2 March 2011. Text deleted by Cryptome at request of innocent party who claims
to have contacted DEA to correct a cited database.
9 April 2003. See related "Israeli Spies in Texas:"
27 March 2002. John Sugg, senior editor at creativeloafing.com, writes that
he is the source of the DEA report, and provided it to antiwar.com. Credit
for the publication of the report goes to
Weekly Planet (Tampa) and
Creative Loafing (Atlanta).
Additional documents are due soon. See Mr. Sugg's latest report on the topic:
24 March 2002: Text in red indicates redactions
in the original which have been lifted by use of a PDF utility, Pitstop.
This reminds of Cryptome's
revelation of insecure PDF
redactions in a New York Times publication of a secret report on the CIA/MI6
overthrow of Mossadeq in 1953. As with the New York Times example, the rationale
for revelation here is to alert named parties about the likelihood their
identities have been revealed due to insecure PDF redaction.
23 March 2002: Thanks to J, link to April 1, 2002 Insight article:
21 March 2002
Suspicious Activities Involving Israeli Art Students at DEA Facilities
Thanks to S, J and S.
See Anti-War report of March 21, 2002:
An article in Insight magzaine from May 2000 seems to be the first
major coverage of Israeli spying on the US:
The authors researched it for a year. This Insight article was discussed
in the June 2000 issue of the Washington Report:
and the next month Washington Report discusses the press's coverage
of the Insight article:
As a result of the Insight article Fox News reported on Israeli spying
in May 2000 but subsquently removed the four-part series for unexplained
[60 pages. No date.]
Suspicious Activities Involving Israeli Art Students at DEA
In January, 2001, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Office of Security
Programs (IS), began to receive reports of Israeli art students attempting
to penetrate several DEA Field Offices in the continental United States.
Additionally, there have been reports of Israeli art students visiting the
homes of numerous DEA employees. These incidents have occurred since at least
the beginning of 2000, and have continued to the present. The number of reported
incidents increased in November/December 2000, and has continued to date.
These incidents have involved several other law enforcement and Department
of Defense agencies, with contacts made at other agencies' facilities and
the residences of their employees. Geographically, these incidents are very
widespread, ranging from California to Florida. The majority of the incidents
have occurred in the southern half of the continental U.S. with the most
activity reported in the state of Florida. Since April 2001, the number of
reported incidents has declined, however, the geographic spread of the incidents
has increased to Wisconsin, Oklahoma, and Los Angeles.
The activities of these Israeli art students raised the suspicion of IS and
other field offices when attempts were made to circumvent the access control
systems at DEA offices, and when these individuals began to solicit their
paintings at the homes of DEA employees. The nature of the individuals' conduct,
combined with intelligence information and historical information regarding
past incidents involving Israeli Organized Crime, leads IS to believe the
incidents may well be an organized intelligence gathering activity. It is
believed by IS that these incidents should not be the basis for any immediate
concern for the safety and security of DEA personnel, however, employees
should continue to exercise due caution in safeguarding information relating
to DEA investigations, or activities.
DEA Orlando has developed the first drug nexus to this group. Telephone numbers
obtained from an Israel Art Student encountered at the Orlando D.O. have
been linked to several ongoing DEA MDMA (Ecstasy) investigations in Florida,
California, Texas, and New York. The Orlando D.O. has opened an investigation
that is being coordinated with DEA HQs.
In general, these individuals appear to be organized in teams of 8 to 10
people, with one person described as the "Team Leader". They are usually
encountered in pairs or individually carrying a makeshift art portfolio.
Several times, they have, been seen or admitted to being dropped off in an
area by the Team Leader, who returns later to pick them up. The females are
usually described as very attractive, and all are generally in their early
to mid-20s. Most admit to having served in the Israeli Military. This is
not surprising given the mandatory military service require in Israel, however,
a majority of those questioned has stated they served in military intelligence,
electronic signal intercept, or explosive ordinance units. Some have been
linked to high-ranking officials in the Israeli military. One was the son
of a two-star general, one served as the bodyguard to the head of the Israeli
Army, one served in a Patriot missile unit. That these people are now traveling
in the U.S. selling art seems not to fit their background.
Their stories are remarkable only in their consistency. At first, they will
state that they are art students, either from the University of Jerusalem,
or the Bezalel Academy of Arts in Jerusalem. Other times they will purport
to be promoting a new art studio in the area. When pressed for details as
to the location of the art studio or why they are selling the paintings,
they become evasive. Some claim to be the artist who painted the artwork,
others claim they promoting the work of others or of Israel. Information
has been received which indicates the art is actually produced in China.
