The Miscreants’ Global Bust-Out (Chapter 11): Michael Milken’s Market Manipulation Club and Al Qaeda’s Big Bank
Posted on 31 May 2011 by Mark Mitchell
As should be evident by now, Michael Milken’s closest associates, most of whom have ties to and often work in league with the Mafia, have been involved in virtually every major market manipulation scandal since the 1980s.
Furthermore, we have seen that the Milken network includes people with ties to jihadi outfits and, in some cases, to governments that are not necessarily friendly to the United States. These include the governments of Russia, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
It is my contention that these relationships matter. Indeed, they might be a defining feature of the global financial system. That is to say, Milken’s cronies have immense influence over the markets–perhaps more influence than any other close-knit network of financial operators.
At the outset of this story, I noted that in 2010, Admiral Dennis Blair, then the Director of National Intelligence, told Congress that there was a “nexus” between organized crime, rogue states, and jihadi terrorist groups. Admiral Blair said that this “nexus” presents “continuing dangers.”
As to what those “continuing dangers” might be, it is worth recalling that Admiral Blair also told Congress that organized crime (the Mafia) will “increase its penetration of legitimate financial and commercial markets, threatening U.S. economic interests and raising the risk of significant damage to the global financial system.”
Indeed, organized crime and “legitimate” financial operators with ties to the Mafia have already done “signficant damage.” In upcoming chapters, I will more fully quantify that damage. I will also explore the question of whether others in the “nexus” — jihadis and rogue states — contributed to the damage, and have the potential to do more of it.
First, though, I must present further evidence that the nexus is real.
In Chapter 10, I discussed the scandal that saw the Russian government and the Russian Mafia (especially the Mogilevich organization) laundering more that $7 billion, most of which ended up at the Bank of New York. In addition, I noted that this money laundering involved market manipulation, most of it conducted through Mafia brokerages controlled by Michael Milken’s closest associates.
Also tied to that scandal was Bank Al Taqwa. All of the money that Bank Al Taqwa laundered in the United States made its way to the Bank of New York. And there is good reason to believe that Bank Al Taqwa’s money laundering involved market manipulation conducted in league with outfits controlled by Michael Milken’s closest associates.
Bank Al Taqwa was set up by the Muslim Brotherhood, and catered primarily to Middle Eastern governments and jihadi groups, including, among others, the Egyptian Islamic Group, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the Algerian Armed Islamic Salvation Front, the Tunisian An-Nahda group, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Hezbollah, and, of course, Al Qaeda.
Bank Al Taqwa, which was based out of Switzerland and the Bahamas, was a substantial financial enterprise with operations in over 30 countries around the world. But it did more than provide banking services. It also provided logistical support and weapons to the jihadi terrorist groups that were its clients.
Indeed, Bank Al Taqwa set up and operated the Islamic Cultural Center of Milan, which the U.S. Treasury Department described as the “main Al Qaeda station house in Europe [responsible] for the movement of weapons, men, and money around the world.”
Al Taqwa came to the attention of U.S. authorities in connection with their investigation into Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami al-Arian. As you might recall, Sami al Arian was settled in the United States by the family of short seller and Milken crony Anthony Elgindy, who was manipulating the markets through Global Securities (the Mafia outfit with ties to Iran) and a few other brokerages to be discussed.
The Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader was also an intimate acquaintance of Omar Amanat, founder of Mafia brokerage Datek Securities, which received finance from Robert Brennan and cleared its trades through A.R. Baron. Both Brennan and A.R. Baron were targeted as part of the government’s investigation into the Bank of New York and the broader Mafia money laundering and market manipulation network.
One of the principal figures behind Bank Al Taqwa was “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” Yasin al Qadi (Osama bin Laden’s favorite financier). Yasin al Qadi was a hedge fund partner of Ali Nazerali, another member of the Elgindy pack that traded through Global Securities.
