By Roger Cottrell, PhD
Lockerbie bombing investigation – Part 4: How Chuck McKee and Monzer al Kasser were erased from the Lockerbie Bombing Story
Throughout this series of articles we have been looking at the background to the Lockerbie bombing of Pan Am 103, on December 21, 1988, and how this criminal conspiracy had its origins in Iran Contra. In particular, we looked at the key role of Monzer al Kasser, the Syrian arms and drug dealer and his sinister career in the secret world that led him to mastermind the bombing of the plane and why.
In the last article, we looked at the bombing itself and how both Chuck McKee and Monzer al Kasser were already being erased from the Lockerbie narrative by the time that Allan Frankovitch made his important but ultimately flawed film, The Maltese Double Cross. In particular, we looked at how Oswald Le Winter, having completely gained the trust of Frankovitch, steered him away from the role of al Kasser, who was an asset of the CIA’s Counter Terrorism Centre, in planning the bombing of the plane,. The motive, as we have seen, was to prevent McKee, his dossier and his material witness reaching the US. In this article we look at how al Kasser was erased from the narrative and also at what happened next.
In fairness to Frankovitch, who was an investigator and filmmaker of some considerable talent, there are important positive aspects to The Maltese Double Cross – in spite of the nefarious role played by Oswald Le Winter. Originally funded by Tiny Rowlands, who had substantial business interests in Libya, Frankovitch’s film succeeded in its primary objective to prove, conclusively, that Abdelbaset al Megrahi and the Gaddafi regime did not bomb the aircraft. In fact, as we shall see, both were framed, in part at least, by the very CIA team dispatched by William Mott, to Lockerbie, to extract McKee’s sansomite suitcase and its contents. As Jeremy Stavenhagen, the lead DOP on The Maltese Double Cross, told this writer, the film had no budget. Allan Frankovitch simply met with Rowlands, on a regular basis, and told him what he needed. Rowlands would then write a cheque on the spot. Many of us would love a producer to work with like that.
Problems with Rowlands emerged only when the team filmed in Libya itself.
This being the early 1990s the film was made on 35mm and, as Frankovitch’s people prepared to leave Tripoli, the security staff at the airport were insisting on opening up the cans of film and examining the contents. To do this would of course expose and ruin the film, making the whole exercise pointless. Rowlands was contacted and flew into Libya in person on his Lear Jet, on which the team returned (with their film intact) to the UK. Clearly, Rowlands had quite a bit of clout with the Libyan authorities.
On the flight back, Rowlands said to Jeremy: “I think the Colonel’s losing it a bit.”
Shortly afterwards, Rowlands sold The Observer to The Guardian and Frankovitch’s project, nearing completion, was in danger of being axed. It was eventually taken up by Channel 4 and remains banned in the US to this day.
Rowlands own career is maybe worth mentioning here by way of footnote as much is often made of the fact that he was interned, as a young man, during World War II. This was because he’d been in the Hitler Youth as, indeed, were all youths living in Germany at the time. There is also evidence that, on this basis, Rowlands worked for MI5 in spooking on the real fascists, such as Oswald Moseley, who were interned with him during the war. Perhaps ironically, the then Director of MI5 had been a supporter of Moseley during the 1930s while Stewart Menzies, then Chief of MI6, had been a member of the pro-appeasement Imperial Protection Group, along with the Duke of Windsor, Lord Halifax and most of the Tory Party leadership at the time.
Menzies had not only helped Franco to return to Spain in 1935 and enabled the sinking of British cargo vessels supplying aid to the Republican side but also spiked a military coup plot against Hitler following the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1938. His postwar role in Franco’s Spain, where socialists and Basques who had helped the British war effort was particularly despicable. Basically, they burned all their anti-fascist assets and handed them over to Franco’s authorities.
What is significant is that most of this pro-Hitler and pro-appeasement lobby, within the British Intelligence community of the time would later resurface as conspirators in the military coup plot against Harold Wilson, as may also have been the case with Rowlands himself. If so, Rowlands’ involvement revolved around his association with Lord Lucan, John Aspinal and Sir James Goldsmith, all of whom used the same casino in London. All were on the extreme Right and Lucan, in particular, was a staunch admirer of Adolf Hitler whose speeches he listened to repeatedly.
After Wilson was forced to resign by then CIA Director George HW Bush the coup plot was abandoned. Both Lord Lucan and Lord Mountbatten, involved in the plot, were later killed. Lucan was first framed for the murder of his nanny and appeared to have absconded from the country – it seemed with the complicity of Aspinal and Rowlands. In fact, Lucan was more likely fed to the animals in John Aspinal’s private zoo. Mountbatten meantime, who was drawn into the military coup plot through his vile activities as a pedophile, was blown up in Sligo in 1979 and the killing falsely accredited to the IRA.
Rio Tinto Zinc had a murky history dating from its close collaboration with Franco’s regime, in Spain, in the 1930s and by the time that The Maltese Double Cross was made, was closely linked to various African autocracies with Soviet connections – including Libya. This reinforced the idea that Rowlands, despite his enormous wealth, was an anti establishment figure, who owned a left of centre newspaper and was the sworn enemy, in particular, of Mohammed al Fayed. Rather ironically, al Fayed, a debauched and deeply corrupt sexual predator who tried to buy his way into the British establishment, was the brother in law of the equally debauched Saudi playboy, Adnan Karshoggi, who was Monzer al Kasser’s business partner in the Iran Contra conspiracy. Perhaps just as ironically, Oswald Le Winter would later try to extort £40 million out of al Fayed by falsely claiming Princess Di had been assassinated by MI6.
On the eve of Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in August, 1990, a journalist called Farzad Bazoft, who worked for The Observer, was arrested on espionage charges in Iraq and murdered by Saddam Hussein’s regime. Bazoft had exposed the sale of components for the Iraqi “Babylon” Supergun, designed by Gerard Bull who was also executed either by British Intelligence or MOSSAD. The components were sold by British companies such as Astra Holdings and Matrix Churchill, whose management (later arrested) honestly believed they were working for MI6 in monitoring Saddam’s weapons program. Saddam was also procuring nuclear weapons components through a Chilean arms dealer called Carlos Cardeon, who also arranged the murder of MI6 agent John Garnett, in Santiago, roughly a week before Saddam rolled his T-72s into Kuwait in August 1990
As we’ve already seen, in this series of articles, the covert arming of Iran’s war effort, following Saddam’s invasion of the country, began as early as 1980, on the back of October Surprise. To this end fake Israeli end users were provided by Rafi Eitan and the original arms dealers involved were Cyrus Hashemi and Adnan Karshoggi. However, as footage featuring Donald Rumsfeld reveals, the Americans were also openly arming Saddam Hussein at the same time, via firms including Glencore and the Israeli arms dealer Avi Ben Menashe, both of whom were later involved in arming various dictators and genocides from Africa to Burma up to the present time.
