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2. Rifaat Assad
From about 1976 until about 1984, President Assad's younger brother,
_____, leading baron of the Lebanese drug trade. He used Syrian military
trucks, aircraft and diplomatic pouches as tools of his international
drug network which he based out of the northern Bekaa. The 569th Syrian
Army division which he commanded was reportedly little more than
"muscle" for his drug trafficking organization.
Specializing in opium and heroin, Rifaat amassed an illicit fortune.
After an unsuccessful attempt to depose his brother, Hafez, he was
effectively exiled and now leads a life of luxury in his heavily-guarded
villa on the French Riviera. He reportedly continues to play a
substantial role in Bekaa Valley drug trafficking with the tacit
approval of some Western governments. Two of Rifaat's sons, Darid and
Firas, are also reportedly based in France and involved in smuggling
arms and drugs throughout the Mediterranean.
3. Mustafa Tlass, Syrian Minister of Defense
Syrian Defense Minister Mustafa Tlass is associated with at least three
known drug traffickers including Hamad Ali al-Kis from Baalbak. Tlass
was recently involved in procuring an exit visa for a very high-profile
trafficker who had to leave Syria quickly, presumably to avoid
"problems." This is consistent with other reports of his obtaining visas
for traffickers traveling to Argentina, Spain and Germany.
During August 1989, the Syrian Defense Ministry reportedly distributed
more than 1,000 "laissez passer" or travel permits at $10,000 each to
"friends" of the Defense Ministry. This report is consistent with news
accounts that drug smugglers from Lebanon were intercepted on their way
to Israel and Egypt with special travel passes signed by "M. Tlass." At
least one government source has told the Subcommittee staff that the
U.S. Government presently possesses sufficient information to indict
Tlass for drug trafficking.
4. General Ali Dubah, Commander of Syrian Military Intelligence
Dubah, related to Monser al-Kassar by marriage, is one of President
Assad's closest friends and confidantes. He is connected with many major
Lebanese trafficers including the Jaffar clan.
He also coordinates Syrian extortion efforts to ensure that sufficient
drug profits are left over from the "personal corruption" so that the
Syrian military intelligence service is not deprived of its
institutional share. Dubah's role in the drug trade has been
characterized as "having his hand in everyone's cookie jar."
Kenaan has also been shown to arbitrate disputes between _____ known
drug trafficking clans, presumably for a fee.
Tlass, Dubah and Kenaan have all personally issued travel passes to
known drug traffickers. Such passes allow the dealer to move freely in
Lebanon and/or Syria "with his car, his personal weapon and cargo,
without being searched or detained."
Working together with the Lebanese clans who have traditionally
controlled the drug trade, these and other lesser officers are heavily
involved with the Lebanese trafficking networks to serve essentially
their own purposes:
(1) They rake off whatever immediate drug profits they can for personal
(2) They use the drug money for other purposes related to their
military/intelligence activities (i.e. they buy informers); and
(3) They use their ability to manage the drug trade of any of the
organized groups by either threatening to seize that group's drugs, or
more subtly, by allowing one group to move its product to market more
quickly and cheaply.
VI. Syrian Military and Diplomatic Officials Have Been Repeatedly Linked
to Drug Trafficking During the Last Ten Years.
Syrian military and intelligence officials in occupied Lebanon are
involved in the drug trade at all levels: cultivation, production and
transportation. Such connections between high-level Syrian Government
officials and drug traffickers are not coincidental. These bonds are
merely a representative sample of the Syrian Government's widespread
pattern and practice of associating itself with those who peddle poison
around the world.
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As the overall assignment, Defense trial counsel retained us to
investigate the facts of the disaster, gather intelligence, develop
leads, locate witnesses, locate and obtain physical evidence, and to
locate expert witnesses and advise and consult with counsel as it may
direct. The first stage assignment was to determine the facts and then
to identify the sources, nature, extent, form and quality of available
evidence; and then to recommend the action to obtain such evidence in
court-admissible form, and to estimate the likelihood of obtaining same
and the costs.