Bank Al Taqwa was managed by Youssef Nada, who was one among an elite number of jihadi leaders who established the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. He worked closely at Bank Al Taqwa with Ahmed Idris Nasreddin, who claims to be a descendent of Eritrean royalty; and a man named Albert Huber. All three men have been named by the U.S. government as terrorist financiers.
Albert Huber has the dual distinction of being both a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” and one of the world’s most famous neo-Nazis. In fact, Huber is the official leader of Switzerland’s neo-Nazi movement, and he is the unofficial leader of white supremacists worldwide.
In this capacity, Huber’s principal mission is to unite subversive outfits like the Klu Klux Klan with the radical Islamist movement. This seems to jive with the goals of the ayathollahs in Iran, who have invited members of the Klu Klux Klan, including the famous David Duke, to visit Tehran, treating them with all the pomp and ceremony usually reserved for the Russian Mafia oligarchs who are funding Iran’s nuclear program.
Huber’s office in Geneva is decorated with posters of Ayatollah Khomeini, Osama bin Laden, and Adolph Hitler. He is revered by skinheads around the world, and he is a figurehead for a large assortment people who consider themselves to be enemies of “the system.”
Huber has met the Al Qaeda gang, and he says Osama bin Laden was his friend, but his closest comrade was the American neo-Nazi William Pierce. Like many other subversives with ties to Iran, William Pierce, who died in 2009, applauded the September 11 attacks.
Pierce was also the author of the “Turner Diaries,” which inspired Timothy McVeigh’s terrorist attack on the federal building in Oklahoma.
The largest shareholders of Bank Al Taqwa, meanwhile, included two of Osama bin Laden’s sisters. Another shareholder was Yousuf Abdullah Al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader who regularly speaks of “Financial Jihad.”
Mariam Al-Sheikh A. Bin Aziz Al-Mubarak, a member of Kuwait’s royal family, was also a major shareholder in Bank Al Taqwa, as was the Kalifeh family, which presides over one of the biggest financial empires in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
The Kalifehs, who are among the richest people in the world, are active in the U.S. markets and have invested in Milken network hedge funds, including Steve Cohen’s SAC Capital.
The Kalifehs helped orchestrate the soft coup that ousted the crown prince of Ras Al Khaimah (in the United Arab Emirates) and replaced him with a new crown prince aligned with Iran. As a result, according to the Canadian customs services, Iranian government agents now effectively run the Ras Al Khaimah port, which has become an entry point for materials used in Iran’s clandestine nuclear weapons program.
That soft coup, recall, also removed the crown prince from his position as chairman of RAK Bank, which is now run by Iranian proxies who do business with the Mogilevich organization and Norbert Grupe, the Mafia figure who was involved with Imagis, the anti-terrorism company set up by “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” Yasin al Qadi and Ali Nazerali.
Yasin al-Qadi became a principal figure behind Bank Al Taqwa through his U.S.-based financial institution Bait ul Mal, or BMI Inc., which was identified by authorities as being part of what government investigators call “the SAAR Network” of financial companies and charities that finance terrorism.
The other major investor in BMI was Mousa Abu Marzouk, who was a founder of Hamas, based in the United States until he relocated to Gaza, and later to Syria, from where he now serves as Hamas’s political chief. Marzouk’s company, Infocom, recall, hosted short seller Anthony Elgindy’s private internet chat site.
Marzouk’s relatives and chief lieutenants were at the 1993 meeting in Philadelphia where Hamas operatives, including Nihad Awad (future partner in an Islamic TV station with Omar Amanat, founder of the Mafia brokerage Datek Securities, who plotted the release from prison of the Blind Sheikh, mastermind of the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center).
The president of BMI was Soliman Biheiri, who concurrently served as a top officer at Bank Al Taqwa. When officials began investigating BMI, Biheiri told them that the idea for the company was hatched by Mahmoud Abu Saud and Gamal Attia, two Muslim Brotherhood leaders who were considered to be among the original masterminds of terrorist financing efforts in the U.S.
Among BMI’s silent investors were three of Osama bin Laden’s family members, including his nephew, Abdullah bin Laden, who works for Al Qaeda.