In a chilling precursor to the West’s current and highly duplicitous policy on Ukraine, it seemed that the West, led by the US, were prepared to arm both sides in the theatrical holocaust that was the Iran-Iraq conflict so long as neither side could actually win. In much the same way the West, and particularly the British government under Johnson and Truss, have more recently accepted the Russian’s partition of Ukraine but are happy to perpetuate the conflict in order to procure arms sales and a stake in Ukraine’s postwar reconstruction. Like much else in contemporary warfare this strategy seems to have its origins in the 1980s, in the Middle East.
In 1986, the turning point in the Iran-Iraq conflict that spelt the final death knell for Iran-Contra was where the Iranians seized the Fao Peninsula and started winning the war.
The Saudi-US Covenant and the Iran-Iraq War
The Saudi-US covenant of 1974 had gone to the heart of US Foreign Policy for over a decade before George HW Bush, former CIA Director, succeeded Ronald Reagan as President in 1988. Bush, a Texas oil man whose family had collaborated with Hitler before (and possibly during) World War II, and who were directly involved in the Bay of Pigs debacle, was also heavily connected to the Bin Laden dynasty, in Saudi Arabia, in a highly corrupt way. Given the influence of the Saudis on US foreign policy, as further alluded to by former CIA agent Robert Baer, there was no way that Bush was going to countenance Iran emerging from the conflict as the dominant power in the Persian Gulf
Into this mix came also the British government, beholden to the CIA over the Falklands war and up to its neck in Iran-Contra, much of which was based in the UK.. Now, however, Margaret Thatcher signed the al Yamamah arms deal with the Saudis, then the biggest arms deal in British history. Mired in corruption, and with allegations that it was lubricated by Britain’s Deep State pedophile ring, this was the deal that would make Thatcher’s son, Mark, worth £60 million.
What is self evident is that arms to Iraq grew out of al Yamamah and was initially sanctioned by both the British and US governments, every bit as much as Iran-Contra had been. Kuwaiti and other Gulf Arab freighters were reflagged and the Gulf of Hormuz heavily militarized, providing the context for the shooting down of Iran Airbus 655. Veteran journalist Carl Bernstein also revealed, in The Washington Post, how the CIA launched a spy satellite to provide Saddam with intelligence on Iranian troop movements. When Saddam formed the Arab Cooperation Council in the aftermath of the war, in 1989, it must have been obvious both to Langley and MI6 that it was an arms procurement network as it could not possibly have performed any other function – a fact I pointed out in an article in Workers Press at the time.
Small wonder, when US ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, said that the US had no interest in any “territorial dispute between Iraq and Kuwait,” and both Kuwait and the UAE exceeded OPEC oil quotas (while demanding war debts from Iraq) Saddam invaded Kuwait. Not only was Kuwait, historically, part of Iraq in any case but the Americans (and Glaspie in particular) had given Saddam every reason to believe that his former allies in the West would allow him to get away with it.
Indeed, it seems that the Western governments only got concerned about arms to Iraq when Saddam started to procure nuclear weapons materials, perhaps (in part) through AQ Khan’s network that we will return to at a later point. As Bazoft revealed, they were also procuring components for the Babylon “Supergun,” designed by Gerard Bull, at this time. The management of Matrix-Churchill, who were subsequently arrested, worked for MI6 at the time and honestly believed that they were monitoring Iraqi weapons procurement with the sanction of Britain’s secret state. Without doubt, the West initiated the sale of WMD to the Iraqi regime.
Around the same time, from about 1987, some 22 people working in the UK Defence industries were murdered according to Tony Collins of Computer World. Many of these were Asian Muslims who may have been suspected of passing high tech weapon technology to Iraq, through the ACC.
Whatever the reason why the West turned against Saddam, from around 1989, it certainly wasn’t because of the gassing of the Kurds, at Halabja – an atrocity that received very little criticism from the West. Indeed, as Robert Fisk pointed out, the Iraqi war machine had been gassing Iranian troops and civilians for nearly a decade with nary a peep out of the West.
Now, as later revealed in The Guardian, someone in the West tipped off Saddam that Farzad Bazoft was working on the story for Tiny Rowlands Observer and he was arrested and tortured in Iraq. To make matters worse the Tory MP for Torbay, Rupert Allasson, a further Right wing extremist who likes to think he’s an intelligence expert, claimed that Bazoft was working for MI6 when the journalist was still alive! Ergo Allasson, who also defended the presence of actual fascists in his local Conservative Association, was complicit in Bazoft’s death.
Tiny Rowlands appeared understandably furious and responded accordingly. However, I remain suspicious as to who tipped the Iraqis off regarding Bazoft’s important investigative activities – a point I made in an interview for BBC Radio Devon at the time…
All of this played into the narrative of Rowlands being “one of the good guys,” at the critical point at which Allan Frankovitch was asked to make The Maltese Double Cross, despite Rowlands’ murky background that now seemed somehow airbrushed from history. By all accounts the relationship between Frankovitch and Rowlands was cordial enough – until Rowlands inexplicably pulled the plug on the project. That Frankovitch brought in Le Winter to work on the film, given his previous involvement in the GLADIO documentary for BBC’s Timewatch, was accepted as a given, but it’s also clear that Le Winter was spying on Frankovitch.
To this day, Jeremy Stavenhagen retains something of a soft spot for Le Winter and resolutely refuses to believe that Rowlands was involved in the military coup plot against Harold Wilson.
Despite the trust that Allan Frankovitch placed in Le Winter and (as benefactor) Tiny Rowlands, he was a journalist of some ability and never simply a dupe or hack. As previously stated, Frankovitch insisted on his information being confirmed by at least two independent sources and the first person ever interviewed for the film was Lester Coleman, the DIA whistleblower, at a fishing village in Portugal.