When told that they cannot solicit on federal facilities, they will claim
that the paintings are not for sale, but that they are soliciting interest
in the paintings, either for an art studio or for a future art sale.
An incident report by DEA Tampa has revealed much information relating to
these individuals. DEA Agents at the Tampa District Office questioned the
Team Leader of a group of 9 individuals at length, The Team Leader stated
he purchases the paintings for $8 to $10 dollars from an individual in the
Hollywood/Ft. Lauderdale, Florida area. The paintings are then sold for $50
to $80 dollars. (Other offices have reported the paintings selling for $150-$200
dollars.) The individuals come to the U. S. on tourist visas, and finance
their stay here by selling the paintings. The Hollywood, Florida area seems
to be a central point for these individuals with several having addresses
in this area.
There have been incidents where criminal and/or suspicious activity has been
associated with these individuals. Two were arrested by FPS in Plantation,
FL with counterfeit Social Security Cards. Baton Rouge, LA discovered a small
amount (personal use amount) of marijuana in the residence of one group,
and some of the individuals interviewed by DEA/Tampa admitted to smoking
marijuana. Criminal records checks have revealed some arrest history on persons
associated with these groups. Passport irregularities have been reported.
A review of their passports shows travel to several other countries, to include
Thailand, Laos, India, Kenya, Central and South America, Australia, Germany,
Amsterdam, and Canada. One individual presented a Canadian citizenship card
along with his Israeli passport. A report from EPA/Denver involved a female
art student going to the house of an EPA Special Agent to sell art, and returning
later to photograph the house. There is a report of one of these individuals
being seen diagramming the layout of a federal facility. This information
has not been directly reported to DEA, and has not been confirmed by first-hand
When encountered at residences, some of these individuals are persistent
in trying to get inside the home. Some have asked to use the telephone when
leaving. Some employees have reported that they came only to their house,
while others have reported that the students approached the entire neighborhood.
IS requested that all DEA Field Divisions canvas their employees to determine
if these activities have occurred in their area. Additionally, information
has been received from several other federal law enforcement acencies. The
following is a summary, by DEA Division Offices, of the events that have
1. Sometime in July or August 2000, a woman claiming to be a student from
a foreign country attempted to enter the Chattanooga, Tennessee Resident
Office. The woman was attempting to sell homemade pins that she hand painted
and put together herself. An Office Assistant advised the woman that she
was on Federal Property and solicitation was prohibited. The Office Assistant
claimed the woman was from the Middle East, but cannot recall the exact location.
2. In mid to late December 2000, a male and female subject described as being
in their mid-twentles arrived at the residence of a Special Agent. The male
subject spoke fluent English, however the female subject had a heavy accent.
Both subjects claimed to be Israeli art students. The Special Agent examined
some of the artwork, but became suspicious when the students would not provide
him with a contact telephone number in case he should decide to buy something.
Subsequently, the Special Agent saw some of the exact same artwork for sale
at kiosk in the Mall of Georgia. The Special Agent questioned the salesperson
about the origin of the artwork, but the salesperson was uncooperative.
3. During the first week of January 2001, an individual identifying himself
as an Israeli art student attempted to bring artwork into the Columbus, Georgia
Resident Office. The individual was not permitted to enter the office.
4. The following was received by the Montgomery, Alabama District Office:
On 3/27/2001, approximately 1:45 p.m., Montgomery District Office Group
Supervisor John W. Wall was exiting the elevator
on the first floor of our building enroute to a meeting. Our building is
a small two-story office building that also contains the offices of the U.S.
Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Geological Survey, Dyncorp and a small investment
company (Newman Investments). As G/S Wall got
out of the elevator, a white female was getting on. G/S
Wall noticed she was carrying a large blue artist
portfolio. GIS Wall [not redacted] engaged her in conversation and
asked if she was in our building on government business to which the female
stated that she was an art student from Austria and was promoting her work.
G/S Wall asked if she was actually from Israel
and the female later identified as Vanina Erika DARDIC, DOB 3/5/78, stated
again that she was from Austria. DARDIC got on the elevator for the second
floor and G/S Wall
went to his OGV and notified me with instructions
to re-interview the female.
5. Several minutes passed and DARDIC never came to our office. (Investigation
later revealed that DARDIC did not visit any of the offices in our buildling.
Moments later an administrative assistant observed DARDIC walking through
the parking lot in the direction of other buildings.
