19 de julho de 2012- Implicações do Ataque Terror, Luta em Damasco - História

19 de julho de 2012- Implicações do Ataque Terror, Luta em Damasco - História



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19 de julho de 2012- Implicações de um ataque terrorista, lutando em Damasco?

Continuam a haver relatos conflitantes sobre a identidade dos responsáveis ​​pelo bombardeio direcionado de ontem na Bulgária. O primeiro-ministro afirmou, de forma inequívoca, que o Irã está por trás do bombardeio. Embora os búlgaros tenham declarado que sabem quem está por trás da tragédia, eles ainda não estão dizendo. Nesse ínterim, uma foto com um suposto suspeito circulou na mídia. Se a identidade estiver correta, o homem-bomba é um muçulmano sunita, nascido na Europa, que teria passado algum tempo detido na Baía de Guantánamo. Todos esses detalhes ficarão claros nos próximos dias.

Houve alguns artigos alarmistas na imprensa no último dia. O primeiro, no Ha'aretz, afirmou que o governo israelense usará o bombardeio como desculpa para lançar um ataque ao Irã. O segundo, o New York Times, afirmou que Israel está planejando atacar as instalações de armas químicas da Síria para garantir que os produtos químicos não caiam nas mãos dos terroristas. A primeira história é verdadeiramente alarmista. Não há dúvida de que Netanyahu o fará, e já vinculou os ataques terroristas ao programa nuclear iraniano. Ele alertou hoje contra permitir que qualquer país que apóia o terrorismo adquira armas nucleares. No momento, entretanto, Netanyahu está usando a tragédia para obter apoio mundial adicional para uma nova rodada de sanções mais rígidas contra o Irã. No futuro ... Quanto à segunda história, como já relatei, o governo israelense deixou claro que atacará o Hezbollah se tentar adquirir armas químicas.

A luta se intensificou em Damasco hoje, com os rebeldes aparentemente ganhando o controle de várias partes da cidade. Parece que os rebeldes têm levado homens e material para a cidade nos últimos meses e têm esperado pelo sinal de que era o momento certo para tentar tomar a capital. O resultado deve ficar claro nos próximos dias. Talvez a China e a Rússia saibam algo que o resto do mundo não saiba. Mais uma vez, os dois países vetaram uma resolução do conselho de segurança impondo sanções ao governo sírio. Eles realmente parecem estar apostando no cavalo errado e, quando Assad cair, eles se verão com novos inimigos na Síria.

Ontem à noite foi o funeral do rabino líder do movimento Haredi, Rabino Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, que morreu aos 102 anos. Elyashiv era chamado de "Posek Ha Dor" (a autoridade haláchica singular de sua geração). Ele também era conhecido por suas decisões extremamente conservadoras / reacionárias. Rabino Elyashiv recusou-se a permitir a morte encefálica, para ser um critério para o propósito de colheita de órgãos para transplantes. Isso criou uma situação em que muito mais Haredim recebem órgãos do que eram capazes de doar. O rabino Elyashiv se opôs a pressionar os homens que se recusavam a dar um Get (mandado haláchico de divórcio) a suas esposas. Mais importante ainda, o rabino Elyashiv era um forte defensor de que uma conversão deveria ser anulada retroativamente, se o convertido não cumprisse todas as mitzvot. Houve uma decisão do Rabino Elyashiv de que gostei muito. O rabino Elyashiv determinou que não se deve orar nos corredores dos aviões, se isso perturba os outros passageiros. Esta decisão não parece ser mantida tão estritamente por seus seguidores, pois eles seguiram a maioria de suas outras decisões.


A explosão global dos malfeitores (Capítulo 6): Os negócios de lavagem da Al Qaeda, o Sheikh Cego e o Programa Algorítmico de Manipulação de Mercado RLevi2

Uma das operações de corretagem e fundos de hedge mais poderosos do mundo tinha a Al Qaeda como cliente? Claro, estou brincando. Direito? Na verdade, não, não estou brincando.

Um dos clientes da Man Financial & rsquos era um importante lavador de dinheiro e manipulador de mercado da Al Qaeda.

Isso não parecerá mais surpreendente, uma vez que você compreenda que o submundo das finanças ilícitas é um mundo pequeno e que você entenda que o submundo está se tornando o mundo superior, o que significa que a criminalidade se tornou predominante.

A Máfia atua nos mercados financeiros desde os anos 1980, e começamos a ver como Michael Milken e seus amigos (incluindo aqueles que dirigem o Man Financial) fizeram isso acontecer. Enquanto isso, onde há máfia, há jihadistas.

No início desta história, citei o almirante-chefe da Inteligência Nacional dos EUA, Dennis Blair & rsquos, alertando sobre o & ldquonexus & rdquo entre o crime organizado e o terrorismo. Se você não acredita nele, ouça os especialistas contratados não muito tempo atrás pelo Departamento de Justiça dos EUA para produzir um relatório intitulado & ldquoExplorando ligações entre o crime organizado transnacional e o terrorismo internacional. & Rdquo

Neste relatório, os especialistas (todos acadêmicos renomados e ex-funcionários de agências de segurança nacional) afirmaram que & ldorganizações criminosas e terroristas se integrarão e podem até formar novos tipos de organizações. & Rdquo

Os especialistas disseram: "Concedido, os motivos parecem diferentes: crime organizado com foco em ganhar dinheiro e terrorismo com o objetivo de minar a autoridade política." . & rdquo

O objetivo compartilhado não é político no sentido de estar enraizado em uma ideologia complexa, mas tem implicações políticas. "Grupos de terroristas", disseram os especialistas do Departamento de Justiça, "às vezes buscam e obtêm assistência do crime organizado com base no valor percebido da causa terrorista ou por causa de sua causa comum contra autoridades estatais ou outras fontes de oposição."

De fato, de acordo com os especialistas, a Máfia e os jihadistas & ldquo têm perfis semelhantes e muitas vezes são os mesmos indivíduos & hellip.muitos indivíduos pertencem tanto ao terrorismo quanto a grupos do crime organizado e realizam uma variedade de tarefas para ambos. & Rdquo

Entre os muitos exemplos citados pelos especialistas estava o de Dawood Ibrahim, o chefe da máfia indiana. Lembre-se de que um funcionário da CIA disse: & ldquoSe você quiser saber o que Osama bin Laden está tramando, precisa entender o que Dawood Ibrahim está tramando. & Rdquo

Daniel Pearl, o repórter do Wall Street Journal que foi assassinado por jihadistas em 2002, começou a investigar Ibrahim, mas nunca escreveu uma história sobre ele. Após a morte de Pearl & rsquos, o The Journal anunciou que dali em diante pararia de enviar repórteres para lugares perigosos porque isso não estava de acordo com a missão do jornal de fazer reportagens sobre o mundo dos negócios.

Aparentemente, o The Journal concluiu que pessoas perigosas em lugares perigosos não conduzem negócios. Desde então, o jornal desistiu de investigar quase tudo.

Enquanto isso, a maioria dos outros jornais parece igualmente pouco inclinada a dedicar recursos a investigações sérias ou a publicar histórias que possam surpreender seus leitores. Portanto, você não leu muito sobre Dawood Ibrahim na imprensa.

Mas o Sr. Ibrahim não é apenas perigoso, ele é um dos homens mais importantes do mundo. Ele é alguém que deveria aparecer nas primeiras páginas de todos os jornais do país.

O Sr. Ibrahim, sabemos, costumava comandar sua operação criminosa global fora de Dubai, com a total aquiescência do governante local, Sheikh Mo. Enquanto estava em Dubai, Ibrahim passou a ter relações próximas com todos, desde atrizes de Bollywood ao mercado manipuladores (como Ali Nazerali, ex-BCCI) que habitam a rede de Michael Milken.

Durante a maior parte de sua carreira, o Sr. Ibrahim não foi nada mais do que um chefe da máfia secular, envolvido no comércio usual e contrabando de narcóticos, lavagem de dinheiro, tráfico de metais preciosos, proliferação de materiais de armas nucleares, esquemas de proteção, golpes financeiros e prostituição.

Mas no início dos anos 1990, Ibrahim e sua equipe da Máfia, chamada & ldquoD-Company & rdquo, começaram a formar relacionamentos com jihadistas, incluindo Osama bin Laden. E, graças a esses relacionamentos, ele logo chamou a atenção da agência de espionagem do Paquistão, a ISI.

Em 1993, o ISI convidou alguns dos principais membros da gangue criminosa Sr. Ibrahim & rsquos ao Paquistão para receber treinamento paramilitar. Naquele mesmo ano, Ibrahim e seus capangas, com a cooperação dos jihadistas e do ISI, orquestraram o ataque mais mortal da história da Índia, explodindo simultaneamente poderosas bombas em treze localidades de Bombaim (agora chamada de Mumbai).

