Below is the second of several parts of a summary of prosecutor Alberto Nisman’s much longer report on the 1994 bombing of the AMIA center in Buenos Aires, which was released at the end of May. The Foundation for Defense of Democracies issued the 31-page summary (pdf) when the larger report was published. (Previously: Part 1)
A word to readers who have emailed me about the quality of the prose in the FDD report: yes, the text is less than ideal in its syntax and phrasing. However, since the document has already been published as a pdf, I’m loath to edit it more than is absolutely necessary to repair errors that interfere with the conveyance of the intended meaning. Normally I would do a more intensive edit, as is my natural inclination.
My guess is that the summary was originally composed in Spanish, and then hastily translated the same day the full-length Nisman report was released.
This report is important for the light it sheds into the Iranian network in Latin America, including the penetration of Trinidad and Tobago. We’ve covered parts of the Trinidad connection here in the past, beginning with Sheikh Yasin Abu Bakr back in 2006, and then his associate Abdul Kadir last year.
In addition to Argentina and Trinidad, other countries targeted by Iran include Guyana, Venezuela, Dominica, Barbados, Antigua, Barbuda, Suriname, Grenada, and Brazil.
The section below is the “Summary” portion of the FDD report. Further topical sections will be covered in later parts of this series.
Delving deeper into the investigation and the measures aimed towards the capture of the AMIA Case’s fugitives, it was detected, in July 2010, the existence of a criminal case before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn), in which several defendants were being prosecuted for conspiring to commit a terrorist attack against the John F. Kennedy airport. The information pointed out that one of them, Abdul Kadir, had repeated contacts with Mohsen Rabbani, principal architect of the local connection in the AMIA bombing with an international arrest warrant and red notice by Interpol.
This circumstance immediately motivated the Prosecution Investigation Unit of the AMIA case to contact the US judicial authorities in order to start an information exchange to obtain evidence linked to the person and activities of Mohsen Rabbani. Mainly, the deepening of this investigative line had the purpose to establish the knowledge Abdul Kadir and his acquaintances could have had about the terrorist bombing to the AMIA Center and Rabbani’s involvement in it, especially considering that, from the beginning of this new inquiry, it was known that the contacts between Rabbani and Kadir were contemporary to the July 18th blast.
Although initially it was examined the possibility of any kind of involvement of Abdul Kadir himself and his acquaintances in the AMIA bombing, that hypothesis had not been supported by any evidence collected until now, which therefore entitled this office to produce certain investigative measures, given the proven relations between Kadir and Rabbani.
Along this line, besides the testimonies taken by the Prosecutor’s Office under the Argentina-United States Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, this Unit also received copies of substantial documents seized by the Guyanese Law Enforcement Agencies in the searches conducted in Kadir’s residence as well as those obtained by the Trinidadian authorities when he was arrested. In those searches, as it was corroborated while taking testimony to the FBI agent Robert Addonizio, there were seized, among other important documents, letters addressed to Mohsen Rabbani, newspapers articles that mention At Tauhid mosque — formerly run by Mohsen Rabbani — and a Kadir’s personal phone book with Rabbani’s contact information handwritten in it.
From the beginning it is worth mention that the study of circumstances and the context in which this conspiracy took place, revealed common patterns between the activities performed by Kadir in Guyana and those developed by Rabbani in Argentina. It became evident that in the Caribbean nation had been settled by the same Iranian intelligence infiltration system as was in Argentina, consisting of many stages, interactive and complex links, for example: the arrival of Iranian Mullahs with a radicalized vision, propaganda and ideological infiltration according to that vision, recruiting and training of local Muslims and new converts, funding, dual use of mosques, cultural centers and Iranian diplomacy, etc. The characteristics identified in Guyana are similar to those that have already been detected in our country and were widely detailed and explained in the October 25th 2006 indictment. Despite the fact that Guyana and Argentina are two far distant and extremely different countries, the building and development of both Iranian intelligence stations showed remarkable resemblance, resulting in the need to deepen even more the investigation to further the study of the context in which AMIA bombing occurred.
This new evidence, jointly analyzed with the probing elements that were already part of this investigation, showed that this intelligence structures had a single and unique leadership, which allows to conclude that they had been preconceived; that means they were not the result of the free will of the local leaders — Rabbani and Kadir — who were the means that executed a previously shaped idea. The origins and unique features that characterized these structures allowed associating them inescapably with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
So, it is possible to state that the Iranian Intelligence structures discovered in Argentina as well as in Guyana — which were suitable to provide essential support for the deadly terrorist attack of 1994 and the dangerous conspiracy of 2007 — were not only very similar in their components, ways of implementation and purpose, but they were also conceived within the framework of the policy for exporting the revolution.
The Prosecution Unit was able to demonstrate that the seminar held in Teheran in 1982 on the subject of the ideal Islamic government, which was attended by approximately 380 religious men from 70 countries, was a turning point in the regime’s policy for exporting the revolution which included, since then, the use of violence and terrorism when necessary. In other words, that seminar meant for the Iranian leadership the birth of a justification for the use of violence as an admitted and even promoted way for removing the obstacles that could be found in spreading their radical vision. That was stated, among others, by the First Commander of Revolutionary Guard Corps, Javad Mansouri, who declared: “Our Revolution can only be exported by grenades and explosives”, and subsequently summoned each Iranian Embassy to turn into an intelligence center and a base to export the Revolution.
The prosecutor explained the background that made the seminar possible, noting that in October 1980 it was created the Organization of Islamic Liberation Movements (OILM) which started to operate as the real machinery for exporting the revolution. Its leader, Mehdi Hashemi, was appointed Commander of a special unit within the Revolutionary Guard Corps (Pasdaran) and from that position he started organizing a structure which contained warfare guerrilla units, initially including Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi dissidents who, at that time, were refuges in Iran. In a short period, the OILM reached a spectacular development becoming the leader in exporting the Islamic Revolution. Since the beginning of OILM’s activities, a department called “Studies and Investigations Unit” was exclusively devoted to analyzing foreign situations so as to export the Revolution.
After the 1982 seminar it became clear that, in order to achieve its expansionist objectives, the Iranian regime considered the possibility of using violence and terrorism if necessary. Those guidelines were put into practice by establishing intelligence and espionage structures in third countries with the sufficient capability to provide support for terrorist operations.