"a working relationship with Al-Qa'idah....It is a known fact that the organization led by Usamah Bin-Ladin is present in Venezuela and in South American countries governed by populist left-wing representatives who oppose the United States."Columbian Vice President Francisco Santos is quoted by the Spanish television network Antena 3 during the UN Conference on Disarmament as claiming that documents discovered on Reyes' computers revealed that FARC was attempting to purchase fissile material to construct a radiological ("dirty") bomb.
Copenhagen, Curacao, and Bucharest
Bout's arrest operation, as described by the documents of the US authorities, sounds like a spy novel. The informers had meetings in Copenhagen, Curacao, and Bucharest during an operation that first trapped Smulian, one of Bout's associates, the middle man of the arms transaction. According to the official document drawn up by a DEA special agent, undercover American agents succeeded in gaining the trust of the "Merchant of Death" and his associates several months before Smulian was arrested in Thailand. The meetings were held in several countries, including Denmark, Netherland Antilles, and Romania. In 1997, a DEA source (CS-1) contacted Smulian. Under DEA coordination, CS-1 sent an email to Smulian asking him to tell Bout that he had a business proposal. After a short while, Smulian told the agent that Bout was interested in the proposal and that they should meet. Under DEA coordination, CS-1 organized a meeting in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles. On 7 January 2008, CS-1 met Smulian in Curacao. CS-1 introduced two other DEA sources (CS-2 and CS-3). The two agents claimed to be FARC representatives. They told Smulian that they were interested in purchasing weapons, particularly missiles. On 22 January 2008, CS-1 met Smulian in Copenhagen, Denmark, to discuss Smulian and Bout's meeting in Russia about the weapons deal. Bout told Smulian to schedule a meeting with CS-2 and one of his representatives to discuss the transaction. The Russian warned his associate to be extremely careful and instructed him to get rid of cell phones, SIM cards, and other devices that might indicate where he had been and whom he had met. According to Smulian, Bout had said that he could provide the FARC with the weapons, because "any communist is our friend." On 23 January 2008, CS-1 and CS-2 met Smulian in Copenhagen. The three discussed the locations where they could meet Bout. Smulian told the DEA collaborators that "100 pieces were immediately available."
Missiles Photos Shown on Laptop
On 26 January 2008, CS-1 and Smulian came to Bucharest, where they met CS-2 and CS-3. Once they arrived, the latter told Smulian that they wanted to meet Bout in person to finalize the arms deal and deliver the money.
Smulian told them that Bout might have been arrested if he had come to Romania. At a certain point, CS-3 talked with Bout on the telephone about potential meeting locations, among which Cuba, Nicaragua, or Armenia. After the discssion with the "Merchant of Death," Smulian showed the three CS on his laptop photos of the missiles that were going to be delivered, pointing out that Bout could also supply helicopters that could be equipped with double-range missiles. Smulian also said that the weapons were in Bulgaria and that their "transport" would cost $5 million. Several days later, Smulian told CS-2 that "the weapons were ready in Bulgaria." On 5 February 2008, the Romanian authorities intercepted a conversation between Bout and CC-2, one of his associates, who operates an air company in our country [Romania]. On 7 February, CS-2 gave Smulian an e-mail address (email@example.com) that could be used by Smulian and Bout. On 12 February, CS-2 received an e-mail: "Buenos Dias! this is the e-mail we can use for commjnications. Best regards. Friend of Andrew." The address of the sender was created on 12 February under the name Victor But [name as published]. The DEA believes that the message was sent by the "Merchant of Death." The next meeting was held in Thailand, where Bout was captured.
Labels: al Qaeda, Al-Qa'idah, Al-Qaeda, Al-Qaida, Bucharest, Columbia, FARC, MI6, Monzer al-Kassar, NATO, Osama bin Laden, Raul Reyes, Romania, Semyon Yukovich Mogilevich, Ukraine, Venezuela, Viktor Bout