Um total de 250 pessoas foram mortas nesses ataques e 700 ficaram feridas. Claramente, este não foi um golpe típico da Máfia. Foi um ato de terrorismo, coordenado por um homem que não era, por apelação, um & ldquoterrorista & rdquo, mas sim um mafioso que por acaso encontrou uma causa comum com espiões desonestos e jihadis.

Ibrahim, que agora vive no Paquistão sob a proteção do ISI, também é suspeito de envolvimento no cataclismo que atingiu Mumbai em 2008, quando os jihadistas ligados à Al Qaeda (a maioria deles oficialmente membros de Laskhar-e-Tayyiba) lançaram ataques em mais de dez locais da cidade, ocupando vários hotéis e uma sinagoga, e matando pelo menos 173 pessoas, incluindo pelo menos cinco americanos, um deles uma menina de 13 anos.

É por isso que Dawood Ibrahim desfruta da distinção de ser a única pessoa rotulada pelo governo dos Estados Unidos como um & ldquoForeign Narcotics Kingpin & rdquo e um & ldquoEspecially Designated Global Terrorist & rdquo.

Mas ele não é a única pessoa que merece essas denominações. O bilionário saudita Sheikh Mahfouz (ex-BCCI) era, até sua morte em 2009, outra pessoa ligada tanto ao tráfico de drogas quanto ao Grande Jihad. E os líderes da Al Qaeda estão fortemente envolvidos no comércio de heroína, transportando suas drogas através da Máfia Albanesa, que é essencialmente uma afiliada da Al Qaeda, em estreita cooperação com a Máfia Russa e La Cosa Nostra.

Há puristas que insistem que Dawood Ibrahim não faz parte da Al Qaeda porque ele nunca jurou oficialmente lealdade a Osama bin Laden. Isso seria interpretar mal a natureza da Al Qaeda, que nunca teve mais do que um punhado de membros oficiais, embora muito mais pessoas tenham cumprido suas ordens.

A maioria dos sequestradores que executaram os ataques de 11 de setembro não eram oficialmente membros da Al Qaeda. Mesmo o mentor da conspiração de 11 de setembro, Khalid Shiekh Mohammed, não era membro da Al Qaeda quando os ataques aconteceram.

Para nos defendermos da Al Qaeda, devemos entender que o inimigo não são apenas alguns membros juramentados, mas uma grande e solta rede de pessoas que colaboraram com Osama bin Laden e continuarão a colaborar com o sucessor de Bin Laden e rsquos.

Na declaração formal de guerra de Osama bin Laden contra os Estados Unidos, o nome & ldquoAl Qaeda & rdquo nem mesmo foi usado. Em vez disso, a declaração foi assinada por Bin Laden e os líderes de várias outras organizações - o Grupo Jihad, o Grupo Islâmico Egípcio, Jamiat-e-Ulema e o Movimento Jihad de Bangladesh.

O Sr. Ibrahim & rsquos D-Company é intimamente afiliado ao Jamiat-e-Ulema, e vários dos principais capangas do Sr. Ibrahim & rsquos são membros de pleno direito do Movimento Jihad de Bangledesh. Portanto, não é surpreendente que a D-Company tenha ajudado a realizar vários ataques terroristas ligados a essas e outras afiliadas da Al Qaeda.

Além de realizar ataques terroristas, Ibrahim e a D-Company são os traficantes mais importantes de heroína da Al Qaeda. Além disso, Ibrahim e D-Company desempenham um papel fundamental na gestão das finanças da Al Qaeda e rsquos.

Assim, Dawood Ibrahim e seus capangas são, para todos os efeitos, membros de uma rede algo intangível de pessoas intimamente afiliadas que estão todas na mesma página. É correto (e, de fato, essencial se quisermos entender o verdadeiro inimigo) descrever todas as pessoas nesta rede como sendo "membros" da Al Qaeda, independentemente de se declararem abertamente como tal.

Em 2008, um dos principais capangas de Dawood Ibrahim & rsquos era Naresh Patel, que presidia uma rede bancária clandestina da Al Qaeda com tentáculos nos Emirados Árabes Unidos, Índia, Paquistão, China, Nigéria, Itália, Afeganistão, África do Sul, Congo, Nepal, as Ilhas Cook, Grã-Bretanha e os Estados Unidos.

A principal função dessa rede era administrar os lucros das drogas da Al Qaeda - centenas de milhões de dólares que tanto a Al Qaeda quanto sua subsidiária, a Máfia Albanesa, ganharam vendendo não apenas heroína, mas também cocaína.

De acordo com o Departamento de Justiça dos Estados Unidos, grande parte desse dinheiro foi transferido por meio de bancos em Dubai e, posteriormente, para pelo menos quinze contas que Patel mantinha na Man Financial, a empresa que estava (como vimos) ligada a Michael Milken, Bernie Madoff , Tuco Trading e BKS em Moscou.

Patel negociou grandes volumes por meio dessas contas da Man Financial em 2008, mas o DOJ não o pegou até 2009, ponto em que ele foi acusado de transacionar, por meio da Man Financial, grandes volumes de negócios & ldquowash & rdquo & ndashsimultaneamente vendendo e comprando commodities. Ele estava fazendo a mesma coisa com títulos.

O DOJ descreveu essa atividade como "lavagem de dinheiro" porque a lavagem de dinheiro fazia parte dela, e a lavagem de dinheiro é um conceito bastante bem compreendido pelos funcionários do contraterrorismo. A manipulação de mercado, ao contrário, é provavelmente menos compreendida.

E o que o DOJ pode não saber (ou preferir ignorar) é que as pessoas que aplicam & ldquowash trades & rdquo não estão apenas lavando dinheiro & ndash estão manipulando os mercados. Isso ocorre porque os negócios & ldquowash & rdquo (simultaneamente comprando e vendendo os mesmos títulos) aumentam o volume artificialmente, fazendo com que os preços caiam.

Em outras palavras, as operações de lavagem criam estática e abafam os sinais genuínos do mercado. Na maioria das vezes, à medida que as informações no mercado são atenuadas, as operações de lavagem são implantadas simultaneamente com a venda a descoberto para criar a aparência de venda em pânico. Isso induz a própria liquidação em que o trader está apostando.

Somente as operações de lavagem de Naresh Patel & rsquos causaram sérios danos aos mercados. Mas seria uma boa ideia para a SEC verificar os registros de negociação de Naresh Patel & rsquos e Man Financial & rsquos (para não mencionar aqueles da corretora Madoff & rsquos e outras que realizaram transações para a Man Financial) para ver se os negócios de lavagem Patel & rsquos eram, como a maioria dos negócios de lavagem, parte de um esquema ainda maior de manipulação de mercado vendido.

Também seria útil saber exatamente quais executivos da Man Financial eram responsáveis ​​por negociar os negócios manipulativos dos jihadistas. Parece provável, por um lado, que a vice-presidente de controle comercial da Man Financial & rsquos, Neda Nabavi, teria supervisionado a negociação. Isso pode ou não ser relevante, mas mesmo assim destacarei que a Sra. Nabavi também é a diretora executiva de um clube social iraniano chamado Shabeh Jomeh.

Shabeh Jomeh parece ser uma organização inocente o suficiente & mdash organiza festas e outras reuniões sociais. Mas é um guia instrutivo para as redes de negócios iranianas. O cofundador do Shabeh Jomeh, junto com a Man Financial & rsquos Nabavi, foi Babak Talebi, que também foi membro do conselho do National Iranian American Council (NIAC).

O NIAC foi estabelecido após os ataques de 11 de setembro, ostensivamente para servir como uma voz para iraniano-americanos & ldquomoderados & rdquo que se opõem ao terrorismo. Em um período de tempo notavelmente curto, a organização obteve acesso a funcionários de alto nível do Departamento de Estado e da Agência Central de Inteligência.

Mas, como se viu, a missão principal do National Iranian American Council & rsquos não era servir como uma voz contra o terrorismo. Na verdade, pouco falava sobre terrorismo. Em vez disso, dedicou a maior parte de suas energias para advogar em nome do governo iraniano.

Em 2007, um jornalista iraniano-americano chamado Hassan Daioleslam começou a afirmar publicamente que o NIAC deveria ser oficialmente registrado como um agente que trabalhava para o regime iraniano. A diretora do NIAC, Trita Parsi, respondeu processando o Daioleslam por difamação.

