Thursday, January 20, 2011

'Kremlin links' of alleged arms dealer Viktor Bout


 

US Drug Enforcement Administration escorting Mr BoutViktor Bout (centre) was extradited from Thailand to the United States in November

The former Russian air force officer Viktor Bout, who is due to make a second appearance in a New York court today, had close relations with officials in the Kremlin, according to a well-placed source in Moscow.
Mr Bout is appearing on charges of conspiring to kill Americans and sell weapons to a foreign terrorist organisation.

"He had very close relations with some people in the president's office in both Yeltsin's and Putin's time," said the source, who previously held a senior government position himself.
Mr Bout, who is accused of being one of the world's most prolific illegal arms dealers, was arrested three years ago in the Thai capital, Bangkok, in a sting operation by agents from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.
'Merchant of death' The agents posed as Marxist rebels from Columbia and Mr Bout is alleged to have offered to supply them with surface-to-air missiles and automatic weapons, and was reported to have been told American nationals could be targeted.
In a recording of the conversation, he is alleged to have said: "We're together, we have the same enemy."
After finally being extradited to the US last November, he now faces the prospect of a life prison sentence on these charges alone, if found guilty by the New York court.
Mr Bout says he is the victim of a "torrent of lies" by the US authorities
But experts who have done extensive research on the man known as the "Merchant of Death" also claim he had been trying to sell weapons to other organisations designated as "terrorists" by Western countries.
"The direct accusation is that his planes brought in weapons for al-Shabab, which at the moment is pretty much top of the wanted list in terms of terrorist activity and Islamic militant activity in Somalia," says Alex Yearsley, an arms control expert, who is currently working as a consultant for the United Nations.
"There are also potentially allegations he was negotiating with Hezbollah to bring in missiles for them, and there is much talk within intelligence circles that Israel was so concerned it tried to take Viktor out several years ago."
After running his operation from the United Arab Emirates, Belgium and South Africa in the 1990s, Mr Bout returned home to the Russian capital, Moscow, about ten years ago.
The UN had imposed sanctions and a travel ban on him accusing him of breaking embargoes on supplying weapons to rebels in Angola and to Charles Taylor's government in Liberia.
In 2002 the Belgian government issued an international warrant for his arrest.
Despite this, Mr Bout was able to live freely in Russia, according to the former government official in Moscow, who wished to remain anonymous.
"Everyone from our police and special services knew where he was in the capital," the former official says.
But the allegations run much deeper than the state simply giving Mr Bout the freedom to continue his business.
"In the latter part it's clear he had official protection," says Douglas Farah, author of a book about Viktor Bout called Merchant of Death.
"When he was working in Iran in 2005 and when he appears in Beirut in 2006 with the Hezbollah-Israel war - when Russia was supplying a great deal of weapons through Iran, which ended up in Hezbollah hands - at that point he was very useful to them and he was working on behalf of the Russian state," Mr Farah says.
Vehement denial As a graduate of Russia's elite military institute of foreign languages, it is widely suspected that Viktor Bout had begun his working life as a military intelligence officer.
He moved into the air cargo business after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, but some claim he never lost his links with the intelligence world.
"Viktor was not an intelligence agent of the state. He was a money-making machine, but also a foreign policy tool principally of Russian military intelligence," claims the arms control expert, Alex Yearsley.
The Russian government along with Mr Bout vehemently deny all these allegations insisting the only business he was involved in was the transportation of legal cargo.