It was largely thanks to Coleman that Frankovitch was able to identify how controlled drug shipments were taking place out of Lebanon, with the complicity of the compromised DEA station in Nicosia run by Mike Hurley, which were passing through Frankfurt airport to Detroit. This led Coleman to deduce that the controlled shipments, and baggage handlers at Frankfurt Airport who were involved, were wittingly or unwittingly used to smuggle the Toshiba cassette bomb, manufactured by Marwan Khreesat, on board the plane. This is not true, however, and it’s at this point that Coleman starts to get things wrong. For example, he rightly identifies Jibril’s PFLP-GC as being involved in the plot to bomb multiple US aircraft out of Frankfurt in revenge for Iran Airbus 655 in October 1988 but was wrong to believe that they were actually behind the Lockerbie bombing itself.
Coleman also doesn’t deduce that Operation Autumn Leaves was set up by the Counter Terrorism Centre of the CIA as a sting operation to smear Iran, embarrass the West German government and secure a leadership succession in the European PFLP-GC that was to Duane Clarridge’s liking. In addition, in an affidavit he signed for Pan Am lawyers, Coleman completely misunderstood what Khaled Jaafar was up to when he discovered the young Lebanese rummaging through files in the DEA offices in Nicosia. Coleman seems convinced that Jaafar was involved in the conspiracy to bomb Pan Am 103, in some way, even though he was a victim and actually travelling with both Chuck McKee and Frank Mathew Gannon on the same plane. In fact, as we have seen, Jaafar was working with Chuck McKee against Monzer al Kasser and his corrupt contacts in the CIA and DEA.
What is interesting here is that several years before Frankiovich started making his film, investigative journalist legend Roy Rowan had written an important article in Time magazine that identified Chuck McKee as the target of the Lockerbie bombing and mentioned al Kasser by name. It is widely believed that Lester Coleman was one of the sources for this information and, in 1991, he wrote his own book on the subject, Trail of the Octopus that is still banned in the US. This was a good few years before Frankiovich started to make his film so the connection between Lockerbie, Chuck McKee and Monzer al Kasser was already well and truly established in the public domain. The only reason I can deduce, from speaking to Jeremy Stavenhagen, why none of this is mentioned in The Maltese Double Cross, is that Frankovitch was deliberately steered clear of this line of inquiry by Oswald Le Winter.
After Coleman was more or less identified as the source of Roy Rowan’s story, and journalist Danny Casselaro was murdered by Robert Booth Nichols in Washington State, Coleman was asked by his DIA handlers to procure a fake passport for a mission. He was then immediately arrested for possession of false documents, managed to abscond and fled to Sweden. Here, he became the first US citizen to be granted political asylum in Sweden since the Vietnam War. Coleman’s story, however, doesn’t end there.
No sooner had Coleman dared even to appear in Frankovitch’s film, and while the film doesn’t even mention Chuck McKee or Monzer al Kasser, than Mark Porter produced a hatchet job on Coleman in the Sunday Express. As Porter wouldn’t even know where to start on an investigative story of this kind it’s clear that his source was Professor Paul Wilkinson of St Andrews College, deeply connected to MI5. What is ironic is that Coleman’s premise, and that of Frankovitch, was still that the PFLP-GC had bombed Pan Am 103 as revenge for Iran Airbus 655, basically as continuation of the plot foiled in Germany in 1988 and that they were operating on behalf of Damascus and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Lebanon.
To his credit, Frankovitch never claimed that the Iranian government ordered the bombing. By contrast, while smearing Coleman, Porter’s article never referred to the Syrians but did accuse both the Libyan and Iranian governments of direct complicity in the bombing of Pan Am 103 which was certainly the position that Wilkinson was pushing at the time.
Eventually, Coleman returned to the US to serve his sentence during which time the prison authorities tried to kill him by giving him the wrong medication. He has since died in Beirut where he had a Lebanese Christian wife.
The second source for Roy Rowan’s article in Time is widely believed to have been Juval Aviv, an Israeli security specialist who was once the bodyguard for Golda Meyer. Later involved in Operation Gideon’s Wrath, he is almost certainly the template for the fictional protagonist in Stephen Spielberg’s movie, Munich, artistically one of Speilberg’s best films, but one that barely scratches the surface of what MOSSAD’s targeted assassination program in Europe was all about in the 1970s. Nominally the targeted killings were revenge for the particularly sadistic murder of 11 Israeli athletes in the Olympic village, Munich, in 1972. In fact, as the film hints, it was more about murdering Palestinian leaders ahead of the European Union’s recognition of the PLO.
In all fairness, Spielberg’s film does admit that at least one of the perpetrators in the Munich killing (later killed himself in Lebanon in 1979) was a protected CIA asset. Spielberg’s reasoning as to the motive for this protection, however, is actually quite feeble. According to Spielberg it was in order to ensure that US military bases in Europe were never attacked. In fact, aside from Dalkomini’s PFLP-GC, no Palestinian group ever attacked a US military base in Europe. More to the point, the CIA’s involvement, or that of its assets, in the Munich atrocity is far darker and deeper than Spielberg’s film suggests. For example, as Stern magazine later revealed, Willie Prol, the German Neo Nazi who armed the Munich terrorists, was himself a CIA asset later connected to Abu Nidal. Much more likely, and much like the Achille Lauro hijack in 1985, the purpose of this false-flag atrocity was to discredit the PLO in the context of growing European support for the Palestinian cause.
Whatever the truth, and much as in the film, Juval Aviv broke with the Israeli assassination program and moved to New York, where he worked as a security consultant. And it was in this capacity, again working for Pan Am, that he identified al Kasser as a perpetrator in the bombing conspiracy and Chuck McKee as the target. After this, the sky started to fall in for Juval Aviv. His offices were burgled and he was falsely accused of tax evasion and fraud. The authorities did anything and everything they could to destroy his reputation, his job and his life.
This pattern continues to repeat itself throughout the Lockerbie story. When Ian Ferguson mentioned Chuck McKee’s name as a possible target on board Pan Am 103, on BBC Radio Firth, the studios were raided by the Special Branch, Since then, a great deal of effort has gone into erasing both McKee and al Kasser from the Lockerbie narrative and this is something we will return to shortly.. In the meantime, and at its simplest, just try looking for Roy Rowan’s original article on Lockerbie, on line, and you will not find it any more than you would find Simon Regan’s Scallywag articles about the British Deep State pedophile network in the UK.