Isso acabou sendo um erro, porque permitiu que Daioleslam solicitasse a & ldquodiscovery & rdquo dos documentos internos do NIAC & rsquos, que provavam que o NIAC tinha, desde o seu início, mantido contato regular com o embaixador do Irã nas Nações Unidas, que também estava (recall) dirigir as operações da Jihad Islâmica Palestina, a Corporação Assa e a Fundação Alavi.

Descobriu-se da batalha judicial que o NIAC estava coordenando seu lobby e defesa com um homem chamado Siamak Namaz. Alguns anos antes, Namaz havia fundado uma organização na Europa chamada Iranians for International Cooperation, cuja missão declarada era "proteger os interesses do Irã". O NIAC, ao que parece, foi fundado para cumprir a mesma missão nos Estados Unidos.

Quanto à credibilidade do NIAC & rsquos afirma que defende em nome dos & ldquoIranian-americanos & rdquo, ao contrário do regime iraniano, observou-se que o grupo tem muito poucos iraniano-americanos como membros, enquanto seus líderes, Namaz e Parsi, são iranianos cidadãos que, por todas as contas, são leais aos governantes da República Islâmica e não têm nenhuma intenção de se tornarem cidadãos americanos.

Além disso, enquanto Namaz fazia lobby em nome do regime iraniano, ele também trabalhava como diretor de uma empresa chamada Atieh Bahar, que é o braço de consultoria internacional do Grupo Atieh, uma holding que tem contratos com ministérios do governo iraniano e os bancos iranianos que financiavam o regime islâmico e o programa nuclear rsquos.

Pouco depois que essa informação se tornou pública, o chefe do Grupo Atieh, Bijan Khajehpour, foi preso no Irã e supostamente preso pelo regime. Enquanto isso, Namaz e Parsi de repente alegaram apoiar o movimento pela democracia no Irã. À luz desses desenvolvimentos, sinto-me confiante em criar uma hipótese & ndash, a saber, que o governo iraniano instrui seus agentes a falarem a favor da democracia a fim de fornecer cobertura para suas atividades em nome do regime.

É bem possível que a República Islâmica até mesmo encene a prisão de seus melhores agentes para fornecer-lhes um verniz pró-democracia que lhes permitirá operar de forma mais eficaz no Ocidente. Certamente, parece improvável que Namaz e Parsi sejam democratas genuínos, visto que os documentos internos do NIAC mostram que a organização aspirava a extinguir o chamado & ldquoDemocracy Fund & rdquo e outros movimentos pró-democracia liderados por iranianos que vivem nos EUA.

Em um documento intitulado & ldquoCampaign for a New American Policy on Iran & rdquo, o NIAC prometeu & ldquoend o Fundo para a Democracia como o conhecemos & rdquo. Ao longo dessas linhas, o documento NIAC lista vários objetivos importantes. No topo da lista está o objetivo de convencer os iranianos liberais e seus partidários a "abandonar a busca pela mudança de regime".

Quanto ao Sr. Khajehpour, talvez ele realmente fosse uma ameaça ao regime iraniano. Talvez ele realmente tenha ido para a prisão. Mas ele não ficou na prisão por muito tempo e agora está em Londres, de onde opera um império de negócios que tem grande alcance nos Estados Unidos.

Não pretendo sugerir que os americanos devam ver o NIAC como algo misterioso ou assustador. Ao contrário, os americanos devem envolver o NIAC, assim como o governo dos EUA deve envolver o regime iraniano.

Trita Parsi, fundadora do NIAC & rsquos, escreveu um excelente livro de leitura obrigatória para quem deseja compreender a linha partidária iraniana. Talvez, um dia, Parsi consiga convencer seus associados no Irã de que há pouco a ganhar ameaçando exterminar Israel e travar uma "jihad econômica quinhenta" (com & ldquojihad & rdquo entendido como significando & ldquowar contra os infiéis & rdquo).

No entanto, desde que o Irã demonstre por meio de suas ações que é um inimigo dos Estados Unidos, pode ser melhor tratar seus agentes com um certo grau de suspeita. Outro livro que vale a pena ler é & ldquoShariah: The Threat to America & rdquo, do ex-diretor da CIA James Woolsey, que implica o Irã em tudo, desde os ataques de 11 de setembro ao desenvolvimento da sharia & ldquocompliant & rdquo finanças que representam uma ameaça ao sistema financeiro global.

Como sabemos, a Alavi Foundation, a outra frente do regime iraniano que estava lidando com o Irã e o embaixador da ONU, foi indiciada em 2009 por espionagem e financiamento do programa de armas nucleares do Irã. Uma reportagem do New York Daily News chegou a sugerir que a Alavi Foundation estava conspirando para importar materiais nucleares para os Estados Unidos para uso em um ataque terrorista a uma grande cidade americana.

Quanto ao Shabeh Jomeh, o clube social iraniano co-fundado pelo vice-presidente de controles comerciais da Man Financial & rsquos, pode muito bem ser nada mais do que uma oportunidade para os iranianos se conhecerem. Mas também pode ser importante notar que, além de estar vinculado ao NIAC, Shabeh Jomeh & rsquos outro cofundador é Tamilla Ghodsi, diretor-gerente da Goldman Sachs.

Ghodsi faz parte do conselho da Razi Health Foundation, uma organização que transferiu grandes somas de dinheiro para a mencionada Fundação Alavi. Enquanto isso, a Fundação Alavi devolveu o dinheiro à Fundação Razi Health, levantando a possibilidade de que essas organizações fossem essencialmente a mesma coisa.

Mas a SEC não investigou a Man Financial. Na verdade, quase nunca processou um caso importante de manipulação de mercado, muito menos verificou os registros comerciais de um importante administrador financeiro da Al Qaeda que estava manipulando os mercados por meio de uma corretora que também faz negócios com a Máfia.

Portanto, ninguém está processando a Man Financial, apesar do fato de ser claramente cúmplice do comércio ilegal do homem da Al Qaeda, Naresh Patel, e apesar do fato de que os comparsas de Milken que comandam essa operação devem saber exatamente quem era Naresh Patel. Na verdade, é a lei & ndash, conforme prescrito pelo Patriot Act & mdash, que os corretores e gestores de fundos de hedge deve saber se seus clientes são mafiosos, jihadistas ou ambos.

Isso é especialmente verdadeiro quando os clientes parecem estar conduzindo grandes volumes de negociações curtas e manipulativas no auge de uma crise financeira.

Quanto a Madoff & rsquos brokerage & ndash bem, tarde demais para investigar essa operação. Foi vendido para a rede Milken, bem no momento da prisão de Daniel Bonventre em 2010, o cara responsável por transferir $ 750 milhões de dinheiro Ponzi para a operação Madoff & rsquos & ldquoclearing e liquidação & rdquo (ou seja, a operação que teria transacionado qualquer negociação manipulativa que chegasse a ela da Man Financial e de outros da rede Milken).

A corretora Madoff & rsquos foi rapidamente vendida em um leilão que pode ter sido fraudado. Três corretoras participaram do leilão, apenas uma fez lance. Uma das corretoras presentes era a Guzman & amp Co, de propriedade de Leopoldo Guzman, que havia recentemente atuado como diretor de investimentos da Gulf Investments Company, uma empresa saudita no Kuwait.

A outra corretora observadora foi a Aleo Capital Markets. Não consegui descobrir muito sobre esse equipamento, exceto que ele é dirigido por David Weisberger, ex-CEO da Lava Trading.

A Lava Trading faz parte de um grupo maior chamado SunGard, que se originou da Sun Oil Company. Sungard tem estado na vanguarda no fornecimento de plataformas de negociação para instituições financeiras em conformidade com a sharia no Oriente Médio.

Em 2008, Sungard patrocinou uma & ldquoGala Networking Reception & rdquo onde foi declarado que & ldquoIslamic finance pode ser o modelo para a economia global. & Rdquo O orador principal neste evento foi o CEO de Dar Al-Maal Al-Islami, ou a & ldquoHouse of Islamic Money & rdquo

As vítimas dos ataques de 11 de setembro processaram a The House of Islamic Money, observando que ela mantinha contas para Wael Jalaidan, fundador da Al Qaeda, e que fazia negócios com empresas que eram propriedade de Osama bin Laden.

Os membros do conselho da House of Islamic Money & rsquos incluíam Haydar bin Laden, irmão de Osama & rsquos e & ldquoSpecially Designated Global Terrorist & rdquo Yasin al Qadi (financista favorito de Osama & rsquos). Uma de suas subsidiárias, o Shamal Islamic Bank, era dirigido por Abdul Jalil Batterjee, que era o presidente de uma organização que controlava a Benevolence International, a frente da Al Qaeda que mantinha contatos com pessoas que tentavam obter armas nucleares para a Grande Jihad.