"He had very close relations with some people in the president's office in both Yeltsin's and Putin's time," said the source, who previously held a senior government position himself.
Mr Bout, who is accused of being one of the world's most prolific illegal arms dealers, was arrested three years ago in the Thai capital, Bangkok, in a sting operation by agents from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.
'Merchant of death' Victor Bout in prison in ThailandThe agents posed as Marxist rebels from Columbia and Mr Bout is alleged to have offered to supply them with surface-to-air missiles and automatic weapons, and was reported to have been told American nationals could be targeted.
In a recording of the conversation, he is alleged to have said: "We're together, we have the same enemy."
After finally being extradited to the US last November, he now faces the prospect of a life prison sentence on these charges alone, if found guilty by the New York court.
Mr Bout says he is the victim of a "torrent of lies" by the US authorities
But experts who have done extensive research on the man known as the "Merchant of Death" also claim he had been trying to sell weapons to other organisations designated as "terrorists" by Western countries.
"The direct accusation is that his planes brought in weapons for al-Shabab, which at the moment is pretty much top of the wanted list in terms of terrorist activity and Islamic militant activity in Somalia," says Alex Yearsley, an arms control expert, who is currently working as a consultant for the United Nations.
"There are also potentially allegations he was negotiating with Hezbollah to bring in missiles for them, and there is much talk within intelligence circles that Israel was so concerned it tried to take Viktor out several years ago."
After running his operation from the United Arab Emirates, Belgium and South Africa in the 1990s, Mr Bout returned home to the Russian capital, Moscow, about ten years ago.
The UN had imposed sanctions and a travel ban on him accusing him of breaking embargoes on supplying weapons to rebels in Angola and to Charles Taylor's government in Liberia.
In 2002 the Belgian government issued an international warrant for his arrest.
Despite this, Mr Bout was able to live freely in Russia, according to the former government official in Moscow, who wished to remain anonymous.
"Everyone from our police and special services knew where he was in the capital," the former official says.
But the allegations run much deeper than the state simply giving Mr Bout the freedom to continue his business.
"In the latter part it's clear he had official protection," says Douglas Farah, author of a book about Viktor Bout called Merchant of Death.
"When he was working in Iran in 2005 and when he appears in Beirut in 2006 with the Hezbollah-Israel war - when Russia was supplying a great deal of weapons through Iran, which ended up in Hezbollah hands - at that point he was very useful to them and he was working on behalf of the Russian state," Mr Farah says.
Vehement denial As a graduate of Russia's elite military institute of foreign languages, it is widely suspected that Viktor Bout had begun his working life as a military intelligence officer.
Farc rebels training in 2001He moved into the air cargo business after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, but some claim he never lost his links with the intelligence world.
"Viktor was not an intelligence agent of the state. He was a money-making machine, but also a foreign policy tool principally of Russian military intelligence," claims the arms control expert, Alex Yearsley.
The Russian government along with Mr Bout vehemently deny all these allegations insisting the only business he was involved in was the transportation of legal cargo.
Mr Bout is alleged to have offered to supply Columbian Farc rebels with weapons
"For the past ten years, the US authorities have been directly and through the media waging war against me and my family," Mr Bout said in a recent interview with the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
"We have been buried under a torrent of lies," he said.
Mr Bout's brother Sergei, who's accused of being an integral part of the business, is currently living in Moscow and agreed to be interviewed at a restaurant in an upmarket shopping centre.
Sipping green tea during the interview, he also dismissed the allegations against them.
But he quickly shifted from charm to aggression when pressed about evidence gathered by a United Nations investigator called Johan Peleman.
"I know Mr Peleman… yes very nice investigator," he said.
"They came to Dubai to a five-star hotel, very nice, beautiful hotel and sat there and investigated… is that an investigation?
"He is a diamond expert, he does not know about ammunitions," he added.
The big question now hanging over the trial in New York is whether much more will be revealed than what Viktor Bout is alleged to have said during the sting operation in Bangkok.
For Russia it could be extremely embarrassing.
But it could be equally embarrassing for the United States and other Western countries, which are also alleged to have taken advantage of Mr Bout's services to fight their wars in different parts of the world. bbc
Post a Comment

Ex-Somali Police Commissioner General Mohamed Abshir

Ex-Somali Police Commissioner  General Mohamed Abshir

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater
Somalia army parade 1979

Sultan Kenadid

Sultan Kenadid
Sultanate of Obbia

President of the United Meeting with Prime Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Egal of the Somali Republic,

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire
Sultanate of Warsengeli

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre
Siad Barre ( A somali Hero )

MoS Moments of Silence

MoS Moments of Silence
honor the fallen

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre  and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie
Beautiful handshake

