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Was Russia's 'Hijacked' Ship Carrying Missiles to the Mideast?
Time ^ | Monday August 31, 2009 | Simon Shuster / Moscow

Posted on 09/01/2009 8:51:14 AM PDT by Mat_Helm

In July, the Russian-manned cargo ship the Arctic Sea disappeared on its way to take timber from Finland to Algeria, sparking reports of the first incident of piracy in European waters since the days of the buccaneers. Experts and observers weighed in with their theories: the ship had been snatched in a commercial dispute; it was being used to run drugs; it was carrying something more precious — or dangerous — than timber.

Since then, the Russian navy has found the ship, and the alleged hijackers who boarded it on July 24 have been charged with kidnapping and piracy. The ship's captain, his crew and whatever cargo the ship was carrying have also been detained. An initial search of the hull turned up nothing suspicious, and now Russia's official explanation of what happened will probably become the final one — this was a hijacking thwarted by its navy without a shot being fired. But there are baffling details left unexplained, leading some experts to claim that the truth is much more sinister: the Arctic Sea, they say, was intercepted by Israel as it carried a secret cargo of weapons to the Middle East.

The highest-ranking official to put forward this version of events is the European Union's rapporteur on piracy and a former commander of the Estonian armed forces, Admiral Tarmo Kouts. In an interview with TIME, he says only a shipment of missiles could account for Russia's bizarre behavior throughout the monthlong saga. "There is the idea that there were missiles aboard, and one can't explain this situation in any other way," he says. "As a sailor with years of experience, I can tell you that the official versions are not realistic."

Kouts says an Israeli interception of the cargo is the most likely explanation.

(Excerpt) Read more at time.com ...


TOPICS: Israel; Russia
KEYWORDS: 200907; 20090724; algeria; arcticsea; armssmuggling; estonia; europeanunion; finland; interdiction; israel; kouts; lumber; russia; shipjacking; tarmokouts; timber; waronterror
"Even from the basic facts, without assumptions, it is clear that this was not just piracy," says Mikhail Voitenko, editor of the Russian maritime journal Sovfrakht, which has been tracking unusual incidents on the high seas for decades. "I've never seen anything like this. These are some of the most heavily policed waters in the world. You cannot just hide a ship there for weeks without government involvement."
1 posted on 09/01/2009 8:51:14 AM PDT by Mat_Helm
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To: Mat_Helm

Too bad we don’t have Paul Harvey to give us the rest of the story.


2 posted on 09/01/2009 8:53:37 AM PDT by NCjim ("Lies have to be covered up, truth can run around naked." - Johnny Cash)
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To: Mat_Helm

Why not, they transported Saddam’s WMDs out of the country.


3 posted on 09/01/2009 8:58:40 AM PDT by ravingnutter
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To: NCjim

Something’s fishy here.


4 posted on 09/01/2009 8:59:45 AM PDT by Erik Latranyi (Too many conservatives urge retreat when the war of politics doesn't go their way.)
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To: NCjim
Too bad we don’t have Paul Harvey to give us the rest of the story.

And thanks to 0bama and Holder, pretty soon we won't have the CIA to find out.

5 posted on 09/01/2009 9:05:25 AM PDT by The Sons of Liberty (FUBO - No socialist Bureaucrat on a Death Panel is going to decide whether I live or die!)
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To: ravingnutter

This site http://homelandsecurityus.com/?p=2994 postulated last week that the cargo was nuclear warheads destined for Al-Qaeda via Iran.

Rumor is that Al-Qaeda paid many millions to acquire these and Israel found out about it and put a stop to it.


6 posted on 09/01/2009 9:15:10 AM PDT by milwguy
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To: The Sons of Liberty

Pretty soon? I’d say it has already happened - the CIA has been effectively defanged.


7 posted on 09/01/2009 9:30:21 AM PDT by SoldierDad (Proud Dad of a U.S. Army Infantry Soldier whose wife is expecting twins.)
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To: milwguy

ping for later, but, wow, what a story!


8 posted on 09/01/2009 9:36:09 AM PDT by pctech
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To: pctech

My take is this.

