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Note: the following information is public information available from public records about a public figure. It is not subject to the letter or intent of the DU rule that prohibits posting "private/personal information."
From the Orange County, FL Circuit Court Clerk of the Court Records page: http://myclerk.myorangeclerk.com/default.aspx
Record Count: 4
Search By: Party Exact Name: on Party Search Mode: Name Last Name: Zimmerman First Name: George Case Status: Closed Date Filed On or After: 01/01/2005 Date Filed On or Before: 01/01/2006 Sort By: Filed Date
Case Number Citation Number Style/Defendant Info Filed/Location/Judicial Officer Type/Status Charge(s)
ZIMMERMAN, GEORGE MICHAEL
OKane, Julie H
CR-RESISTING OFFICER WITH VIOLENCE
BATTERY ON LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
ZIMMERMAN, GEORGE MICHAEL
Miller, W Michael
CR-RESISTING OFFICER WITHOUT VIOLENCE
ZUAZO, VERONICA vs. ZIMMERMAN, GEORGE M
Closed - SRS
ZIMMERMAN, GEORGE M vs. ZUAZO, VERONICA A
White, Keith F
Closed - SRS
You can do your own search here: http://myclerk.myorangeclerk.com/default.aspx Click: All Case Records Search. Next page enter Zimmerman George and DOB 10/05/1983 or do the look-up by the case date or number, as contained in the record extract posted above.
If anyone has anything to say about this information being posted, please respond in the thread, below.
Posted by leveymg | Tue Mar 27, 2012, 01:21 PM (32 replies)
Saudi Arabia funded most of Pakistan's nuclear program in the 1970s and 1980s with US intelligence acquiescence after the "Safari Club"/BCCI deal with GHW Bush. Please, see, http://journals.democraticunderground.com/leveymg/280 The Agency's BCCI operation may have previously involved former CIA Director Richard Helms and predated 1977, when Bush was appointed director of Joe Allbriton's First American Bancshares. That Texas-based bank was linked to the CIA, the Saudis and BCCI by Newsweek, reprinted here: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/1992/12/06/the-bcci-cia-connection-just-how-far-did-it-go.html
It doesn't have to be a command, Pakistan willingly acts as a proxy. For all intents and purposes, Pakistan is Saudi Arabia's nuclear and paramilitary auxiliary. This extends to common efforts today against Iran and Syria, and to suppression of a simmering Shi'ia uprising in the Gulf states. Please, see, http://www.wvpakistan.com/Editorial/PakistanA%20new%20proxy%20battle%20ground%20for%20Saudi%20Arabia,%20Iran.htm
With the third-party help of the CIA, the Pakistani ISI and Saudi GID intelligence agencies jointly ran the Mujahadin against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, and later in Bosnia, Kosovo and Chenchnya.
As early as 1969, British and US-trained pilots of the Pakistan Air force flew the aircraft of the Royal Saudi Air Force to help fend off an invasion from South Yemen. In the 1970s and 1980s, about 15,000 Pakistani soldiers were stationed in Saudi Arabia to protect the country's oil fields. Against the backdrop of the recent uprisings in the Middle East and the Arab world which led to the ouster of several autocratic rulers of the Muslim world, Pakistan had played a key role in the region by supporting Saudi Arabia to preempt a possible revolt against the Saudi kingdom.
Besides placing two army divisions on standby to help Riyadh should any trouble break out, reportedly the Pakistan government helped the Saudi kingdom with the recruitment of thousands of ex-Pakistani military personnel for Bahrain's national guard. Please, see, http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/bahrain-calls-mercenaries-silence-protestors-5689
Islamabad receives more financial aid, both open and covert, from the Saudis than any other country. Pakistan is an extremely poor country and effectively bankrupt, without large reserves of hard currency of its own to have funded the purchase of its nuclear warhead and missile development programs from China. The source of that finance was Saudi Arabia: http://www.jamestown.org/programs/chinabrief/single/?tx_ttnews=3532&tx_ttnews=192&no_cache=1
A more likely candidate as a source for future Saudi missile purchases is Pakistan. According to a number of press reports, including those regarding the 1994 defection of a Saudi diplomat, Saudi Arabia has been funding Pakistan's nuclear and missile program purchases from China. The money certainly had to have come from somewhere, as Pakistan has been bankrupt for years and the Chinese are not known for their easy payment plans. In May 1999, following the Pakistani nuclear tests, Prince Sultan toured the uranium-enrichment plant and missile production facilities at Kahuta. Sultan may also have been present in Pakistan at a May 2002 test launch of the nuclear-capable Ghauri missile. If these reports are correct, what in essence has happened is that Saudi Arabia has given money to China for Pakistan's missile and nuclear programs. If so, Saudi Arabia could be buying a nuclear capability from China through a proxy state with Pakistan serving as the cutout. If Riyadh's influence over Pakistan extends to its nuclear programs, Saudi Arabia could rapidly become a de facto nuclear power through a simple shipment of missiles and warheads.
