Atta Associate Surfaces in South Pacific

 !!wolfOne of Mohamed Atta's closest associates in Florida before the 9/11 attack today carries a chest on his yacht filled with several million dollars in new bills, automatic weapons, passports from a half-dozen nations, and works for a major international Mobster.

Wolfgang Bohringer, a German pilot, identified by Atta’s one-time girlfriend Amanda Keller as one of Mohamed Atta’s closest associates in Florida during the run-up to the 9.11 attack, and one of the handful of people the terrorist ringleader called “my brother,” recently resurfaced on a tiny island in the South Pacific, in the Republic of Kiribati.

00001485There he announced his intention to set up a flight school on Fanning Island, almost a thousand miles south of Hawaii and one of the most remote places on Earth. Bohringer plans to teach pilots how to fly DC3’s, the 70-year old aviation workhorse frequently used in weapons and drug smuggling.

The island has no electricity, and a population of barely one hundred souls. While it hardly seems an ideal place for a flight school, the remote location and lack of official scrutiny may make it ideal for something.

Bohringer, accompanied by a woman he reportedly met over the Internet named Ana Maria Uhr, almost immediately aroused suspicion, after he announced plans for a flight school training what local citizens suspected would be an assortment of smugglers and mercenaries to fly DC3’s.

Alarmed local residents contacted The MadCowMorningNews about the German pilot, offering new details which prompted us to take a closer look at him as a possible link to the elusive global network which British Prime Minister Tony Blair, two weeks after 9/11, said had assisted the terrorist hijackers.

Mohamed Atta & the 'Pirate of Prague'

m_000008351248During the same period Wolfgang Bohringer was hanging out with Mohamed Atta, Bohringer was the personal pilot of a notorious Czech Mobster named Victor Kozeny, who is known as the ‘Pirate of Prague.'
Kozeny owns a private island in the Bahamas, travels on an Irish passport, and is currently fighting extradition to the U.S. on charges of massive financial fraud and allegedly paying multi-million dollar bribes to government officials in the Republic of Azerbaijan in an effort to take-over that oil-rich country’s State Oil Company.

After defrauding thousands of people around the world while traveling on an Irish passport, including the chairman of the Northern Ireland peace talks,!!ozeny-victor Senator George Mitchell, Kozeny sought refuge in the Bahamas.

Bohringer had opened a flight school in Naples, Florida in 1996, illegal for a foreigner. But he hadn't gotten in any trouble with the FAA.

Perhaps his association as the personal pilot for a major Eastern European Mafia figure named Victor Kozeny had helped. Kozeny is the subject of investigations by the FBI and US Customs, and was recently charged in the U.S. with stealing $182 million dollars by the Manhattan District Attorney.

Bohringer moved to Atlanta to began a position as corporate pilot in February 1, 2001, according to his online bio, for a software company called HBOC. No doubt it is just a coincidence, or dashed bad luck, but Bohringer's new employer was involved in a major accounting scandal which cost shareholders $9 billion of lost value in a single day.
 

A Czech Mobster with an Irish Passport in the Bahamas

Kozeni“HBOC was found to be a mob bust-out,” a financial analyst emailed us.

Kozeny, we were shocked to discover, had at some point in the mid-90's controlled one-third of the entire Czechoslovakian economy. "Kozeny bought factories and 'rides' on pipelines, meaning they crossed land he owned and paid big for the privilege."

With his ill-gotten gains, Kozeny tried to buy off top officials in the former Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan to gain control of that country's state-owned oil company. One man already convicted in the scheme, Hans Bodmer, belonged to a network of Russian oligarchs, one of whom, Pyotr Aven, has been accused by a Russian corruption task force of being engaged in drug trafficking.

Kozeny's partners in the Azeri scheme included a managing director of Hank Greenburg's American Insurance Group (AIG). Greenberg was forced to step down amid the Eliot Spitzer probe, a scandal, it is rumored, which involved a major Bush family and associates' international money-laundering operation that has spanned more than a generation and has been used to illegally fund US elections since the Nixon era.

