Yesterday, the late Argentine Prosecutor, Alberto Nisman was laid to rest in the La Tablada Jewish Community in Buenos Aires amidst a veritable firestorm of controversy that stretched from Argentina to Israel. There were signs of “Justice for Nisman” and “Thank You” in the throng of hundreds outside La Tablada cemetery. Nisman was appropriately interred in the Martyrs Section reserved for the Jewish victims of the July 18, 1994 AMIA blast. A separate section in La Tablada is reserved for suicides. The obituary in La Nacion contained the Hebrew abbreviation z”l of blessed memory.’ Many in the Argentine Jewish Community considered that appropriate as they deemed him the “86th victim” of the AMIA blast. In effect his burial in the Martyrs section repudiated initial official assessments from President Cristina de Fernandez Kirchner and the investigating prosecutor that he may have been a suicide. Kirchner quickly changed her story to a likely murder by rogue intelligence elements who had “manipulated” Nisman.
Among the mourners at his funeral were his two daughters 7-year old Ila and 15 year old Kala, his sister, mother and ex-wife, Judge Sandra Arroyo Salgado. The Times of Israel (TOI) report noted:
“This is burying part of our republic,” said Patricia Bullrich, an opposition member of Congress, before entering the cemetery. “It’s a day of reflection and sadness for all of Argentina.”
A farewell letter written by Nisman’s daughters to their father was published Thursday in Argentine papers. “We hope now you can rest in peace. We will guard in our hearts the beautiful moments we lived together,” they wrote.
In a separate funeral notice, Nisman’s ex-wife Salgado said she felt “profound sorrow” for their daughters. “I say goodbye to you, hoping you find the peace that your dedication to your job did not let you fully enjoy,” it said.
The Guardian reported:
Hundreds of protesters, convinced that he was a victim of foul play, gathered in front of the cemetery, some holding placards demanding “Justice for Nisman”.
“It is a great injustice. He was threatened,” said Cristina Paredes, 53, who said Nisman’s death “is the straw the broke the camel’s back” for Argentineans fed up with Kirchner and accusations of corruption by her administration.
The death was mourned as far away as Israel, which hailed Nisman – son of a textile merchant who had studied law at the University of Buenos Aires – as “courageous”.
A friend in Geneva, Switzerland, Imre Herzog, who had forwarded several of our Iconoclast posts on Nisman death to members of the Argentine Jewish community, reported a woman commenting, “There is no Justice in Argentina.”
Nisman was found dead shot with a .22 caliber pistol delivered to him on January 17th by Diego Lagomarsino, the IT manager of the Special Investigative Unit. Lagomarsino, the last person to see Nisman, told a news conference the Prosecutor “didn’t trust his security detail.” Moreover, as the TOI reported, Nisman had chilling evidence of a threat on his life from alleged Iranian sources. He played a recorded voice message recorded while one of his daughters visited him. Ironically, Lagomarsino is being accused of violating Argentinean laws regarding conveying unregistered weapons. Nisman’s death on Sunday January 18th occurred on the cusp of his scheduled testimony at a Congressional hearing on a 289 page Compliant his Special Investigative Unit had prepared. It contained accusations of a cover up by President Kirchner and Foreign Minister Timerman of a trade deal with Iran in exchange for dropping charges against Iranian officials involved in the 1994 AMIA Bombing. Nisman’s murder might have been by members of his security detail on orders of shadowy Argentine opponents or a professional hitman from Hezbollah. Iran and proxy Hezbollah have operatives in the Triple Frontier border zone, where Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil meet considered the Iron Triangle of terrorism in Latin America.
The 1994 AMIA blast that created the Martyrs section in the La Tablada cemetery was attributed to 29 year old Lebanese Hezbollah suicide bomber, Ibrahim Hussein Berro, who was driving a Renault Trafic van packed with 275 kilograms of shaped explosives using ammonium nitrate fertilizer and a fuel oil mixture. Eighty-five were killed and hundreds were injured in the blast that tore off the façade of the Jewish community facility causing it to collapse. The explosion spread death, havoc and injuries in the street in a crowded Buenos Aires central commercial district. Berro had been identified by his brothers in Michigan as a Hezbollah member. They gave Nisman a photograph that matched an artist rendering of a description from other eye- witnesses who had briefly glimpsed Berro driving to his fateful end. Nisman remarked, “The brothers’ testimony was substantial, rich in detail and showed that he was the one who was killed”.
Nisman’s relentless pursuit of who organized this pre-9/11 action led him to obtain an Interpol red tag warrant for the arrest and prosecution of senior Iranian officials and Hezbollah terrorist mastermind, Imad Mughniyah. Mughniyah was brought to justice when on February 12, 2008 he was killed in a car bombing when he stepped into his Mitsubishi Pajero leaving a celebration of the 1979 Islamic Revolution at the Iranian Embassy in Damascus, Syria. Many believe that this may have been by Mossad in retribution for Mughniyah’s role in planning and executing both the 1992 Israeli Embassy and 1994 AMIA Jewish center bombings in Buenos Aires. Others identified in the 2007 Compliant, approved by a majority vote of the Interpol Assembly meeting in Morocco, were several Iranian officials including former President Rafsanjani and current President Rouhani. They had all been present at a meeting in Mashad, Iran in August 14, 1993 that authorized the operation with the proviso that it “kill without leaving a trace”- the title of a book on Nisman’s investigations by Israeli-Argentinean Gustavo Perednik. The animus for these murderous attacks against Israelis and Argentineans is alleged to be Argentina’s suspension of a nuclear transfer agreement that same year that began during the era of the late Shah. Immediately following the AMIA blast, a Panamanian commuter flight on August 19, 1994 was blown up in mid-air by an Arab passenger carrying forged Columbian documents. All 21 passengers and crew were killed, including 12 Jewish businessmen bound for Panama City from Colon. Panamanian and US investigators deemed that a terrorist action.
One aspect of the Nisman saga affects the US, as well. In an interview with Lou Dobbs of Fox News, Claudia Rosett, Journalist- in- Residence at the Washington, DC-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies told of Nisman being barred by the Argentine Justice Ministry from appearing at a 2013 Congressional Hearing on Iranian-Hezbollah terror networks. Networks as Rosett pointed out that originated in the Triple Frontier, spread throughout all of Latin America to Mexico and even here in the US. Think of the Quds Force deal with a Mexican Cartel and an Iranian émigré in Texas seeking to arrange the assassination of the Saudi Ambassador to the US at a Washington, DC restaurant. Despite Nisman being barred from testifying before the Congressional Committee, an empty chair with a place card bearing his name was placed in front at the Hearing. A testament to the esteem and his courage in warning us of Iran’s long reach of state sponsored terrorism that have claimed over hundreds of lives of innocent victims and now, Nisman. His legacy cries out for independent Argentine/US/Israeli filings before the International Criminal Court at The Hague to finally bring to justice Iranian officials who organized the crimes and corrupt Argentinean officials complicit in the monstrous cover up.
Watch the Fox News Lou Dobbs interview with Claudia Rosett:
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of th funeral cortege for late Alberto Nisman La Tablada Jewish Cemetery 1-29-15 in Buenos Aires. Source: AP.