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AMIA Bombing in Argentina Terrorism in Latin America - September 28 Congressional Hearings

AMIA Bombing in Argentina Terrorism in Latin America - September 28 Congressional Hearings

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Published by: Michael Best on Sep 01, 2012
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lit LOIN 1 KULLE1J/ U TN LUX
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38
PTQ9084
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LIMITED OFFICIAL USE PTQ9084
PAGE 01
TATE 233720 301530Z
ORIGIN SCT-00
INFO LOG-00 ACDA-17 ACDE-00 AID-00 AMAD-01 ARA-01 A-00
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CO-00 CG-00
IAE-00 SMEC-00 COME-00 CTME-00
INL-01 OASY-00 DODE-00 DOEE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00
EB-01
UR-01 FAAE-00 FBIE-00 INLB-01 H-01
MMC-01
TEDE-00 INR-00
NSE-00 JUSE-00 L-01
DS-00 M-00NRCE-00 NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OCS-03 OIS-01 OMB-01 PA-01
PM-00
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RSE-00 T-00
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USSS-00 ASDS-01 PMB-00 DSCC-00 DRL-09 G-00
045R
DRAFTED BY: S/CT: KBARMON : KBAPPROVED BY: S/CT: PCWILCOXSCT : KMCKUNE/MEENNON/MKHAFT
NR/TNA: TSTATER
ARA/PPC: JBISCHOFF
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DESIRED DISTRIBUTION:SCT, ARA, DS, INR, PA,
F21C4A 301532Z /38
O P 301529Z SEP 95FM SECSTATE WASHDCTO AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES IMMEDIATEAMEMBASSY ASUNCIONAMEMBASSY BRASILIAAMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEOINFO AMEMBASSY BOGOTA PRIORITYAMEMBASSY LIMAAMEMBASSY SANTIAGOAMEMBASSY CARACASLIMITED OFFICIAL USELIMITED OFFICIAL USE
PAGE 02
TATE 233720 301530Z
AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATEREVIEW AUTHORITY: OSCAR J OLSONDATE/CASE ID: 13 MAY 2008 200601030
DECONTROLLED/UNCLASSIFIED
 
DECONTROLLED/ U N CLA S S11
,
lED
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE STATE 233720
E.O. 12356: N/A
TAGS: PTER,
H,
PGOV, ASEC, OAS, AR
SUBJECT: AMIA BOMBING IN ARGENTINA/TERRORISM IN
LATIN AMERICA -- SEPTEMBER 28 CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS1.SUMMARY: MEMBERS OF CONGRESS AND REPRESENTATIVES OFARGENTINE AND U.S. JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS STRONGLYCRITICIZED THE ARGENTINE GOVERNMENT FOR ITS LACK OFPROGRESS IN SOLVING THE 1992 BOMBING OF THE ISRAELIEMBASSY AND 1994 BOMBING OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTERIN BUENOS AIRES. THE CRITICISM WAS VOICED AT A PUBLICHEARING HELD BY THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONALRELATIONS ON SEPTEMBER 28. THE HEARING WAS CALLED BYCOMMITTEE CHAIRMAN BENJAMIN GILMAN (R-NY) WHOSE STAFFRECENTLY VISITED ARGENTINA. COMMITTEE MEMBERS INDICATEDTHEY WANTED THE HEARING TO UNDERSCORE TO THE ARGENTINEGOVERNMENT THEIR CONCERNS ABOUT ALLEGATIONS OF POLICEINCOMPETENCE AND LACK OF POLITICAL WILL IN PREVENTING
AND SOLVING THE BOMBINGS. SEVERAL MEMBERS REQUESTED A
CLOSED HEARING IN THE NEAR FUTURE ON THE PROGRESS OF THE
INVESTIGATION, THE PRESENCE OF HIZBALLAH IN THE REGION,
AND IRANIAN DIPLOMATIC ACTIVITY. END SUMMARY
2.
CHAIRMAN GILMAN, IN HIS OPENING REMARKSR EXPRESSEDTHE HOPE THAT THE HEARINGS WOULD HELP STRENGTHEN THERESOLVE OF THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE AMIA
LIMITED OFFICIAL USELIMITED OFFICIAL USEPAGE 03
TATE 233720 301530Z
INVESTIGATION. REPRESENTATIVE TOM LANTOS (D-CALIF)
CALLED THE AMIA INVESTIGATION A "SERIOUS BLOT" ONARGENTINA'S REPUTATION. HE CALLED UPON THE ARGENTINEGOVERNMENT TO PURSUE SERIOUSLY THE INVESTIGATION, ADDINGTHAT IT WAS OUTRAGEOUS AND INEXCUSABLE THAT SO LITTLEPROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE TO DATE. LANTOS PREVIOUSLY HADLOOKED INTO THE ISSUE AS CHAIRMAN OF AN HIRC COMMITTEEDURING THE LAST SESSION OF CONGRESS. REPRESENTATIVEILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN (R-FLA), WHO CHAIRED THE BULK OF THEHEARING AFTER MR. GILMAN HAD TO LEAVE EARLY FOR THE
DECONTROLLED/UNCLASSIFIED
 