II. REPORTED RESULTS OF LAW ENFORCEMENT INVESTIGATIONS:
The assignment commenced some six months after the disaster during which
time law enforcement agencies of Great Britain, Federal Republic of
Germany and the United States have investigated the matter. Reports of
their results and theories have been published in various journals via
direct quotes attributed and unattributed from official investigative
sources. Review of same shows that many key facts have been established
while others remain in dispute. Therefore, it is useful to summarize
same before we state our independent findings.
A. Facts Generally Agreed by Law Enforcement:
The flight originated in Frankfurt on a Boeing 727 on December 21, 1988.
The flight landed in London's Heathrow airport. A second plane, a Boeing
747, was then used for the continuation leg to New York JFK under Number
103. All continuing passengers deplained in Heathrow and then boarded
the 747 with the London passengers. The flight crashed over Lockerbie,
Scotland, due to a bomb explosion, with all lives lost.
Law enforcement investigators have determined that the bomb was made of
Samtex explosive and concealed in a suitcase which was in a cargo hold,
that it weighed approx. 1.25 pounds (568 grams), that it exploded over
Lockerbie, and that it was sufficient in explosive power to cause the
plane to crash.
Source 1 is comprised of six persons working in different units of the
intelligence community of a Western government. Reliability of this
information is very good. Generally this group of agencies is only fair
to good among the various persons reporting based on our prior
experience and its past record. However, the very number of separate
sources in these agencies (not necessarily sympathetic to each other),
all sharing the conclusion, as well as the depth of the intelligence
gathered, and the agencies' considerable resources and special interest
in the matter, justifies rating this information as very good.
Source 2 is comprised of three persons working in different units of the
intelligence agency of a second Western government. Reliability of this
information is very good, not so much due to prior experience with the
sources, which is good to very good, but because of their position to
know the particular facts.
Source 3 is one person working for the intelligence agency of a third
Western oriented government. Reliability of this information is
excellent based on our prior experience with both the agency and the
particular person, its and his prior record, and its position to know
first hand these matters.
Source 4 is one person working for the intelligence agency of a fourth
Western government. Good. It is normally rated very good but is
conservatively downgraded as to this matter because its information
seems in some aspects to be derivative, i.e. in great part based on
information received from other agencies.
(It must be emphasized that these sources did not have as their
objective the acquisition of evidence for the apprehension and trial of
the perpetrators; rather, their objective is to monitor terrorist acts,
draw conclusions based on their expertise, and then use what they learn
so as to defend their countries in the future.)
Source 5 is an experienced Director of airport security for the most
security conscious airline. He was in a position to receive the inside
consensus of various security officers at Frankfurt Airport, which he
reported to us. He also receives daily terrorism intelligence from his
company's liaison with its host country's highly regarded intelligence
service, and ...
Extracts from a confidential report on the Flight 103 disaster
commissioned from Juval Aviv, of Interfor Inc., by James M. Shaughnessy
in the course of Pan Am's own investigation.
The subject disaster resulted from planning and events ___ a couple of
Libya's Qadaffi is a major funder of terrorism. He tired of the
ineffectiveness and costs of the internal jealousies among terrorist
factions, wanted more effective terrorism against America, yet did not
want to suffer further American retaliation. He demanded that the more
skilled terrorist groups coordinate better, and do it so as to preserve
At the same time, Syrian intelligence, which had been exposed as
planning the Hindawi bomb attempt against El Al in London out of its
embassy there, sought deeper cover and backed Ahmed Jibril's PFLP as its
Meetings were then held among leaders of various factions: Ahmed Jibril
of PLFP, Abu Nidal, George Habash, Ali Issa Duba of Syrian intelligence,
and Iranian radicals, (named by us hereafter for convenience as the "Interterror
Group"). They agreed to cooperate and seek secure routs for smuggling
contrabad and people for terrorism while raising additional funds. (Some
of these groups had been doing so individually for some time). They
never trusted each other, kept secrets from each other, and never worked
together in full cooperation, but there were frequent although wary
joint contacts and operations.
They set up a complex drug and arms smuggling operation via various
European cities. Eventually Abu Nidal ran the drugs-arms operations,
while Ahmed Jibril concentrated on arms and terrorist planning.