!!kozeny_policista_soudAIG was founded from Asia Life/CV Starr, a Shanghai-based international import/export and insurance firm founded in 1919 by Cornelius V. Starr, an Office of Strategic Services (OSS) operative in Southeast Asia during World War II. Clinton antagonist Kenneth Starr is his nephew.

Currently Kozeny is awaiting extradition to the U.S. from the Bahamas. A prosecutor there  revealed in court that Kozeny possesses an astonishing number of passports, including six from Ireland alone. "He appears to be able to produce foreign passports at will," stated the prosecutor.
 

The Atlanta Connection?

Atta and Al Shehhi flew or drove to Atlanta on several occasions during the month of February 2001. To meet with Wolfgang? On two of those visits, Atta rented a plane, the first with a pilot, the second unescorted, and visited an area of Tennessee where he observed a dam, and several nuclear fuel production facilities.

!!chestOn his yacht, the “Argos,” Bohringer was carrying a chest filled with “stacks of brand new hundred dollar bills, more money that I have ever seen in my life,” wrote one local resident.

Like his former boss, Bohringer is no slouch in the passport department…Aboard Wolfgang's yacht were passports from a half-dozen nations, and a cache of firearms, including a Glock. He claimed to be an arms dealer, and acknowledged his involvement with Eastern European Mobsters. Bohringer also reportedly admitted knowing Mohamed Atta, but stating to several islanders that another German pilot in Naples, Rex Gasteiger, was to blame for linking him to 9/11.

Soon several residents quietly reported surprisingly-deep suspicions to local authorities. "To me Wolfgang is carrying dirty money, lots of it,” wrote one.

"If he can gets a flight school going it does not take a stretch of the imagination to see he would sell it to some else who sells it to someone else and Honolulu gets vaporized. He seems to know the money tree and could be working to set things up for others to do so and so has been funded to do so.”

!!wolfgLocals on Fanning Island sent us the pictures of Wolfgang in this story.

Worried about "the 9/11 thing"

"A month before Wolfgang left with his boat he met Ana on the internet. He sent tickets and credit card for her to meet him in Paris. He would take her as crew on a round the world trip. First stop Hawaii. But when they were a day out of Hawaii he informed her they were sailing to another island and not stopping at Hawaii."

“My friend crewed with them to Samoa, and on the trip he found Wolfgang liked having his picture taken,” one local resident wrote us.

On the trip Ana confided she was really worried about Wolfgang. He seemed to running from something. So she told him what she’d read about him on the internet about the 9/11 thing."

"Wolfgang alleviated my concerns with simple explanations about an unhappy business partnership with the guy who bought his flight school,” the resident wrote. “But, it was clear he hated Jews. He told some very bad jokes about ovens, Jews, bread, and blacks."

!valWe compared the new pictures with what Amanda Keller had told us about Wolfgang. She called Bohringer “The Iceman,” she said, because of his resemblance to a character in the movie “Top Gun,” the rival to Tom Cruise played by Val Kilmer. And indeed, the resemblance is remarkably close.

Keller also said Wolfgang won a lottery to get his green card. The locals on Fanning Island report that Bohringer told them that story too. So clearly Amanda Keller had known Bohringer.

Her testimony has once again proven correct, as it also was when she told of helping Atta move from Deep Creek, part of the recently-incorporated town of North Port. Documents made public after the Moussaoui trial show Atta was sending faxes from a Postal Express in Deep Creek on March 11, 2001, at exactly the time Amanda Keller says he was there.

Fibbers Bureau of Investigation

March_2006_01The Moussaoui trial produced the largest trove of government documents about the hijackers' South Florida movements. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press was instrumental in the release of many of those court documents. The FBI fought them every step of the way.

Now we know why. The documents prove they’ve been lying.

Him (Atta)and Wolfgang drove around in the red convertible a lot,” she said. “Their favorite place to eat was Hooters in Sarasota. They got kicked out of Hooters for grabbing their boobs.”

He spoke German with Wolfgang, who was in his thirties. Wolfgang was with Mohamed when he came by the nursing home to see me one time. Mohamed called certain people—Arabic people—‘my brother.’ And I was wondering how he had so many family members. Like gang members do, ‘this is my brother,’” she said.