A SunGard fornece plataformas de negociação para várias corretoras que foram multadas por implantar essas plataformas de negociação em esquemas de venda a descoberto. Descobriu-se também que a SunGard relatava & ldquosistemticamente & rdquo vendas a descoberto como vendas a longo prazo no verão de 2007 - um hábito benéfico para a negociação manipulativa.

A SunGard, por sua vez, possuía uma corretora chamada Assent. Muitos dos negociantes da Assent & rsquos estavam, em 2008, também negociando através da Zuhair Karam & rsquos Tuco Trading, respondendo por parte desse grande volume de corretora & rsquos. Em Tuco, lembre-se, houve vários relatos interessantes.

Uma era a conta Orange Diviner, controlada pelos capangas de Roman Abramovich (o primeiro-ministro russo e braço direito) e o chefão da máfia russa Semion Mogilevich. Também envolvidos com Orange Diviner estavam pessoas afiliadas ao Alfa Group, a organização que está financiando o programa nuclear do Irã.

Também interessantes foram duas contas do Tuco que negociaram 2 bilhões de ações (o equivalente a 20% do volume da maior corretora do planeta). Uma dessas duas contas continha mais 2.000 subcontas anônimas com base na China.

E no outono de 2010, recebi uma dica de que as contas responsáveis ​​por esses 2 bilhões de ações haviam sido feitas por um iraniano com laços de alto nível com a Guarda Revolucionária e a Jihad Islâmica Palestina (cujo líder nos EUA estava assumindo instruções do abaixador iraniano na ONU). No entanto, Tuco & rsquos Zuhair Karam ainda não havia confirmado a identidade daquele iraniano.

Mas eu sabia agora que alguns corretores da Assent (a unidade Sungard cujos corretores também operavam por meio da Tuco) estavam envolvidos com uma corretora chamada Carlin Equities. Uma pessoa envolvida com Carlin foi Arik Kislin, que o governo dos EUA nomeou como sendo um & ldquomember & rdquo da gangue comandada por Vyacheslav Ivankov, ou & ldquoLittle Japanese & rdquo & ndash o chefe da Máfia Russa nos Estados Unidos durante os anos 1980.

Em 2009, Ivankov foi assassinado em uma rua de Moscou depois de admitir que há muito tempo trabalhava para os serviços de inteligência russos. Enquanto isso, Kislin e uma figura da máfia russa chamado Michael Chernoy eram sócios de uma empresa de lavagem de dinheiro chamada Trans Commodities, que está ligada ao governo russo.

Além disso, Kislin foi nomeado pelo FBI como associado de um traficante de armas iraniano chamado Babeck Seroush, que operava em Moscou e trabalhava com a agência de inteligência militar GRU, Rússia e rsquos. Em 1984, promotores do Distrito Sul de Nova York indiciaram Seroush por contrabandear semicondutores e óculos de visão noturna militares para a Coreia do Norte. Kislin admitiu que fez negócios com Seroush.

Assent, a roupa associada aos comerciantes Kislin & rsquos está ligada de outras maneiras à Zuhair Karam & rsquos Tuco Trading. Por exemplo, uma corretora chamada Lightspeed (que tinha uma parceria com a Tuco e forneceu a Tuco uma de suas plataformas de negociação) encaminhou algumas de suas negociações para a Assent, que por sua vez encaminhou as negociações para uma corretora da Califórnia chamada Wedbush Morgan e para uma empresa do Texas chamada Penson Financial.

Wedbush, por sua vez, encaminhou a maior parte de suas negociações para a corretora Bernie Madoff & rsquos. Em outras palavras, as negociações eram repassadas para uma longa linha de corretoras e, em muitos casos, finalmente executadas por Madoff.

Resumindo: o leilão da corretora Madoff & rsquos contou com a presença de outras três corretoras. Uma dessas corretoras pertencia a um sujeito que havia trabalhado recentemente para uma empresa saudita no Kuwait.

A segunda corretora pertencia ao ex-CEO de uma corretora que era subsidiária da SunGard, que tem ligações com a House of Islamic Money e também é dona da Assent, que tem ligações com Lightspeed, Tuco e Carlin Equities, empresa ligada à Rússia Figura da máfia, Arik Kislin.

Mas essas corretoras provavelmente compareceram à licitação simplesmente para garantir que a corretora Madoff & rsquos fosse, de fato, vendida à terceira corretora presente. Essa corretora se chamava Surge Trading e, no final, a Surge realmente comprou a operação de Madoff & rsquos.

A Surge Trading era dirigida por Frank Petrilli, ex-vice-presidente de uma corretora chamada Datek Securities. Em 1999, a SEC acusou Datek de administrar contas de negociação para um cara chamado Martin Clainey, exceto que Clainey não era seu nome verdadeiro. Seu nome verdadeiro era Phillip Gurian, e ele era o braço direito de um chefe da família Decalvacante da Máfia chamado Phil Abramo, que foi um dos mais notórios manipuladores de mercado da América, conhecido nos círculos da Máfia como o & ldquoKing of Wall Street. & Rdquo

Fontes próximas a Abramo dizem que ele esteve entre os personagens da máfia que estiveram envolvidos com Ali Nazerali & rsquos BCCI, First Commerce Securities.

A firma de compensação Datek & rsquos, por sua vez, era AR Baron, o grupo da Máfia que foi (recall) financiado pelo amigo de Milken Zev Wolfson e posteriormente acusado pelo DOJ de manipular ações em conjunto com uma série de personagens de La Cosa Nostra e o chefe da Máfia russa Felix Sater & rsquos White Rock Partners.

Datek também fez muitos negócios com Joseph Gutnick, que foi uma figura importante no movimento Hassídico Lubavitch ultraortodoxo em Israel. O Sr. Gutnick era há muito conhecido em Israel como o Goldener Rebe, ou o Rabino de Ouro, porque ele dirigia várias instituições de caridade extremamente generosas que desempenharam papéis-chave em assegurar as eleições de uma sucessão de primeiros-ministros israelenses.

O agradecido líder dos Lubavitchers, o falecido Rabino Menachem Mendel Schneerson, certa vez previu que Gutnick descobriria diamantes e ouro no deserto australiano & ndash uma previsão que o Sr. Gutnick incluiu em vídeos promocionais que mostrou aos seus corretores Datek, que se referiram a ele como & ldquoDiamond Joe. & rdquo

Em 1993, o Sr. Gutnick foi o mais ardente oponente israelense dos Acordos de Paz de Oslo, e suas instituições de caridade mais tarde orquestraram grande parte das construções israelenses nos territórios ocupados da Palestina, ajudando a provocar o radicalismo palestino e a ascensão do Hamas e da Jihad Islâmica Palestina.

Em 1999, Gutnick foi denunciado pela revista Barron & rsquos por usar suas instituições de caridade para lavar dinheiro e manipular ações de personagens como Judah Wernick, o camarada de Milken que foi indiciado por seu papel em um esquema de manipulação de ações de $ 200 milhões que dirigiu com o amigo de Milken Randolph Pace , que (lembre-se) seria mais tarde implicado no escândalo que viu a máfia russa e o governo russo lavando dinheiro por meio do Banco de Nova York.

A Datek Securities foi fundada na década de 1980 por um homem chamado Omar Amanat. Mr. Amanat was also the founder of Lightspeed, which provided a trading platform to Tuco Trading. Those 2 billion shares (equal to 20 percent of the volume of the largest brokerage on the planet) were mostly transacted on the Lightspeed platform.

In the fall of 2010, I had not yet received confirmation that a certain Iranian fellow was behind the two accounts that traded the 2 billion shares. But I knew that Mr. Amanat (founder of Datek, whose former vice president bought Madoff&rsquos brokerage and designer of Tuco&rsquos Lightspeed trading platform) was also the founder of Bridges TV, an American television network devoted to broadcasting Islamic teachings and other programming that is ostensibly of interest to Muslims.

Omar Amanat&rsquos brother, Irfan Amanat, who co-founded Datek, now lives in Dubai, where he is partner in MNA Partners, which is run by Kamal Tayara, the founder off the Alarabiya News Channel, which does a good job of cataloging the atrocities committed by American troops in Iraq, stressing that Al Qaeda&rsquos crimes pale in comparison.

There is, of course, nothing wrong with Islamic television. It&rsquos better than &ldquoDukes of Hazard&rdquo reruns. I include Bridges in this story only because people choose their business partners and the company they keep, and it is probably no coincidence that Omar Amanat (founder of Datek and Lightspeed) chose as his partners in Bridges TV two men &ndash Muzzammil Hassan and Nihad Awad.

