Category Archives: Organized Crime

JFK’s mistress assassinated by the CIA ‘because she knew too much about his assassination’

Murder: Ms Meyer, center, was shot dead by a Georgetown canal in October 1964, and while police said it was a would-be sexual assault that turned fatal, a new book- and her ex- claims she was assassinated by the CIA

Daily Mail | Apr 20, 2012

The suspicious death of one of President John F. Kennedy’s mistresses just months after his death has sparked numerous conspiracy theories.

The latest version posits that socialite Mary Pinchot Meyer, a beautiful divorcee who was close friends with the Kennedys and is widely known for having a lengthy affair with the playboy President, was shot in a cover-up operation by the CIA.

A new book alleges that, in her preoccupation with her lover’s assassination and ensuing personal investigation, she may have gotten so close to the ‘truth’ that the CIA found her to be a threat.

As a result, agency operatives staged a shooting to make it look like she died due to a sexual assault that turned violent.

Whether or not the theory is true, there are a number of questionable components to the story of the months leading up to her death on October 12, 1964.

Her ex-husband, Cord Meyer, was a CIA agent himself and the couple were card-carrying members of Georgetown’s starry social set, which included then-Senator John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline.

The couples became close friends, along with Mary’s sister Antoinette (who went by Tony) and her husband Ben Bradlee, who was a bureau chief for Newsweek but later went on to be the managing editor of The Washington Post.

Mary Pinchot Meyer Book Suggests JFK Did LSD, Assassinated by CIA

Mary Pinchot Meyer, JFK Mistress, Assassinated By CIA, New Book Says

Another couple that they spent time with was Mary’s Vassar classmate Cicely d’Autremont and her husband James Angleton, who was the chief of the counter surveillance for the CIA.

A book by Peter Janney, called Mary’s Mosaic: The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer, and Their Vision of World Peace, the author claims that the the socialite would often bring marijuana and LSD to her trysts with the President.

During their conversations while on these hallucinogens, Ms Pinchot Meyer reportedly tried to appeal to Mr Kennedy’s pacifist nature and urged him to seek peaceful solutions to such worldwide crises like the Cold War and the Cuban missile crisis.

At the time, LSD was not illegal, and many, including Harvard professor Timothy Leary, advocated its use because they believed it helped people expand their knowledge base.

Mr Janney’s book is not the first to draw conclusions between Ms Pinchot Meyer’s friendship with Mr Leary and her intentions with her relationship with Mr Kennedy.

He goes on to say that she was later murdered by the CIA, who he believes organized the assassination of the President in an effort to stop him from preventing violent escalation that they wanted in the Cold War.

Though The Huffington Post thought that the book rested largely on substantial assumptions, these theories have been in existence for some time.

One question lies in the existence- and retrieval- of her diary that included writings about her affair with President Kennedy.

Within a day of her murder, Mr Bradlee went over to her home to find the diary and, though the door was locked, he found Mr Angleton.

The CIA spymaster said that he also was looking for the diary but claimed that it was because his wife- Ms Meyer’s friend- had asked him to.

The whereabouts of the diary today are uncertain.

Another clue erring on the side of the conspiracy is that while her ex-husband included a statement of support for the police investigation of her murder, his assistant supposedly said that it was a lie and he did truly believe it to be a standard ‘in house rub out’.

In an interview shortly before his death in 2001, Mr Meyer said that ‘the same sons of b****es that killed John F. Kennedy’ killed his ex-wife.

Police arrested Robert Crump, a man who was found near the scene of the crime, but had no connection to the murder weapon, which was never found, or any prior history with Ms Meyer.

Knights Templar Claim To Have Negotiated Drop in Food Prices | Apr 3, 2012

by  Christopher Looft

Mexico’s Knights Templar are allegedly behind a series of “narco-banners” claiming the group has helped lower food prices across the state of Michoacan, the latest in a series of ambitious public relations efforts by the criminal group.

According to news service Agencia Esquema, one banner read, in part, “The Knights Templar are not narcos, much less a criminal cartel, the Knights Templar are are a brotherhood of citizens who respect the constitution… in the past few days our brotherhood has invited the meat and tortilla vendors to lower their prices. An invitation accepted by our friends the merchants and recognized by the neediest people of our state. Keeping clear that for said action to occur there existed no pressure, nor blackmail, much less charging fees.”

“Narcomantas” were reported in the cities of Morelia, capital of Michoacan state, as well as Zitacuaro, Lazaro Cardenas, Uruapan, Apatzingan, Ocampo, and Tuxpan.
InSight Crime Analysis

This series of “narcomantas” follows the truce called by the Knights Templar in advance of the Pope’s visit to Guanajuato, a state neighboring Michoacan. The group, an offshoot of the Familia Michoacana, has, like its predecessor, cultivated a unique image through its use of banners and religious iconography, like the Roman-style helmets seized in late February.

This latest round of banners appears to be another cynical ploy to shore up public support. It seems unlikely that the Knights Templar were able to convince vendors to lower their prices without offering some kind of incentive, whether a threat or a bribe. Additionally, despite their claims otherwise, violence was not completely halted in their stronghold of Michoacan during the Pope’s visit to neighboring Guanajuato, calling into question the sincerity of their public announcements.