Those in Riyadh who favour the preparation of an open nuclear programme for military uses in cooperation with Pakistan include Saudi Defence Minister Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz, and its former intelligence chief, Turki Bin Faisal. The de facto nuclear capability of Saudi through Pakistan has been presumed for decades.
Posted by leveymg | Sun Mar 25, 2012, 10:01 AM (0 replies)
supported and financed fascism and Nazi movements around the world during the following decades:
Posted by leveymg | Sat Mar 24, 2012, 09:39 PM (1 replies)
that this is no real choice. It's built upon myth and falsehood, such as the assumption that Saudi Arabia would pursue the bomb if Iran got one. This is absurd given the fact that the Saudis financed the Pakistani nuclear program, and are already a de facto nuclear power.
I hate being lied to, even by those who think they're on the side of reason and conscience. They totally buy into the program that sanctions are not only necessary, that somehow they promote peace and goodwill. Quite the opposite - it's just a "feel-good" way of paving the road to war and provoking Iran into doing something desperate and stupid, which is the real objective.
Posted by leveymg | Sat Mar 24, 2012, 08:53 PM (2 replies)
Except that half the cars on the road have no human operators, as it is, anyway.
Posted by leveymg | Tue Mar 20, 2012, 02:59 PM (0 replies)
Big Pentagon budgets are hard to kill. Years after it's obvious to nearly everyone that the the original program is obsolete, it doesn't work, or its original strategic justification no longer applies, the toys of war never seem to really go away.
This is what's happening today with the NSA's Groundbreaker program, which was originally disclosed in its earlier incarnation as Admiral John Poindexter's Total Information Awareness (TIA) program. When there's a program that can't be justified, but the Pentagon really wants to keep, it goes black-budget, and is turned into a subject that no serious person wants to publicly discuss. It gets mystified.
Operation Groundbreaker emerged in the wake of 9/11 as NSA's answer to the question: "What does a terrorist eat? What is his credit score? And, if you intercept every single email and telephone call made in America, will any of them lead you to Osama Bin Laden's hideout?" They spent billions trying to answer those questions, and merely confirmed what they already knew. Humus and yogurt are good food, and most everyone's emails and bank records contain mountains of useless data that tie up the attention of armies of trained intelligence analysts. And, as it turned out, Osama wasn't really living in Detroit.
When a program is really in danger of receiving the budget ax, then a strange thing has been known to happen. They get turned into UFOs.
The Air Force's 50 year-old Hypersonic Space Planes and UFOs Over China in 2010
The hypersonic space plane concept is very 1950s tech, and had it not been for the sheer "bang for the buck" of guided missiles as opposed to a continuation of manned bomber programs, we would have seen some variation on the B-58 "Superhustler" space plane parasite bomber concept, illustrated below:
Old declassified black and white photos and nicely rendered art show that by the late 1950s, America could build Mach 6 or 7 space planes if enough money were thrown into the engineering problems involved. Some full-size mockups were built for the Air Force by Consolidated, which folded after Lockheed got the contract for what became the SR-71 Blackbird. Just how far the hypersonic space plane program progressed under other management is still a secret.
By the 1970s, even the Russians were going to punk down a mountain of rubles to develop their own fleet of hypersonic Buran space shuttle/fighter/interceptor/surveillance planes:
But, then, the Evil Empire crashed, as is ours, now. Kerchunk. So, see, no real technology payoff there. Just misspent funds and sleek, expensive but obsolete toys gathering dust parked in aircraft scrapyards in Arizona and Siberia.
But, the really cool ones that never got built -- because there were cheaper, better options -- never really went away. The space planes just got thrown into the black budget closet. Every now and then, one or two of them gets pulled out and buzzed around over China or Norway to justify the billions that are still being spent on their development.
