Ebrima G. Sankareh – November 04, 2010. As Gambians were reeling from the shameful and devastating drug burst amounting to over a billion US dollars in the remote Western regional village of Bonto, hitherto notorious for being home to Radio Gambia’s dilapidated and decrepit telecommunications infrastructure, little did we know that more devastating news was in the offing. While the latest twist takes the discourse to a different level, the ramifications are as complex and dangerous as the raging drug debate and the speculations are almost fever pitch fueling further, a combustible combination of fear, innuendoes as well palpable global predictions as to what exactly is Yahya Jammeh up to and where is The Gambia headed?
Iranian spies in Gambia- Echo Exclusive
No sooner had news broke that a cache of dangerous weapons of mass destruction were intercepted by Nigeria’s SSS in the bustling seaport of that country’s former capital, Lagos, than The Gambia Echo set its investigation machinery into motion amid widespread speculations in the media as to the exact circumstances surrounding this latest saga.
Iranian agents in Banjul in Gov’t. vehicles
Well, today, we at The Echo are in possession of probably, the most withering indictment directly linking President Jammeh with the weapons and are pleased to break news that the cache intercepted by the Nigerian State Security Services was actually Banjul bound. The final destination was the President’s Office in Kanilai, the Gambian leader’s home village some 65 miles off Banjul, a village that has witnessed clandestine activities of utterly criminal nature ever since Jammeh seized power on July 22, 1994 promising political pluralism and parity in The Gambia; Utopian dreams that remain elusive. Senior officials within the corridors of state power reveal to The Echo and there is evidence aplenty to corroborate that, indeed, President Jammeh’s regime is complicitious in this massive international smuggling of weapons of destructions that continue to ravage communities in West Africa and popular among Islamic terrorists and insurgents in the Middle East some of whom are now believed to be living in Banjul at President Jammeh’s behest. Reveals our State House operative, Kissy Kissy Mansa, Banjul is now the new Mecca for hoodlums, terrorists, rebels and all kinds of international bandits because our own President, Yahya Jammeh, is a dangerous criminal running deadly weapons, blood diamonds, housing Cassamance rebels and terror groups from afar.
According to documents from State House handed to The Gambia Echo on the basis of strictest confidentiality and anonymity that has always characterized our relationship, Kissy Kissy Mansa alleges that President Yahya Jammeh is in the center of gravity and knows damn well the entire operations involving these very dangerous weapons. Says Kissy, this latest twist, punctuates the United Nation’s long held belief that Jammeh was a central player in the Sierra Leonean and Liberian arms conflicts with Charles Taylor.
In a dispatch sent to The Echo captioned, “The Truth Behind The Arms Cache At The Lagos Port,” our operative writes “the large arsenal of ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ (WMD) uncovered in the Nigerian commercial capital of Lagos, continues to cause ripples across the West African sub-region... (and) while the Nigerian government and the Iranians, where the weapons are said to originate, are saying very little as to who the 13 large containers of sophisticated weapons were meant for, we have succeeded in getting hold of the original Bill of Lading, which shows that the arsenal was shipped by Behineh Trading in Tehran, Iran, a well known front for the powerful Iranian Revolutionary Guards, and consigned to:
Kanilai Farms State House
P. O. Box 1432
Tel: +220 7760666
According to the ‘Bill of Lading’, (reproduced verbatim) one Mr. Ali Abbas Usman Jega, a Nigerian, of Suite 6B Mangal Plaza, Nouakchott Street, Wuse Zone 1, Abuja, was supposed to be notified of the consignment upon arrival in Lagos, Nigeria. However, for many, the question remains what precisely Gambian President Yahya Jammeh would have done with this large arsenal of WMDs, which includes rocket launchers and other sophisticated weapons like those used by the Taliban in Afghanistan and Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Reveals Kissy, “obviously, those weapons were not meant for The Gambia’s defense because we are not at war, never likely to be at war and given our geo-political disposition, the only country we are ever likely to go to war with, would be Senegal, and the prospects that The Gambia would take on Senegal are at best, dim.”
According to Kissy Kissy as well as our NIA operative Waato Seeta, “the only possible use for the weapons would be for onward transmission to other groups such as the rebels of the MFDC in the restive southern Senegalese region of Casamance, and most probably, other groups engaged in destabilization of other countries in the sub-region and beyond.” Both highly placed sources recall “the gun-running that Baba Jobe engaged in with President Jammeh’s abandoned New Millennium plane, supplying arms to the rebels in Sierra Leone and Liberia during those two nations’ bloody civil wars, apparently in exchange for blood diamonds and other loot.” Reveals Waato Seeta, lest we forget, there was quite a familiar criminal nexus between President Jammeh and the slain Ansumana Mane of Guinea Bissau, whom he used as a conduit supplying arms and ammunitions to factions of the Casamance belligerents.
The connection between President Jammeh and the Iranian regime is now quite obvious. Iran is no doubt using The Gambia as a base for its operations in the sub-region. In addition to the several Iranian covert operations in Banjul, no doubt aimed at penetrating the sub-region, there are also Iranian intelligence agents engaged in training a special security outfit created by President Jammeh in tactics they can use to deal with and subdue those who pose a threat to the regime, real or imagined.
These Iranians, who frequently visit Kanilai, are visibly seen driving around in official Gambia Government vehicles with tinted glasses while some have also registered bogus companies as cover for their activities in the mini-West African state. Reports Kissy Kissy Mansa, notable among the lot is the ‘International General Trading and Construction Company Ltd’ (IGTCC) whose Managing Director is one of the Iranian intelligence officials heavily engaged and in close proximity with President Jammeh’s security details.
Crucially, in its Monday editorial captioned; ‘Nigeria: The Arms Imports: The Men Who Did It’, Nigeria’s Daily Trust newspaper accuses Sheikh Ali Abbas Hassan (a.k.a Sheikh Abbas Jega) responsibility of facilitating the importation of the controversial consignment into Nigeria. The paper accuses Sheikh Abbas, presently in Iran, for inviting the two Iranian businessmen tied to the arms importation to Nigeria and also allegedly, facilitated their visa acquisition. Significantly, it was also his name that featured in the shipping documents as the owner of the 13 Kanilai Farms bound containers via Nigeria.
According to The Daily Trust, the two Iranian businessmen who actually arranged the shipment of the containers; Azim Agabjani and Sayed Akbar Tahmaesebi, are currently holed up in the Iranian Embassy in Abuja. They had arrived in Nigeria to facilitate the receiving and re-export of the weapons consignment and when the Nigerian security agents seized the containers, the duo melted into the Iranian Embassy and sought sanctuary. The Daily Trust also reports that when the designated clearing agent, Malam Aliyu Oroje Wamakko was unable to clear the goods, he and the two Iranian businessmen applied for permission to re-export the goods to The Gambia, which led to the goods’ seizure and subsequent discovery of the arms cache.
Several highly placed intelligence as well as competent officials within the Gambian security forces confided in The Gambia Echo that, while it is open secret that Gambia supplies the Cassamance belligerents with sophisticated weapons, these consignments were either meant for Islamist groups in Somalia or Hezbollah because President Jammeh consistently alludes to the Palestinian cause during security meetings and strongly objects to American involvement in the Palestinian crisis. Jammeh routinely advocates Jihad during meetings and is a strong believer in the power of war as a panacea to the Middle East crisis alleges a senior military officer.
The Bill of Lading below says Kanilai Farms (President Jammeh’s Private Company) owns Weapons. You can get the details of the shipment from this document provided courtesy of our patriotic officials at the President’s office, Banjul The Gambia.