Saturday, December 03, 2005

The FBI Is Back on the Case of the Forged Niger Documents

The LA Times reports that the FBI has reopened the investigation into the forged documents that led to claim that Iraq was seeking uranium in Niger:
The FBI's decision to reopen the investigation reverses the agency's announcement last month that it had finished a two-year inquiry and concluded that the forgeries were part of a moneymaking scheme — and not an effort to manipulate U.S. foreign policy.
Those findings concerned some members of the Senate Intelligence Committee after published reports that the FBI had not interviewed a former Italian spy named Rocco Martino, who was identified as the original source of the documents. The committee had requested the initial investigation.
Who is Rocco Martino?
Recent accounts in the Italian press said that Martino, a businessman and former freelance spy who was fired from the Italian military intelligence agency, obtained the documents from a female friend who worked at Niger's embassy in Rome. Martino has said he was working with a more senior Italian intelligence agent, Col. Antonio Nucero, and peddled the documents to French intelligence and eventually, in 2002, to Italian journalist Elisabetta Burba.
One wonders how diligent the investigation was before, if the guy identified as the forger wasn't even interviewed. The key question is whether Martino acted on his own, perhaps to make a buck, or whether he worked with others, such as members of the Iraqi National Congress.
The image and the translation of one of the forged documents come from the
Standard Time Tribune.

REPUBLIC OF NIGER

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Council of National Reconciliation

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Minister of Foreign Affairs
And African Integration

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Niamey, July 30 1999

Would you be so kind as to contact the Iraqi Ambassador, Mr Wissah Al Zahawye, and learn his country's response to the proposed supply of uranium on the terms last agreed upon at Niamey on June 27 2000.

Please treat this highly confidential matter with all appropriate discretion and diligence.

2 Comments:

Blogger jason said...

This is my first reading of the document, but what a transparently bogus piece of crap !

It sounds like Homer Simpson wrote it for heaven sake.

5:19 PM, December 03, 2005  
Blogger Mike said...

Maybe this is just an early form of Phishing?

1:40 PM, December 04, 2005  

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