So we, who still, half a century after these things were publicly declared obsolete or too expensive, we are still paying for them. But, don't ask too many questions - they're labeled "UFOs." As we all know, serious people aren't interested in that.
The fact is, the unexplained aerial events millions of people have been seeing in recent years are all readily explainable by known technology. For example, the spectacular laminar separation "bursts" observed in the contrail flow of the vehicle seen in the video over China are the same as illustrated in NASA-released documents of airflow at Mach 7 over the X-37 fuselage, below. This technology is so old that it's declassified as historical material. The enormous vapor contrails seen in the video may well be the result of the injection of cooling liquid into the extremely hot boundary layer surrounding the skin of the aircraft, a technique described in the NACA hypersonic space plane studies of 1957. See, http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4302/ch2.12.htm
In the 1950s, the X-15 already traveled at this speed, the only real difference is that this is a lifting body with an airbreathing engine that extends the burn period and range of its powered flight path. Turn it into a mystery, recycle 'fifties tech, and continue to spend billions of dollars half a century later.
Same principle of known science also applies to the NSA's computational technologies. Like manned bombers, there's no revolution on the horizon for an IT solution to fighting terrorism - after having billions of dollars thrown at it for a decade, the "revolution" in computer profiling of threats is over. It's a technological dead-end. While huge black budgets continue to fund domestic spying programs, the usable technology payoff isn't very great, but the profits for federal contractors which build these things never seem to go away.
Watch the skies.
Posted by leveymg | Sat Mar 17, 2012, 04:22 PM (2 replies)
for 100 year periods in singular applications. Yes, we can build remotely-piloted Mach 7 scram jets and sometimes we show this stuff off (e.g., the "UFO" over China last year), but the X-47/51 follow-on isn't orders of magnitude more advanced than the SR-71/X-15 technology of the 1950s.
It would take a real order of magnitude advance to develop a Pre-cog type actionable CT intelligence program from the mass driftnets and profiling algorithms NSA/DHS uses today. The electronic take is so compromised by program considerations -- we don't want to blow double-agents already in place in targeted groups -- that even when we do obtain hard actionable intelligence, most of the time nothing is done with it.
Posted by leveymg | Sat Mar 17, 2012, 09:59 AM (1 replies)
once you've had a chance to digest it.
If you like that one, companion work is by another French political anthropologist, Pierre Claustres, whose Society Against the State (1974), traces a lot of civilization's nastiness -- war, slavery, human sacrifice, capitalism -- through the Mayan example back to the advent of organized agriculture and the resulting need for mass labor, the creation and outfitting of armies to conquer peoples and territory, and internalized social control mechanisms (organized religion and ideologies of power) that enabled landowners to get and stay rich through accumulation of surplus value. One of Claustres great insights was an answer to why man in a state of nature would voluntarily subject himself to the exploitation of another. The answer he says, beyond violent duress, is the attraction of "magical thinking" held by a priestly class who created the myth that some men have higher wisdom. Embrace of the myth of superior intelligence and secret knowledge makes obedience possible, along with the maintenance of those who know how to wield that myth as power over others. Think Alan Greenspan at his height.
Jerod Dimond's book, Collapse (which you may already have) goes with that, whose application of Chaos Theory explains why even little flaws in the original condition of complex social systems will result in sudden, catastrophic collapse -- when people stop believing that the system works, systems built upon surplus value and the manipulation of illusions fall apart.
Posted by leveymg | Sat Mar 10, 2012, 02:58 PM (0 replies)
psychological need to revere the people we've destroyed and to assume that we've inherited their virtues and cleansed our own sins in the process. That's why we name our sports teams and attack helicopters after Native American tribes we've annihilated.
Read Rene Girard's, "Violence and the Sacred." You won't look at American History, mass culture, politics, government, wars and foreign policy the same way afterwards.
Posted by leveymg | Sat Mar 10, 2012, 08:22 AM (1 replies)
who bankroll and dominate the Likud Party. As it's been said about politics, you don't want to see what's inside the sausage.
Here's what a US State Dept cable has to say about one of the "virtual mafia states": http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,732345,00.html
XXXXXX: Redacted by the editors. Important note on the dispatches...