Israeli commandos were tipped off. They intercepted the ship. Transferred the cargo to another ship, sub or plane.

The Russians finally found the ship, and had some crew members pretending to be hijackers...

Israel has the cargo, which could very well be warheads.

Not only is it a bargaining chip for them, but I think they’re using it as a bargaining chip with Obama also.

We should make Israel our 51st State, that will take care of everything.


9 posted on 09/01/2009 9:57:17 AM PDT by nikos1121 (Is it a coincidence that Obama's vacation of relaxation and meditation coincides with Ramadan?)
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To: SoldierDad

I wonder if the CIA was getting too close to something 0bama didn’t want to come out - like his real birth certificate.


10 posted on 09/01/2009 9:59:46 AM PDT by The Sons of Liberty (FUBO - No socialist Bureaucrat on a Death Panel is going to decide whether I live or die!)
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To: nikos1121

“We should make Israel our 51st State....”

Don’t do it Israel! A lot of the states are trying to get out!


11 posted on 09/01/2009 10:04:09 AM PDT by demshateGod (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
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To: The Sons of Liberty

How would this related to this?


12 posted on 09/01/2009 10:10:19 AM PDT by Perdogg (Sarah Palin-Jim DeMint 2012 - Liz Cheney for Sec of State - Duncan Hunter SecDef)
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To: milwguy

That sounds a lot like my video game...


13 posted on 09/01/2009 10:18:47 AM PDT by I Hate Obama ("Life Is Like A Box of Chocolates, You Never Know What You're Gonna Get." -Forest Gump)
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To: Mat_Helm
I have given this some thought over the past weeks, and I can't come to a conclusion that includes missiles or bombs....

It simply seems that there were better ways of achieving that.

I am more inclined to believe the cargo was human. Perhaps a defector or a spy who had worn out the FSB's patience.

14 posted on 09/01/2009 10:32:00 AM PDT by Cold Heat
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To: Cold Heat
An article from Homelandsecurityus.com posted here last week covered the suspected details and a follow up article was to come out the next day and never did for this reason:

“I can’t say anything about the roots of this story and I don’t plan to dig further… I need to think about my own skin too. Understand that as you will.” –Mikhail Voitenko, editor of the Russian maritime Bulletin Sovfrakht., speaking about the “hijacking” of the Arctic Sea

Like others I believe Israel became aware of this shipment and either hired unsuspecting Russians to hijack the ship or paid them very well to allow them access before the ship reached Algiers. They may have sabotaged the cargo, thrown it over the side, or captured it. The Russians responsible for setting up the clandestine shipment will not be happy.

Why did they identify the ship as a North Korean ship when confronted by their own Russian Navy and why did a Russian warship send out the ship transponder code identifying itself as the Arctic Sea? Did they perhaps think they could lure a U.S. or Israeli submarine into the area that was also looking for the real Arctic Sea?

What was in the special designed cargo holds modified in port before loading on the lumber? Was it fissile nuclear material or warheads, S300 missile systems, cruise missiles, or other deadly material and who was it meant for?

15 posted on 09/01/2009 11:16:24 AM PDT by Mat_Helm
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To: ravingnutter

And we have the satellite films to prove it.


16 posted on 09/01/2009 12:01:21 PM PDT by Joe Boucher (google; operation garden spot and REX84)
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To: Joe Boucher
From my files:

As discussed in Shadow Warriors by Kenneth Timmerman, Smeshko and the other Ukrainians informed the U.S. and British governments that Iraq’s WMD had been sent outside of the country with Russian assistance. The information included the dates and locations of meetings to plan the operation, and even names of the Russian Spetsnaz officers involved. Shaw also worked with a British solider of fortune who ran an intelligence network in the region, and had tracked the movement of WMDs to Syria and Lebanon.

The information provided by this network substantiated the information provided by the Ukrainians. Ion Pacepa, the former head of Romanian intelligence during the Cold War, has also provided information supporting these allegations, saying he had personal knowledge of a Soviet plan called “Operation Sarindar” where the Russians would cleanse an ally, such as Iraq, of traces of illicit activity if threatened with Western attack. The plan’s purpose was to deny the West of any evidence incriminating the Russian ally, as well as to wipe Russia’s own fingerprints off of the state’s illegal activity.

