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Guyana to ask Argentina for information on Iranian terrorist cells

courtesy Mercopress

Argentine Special Prosecutor Alberto Nisman

Guyana will ask Argentina for information about claims that Iran has been setting up terrorist cells here and other parts of South America and the Caribbean, a senior government official said Wednesday.

Luncheon’s announcement came less than one week after an Argentine Special Prosecutor Alberto Nisman claimed that the 2010 conviction of two Guyanese men for conspiring to blow up the John F.KennedyInternational Airport was part of a larger sequence.

He said Nisman’s assertion was also expected to see sister Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries- Suriname and, Trinidad and Tobago requesting information from the Argentine authorities about “this diabolical crime of plotting terrorist actions.”

“This is anticipated. I expect that not only Guyana. I think those other Caricom countries as well as those other non-Caricom countries that the Argentine prosecutor identified would all be interest on what basis these allegations have been made,” Luncheon told reporters.

The New York Times reports that Mr. Nisman, who has investigated the 1994 bombing of Jewish community center in Argentina that killed 85 persons since 2005, suggested that “criminal plans” by Iran could be under development in Latin America, including Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guyana, Paraguay, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Uruguay. Still, he did not provide concrete evidence as to specific terrorist plots in any of those countries. Mr. Nisman’s report also mentioned the potential development in parts of Latin America by Iran of sleeper cells.

The Guyana government official said Nisman’s pronouncement marked the first time that authorities had officially heard of such a claim and that neither bilateral nor international partners had provided such information. “Those disclosures were the first that had been brought to our attention indirectly because I know for a fact that the Argentine government, international bodies have not submitted to the Government of Guyana in any official way that they have evidence or they have concerns about setting up of terrorist cells by Iran in Guyana,” he said.

Abdul Kadir, a former Mayor of Linden and executive member and parliamentarian for the Peoples National Congress (PNC), and Russell M. De Freitas, have been convicted for plotting to blow up fuel lines at the JFK Airport.

Prosecutors in New York have claimed that Kadir had secretly worked for years as a spy for Iran when he said during cross-examination that he had drafted regular reports to Iran’s ambassador in Venezuela on plans to infiltrate Guyana’s military and police. The plot to attack the airport did not advance beyond the conceptual stage. A U.S. Court of Appeal recently upheld a ruling that Kadir and De Freitas’ life sentence.

Nisman, who has investigated the bombing since 2005, suggested that “criminal plans” by Iran could be under development in Latin America, including Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guyana, Paraguay, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Uruguay.

Still, he did not provide concrete evidence as to specific terrorist plots in any of those countries. Mr. Nisman’s report also mentioned the potential development in parts of Latin America by Iran of sleeper cells.

Mercopress, the South Atlantic News Agency, quoted what it described as a brief but extremely aggressive release the Iranian Foreign Ministry rejected point blank the report from Argentine Prosecutor Alberto Nisman whom they described as “Zionist” and denied all allegations that Tehran has infiltrated nine South American countries to commit terrorist acts.

According to IRNA Iranian official news agency, the Ministry expressed that “due to the prosecutor’s background and Zionist character, we won’t consider his statements important”.

The Iranian government considers Israel a “Zionist entity” (as well as the United States) and ignores its existence. Not only that: it believes it must “disappear from the face of the Earth” as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said. Prosecutor Nisman has been accused of ‘Zionist’ because he is a Jew.