<<207278>> 5/15/2009 14:14 09TELAVIV1098 Embassy Tel Aviv UNCLASSIFIED
VZCZCXYZ0018 RR RUEHWEB
DE RUEHTV #1098/01 1351414 ZNR UUUUU ZZH (CCY AD66A605 MSI9229-632) R 151414Z MAY 09 ZDS FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1845 INFO RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 2041 RUCNFB/FBI WASHDC//INTD/CTD/CT WATCH// RHMFIUU/US CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION WASHDC RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHDC 0068 RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 7509 TAGS: CVIS, SNAR, CMGT, KFRD, KCOR, KCRM, KTIP, PINR, IS SUBJECT: ISRAEL: A PROMISED LAND FOR ORGANIZED CRIME?
Unclas tel aviv 001098
C o r r e c t e d c o p y (corrected addee)
Dept for ca/vo/l/c; ca/vo/l/a; ca/fpp sarah sexton; inr/tipoff; ds ofac rome for dhs/ice
Ca/fpp: please pass to doj lisa holtyn and bruce ohr sipdis
E.o. 12958:n/a Tags: cvis, snar, cmgt, kfrd, kcor, kcrm, ktip, pinr, is Subject: israel: a promised land for organized crime?
1. (SBU) Organized crime (OC) has longstanding roots in Israel, but in recent years there has been a sharp increase in the reach and impact of OC networks. In seeking a competitive advantage in such lucrative trades as narcotics and prostitution, Israeli crime groups have demonstrated their ability and willingness to engage in violent attacks on each other with little regard for innocent bystanders. The Israeli National Police (INP) and the courts have engaged in a vigorous campaign against organized crime leaders, including the creation of a new specialized anti-OC unit, but they remain unable to cope with the full scope of the problem. Organized crime in Israel now has global reach, with direct impact inside the United States. Post is currently utilizing all available tools to deny Israeli OC figures access to the United States in order to prevent them from furthering their criminal activities on U.S. soil. End Summary.
Crime War Hits the Streets of Israel -------------------------------------
2. (SBU) In November 2008, Israeli crime boss Yaakov Alperon was assassinated in broad daylight in a gruesome attack on the streets of Tel Aviv, only about a mile away from the Embassy. According to several media accounts, a motor scooter pulled up alongside Alperon's car and the rider attached a sophisticated explosive device with a remote detonator to the car door. The bomb killed Alperon and his driver, and injured two innocent pedestrians. The hit was the latest in a series of violent attacks and reprisals, and indicated a widening crime war in Israel.
3. In July 2008, a 31-year-old Israeli woman was killed by a stray bullet on the beach in Bat Yam in front of her husband and two children during a failed assassination attempt on noted crime figure Rami Amira. In a feud between the Abutbul and Shirazi clans, crime boss Shalom "Charlie" Abutbul was shot by two gunmen in September 2008, an attack that also wounded three bystanders. In December 2008, Charlie Abutbul's son-in-law, Nati Ohayon, was gunned down in his car in Netanya. Before the fatal bombing of his car, Alperon himself had survived at least three previous attempts on his life before his assassination, and was engaged in an ongoing feud with the rival Abergil clan (although there are numerous suspects in Alperon's murder). The day after Alperon's death, two members of the Abergil syndicate were sentenced for conspiring to kill Alperon's brother, Nissim, in May 2008.
4. (SBU) In response to rising concerns for public safety, former Prime Minister Olmert convened an emergency meeting of top law enforcement officials, cabinet members, and prosecutors in December 2008. He promised to add 1,000 officers to the INP and to allocate approximately NIS 340 million (USD 81 million) to improve the INP's technical capabilities. In general, the rise in OC-related violence has led some public figures to call for emergency state powers to attack criminal organizations, and OC became a minor but important issue in the February 2009 Knesset elections. Former Labor Party MK Ephraim Sneh publicly decried criminal extortion in his campaign ads, only to have his car torched in apparent retaliation outside his home in Herzliya.
5. (SBU) Organized criminal activity is not a new phenomenon in Israel, and major crime families are well known to the Israeli public (the Alperons even featured in a recent reality television program). Five or six crime families have traditionally dominated OC in Israel, although the names and makeup of these syndicates have fluctuated in recent years. The Abergil, Abutbul, Alperon, and Rosenstein organizations are among the most well known, but recent arrests and assassinations have created a power vacuum at the top. New names such as Mulner, Shirazi, Cohen and Domrani have moved quickly to fill the gap. Other up-and-coming groups include the Harari, Ohana, and Kdoshim families. There are also a number of rival families active in the underworld of Israel's Arab sector.