At its simplest, these articles have been taken down and that tells its own story.
Beyond the Maltese Double Cross
Since Frankovitch made The Maltese Double Cross there have been other documentaries on Lockerbie particularly on Al Jazeera or ZD, made between 2011 and 2014. As much as Frankovitch’s film these refute, correctly, that Abdelbaset al Megrahi and the Libyans had anything to do with the bombing of Pan Am 103. None however, and without exception, make any reference to Chuck McKee or Monzer al Kasser. Moreover, while Frankovitch believed that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Lebanon had commissioned the PFLP-GC plot to bomb multiple aircraft out of Frankfurt, in revenge for Iran Airbus 655, the subsequent narratives have gone much further by implicating the Iranian government itself.
It is important to understand how this has come about.
Most of these subsequent documentaries have involved some of the lobby journalists who were briefed by Paul Channon at the Garrick Club, in London, in April 1989. All were told by Channon, then the Transport Secretary, that the Syrian regime was behind the bombing. This at least made sense, even though it wasn’t true, insofar that a Syrian agent had indeed used his pregnant Irish girlfriend to try and bomb an El Al flight out of Heathrow in 1986. In other words, the Syrian regime had “previous” for this sort of thing. In addition, Jibril’s PFLP-GC, who were indeed drawn (by the CTC) into the multiple plane bombing conspiracy at Frankfurt in October 1988 were based in Damascus and were effectively guns for hire for the Syrian Ba’athist regime.
Channon was immediately sacked from the Cabinet by Margaret Thatcher, on instruction from George HW Bush, for trying to implicate the Syrian regime in the Lockerbie bombing.
At this time the Rome based Vincent Cannistraro, a confederate of Oliver North and sworn enemy of Oswald Le Winter, was also pushing the narrative that both Libya and Iran were involved in the bombing that had indeed been carried out (he claimed) by the PFLP-CG. Significantly, he too made no reference to Damascus. Cannistraro was closely linked to Duane Clarridge and the CTC and his narrative was quickly taken up by his media contacts. This was also the narrative that was being pushed by Cannistraro’s media contacts, including David Leppard on Rupert Murdoch’s Times.
Following Channon’s dismissal, Cannistraro changed his tune. So too, did David Leppard and he was later mocked by Paul Foot, in Private Eye, as “the Leppard who changed his spots,” accordingly.
By now, it wasn’t only Cannistraro, and David Leppard, who were pushing the narrative that the Libyans were exclusively responsible for the Lockerbie bombing. Certainly from 1991, Robert Mueller and the FBI made it quite clear that they were following no other line of enquiry. Of course, by now, the FBI’s investigation was being based on falsified evidence and information that was actually being provided by Cannistraro and the CIA.
All of this was good news for Monzer al Kasser.
Meanwhile, if Cannistraro and Leppard had abandoned any talk of an Iranian connection to the bombing of Pan Am 103, Professor Paul Wilkinson at St Andrews University did not. Neither, therefore, did Mark Porter at the Sunday Express. Indeed, in the context of his hatchet job on Lester Coleman in 1994, Porter was still pushing the line that both the Libyans and Iranians were involved in the Lockerbie bombing.
Moving on, former CIA agent Robert Baer had acted as a defence witness for Abdelbaset al Megrahi at Camp Zeist in 2001. To his credit, Baer was one of the first people to admit that Islamic Jihad, in Lebanon, actually didn’t exist when it was falsely accused of the embassy bombings and abductions in Beirut. At Camp Zeist, Baer said that “everyone at the CIA knew that Iran was behind the bombing of Pan Am 103.” There is a problem here, however, not least in that this definitely wasn’t the position argued by Clarridge, Cannistraro and the CIA at the time. By his own admission Baer, who is fictionally represented by George Clooney in the movie, Syriana, is not a former CIA whistle-blower but still works in collaboration with his former employees at Langley. All of his books, many of which are actually rather good, are vetted by the CIA and it’s doubtful that he would publicly say much of which the Agency did not approve or that at least wouldn’t upset them too much.
Perhaps Baer really believes the Iranians were behind the bombing but Phil Agee or Ed Snowden he isn’t.
By far the most important individual involved in shifting blame, for Pan Am 103, to the Iranian government itself is Abolghassen Moshabi, the former head of Iranian intelligence in Europe, who defected to the German BKA and later to the CIA. As Tehran’s chief spook in Europe he was complicit in the murder of several Kurdish dissidents in Germany, linked to the PUK, and this is probably how he came into contact with the BKA in the first place. The complicity of the German secret police in the Iranian murder of Kurdish dissidents, in Germany, was exposed in Stern magazine in the early 1990s.
Historically, all defectors have tended to tell their handlers what they wanted to hear, with this being the case from Goytsin to Godiefsky to “Curveball” – also a BKA asset. As such they have delivered lies to serve agendas on everything from Harold Wilson and Michael Foot’s alleged Soviet links (claims that were completely false) to “Curveball’s” lies about Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. None of them are credible sources and neither is Moshabi, when it comes to the Lockerbie bombing.
Indeed, as we shall see, he is very much the “Curveball” of our time.
The most recent documentary Moshabi was involved in, in 2014, had al Jazeera door-stepping Marwan Khreesat in Amman when the real person who needed door-stepping over Lockerbie is Mohammed Abu Talb in Sweden. Khreesat, the bomb maker and Jordanian agent who actually tipped off the German authorities, and was released from custody, duly responded to al Jazeera’s door-stepping on Facebook. Here, he said he would reveal the truth of Lockerbie to the world.
Shortly afterwards, Khreesat died under suspicious circumstances in Amman.
The Fit Up – and the Deal in the Desert
In regards to the shift in the Lockerbie narrative, from Libya to Iran, context is everything. In 2001, Abdelbaset al Megrahi was convicted by a juryless court on the basis of dubious and fabricated evidence. The bomb fragment planted by William Mott’s CIA team at the Lockerbie bomb site has since been proven to be a fake. One of the witnesses, who claimed to have seen Megrahi buying shirts in a Maltese boutique, was paid $2 million by the FBI to do so. By anyone’s reasoning this stinks. However, it also saw Gaddafi, who had no love for Islamic fundamentalism, eager to do some kind of deal with the West and he even paid compensation to the family of WPC Yvonne Fletcher – effectively confessing to yet another crime that the Libyan state didn’t actually commit.
