Mossad And The Russian
Mafia Plutonium Connection

By Gordon Thomas
Globe Intel

Scientists at the European Trans-Uranium Institute at Karlsruhe in Germany, tracking the movements of all fissionable material from the former Soviet Unionís nuclear arsenal, have raised suspicions that Mossad has purchased some of the material to allegedly stop it falling into the hands of Islamic and other terror groups.
But there is also the real possibility that Israel has gone into the nuclear black market to buy fissionable material to bolster its own huge nuclear arsenal.
Israel already has one of the worldís largest arsenals ñ more than capable of decimating all its Arab neighbours. Its 200 nuclear bombs and missiles are stockpiled in the Negev desert.
The suspicion that Israel has also started to buy material stolen from the former Soviet Union surfaced a year ago when a quantity of Uranium-235 was found in the Paris apartment of three criminals known to broker arms deals with terror groups like al-Qaeda.
French intelligence officers arrested the men in an apartment rented by one, Raymond Loeb. They found documents confirming the uranium was of weapons-grade quality. Air tickets from Kazakstan were found in the apartment.
Loebís partners ñ Serge Salfati and Yves Ekwella were travelling on Cameron passports.
The Karlsruhe scientists established the material came from a nuclear storage site at Chelyanbisk-70 deep in the Ural Mountains.
A major intelligence operation began to trace the route along which the material travelled to the French capital: out of the Ukraine into Poland and across Germany to Paris.
The material was transported by Russiaís top Mafia boss, Semyon Yokovich Moglivich.
He is a specialist in every major crime: whole scale drug running, money laundering, trafficking in humans and gun-running. Since 1991, he had positioned himself to exploit the collapse of the Soviet Union.
To assist him he had obtained an Israeli passport for himself and 23 of his top associates. The travel documents had been arranged by the former newspaper tycoon, Robert Maxwell, and Edmund Safra, the US-based millionaire banker.
Later Maxwell was murdered by a Mossad assassination team after threatening to expose his links to the secret service. Safra died mysteriously in a fire in his penthouse in Monte Carlo.
Moglivich still runs the largest criminal family in Moscow, the Rising Sun. Its current speciality is smuggling fissionable material.
Graham Alison, a former Assistant Secretary of Defence in the Clinton Administration and director of Harvardís Centre of Science and International Affairs, has summarised how easy it is to smuggle nuclear material. ìA terrorist group could ship enough material through the mails or by a courier companyî.
But the Rising Sun is into a much bigger market ñ supplying Israel with fissionable material that would otherwise end up in the hands of terrorists like Osama bin Laden.
That bombshell discovery came to light in the wake of finding the five grams of uranium in Paris. Consisting of 85 percent enriched uranium, it was sufficient to make a ìdirty bombî.
But before Mossad, on behalf of Israel, could buy it ìout of the marketî, the French had swooped ñ and the role of Mossad had started to emerge.
The first clues came from Intel-1. This is a smallish and highly specialised unit in Dutch intelligence.
For months before the Paris arrests, it had been investigating Mossadís role in secretly buying up fissionable materials.
Intel-1ís investigation has been run out of a deep bunker ñ ironically built to shelter the Dutch Royal Family in the event of a Soviet nuclear attack on Amsterdam. The bunker is near the cityís Central Railway Station. The terminus has been journeyís end for some of the nuclear materials which have been stolen from Russian weapons labs including Arzamas-16 in Nizhnii Novgorod, formerly Gorky.
Senior Mossad officers have insisted to Intel-1 that precisely because the deadly materials were stolen, their agents purchased them from the Russian Mafia as ìit was the only way to stop the material being sold to Islamic and other terror groupsî.
While conceding that the Mossad claim is plausible, Intel-1 investigators have become convinced that the nuclear materials have been secretly shipped out of Amsterdamís Schipol Airport to Israel to boost the countryís own nuclear weapons manufacturing plant at Dimona in the Negev Desert.
That Mossad has been trafficking with the Russian Mafia has rekindled a nuclear nightmare that has never quite gone away. While the chilling Cold War doctrine of MAD ñ mutually assured destruction ñ has gone, in its place has come a more dangerous scenario where nuclear know-how and materials are on sale.
ìIt is capitalism, Wild East style, in which organised crime syndicates and government officials work in league to create new markets for nuclear materials ñ a bazaar with some of the worldís most dangerous weapons on offer,î said an intelligence source.
Much of the work of tracing the origins of stolen nuclear material is done at the European Trans-Uranium Institute. There, scientists use state-of-the-art equipment to track whether stolen materials have come from a military or civilian source. But they concede ìitís like trying to catch a thief who has never been fingerprintedî.
Mossad has been based at El Alís facility at Schipol for the past six years, in second-floor offices in the complex ñ know at Schipol as ìLittle Israelî.
Intel-1 has established that the link between Mossad and the airline is an integral part of the traffic in nuclear materials.
Sources close to Intel-1 insist that Mossad would never have begun the dangerous business of buying nuclear materials unless those materials could be safely and secretly transported to Israel.
A highly efficient organisation like Mossad, supported by the vast resources Israel puts at its disposal, would have little or no difficulty in smuggling nuclear materials out of Schipol.
Intel-1ís interest in such smuggling was first aroused when it was tipped off that the El Al cargo freighter that crashed shortly after take-off from Schipol in October 1992 was carrying chemicals that could be used to produce nerve agents.
Since then, the agency has gathered what an Intel source describes as ìat minimum strong circumstantial evidenceî that Mossad has shipped nuclear materials through Schipol.
A ìmuleî ñ a courier ñ who in return for his cooperation was given a guarantee against prosecution, has told Intel-1 that he had smuggled nuclear materials from the Ukraine across Germany and finally into Holland.
The courier has claimed to Intel-1 that he was met at Amsterdamís Central Station. Shown photographs, the courier picked out the person. It was a Mossad officer Intel-1 knew is based at Schipol.




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