Afghan killings ‘were by team of US soldiers’

“In four rooms people were killed, children and women were killed, and then they were all brought together in one room and then put on fire; that one man cannot do.” | Mar 19, 2012


Afghan children look out of their temporary shelter at a refugee camp on the outskirts of Kabul yesterday. Four hundred people are displaced daily in the Afghan conflict and face hunger and destitution, Amnesty International said. At least 30,000 displaced Afghans live in more than 30 camps in Kabul alone and are now enduring the worst winter the mountainous capital has seen in 17 years

Kabul – A shooting spree in Afghanistan that left 16 civilians dead a week ago was the work of a team of US soldiers, not an individual as has been reported, a member of the Afghan parliamentary investigative team said yesterday.

“After our investigations, we came to know that the killings were not carried out by one single soldier. More than a dozen soldiers went, killed the villagers and then burnt the bodies,” lawmaker Naheem Lalai Hameedzai claimed.


But that account conflicts with statements from US officials, as well as with separate testimony from some people present during the attacks.

Hameedzai said the results of the probe by lawmakers has been presented to the legislature.

He also said the Afghan parliament had urged President Hamid Karzai to change the legal status of foreign soldiers deployed in the war-torn country.

The US has said one soldier carried out the dawn attack on a village in Panjwai district in Kandahar province. That soldier – identified as Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, 38 – is now in US military custody.

“All the villagers that we talked to said there were 15 to 20 men (who) had conducted a night raid operation in several areas in the village,” said Hameedzai.

“One house where the incident took place is located in a village north of the base. The other two are in another village in the south of the base. There is at least 4kms between the base and the houses.”

Hameedzai also said some of the Afghan women who were killed were sexually assaulted, according to the findings.

“According to eyewitnesses, they could not confirm the rape. But the women’s clothes were torn,” he said.

However, Kandahar governor’s media office said local elders refuted the claim, saying the lawmaker was “lying for political gains.”

Meanwhile, the parliament in Kabul urged Karzai to revoke an agreement that protects foreign troops in the country from facing legal proceedings in Afghanistan.

“During our investigations, the Americans themselves told us that, because Afghanistan signed the military agreement, US soldiers could not be tried inside the country,” parliamentarian Naheem Lalai Hameedzai said.

“We have passed a resolution unanimously to dissolve the military contract, and we have sent the resolution to President Karzai. He has not signed on it yet,” Hameedzai said.

“After the Panjwai incident, we have decided that we do not need any such contracts any more,” he said.

How the Yakuza went nuclear

Suzuki Tomohiko’s book on the ties between the yakuza and the nuclear industry

What really went wrong at the Fukushima plant? One undercover reporter risked his life to find out

Telegraph | Feb 21, 2012

By Jake Adelstein

On March 11 2011, at 2:46pm, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck Japan. The earthquake, followed by a colossal tsunami, devastated the nation, together killing over 10,000 people. The earthquake also triggered the start of a triple nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, run by Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco). Of the three reactors that melted down, one was nearly 40 years old and should have been decommissioned two decades ago. The cooling pipes, “the veins and arteries of the old nuclear reactors”, which circulated fluid to keep the core temperature down, ruptured.

Approximately 40 minutes after the shocks, the tsunami reached the power plant and knocked out the electrical systems. Japan’s Nuclear Industrial Safety Agency (Nisa) had warned Tepco about safety violations and problems at the plant days before the earthquake; they’d been warned about the possibility of a tsunami hitting the plant for years.

The denials began almost immediately. “There has been no meltdown,” government spokesman Yukio Edano intoned in the days after March 11. “It was an unforeseeable disaster,” Tepco’s then president Masataka Shimizu chimed in. As we now know, the meltdown was already taking place. And the disaster was far from unforeseeable.

Tepco has long been a scandal-ridden company, caught time and time again covering up data on safety lapses at their power plants, or doctoring film footage which showed fissures in pipes. How was the company able to get away with such long-standing behaviour? According to an explosive book recently published in Japan, they owe it to what the author, Tomohiko Suzuki, calls “Japan’s nuclear mafia… A conglomeration of corrupt politicians and bureaucrats, the shady nuclear industry, their lobbyists…” And at the centre of it all stands Japan’s actual mafia: the yakuza.

It might surprise the Western reader that gangsters are involved in Japan’s nuclear industry and even more that they would risk their lives in a nuclear crisis. But the yakuza roots in Japanese society are very deep. In fact, they were some of the first responders after the earthquake, providing food and supplies to the devastated area and patrolling the streets to make sure no looting occurred.

As the scale of the catastrophe at Fukushima became apparent, many workers fled the scene. To contain the nuclear meltdown, a handful of workers stayed behind, being exposed to large amounts of radiation: the so-called “Fukushima Fifty”. Among this heroic group, according to Suzuki, were several members of the yakuza.

The yakuza are not a secret society in Japan. The government tacitly recognises their existence, and they are classified, designated and regulated. Yakuza make their money from extortion, blackmail, construction, real estate, collection services, financial market manipulation, protection rackets, fraud and a labyrinth of front companies including labour dispatch services and private detective agencies. They do the work that no one else will do or find the workers for jobs no one wants.