Gaddafi’s real opportunity came with the 9/11 attacks and subsequent war on terror. The first thing Gaddafi did was to open up his torture chambers to the CIA and MI6 while entering into negotiations with BP about offshore oil and gas exploitation in the Gulf of Sirtre. Gaddafi remembered that in 1973-74 he precipitated the oil crisis that followed an October War with Israel in which Libya played no military role – but that the main beneficiaries of that oil crisis were the Saudi Arabians. As a brilliant article in Bloomberg reveals, it was Richard Nixon who deployed David Simon’s to the Kingdom to secure a deal that would shape the US economy and foreign policy for generations and which Robert Baer refers to as the US-Saudi Covenant.
Under the covenant, the Saudis would invest their oil revenues in the US and lay the foundation for much of the personal corruption involving the Bush political dynasty. They would also buy infrastructure from the US and its closest allies followed by arms – a lot of arms. Significantly, al Yamamah was a bi-product of this as, perversely, was the arms-to-Iraq scandal. Then the biggest arms deal in British history al Yamamah was mired in corruption that may have involved the Deep State pedophile ring. It made Mark Thatcher personally wealthy to the tune of £60 million.
Now, Gaddafi wanted a covenant of his own and the so called “deal in the desert” was the result. In exchange, Tony Blair released Abdelbaset al Megrahi (who was dying) from prison in Scotland, on humanitarian grounds, but the British government never overturned the unsafe conviction at Camp Zeist. Gaddafi now talked about privatizing some of his industries, offering opportunities for Western investment and his son was allowed to purchase a PhD from the London School of Economics, as Gulf Arab brats had been doing from British Universities since the 1980s.
What nobody knew at this point was that, as part of this covenant, Qaddafi also planned to establish a Pan African currency based on Libyan oil reserves.
Significantly, when Lindsey Hilsen of Channel 4 News arrived in Tripoli, during the revolution and war in Libya, one of the first things that she noticed was that Halburton and all the “usual suspects” from the Green Zone in Baghdad were already established in Tripoli, under Gaddafi.
Shortly afterwards, The Guardian revealed how the CIA and MI6 were operating torture facilities in Libya and had been since the war on terror began.
When Gaddafi signed a deal with Hugo Chavez of Venezuela to limit oil production in 2008, thereby raising the price of oil, this was not to the liking of western governments but was hardly enough to make them contemplate regime change – at least in Libya. The fact that Gaddafi was about to launch a Pan African currency was a different matter, however, and especially to the French, who still control the national reserves of at least 14 countries in Francophone Africa.
Ironically, Gaddafi had part financed the election of the deeply corrupt Nicholas Sarkozy, as President, in France.
In contrast to the ridiculous claims e.g. of Russia Today and other Kremlin financed sites the Arab Spring was no more a “CIA plot” than the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, in 2014, that overthrew corrupt autocrat Viktor Yanukovitch. All the revolutions that formed part of the Arab Spring were authentic and that in Benghazi was no exception. Inspired by the revolutions elsewhere in the Arab world it built on the fact that a previous insurrection had been bloodily suppressed, in 1996, also in Benghazi, after which there were mass exterminations in the Libyan prison system. What is important to remember, in the context of what happened next, and of British government claims to support the Ukrainians today, is that British firms were still exporting weapons to Libya when Qaddafi’s tanks were already in the suburbs of Benghazi.
The insurgency that followed had precious little to do with the Arab Spring itself for all that some of the insurgents were former democracy activists. Others were Islamic Fundamentalists, including those once funded by the CIA, who had little or no love for the Arab Spring. Now, according to a remarkable article that was buried in the business pages of The Guardian, a group of Benghazi businessmen who also had nothing to do with the Arab Spring travelled to London to meet with Tory Party official and “fixer” Christian Sweeting, who introduced the Benghazi team to Tony Buckingham of Executive Outcomes.
Executive Outcomes is a corporate mercenary outfit from South Africa, largely consisting of ex South African Special Forces, that acquired particular notoriety (alongside Sandlines, later Aegis, later Garda World) in Africa’s first blood diamond war in Sierra Leone in the 1990s. Executive Outcomes fight for mineral concessions and have a subsidiary called Heritage Oil. Under the deal brokered by Sweeting their mercenaries would lead insurgent forces in Eastern Libya in an assault towards Tripoli in the West. These were supported by NATO air cover.
To start with, according to cabinet documents leaked to The Guardian, the majority of Cameron’s government seemed happy to accept a partitioned Libya to perhaps salvage something of Blair’s “deal in the desert.” After all, if the British backed insurgents ended up controlling the east of the country, and Qaddafi was replaced by his son, then they would still control oil exports through Tobruk. In a BBC Panorama documentary on the subject, a Libyan insurgent complained that the air support thinned out the further West they got. But the French in particular were having nothing of it.
Now, a second front was opened out of Tunisia, in the West of the country, mainly backed by the UAE. NATO then escalated its offensive by bombing the man made river project that supplied 70% of Libya’s water supply. As an important article on the Counterpunch website pointed out, at the time, this was a war crime that served no military purpose. Indeed, while the water pipeline was being trashed a nearby air to surface battery in Briga was left untouched.
As with Saddam, nobody in their right mind should shed a bitter tear for Qaddafi but NATO’s objective now went way beyond “regime change.” As with the “shock and awe” in Iraq, which Donald Rumsfeld and his advisors had been planning since 1996, the objective was now to completely smash Libya’s infrastructure, to dismantle the state and loot both Libya’s resources and services. Above all, the purpose of this “creative destruction” was to provide business opportunities for western investors while ensuring that no African leader ever talked about a Pan African currency ever again.
And this is exactly what is happening, now, in Ukraine, with the caveat that it is Putin who is doing most of the dirty work, destroying most of the infrastructure, amidst horrific war crimes on a scale unseen in Europe – even including Bosnia – since World War II. Bought and paid for by dirty Oligarch money, the British Tory government in particular has actually accepted the partition of Ukraine as a fait accompli. Meanwhile, they provide just enough weapons and logistical support to perpetuate the conflict but not enough to turn that conflict, in the East of the country, in Kyiv’s favour. This guarantees arms sales but also, by posing as the friend of Ukraine, a British stake in the country’s IMF imposed reconstruction, with lucrative contracts awarded particularly to the cronies of the Tories.