“But not all Arabs. So it wasn’t like just anyone Muslim was his brother. He called Wolfgang and Juergen ‘my brother,’ too. He and Wolfgang were very tight, they went everywhere together. When he came into the picture they were together all the time.”

Turn left at the Maldives

March_2006_29The story of Wolfgang’s life to date is studded, according to people we spoke with who knew him, with activities considerably out of the ordinary. While sailing around the world on a 47-foot yacht, for example, instead of crossing the Indian Ocean from the coast of Africa on a direct line, he took a “detour” to Bombay, where he met his wife Sujita.

He was one of the first of the ‘German element’ to arrive in Florida, in 1996, when he opened a flight school in Naples. Prior to arriving in Naples he was associated with an organization called “The Flying Club of Munich,” in Augsburg, Germany.

In Spring 2002, he became a naturalized U.S. citizen.

Like Rudi Dekkers, Wolfgang was notorious in aviation circles for bad behavior. We found records of his scrapes in the files of airport authorities in Florida, including a letter sent by a former employee soliciting to offer private flight instruction at his Wolf Aero, Bohringer's flight school, without authority and in violation of FAA rules was in the airport records in Naples.

“Wolfgang showed up from Munich in the mid-1990’s and immediately began operating a flight school illegally,” stated Naples flight instructor Marcus Huber, a flight instructor in Naples. “He’s half Swiss, half German.”

A  "Hall Pass" from the FAA

!!!ADEKKERSLike Rudi Dekkers, Wolfgang also seems to have had a “hall pass” from federal authorities, which embittered other foreign flight trainers not similarly well-connected.

“When Wolfgang applied for an E-2 Visa, he made up a fake company, a cleaning service,” Huber told us. “Sometimes it makes me mad that a criminal gets preference.”

In the wake of the Sept 11 disaster, U.S. officials repeatedly promised explanations. But it was left to British Prime Minister Tony Blair to sketch out the Cliff notes version of the case against Bin Laden. He said, "Al Qaeda is a terrorist organization with ties to a global network."

Almost five years after Tony Blair first told the world that a “global network” provided assistance to the terrorist hijackers while they were in the U.S., what is happening on a tiny island in the South Pacific may point towards the international organization in question.

"You have a network of people who obtain certain information and… sell it to whomever would be the highest bidder," explained Sibel Edmonds, former FBI translator, who was muzzled by U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, who went to the Supreme Court to ensure her silence about… something.

"There are certain points where you have your drug-related activities combined with money laundering and information laundering, converging with your terrorist activities… Post-9/11 intelligence 'failures' include the willful quashing by the Government of investigations tracing these criminal networks."

Why no push to find the Germans?

Atta's German buddy Bohringer works for a global network. Did it assist Atta and the terrorist hijackers? Was there a connection between the larger organization, or network, behind gangster financier Victor Kozeny, and that of the terrorists in Florida plotting to kill Americans on the 11th of September in 2001?

amanda-kellerAmanda Keller was not the only eyewitness quoted mentioning Atta’s German associates. Atta’s landlord for a brief week told reporters about a wild 3-day weekend Amanda and Atta spent in Key West, along with another girl named Linda.

“The two girls were introduced to two men from Germany that they said were Mohamed’s friends,” Tony LaConca told the Charlotte Sun-Herald.

When we first learned that all of Atta’s associates in Florida had not been Arab, we were understandably eager to learn more about the terrorist ringleaders’ two German friends.

Sun-Herald reporter Elaine Allen-Emrich had apparently felt the same way…
"The FBI in Tampa would neither confirm nor deny that any agents were interviewing people in the North Port area,” she reported.

“Asked for more information about Atta’s wild weekend, an FBI spokesperson identified only as ‘Pam’ said, “We recommend that you check in with CNN for current information. Any press statements can be found on televised stations like CNN.”

We went looking for ourselves. The results are in “Welcome to TERRORLAND.

We didn’t feel like “checking in with CNN.”
 

NEXT: TERRORIST'S HOMETOWN PAPER CHALLENGES THE ONION FOR SATIRE CROWN

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Daniel Hopsicker

Daniel Hopsicker is an investigative journalist and the author of two books on transnational crime, Welcome to Terrorland and Barry & the Boys.