“Almost all nuclear power plants that are built in Japan are built taking the risk that the workers may well be exposed to large amounts of radiation,” says Suzuki. “That they will get sick, they will die early, or they will die on the job. And the people bringing the workers to the plants and also doing the construction are often yakuza.” Suzuki says he’s met over 1,000 yakuza in his career as an investigative journalist and former editor of yakuza fanzines. For his book, The Yakuza and the Nuclear Industry, Suzuki went undercover at Fukushima to find first-hand evidence of the long-rumoured ties between the nuclear industry and the yakuza. First he documents how remarkably easy it was to become a nuclear worker at Fukushima after the meltdown. After signing up with a legitimate company providing labour, he entered the plant armed only with a wristwatch with a hidden camera. Working there over several months, he quickly found yakuza-supplied labour, and many former yakuza working on site themselves.

Suzuki discovered evidence of Tepco subcontractors paying yakuza front companies to obtain lucrative construction contracts; of money destined for construction work flying into yakuza accounts; and of politicians and media being paid to look the other way. More shocking, perhaps, were the conditions he says he found inside the plant.

His fellow workers, found Suzuki, were a motley crew of homeless, chronically unemployed Japanese men, former yakuza, debtors who owed money to the yakuza, and the mentally handicapped. Suzuki claims the regular employees at the plant were often given better radiation suits than the yakuza recruits. (Tepco has admitted that there was a shortage of equipment in the disaster’s early days.) The regular employees were allowed to pass through sophisticated radiation monitors while the temporary labourers were simply given hand rods to monitor their radiation exposure.

When Suzuki was working in the plant in August, he had to wear a full-body radiation protective suit and a gas mask that covered his entire face. The hot summer temperatures and the lack of breathability in the suits ensured that almost every day a worker would keel over with heat exhaustion and be carried out; they would invariably return to work the next day. Going to the bathroom was virtually impossible, so workers were simply told to “hold it”. According to Suzuki, the temperature monitors in the plant weren’t even working, and were ignored. Removing the mask during work was against the rules; no matter how thirsty workers became, they could not drink water. After an hour fixing pipes and doing other work, Suzuki says his body felt like it was enveloped in flames. Workers were not checked to see if they were coping, they were expected to report it to their supervisors. However, while Tepco officials on the ground told the workers not to risk injury, it seemed that anyone complaining of the working conditions or fatigue would be fired. Few took their allotted rest breaks.


The Yakuza and the Nuclear Mafia

Those who reported feeling unwell were treated by Tepco doctors, nearly always with what Suzuki says was essentially cold medicine.The risk of radiation exposure was 100 per cent. The masks, if their filters were cleaned regularly, which they were not, could only remove 60 per cent of the radioactive particles in the air. Anonymous workers claimed that the filters themselves were ill-fitting; if they accidentally bumped their masks, radiation could easily get in. The workers’ dosimeter badges, meanwhile, used to measure an individual’s exposure to radiation, could be easily manipulated to give false readings. According to Suzuki, tricks like pinning a badge on backwards, or putting it in your sock, were commonplace. Regular workers were given dosimeters which would sound an alarm when radiation exceeded safe levels, but it made such a racket that, says Suzuki, “people just turned them off or over and kept working.”

The initial work, directly after a series of hydrogen explosions in March, was extremely dangerous. Radiation was reaching levels so high that the Japanese government raised the safety exposure levels and even ordered scientists to stop monitoring radiation levels in some areas of the plants. Tepco sent out word to their contractors to gather as many people as possible and to offer substantial wages. Yakuza recruited from all over Japan; the initial workers were paid 50,000 yen (£407) per day, but one dispatch company offered 200,000 yen (£1,627) per day.

Even then, recruits were hard to find. Officials in Fukushima reportedly told local businesses, “Bring us the living dead. People no one will miss.” The labour crunch was eased somewhat when the Japanese government and Tepco raised the “safe” radiation exposure levels at the plant from pre-earthquake levels of 130-180cpm (radiation exposure per minute) to 100,000cpm.

The work would be further subcontracted to the point where labourers were being sent from sixth-tier firms. A representative from one company told Suzuki of an agreement made with a Tepco subcontractor right after the accident: “Normally, to even enter the grounds of a nuclear power plant a nuclear radiation personal data management pocketbook is required. We were told that wasn’t necessary. We didn’t even have time to give the workers physical examinations before they were sent to the plant.”

A former yakuza boss tells me that his group has “always” been involved in recruiting labourers for the nuclear industry. “It’s dirty, dangerous work,” he says, “and the only people who will do it are homeless, yakuza, or people so badly in debt that they see no other way to pay it off.” Suzuki found people who’d been threatened into working at Fukushima, but others who’d volunteered. Why? “Of course, if it was a matter of dying today or tomorrow they wouldn’t work there,” he explains. “It’s because it could take 10 years or more for someone to possibly die of radiation excess. It’s like Russian roulette. If you owe enough money to the yakuza, working at a nuclear plant is a safer bet. Wouldn’t you rather take a chance at dying 10 years later than being stabbed to death now?” (Suzuki’s own feeling was that the effects of low-level radiation are still unknown and that, as a drinker and smoker, he’s probably no more likely to get cancer than he was before.)