A BMI accountant has told U.S. investigators that a good chunk of the money that Al Qaeda used to finance the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Africa was delivered directly from BMI. Which makes sense, since BMI founder Yasin al Qadi was involved with Mercy International, also implicated in the Africa bombings.
Recall that jailed short-seller Anthony Elgindy was also involved with Mercy International (now called Mercy USA). Previously, Mercy was known as Human Concern International, a director of which was Ibrahim Hassaballah.
Paperwork filed with the U.S. Treasury Department shows that Hassaballah orgininally incorporated Bank Al Taqwa along with Salim Saleh, a leading Muslim Brotherhood figure and fund manager resident in the United States.
Mercy USA director Mahommad Mabrook, who used the alias Mohamed Elhazeri, was also president of Yasin al Qadi’s Global Chemical, a Chicago company that was found to be stockpiling explosives. Investigators also suspected the company was planning to manufacture chemical weapons.
Among Bank Al Taqwa’s many other achievements was to fund the Qatar Charitable Society, which played a vital role in financing and providing logistical support to Al Qaeda’s bombings of the two U.S. embassies in Africa.
Recall also that Yasin al Qadi and Sheikh Mahfouz (co-founder, with Ali Nazerali’s relatives, of BCCI) ran an affiliated charity, the Muffawaw Foundation, that was, according to the U.S. Treasury Department, an “Al Qaeda front.”
These are among the many reasons why I have referred to Yasin al Qadi as “Osama bin Laden’s favorite financier.”
Of course, Yasin al Qadi and the others involved with Bank al Taqwa are not just terrorist financiers. As we have seen, Yasin al Qadi and his hedge fund partner Ali Nazerali are among the most important business partners of everyone from the rulers of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, to the regime in Iran and the chief of Saudi intelligence.
As has been amply demonstrated again and again by this point (see earlier chapters of this series), there is no doubt that the Al Qaeda network also has close ties to the Russian Mafia. There is, moreover, no doubt that both the Russian Mafia and some of Al Qaeda’s most important financiers are part of the Milken network.
Indeed, “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” Yasin al Qadi is one of Michael Milken’s close associates. Among Milken’s other close associates are Ali Nazerali (Yasin al Qadi’s hedge fund partner) and, until his death, Sheikh Mahfouz (who ran an Al Qaeda front with Yasin al Qadi).
These relationships go back to the days when Milken was involved with BCCI, which was co-founded by Sheikh Mahfouz. BCCI’s CEO was Swaleh Naqvi, who is Ali Nazerali’s relative.
All of these people were involved (along with Adnan Khashoggi) with Capcom, the BCCI and Saudi intelligence outfit that conducted more than $90 billion of trading (much of it manipulative) through Milken’s shop at Drexel Burnham.
Milken’s closest associate, of course, is Gene Phillips. As we know, Phillips was the most important figure in Milken’s junk bond merry-go-round and later the proprietor of Sinex Securities, which helped the Russian Mafia and the Russian government launder more than $4 billion that ended up in the Bank of New York.
It is likely that Phillips also laundered money for Bank Al Taqwa.
Phillips ran another brokerage, Southmark Equities (which was part of the Milken-financed Southmark Property), at the same address (3626 N. Hall St. in Dallas) that the government has listed as belonging to the SAAR Network of terrorist financiers. A principal figure in the SAAR Network, of course, was Yasin al Qadi, co-founder of Bank Al Taqwa.
A related Phillips entity, Southmark Corporation, once owned an airplane that was eventually transferred to Skyway, and caught on a remote Mexican runway with 5 tons of cocaine. Skyway, recall, was associated with Anthony Elgindy’s former trading partner, Jonathan Curshen (the white knight for Russian Mafia boss Semion Mogilevich’s YBM Magnex, an outfit tied to the Bank of New York scandal).
Skyway (whose shareholders reportedly included a number of Saudi investors, though I have yet to be able to identify them by name) contributed money to the Holy Land Foundation, a Hamas front linked to Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami al Arian, who prompted the government’s investigation into Bank Al Taqwa.