DEUUN 1 KULLtill/ UN LLA
L1)
WHITE HOUSE SIGNING OF THE MIDEAST PEACE AGREEMENT, SAIDTHE INVESTIGATION WAS LACKLUSTER. LANTOS AND SEVERALOTHER MEMBERS SUGGESTED A FOLLOWUP CLOSED DOOR BRIEFINGON THE REASONS BEHIND THE LACK OF PROGRESS, AND A MOREDETAILED DESCRIPTION OF HIZBALLAH ACTIVITIES IN THE
REGION.
3. S/CT COORDINATOR PHILIP C. WILCOX TESTIFIED FOR THESTATE DEPARTMENT. THE FBI WAS REPRESENTED BY ROBERTBYRANT, THE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL SECURITYDIVISION. U.S. AND ARGENTINE JEWISH LEADERS ALSOTESTIFIED (SEE PARA 10.) IN HIS TESTIMONY, AMB. WILCOXCITED THE ARGENTINE AND WORLD TRADE CENTER BOMBINGS ASDEMONSTRATING THE VULNERABILITY OF THE WESTERNHEMISPHERE TO INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM. AFTER OUTLININGGUERRILLA PROBLEMS IN PERU AND COLOMBIA, WILCOX FOCUSEDON ARGENTINA AND THE INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM THREATEMANATING FROM THE IRAN-BACKED HIZBALLAH WHOSEACTIVITIES IN THE TRI-BORDER OF ARGENTINA, BRAZIL, ANDPARAGUAY INCLUDE NARCOTICS AND SMUGGLING AS WELL
AS
TERRORISM. AMB. WILCOX SAID HIZBALLAH CELLS ARELIMITED OFFICIAL USE
LIMITED OFFICIAL USEPAGE 04
TATE 233720 3015302
CONCEALED AMIDST THE LARGE SHIA' MUSLIM POPULATION OFLEBANESE ORIGIN WHICH HAS SETTLED IN THE TRI-BORDERAREA. LIKE THE GREAT MAJORITY OF LATIN AMERICA'S MUSLIMIMMIGRANTS FROM THE MIDDLE EAST, MOST OF THE MUSLIMS INTHE TRI-BORDER AREA ARE PEACEFUL CITIZENS WHO WANTNOTHING TO DO WITH TERRORISM. NEVERTHELESS, HIZBALLAHHAS USED THE TRI-BORDER AREA FOR FUND RAISING ANDRECRUITMENT AND FOR CLANDESTINE SUPPORT FOR TERRORISM.CENTRAL GOVERNMENT CONTROL IS WEAK IN THIS AREA; BORDERSARE POROUS AND OFTEN UNPATROLLED; AND IT IS A FAVORABLEENVIRONMENT FOR SUCH OPERATIONS. HE SAID THEORGANIZATION IS KNOWN TO HAVE CELLS IN COLOMBIA ANDVENEZUELA AS WELL.
4. WILCOX TESTIFIED THAT ARGENTINE LEADERS HAVE
EMPHASIZED THEIR STRONG COMMITMENT TO SOLVE THE AMIABOMBING AND THE BOMBING OF THE ISRAELI EMBASSY. NOTINGTHAT LARGE SUICIDE BOMBINGS INVOLVING MASS DESTRUCTION
DECONTROLLED/UNCLASSIFIED

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