A recent report in Japan’s Mainichi newspaper alleged that workers from southern Japan were brought to the plant in July on false pretences and told to get to work. Many had to enter dangerous radioactive buildings. One man was reportedly tasked with carrying 20kg kilogram sheets of lead from the bottom floor of a damaged reactor up to the sixth floor, where his Geiger counters went into the danger zone. One worker said, “When I tried to quit, the people employing me mentioned the name of a local yakuza group. I got the hint. If Tepco didn’t know what was going on, I believe they should have.” Former Tepco executives, workers, police officials, as well as investigative journalist, Katsunobu Onda, author of TEPCO: The Dark Empire, all agree: Tepco have always known they were working with the yakuza; they just didn’t care. However, the articles Suzuki wrote before his book was published, and my own work, helped create enough public outcry to force Tepco into action. On July 19, four months after the meltdowns, they announced that they would be cutting ties with organised crime.

“They asked the companies that have been working with them for years to send them papers showing they’d cut organised crime ties,” Suzuki says. “They followed up by taking a survey.” Tepco has not answered my own questions on their anti-organised crime initiative as of this date; they’ve previously called Suzuki’s claims “groundless”.

The situation at Fukushima is still dire. Number-two reactor continues to heat up, and appears to be out of control. Rolling blackouts are a regular occurrence. Nuclear reactors are being shut down, one by one, all over Japan. Meanwhile, there is talk that Tepco will be nationalised and its top executives are under investigation for criminal negligence, in relation to the 3/11 disaster. As for the yakuza, the police are beginning to investigate their front companies more closely. “Yakuza may be a plague on society,” says Suzuki, “but they don’t ruin the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and irradiate the planet out of sheer greed and incompetence.” Suzuki says he’s had little trouble from the yakuza about his book’s allegations. He suspects this is because he showed they were prepared to risk their lives at Fukushima – he almost made them look good.

Another ATF operation comes under scrutiny after supplying Mexican drug cartels with guns

Dennis K. Burke, the former U.S. attorney in Phoenix, said convictions in the ATF’s White Gun operation “put a stop to a well-financed criminal conspiracy to acquire massive destructive firepower.” (Matt York, Associated Press / March 4, 2011)

Members of Congress want to see whether White Gun, like Fast and Furious, lost track of firearms that ended up with Mexican criminals.

Another ATF weapons operation comes under scrutiny

LA Times | Jan 12, 2012

By Richard A. Serrano

Reporting from Washington—In the late summer of 2010, the ATF agent leading the failed Fast and Furious gun-smuggling operation in Arizona flew to Mexico City to help coordinate cross-border investigations of U.S. weapons used by Mexican drug cartels.

Hope A. MacAllister wanted access to police and military vaults for American weapons recovered by Mexican authorities in raids and at crime scenes. She especially was interested in firearms from another ATF investigation, code-named White Gun, that she was running.

Now members of Congress who have spent months scrutinizing the Fast and Furious debacle are seeking to determine whether White Gun was another weapons investigation gone wrong.

“Apparently guns got away again,” said one source close to the investigation, led by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) and Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa). “How many got into Mexico, who knows?”

Officials from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives declined to comment on whether any firearms were lost in White Gun. But unlike Fast and Furious, they vigorously defended the previously unreported White Gun operation as a well-managed investigation that produced three arrests and convictions.

The three men “were looking to acquire military-grade weapons for a drug cartel,” said an ATF official, who asked for anonymity because the case involves an undercover operation. “This was a classic example of bad guys showing up at a location to get the weapons they desire but getting arrested by law enforcement instead.”

In Fast and Furious, more than 1,700 firearms were lost after agents allowed illegal gun purchases in U.S. gun shops in hopes of tracking the weapons into Mexico. In White Gun, the ATF ran a traditional sting operation with undercover agents and confidential informants trying to snare suspects working for the Sinaloa drug cartel.

According to internal ATF documents, including debriefing summaries and border task force overviews, White Gun and Fast and Furious both began in fall 2009, and the same ATF officials ran both cases.

MacAllister was the lead agent. Her supervisor, David J. Voth, was head of the ATF’s Group VII field office in Phoenix. His boss was William D. Newell, then the special agent in charge in Phoenix.

According to documents that the ATF sent to the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces, an umbrella group of U.S. agencies that seeks to disrupt major drug trafficking and money laundering, White Gun targeted nine leaders of the Sinaloa cartel. The list included Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman, who heads the cartel and is Mexico’s most wanted drug suspect.


Fast and Furious: Mystery of the White Guns

Fast and Furious weapons were found in Mexico cartel enforcer’s home

In ATF reports, MacAllister wrote that U.S. intelligence showed cartel members were setting up military-type training camps in the Sierra de Durango mountains, near Guzman’s northern Mexico hide-out, and wanted to bolster their arsenal with grenade launchers and .50-caliber machine guns.

The agents focused first on Vicente Fernando Guzman Patino, a cartel insider who was identified as one of their weapons purchasers and who often used code words and phrases, saying “57” for “OK,” for instance.

