Russian Mobster Tied to 9/11 Conspiracy in Plot

Russian Mobster Igor Borisovich “Felix” Rabaev, the heroin trafficker who was waiting at the receiving end for the arrival of a weekly drug flight coming in from Venezuela during the year 2000 on a Lear jet owned by terror flight school impresario Wallace J. Hilliard re-surfaced in the Ukraine last year, where he masterminded an attempt to assassinate a man just-appointed Secretary of the Ukrainian National Security Council, the MadCowMorningNews has learned.

Vitaliy Haiduk was then the West-leaning Ukrainian Minister of Energy, targeted for injury (or worse) in a deliberate crash landing of a private Challenger jet on January 5, 2005 at an airport in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. Tensions were running high at the time, as the world watched to see what would happen during the inauguration of crash1Western-backed President Viktor Yushchenko, scarred by poisoning during the election campaign.

Former CIA pilot Mark Shubin, who witnessed the controlled crash landing of Haiduk’s plane, received a phone threat on his life last week to dissuade him from revealing details of the incident.

But phone threat were hardly the only examples of the ruthlessness of the Russian Mafia, visible in a spate of news stories last week, the most prominent of which involved speculation at Scotland Yard of possible involvement of Russian organized crime in the killing of a KGB defector whose food was spiked with a rare radioactive substance

Did 'Pirate of Prague' know Atta?

!!ozeny-victorThe Russian Mob was also in the news in a bizarre case involving the FBI's terrorism unit, investigating charges Russian Mobsters were deliberately  contaminating their hordes of cash with a virus designed to sicken anyone who came in contact with it, after officers in the State Police in Pennsylvania became ill after confiscating a stash of drug money.

Stranger still was a story revealing that Russian organized crime had been fingered by police in Seoul South Korea during an investigation into a disgraced Korean cloning scientist, Hwang Woo-suk, who announced Hwang made three attempts to clone a wooly mammoth, using mammoth cells bought from the Russian Mafia.

rabaevThe involvement of Felix Rabaev in drug flights on a plane owned by the man whose flight school was at the same time teaching Mohamed Atta to fly was just one of several threads involving the Russian Mob in the story of the 9/11 terrorist conspiracy.

As we reported last week the FBI launched a manhunt scouring the South Pacific for Wolfgang Bohringer, a German pilot fingered as one of Atta's closest associates in “Welcome to TERRORLAND,” after he re-surfaced in the middle of the South Pacific recently to launch a highly-dubious enterprise on a tiny island over 1000 miles from a city of any size, where he planned to open a flight school which would only teach pilots how to fly DC3’s.

!!wolfBohringer was hanging out with Mohamed Atta all over Southwest Florida in the year before 9/11 while serving as the personal pilot of fugitive financier, Victor Kozeny, the so-called “Pirate of Prague.”

Kozeny ran afoul of U.S. officials after attempting to bribe his way to ownership of the state oil company in Azerbaijan. His endeavor was assisted by shady American financing, including money from AIG Insurance, whose subsidiary Coral Reinsurance, according to the Arkansas Project, was implicated during the 1980's in cocaine trafficking through Mena, Arkansas.

Our parent company:  'Caught Holding LLC.'

news_6589When the plot against Haiduk was launched, Haiduk, one of Ukraine’s biggest oligarchs, was the Ukraine’s Minister of Energy, and had made enemies because of his pro-Western positions and hostility towards Russia on controversial energy issues, including the showdown between Ukrainian and Russian officials over whether to hand over Ukraine's gas transport system under a concession agreement with Russia.

It was an epic struggle, a Trojan War with no Helen, just lots of black oily goop.

We learned Rabaev had been implicated in an assassination attempt while attempting to learn more about Edgar Valles-Diaz, the mysterious Venezuelan left almost literally holding the bag, filled with 43 lbs. of heroin hidden in his luggage.

3151-705309The pilot of Wally Hilliard’s heroin told authorities he’d known Valles-Diaz for just nine months, during which he flew him from Venezuela to Fort Lauderdale and then on to New York at least 30 times.