6. (SBU) Traditional OC activities in Israel include illegal neighborhood casinos, prostitution rings, extortion, and loan sharking, with each family controlling a different geographic region. The Alperon family, for instance, dominates the Sharon region, while the Abutbul operation is based in the coastal city of Netanya. The focus is largely on easy money guaranteed by the limited use of violence. Criminal involvement in the recycling business, for example, has been well covered in the press. OC
families collect bottles illegally from municipal recycling bins and restaurants, return them at the collection centers claiming twice the actual numbers, and pocket the change for millions in profits.
Not Your Grandfather's Mob ---------------------------
7. (SBU) Despite their notoriety, OC figures have generally been viewed as a nuisance to be handled by local police. Law enforcement resources were directed to more existential security threats from terrorists and enemy states. In recent years, however, the rules of the game have changed. According to xxxxx, the old school of Israel OC is giving way to a new, more violent, breed of crime. xxxxx told conoffs that the new style of crime features knowledge of hi-tech explosives acquired from service in the Israeli Defense Forces, and a willingness to use indiscriminate violence, at least against rival gang leaders. New OC business also includes technology-related crimes, such as stock market and credit card fraud, and operates on a global scale.
8. (SBU) As the reach of Israeli OC has grown, so have the stakes. Crime families are working further from home and exporting violence abroad. Older gambling schemes have grown to include sprawling casino franchises in Eastern Europe. The Abutbul family began its gambling business in Romania over a decade ago, and now owns the Europe-wide Casino Royale network. In 2002, Israeli OC turf wars spilled into Europe when Yaakov Abergil and Felix Abutbul were killed two months apart. Abutbul was gunned down in front of his casino in Prague in a show of force by the Abergils as they attempted to capture a portion of the European gambling market.
9. (SBU) Israeli OC now plays a significant role in the global drug trade, providing both a local consumer market and an important transit point to Europe and the United States. In 2004, Zeev Rosenstein was arrested in Israel for possession of 700,000 ecstasy tablets in his New York apartment, destined for distribution in the U.S. market. He was ultimately extradited to the United States in 2006, where he is currently serving a 12-year prison sentence. Two other crime figures, Meir Abergil and Israel Ozifa, are also facing U.S. extradition charges on charges that include smuggling 100,000 ecstasy tablets into the United States.
10. (SBU) The prostitution business has also grown beyond the neighborhood brothel. In March 2009, the INP arrested twelve suspects in what is believed to be the largest Israeli-led human trafficking network unearthed to date. Ring leader Rami Saban and his associates were charged with smuggling thousands of women from the former Soviet Union and forcing them to work as prostitutes in Israel, Cyprus, Belgium, and Great Britain. Some women were flown to Egypt and smuggled across the Sinai border by Bedouins.
Law Enforcement Steps up the Pressure -------------------------------------
11. (SBU) After years of perceived inaction, in 2008 the INP created a new unit called Lahav 433. The elite unit operates under the direct command of the police commissioner, and is charged specifically with infiltrating and eliminating Israel's major crime syndicates. Lahav 433 also cooperates closely with district investigative units to combat smaller criminal organizations, many of which are aligned with the larger crime families.
12. (SBU) Following Alperon's assassination, the INP initiated a series of raids that led to the arrests of a number of leading crime figures. Among their targets were Aviv and Adam Abutbul, sons of crime-family head Charlie Abutbul, both charged with possession of illegal weapons. (A third brother, Francois, is already facing murder charges for a nightclub killing in 2004.) Police also arrested gangland figure Amir Mulner for weapons possession and conspiracy to commit a crime. Mulner is known to be an explosives expert by army training, and is a suspect in Yaakov Alperon's murder. He is also believed to be managing affairs for Rosenstein while the latter serves his sentence in the United States.
13. (SBU) Yaakov Alperon's brother Nissim was arrested with 18 others in December 2008, in what was reported to be a "mafia meeting" in a Tel Aviv-area caf. According to the Jerusalem Post, the group may have been planning a revenge attack for his brother's recent assassination. Alperon's son Dror, recently dismissed from his army service for disorderly behavior, also faces several counts of assault and was convicted on extortion charges. Also in December, police in Netanya launched several raids on illegal gambling houses and the homes of suspected money launderers with ties to the crime families. In Ashdod, brothers Roni and David Harari were arrested on charges of extortion. Regional police stuck a blow against the Jerusalem Gang, and convicted its leader Itzik Bar Muha.