6. At that point, agents set out on foot to find DARDIC. The agents observed
another white female later identified as Ester SAGES, DOB 9/30/77, walking
through the office complex, also carrying a large blue portfolio. SAGES was
followed on foot a short distance to a van that was parked on a side road
where the agents made contact with a white male, identifitd as Marcelo VALANSI,
DOB 11/24/77. VALANSI took SAGES' portfolio and placed it into the van, a
1984 GMC full-size custom van bearing Florida tag T11YZX, registered to Marcelo
VALANSI at 901 SE 1st Ave., #2, Gainesville, Florida.
7. The agents approached SAGES and VALANSI, identified themselves and separated
the two for interviews. VALANSI stated that he was an art student at the
University of Florida and stated that they were traveling around to "'promote"
the work of new artists. Information revealed that VALANSI was registered
at Santa Fe Community College in 1999 and not the University of Florida.
VALANSI produced an ID card from Argentina, DNI 26,316,660, card #190961,
and stated that he was on spring break from the University of Florida where
he has been a student for three years. VALANSI stated his passport was in
his hotel room at the Governor's House Hotel, #180. VALANSI stated that he
and approximately five other students had been in Montgomery about two days
and planned to stay several more.
8. Ester SAGES produced an Israeli passport, #6470399, and stated that she
had been in the U.S. approximately 3 weeks (Visa type R, class B1/B2). SAGES
claimed to be an artist but does not attend school anywhere. SAGES admitted
to having served in the Israeli Army for two years (mandatory service). SAGES
identified her father as Elyahu SAGES (deceased) and her mother as Marjalit
SAGES. SAGES gave the same story as being in Montgomery to "promote" the
9. While talking to VALANSI and SAGES, Vanina DARDIC walked up and was
interviewed. DARDIC, provided an ID card from Argentina (DNI 26,473,227,
card #J8557), but stated that she had dual citizenship (Argentina and Israel).
DARDIC stated that she was born in Argentina to an Argentine father, Mario
DARDIC, and an Israeli mother, Judith COHEN (maiden name). She moved to Israel
when she was 12 years of age and served in the Israeli Army, DARDIC reported
that she is the girlfriend of Marcelo VALANSI. DARDIC spoke English, Hebrew
and Spanish. SAGES spoke English and, Hebrew. VALANSI spoke English and Spanish.
10. VALANSI was asked if the artwork was for sale, to which he stated "not
really" that they were "promoting" their work and that it is important to
artists that people like their work. VALANSI was asked if, hypothetically,
someone liked his work and wanted to commission him to paint something, how
would someone get in contact with him? VALANSI was very hesitant to provide
a means of contact. When pressed, VALANSI provided Gainesville telephone
#352-378-1435 as a contact nurniber. He was asked how their group could afford
to travel around "promoting" artwork if they derive no income from it. He
stated that his parents, Roberto and Graziela VALANSI finance his travels.
The parent's address in Buenos Aires is reportedly Salguero 2468 Apartment
11. Ester SAGES stated that one of their stops inMontgomery was going to
be the Jewish Fcderation Office which is located adjacent to where their
van was parked (2820 Fairlane Dr., Montgomery, telephone #334-277-5820).
All of the subjects were photographed, however SAGES initially did not want
her picture taken.
12. EPIC was contacted for information on their entries into the U.S. EPIC
queries indicated the following:
VALANSI, Marcelo (Argentina passport #26316660)
1). Admission date: 2/01/2001
Admission Class: F1 (Student)
Port of Entry: Miami, FL
Arrival from: Tel Aviv Israel
Visa Issued: Buenos Aires (8/20/98)
Carrier: Al Israel Airlines (flt 201)
Intended address: 901 S.E. 1st Ave., Gainesville, FL
2). Admission date: 10/18/00
Admission to: 1/17/01
Admission Class: CP (Public Interest Parole)
Port of Entry: Miami, FL
Arrival from: unk (most likely Columbia)
Carrier: Avianca (flt 8)
Intended address: 901 S.E. 1st Ave., Gainesville, FL
Departure date: 12/28/00 from Miami
3). Admission date: 11/12/99