Mr. Hasan served as Bridges CEO until he chopped off his wife&rsquos head.

He chopped off his wife&rsquos head because he was a radical jihadi and he believed that it was a matter of honor to chop off the head of a disobedient wife. This would have been legal in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, but it&rsquos against the law in California, so Mr. Hassan is now in prison.

Meanwhile, Mr. Awad, the other partner in Bridges, is a jihadi who is a member of both Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. He is a close associate of Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami-al-Arian and the Blind Sheikh, mastermind of the 1993 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

Mr. Amanat knew this when he chose Mr. Awad as his partner because Mr. Awad had been the chief propagandist for a Hamas-linked outfit called the Islamic Asssociation of Palestine, and he was under investigation (and soon to be named as an unindicted co-conspirator) in the government&rsquos case against the Holy Land Foundation, which was the principal front for Hamas in the United States.

Court documents from that case noted also that Mr. Awad had attended a secret meeting for 20 Hamas leaders that was held in 1993 at a Marriot Hotel in Philadelphia. The FBI secretly monitored and recorded this meeting, so we know who was there, and what was said.

There is one thing the people at this meeting did not say &ndash the word, &ldquoHamas.&rdquo Instead, they said, &ldquoSamah,&rdquo which is Hamas spelled backwards, an attempt to use coded language to disguise the purpose of this meeting, which was to advance the Hamas political agenda and figure out ways to derail the Oslo Peace Accords.

Perhaps they even had assistance in this effort from Diamond Joe a.k.a. the Golden Rabbi. Spend some time in any war zone and you will see that avowed enemies often collaborate to fuel the conflict from which both sides profit. It is, in fact, widely accepted that right wing factions of the Israeli government were at this time nurturing Hamas as an alternative to the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

The Hamas leaders at the secret meeting also discussed ways to advance the Grand Jihad to &ldquosabotage the West&rsquos miserable house from within.&rdquo The document that described that Grand Jihad was presented by prosecutors in the Holy Land Foundation case.

One of the attendees at the secret meeting, Abu Baker, noted that the jihad against the United States would have to be conducted by stealth. &ldquoWar is deception,&rdquo he said. &ldquoDeceive, camouflage&hellipDeceive your enemy.&rdquo

Nihad Awad (future partner of Datek Securities founder Omar Amanat) was at the secret meeting in his capacity as the deputy director of the Islamic Association of Palestine, which was the propaganda arm of Hamas in the United States, principally tasked with that &ldquodeception&rdquo and &ldquocamouflage.&rdquo

Also at the meeting was Awad&rsquos boss, Islamic Asssociation of Palestine President Omar Ahmad. The FBI recorded these two men plotting ways to keep the Blind Sheikh out of prison, despite the fact that he had been implicated in the 1993 World Trade Center attack.

Which is not surprising because the Blind Sheikh (Osama bin Laden&rsquos most important spiritual inspiration) had been living in Ahmad&rsquos house (free room and board) while he was plotting other terrorist atrocities. This is the same Blind Sheikh who first called on jihadis to destroy American corporations and the American economy.

I do not mean to suggest that Mr. Amanat, the Datek and Lightspeed founder, is a terrorist. But he definitely knows some terrorists, and seems to be on exceedingly good terms with them.

It is therefore of some concern that aside from founding Datek and Lightspeed, Mr. Amanat was the founder of Island, the largest Electronic Communications Network (ECN) in America. And he has been a founder or key consultant to nearly every other major ECN.

Since ECNs act like their own private stock exchanges and enable stock manipulators to operate in anonymity, they are cited by experts in threat finance as among the bigger loopholes that could be exploited by financial terrorists.

As it were, Irfan Amanat used one of his Electronic Communications Networks to engage in a massive market manipulation scheme &ndash precisely the sort of scheme that worries experts in threat finance. This scheme was carried out in September 2001, in the days before and after the Al Qaeda attacks on the World Trade Center. While the timing may have been a coincidence, there is no question that Mr. Amanat&rsquos attacks did serious damage to the markets.

The scheme involved MarketXT, a trading firm and Electronic Communications Network founded by Irfan Amanat and his brother Omar. According to the SEC, in September 2001, Irfan Amanat and MarketXT deployed &ldquoa [computer] program without any arbitrage features&hellipThe program, dubbed &lsquoRLevi2&rsquo, automatically placed buy or sell orders at timed intervals&hellipIn other words, wash trades and matched orders were the result of the program&rsquos design.&rdquo

Strangely, the SEC wrote that Irfan&rsquos wash trades were &ldquomarket manipulation&rdquo but it did not charge him with that crime. In response to the SEC&rsquos claim that this was a &ldquomarket manipulation&rdquo scheme, Mr. Amanat said that his RLevi2 computer program was not meant to manipulate the markets massively (as it appeared), but was instead designed &ldquosolely to generate tape rebates&rdquo (i.e. rebates that stock exchanges pay to traders who generate massive volumes).

The SEC clearly did not accept this explanation. That&rsquos why it stated unequivocally in its charges against Amanat that he had &ldquomanipulated the markets.&rdquo But the SEC seems incapable of ever actually charging anyone for market manipulation, and so the commission charged Amanat of only the lesser crime of using wash trades to generate tape rebates.

Mr. Amanat&rsquos scheme (like that of Al Qaeda man Naresh Patel) was, in fact, blatant market manipulation &ndash a scheme that created the illusion of massive volume, and did servere damage to stock prices by specifically targeting Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). As I noted at the outset of this story, threat finance experts worry about ETFs because their high leverage amplifies the impact they have on the markets.

The biggest player in the world of ETFs is Michael Sapir. He invented them. He is also, I believe, a relative of Russian Mafia boss Tamir Sapir, who runs an outfit called The Sapir Organization. Tamir Sapir is also a partner in Bayrock, the alleged money laundering outfit run by Russian Mafia boss Felix Sater (the guy said to have sold weapons to Al Qaeda).

By his own admission, Sapir used to be primarily in the business of selling electronics equipment to KGB operatives in New York. His partner in the electronics business was Semion Kislin, uncle of the above-mentioned Arik Kislin. Like his nephew, Semion has beenassassinated on a Moscow street in 2009, shortly after revealing that he had long been employed by the Russian intelligence services.

Note: I do not have a birth certificate or DNA test confirming the relationship between the two Sapirs, so there is chance that I am mistaken about this, but I am going to go out on a limb and report it anyway because some of Michael Milken&rsquos associates have told me that the two men are related. Michael Sapir&rsquos spokesman refused to comment on the record.

Tamir Sapir&rsquos spokesman said &ldquoThe Sapir Organization is very private, we don&rsquot provide that sort of information.&rdquo Then &mdash &ldquoclick&rdquo &ndash he hung up the phone.

The other innovator of ETFs, and the second biggest provider of them after Mr. Sapir, is Michael Steinhardt&rsquos Wisdom Tree Investors. Steinhardt, we know, is the son of the &ldquobiggest Mafia fence in America&rdquo (as the Manhattan DA put it) and as Steinhardt himself has disclosed, he started his hedge fund with money from the Genovese Mafia, and two fellows who were on close terms with the regime in Iran &mdash Marc Rich and Ivan Boesky.

Steinhardt&rsquos partner in Wisdom Tree is the son of Saul Steinberg, who in addition to being a key player in the junk bond merry go round that Milken ran in the 1980s, also ran a fund with finance from Zev Wolfson, the guy who funded the above-mentioned A.R. Baron (Datek&rsquos clearing firm) and numerous other Mafia brokerages.

So, another summary: in September 2001, Mr. Amanat was busted for using his ECN and his &ldquoRLevi2&rdquo computer program to generate massive volumes of wash trades (the same sorts of wash trades conducted in 2008 through Man Financial by Al Qaeda man Naresh Patel). Mr. Amanat was doing this, the SEC said, to &ldquomanipulate the markets.&rdquo

Yet, at the same time, the SEC accepts the explanation that he was not trying to manipulate the markets. He was trying to generate rebates from the exchanges. Which makes no sense, because he wasn&rsquot just churning stocks, he was specifically targeting Michael Steinhardt and Michael Sapir&rsquos highly leveraged ETFs, trying to inflict as much damage as possible.

Is Mr. Amanat a financial terrorist? I know he&rsquos part of the Milken network, and that&rsquos all I need to know to report that he is a threat to the national security of our &ldquomiserable house.&rdquo Decide for yourself.