The Other Intelligence Failure: Iraqi WMD Tips Were Ignored

"Last month Moshe Yaalon, who was Israel's top general at the time, said Iraq transported WMD to Syria six weeks before Operation Iraqi Freedom began.

Last March, John A. Shaw, a former U.S. deputy undersecretary of defense for international technology security, said Russian Spetsnaz units moved WMD to Syria and Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.

"While in Iraq I received information from several sources naming the exact Russian units, what they took and where they took both WMD materials and conventional explosives," Mr. Shaw told NewsMax reporter Charles Smith.

Retired Marine Lt. Gen. Michael DeLong was deputy commander of Central Command during Operation Iraqi Freedom. In September 2004, he told WABC radio that "I do know for a fact that some of those weapons went into Syria, Lebanon and Iran."

In January 2004, David Kay, the first head of the Iraq Survey Group which conducted the search for Saddam's WMD, told a British newspaper there was evidence unspecified materials had been moved to Syria from Iraq shortly before the war.

"We know from some of the interrogations of former Iraqi officials that a lot of material went to Syria before the war, including some components of Saddam's WMD program," Mr. Kay told the Sunday Telegraph.

Also that month, Nizar Nayuf, a Syrian journalist who defected to an undisclosed European country, told a Dutch newspaper he knew of three sites where Iraq's WMD was being kept. They were the town of al Baida near the city of Hama in northern Syria; the Syrian air force base near the village of Tal Snan, and the city of Sjinsar on the border with Lebanon.

In an addendum to his final report last April, Charles Duelfer, who succeeded David Kay as head of the Iraq Survey Group, said he couldn't rule out a transfer of WMD from Iraq to Syria.

"There was evidence of a discussion of possible WMD collaboration initiated by a Syrian security officer, and ISG received information about movement of material out of Iraq, including the possibility that WMD was involved. In the judgment of the working group, these reports were sufficiently credible to merit further investigation," Mr. Duelfer said."

Source

"The short answer to the question of where the WMD Saddam bought from the Russians went was that they went to Syria and Lebanon," former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense John A. Shaw told an audience Saturday at a privately sponsored "Intelligence Summit" in Alexandria, Va. (www.intelligencesummit.org).

Source

"We are not talking about a large stockpile of weapons," he said. "But we know from some of the interrogations of former Iraqi officials that a lot of material went to Syria before the war, including some components of Saddam's WMD programme. Precisely what went to Syria, and what has happened to it, is a major issue that needs to be resolved."

Source

"Two days before the war, on March 17th, we saw through multiple intelligence channels - both human intelligence and technical (satellite,eavesdrop) intelligence - large caravans of people and things, including some of the top 55 Iraqis, going to Syria."

Source

See also:

What Charles Duelfer Missed

U.S. State Department Admits -- Saddam Hussein Was Developing Nuclear Bomb

Saddam's Terror Links (He Had Links to al Qaeda)

17 posted on 09/01/2009 12:12:47 PM PDT by ravingnutter
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
Middle East and terrorism, occasional political and Jewish issues Ping List. High Volume

If you’d like to be on or off, please FR mail me.

..................

18 posted on 09/01/2009 6:15:13 PM PDT by SJackson (There is always a need for intoxication: China has opium, Islam hashish, the West woman, Malraux)
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To: Quix

Interesting read.


19 posted on 09/01/2009 7:49:07 PM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: Cvengr

INDEED.

THX.


20 posted on 09/01/2009 9:08:38 PM PDT by Quix (POL Ldrs quotes fm1900 2 presnt: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2130557/posts?page=81#81)
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To: The Sons of Liberty

Keep an eye/ear open - things of that nature never stay secret.


21 posted on 09/01/2009 9:56:54 PM PDT by SoldierDad (Proud Dad of a U.S. Army Infantry Soldier whose wife is expecting twins.)
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