In Iraq, Tony Blair acted as the sales rep for an illegal war only to see the Americans get the lion’s share of the contracts. In Libya, with the deal in the desert in ruins, western carpet baggers lost out the moment that Khalifa Hafter, supported by the Kremlin and Russian mercenaries, seized control of the oil terminal at Tobruk. Johnson and his likely successor, Liz Truss, herself bought and paid for by Jacob Rees Mogg, are determined that this time they will be the first with their snouts in the trough, availing of Volovsky’s ban on trade unions and strikes, and suppression of workers’ rights, to guarantee making a financial killing out of a genocide.
The drumbeat of war
During the war in Libya David Cameron, who had worked in PR before becoming a politician, resurrected the fiction that the Libyan regime had been involved in the Lockerbie bombing but this claim has little currency now that Qaddafi is dead, his regime destroyed and the entire country is in ruins. By contrast, following the bloody suppression of the Arab Spring in Syria, and the ISIS insurgency in Iraq, the position of Iran in the Persian Gulf is geo-strategically stronger than it has ever been. This, as we shall now see, is decisive to why blame for the Lockerbie bombing is being systematically shifted to Iran.
Inevitably, the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime strengthened the position of Iran as potentially the major regional power in the Persian Gulf. Under the al Malaki government in Baghdad, however, this position was considerably enhanced by the defeat of ISIS, by the Popular Mobilisation Units, in which the Iranians played a key role. Effectively, the Iranians now have control of a state within a state in Iraq. Together with Putin, they also played a key role in keeping Bashir Asad in power, in Syria, once the Arab Spring there was bloodily suppressed.
This was not a situation that would be tolerated by Saudi Arabia and its allies for long.
Already, Wiki-leaks had revealed the existence of a developing Israeli-Saudi Axis whose objective remains war with Iran. Evidence to support this claim was meantime provided by several targeted assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists, mostly by MOSSAD. When Donald Trump was elected President of the US, ironically with the support and collusion of the Kremlin and its agents, he made it pretty clear that he would endorse such an axis in a future conflict with Iran and showed his support for such a project by scrapping the Iran nuclear deal.
Trump’s support for the Israeli-Saudi Axis endured beyond the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Karshoggi which he basically endorsed. He moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on the very anniversary of the Nakba, igniting protests in the Gaza Strip (the world’s biggest open prison) in which 100 Palestinians were murdered.
What was significant, here, was that neither Saudi Arabia nor the UAE condemned Israel’s actions, with this applying to their various allies and puppet regimes in the Arab World. Neither, for that matter, did Putin, who’s Oligarchs enjoy a corrupt and comfortable lifestyle in Israel itself. Shortly afterwards, these regimes all started to recognize Israel, which promptly annexed East Jerusalem in response. While Sudan’s vile autocracy was removed from the US list of terrorist states precisely because it recognized Israel, Israeli fascists ran amok in the country proclaiming “death to Arabs.”
Britain’s role in this process was even more venal and the government had little, if anything, to say about the gruesome murder of Kashoggi, on instruction from Mohammed bin Salman himself, in the Saudi embassy in Turkey. Under David Cameron, Britain hadn’t only armed Saudi Arabia’s bloody suppression of the Arab Spring both in Bahrain and Saudi itself, it had been an active participant in the repression – particularly in Bahrain. This had been subject to a media blackout as, indeed, was Britain’s subsequent involvement in the Saudi led genocide in Yemen, also largely unreported in the West.
Indeed, it was the reporting of this very genocide that led to Jamal Karshoggi’s murder.
As Trump’s Kremlin financed stunt double, corruptly in the pockets of Russian Oligarchs and Rees-Mogg’s European Research Group, Boris Johnson continued Cameron and May’s policy towards Saudi Arabia and its crimes with a vengeance. He also did his own bit to escalate a conflict with Iran. When British Iranian born journalist Nazazin Radcliffe was arrested in Iran it was Johnson, as Foreign Secretary, who falsely stated that she was “training journalists” in the country.
No matter how stupid Boris Johnson might be he must have known what the consequences of this statement would be. In 1989, Rupert Allasson falsely outed Frazad Bazoft as an MI6 agent, and signed his death warrant in Iraq, to bury evidence of British complicity in the arming of Saddam Hussein’s regime. In 2016, Boris Johnson made damned sure that Mrs Radcliffe rotted in an Iranian prison to deliberately prepare for war with Iran.
Ironically, I took an immediate dislike to Jamal Kashoggi when I met him in Exeter in the late 1980s, banging the drum for the Afghan Mujaheddine of which he was an enthusiastic supporter. This, after all, was the man who arranged Robert Fiske’s interview (twice) of Osama bin Laden, whom he always referred to as “brother Osama.” As a student at Exeter University and member of the WRP I, of course, supported the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan and continue to do so to this day. To amplify the matter Kashoggi was, of course, related to Adnan Kashoggi, the debauched business partner of Monzer al Kasser and an integral part of the Saudi establishment. Up until his death, Jamal Kashoggi continued to support the existence of the Saudi Royal Family and thus the most venal and disgusting regime on the face of this planet.
The point to be made here is that if someone like Kashoggi starts condemning human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia then things must be really bad. In much the same way, precisely because of his justification of the Saudi regime’s very existence, Jamal Kashoggi’s exposure of Saudi war crimes in Yemen carried some clout, especially when they appeared in The Washington Post. It was for this reason that he was murdered in a particularly horrific way and it’s been open season on journalists, across the planet, ever since.
The Current Situation
When Joe Biden succeeded Trump as US President there seemed to be a window of opportunity that US led Foreign Policy in the Middle East might improve. Biden did temporarily suspend arms sales both to Saudi Arabia and the UAE for all that his support for Israel’s Apartheid State, and its crimes, remained steadfast. The game changer here, for Biden, has been the war in Ukraine while for Britain’s singularly corrupt government it has been business as usual where Saudi crimes are concerned. Both Jamal Karshoggi’s murder and the genocide in Yemen that formed its back-drop have been forgotten by the US administration while Britain’s complicity in the latter continues relentless on the watch of Boris Johnson and his anointed successor, Liz Truss. Both are completely in the pockets of Jacob Rees-Mogg and his European Research Group, closely aligned to the corrupt activities of Rees Mogg’s Somerset Holdings.
