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M. Bozinovich | Columns | Serbianna.com The Brooklyn-Kosovo-London Connection

By M. Bozinovich

Last week's airing of a documentary "The Brooklyn Connection" that glorifies an Albanian gunrunner, Florin Krasniqi, has prompted, according to the author of the documentary, an investigation by the US Department of Homeland Security. What the agency is exactly investigating is not clear at this point, but anyone who read Stacy Sullivan's book used as a base for the documentary, Be Not Afraid, For You Have Sons In America, should be afraid: a young uneducated Muslim Albanian illegally enters America via porous Mexican border, goes gun shopping to Pakistan and repeatedly ships guns via plane and in full sight of American flight attendants.

While the ranting in the Sullivan's book may be dismissed as a hearsay in the courts, the investigation into Krasniqi and his Albanian charity network may hit a brick wall because it may expose high level dirty laundry, most of them Clinton's administrators.

Consider: Ten minutes into the documentary we see the illegal immigrant Florin Krasniqi with an Albanian "guerilla" entourage known as KLA contributing at a John Kerry fundraiser and having a laugh with Democrats Wesley Clark and Richard Holbrooke. Fundrace.org indicates that Krasniqi indeed donated money to Kerry.

Krasniqi laments that "With money, you can do amazing things in this country... Senators and congressmen are looking for donations, and if you raise the money they need for their campaigns, they pay you back."

The political power of money that Krasniqi alludes to may have also caused the mischaracterization of the KLA from a "terrorist" into a "guerilla" group. Sullivan says that Albanian lobby chief, Joseph DioGuardi had a silent talk with Clinton's Balkan envoy Robert Gelbard who was adamant in referring to KLA as terrorists, and after the chat miraculously switched his reference to a more desirable "guerilla rebels". In fact, FBI has warned Krasniqi on 2 occasions that the KLA will be soon listed on a terror list and "advised" him to cease the "charity" fundraising.

Soon thereafter, a shadowy and Clinton-connected covert operations specialist Giles Pace was standing with Krasniqi's political moneyman DioGuardi at an airport. Jill Nicholson radio talk show in Las Vegas featured Pace on a Sept. 10, 1998 show billing him to have "direct links with the Albanian government". Krasniqi says that Pace may have been a CIA operative although some have said that he was Clinton's personal contact for dirty wars. Pace disappears when NATO starts bombing Serbia over KLA instigated warfare in Kosovo.

Terror Connections

Clinton allegedly pressured Albania to curb gun smuggling but that the pressure meant nothing was recounted by Krasniqi himself. Retelling Krasniqi's tale, Sullivan says that the US pressured Albanian President Berisha to establish a "special anti-arms-trafficking police force" and when this Albanian force intercepted Krasniqi running guns to Kosovo "the Krasniqis and their weapons were free to go." In fact, President Berisha's farm was used as a weapons stash for the Kosovo Albanians, a fact that could hardly be overlooked by Clinton's administration.

Clinton made it similarly clear that the US would "not tolerate the rebels receiving any assistance from Islamic fundamentalists." In a footnote, Sullivan cites that "This was confirmed to me both by Florin and two other KLA leaders." but cites that "[I]n April 1998, an Egyptian-born Frenchman named Claude Cheik Ben Abdel Kader, who claimed to be an operative for Al Qaeda, had approached the KLA Supreme Command in Tirana and offered to provide guns, money and fighters." KLA allegedly refused because of their already demonstrated loyalty to Clinton's clarities.

Kader was eventually arrested and sentenced to 20 years in jail.


People look at the bombed police building in Macedonia's capital Skopje, on Saturday, July 16, 2005.
Recent bombings in Macedonia, however, indicate possible al Qaeda-Krasniqi links. Skopje-based Vecer says that Agim Krasniqi's group was involved in the bombing attack on a police station in the village of Vratnica, while a Saudi Ramadan Shiti also triggered a similar police station bombing in Skopje. Both used "plastic" explosives and both reside in a Macedonian village of Kondovo where the police are afraid to go in because the armed Albanians and mujahedeen gangs have made the village their military base. Agim Krasniqi claims that he allegedly did not know anything at all about the Skopje bombing.
 
Sullivan's Krasniqi is rather clear of Albanian intentions in Macedonia. "...we'll take over that country because we'll be the majority." Presumably, coordinated Al Qaeda-Albanian bombings of police stations across Macedonia help in this endeavor.

KLA and London Bombings

According to Christope Chaboud, the new commandant of the anti-terrorist unit of France UCLAT, a unit of the French criminal police which specializes in the fight against terrorism, said that the explosives used in the London terrorist bombings on July 7, 2005, were of military derivation and had come to the UK from Kosovo.

Similarly, British military and defense analyst Paul Beaver said that "a part of the investigation dealing with the London blasts is aimed at links between radical Islamists in Bosnia and Kosovo with international terrorist groups." Beaver says that the KLA and Muslim federations developed close links with the criminal mafias in Albania.

"These clans are involved in drugs and arms smuggling," Beaver says. "The cooperation did not cease, and that is why the director of CIA Porter Goss recently visited both Sarajevo and the Albanian capital Tirana to express grave concerns of Washington because of their cooperation with radical Islamic groups."

Meanwhile, UK security officials flew to Belgrade to discuss the matter with Serbia-Montenegro security officials because the explosive was ex-Yugoslav Semtex, an explosive no longer made by Serbia but freely available for sale in Kosovo.


A Christian village of Vratnica, bombed by Agim Krasniqi in July 2005.
Titled We buy bag of Semtex from terrorists, London Mirror describes the ease with which their investigative reporters bought plastic explosives from KLA. "We made our deal in Kosovo, a breeding ground for fanatics with al-Qaeda links." writes Graham Johnson, Mirror's Investigations Editor. "Our contact was the deputy commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) Niam Behljulji, known as Hulji. The group were trained by Bin Laden's men." Johnson "bought enough Semtex to blow up Oxford Street and the Houses of Parliament or down 40 Lockerbie jets."
A Criminal Connection?

The appearance that a Brooklyn Connection has spread its sinister plot across the globe is inexorable. That a roofer is implicated in all of this is unlikely but what is likely is that some of the endeavors that CBS and PBS glorified in their documentary may actually connect more dots then intended by the Documentary's Dutch filmmaker Klaartje Quirijns.

In November 2004, FBI broke up a Brooklyn-based Albanian Mafia clan and among the 21 indicted is a certain Ljusa Nuculovic whom FBI describes to have "held a knife to the throat of a suspected [FBI] informant and was involved in an August 2001 shoot-'em-up at an Astoria social club called Soccer Fever. Nuculovic, an admitted gun-runner for the Kosovo Liberation Army [KLA] during the Balkan wars of the early 1990s, wound up taking over the Lucheses' Astoria operation" cites Manhattan Federal Court prosecutor Tim Treanor.

Stacy Sullivan states that Krasniqi's gunrunning fund was the only game in town, records of which FBI should clearly have. What in fact is FBI investigating now - terror, criminal or both - is therefore rather unclear.

That there is some secrecy in the money trail of the Brooklyn Connection, however, is attested by Stacy Sullivan who received an undisclosed amount of money by an "anonymous foundation that funded my fellowship" at a lavish MacDowell Colony, an expensive sanctuary that caters to artists providing them physical stimuli for their creations. Her book is a wealth of information, some of it faulty, but in the afterthought, she did manage to start the book with a quote from Nietzsche that warns those who fight monsters "should look to it that he himself does not become a monster."

FBI investigation should clarify who is now the monster and how has it become.


M. Bozinovich 
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