In fall 2009, the ATF team sent an undercover agent posing as an arms dealer to Guzman Patino. Photos of weapons, including a Dragon Fire 120-millimeter heavy mortar, were emailed to his “Superman6950” Hotmail account.

According to the ATF documents, Guzman Patino told the undercover agent that “if he would bring them a tank, they would buy it.” He boasted he had “$15 million to spend on firearms and not to worry about the money.” He wanted “the biggest and most extravagant firearms available.”

The two met again outside a Phoenix restaurant, and the undercover agent showed Guzman Patino five weapons in the trunk of his vehicle, including a Bushmaster rifle and a Ramo .50 heavy machine gun. The undercover agent said he could get that kind of firepower for the Sinaloans.

Just as Guzman Patino seemed ready to buy, according to the ATF records, the investigation into his activities abruptly ended. The documents do not explain why, and they don’t indicate whether he obtained any weapons.

A second case involved cartel members who were seeking shoulder-launched antiaircraft missiles and antitank rockets, according to the ATF records.

The same undercover agent met the pair in February 2010 at a Phoenix warehouse. David Diaz-Sosa and Jorge DeJesus-Casteneda brought 11 pounds of crystal methamphetamine to trade for weapons. The undercover agent showed them shoulder-launched missiles, rocket launchers and grenades before ATF agents moved in and arrested them.

Diaz-Sosa, 26, of Sinaloa, Mexico, pleaded guilty in April to gun and drug charges. DeJesus-Casteneda, 22, also of Sinaloa, pleaded guilty to drug charges. A third suspect, Emilia Palomino-Robles, 42, of Sonora, Mexico, pleaded guilty to delivering drugs as a partial payment for military-grade weaponry.

None of the three was included on the list of nine cartel leaders who were targeted in the operation.

The U.S. attorney in Phoenix at the time, Dennis K. Burke, who later resigned over Fast and Furious, called the White Gun convictions “a tremendous team effort that put a stop to a well-financed criminal conspiracy to acquire massive destructive firepower.”

By that summer, MacAllister had gone to Mexico City to check the police and military vaults. The ATF documents don’t detail what she found, but they note she discovered “weapons in military custody related to her current investigations.”

The Mob Goes Green – Organized Crime Profits With New Jersey Recycling

NPR | Dec 7, 2011

by Korva Coleman

Felons tied to organized crime are earning millions of dollars in New Jersey’s poorly regulated recycling industry, despite a state law that sets out limited guidance. The State Commission of Investigation released a sharp report Tuesday called “Industrious Subversion – Circumvention of Oversight In Solid Waste and Recycling In New Jersey”. It finds state rules aren’t well enforced, state regulators don’t share information that could stop criminals and the law’s exceptions are so broad you could drive a garbage truck through them.

The bulk of the report is filled with example characters such as ‘The Landlord’, a felon who used leases to earn money off the recycling industry; ‘The Hidden Hand’, a felon who controls the waste company but outwardly appears to be just a lowly salesman; and “The Consultant”, a felon who runs a separate company but is paid handsomely for his advice to a waste and recycling firm.

Frank Lemmo Jr. is dubbed ‘the Poster Boy’ because he’s successfully exploited several loopholes in New Jersey’s waste and recycling laws. The commissioners say “despite multiple criminal convictions and known ties to organized crime, Lemmo profited richly from the industry, operating for years in plain sight without intervention by state regulators.”

When he emerged from prison, Lemmo set up a truck rental company that leased vehicles to a relative who collected recycling. He earned more than a million dollars a year until regulators stepped in. So in 2009 he sold the rental company for well over three million dollars a year. The trucks are stored on a parking lot that Lemmo still owns – he gets more than $100,000 in rent each year.


NJ commission: Organized crime still in waste hauling business, now getting into recycling

The commissioners say 30 criminals got waste-related work in New Jersey after they were booted out of other states, mostly New York, which has stricter trash regulations, according to the Star-Ledger.

They’re worried about more than illegal profits. “Of particular concern,” according to the report, “is the vulnerability to corruption of certain activities, such as the recycling and disposal of contaminated soil and demolition debris that pose serious potential environmental and public‐health consequences.”

What are these companies dumping, and where are they dumping it? The commissioners say it’s not just old newspapers: “Class D recyclable material includes oils, antifreeze, latex paints, batteries, mercury containing devices, and consumer electronics.”

They want lawmakers to beef up regulations for proper waste and recycling disposal, cut felons out of the business and give the state attorney general new enforcement powers to make the regulations stick.

Homeless being turned into ‘modern slaves’ by criminal gangs, says charity

Homeless men on the steps of a theatre in London, which is among cities in which criminal gangs have targeted people sleeping rough for forced labour. Photograph: Ian Nicholson/PA

Gangs are preying on vulnerable people sleeping rough in UK cities and forcing them to work for nothing

Rough sleepers are being turned into “modern-day slaves” by criminal gangs operating across the country, according to one of the UK’s leading charities helping people living on the streets.

Observer | Sep 17, 2011

by Jamie Doward and Alex Binley

Thames Reach says it is aware of reports that gangs are targeting homeless people in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Southampton, Dover, Leicester and Luton.