That airplane was also, at times, registered in the name of Curshen client Ramy El Betrawi, who (recall) helped Anthony Elgindy and Adnan Khashoggi destroy MJK Clearing, the largest clearing firm in America, in September 2001.
Anthony Elgindy, we have seen, is tied to multiple Bank Al Taqwa principals. Khashoggi got his start in business working with Shiekh Mahfouz (co-founder, with Yasin al Qadi, of an Al Qaeda front) and later orchestrated what became known as the “Iran-Contra” scandal with Iranian arms dealer and intelligence agent Manuchar Ghorbanifar, who had extensive dealings with Bank Al Taqwa.
One of Phillips’ top employees at Sinex Securities was a man named Robert Gold. While he was working for Sinex (which, recall, laundered more than $4 billion for the Russian Mafia and the Russian government) , Gold was also helping run an outfit called SVC Financial Services, which was founded by Yaqub Mirza, bagman for “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” Yasin al Qadi (Osama bin Laden’s favorite financier).
Mr. Mirza was closely involved with Bank Al Taqwa and with BMI, Inc., the vehicle that Yasin al Qadi used to invest in Bank Al Taqwa. Indeed, Mr. Mirza has business relationships with most of Bank Al Taqwa’s key figures. This is one reason why FBI investigators have described Mr. Mirza as the most important U.S.-based operator in the “SAAR Network” of terrorist financiers.
Recall that Mr. Mirza incorporated more than a dozen SAAR Network charities and financial companies that are suspected of funding jihadi outfits. One of these entities was SVC Financial Services, run with help from Robert Gold, a principal at Sinex.
No government authority has implicated Sinex in the money laundering of Al Qaeda’s Bank Al Taqwa, but it seems a lively possibility that Al Taqwa worked with Sinex given that Al Taqwa’s laundered money ended up in the Bank of New York; and given that so much other money laundered into Bank of New York passed through Sinex, employer of Robert Gold,who was simultaneously a principal at an outfit (SVC) controlled by one of Bank Al Taqwa’s key figures (Mr. Mirza, bagman for Milken crony and Al Taqwa co-founder Yasin al Qadi, who is Osama bin Laden’s favorite financier).
Other Sinex principals also raise questions. One of them is Mark Salter, who previously worked for Westcap Securities, controlled by Al Taqwa co-founder and “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” Yasin al Qadi’s hedge fund partner, Ali Nazerali, whose former boss, Abbas Gokal was (in addition to being employed by the Pakistani ISI and the Iranian regime) a key figure with Shiekh Mafouz (Yasin al Qadi partner in the Al Qaeda front) in BCCI, and an important participant (with the Russian Mafia) in the Bank of New York money laundering scandal.
Meanwhile, a fellow named John Caporucscio was a director of Sinex. Prior to joining Sinex, Caporucsio was second in command at Native Nations, the brokerage run by Milken’s former office manager, Valerie Red Horse.
Recall that Native Nations helped Anthony Elgindy (tied to multiple Bank Al Taqwa principlas) destroy MJK Clearing in September 2001. As we know, MJK was then the biggest clearing brokerage in America.
I will remind you that the others others who helped Elgindy and Native Nations destroy MJK were Adnan Khashoggi (close associate of Bank Al Taqwa key operators), Rafi Khan (funder of Hamas, whose political chief, Marzouk, was a principal at Bank Al Taqwa), and Ramy El Betrawi (funder of Hamas principals; client of Jonathan Curshen, the white knight for Russian Mafia money laundering outfit YBM Magnex).
Meanwhile, there is no question that Sinex owner Gene Phillips is on close terms not only with the Russian Mafia and La Cosa Nostra (see earlier chapters of this series), but also with Bank Al Taqwa’s most prominent operator, Yasin Al Qadi, who was (I’ll say it again) Osama bin Laden’s favorite financier.