Skepticism Hovers Over GOI Efforts ----------------------------------
14. (SBU)xxxxx told conoffs that "thousands of foot soldiers" remain active on the streets despite these aggressive anti-OC operations. He noted that approximately 2,000 people attended Alperon's very public funeral. xxxxx expressed skepticism that recent arrests will bear fruit in the long term without a sustained commitment to enforcement. He noted that many of the crime leaders remain active while in prison and their operations are not hampered significantly even when they are convicted and jailed.
15. (SBU) In December 2008, former Prime Minister Olmert himself admitted that efforts to combat OC have long been diluted among different agencies, and that INP technology lags far behind that allocated to security services for counterterrorism. Given the recent change in government and the current economic crisis, there is public skepticism as to whether GOI promises to remedy the situation will be fulfilled. In 2003, following a failed assassination attempt on Rosenstein, then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon made similar promises to commit manpower and resources to combating the problem.
16. (SBU) It is not entirely clear to what extent OC elements have penetrated the Israeli establishment and corrupted public officials. The INP insists that such instances are rare, despite the occasional revelation of crooked police officers in the press. Nevertheless, there have been several dramatic revelations in recent years that indicate a growing problem. In 2004, former government minister Gonen Segev was arrested for trying to smuggle thousands of ecstasy pills into Israel, a case that produced considerable circumstantial evidence of his involvement in OC. The election of Inbal Gavrieli to the Knesset in 2003 as a member of Likud raised concerns about OC influence in the party's Central Committee. Gavrieli is the daughter of a suspected crime boss, and she attempted to use her parliamentary immunity to block investigations into her father's business. (Gavrieli is no longer a member of the Knesset.) Just last month, Israeli politicos and OC figures came together for the funeral of Likud party activist Shlomi Oz, who served time in prison in the 1990s for extortion on behalf of the Alperon family. Among those in attendance was Omri Sharon, son of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who was himself convicted in 2006 on illegal fundraising charges unrelated to OC.
Courts Testing New Powers --------------------------
17. (SBU) In 2003, the GOI passed anti-OC legislation that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment for heading a criminal organization and three years for working in such an organization. The law defines such a body as a group of people working in an "organized, methodical and ongoing pattern to commit offenses that are defined by the laws of Israel as crimes." The law also allows for property forfeiture, both in the wake of conviction and in cases where it is proven to belong to a criminal organization.
18. (SBU) Until recently, xxxxx, judges and lawyers have been slow to make use of this authority, and are hampered by a lack of resources, insufficient understanding of the tools at their disposal, and reticence to mete out tough sentences. A witness protection program for those who testify against OC is just now getting off the ground, and is not backed by any specific legislation. Nevertheless, on March 16th, a Tel Aviv district court took the important step of sentencing 14 convicted criminals belonging to two mob organizations in Ramle and Jaffa to up to 27 years in prison.
19. (SBU) Increased efforts by Israeli authorities to combat OC have engendered retaliatory threats of violence. Recent press reports indicate that as many as 10 Israeli judges are currently receiving 24-hour protection by the police against the threat of violence from members of crime organizations. Israeli OC appears to be intent on intimidating judges personally, as a way of influencing the legal process. Judges in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa have been assigned police protection, underscoring the depth of the problem.
Israeli Crime Reaches American Shores --------------------------------------
20. (SBU) Israel's multi-ethnic population provides a deep well of opportunity for Israeli OC to expand into new territory. Most Israeli crime families trace their roots to North Africa or Eastern Europe, and many of their Israeli operatives hold foreign passports allowing them to move freely in European countries, most of which participate in the visa waiver program with the United States. Approximately one million Russians moved to Israel following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and Russian citizens no longer require visas to enter Israel. Many Russian oligarchs of Jewish origin and Jewish members of OC groups have received Israeli citizenship, or at least maintain residences in the country. Little is known about the full extent of Russian criminal activity in Israel, but sources in the police estimate that Russian OC has laundered as much as USD 10 billion through Israeli holdings. While most Israeli OC families are native-born and the stereotype that Russian immigrants tend to be mobsters is greatly overblown, indigenous OC groups routinely employ "muscle" from the former Soviet Union.