The revelation comes after a raid on a travellers’ site in Bedfordshire by police last weekend that led to the arrest of four men and a woman on suspicion of slavery offences. Police said the alleged “slaves” were mostly English, but some were of eastern European origin. Detectives said they were all vulnerable and were either homeless people or alcoholics who had been recruited by “gangmasters” offering money.

But according to Thames Reach this was not an isolated incident. The charity said it has been contacted by 22 central and eastern European rough sleepers who had run away from gangs this year. It said some were fearful for their lives.

“We have been coming across some extremely disturbing reports from homeless people who have been ‘enslaved’ by criminal gangs across the UK,” said Mike Nicholas, a spokesman for the charity. “Increasing numbers of rough sleepers, many from central and eastern Europe, have told us how they have been held against their will, beaten and forced to work without wages before escaping and ending up on the streets of London.”

Earlier this year Thames Reach staff found a group of six rough sleepers linked to a slavery ring operating out of London’s King’s Cross that sparked a police investigation. The charity said the men had come from the Czech Republic and were being exploited by a Czech family based in Birmingham.

One of the men, “Michal”, told the charity he had been lured to the UK on false promises of paid work. He claimed that before flying he was drugged with what he now suspects was a sedative, which the gang claimed was a painkiller to help with his bad back.

He was then driven to a house in Birmingham where he lived alongside nine other victims of the four-strong gang who were taken each day by minibus to work at a bakery in Luton.

Michal told Thames Reach staff that he worked as a “slave” and all his money was taken from him by the gang who beat him regularly. He claims he was given poor food such as bread and butter once a day and that the gang stole his ID and opened a credit card in his name.

Another man from the Czech Republic, Wojtek, told Thames Reach he was living on the streets of London, relying on handouts, when he was approached at a soup run near Victoria with the offer of a job and accommodation.

He was given a coach ticket to Leicester where he claims a gang stole his ID and bank and credit card accounts. He was told that if he tried to escape he would be caught and beaten.

The claims shine new light on the influx of eastern European immigrants to the UK. While the number of rough sleepers from the UK is falling in London, the number of people from central and eastern Europe has steadily risen.

Thames Reach has helped over 1,000 central and eastern European people return home since early 2009. It says another 1,000 were counted on the streets last year. It says some of those who returned were victims of violent assaults by gang leaders.

“We need to alert homeless services and the people using them to the threat,” Nicholas said. “The embassies and police also need to take the issue more seriously, ensuring the victims get assistance and that this recently exposed menace is tackled. Life as a rough sleeper can be extremely dangerous but the sheer criminality and brutal nature of these gangs has taken the threat of living on the streets to a new level.”

Norway killings: Mysterious group called the Knights Templar

An image from a right-wing extremist video posted on the internet by Anders Behring Breivik Photo: ENTERPRISE NEWS

Scotland Yard’s domestic extremism unit is attempting to track down the anonymous members of the “European Military Order and Criminal Tribunal” of the Knights Templar.

Telegraph | Jul 26, 2011

By Duncan Gardham, Security Correspondent

Oslo killer Anders Behring Breivik wrote that the group’s aim was to attempt to “seize political and military control of Western European multiculturalist regimes” and to “try, judge and punish Western European cultural Marxist or multiculturalist perpetrators for crimes committed against the indigenous peoples of Europe.”

Using the Latin phrase “pauperes commilitones christi templique solomonici” meaning the “poor fellow-soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon” the Knights Templar declared themselves “re-founded” in London in April 2002 by representatives from eight European countries, according to Breivik.

They declared they were a “pan-European nationalist military order” and a “military or criminal tribunal” which aimed to establish an “armed Indigenous Rights Organisation” and a “Crusader Movement” to fight Islamist jihadists.

At two separate meetings in London “as a security precaution”, the founding members met and established their 100 year plan to seize political power in Western European countries currently controlled by “anti-nationalists” and said their mantra “Martyrdom before Dhimmitude” [surrender to Islam]

Among those listed as attending by Breivik were an “English Protestant” described as the host, an “English Christian atheist” and others from France, Germany, the Netherlands, Greece and Russia.

Later in his “compendium” Breivik wrote that in April and May 2002, he was “one of two who are asked to create a compendium based on the information I have acquired from the other

founders during our sessions.”

“Everyone is using code names,” he added. “Mine is Sigurd (the Crusader) while my assigned mentor is referred to as Richard (the Lionhearted). I believe I’m the youngest one here.”

Breivik, who was 23 at the time, said he scribbled down more than 50 full pages of notes at the London meeting, much of them incorporated into his book.

“It was basically a detailed long term plan on how to seize power in Western Europe,” he said. “I did not fully comprehend at the time how privileged I was to be in the company of some of the most brilliant political and military tacticians of Europe.”

A second meeting also attended by British extremists was “like a training course for pioneer cell commanders,” he added.

Most of them were successful entrepreneurs, business or political leaders, some with families, most of them Christian conservatives but also some agnostics and even atheists, he added.

“We were not instructed to attack specific targets, quite the opposite. We were encouraged to rather use the information distributed to contribute to build and expand the so called ‘cultural conservative anti-Jihad movement,’

“Everyone was encouraged but at the end, it was their own decision how they decided to manifest their resistance… A large successful attack every 5-12 years was optimal depending on available forces,” he added.

