March 29, 2008
The recent disclosures that the Uranium cache, destined for the FARC, and seized by Colombian law enforcement authorities, appears to have originated in Venezuela begs the question: where else did the covertly-mined Uranium ore go? The answer will not surprise readers who are closely following Iran's illegal nuclear weapons development programme, but the identity of the facilitators is very troubling, because it may signal that another global terrorist organisation, Al-Qaeda, was also a recipient of Venezuelan Uranium. Read on.
This is the story of two career terrorists one from the Middle East, and another from Latin America, and how their paths intersect in the dark world of nuclear terror:
* Turn back the clock three years, to the year 2005. Spain is still reeling from the shock and loss of life that resulted from the Madrid Train Bombings, which led to the defeat of the incumbent government, and saddled the region with fear that Al-Qaeda intended to bring its violent terrorist operations to Europe. Venezuela has become home to an increasing number of Arab nationals with links to Hizballah, Hamas, ETA, and yes, even Al-Qaeda.
* Spanish Courts never established the identity of the intellectual author of those despicable acts, for he fled Europe right after the explosions, via an EU "Shengen" passport, and arrived in Caracas, where he operated under the constant protection of Venezuela's state intelligence and security police, DISIP. He was soon moved by agents to Margarita Island, where his presence would not be noticed amongst the large Arab community there, some of whom are engaged in financing and funding several designated global terrorist organisations, including some individuals linked to the September 11 attacks by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). An Arab-owned estate on Margarita was also the location for several very private meetings between Cuban dictator Fidel Castro Ruz and President Hugo Chavez Frias.
* Who is this mysterious individual? He is Syrian-born Mustafa Setmariam Nasar [UID 45641], a prominent Al-Qaeda member and prolific author, who fought in Afghanistan with Bin-Laden, and later lived in London and in Spain. Indicted in Spain for his alleged assistance to the plotters of the September 11 attacks on the United States, he was convicted of being a member of a terrorist organisation.
* Nasar lived openly in Venezuela for several months, traveling at all time with his Venezuelan government bodyguard, all the while wanted by Interpol for Spain, visiting Caracas' most important mosque, and holding meetings with Hizballah, ETA, FARC, ELN, and Cuban G-2 members, amongst others, in support of their criminal and political activities in Latin America.
* He shows up on my radar holding meetings with one of Venezuela's most notorious terrorists, Carlos Rafael Lanz Rodriguez [UID 248222], a career Communist infamous for once kidnapping and holding an American businessman for six long years, part of which time he tied the executive to a tree. What do these two terrorists have in common, you ask? Lanz is presently the president of Venezuela's state-owned aluminium company, Alcasa, which has been accused by former Venezuela government mining engineers of covertly mining Uranium for export to Iran, under the cover of aluminium production.
* The meetings, which took place on board Iranian-bound Panamanian-registered cargo vessels lying in the harbour at Puerto Cabello, Venezuela's largest port, were observed by eyewitnesses. Was Nasar merely a facilitator for Iranian interests, or was he arranging Uranium deliveries to Al-Qaeda? We cannot say, but the threat of nuclear terrorist acts, perpetrated by AQ, have been discussed by anti-terrorism experts in the US and EU for several years.
* An interesting postscript; Nasar's whereabouts were known to the United States, but no attempts were ever made to capture or neutralise the man who was most likely the most dangerous terrorist to ever set foot in the Western Hemisphere. Claims have been made that he was subsequently captured by local authorities in Pakistan, and subsequently turned over to American agents, but no public confirmation has ever been issued. Exactly where is the man understood to be one of Al-Qaeda's leading theoreticians?
* Did Al-Qaeda take possession of some of the Venezuelan Uranium? most of it is presently being refined in Iranian laboratories, but was some diverted by Nasar?
* For those who still doubt that Venezuela is now, with the able assistance of Iranian engineers on-site, processing Uranium for eventual use in weapons of mass destruction, please note that a number of Venezuelan publications have detailed the locations of the mines, and a senior Venezuelan governmental officials has, coincidentally, advised that any unauthorised aircraft overflights in the region where the mines are situated, are strictly prohibited, and that such aircraft will be subject to deadly force, and shot down.
A final question: where is the International Atomic Energy Agency in all this? Venezuela has consistently opposed IAEA sanctions and actions against Iran's illegal nuclear programme. We humbly suggest it open an investigation into the Venezuelan supply-side of the Iranian WMD issue.