Admission Class: WT/VW (Visitor w/o Visa)
Port of Entry: Miami, FL
Arrival from: Santiago, Chile
Carrier: La Lan Chile (flt 500)
Intended address: 901 S.E. 1st Ave., Gainesville, FL
Departure date: unk
4). Admission date: 04/15/99
Port of Entry: Miami, FL
Arrival from: San Jose (Juan Santamari)
Carrier: LACSA (flt 620)
Departure clate: unk
5). Admission date: 01/11/99
Admission Class: F1 (Student)
Port of Entry: Marmi, FL
Arrival from: unk
Carrier: La Lan Chile (flt 500)
Intended address: 901 S.E. 1st Ave., Gainesville, FL
Departure date: unk
6). Admission date: 9/23/98
Admitted to: 12/31/98
Admission Class: Fl (Student)
Port of Entry: Miami, FL
Arrival from: unk
Carrier: A L Argentina (flt 1324)
Intended address: 617 E. University Ave., Gainesville, FL
Departure date: 12/19/98
7). Admission date: 05/04/98
Admitted to: 11/03/98
Admission Class: B2 (Visitor)
Port of Entry: Miami, FL
Arrival from: Unk
Visa issued: Buenos Aires 5/11/90
Carrier: E U Empresa Ecuatoriana (flt 800)
Intended address: 617 E. University Ave., Gainesville, FL
Departure date: 08/10/98
8). Admission date: 1/02/97
Admitted to: 7/01/98
Admission Class: B2 (Visitor)
Port of Entry: Maini, FL
Arrival from: unk
Visa issued: Buenos Aires 5/11/90
Carrier: La Lan Chile (flt 502)
Intended address: 143 6 Washington Ave., Miami, FL
Departure date: 03/13/98
13. SAGES, Ester (Israel passport 96470399)
1). Admission date: 3/03/01
Admission Class: B2 (Visitor)
Port of Entry: Newark International
Arrival from: Tel Aviv Israel
Carrier: Continental Airlines (flt 91)
2). Admission date: 12/23/99
Admitted to: 6/22/00
Admission Class: B2 (Visitor)
Port of Entry: Newark, N.J.
Arrival from: Tel Aviv Israel
Carrier: El Al Israel
Intended address: Attornet 161, New York City, New York
Departure date: 01/09/00
3). Admission date: 08/24/95
Admitted to: 2/23/96
Admission Class: B2 (Vishor)
Port of Entry: New York
Arrival from: Tel Aviv Israel
Visa issued: Buenos Aires 5/11/90
Carrier: El Al Israel
Intended address: Hotel Carlton, New York City, New York
Departure date: 9/20/95
14. DARDIC, Vanina Erika (Argentina passport #10581811)
1.) Admission date: 2/01/01
Port of Entry: Miami, FL
Arrival from: London (Gatwick Int'l)
Visa issued: Buenos Aires 5/11/90
Carrier: Virgin Atlantic Airlines (flt 5)
2). Admission date: 10/18/00
Admission Class: CP (Public Interest Parole)
Port of Entry: Mami, FL
Arrival from.: Bogota, Columbia
Visa issued: Buenos Aires 5/11/90
Carrier: Avianca (flt 8)
Intended address: 901 S.E. 1st. Ave., Gainesville, FL
Departure date: 12/25/00
3). Admission date: 12/23/99
Port of Entry: New York
Carrier: Tower Air (flt 31)
(no further info)
15. Regarding the groups story as art students, specifically VALANSI stating
that he is a student at the University of Florida out on springbreak,
RAC Dick McEnany, Gainesville R.O. inquired
as to VALANSI's status as a student. RAC McEnany advised that VALANSI was
last registered in the spring of 1999. RAC McEnany also stated that spring
break was already over for this year.
16. It is noted that in addition to the three subjects contacted, another
group of three alleged art students were documented workin another office
complex on Perry Hill Road (Interstate Park) in Montgomery on the same day
(3/27/2001). This group is known to have solicited several offices in that
complex which are Department of Defense contractors (Maxwell Air Force Base
is in Montgomery). Montgomery FBI agents made contact with that group at
their hotel (La Quinta Inn) and identified them.
17. The local FBI office was contacted and provided with this information
for follow-up as necessary. The FBI POC RAC Sharon
18. There have been no reports of suspicious activities by Israeli art students
occurring, at DEA facilities or at the residences of any DEA Employee under
the Boston Division.
20. On or around June 26, 2000, a male and female claiming they were Israeli
art students, visited the home of a Diversion Investigator, The male was
described as Caucasian, 5'8", 160 lbs., dark brown hair, clean-shaven, brown
eyes, and early 20's. The female was described as 5'6", 160 lbs., long curly
dark brown hair with blonde highlights, early 20's. The students left the
residence without incident.