Breivik said he had a “relatively close relationship” with an Englishman, who became his mentor.

“He was the one who first described the ‘perfect knight’ and had written the initial fundament for this compendium,” Breivik wrote.

“I was asked, not only once but twice, by my mentor- let’s call him Richard – to write a second edition of his compendium about the new European Knighthood.

“As such, I spent several years to create an economic platform which would allow me to study and write a second edition and as of now, I have spent more than three years completing this second edition.”

The original Knights Templar were founded during the Crusades of the 12th century and some of their lands in London were later rented to lawyers where two of the four Inns of Court for barristers are known as the Inner Temple and Middle Temple and where the Temple Church, formerly the location for Templar initiation ceremonies, still stands.

The Templars are also associated with the Freemasons, founded in London in the 18th century, and Breivik was himself a mason, he revealed in his diaries.

The Violent videos of Oslo killer’s ‘mentor’

The suspected “mentor” of the Oslo killer Anders Breivik has backed violent videos apparently advocating a “war between Christians and Islamists” and the establishment of “Order 777” it can be disclosed.

Telegraph | Jul 29, 2011

By Duncan Gardham

The Daily Telegraph can reveal further troubling details about the men who have emerged as a possible leading influence on Breivik.

A British blogger called Paul Ray, who uses the name “Lionheart” and his associate Nick Greger, a former German neo-Nazi, have admitted being members of a group that appears to advocate a violent struggle against Muslims.

The group, calling itself Order 777, claims to bring together Christian resistance movements and features a depiction of a Templar Knight with the slogan “The Order 777 Strikes Back!” alongside footage of a variety of armed gangs with the words “factions united.”

The groups include the UFF in Northern Ireland, Serbian nationalists, Liberian and Congolese fighters and members of the neo-fascist AWB in South Africa.


Lionheart Blog

In one clip Mr Greger is handling a Kalashnikov and in another says: “The war of the future will be a war of the religions.”

Mr Ray has denied that he has had any contact with Breivik but yesterday admitted that his movement appeared to be violent.

“It might seem that way,” he told the Daily Telegraph. “What can I say? It’s pretty clear. People can understand [the videos] however they want to understand them.”

Mr Ray, originally from Luton, Bedfordshire but now living in Malta, said Order 777 was “commanded” by Mr Greger – known as “Nazi Nick” or “Mad Nick” – and he was “aligned with his leadership.”

The Order 777

“It does look quite bad doesn’t it? I can’t say it doesn’t,” he added.

The Daily Telegraph revealed earlier this week that there were striking similarities between Mr Ray and a person called “Richard (the Lionhearted)” who Breivik claimed acted as a mentor and set up a secretive group called the Knights Templar in London in 2002.

Like Mr Ray, Breivik said the man may have been “one of the founders” of the right-wing English Defence League (EDL) and much of the language used in Breivik’s list of principles for the Knights Templar was similar.

Mr Ray later told this newspaper that he could have acted as inspiration for Breivik but denounced his actions.

He added yesterday: “If he had been a follower of mine he would have attacked Muslims not left wingers. He’s just clothed himself in the Templar ideals.”

Mr Ray said he had been “racking my brains about this guy” and that Breivik may have approached him on the Facebook social network site but that he could not be sure.

“He has just taken stuff off the videos and used it for his own gain,” he added.

Mr Ray said he did not become involved in the right-wing anti-Muslim movement until 2006, when he helped found the EDL.

Nevertheless a number of similarities between the “compendium” and the Order 777 videos have begun to emerge.

Breivik said he had attended the founding meeting of the “Knights Templar Europe” in London “after visiting one of the initial facilitators, a Serbian Crusader Commander and war hero, in Monrovia, Liberia.”

Both the “compendium” and the Order 777 videos feature a man called Milorad Ulemek, a former commander of the Red Berets, a unit of the Serbian security Services called the JSO, who was arrested in 2004 and convicted of the assassinations of Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic and former Serbian President Ivan Stambolic and of organising the attempted murder of the Serbian opposition leader Vuk Draskovic.

The videos also feature Charles Taylor, the former Liberian dictator now facing war crimes trials, and a girl called “Black Diamond” who fought on the rebel army against Taylor in 2003.

Some of the videos also feature a trance music soundtrack – a kind of music Breivik enjoyed listening to.

It may be that Breivik has altered dates in order to claim association with individuals connected to Order 777 but Scotland Yard’s Domestic Extremism Unit and the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) both refused last night to say whether Breivik visited Britain and Liberia in 2002 as he claims. He admits that he did not start writing his “compendium” until 2006.

Breivik’s Knights Templar ‘mentor’ in Malta linked to exiled UDA loyalist Johnny ‘Mad Dog’ Adair

“I am the Norwegian delegate to the founding meeting in London, England and ordinated as the 8th Justiciar Knight for the PCCTS, Knights Templar Europe. I joined the session after visiting one of the initial facilitators, a Serbian Crusader Commander and war hero, in Monrovia, Liberia.