However, it is probably a good idea to keep a particularly close eye on people who have not only inflicted massive damage on the markets coinciding with the collapse of the World Trade Center, but have also chosen to do business with a Hamas operative (Nihad Awad) who plotted to help the Blind Sheikh, mastermind of the first attack on the World Trade Center, stay out of prison. This after the Blind Sheikh had been living in the house of Awad&rsquos boss.

Of course, when Mr. Amanat&rsquos Datek came under investigation for its ties to Mafia characters like Martin Clainey a.k.a. Phillip Gurian, it was quickly purchased by one of Milken&rsquos closest associates, a guy named Steven Schonfeld, who was formerly a principal at the Milken-financed Blinder, Robinson (the outfit known as Blind&rsquoem and Rob&rsquoem, indicted by the DOJ for manipulating stocks with the likes of Mafia capo Thomas Quinn).

Schonfeld bought all of the assets of Datek (including the executives who had handled the accounts of the Mafia) and folded them into a new outfit called Heartland.

Schonfeld is now the owner of one of the nation&rsquos largest hedge fund and brokerage empires. He also has a securities rap sheet a mile long, having been fined by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority for everything from naked short selling to bribing stock loan executives at major brokerages.

Once paid off by Schonfeld, the stock loan guys would routinely vouch that there was stock available to be borrowed (the necessary prerequisite for a legal short sale), when in fact there was no such stock. It is fair to say that a hedge fund manager implicated in a scandal such as this is managing a large scale market-demolition operation. Indeed, it is fair to say that Schonfeld belongs in jail.

Since Schonfeld is one of Michael Milken&rsquos closest associates, it is unsurprising that SEC filings show that he regularly trades in league with others in the network, including Steve Cohen of SAC Capital and the Man Group, owners of Man Financial (which, like Lightspeed, provided a trading platform to Tuco).

It is also worth noting that in 2008, Schonfeld was a co-owner of Lightspeed, the Omar Amanat outfit that provided Tuco Trading with one of its trading platforms, and transacted those 2 billion shares. And there are many reasons to believe that the trading conducted through Lightspeed was manipulative short selling.

One reason to believe this is that FINRA ultimately fined Lightspeed after finding that at the height of the financial collapse in September 2008, Lightspeed had transacted massive volumes of &ldquoshort sales of financial institution securities on behalf of customers in contravention of the Commission&rsquos [the SEC&rsquos] emergency order of September 18, 2008 that provided that &lsquoall persons are prohibited from short selling any publicly traded securities of any included financial firm.&rsquo&rdquo

Under normal circumstances, FINRA refers such cases to the DOJ and the SEC, which investigate further and decide whether to press civil or criminal charges. But before the SEC or the DOJ could investigate this case, Schonfeld sold Lightspeed to Penson Financial.

Meanwhile, as we know, the guy who used to help run Datek (Omar Amanat&rsquos Mafia outfit, purchased by Schonfeld when it came under investigation) bought Madoff&rsquos operation, ensuring that nobody would investigate how all of these brokerages were tied together and processed massive volumes of trades at the height of the financial crisis in 2008.

In the Fall of 2010, I was beginning to understand how this network was tied together, so I called the jihadi and Tuco trader Zuhair Karam again. This time Zuhair was little bit more forthcoming. He confirmed that he knew Omar Amanat and many of those Hamas leaders who attended the secret meeting in 1993. He suggested that my tip about an Iranian being behind those 2 billion shares might be right, but he still would not elaborate.

Only later would I learn the identity of that Iranian. But after talking to Zuhair, I recalled some information that a former spy had given me when I first began investigating the Milken network in 2006. The former spy had spent a number of years tracking the Milken network, but when I met him, I did not realize the importance of what he was telling me.

In fact, I pretty much ignored that former spy, and did not return to his information until the Fall of 2010, when it was too late. This is one of my life&rsquos great regrets because this former spy was telling me, in a nutshell, that the Milken network was going to wreck the economy.

What, precisely, did that former Israeli spy tell me? How did I come to meet him in the first place? Well, this requires some explanation.

To be continued&hellip

This story was first published on Deep Capture. Deep Capture features original investigative reporting on the all-too-cozy relationship Wall Street has with regulators, media, government and the intellectual establishment.


Conteúdo

Zuhair Karam is an alias. I have chosen not to use his real name for now because he has begun to cooperate with our investigation. However, I intend to publish the names of all the other people affiliated with his brokerage, along with details about their backgrounds and activities. In addition, I will, in upcoming chapters, provide complete data and information to support the allegation that Tuco contributed to the financial crisis. That data and information can only be understood, however, in light of other information that I must present first.

I did not know if Zuhair Karam was violent, but I telephoned him because I thought his biography was interesting. For example, it was interesting that soon after making a home in Illinois, Zuhair Karam obtained finance to publish a semi-famous work of jihadi propaganda, and soon thereafter, became (without any relevant experience) a proprietary day trader of equities and derivatives at a small, unregistered brokerage in Chicago called Tuco Trading.

Most of the other people who operated through Tuco Trading also had interesting biographies. Among them (just to name a few) were a Russian Mafia figure who is knowledgeable about a brutal gangland-style murder in New Jersey the top lieutenants of a Russian Mafia kingpin and oligarch who have been accused by U.S. officials of having ties to the Russian government’s intelligence apparatus and an Iranian fellow whose family has high-level ties to Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the terrorist-sponsoring Revolutionary Guard in Tehran.

Meanwhile, Zuhair’s little brokerage, Tuco Trading, maintained partnerships with several other brokerages, all of which had close business relationships with people of similarly colorful backgrounds. Among them were multiple associates of La Cosa Nostra numerous traders with ties to the Russian Mafia and a jihadi who not only was Al Qaeda’s most important financier, but also operated a secret bomb factory in a Chicago warehouse district before the U.S. government named him a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist”.

Many top employees of these partner brokerages were similarly colorful. They included a fellow who once worked for a man who commands a private army in Lebanon another guy who had participated in an ill-fated scheme to topple the government of Afghanistan in league with heroin-smuggling warlord who worked closely with Iran and an Iranian trader whose family was, for much of the 1990s, flying cargo planes filled with gem stones from a remote Illinois runway, in partnership with a money launderer tied to Hezbollah, the jihadi outfit that receives support and direction from the regime in Tehran.

Aside from the amazing backgrounds of this cast of characters, it was also interesting that Tuco Trading was closed by an “Emergency Order” of the SEC on March 9, 2008 — just a few days before the March 13 collapse of Bear Stearns. Not that the SEC had any idea what was happening at Tuco the Commission seemed primarily concerned that the brokerage was massively exceeding margin limits. What the SEC seems to have missed (though a report by Tuco’s bankruptcy receiver made it clear) was that in the month before it was shut down, this tiny, unregistered brokerage transacted trading equal to more than 20 percent of the volume of the largest brokerage on the planet. Moreover, data and other evidence obtained by Deep Capture suggests that most of this massive deluge was aimed at manipulating the stock prices of America’s largest financial institutions, including Bear Stearns.

In other words, there is good reason to believe that Zuhair’s strange, little brokerage with all of its odd connections, contributed to the 2008 financial cataclysm that nearly brought the United States to its knees.

As for Zuhair Karam – well, I didn’t know enough about him, but I knew a little. For example, I knew that he was born in Lebanon, and had recently spent some time in South Africa, where he had told people that he was a recovering drug addict. There is some doubt as to the accuracy of that claim. Some say Zuhair never touched drugs. But there is no doubt that he was doing something in South Africa when he came to be attached to an Islamic cleric named Sadathullah Khan, who tells the media that he is “moderate” – a term that, of course, has different connotations depending on your perspective.

From the perspective of Osama bin Laden, Sadathullah Khan might be moderate. Some people, though, say that Sadathullah Khan is an extremist. Certainly, he has close ties to an outfit called the Supreme Council of Global Jihad, which espouses violence. And one of Sadathullah Khan’s closest associates is a cleric named Zakir Naik, who has preached that “Every Muslim should be a terrorist.”

When he talks to the Western press, Zakir Naik, says he is not fond of Al Qaeda, but in a video made for his followers, he said, “If Osama bin Laden is fighting the enemies of Islam, I am for him…If he is terrorizing America the terrorist, the biggest terrorist, I am with him.” Backing his words with actions, Imam Naik served as the mentor to Najibullah Zazi, an Al Qaeda operative who was arrested in 2009 shortly before carrying out a plan to plant explosives in the New York City subway system.

Imam Naik was banned from entering the United Kingdom after he was deemed to be immoderate, but the United States still grants him visas (he hasn’t blown up anything yet) and it is just a matter of time before he will return to Chicago, where he once gave what he calls “my most famous speech” at a gathering organized by an outfit linked to the Bridgeview Mosque, a house of worship in Bridgeview, a middle-class neighborhood on Chicago’s south side.

