the nuclear weapons facility was receiving unrelated red alerts that terrorists were seeking to breach its security to acquire nuclear technology.
That was around the time in 2002 when Anthony Elgindy, one of history’s most destructive short sellers, tied to multiple jihadi terrorist groups, was in the offices of Paul Brown, head of Nuclear Solutions, a company that had access to decommissioned nuclear bombs.
Elgindy was (according to his prosecutors) “threatening” and “trying to extort” Paul Brown.
Apparently, Elgindy took quite an interest in both nukes and the clearing and settlement system. In September, 2001, Elgindy (in league with Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi) had unleashed the failures to deliver (phantom stock) that destroyed MJK Clearing, America’s largest clearing brokerage.
Dawood Ibrahim is the only man to have been labeled by the U.S. government as both a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” and a “Global Narcotics Kingpin” (Congratuations, Dawood). His organized crime outfit, D-Company, is, for all intents and purposes, part of Al Qaeda.
Dawood Ibrahim is also a sophisticated market manipulator said to be the most important trader on the Karachi stock exchange. As we saw in an earlier chapter, one of Ibrahim’s D-Company henchmen, Naresh Patel, transacted (in 2008) large volumes of manipulative wash trades (which usually involve the simultaneous generation of phantom stock) through the U.S. brokerage Man Financial.
In addition, D-Company and Dawood Ibrahim have been linked to the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
The destruction of the American economy is a consistent theme in the writings and rants of Al Qaeda leaders and affiliated jihadis. At the same time, leading national security experts (such as Graham Allison, dean of the Harvard school of government, and former CIA director James Woolsey) agree that there is a high probability that Al Qaeda will obtain (or already has obtained) enough highly enriched uranium to construct a “dirty bomb” at least.
Yet, for some reason, the media in the United States largely neglects this danger. Even though there is clear evidence that Al Qaeda and other terrorist outfits are actively seeking to acquire nukes, and seriously intend to use them, the U.S. media does no meaningful investigation.
Think of it this way: If a nuclear incident occurs, will people look back and say, “We should have seen that coming”? I think so.
In 2005, Osama bin Laden received from a leading Saudi cleric, Nasir Bin Hamd Al-Fahd, a fatwah stating that nuclear weapons “may be used [by jihadis] even if they annihilate all the infidels.”
The New York Times did not consider this to be news. The Chicago Tribune (my hometown paper) and most other major metropolitan newspapers in America no longer publish anything resembling news of any sort.
In 2009, Adlene Hicheur, a prominent nuclear scientist then working for CERN, the European Organization of Nuclear Research, was arrested after it was revealed that he had ties to Al Qaeda and was helping the terrorist group plan a nuclear attack on Britain.
This was front page news in the British press, including the Times of London and the London Daily Mail (which have also highlighted the threat of financial terrorism). But in United States, there was not a word about it. Nuclear terrorism against our “special relationship” ally, Great Britain, is not news in the United States. Even the threat to our own population gets little attention.
One exception is the Washington Times, which has good sources in the national security community and does highlight the nuclear threat. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that the Washington Times was also the only U.S. paper to publish a big story highlighting the distinct possibility that financial terrorists contributed to the 2008 financial crisis.
In 2003, British intelligence recorded conversations between an Al Qaeda shurah council in Iran and Al Qaeda operatives in Saudi Arabia. The discussions concerned a plan to buy suitcase-sized nuclear bombs from the Russian Mafia.
Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, who was until 2009 the top U.S. official responsible for monitoring the nuclear threat, says the question is not if–but when–Al Qaeda or one of its affiliates will launch a nuclear attack on the United States. And when it happens, says Mowatt Larssen, there is a high probability that the nukes will have come from Iran, which is currently harboring some of Al Qaeda’s top operatives.
Meanwhile, according to Mowatt-Larssen, the danger of Al Qaeda buying nukes from the Russian Mafia became so pronounced at one point that the U.S. government considered cutting a deal with Semion Mogilevich, whereby Mogilevich would help the U.S. monitor nuclear trafficking networks, presumably in exchange for more friendly relations with American law enforcement agencies.
Given that Mowatt-Larssen revealed this prospective deal, it is likely that it never happened. No doubt, Mogilevich still aspires to sell nukes to Al Qaeda.
Given that Mogilevich also seems inclined to perpetrate destructive financial schemes against the United States, it is reasonable to conclude that he (and others, including the billionaire Saudi financiers who are the money behind Al Qaeda) would not mind seeing the U.S. hit with a one-two punch–a nuclear attack combined with an attack on the markets.
Lashkar-e-Tayyibah is an Al Qaeda affiliate that has (in cahoots with market manipulator Dawood Ibrahim’s D-Company) orchestrated more than one major terrorist attack on India.
