In 1994 a terror bombing of the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) building, a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires, killed 85 people, most of them Jews. It was the most deadly terror attack in Argentine history.
On May 30, 2013, after many years of extensive investigation Alberto Nisman, the lead prosecutor in the case, issued a 502-page report with his findings. He concluded that there was overwhelming evidence that the Islamic Republic of Iran was responsible for AMIA bombing. In the process of their work on the case, the investigators uncovered an extensive network of Iranian infiltration, not just in Argentina, but in all of Latin America, from the Caribbean Islands to Tierra del Fuego.
There are, of course, contrary opinions about who bears responsibility for the AMIA bombing. For an example, see this piece in The Nation, which asserts that there is no real evidence of Iranian culpability in the attack.
On the day the report was released, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies issued a 31-page summary (pdf) of the Nisman report. Excerpts from the summary will be published here in several installments.
The FDD press release on the report noted:
Argentina’s Prosecutor for the AMIA investigation Alberto Nisman released a ground-breaking report detailing Iran’s extensive terrorist network in Latin America. Focusing both on the 1994 bombing of the Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) center in Buenos Aires and more broadly on Iran’s use of cultural, religious, and educational centers as covers for illegal and terrorist activities, the report raises serious concerns about the ongoing threat to U.S. allies in the Western Hemisphere and globally.
Nisman’s 7-year investigation uncovered devastating evidence that the AMIA plot was orchestrated and planned by high-level Iranian officials including former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati and former Revolutionary Guard chief Mohsen Rezaei, both of whom are candidates in Iran’s presidential election to take place on June 14.
Iranian officials continue to operate with impunity despite Interpol red notices for Rezaei, former Iranian Intelligence Minister Ali Fallahijan, former cultural attaché Mohsen Rabbani, who oversees the Hezbollah network in Latin America on behalf of the Qods Force, and Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi, and Argentine indictments for Velayati and former President Hashem Rafsanjani.
Nisman’s report also highlighted that Iran’s terror networks throughout Latin America were used as part of the thwarted 2007 attack on JFK Airport in New York, which experts say could have rivaled the attack on 9/11 had it not been uncovered. “Nisman’s investigation revealed how Iran exploits the vulnerabilities of America and our allies to set up illicit financial and terrorist networks. Policy makers around the world should draw on Nisman’s investigation and expertise to develop strategies to counter Iran’s global network,” FDD Executive Director Mark Dubowitz said.
Below is the introduction to the FDD summary report.
For the first time in the Argentine and world judicial history, it has been gathered and substantiated in a judicial file, evidence that proved the steps taken by a terrorist regime, the Islamic Republic of Iran, to infiltrate, for decades, large regions of Latin America, through the establishment of clandestine intelligence stations and operative agents which are used to execute terrorist attacks when the Iranian regime decides so, both directly or through its proxy, the terrorist organization Hezbollah. These actions have been taking place within the so-called “export of the revolution”, which was never masked by Tehran and is, in fact, written in their own constitution.
Throughout a lengthy and very strong indictment of more than 500 pages, released today [May 30, 2013], the General Prosecutor of the AMIA case, Alberto Nisman, based on countless reports, evidence, testimonies, court and investigative records related to other countries of the region, North America and Europe and rulings of foreign courts against the Iranian regime, was able to corroborate and strengthen with new evidence, the responsibility of the Iranian regime in the AMIA bombing, stressing — in particular — the higher degree of responsibility that Mohsen Rabbani and Samuel Salman El Reda had in the attack, taking into account that both have international arrest warrants and red notices from Interpol. Also, the Prosecutor proved the way in which the fundamentalist terrorism sponsored and financed by Iran operates and hides in Latin America, its networks and operational system.
This intelligence and terrorist network had already caused devastating consequences in Argentina in 1994 and almost struck again in the United States in 2007, when the blowing of fuel pipes and tanks of “John F. Kennedy” New York’s International Airport was dodged by the timely intervention of US law enforcement agencies, which — in this case — led to the arrest of the plotters and their conviction to life imprisonment. Several of those terrorist were veteran Iranian intelligence agents that were active in the region. Among them was Guyanese citizen Abdul Kadir, whose importance lies in his close relationship and hierarchical subordination to Mohsen Rabbani.