When he returns to Chicago, Imam Naik will likely meet Zuhair Karam, who, in addition to his work as a financial operator, has been fairly prominent among the small band of jihadis who congregate at the Bridgeview Mosque, where Zuhair’s relative helps run day-to-day operations. The Bridgeview Mosque, it should be said, serves thousands of ordinary people, most of whom probably harbor no politics other than a desire for peace. But there was a time not long ago when the mosque’s imam regularly gave fiery sermons urging jihadi freedom fighters to take up arms.

The sermons were toned down after the FBI began investigating, but it is still widely assumed by terrorism experts that the Bridgeview Mosque’s top officials (including Zuhair’s relative) are members of the Muslim Brotherhood, an outfit whose leaders in the West have provided material support (including money, personnel, and sometimes weapons) to Al Qaeda. Since the Muslim Brotherhood is a secretive organization, there is no way to confirm with absolute certainty that the Bridgeview Mosque’s directors are, indeed, members, but there are plenty of reasons to suspect that they are.

One reason is that the Bridgeview Mosque has been among the chief benefactors of jihadi groups closely tied to the Muslim Brotherhood. For example, according to the Chicago Tribune and others, the mosque was one of the most important funders of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, an outfit that was spawned by the Muslim Brotherhood and also takes directions from the regime in Iran. Zuhair Karam and his relatives are close family friends of Sami al-Arian, who was the U.S. leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad until his 2003 indictment on terrorism charges. As Rachel Ehrenfeld, the director of the American Center for Democracy first reported, FBI investigators suspect that Sami al-Arian provided support to the Al Qaeda hijackers who carried out the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The Bridgeview Mosque was also one of the principal supporters of the Holy Land Foundation, which was indicted on terrorism charges in 2007 after prosecutors demonstrated that it was the principal U.S. front for Hamas, another Muslim Brotherhood creation that receives support from Iran. The mosque’s directors, meanwhile, help administer investment funds worth billions of dollars controlled by the North American Islamic Trust, an investment bank that has been tied to the Muslim Brotherhood and was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the government’s case against the Holy Land Foundation.

The Bridgeview Mosque and the Muslim Brotherhood were also involved with a “charity” called The Benevolence International Foundation, which was actually an Al Qaeda front, founded by Osama bin Laden’s brother-in-law. According to federal prosecutors, Benevolence was “involved in terrorist activities” and had contacts with “persons trying to obtain chemical and nuclear weapons on behalf of Al Qaeda.”

More to the point of this story, Mark Flessner, a former U.S. prosecutor who was at the front lines of the government’s “war on terrorism”, says that the Bridgeview Mosque is a “gold mine of information about terrorist finance.” So, obviously, I wanted to know more about Zuhair Karam’s little brokerage, Tuco Trading. Not only because of its ties to jihadis, but also because of its ties to La Cosa Nostra and, more importantly, to Russian Mafia figures who have become quite politicized and are eminently hostile to the United States.

Unfortunately, when I called Zuhair for the first time in September of 2010, our conversation did not go well. Zuhair began by demanding to know how I had come to possess his telephone number. I told him, quite honestly, that I had found his phone number in the White Pages, but he refused to believe me. When I explained that I had some questions about the little brokerage where he had worked, he insisted that he didn’t know anything about the brokerage, and he said that he did not know anyone else who worked there.

After some additional prodding, Zuhair began to plead. He said, “Look, man, I’m just one of the little guys.” I said, “Yes, I know, but let’s meet anyway, I can tell you more about this investigation.” Zuhair seemed already to know about some investigation. He said, “Shit, man, I thought this was over.” Which seemed strange to me because the only investigation I knew about was the investigation that I was conducting. But I wanted to be helpful, so I said, “Let’s meet, I can tell you more about it.”

Zuhair paused. He seemed to be figuring it all out. Finally, he said, “You’re not a journalist, that’s for sure, man, tell me who you are…Are you an Arabian?” No, I am not an “Arabian” – that’s what I told Zuhair Karam. I said there’s this investigation, I have information. I told Zuhair I could come down to the mosque to meet him. And I said I’d also like to meet Zuhair’s father, Haaz Karam, who helped run the mosque.

Zuhair said, “He’s not my father.” So I said, “Sorry, your relative.” And Zuhair said, “Yeah, so…what is this? Man, the FBI — you say you’re a journalist, why do you know about the investigation? That just isn’t right…the FBI…man, I’m telling you, I’m just one of the little guys…the FBI…the FBI can come, let them come, they know where I live, let them come, let them try – see if I care.”

In his 2010 report to Congress, Admiral Dennis Blair, who was then the U.S. director of national intelligence, outlined one of the biggest threats to America’s economic well-being and national security. He began by noting that a number of organized crime outfits are closely intertwined with the intelligence services and government leaders of some countries (such as Russia) that are considered to be adversaries of the United States. He then stated that “the nexus between international criminal organizations [the Mafia] and terrorist groups [including Al Qaeda]…presents continuing dangers.”

In the same breath, the national intelligence director warned that organized criminal outfits [the Mafia] are “undermining free markets,” and “almost certainly will increase [their] penetration of legitimate financial and commercial markets, threatening U.S. economic interests and raising the risk of significant damage to the global financial system.”

Let me stress the implications of what the national intelligence director was saying. He was saying that the Mafia (and, by inference, the jihadi groups and rogue states that maintain ties to the Mafia) have the capability to disrupt the financial markets and harm the American economy. The only question is: have they already done so?

While America’s media and financial regulators seem largely uninterested in that question, some in the national security community are devoting a lot of attention to it. A 110 page report commissioned by the Department of Defense Irregular Warfare Support Program even goes so far as to state that there is a reasonably high likelihood that the economic cataclysm of 2008 was worsened by politically motivated “financial terrorists intent on wiping out the American financial system.”

The report (a copy of which can be found at DeepCapture.com) states with good reason that the weapons most likely to be used by prospective financial terrorists are so-called “naked” short selling and other forms of short-side market manipulation.

Short selling is a perfectly legitimate practice. It involves traders borrowing shares and then selling them, hoping the price will drop so that they can repurchase the shares at a discount, return them to the lender, and pocket the difference.

In “naked” short sales, traders do not borrow or purchase stock before they sell it. They simply sell what they do not have – phantom stock. You probably can imagine how easy it is for someone to suppress the price of a security if they are able to swamp a market with artificial supply.

Of course, by definition, if people are selling a phony supply of a security, then they cannot be delivering what they are selling. Regulators and Wall Street folks call this “failure to deliver.”

There are, in fact, a variety of methods that can be deployed to create “failures to deliver.” There are technical differences among the methods, but all share this one basic idea: generate “failures to deliver” that act as phony supply to drive down a security’s price. Because “naked short selling” is the most famous of these methods, and because the differences among it and the other methods are generally so technical as to interest only experts, I intend to refer to this whole class of methods as “naked short selling”, or even more generally, “market manipulation.”

As the report commissioned by the Defense Department correctly points out, foreign governments or terrorist groups wishing to manipulate the markets would not have to do the dirty work themselves. They would need only to invest in one among the multitude of American hedge funds that have ties to organized crime and that have demonstrated that they are willing to deploy financial weapons of mass destruction for fun and profit.

Under one scenario described in the Defense Department report, “a terror group could direct investments to a feeder hedge fund. The feeder fund would locate a Cayman Islands based hedge fund on their behalf that was predisposed to sell short financial shares. With sufficient new money, the hedge fund would expand its short selling activity (naked and traditional) and trade through dark pools or with sponsored access. At the same time, the same terror group might invest heavily in [credit default swaps] of the targeted short sales…”

Experts painted similar scenarios in testimony before a September 2010 informal meeting of the House Committee on Homeland Security. These experts were unanimous in their opinion that a hostile foreign entity could crash the U.S. financial markets. And to do so, it would most likely engage in manipulative trading through one of several shady brokerages that offer platforms – such as dark pools or so-called “sponsored access” – that enable miscreant financial operators to trade in anonymity.

Partly because such trading platforms exist, and for several other reasons (see Patrick Byrne’s Deep Capture story, “A Peace Sign to Wall Street”), SEC data reflects only a fraction of the naked short selling that occurs in the markets. But even the SEC’s partial data show that an average of 2 billion shares “failed to deliver” nearly every day in the months and weeks leading up to the 2008 market meltdown. Those shares, as I have explained, “failed to deliver” because they were phantom shares – artificial volume that drove down stock prices.