During much of the year 2000, Russian Mobster Igor Borisovich “Felix” Rabaev, late of the Russian enclave of Brighton Beach in New York City, current whereabouts unknown, met imprisoned Venezuelan drug trafficker Edgar Valles-Diaz on his arrival on over thirty weekly flights, each of which began in Venezuela with a stop-over in Fort Lauderdale before landing at a general aviation airport just outside New York City in Teeterboro, New Jersey.  

A sailor in every port

wallysjeIn a later conversation, the pilot stated that each time the private jet landed in New York, Valles-Diaz was met by Igor “Felix” Rabaev, who he claimed was Valles-Diaz’ “boyfriend.”

"He gets picked up at the airport by an Uzbek named Igor Rabaev, his heroin connection from Central Asia.”

Valles-Diaz was no ordinary South American drug dealer, we soon learned. He reportedly had close ties to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, with a serious involvement in geopolitical activity.

Rabaev, a member of one of the three largest Russian Mob families in the U.S.,  flitted in and out of Central Asia at will, eyewitnesses told the MadCowMorningNews, using the Uzbek capital of Tashkent as a transshipment point for heroin from Afghanistan wending its way to Russia and the West.


Tashkent: Casablanca on the Steppes

Black_Sea_mapMost of the intrigue in the story appears to center on Central Asia’s vast oil reserves, which is not just a game for oilmen and petroleum geologists.

Mixed in with the usual assortment of soldiers of fortune and raffish adventurers we would hear about  weapons merchants, narcotics traffickers, diamond smugglers, Russian-Israeli mafia tycoons, and terrorists.

The downside is that losers in the struggle can occasionally expect to be boiled alive. Alone among the nations of the Earth, at least since Idi Amin left Uganda,  Uzbekistan under the regime President Islam Karimov preserves the ‘quaint’ custom of boiling alive the occasional political dissidents.

Unlike Amin, however, there has been no intimations that Uzbek Karimov then has the bodies salted to taste.

“Igor Rabaev was in business with Edgar Valles-Diaz,” an aviation executive in Fort Lauderdale told us.

“You should ask Hilliard’s partner about Rabaev. Mark Shubin knows him. Rabaev and Shubin had a run-in just last year, I hear. They were in an accident together."

Everybody brace! (Not you Vitaly)

pictures ruta 220We located a pilot in Miami who had flown with both Rabaev and Shubin in Central Asia.  After we convinced him that we already knew at least some of the essential back-story of Mark Shubin’s colorful life, which included flying U-2 and SR-71 high-altitude reconnaissance planes over Russia and other Cold War hotspots for the CIA, he launched into a strange tale of attempted murder and spooky intrigue in Central Asia.

The “incident” went down like this:

Snow was falling, visibility was poor under a dark gray winter sky, and there was tension in the cockpit of the Challenger 600 jet (N187AP) carrying one of the Ukraine’s biggest oligarchs home to the industrial Ukrainian city of Donetsk.

1earth to marsShubin had been Haiduk’s personal pilot for long enough for the Ukrainian Minister to be so confident in his abilities that he rarely bothered to strap-in, even during take-offs and landings, but made it his custom to easily wander up and down the plane’s aisles.

But this time, instead of piloting the plane, Mark Shubin had been cajoled into letting an inexperienced American pilot and journeyman adventurer named Travis Paul have the controls, while he sat in the co-pilot’s seat.

Same technique was used in 'Last Seduction'

iPaul, instead of fastening his seat belt, instead strapped himself into his shoulder harness for the landing, an unusual move. Maybe something was about to happen.

"Shubin was screaming at Travis, ‘You’re going too fast! Slow down!' Mark ordered him to slam on the brakes,” said the crewman.

“Travis answered, ‘I am stepping! I have no brakes!’”

“The airplane bounced once and then went flying down the runway. Later Shubin told me Travis was breathing heavy and sweating profusely, but wasn’t trying to stop airplane, or exit to the taxi way.”