21. On or around June 30, 2000, a second set of Israeli art students arrived
at the home of the same Diversion Investigator. These students were
confrontational when asked to leave and the police were called (16th District
Chicago Police Dept.). The male was described as 5'6", 150 lbs., slim build,
dark skin, no facial hair, very dark hair, early 20's. The female was described
as 5'8", slim build, brown shoulder length hair, and early 20's. They did
approach other homes in the Diversion Investigator's neighborhood. The Israeli
students were seen entering a Chevy Astro van, steel gray in color, with
22. On January 4, 2001, SPI Contract Guard William
Armstrong purchased a painting for $200.00 from an Israeli art student..
The transaction took place outside of the Dallas Divisional Office. Mr.
Armstrong wrote a check payable to a Gal BLAIN.
23. Sometime in January 2001, a male claiming to be an Israeli art student
selling paintings visited the home of a DEA Intelligence Analyst and OPR
Senior Inspector. The male was described as Caucasian, in his mid twenties.
The DEA employees did not purchase any artwork.
24. On February 5, 2001, Security Guard Armstrong
observed an individual matching the descriptions of the Israeli art student
enter an office building directly East of the Dallas Divisional Office.
Mr. Armstrong notified the Federal Protective
Service Officers. The FPS Officers responded to the location, located the
individual, and conducted an interview. The Israeli art student claimed he
was selling paintings.
NADDIS EPIC, INS
Soundex, and state system checks were conducted for the above individual,
with negative results.
25. As of March 26, 2001, local law enforcement continued to encounter Israeli
Nationals, either alone or in groups, selling artwork in the Dallas area.
The Israelis appeared to be organized and structured, with the lower level
consisting of the artwork sellers while the next level consists of the drivers.
The hierarchy above the drivers remains undefined. Many of the art sellers
claim to be studerts of a Jerusalem art school, and several appear to have
had prior Israeli military experience. A standard method of operation is
for a driver to drop off three or four salespersons in an area, returning
several hours later for pickup. Bank checks found in the possession of several
of the students suggest that the artwork sells for between $50.00 and $150.00.
26. Several local law enforcement agencies have provided information to the
DEA Dallas office pertaining to recent encounters. On January 2, 2001, an
6fficer of the Euless Police Department sighted a 1995 Chevy Van, white,
California plate 3HXN005, parked with back doors opened behind a small office
complex that was closed due to the Christmas/New Year holidays. The officer's
initial inspection showed five persons present and that the rear of the van
was filled with 40 to 50 framed artwork. Neither the frames nor the artwork
appeared to be high quality, per the officer. The officer noted that the
van and subjects were stopped in a non-residential area that consisted of
a golf course, a chemical company and a storage facility for a defense
contractor. When questioned, the subjects indicated they were selling paintings
in the area, but were evasive in answering questions thereafter. For example,
several subjects stated they were staying in Irving, Texas, but were not
sure exactly where. The subjects were warned on the scene for selling paintings
without a permit, and released. Although all five subjects possessed passports,
only name and DOB information was recorded for each. All subjects were negative
in law enforcement indices. The five subjects were identified as:
Gilad LIFSHITZ, W/M, DOB 09/17/1973 (Note: Lifshitz was the vehicle driver)
Betzalel YANAY, W/M, DOB 09/04/1978
Morin Miryam BITON, W/F, DOB 07/14/1980
Daria SASSON, W/F, DOB 08/10/1980
Keren TOUYZ, W/F, DOB 08/20/1978
27. At the time of the encounter Gilad LIFSHITZ, the driver of the van, was
in possession of a Florida driver's license, number L123-280-78-337-0, that
showed a DOB of 09/17/1978, and an address of 19115 Collins Ave # 102, Sunny
Isles Beach, F1 33160. Sunny Isles Beach is in the Miami area. Perhaps
coincidentally, per DEA's Office of Security Programs, two Israelis previously
encountered in Miami were in possession of counterfeit US Social Security
Cards. The cards were reportedly obtained in Miami from an unidentified person
who was selling the cards near a Florida driver's license office.
28. As previously reported, LIFSHITZ was driving a 1995 Chevy Van with California
plate 3HXN005. A California registration check showed that this van, VIN
1GAHG39K5SF112662, was apparently sold to B I Auto Inc, 31861, 854 Ackerman
Dr, Danville, California, circa August 30, 2000. A check of vin 1GAHG39K5SF112662
showed that it is associated with a 1995 Chev/Spt owned by Gilad LIFSHITZ
of 7535 N. Beltline Rd, Apt 316, Irving, Texas 75062. (Note: this may be
the Irving address referred to by the Israeli art students). (ISP Note: Michael
CALMANOVIC, identified by I&NS Dallas and arrested on Marcy 28, 2001,
rented at least 5 apartments in the Irving, TX area, and used a mail drop
located at 3575 N. Beltline Road, Irving, TX.) Current vehicle tag is TX/86YYF,
title date is 02/10/2001, expiration date is 01/2002. The previous owner
is listed as Noam TZOR. What, if any, relationship there may be between TZOR
and B I Auto Iac is unknown.