Ergo, in exchange for Saudi Arabia’s obscene rehabilitation and for British complicity in the Yemen genocide itself, rich Emiratis and Saudis are being afforded a similar role in Britain’s corrupt offshore financial network, which is the biggest money laundering operation on the planet, that was previously afforded to Putin supporting Oligarchs and by which BREXIT and the final death of British democracy was bankrolled. This will of course come with similar strings of political influence and it is small wonder, in this context, that Roberto Saviano has described Britain as the most corrupt country in Western Europe.
Confirmation that both Biden and the UK government are still preparing for war with Iran exists insofar that the CIA’s Directorate of Operations continues to fund the Iranian terrorist group, the MeK, which is based in Albania. These forces continue to be led by British and US Special Forces (or mercenary contractors which amounts to the same thing) in conducting terrorist attacks in Iran itself. This is precisely what KMS were doing in Nicaragua in 1984-85.
Meanwhile, it is in this context that Mesbahi’s claims regarding the Lockerbie bombing must be understood. These claims, that the Iranian government was directly involved in the bombing of Pan Am 103, first appeared in Quick magazine in Germany, and have since been reproduced in the documentaries both for al Jazeera and ZDF that are described above.
Given Mesbahi’s new role as the “Curveball” of our time, all such claims must be regarded with suspicion and carry a health warning accordingly.
Monzer al Kasser – the invisible man
From 1991 there were a number of reasons why the CIA continued to protect Monzer al Kasser, not all of which involved the framing of Abdelbaset al Megrahi for the Lockerbie bombing, of which al Kasser was the actual mastermind. Why, for example, would the CIA help undermine the charges of piracy that were leveled against al Kasser, in the Spanish courts, for his role in masterminding the Achille Lauro hijack of 1985? As we shall see, these charges collapsed under controversial circumstances that are described below, in 1994.
What is particularly astonishing in this context is what al Kasser subsequently got up to during this particular five year time frame. From 1989, for example, the controlled drug shipments through Frankfurt airport and the FIDCO operation that Booth Nichols set up in Lebanon were both shut down. BCCI was also investigated, and itself subsequently shut down, for reasons we will consider in due course. For a time, thanks once more to Robert Booth Nichols, the Columbian Cali Cartel was able to launder their drug revenues through MCA records in the US. Once again, the Gambino Mafia Family played a role here. However, MCA was already under investigation by the FBI and up for sale to the Japanese.
It was then that al Kasser, who had helped Booth Nichols set up BCCI’s black unit in 1977, stepped in and brokered a deal between the Cali Cartel and the Russian Tampov Mafia, closely linked to Vladimir Putin, whom John Banks (an admirer of Putin) claims to have actually met during this period. Under a deal that is heavily fictionalized in the BBC TV series, McMafia, the Tampov group agreed to launder the drug revenues in and through Russia, so long as the Cali Cartel agreed not to sell drugs in Russia itself. Inevitably, much of this drug money would end up in Britain’s offshore banking network, already fast becoming the biggest money laundering operation on the planet, with Drexel, Jeffrey Epstein, Robert Maxwell and Donald Trump’s corrupt business empire all in the mix.
Monzar al Kasser also arranged the purchase of a Soviet era military submarine by the Cali Cartel at this time.
That the CIA would protect such a criminal conspiracy is perhaps not surprising as, under the pretext of George HW Bush’s “war on drugs,” Cali Cartel revenues were used to finance Right wing death squads in Columbia known as the AUC. These targeted both Pablo Escobar’s Medellin Cartel and the FARC guerillas to which they were increasingly connected. In this way, the so called “war on drugs” (that was nothing of the sort) was indeed the precursor to the war on terror as admirably described e.g. by Jeremy Scahill.
In this context it is worth remembering that al Kasser’s bodyguard and confident, the celebrity mercenary Dave Tomkins, was involved in two (unsuccessful) attempts to murder Escobar during this time. This is to say that Monzer al Kasser, an arch rival of Escobar’s, was involved in at least two attempts on the Medellin bosses’ life at this time. It’s also worth noting how, while Escobar is a household name and featured in more than one TV biopic, hardly anyone has heard of Monzer al Kasser, for all that Forbes magazine once described him as the 50th most powerful man on the planet.
Monzer al Kasser’s nefarious activities during this period hardly end there, however, as we shall see when we look more closely at his role in the AQ Khan affair and Balkan conflict. Also in 1994, on July 18, and around the time that his trial collapsed in Spain, al Kasser was linked to the horrific bombing of the AMIA Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires, described as one of the worst anti-Semitic attacks since World War II. As with the US embassy bombing in Beirut, in 1983, that al Kasser also masterminded, this was accredited to the non-existent “Islamic Jihad” – a ghost organization of al Kasser’s creation.
As for the motive behind this atrocity, and the involvement of the Cali Cartel in it, this is unclear. However, the atrocity has since been resurrected by a Right wing journalist, in a film for Netflix, in a clear attempt to discredit the government of Cristina Fernandez Del Kirchner, at a time when she was still standing up to the IMF (and the US) over austerity.
A couple of years ago I was involved in a project with the Hollywood Director Sean Stone (son of Oliver Stone) on the AMIA bombing atrocity that was, at least in part, a rejoinder to the project then being made by Netflix. In the end my involvement came to nothing in part because my e-mail was hacked. Perhaps more important, I had continued to condemn Putin for human rights abuses, for his role in supporting BREXIT, the Tories and European fascists and, ultimately, for the atrocity exhibition that is the war in Ukraine. Sean, we must remember, works for Russia Today, and this is something that I am simply unprepared to do.
During this period, however, I received independent confirmation of a claim made by Patrick Radden Keefe in The New Yorker, in February 2010 that al Kasser was also involved in the Black Hawk Down incident in Somalia – again in 1994. And this begs the question that if al Kasser masterminded the US embassy bombing in 1983, that the CIA website itself describes as the worst attack on the Agency in its history, and if he masterminded the Lockerbie and AMIA atrocities, and if he was complicit in Black Hawk Down, why the Hell did the CIA continue to protect him until his final involvement in the Iraqi insurgency from 2003?