Igor “Felix” Rabaev had enlisted the rest of the plane’s motley crew in a plan. No one would suspect a crash-landing on an icy runway in the dead of winter of being an attempt to do the Ukrainian Minister bodily harm.

The plot was only discovered days after the crash, when an argument was overheard, between crew members promised bribe money Rabaev had promised to ensure the crew’s silence.

Another plane registered to Wells Fargo, Salt Lake. Hmm.

pictures ruta 211“On January 4, 2005, at about 1701 coordinated universal time, a Canadair CL-600 airplane (N187AP) received minor damage when it departed the end of runway 26 during the landing roll at the Zhuliany Airport, Kyiv, Ukraine,” said the NTSB accident report.

 “The airplane was registered to Wells Fargo Bank Northwest, Trustee, Salt Lake, Utah, and operated by Vladimir Kravets, Kiev, Ukraine, under the provisions of Ukraine Civil Aviation Regulations.”

“The pilot, copilot, and an unknown number of passengers were not injured,” the report went on. “Information provided by the Government of Ukraine, and from a statement provided by the pilot, indicated that the runway was contaminated by ice and snow."

"The runway braking action was reported as fair. Upon touchdown, the crew was unable to deploy the thrust reversers because they were not armed. The captain applied maximum braking but was unable to prevent the airplane from departing the end of the runway.”

“The NTSB report is bullshit,” a member of the doomed flight’s crew told us. “Rabaev spread money around to keep the true story from coming out, but it wasn’t enough to keep my mouth shut. He’s a cheap bastard, and that’s a fact.”

New Spystore opening: Oligarchs R' Us

kie3vShubin had been active flying the infamous “rendering” flights across Europe and Central Asia, we learned, until early 2004, when he flew his last flight for the CIA. Both Sky Bus Inc and International Diplomatic Courier Service had been launched with CIA money, our pilot informant told us.

Now he was the chief pilot running a charter aviation company for a Ukrainian conglomerate owned by Vitaly Haiduk and his two partners. The trio were among the wealthiest men in the country. All of them belonged to the new class known as “the oligarchs,” people who had grown rich buying up state-owned enterprises on the cheap after the fall of Communism.

Before leaving the U.S. for the Ukraine, Shubin hired new co-pilots. One was an American named Doug Laundin, and a Russian, Lev Soburnov, a former MIG pilot with an FAA license and years flying jets.

0101_0303Also coming aboard the aviation venture just days before departure was Igor Rabaev, hired after Shubin was prevailed upon by German Galilov, Operations Manager for a Fort Lauderdale-based charter jet company which flew air cargo flights between an abandoned military base in West Germany and Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and was partly-owned by government officials in Tashkent.

Galilov, who lives (where else?) in Miami, wanted Shubin to help a relative of his, an immigrant from Tadzikistan living in New York, who reportedly had a pilot’s license, but little experience.  

“Rabaev claimed he had been flying for Uzbekistan Airways as Captain of a 767,” related an aviation executive in Fort Lauderdale, who then waved his hand through the air dismissively. “He was lying.”

It's not a carry-on. It's a 'diplomatic pouch'

shubinRabaev’s negatives went beyond merely being a poor pilot. One of Shubin’s most experienced Captains, Lev Soburnov, a Russian, who refused to fly with Rabaev a second time, said he also “apparently had a fear of flying.”

But he did have a few things of value: a brother in Miami, connections to international narcotics traffickers, and a number of aliases: “Igor Rabaev.”  “Edgar Rabaev.” Even “Felix Rabaev.”

Mark Shubin and Wally Hilliard had done quite a bit of business together, we learned, while investigating Hilliard’s associates for “Welcome to TERRORLAND.”

Shubin’s company, Sky Bus, Inc., for example, shared ownership of at least four private jets with Hilliard’s Plane 1 Leasing, two of which had what we considered to be “unusual” tail numbers: “N11UN” and “N111UN.”