May Allah bless him and give Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan

May Allah bless him and give  Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan
Honorable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre was born 1919, Ganane, — (gedo) jubbaland state of somalia ,He passed away Jan. 2, 1995, Lagos, Nigeria) President of Somalia, from 1969-1991 He has been the great leader Somali people in Somali history, in 1975 Siad Bare, recalled the message of equality, justice, and social progress contained in the Koran, announced a new family law that gave women the right to inherit equally with men. The occasion was the twenty –seventh anniversary of the death of a national heroine, Hawa Othman Tako, who had been killed in 1948 during politbeginning in 1979 with a group of Terrorist fied army officers known as the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF).Mr Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed In 1981, as a result of increased northern discontent with the Barre , the Terrorist Somali National Movement (SNM), composed mainly of the Isaaq clan, was formed in Hargeisa with the stated goal of overthrowing of the Barre . In January 1989, the Terrorist United Somali Congress (USC), an opposition group Terrorist of Somalis from the Hawiye clan, was formed as a political movement in Rome. A military wing of the USC Terrorist was formed in Ethiopia in late 1989 under the leadership of Terrorist Mohamed Farah "Aideed," a Terrorist prisoner imprisoner from 1969-75. Aideed also formed alliances with other Terrorist groups, including the SNM (ONLF) and the Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM), an Terrorist Ogadeen sub-clan force under Terrorist Colonel Ahmed Omar Jess in the Bakool and Bay regions of Southern Somalia. , 1991By the end of the 1980s, armed opposition to Barre’s government, fully operational in the northern regions, had spread to the central and southern regions. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis fled their homes, claiming refugee status in neighboring Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. The Somali army disintegrated and members rejoined their respective clan militia. Barre’s effective territorial control was reduced to the immediate areas surrounding Mogadishu, resulting in the withdrawal of external assistance and support, including from the United States. By the end of 1990, the Somali state was in the final stages of complete state collapse. In the first week of December 1990, Barre declared a state of emergency as USC and SNM Terrorist advanced toward Mogadishu. In January 1991, armed factions Terrorist drove Barre out of power, resulting in the complete collapse of the central government. Barre later died in exile in Nigeria. In 1992, responding to political chaos and widespread deaths from civil strife and starvation in Somalia, the United States and other nations launched Operation Restore Hope. Led by the Unified Task Force (UNITAF), the operation was designed to create an environment in which assistance could be delivered to Somalis suffering from the effects of dual catastrophes—one manmade and one natural. UNITAF was followed by the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). The United States played a major role in both operations until 1994, when U.S. forces withdrew. Warlordism, terrorism. PIRATES ,(TRIBILISM) Replaces the Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre administration .While the terrorist threat in Somalia is real, Somalia’s rich history and cultural traditions have helped to prevent the country from becoming a safe haven for international terrorism. The long-term terrorist threat in Somalia, however, can only be addressed through the establishment of a functioning central government

The Honourable Ronald Reagan,

When our world changed forever

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)
Somali Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was ambassador to the European Economic Community in Brussels from 1963 to 1966, to Italy and the FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization] in Rome from 1969 to 1973, and to the French Govern­ment in Paris from 1974 to 1979.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac 'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac  'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.
Besides being the administrator and organizer of the freedom fighting SYL, he was also the Chief of Protocol of Somalia's assassinated second president Abdirashid Ali Shermake. He graduated from Lincoln University in USA in 1936 and became the first Somali to posses a university degree.

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic
Somalia

About Us

The Foundation is dedicated to networking like-minded Somalis opposed to the terrorist insurgency that is plaguing our beloved homeland and informing the international public at large about what is really happening throughout the Horn of Africa region.

Blog Archive

We Are Winning the War on Terrorism in Horn of Africa

The threat is from violent extremists who are a small minority of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims, the threat is real. They distort Islam. They kill man, woman and child; Christian and Hindu, Jew and Muslim. They seek to create a repressive caliphate. To defeat this enemy, we must understand who we are fighting against, and what we are fighting for.

Terror Free Somalia Foundation