cue the lightning bolts

the only question that matters: is it true?

Iran has signed the NPT. As a signatory to the NPT, Iran may rightfully, legally, use nuclear technology for peaceful energy purposes. Iran has submitted to and passed repeated IAEA inspections. The US intelligence community (NIE) does not consider Iran a nuclear threat. Israel refuses to sign the NPT. Israel has an estimated several hundred undeclared nuclear weapons. Russia and China have warned that an attack on Iran will have global consequences. That's the situation in a nutshell. Where to next, people? Where to?

Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? - Galatians 4:16


looks like weapons on plane in Thailand *not* destined for Hizbullah after all

1. weapons destination probed

BANGKOK - THAI authorities sought to unravel the mystery of the ultimate destination of a plane that landed in Bangkok with a huge cache of weapons from North Korea, exported in defiance of a UN embargo on arms from the communist state.

Military analysts said on Monday that the arms were likely destined for African rebel groups or a rogue regime like Myanmar.

...The United States, which is particularly concerned about North Korea selling weapons and nuclear technology in the Middle East, reportedly tipped off Thai authorities to the illicit cargo, according to Thai media reports that the government and US Embassy declined to comment on.

Army Gen. Walter 'Skip' Sharp, the top US military commander in Korea, said in Washington that he was 'not going to give away any of the intelligence as far as how we're watching to see what North Korea is doing up there.' -- AP

read more @ straits times

2. Thai court denies bail for weapons smuggling suspects

The Criminal Court has denied bail to the five crew members of a cargo aircraft carrying weapons from North Korea and impounded in Bangkok. Police yesterday opposed bail as the suspects were foreigners who might try to flee the country if they were free to walk before further hearings.

The suspects' lawyer, who was engaged by Kazakh embassy staff, requested bail for his clients at 2 million baht - 400,000 baht each.

IIyas Issakov, 56, Viktor Abdukkayev, 58, Alexandr Zrybnev, 53, Vitaliy Shunkov, 54, from Kazakhstan, and Mikhail Petukou, 54, from Belarus, were placed under police custody for further investigation from Dec 14 to 25.

...Radilbek Adimolda, the head of Kazakhstan's Civil Aviation Commission, said the intercepted aircraft was previously registered with Kazakhstan and "sold to a Georgian airline by our private airline and removed from the state register of Kazakhstan on October 7".

"Until spring of this year it belonged to private Kazakh airline East Wing," he said. "It was then bought by Kazakh airline Beibarys which, in turn, in October of this year, sold the plane to Georgian airline Air West Georgia.

"It was found that this aircraft does indeed have Georgian registration."

read more @ bangkok post

3. Sweden expert: Thai plane used for many arms deals

The weapons-laden aircraft seized in Bangkok en route from North Korea has a long history of making deliveries for arms dealers, a Swedish think tank said Monday.

Hugh Griffiths, a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, told The Associated Press the aircraft was most recently registered under a company named Beibars linked to Serbian arms trafficker Tomislav Damnjanovic.

It previously has been registered with three companies identified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury as firms controlled by Russian arms dealer Victor Bout, who is now in jail in Thailand.

"The mystery surrounding this aircraft is solved," Griffiths said. "Now investigators know who to question to find out the ultimate destination of the weapons."

Thai officials on Saturday discovered what they said was 35 tons of weapons on the plane traveling from North Korea. The destination remains unknown.

The SIPRI think tank is a world leader in tracking the arms trade and analyzing military spending. Griffiths leads a project monitoring air cargo companies involved in arms trafficking.

He said reports that the Bangkok aircraft had been sold from Beibars to a Georgian company called Air West illustrated how arms dealers change the ownership of a plane to avoid the law. Despite these up-front changes, the same people keep operating in the background, he said.

"They are like flocks of migrating birds, these aircraft. They change from one company to another because the previous company has either been closed down for safety reasons or been identified in a U.N. trafficking report," he said.

"Beibars has proven a refuge for documented arms traffickers such as Tomislav Damnjanovic, with a long history of transporting arms from the Balkans to places such as Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo."

In this case, he said the arms dealers changed the plane's country of registration to Georgia because the European Union had banned all cargo carriers registered in Kazakhstan, where Beibars is registered. That meant they couldn't continue flying to the Balkans to collect weapons under the aircraft's previous Kazakh identity.

Griffiths said the past owners of the aircraft have been documented by the United Nations as trafficking arms to Liberia, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Sudan and Chad. He said the plane also was used to ship arms from the Balkans to Burundi in October.

source: taiwan news

4. Victor Bout

By David Amoruso
First published in 2001
Updated on October 24, 2008

Copyright ©


Most of the weapons that arrived in Africa came from Bulgaria where Bout had made frequent trips between 1995 and 2000. In 2000 Bout was seen visiting six weapons factories there. Between July 1997 and September 1998 Bout organized 38 flights with weapons shipments worth an estimated $14 million dollars to African nations. In the summer of 2000 four of Bout's planes landed in Liberia with weapons on board. The shipments contained helicopters, armored vehicles, anti aircraft guns and automatic rifles. By now ofcourse law enforcement was beginning to understand Bout's place in the world af arms dealing and decided to take him down, something that would be more difficult than thought at first.

By the time the world took notice of Bout he was safely in his home in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. By now Bout had made the political connections and money that made him almost untouchable. And on top of that, the law enforcement units didn't even have any proof. While investigating Bout's empire several of the law enforcement units went crazy. Bout's empire was a maze of people, companies, planes and routes. It was impossible to check where and when Bout's planes flew and which planes belonged to him. Bout kept moving himself and his companies around and had nothing registrated in his own name. When they finally had the evidence to charge him Bout was protected by high placed U.A.E. royalty and officials such as Sultan Hamad Said Nassir al Suwaidi, advisor to the ruler of Sharjah, who apparently also co-owns one of Bout's companies. The world wanted him bad but when he seemed too far out of reach the interest to catch him died down as well as the intensity with which he was hunted. Then came September 11, 2001 which changed everyones priorities.

On September 11, 2001 Al Qaeda terrorists attacked New York and the entire free world. Al Qaeda was very close to the extreme muslims of the Afghani Taliban, a group that was supplied with weapons by Bout. After September 11 Bout became a top priority for the U.S. Old evidence was pulled from the shelves and new evidence was collected. His name was everywhere, in newspapers on television. Everyone knew of Victor Bout's arms dealing empire. But no one knew where Bout was or how to cath him.

read more @ gangsters inc.

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