The ‘UN’ designation on the tail number turned out to be a clue of some sort: Shubin had incorporated a company in Florida, in August of 2001, called ‘International Diplomatic Courier Services.’

In a brief interview in his office at the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, Shubin refused to talk about Rabaev, or anything else.

Not enough said about "Nuff said."

0247522Post-9/11, there were a number of planes controlled by Shubin’s company, Skybus, a search of aviation databases revealed.

‘Plane spotters,” who have made it their business to observe the movements of planes suspected of being used by the CIA in the now-notorious “renditions” which transport prisoners to Guantanamo as well as other secret detention centers, made curious notations on the arrival of one of Shubin’s private jets at airports in Ireland and the UK.

“N777SA has just dropped in at 0150 Local!” wrote an English planespotter in Birmingham. “Another due today is VP-BKZ. Nuff said.”

The laconic “nuff said” drew our attention.  N777SA was a twin-engine Cessna Conquest II registered to Shubin. Today its registered owner is “Security Aviation” of Anchorage Alaska. Hmm…

The comment seemed to hint at something unspoken. The second plane named in the note was registered in Mclean, VA., home of the CIA.

"Lone cadre" no more

!!1240115459TThe news that Igor Borisovich Rabaev— who awaited the arrival in New York each week for thirty-nine weeks of terror flight school owner Wally Hilliard’s Lear jet—has recently been involved in a plot to assassinate Vitaly Haiduk, the new Defense Minister in the Ukraine should finally bury one of the central lies in the official story of the 9/11 attack, the one which falsely asserts that 19 hijackers moved through Europe and America unnoticed, keeping pretty much kept to themselves.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  

The hijackers were not ghostly apparitions.

!!!heroinBased on an "investigation" notable only for failing to interview a single firsthand eyewitness, the National Commission on Terrorism’s 9/11 Report totally ignored the big dirty secret lying at the heart of the 9/11 cover-up… A war for global supremacy being fought through drug trafficking, weapons sales, and the associated money laundering necessary to keep secret armies in the field.

They stuck out like sore thumbs… like Sammy the Bull Gravano hiding out in a Hasidic enclave in upstate New York.

In this light the arrest of the alleged close associate of Hugo Chavez caught ‘holding the bag’ on Wally Hilliard’s Lear jet can be seen as just one more chess move in an ongoing global match being fought out on a chessboard as vast as the steppes of Central Asia.

No doubt, this is why when Edgar Valles-Diaz paid for each charter Lear jet flight in cash, Hilliard pretended not to notice.

"Active Senior?" Or threat to U.S.?

552A lot of people retire to Florida. But most retired men settle for a hobby like woodworking. A boat. A golf game. Shuffleboard. Tennis. Hilliard bought a fleet of 30-40 jets. What was a retiree in Naples doing with a bigger Air Force than Panama?

We’d never heard of anybody retiring to pursue a second career in espionage, international organized crime, or drug trafficking.

At a minimum, worrying your organization has been penetrated by a foreign intelligence service must wreak havoc on your backswing.

How did a retired-to-Florida insurance executive named Wallace J. Hilliard from Green Bay Wisconsin become such a central figure in the story of the terrorist hijackers.

Who ever heard of a Midwestern James Bond?

It is a question that still needs to be asked, by someone with the authority to compel answers.

Jeb Bush, Katherine Harris & the CIA (Rogue Div.)

secr_hb“I used to ask myself: Why is Wally doing business with all these foreigners?” asked Dave Montgomery, Hilliard’s one-time chief mechanic.

“There was Alfonso Bowe, Mark Shubin, Pervez Khan… It didn’t make sense.”

This is the hidden sub-text to 9/11…

Well after Hilliard was adjudged anything but an innocent charter flight operator, and forced by the DEA and the Orlando U.S. Attorney’s office to relinquish his plane, both Governor Jeb Bush and Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris provided celebrity endorsements to his bogus front "airline," which on a least one route never sold a single ticket.

It is a remarkable record. And it's all true.

And, to the shame of every citizen in the nation, it is America's secret history.    

 

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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.