“Certain long term tasks are delegated and I am one of two who are asked to create a compendium based on the information I have acquired from the other founders during our sessions. Our primary objective is to develop PCCTS, Knights Templar into becoming the foremost conservative revolutionary movement in Western Europe the next few decades.

“This in relation to developing a new type of European nationalism referred to as Crusader Nationalism. This new political denomination of nationalism will become the foremost counterweight to National Socialism and other cultural conservative political denominations, on the cultural right wing.

“Everyone is using code names; mine is Sigurd (the Crusader) while my assigned mentor is referred to as Richard (the Lionhearted). I believe Im the youngest one here.”

– Anders Breivik, excerpt from his manifesto

Nick Greger (left) with Johnny Adair

Blogger hosted loyalist and ex-neo Nazi Nick Greger at Malta summit | Jul 29, 2011

Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik has been linked to exiled loyalist chief Johnny ‘Mad Dog’ Adair.

The connection emerged following scrutiny of Breivik’s links to Briton Paul Ray who writes a blog under the name Lionheart.

Ray has denied meeting the Norwegian gunman but admitted that he may have drawn “inspiration” from his writings.

Ray played host to Johnny ‘Mad Dog’ Adair – a former leader of the UDA’s notorious ‘C company’ on Belfast’s Shankill Road – in Malta last February.

He is also friends with Nick Greger, a German known as ‘Nazi Nick’ who describes himself as a “former neo-Nazi leader”.

Adair, Ray and Greger appear together on a YouTube video titled ‘The Gathering’.

The film shows the three men visiting churches around Malta, cut together with footage of loyalist terrorists and Mr Greger with a Kalashnikov.

It has been widely reported that in postings Breivik made on British nationalist websites and in the manifesto released before the attacks he refers to a “mentor”.

Parallels have since been drawn with Ray, who leads an anti-Islam Knights Templar movement, but he strongly denies having anything to do with the attacks.

In his manifesto, the Norwegian guman Breivik claims allegiance to a resurrected version of the Knights Templar, a medieval formation of Christian soldiers who waged brutal battle against Islam. The Oslo killer claims he attended the founding meeting of the ‘Knights Templar Europe’ explaining that he “joined the session after visiting one of the initial facilitators, a Serbian Crusader Commander and war hero, in Monrovia, Liberia.”

The Gathering: Johnny Adair / Paul Ray a.k.a Lionheart / Nick Greger a.k.a Mad Nick – The Order 777

In his 1,500-page document Breivik wrote that his ‘assigned mentor’ at the London meeting was “referred to as Richard (the Lionhearted).”

Ray said he was not at the 2002 London meeting that Breivik describes in his manifesto.

Referring to the right-wing British group the English Defence League, Breivik added: “I wonder sometimes if one of the EDL founders was one of the co-founders of [the Knights Templar], I guess I’ll never know for sure.”

Ray, who the Associated Press located in Malta, where he now lives, confirmed the existence of a loose group of anti-Islamic extremists inspired by the Knights Templar.

The 35-year-old Briton often, who was a founding member of the EDL, espouses views similar to Breivik’s on his anti-Muslim blog. The blog’s title is a reference to King Richard I of England, who led Christian crusades in the 12th century and was known as Richard the Lionheart.

Ray has other similarities with the “mentor” in the Norwegian killer’s manifesto, chiefly that the anti-Muslim group he leads is called The Ancient Order of the Templar Knights.

Ray suggested the group had no formal structure, and he refused to name any members or indicate how many members it has. He said he condemned Breivik’s attacks in Norway.

“It’s an idea,” Ray said. “It’s not like it’s a massive organization. It’s a belief.”

Ray condemned the murder of 76 people in twin attacks in Oslo and Utoya on Friday as an act of “pure evil”.

Ray, 35, told The Times: “I am being implicated as his (Breivik’s) mentor. I definitely could have been his inspiration. It looks like that. But what he did was pure evil. I could never use what he has done to further my own beliefs. What he has done does not equate to anything I am involved in.”

Breivik, 32, claims he committed Friday’s massacre as the order’s first blow in an apocalyptic war against Muslims, immigrants and leftists to prevent what he believes is an Islamic attempt to take over Western Europe. In his manifesto he says he is a member of a new order of the Knights Templar.

The European police agency Europol said it is investigating links between Breivik and right-wing groups in Europe.

A task force was set up shortly after the Norway attacks to help in the probe but a Europol spokesman said British police would also join the task force.

Full Story

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Masons under anti-terror surveillance after UDA infiltrates Scottish lodges

MASONIC halls throughout Scotland are under covert surveillance by anti-terror police after the outlawed loyalist paramilitary group, the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) successfully infiltrated the controversial secret society.

The UDA is one of Ulster’s most brutal paramilitary organisations. Using the cover-name the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) it waged a campaign of sectarian assassination against Northern Ireland’s Catholics. One of its most notorious “brigadiers”, Johnny “Mad Dog” Adair, fled to Ayrshire after his expulsion from Belfast following an internecine loyalist feud.

Johnny Adair

The mere discussion of an operation’s details gave him a “sexually charged excitement”; even when the actual killings had been done by others he had personally chosen as hitmen.

Freemasons Brother Anders Breivik and Brother Johnny “Mad Dog” Adair