In addition to the relationships already noted, Phillips controls a number of death spiral short selling funds. Indeed, he controls so many funds and cut-outs of funds that it boggles the mind. And some of these funds have certainly done business with Yasin al-Qadi, who was (yes, you know already, but just let me repeat it) Osama bin Laden’s favorite financier.
For example, Black Sea Investments, a fund controlled by Phillips (though, like Sinex, it is registered in the name of his son, Bradford Phillips) was an investor, along with Yasin al Qadi’s Faisal Finance (the same fund, recall, that invested in some of Osama bin Laden’s companies in Sudan), in an outfit called NCT Group.
As we have seen, the Russian Mafia and Russian government money laundering into the Bank of New York involved manipulating the markets through a number of Milken-tied Mafia brokerages, including Sinex. Assuming Bank Al Taqwa was doing the same thing, I think it is reasonable to conclude that Al Qaeda and affiliated terrorist groups, like Hamas, were manipulating the markets.
I do not mean to suggest that Michael Milken and Al Qaeda terrorists are gathering in secret meeting halls to hatch a grand conspiracy to destroy the world.
I merely wish to point that some of Milken’s closest associates are monumental criminals (as is Milken himself). Some of his closest associates are also terrorists. And some are both, like the mobsters in the Mogilevich organization, who are first-rate market manipulators and have tried to sell highly enriched uranium to Al Qaeda.
That is to say, the Milken network nicely illustrates the “nexus” that Admiral Dennis Blair identified when he was director of national intelligence. And since the SEC seems disinclined to do anything about the Milken network, perhaps the job of stopping these people should be handed to the director of national intelligence.
At any rate, since Al Qaeda’s most important financiers are tied in with America’s most notorious market manipulators, it is safe to assume that Al Qaeda is capable of causing “significant damage to the global financial system” (as the Director of National Intelligence put it).
Such damage would put into jeopardy the future of the United States. Therefore, it seems to me that the Milken network poses a threat to our national security.
It might even be significant that a former spy was monitoring meetings that Milken and some of his cronies held in Costa Rica in 2006. Again, those meetings were hosted by Jonathan Curshen, who is: 1) the former trading partner of Anthony Elgindy (a market manipulator who was tied to the Russian Mafia and threatened a guy with access to nuclear bombs after his jihadi associates gave him advance knowledge of the September 11 attacks); and 2) white knight for YBM Magnex (controlled by nuke-selling Semion Mogilevich, FBI Most Wanted #2).
One person at those meetings in Costa Rica was Gene Phillips (proprietor of Sinex Securities, which laundered $4 billion for the Mogilevich organization and likely also laundered money for Bank Al Taqwa, which set up Al Qaeda’s main operating base in Europe).
Another person at those meetings in Costa Rica: Steven Roth (investment advisor to “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” Yasin al Qadi’s anti-terrorism company, Imagis; and proprietor of the Vornado Real Estate Investment Trust [REIT], said by Anthony Elgindy in discussions with the FBI to have had advance knowledge of the September 11 attacks).
Also at those meetings: Kevin Ingram (former head of the Goldman Sachs mortgage-backed securities desk; money launderer for suspected Al Qaeda arms dealer with ties to a Pakistani looking to buy components for nuclear weapson); and Ali Nazerali (hedge fund partner of Yasin al Qadi, Osama bin Laden’s favorite financier).
According to the former spy, the people at these meetings in Costa Rica discussed ways to destroy some big companies. The former spy wasn’t sure how it was supposed to work, but he said it had something to do with mortgages, collateralized debt obligations, REITs, and manipulative short selling.
As it happened, two years later some big companies (Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, and others) indeed went under in a catastrophic way. And mortgages, collateralized debt obligations, REITs, and manipulative short selling were all on the scene.
In upcoming chapters, I will explain how it worked. For now, I will just say this: the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008 was not entirely happenstance. To the contrary, the American economy was “busted out.” And some of the perpetrators of this disaster attended those meetings in Costa Rica.
Most of the other perpetrators of this disaster were Michael Milken’s closest associates: financial criminals with ties to Mobsters, rogue states, and jihadi terrorists.
To be continued…