29. In a separate but related matter, on March 16, 2001, the same officer
from the Euless PD encountered Sharon ROTEM, aka Sharone, an Israeli art
student, at a Kentucky Fried Chicken on Euless Blvd in Euless, Texas. ROTEM
was described as a white male, DOB 031277, passport number 7948317, street
address: 6023 Moshe Dayan, Holon, Israel. ROTEM claimed association with
a Jerusalem art school and had approximately 20 paintings in his possession.
The officer noted that ROTEM was an Israeli citizen who was selling "artwork"
without a permit, and issued a warning. During the interview, ROTEM stated
he was with two others and they were going to be picked up at 17:00 that
afternoon. The pickup location was unspecified. ROTEM informed the officer
that he (ROTEM) was out of the Israeli military and was doing "Good Deed"
work. ROTEM also stated that he was staying in Irving, but didn't know where
or the name of the hotel, and that he was going to drive to Austin Texas,
later that day. ROTEM was negative in law enforcement indices. In ROTEM's
possession were several airline tickets, as follows:
-9th of March: Continental Flight 91 from Tel Aviv to Newark, NJ.
-10th of March: Continental Flight 1133 from Newark, NJ to Dallas, TX. This
ticket shows a return to Newark on May l4th via Continent al Flight 1138.
-Continental Flight 90 to Tel Aviv.
30. Sandwiched between the two Euless incidents was an incident in Richardson,
Texas. Per a Richardson Police Department report, on March 15, 2001, officers
were dispatched in reference to two females soliciting artwork. Once located,
the subjects were identified via their Israeli passports as Maya MAIMON and
Nofar BADIHI. Both subjects were arrested for soliciting without a city permit.
Prior to being interviewed by police officers, an unidentified male called
the jail to inquire about the two female subjects. The U/I male was told
he could come to the station to get further information. Two subjects arrived
and were identified as Gadi REGEV and Eyal ARTZI (Texas DL number 19554509).
A conversation regarding bond and visitation issues ensued, after which the
males left. During a search of the two female suspects' property, several
checks were found. Most were filled in with the amount and signature, but
the payee blank was void. Also during the search of MAIMON's purse a prescription
of cloriazepam prescribed to Marco FERNANDEZ was found. It was determined
that FERNANDEZ was MAIMON's boyfriend. Fourteen checks, the prescription,
and $130 dollars cash were placed in property as evidence. The paintings
that the suspects were selling were also impounded.
31. Maya MAIMON was in possession of documentation showing her passport number
as 5467894, US B1/B2 visa, DOB 26Dec1978, Nationality Israel, Issue Date:
18Oct2000, Expiration Date: 15Oct2010.
32. Nofar BADIHI was in possession of documentation showing her passport
number as 5640993, DOB 21/03/1979 (sic), Place of Birth: Israel, date of
issue: 05/12/1993; date of expiry (sic): 04/12/1995; US Visa B1/B2, issue
date: 05Ju11996, Expiry Date: 02Jul2006.
33. Among the various documents were airline tickets reflecting the travel
of Maya MAIMON and Marco MARABOTTO from DFW airport to Albuquerque, NM, via
Delta flight 2238, on March 24, 2001. Each ticket also reflected Delta flight
1944 from Las Vegas to DFW on April 1, 2001.
34. Additional documents showed Marco FERNANDEZ's to be the same as Marco
Antonio FERNANDEZ De Castro Marabotto, DOB 13Apr1977, passport number
99390039611, Issuing State: Mexico; place of birth: Mexico, date of issue
16Jul1999, expiration date: 16Jul2000.
36. Gadi REGEV was described as DOB: 17Dec1975, Nationality: Israel, passport
number 5454338, visa type: B1/B2, issuing post: Tel Aviv, issue date: 05Nov1998,
expiration date: 04Nov2008.
37. Eyal ARTZI's driver's license shows DL # 19554509, DOB 05-27-1977, address:
10334 Sandra Lynn Dr., Dallas, TX 75228, and an expiration date of. 06-27-07.
A commercial database shows that ARTZI is the owner of a 1993 Plymouth Acclaim,
Texas plate: J75FYB, date registered 08/21/2000, expiration date: 07/31/2001.
