Archive for June 22nd, 2007

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Taking a week off…

June 22, 2007

I’m posting this just in case anyone is wondering why I’m not responding to your comments.  I’ll be on vacation for a bit, and away from a computer. I’ll be back after a little fun in the sun.

Update 6/30:  OK I’m back.  Some tennis, volleyball, canoe, timber sports, and I saw a bear.  Time flies when you’re havin’ fun!

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The Story That Snuck Past Everyone: DEA Busts “Prince of Marbella”

June 22, 2007

Two weeks ago, the U.S. Department of Justice released a statement claiming that the Spain arrested Monzer al-Kassar (aka “Prince of Marbella”) based on a year-long operation conducted by the DEA: International Arms Dealer Charged With Conspiracy to Kill Americans and Related Terrorism Violations

You’d think that with a headline like that, you’d see a little more traction from this story.  I mean, here we have a guy with a resume that resembles Nick Cage’s character in Lord of War, with the added attribute of having a penchant for killing Americans.  Add to that the fact that we’re supposedly in the middle of a ‘war on terror’, along with the little detail that he was #26 on Iraq’s ‘most wanted’ list for supplying weapons to the insurgency, and you’d think this would be bona fide news. 

But what do I know?

Anyway, here’s what he’s charged with:

  1. Count One: Conspiracy to provide material support or resources to adesignated foreign terrorist organization, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2339B;
  2. Count Two: Conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2332(b);
  3. Count Three: Conspiracy to kill U.S. officers or employees, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1114 and 1117; and
  4. Count Four: Conspiracy to acquire and use an anti-aircraft missile, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2332g.

And here’s what he looks like:

alkassar.jpg

More from the article:

“Monzer al Kassar has long been one of the most prolific arms dealers in the world. He has supported terrorists and insurgents by providing them with high-powered weapons that have fueled the most violent conflicts of the last three decades,” said U.S. Attorney Michael J. Garcia. “Today, Kassar and two of his criminal associates face charges for agreeing to arm a terrorist organization whose aim it was to kill American citizens.”

“Monzer al Kassar commands a global munitions empire, arming and funding insurgents and terrorists across the globe, particularly those who wish to harm Americans,” said DEA Administrator Karen P. Tandy. “He operates in the shadows, the silent partner behind the business of death and terror. Kassar’s capture is a testament to DEA’s unique investigative skills and broad reach of its international intelligence network.”

Sounds like good news to me.  Amazing what slips past us when Paris Hilton decides to have a nervous breakdown, eh?

Update:  I did some more searching on Digg, and noticed that WaPo had a story on it, but it’s hard to find many others mentioning it.

Update:  It didn’t slip past Pat Dollard.