21. (SBU) The profit motive serves as a great unifier among Israel's diverse demographic groups. According to xxxxx, some Amsterdam-based Hasidic groups allegedly are implicated in international drug smuggling through links to Israeli OC. Arab and Jewish Israeli criminals routinely cooperate and form alliances to expand control of lucrative drug, car theft and extortion rackets. Even hostile and closed borders pose few obstacles to OC groups. According to the INP, 43% of intercepted heroin in 2008 was smuggled from Lebanon, 37% from Jordan, and 12% from Egypt.
Israeli OC Operating Freely in United States ---------------------------------------------
22. (SBU) Given the volume of travel and trade between the United States and Israel, it is not surprising that Israeli OC has also gained a foothold in America. Over the last decade, media reports have detailed a number of high-profile cases involving Israeli OC, ranging from large-scale drug deals to murder. The ongoing Central District of California grand jury investigation against the Abergil family, where a RICO conspiracy case was initiated in December 2007, best demonstrates the full extent of such criminal activity. Investigators have linked Yitzhak Abergil and his entire network to crimes of "embezzlement, extortion, kidnapping, and money laundering." Yitzhak Abergil is currently under arrest in Israel and facing extradition for related charges linking him to the murder of Israeli drug dealer Samy Attias on U.S. soil.
23. (SBU) As part of an ongoing effort to track Israeli OC through media reports and police sources, Post so far has identified 16 families and 78 related individuals who are at the center of Israeli organized criminal activity. The consular section has revoked several visas for those who have been convicted of crimes in Israel, but many OC figures have no prior criminal convictions and carry no visa ineligibilities. As a result, many hold valid nonimmigrant visas to the United States and have traveled freely or attempted to travel for a variety of purposes.
24. (SBU) In March 2009, Post received information from law enforcement authorities that convicted criminal and member of the Abergil organization, Mordechai Yair Hasin, along with his pregnant wife and child, was intending to flee Israel for Los Angeles on valid tourist visas. Hasin's visa was revoked based on his conviction, as were his family's visas after they were determined to be intending immigrants.
25. (SBU) As in the Hasin case, Post is using every available tool to limit OC travel to the United States, but such efforts are not always successful. In June 2008, Post issued Adam Abitbul a valid tourist visa. Abitbul had no prior criminal convictions, and carried no visa ineligibilities. Several months later, Post received information from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) that he had traveled to the United States to carry out a hit. Abitbul returned to Israel prematurely for his father's funeral, at which time Post revoked his visa. (Post can only revoke the visas of Israeli citizens while in country.) In a similar case, in October 2008 Post issued Moshe Bar Muha a tourist visa; he claimed to be traveling for medical treatment. Post subsequently received information from the LAPD that Bar Muha is in fact the brother of Itzik Bar Muha of the Jerusalem Gang (see above) and a convicted criminal.
26. (SBU) As recently as March 2009, Zvika Ben Shabat, Yaacov Avitan, and Tzuri Rokah requested visas to attend a "security-related convention" in Las Vegas. According to local media reports, all three had involvement with OC. Post asked the applicants to provide police reports for any criminal records in Israel, but without such evidence there is no immediate ineligibility for links to OC. Luckily, all three have so far failed to return for continued adjudication of their applications. Nevertheless, it is fair to assume that many known OC figures hold valid tourist visas to the United States and travel freely.
Comment: Israeli OC Slipping Through the Consular Cracks --------------------------------------------- ---------
27. (SBU) Given the growing reach and lethal methods of Israeli OC, blocking the travel of known OC figures to the United States is a matter of great concern to Post. Through collaboration with Israeli and U.S. law enforcement authorities, Post has developed an extensive database and placed lookouts for OC figures and their foot soldiers. Nevertheless, the above visa cases demonstrate the challenges that have arisen since the termination of the Visas Shark in September 2008. Unlike OC groups from the former Soviet Union, Italy, China, and Central America, application of INA 212(a)(3)(A)(ii) against Israeli OC is not specifically authorized per Foreign Affairs Manual 40.31 N5.3. As such, Israelis who are known to work for or belong to OC families are not automatically ineligible for travel to the United States.
Posted by leveymg | Tue Mar 6, 2012, 04:30 PM (0 replies)