38. Another incident involved an Israeli art student who attempted to sell
paintings at the residence of S/A Michael Durr
in Flower Mound, Texas, on March 25, 2001 at approximately 17:30. S/A
Durr was slightly delayed and when he opened
the door the art student had already departed and was approaching another
house. S/A Durr called the Flower Mound police
department, which responded. The art student was identified as David SUSI,
W/M, DOB 01/09/1975, who was staying at an unspecified location in Irving,
Texas. The student was not detained.
Role Name Desc DOB PP/DL# Visa Sgtd Nad
Driver Gilad Lifshitz W/M 09/17/1978 FLDL#L123-280-78-337-0 Euless Neg
Seller Betzalel Yanay W/M 09/04/1978 Euless Neg
Seller Morin Miryara
Biton W/F 07/14/1980 Euless Neg
Seller Dana Sasson W/F 08/10/1980 Euless Neg
Role Name Desc DOB PP/DL Visa Sgtd Nad
Seller Keren Touyz W/F 08/20/1978 Euless Neg
Seller Sharon Rotcrn W/M 08/12/1977 PP#7948317 Euless Neg
Seller Maya Maimon W/F 12/26/1978 PP#5467894 Bl/B2 Richardson Neg
Seller Nofar Badihi W/F 21/03/1979(sic) PP#5640993 Bl/B2 Richardson Neg
Unk Gadi Regev U/M 12/17/1975 PP#5454338 Bl/B2 Richardson Neg
Unk Eyal Artzi U/M 05/27/1977 TXDL#19554509 Richardson Neg
Unk Marco Fernandez U/M 04/13/1977 PP#99390039611 Richardson Neg
Note: Maya's Boyfriend
Seller David Susi W/M 01/09/1975 Flower
Dallas I&NS Investigative Reports
(The following is information received by ISP from I&NS Special Agent
George Putnam, Dallas, TX. This information
is gleaned from I&NS reports, and is consolidated for this paper.)
39. On March 22, 2001, I&NS Dallas received a request from FPS Dallas
S/A's Ellison and
Stokes to assist in an investigation regarding
Israeli art students. On March 26, 2001, agents went to the Oak Hills Apartment
Complex in Irving, Texas to conduct interviews of Israeli nationals staying
at those apartments. At approximately 11:30 pm, agents arrested Dahan ELDAD,
an Israeli male, and Elsa Beatriz AFRICANO-Leon, a Colombia female at apartment
4228. ELDAD and AFRICANO were proceeding toward apartment # 173, where four
Israeli nationals were in custody. ELDAD and AFRICANO were found to be
nonimmigrant aliens in violation of their status, and placed under arrest
by S/A Martini and
Olivarez. A search of their apartment revealed
a small amount of marijuana and a "bong" Additionally, checks in the amount
of $150.00 (2)and $560.00, with the notation "For Paintings" were found in
40. At approximately 1:26 am on 3/27/01, S/A's arrested Eran LIVNI, an Israeli
male, Aran OFEK, and Israeli male, and Michal GAL, DOB 8/10/79, POB: Afula
Israel, I&NS #A75-894-941, an Israel female in apartment 216. OFEK and
GAL were recognizedby FPS S/A Stokes as having
been interviewed by FPS subsequent to attempting to sell paintings at the
DEA Dallas F.D. on Regal Row. LIVNI admitted to the S/A's he had engaged
in attempting to sell art. Also present in apartment 216 were Noam GAVRIEL
an Israeli national, and Netta Kritzman, a U.S. citizen. Personal belongings
were retrieved from apartment #259 for OFEK and GAL. Three other Israeli
nationals were encountered in apartment 9259, however, they were not found
to be in violation of I&NS status and not arrested (nor identified in
41. Aran OFEK stated that his father was a retired two-star general in the
Israeli Army. (NFI). (ISP note: Israel recently launched its 5th spy satellite,
identified as the OFEK 5. It is unknown if the name of the satellite and
these persons is related.)