Origins of a conspiracy
Without doubt part of the explanation for this riddle lies in the corrupt relationship between al Kasser’s various criminal activities and Western intelligence agencies following his recruitment, in a Danish prison, in 1971. By 1984, al Kasser had been burned as an MI6 asset and expelled from Britain because of his involvement in a botched military coup plot in Syria itself. The plot was hatched in the same Casino de Libre in North East Beirut, where al Kasser had helped to mastermind the Tel al Zaatar massacre almost a decade before and involved Adnan Kashoggi, the debauched Saudi playboy who was al Kassser’s business partner in Iran Contra. It’s designated purpose was to place Rifaat Asad, the brother of Hafiz Asad, in charge of Syria as a Saudi stooge, thereby ending the country’s intimate relationship with USSR along with its support for Iran in its war with Iraq. However, Rifaat, who had created and led the notorious Defence Brigades, in the infamous Hama massacre of 1980, was unlikely to have ever been a reliable asset for the CIA, who also backed the coup plot.
All in all, there is good evidence that al Kasser actually set up the coup plot to fail, not least because of the involvement of John Banks’ Angolan rejects in the whole farcical operation. As ever, any actual military operation that Banks was involved in ended in disaster. The CIA, and US government, was deeply embarrassed by the whole affair and the British threw al Kasser out in order to distance themselves from it. George HW Bush rushed to Damascus to smooth things over with Asad and the Syrian Ba’ath were offered a direct cut in the controlled drug shipments through Frankfurt that were now operating on an industrial scale.
Key to these shipments, as Lester Coleman revealed, was the compromised DEA station in Nicosia, run by Mike Hurley, who justified the shipments on the grounds that they were part of hostage negotiations in Lebanon. However, as Coleman also points out, no hostage was ever released in Lebanon until after Asad signed up for and participated in the first war against Iraq in 1991. This point was also made by Oswald Le Winter, both in Allan Frankovitch’s documentary and in subsequent conversations with Jeremy Stavenhagen. The idea that the whole coup plot in Syria was a put up job, and that the CIA were actually “played” by al Kasser, is further suggested by the fact that he and Rifaat continued to run the Syrian government’s stake in drug production in the Beqa’a Valley, with Rifaat since accused (by the French government) of laundering money for his nephew, Bashir ‘Asad, through his race horse breeding operation in France.
On being deported from Britain, al Kasser settled in Spain where he already had intelligence community links. His actual move to Puerto Banus, near Marbella, was arranged by Adnan Kashoggi, his business partner in Iran Contra who now became his next door neighbor. Al Kasser was already linked to Spanish Intelligence, however, for whom he had helped run the GAL death squad program. This tracked down and targeted Basque dissidents who were murdered in France. Ironically, al Kasser’s palatial residence in Puerto Banus, with its Frescos drawn from the Arabian Nights on the walls, was under armed protection from Spanish intelligence when he masterminded the Achille Lauro hijack inside.
Significantly, most of the killers recruited by al Kasser, to the GAL program, were Arabs with most being members of the PFLP-GC cell operating in Europe. The key to this recruitment was, of course, Mohammed Abu Talb, based in Sweden. Taub was also being groomed by Duane Clarridge and the Counter Terrorism Committee of the CIA (of which al Kasser was now a key asset) to replace Dalkomoni in running the terrorist organization in Europe. This plan, of course, also came to nothing but not before Abu Talb arranged the transfer of one of Marwan Khreesat’s bombs to London, where it was placed onboard Pan Am 103 on December 21, 1988.
In 1986, al Kasser also arranged the murder of Swedish Prime Minister, Olof Palme, this time for his friends in South Africa’s BOSS. Again, the assassin was Arab and based in the Canary Islands and actually named by Allan Frankovitch, in a letter to Jeremy Stavenhagen, before Frankovitch’s own suspicious death in Texas in 1997. Frankovitch is now buried on the Isle of Skye while his letter was stolen by Oswald Le Winter, from Jeremy’s then residence on Hampstead Heath, after le Winter was released from prison for trying to extort £40 million out of Mohammed al Fayed..
While there is little doubt that the South African secret police ordered the murder of Olof Palme, the CIA also wanted the Swedish Prime Minister dead. For one thing, Palme was trying to broker a peace deal between Iran and Iraq at the precise moment that Iran had reclaimed the Fao Peninsula and was winning the war. This the CIA, Bush and his friends in Saudi Arabia could not countenance at all.
Palme’s murder led to a complex trade off, that we have already mentioned, that has led Patrick Hasseldine to believe (incorrectly) that South Africa’s BOSS masterminded and initiated the Lockerbie bombing. This isn’t to say that the person who broke into Heathrow, on the night of December 20, 1988, and who placed Marwan Khreesat’s bomb in the Pan Am 103 luggage wasn’t an agent of BOSS, as I strongly suspect that he was. Certainly, because BOSS were alerted that the bombing was going to take place, De Klerke was pulled from the flight and Brett Carlsson, the UN Special Envoy for Namibia, put onboard in his place.
Not for nothing was Hasseldine fired from the civil service for claiming that the bomb was placed onboard Pan Am 103 in London (which it was) and that BOSS were involved.
In 2004, after al Kasser was burned and disavowed as a CIA asset due to his involvement in the Iraqi insurgency, a train station was bombed in Madrid with heavy casualties. All of the suspects later identified had been registered as police informants or had been involved in the GAL death squad program run by al Kasser in the 1980s.
In 1989, the Syrian Army finally swept aside Michel Auon’s regime in Lebanon, after Auon courted Iraqi support for an ethnic re-partition of the country. This time, the Syrians were openly supported by the US and, in particular, by Secretary of State George Baker, another Texas oilman and future key player in the Carlisle Group. ‘Asad, for the time being at least, was now fully in the Western fold.
Shortly afterwards the Bush government staged Operation Just Cause in Panama and buried, forever, the illicit money trail arising from Iran Contra. The avowed intention of the US invasion was to remove and arrest the Panamanian President, Manuel Antonio Noriega, a burned and disavowed CIA asset that CIA Director William Casey had once described as “my boy.”
Casey himself conveniently died of cancer in 1987 before being indicted for his role in Iran Contra.
Meanwhile 400 000 Panamanian civilians were also killed as a result of Bush’s murderous invasion, mostly in the poorest slum districts of Panama City. In Panama itself, the invasion is still referred to as “little Hiroshima,” to this day.
And meanwhile, back in Europe, Monzer al Kasser was once more making himself useful to the CIA. Which is the point at which BCCI’s black unit and AQ Khan’s nuclear procurement program reenters the frame.