Indian officials believe that these attacks were intended to inflict damage on the Indian economy, and that Ibrahim profited from them by short selling the Indian markets.
There is in India considerable discussion about the threat of financial and nuclear terrorism from the likes of Ibrahim. Nobody understands the jihad better than the Indians, and their observations might be given some weight.
In the last two years, meanwhile, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (the affiliate of Al Qaeda and D-Company) has attacked three nuclear facilities in Pakistan. One likely explanation for this was that they were trying to acquire highly enriched uranium.
This was at least an improvement over earlier years, when Pakistan’s top nuclear scientists were meeting directly with Al Qaeda.
Abdul Qadeer Khan (“Father of the Islamic Bomb”) met with Osama bin Laden while he (Abdul Qadeer Khan) was also working with organized criminals, including several market manipulators–such as Dawood Ibrahim and a fellow (to be introduced in a later chapter) who is linked to U.S. phantom stock brokerage Penson Financial–to deliver nuclear weapons technology to Iran, Libya, North Korea and other states that are hostile to the United States.
Khan’s one-time deputy, Bashiruddin Mahmood, also met with bin Laden. U.S. intelligence agencies believed that Mahmood and bin Laden spoke at length about building nuclear weapons. The American press paid brief attention to this, and soon forgot about it.
In Germany, more than a dozen Russian criminals have been caught trying to sell enriched uranium on the black market. The German press covers these attempted nuclear transactions with a proper degree of concern. The U.S. media ignores the problem, or, in some cases, even insists that there is no way that criminals or terrorists could get their hands on such materials.
In sum, the consensus of the American media (as opposed to the consensus of US national security officials) is that the nuclear threat is either unworthy of the front page or a “matter of debate”.
I am in no position to settle this debate. But I do know things about the friends of phantom stock market manipulator Ali Nazerali (hedge fund partner of “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” Yasin al Qadi) and the others who were partying by that pool in Aruba in 2006 (see earlier chapters of this story).
The host of that party, Yank Barry a.k.a. Falovich, was then running his tobacco scheme in partnership with Sergei Chemezov. In addition to being an international arms dealer, Chemezov was once in charge of the Luch nuclear weapons research facility at Podolsk, a town near Moscow.
And it is undisputed that while Chemezov was in charge of Luch, a quantity of highly enriched uranium disappeared from that facility. The Russian government said the uranium was recovered. Maybe it was, but I believe that it is inadvisable to shower the Russian government with blind belief.
This is not to suggest that the people at the party in Aruba were dealing in nukes. But there is significance to the fact that a hedge fund partner of Yasin al Qadi (Osama bin Laden’s favorite financier) is on close terms with a Russian arms dealer (Chemezov) who can certainly get his hands on nukes.
And it is not just jihadis who might be inclined to make use of highly enriched uranium, perhaps in combination with a financial attack. Some members of Russian organized crime also pose a threat.
Egor Chernov, the Russian mobster (and close friend of Ali Nazerali) who arranged that partnership between the arms dealer Chemezov and Yank Barry a.k.a. Falovich, has often told his associates of his desire to see the United States attacked by terrorists. In fact, he has expressed a desire to orchestrate the attacks himself.
One of Chernovs’ associates shared with Deep Capture emails in which Chernov said that he was in the market to buy large quantities of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer that terrorists use to produce homemade bombs of enormous power (for example, in Timothy McVeigh’s 1995 Oklahoma City bomb, the largest ingredient was ammonium nitrate).
After his brief arrest in the United States, Chernov was let out on bail, at which point he returned to Russia, where he (like others in the Mogilevich organization) now lives under the protection of the Russian government. He can be reached through his close friends, including Ali Nazerali. Or he can be contacted at his offices, located at 7 Bolshoy Strochenovsky in Moscow.
That address houses not only Chernov, but also an outfit called the A.C. Nuclear Opportunities Fund. According to its website, A.C. Nuclear Opportunities is different from other companies that are simply “channeling funds to buy physical stocks of uranium…” A.C. Nuclear Opportunities is different in that it buys not just uranium, but other radioactive materials, and companies that handle or traffic in these materials.
AC Nuclear Opportunities is run by Andrey Cherkasenko, who also holds an annual beauty pageant called Miss Atom, which gives prizes (really, this is true) to the prettiest and most talented Russian girls associated with the business of selling radioactive nuclear materials.
I cannot say for certain that Chernov works with Cherkasenko (maybe Chernov just uses the same address), but the two men both occupy important positions at that peculiar intersection of Russian society where one finds mobsters, jihadis, oligarchs, spies, market manipulators, and atomic beauty queens.