The SEC’s incomplete data also shows that more than 13 million shares of Bear Stearns sold short during the week before that bank’s demise in March 2008 failed to deliver. Soon after Bear Stearns collapsed, the CEOs of Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, and other major financial institutions began complaining to the SEC that naked short sellers had caused the demise of Bear Stearns and were now targeting their own banks.

We need to take seriously the complaints of the Wall Street CEOs because they were intimately familiar with the crime of naked short selling. Many of their own brokerages had engaged in it. When people are raising hell about a crime that has previously lined their pockets, it is reasonable to assume that they have some idea what they are talking about.

Moreover, the Wall Street CEOs continued to demand that the SEC take action against the market manipulators even after their high-paying hedge fund clients (some of whom might themselves have been naked short sellers, others of whom were merely inclined to object to stronger regulation of any sort) asked the CEOs to stop their campaign. When the CEOs continued to complain about the naked short selling, many of their big hedge fund clients began to pull their business in protest. It goes without saying that Wall Street CEOs do not sacrifice large chunks of their profits to speak out against crimes that do not exist.

On July 15, 2008, the SEC responded to the Wall Street CEOs by issuing an “Emergency Order” that temporarily protected 19 of the nation’s largest financial institutions from naked short selling. The banks’ stock prices immediately soared in value, and it looked like a major crisis had perhaps been averted.

Amazingly, though, the SEC lifted its “Emergency Order” just weeks later, on August 12. The next day, the naked short sellers resumed their attacks. The SEC’s own data (which, again, incompletely reflects the full magnitude of the problem) shows failures to deliver rising steadily from August 12 onwards, and these failures to deliver correspond directly to the downward spiral of stock prices. According to the SEC’s partial data, Lehman Brothers saw an astounding 30 million of its shares fail to deliver during the week before the bank collapsed on September 15, 2008.

And make no mistake: Lehman may well have survived if it were not for the naked short selling and other attacks (such as the seemingly deliberate insertion of damaging false rumors into the marketplace) that hammered its stock price. In the weeks before its collapse, the bank had plenty of liquidity to remain a going concern, and it had deals in the pipeline that would have enabled it to raise capital. But the freefall of Lehman’s stock price and other maneuverings by short sellers derailed those deals, and panicked clients pulled their cash. Only then was Lehman forced to declare bankruptcy.

Lehman was not a healthy bank, to be sure, but it had survived plenty of bouts of ill health. It had also survived worse economic downturns, though it had never faced a stock market crash of such magnitude.

And nearly every other major bank, regardless of its health, faced precisely similar fates during the gory month of September, 2008. All seemed doomed to collapse until the SEC issued another “Emergency Order” on September 18, this time banning all forms of short selling, legal or otherwise.

There was no reason to ban legal short selling (a crackdown on illegal naked shorts would have been enough), but the Emergency Order gave the markets some breathing room while the Treasury Department prepared the massive bailouts that signified that the government would not allow any more banks to collapse, no matter what sort of attacks might be directed at them.

As the authors of the report for the Defense Department’s irregular warfare unit conclude, there is no question that short-side market manipulators contributed to the collapse or near-collapse of many of America’s largest financial institutions in 2008. The report states further that “the [short selling] attacks on [America’s biggest banks] were so brazen that it is difficult to imagine that they were uncoordinated.”

And it wasn’t just the banks that were attacked. The SEC’s partial data shows that there was also massive naked short selling of exchange traded funds, or ETFs. These are publicly listed funds that are often highly leveraged and typically trade a basket of multiple stocks across a given industry. When market manipulators attack an ETF, they inflict damage on the entire industry that the fund indexes – and the high leverage magnifies the impact.

Meanwhile, there is strong evidence that the markets for U.S. government debt have also come under attack. The first naked short selling assault on U.S. Treasuries was launched in September 2001, at the time of Al Qaeda’s attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In the months and weeks before the 9-11 tragedy, a daily average of $1.5 billion worth of U.S. government bonds failed to deliver. On the days immediately before 9-11, the daily failures to deliver soared to an astounding average of $1.5 trillion and continued to rise in the days after the attacks.

This was new and unusual market manipulation on a Herculean scale, but it was even worse during the months leading up to and following the 2008 crisis, when an average of $2.5 trillion worth of U.S. Treasuries failed to deliver every day. The authors of the report for the Defense Department speculate that financial terrorists, having precipitated the financial crisis, might have intended to attack the government bond markets in an attempt to bankrupt the national treasury.

The media fails to give sufficient attention to these problems, insisting instead on reinforcing the narrative that the financial crisis was in essence caused by “reckless” lending to home buyers who could not pay back their mortgages. It is correct that the financial crisis of 2008 had its proximate cause in the collapse of the mortgage and property markets a year earlier, but that is only the surface of the story.

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) made clear in its January 2011 report to Congress that the principal cause of the mortgage and property disaster was the freakish collapse in 2007 of the market for collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), which are packages of mortgages that trade like securities. And as the FCIC also made clear, the collapse of the CDO market was by no means inevitable. Nor did it have much to do with “predatory” lending or the quality of most subprime mortgages. Rather, the problem was that more than half of the CDOs issued in 2006 and 2007 were so-called “synthetic” CDOs, every single one of which was deliberately designed to self-destruct.

That is, just a few firms that specialized in marketing “synthetic” CDOs worked with a select number of bankers and short sellers to hand-pick a relatively small number of mortgages that were certain to default. The miscreants then packaged bets against those relatively few toxic mortgages into so many self-destruct CDOs that they came to account (I must repeat) for more than half of the overall market. It is not quite correct to say this was phantom supply similar to what is generated by naked short selling. But there is no question that the “synthetic” CDOs created a market that was, alas, “synthetic.” It was a market overwhelmed by a supply of instruments that purported to contain representative samplings of an underlying asset (subprime mortgages) that a reasonable person might expect to have some value, but which actually contained (as only the short sellers knew) assets that were worth zero. That is, a small number of miscreants effectively flooded the market with massive volumes of synthetic toxicity.

As these miscreants surely knew, the self-destruct CDOs would, indeed, self-destruct, and thereby wipe out the overall market for CDOs, causing property values to crash. And when that happened, the banks that owned a lot of CDOs or property would be weakened. They would not be so weak that they had to die. But their weakness would create negative sentiment that could be turned into a panic if miscreants were to circulate exaggerated rumors about the banks’ problems and unleash waves of naked short selling that would send stock prices into death spirals.

In short, the report commissioned by the Department of Defense Irregular Warfare unit was correct to note that the financial crisis that nearly destroyed the nation went “far beyond normal expectations…” The authors of this report were also right to note that all of the events that precipitated the financial cataclysm raise “serious questions about whether this was a purposeful attack and if so, by whom, and why?”

Por quem? E porque? Over the next several weeks, Deep Capture will be publishing the remaining chapters of this book-length story, which is the product of a year-long investigation into the underworld of financial crime and the vulnerability of the U.S. economy to malicious attacks. To that first question – by whom? – we do not have all the answers, but we have quite a few. That is, our investigation has led us down many paths, but they all seem to circle back to a distinct network of miscreant financial operators. Some of these miscreants work for obscure, unregistered outfits like Zuhair Karam’s brokerage, Tuco Trading. Others are powerful American hedge fund managers.

In coming installments of this story, I will name all of the colorful characters affiliated with Tuco Trading, and tell you who was responsible for its massive short selling deluge in 2008. (I am not trying to create suspense it is simply that there is other ground that we have to cover for you to understand the significance of who these Tuco characters were).

And Tuco is not the only strange financial firm in America. A surprising number of people in the broader network that I will describe have ties to jihadi groups, including, in some cases, Al Qaeda. In addition, a number of financial operators in this network have disturbing ties to the governments of rogue states, such as Russia and Iran. And nearly all the people in this network have ties to the Mafia.

In other words, this is a colorful network. And though it would be a stretch to say these people were the cause of the financial crisis, there is no doubt that many of them contributed to that cataclysm. The rest, meanwhile, have both the capability and the inclination to do considerable more damage.

As to the Defense Department report’s second question – why? – I have no good answers. And ultimately, the question might be irrelevant. The damage to the economy is the same whether it has been done in the name of profit or jihad in the name of terror, geopolitics, another billion bucks, or nothing more than the fun of the game The miscreants who will be described in this story come in many stripes, but they are all, every one of them, a threat to American prosperity and our national security.

In our next installment, we learn a bit more about Zuhair Karam* and his friends, including a jihadi who inserted Al Qaeda spies into the U.S. military and then set up a financial weapon of mass destruction for use against the markets.


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