Monzer Al-Kassar, born 7/1/47, in Nabak, Syria, is married to Raghda
Duba, the sister of Syrian intelligence chief Ali Issa Duba, (sometimes
spelled Douba). Al-Kassar is a major arms and drug smuggler who has
played a key role in terrorism banking and "diplomacy" among terrorist
groups, and has acquaintances with certain Western leaders. For example,
he is known to have had friendly contacts with former Austrian
Chancellor Bruno Kreisky.
Al-Kassar has had long term romantic affairs with Raja Al-Assad, the
daughter of Rifat Assad, who is the brother of Syrian President Hafez
Assad, spending time with her at her ...
The PanAm Frankfurt smuggling operation worked as follows: an accomplice
boarded flights with checked luggage containing innocent items. An
accomplice Turkish baggage handler for PanAm was tipped to identify the
suitcase, then switched it with an identical piece holding contraband,
which he had brought into the airport or otherwise received there from
another accomplice. The passenger accomplice then picked up the baggage
on arrival. It is not known how this method passed through arrival
customs where such existed, but this route and method worked steadily
and smoothly for a long time.
The Turkish baggage handlers attended mosques in Cologne and Bonn which
were fundamentalist Islamic sects. It was there that they were
Khalid Jafar was a regular "passenger" accomplice for the drug route.
The BKA/DEA/CIA surveillance operation continued to monitor the route
without interfering with it, apparently seeking intelligence. As they
realized the extent of the oepration they decided to try to channel the
operation into less numerous areas so that they could concentrate their
surveillance focus. So BKA began a combination of arrests and visible
police presence at other drug operation locales in West Germany, which
eventually induced the operators to concentrate where there was no such
visible presence, at Frankfurt airport, PanAm.
CIA had another motive to channel the operation to PanAm's baggage area.
It had for some time been surveilling separate activities there
involving shipments (contents unspecified) to and from the East Bloc via
PanAm through Frankfurt, Berlin and Moscow. This would enable them to
more efficiently monitor both operations now.
The CIA unit involved in this Frankfurt airport surveillance works in
West Germany with BKA and has a control at an unknown location in the
Washington area. We cannot say with certainty that the activities of
this unit were fully reported if at all up the channels to CIA HQ; it
appears that it eventually operated to some or a large extent as an
internal covert operation without consistent oversight, a la Oliver
North or Edwin Wilson. To distinguish what it knew as opposed to what
CIA HQ definitely knew, we refer to that unit as CIA-1.
From this perspective the apparent contradictions in the reports of the
official investigations might be explained as follows: (1) Jafar checked
a suitcase, possibly in a manner which was not recorded or noticed, and
we stand by our sources as to this; (2) The signs of an explosion in the
CIA luggage was likely an anti-entry small explosive often used by them,
and was likely triggered by the first explosion or a hurtling object;
(3) the nervous CIA presence and strange behavior at the crash site
indicates the sensitivity of the contents of the CIA passengers'
It is pointless to try to pin down further the exact motives and
identities and roles of the terrorists. All had the same goal: to strike
at America. They are known to work together, albeit in duplicity.
Confusion of funders, planners, perpetrators and motive is a mark of
Syrian intelligence planning.
We are also persuaded by the intelligence as to the BKA-CIA-1
surveillance, videotape and possession of key evidence by the U.S.
Government, as well as the communications codename. The persons so
reporting spoke from what appears to be detailed knowledge. It was our
impression that more than one of these persons prefers to keep the truth
hidden (and assumes that it will remain so) while others prefer that it
emerge, although not in a position to do so.
From the perspective of intelligence analysis our findings are
conclusive. From the perspective of journalists it is publishable
speculation. From the perspective of trial lawyers it probably remains
inadmissible speculation or hearsay.
The police authority of Trollhattan, Sweden, hereby
merely certifies that this is a copy of a page in a passport, which has
been presented before the police authority by a gentleman, who states
that his name is Lester Knox Coleman and who has applied for asylum in
Sweden on political grounds. The police authority does not certify the
authenticity of the passport in question.
Deputy Police Superintendent
Specimen pages from Coleman's still valid American passport with some of
the visas and entry and exit stamps that support his account of his
movements as a DIA secret agent.
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