Prior to going into the uranium business, Cherkasenko ran Alfa Bank, the outfit owned by Mikhail Fridman, whose other top Alfa employee now runs the Moscow brokerage BKS.
Recall that BKS’s “head of international” set up the Orange Diviner account at Tuco Trading, which generated massive volumes of phantom stock in the month before the March 13, 2008 collapse of Bear Stearns, forcing the SEC’s March 9, 2008 “Emergency Order” that shut down Tuco for massively exceeding margin limits.
The other owners of the Orange Diviner account included a high-ranking member of the Mogilevich organization and the top henchmen of Roman Abramovich.
While Roman Abramovich and Boris Berezovsky were splitting apart their business empire in 2006, Berezovsky’s employee, Alexander Litvinenko, was poisoned and killed with radioactive polonium-210. The Russian government alleged (while providing precisely zero evidence) that Litvinenko poisoned himself while using polonium to build a nuclear bomb for Al Qaeda.
Shortly before he was poisoned, Litvinenko, a former Russian intelligence operative who was living as exile in Britain, said that it was not he, but current Russian government officials who had ties to Al Qaeda, and could provide jihadis with radioactive materials.
Nobody knows the truth, and nobody knows how Litvinenko was poisoned by radioactive polonium. But nobody debates whether Russians have ties to Al Qaeda. It is merely a matter of which Russians. And there is no question that all of these Russians have relations with market manipulators (like Yasin al Qadi) who have been Al Qaeda’s most important financiers.
And within these circles there is evidently enough radioactive polonium floating around that some could be spared either to murder a man or (in the Russian government’s version) to build a nuclear bomb. Most likely, Litvinenko was murdered, but as his killers must know, it would require only a very small amount of polonium-210 to build a “dirty” bomb capable of spreading radiation over large swaths of a major city.
As I mentioned, one former head of Alfa bank is in the business of buying and selling radioactive nuclear materials. Another former head of Alfa bank runs the Moscow brokerage BKS, involved in setting up the Orange Diviner account at Tuco. BKS, like Tuco, had a key partnership with Man Financial (a phantom stock house whose clientele in 2008 included the nuclear trafficking D-Company).
Mikhail Fridman, the owner of Alfa Bank, has been accused in the Russian press and by the Center for Public Integrity of smuggling Afghan heroin (a vast portion of which passes through the nuclear-trafficking D-Company) in league with the Solnytsevo Brotherhood, a Mafia outfit that is an affiliate of the nuclear-trafficking Mogilevich organization.
Fridman has sued the authors of those reports, and I have not investigated enough to opine with certainty whether they are accurate, but it is definitely true that Fridman was one of the lead financiers of Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant, which has been implicated in Iran’s covert nuclear weapons program.
Iran, we will see, understands the cracks in U.S. clearing and settlement system, and does business with U.S. brokerages and hedge funds that generate phantom stock. We have seen that Assa Corporation, an Iranian government entity convicted by the DOJ of funding Iran’s nuclear program, had links to numerous market manipulators, and is now being investigated for conducting manipulative trading through Credit Suisse.
A Mafia money man told the New York Daily News that he was enlisted by the FBI to bug a Manhattan building owned by Assa Corporation (a unit of the Alavi Foundation), because the FBI suspected that Iranians in that building were plotting a nuclear terror attack on New York City.
President Ahmedinijad of Iran, meanwhile, says that he would gladly initiate a nuclear war, even if it meant that millions of Iranians would be vaporized. As Ahmedinijad has made clear in countless speeches, he believes he is capable of hastening the apocalyptic chaos that will herald the return of the Hidden Imam, the Shiite messiah who will restore the world under Muslim rule.
The other lead financier of the Iranian nuclear program is Cherkasenko, the guy who works at the same Moscow address (7 Bolshoy Strochenovsky) as Ali Nazerali’s pal, the Russian Mafia thug and market manipulator Egor Chernov.
Given that the Russian Mafia is financing Iran’s nuclear program, it seems prudent to assume that the Russian Mafia has access to nuclear materials.
I do not know if they will give some of those nukes to, say, their pal Yasin al Qadi or other Al Qaeda financiers, such as Shiekh Rajhi, who is another of Fridman’s business partners (and a client of phantom stock house Penson Financial).
But perhaps these relationships deserve attention, because these people do not like the United States. And because they have the capability to crack the markets. And because they are all smart enough to have considered the impact that a combined nuclear and financial attack (or even just the threat of one) could have on the global order that so evidently rankles them.
Go ahead and protest the looming extinction of Amazonian tree frogs. That is a worthy cause. But we might want to add to our list of grievances the possible extinction of ourselves.
To be continued…