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I have no fear of death now whether it comes from cancer or from a paid Russian assassin.  but I do feel I have an obligation to use my experience to warn America of the dirty tricks that can be played against her.  And if I have one message for my adopted country, it is this: the Cold War is not over; the new cold war is between the Russian mafia and the United States; and in this new cold war, the Russian mafia has every tool, every weapon, every intelligence asset at its disposal that the old Soviet Union had.  America is facing a nation led by gangsters — gangsters who have nuclear weapons . . . .

Lunev, Stanislav and Ira Winkler.  Through the Eyes of the Enemy:  Russia’s highest ranking military defector reveals why Russia is more dangerous than ever.  Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 1998.

” . . . and some of those weapons are actually on American soil, as I will explain” finished the ellipses left in the quotation block.

One hesitates when typing such a sentence.

At minimum, the import calls for digression.

Was Lunev’s 1999 book disinforming as regards the “suitcase bomb” question?

Or has the matter been suppressed?

Or has the asserton been just too large and scary a possibility to hang on for long without donning the tinfoil hat?

That too is a possibility as searches for a related 60 Minutes report — “The Perfect Terrorist Weapon” — produces reference online, but to get at the episode appears to involve hitting one of dozens of iffy “torrent” type (illicit share site) web addresses.

BackChannels will plead with both the legal and faint of heart on that potentially disastrous next step — and not take it.

So one may toss Lunev’s page-turning statement into the “don’t know /won’t know” bin, at least, so BackChannels and its readers may hope, for a good long time.

Less questionable: the Russian state as a “mafia state” and international mafia enterprise:

Investigators in Spain have been at the vanguard of the fight against Russian organized crime, warning fellow NATO members for years of the dangers posed by what they call state-sanctioned syndicates, an issue that’s become more acute since the conflict in Ukraine rekindled Cold War distrust.

After a briefing by Grinda, one of the prosecutors, in Madrid in 2010, U.S. officials concluded that Putin runs a “virtual mafia” state where the activities of criminal networks are indistinguishable from those of the government, according to a classified cable from the U.S. embassy in the Spanish capital that was published by WikiLeaks.

Russian security services control criminal groups and use them to do things the government “cannot acceptably do,” Grinda was cited as telling U.S. officials at the time.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-29/putin-allies-aided-russian-mafia-in-spain-prosecutors-say – 6/29/2016.

At the base of this post is a 14-minute trailer for a 91-minute documentary (subtitled) about Russian mafia — “Thieves by Law (Ganavim Ba Hok).”

Additional Reference

CNN.  “Former Russian spy Col. Stanislav Lunev’s reaction to FBI agent’s arrest for spying.”  February 20, 2001.

Committee on National Security, Military Research and Development Subcommittee, House of Representatives.  “OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. CURT WELDON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM PENNSYLVANIA, CHAIRMAN, MILITARY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SUBCOMMITTEE”.  Inquiry into Moscow’s potential deployment of “man-portable nuclear weapons”.  August 4, 1998.

Drudge Report Archives.  “Lebed: 100 Nukes Missing in Russia.”  Norris Carden’s e-mail collection of Drudge’s Special Reports. September 5, 1997.

Meyer, Josh.  “Ex-Soviet Spy Testifies on Hidden Weapons.”  Los Angeles Times, January 25, 2000.

National Terror Alert.  “Suitcase Nukes”.

Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI).  “The Perfect Terrorist Weapon.”  Comment on 60 Minutes program aired September 7, 1997.

Yablokov, Alexei.  “Comments on Russia’s Atomic Suitcase Bombs.”  Frontline, PBS, n.d.

PDF Format

Finckenauer, James O. and Yuri A. Voronin.  “The Threat of Russian Organized Crime.”  Issues in International Crime, NCJ, 2001.

Russia as Mafia State – Fast Links

In time, Louie and Z left the shores of the Atlantic for Zurich, Switzerland – and a far more menacing situation: A meeting with a high-ranking Russian General offering his government’s arsenal for sale.

“We’re talking long-range missiles, tanks, submarines, everything,” Z said.

The danger was driven home last week with the New York indictment of notorious Russian arms dealer Victor Boot, captured in Thailand in March. He was charged with selling weapons to a terrorist group to be used to kill Americans.

That’s hardly a scene from “The Sopranos.”

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/undercover-look-inside-the-russian-mob/ – 5/13/2008.

http://www.rferl.org/a/putins-mafia-statecraft/27329898.html – 10/27/2015.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/06/23/crimean-gangland-putin-s-seaside-mafia-state.html – 6/23/2015.

http://www.ecfr.eu/article/commentary_security_concerns_russian_mafia_back_on_agenda7083 – 7/25/2016:

In the 1990s, the so-called “Russian Mafia” was Europe’s new nightmare, an overblown threat surging west into Europe instead of Soviet tanks. In the 2000s, it had become a cliché, the thriller-writer’s staple. Now it is back on the agenda, with serious concerns that organised crime has become a ‘fifth column’ of the Kremlin’s effort to undermine European security.


http://uatoday.tv/crime/mafia-friends-of-president-putin-wanted-in-spain-642267.html – 5/3/2016.

http://uatoday.tv/crime/seven-members-of-russian-mafia-arrested-in-spain-681260.html – 6/28/2016.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-29/putin-allies-aided-russian-mafia-in-spain-prosecutors-say – 6/29/2016.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/armine-sahakyan/the-export-other-countrie_b_11009200.html – 7/15/2016.

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