42. Michal GAL was subsequently held on a $10,000 cash bond. The bond was
placed by Ophir BAER, DOB: 11-11-56, an Israeli male on a nonimmigrant H1B1
class visa. BAER was petitioned to work in the U.S. by
AMDOCS, Inc. on Sept. 7,
1999, which was valid from Dec 10, 1999 to Sept 30, 2002. The visa was issued
in Tel Aviv. BAER listed his address as 7845 La Cabeza Drive, Dallas, TX
75248 with telephone numbers (home) 972-392-0473 and (work) 214-576-5741,
SSN: 627-70-0979. BAER also is identified with an address of 1125 East Campbell
Road, Richardson, TX. BAER's SSN is also identified with a John BAER and
Annie BAER at the 7845 La Cabeza address. BAER stated he was a relative of
GAL. On the bond papers, it was reflected that GAL would be staying at 22
Palisade Terrace, Edgewater, NJ 07020 Tel: 201-224-0797 / 210-310-3521. A
cashier check #0001594012 from Bank of America in the amount of $ 10,000
43. AMDOCS is an Israeli communications software company, based in the U.S.
at 1390 Timberlake Manor Parkway, Chesterfield (St. Louis), MO 63017-6041,
telephone number 314-821-3242. AMDOCS is traded on the NYSE under DOX. On
April 17, 2001, AMDOCS released a statement that he had signed a five-year
outsourcing agreement with BellSouth. AMDOCS also lists an address of #1
Bell Plaza, St. Louis, Mo, which is the address for Bell South. AMDOCS also
has a seven-year outsourcing agreement with Nextel Communications, a provider
of digital wireless telecommunications services. Under this agreement, AMDOCS
will provide Nextel with a comprehensive billing and customer care information
software and support services. The president of AMDOC in Texas is identified
as Boaz DOTAN, address: 23 Abba Hillel, St. Ranat Gan, Israel. Treasurer
is listed as Beverly A."WHITMAN, SSN: 400-88-4097. Secretary is listed as
Gregory CHRISTOFFEL, SSN: 389-52-8560 at 91 Bell Plaza, St. Louis, MO.
44. Also arrested during this operation was Eran MOSHE (identified with
I&NS #A75-894-459), who stated he was a former Israeli special operations
45. It is noted that following the arrests of the Israeli nationals on March
26/27th, the Israeli embassy was notified that citizens of its country had
been arrested by I&NS. The Israeli embassy,arranged for air transportation
out of the county on March 31, 2001.
46. On March 27, 2001, at approximately 2:30 pm, three Israeli nationals
arriving frorn Frankfurt, Germany, were admitted as non-immigrant visitors
through the Dallas / Ft. Worth Airport (DFW). They were identified as Julia
VAINSHTEIN, an Israeli female, DPOB: 11-12-78/Russia, Dilka BORENSTEIN, DPOB:
03-15-79/Israel, and Ofir NAVON, DPOB: 09-02-79/Israel. BORENSTEIN stated
to have been recently discharged as an Israeli Military Intelligence officer.
NAVON claimed to be a former Israeli Army demolition/explosive ordnance disposal
specialist. The three stated they intended to tour the Dallas area for a
few days, and then go to Houston, New York, and Los Angeles. They claimed
not to know anyone in the Dallas area. Surveillance was maintained on the
three after they left the inspection area. They were seen being picked up
by an individual subsequently identified as Michael CALMANOVIC, who was driving
a black Jeep bearing, Texas tags L44-CVD. This tag comes back to CALMANOVIC
at 3575 N. Beltline Road, Apt 316, Irving, Texas. Subsequent investigation
revealed this address to be a mailbox.
47. In December of 2000, an Israeli art student by the name of Cohen MEYTAL
was observed by a DEA employee sitting on the western street curb of the
Dallas Divisional Office selling artwork. The student claimed that a group
of Israeli art students (about 20) would paint works of art and them at local
places of business. The employee purchased a painting and was offered to
have it framed by an acquaintance of the Israeli group. The check was made
out to Cohen MEYTAL and mailed to the following address:
3575 N. Beltline Road
P.O. Box 316
Irving, Texas 75062
This address is identified with Michael CALMANOVIC. See report under
LABORATORIES, paragraph #161.)
48. On March 31, 2001, I&NS Deportation Officer
Michael L. Bush was assigned escort duties for
the 13 Israelis arrested on March 26/27, 2001 in Irving, Texas. At that time,
one of the Israelis (not identified in the report) stated that five individuals
in Israel were responsible for recruiting Israeli nationals to come to the
U.S. for the purpose of selling art door-to-door. The detainee identified
"ITAY' who lives in California, (subsequently identified as Itay SIMON),
as the direct link between the five persons in Israel, and the U.S. operation.
The detainee stated that the Texas contact for the organization is "Michael",
who lives in the Dallas area and drives a black Jeep. The detainee stated
that Michael (CALMANOVIC), is subordinate in the art-vending scheme to Itay
49. Based on investigative leads developed by I&NS S/A
R. Marra and R.
Martini, the Rochelle Plaza Apartments, located at 312 Rochelle Road,
and the Hidden Ridge Apartments, located at 1103 FEdden Ridge, both in Irving,
Texas, were identified as possible residences used by CALMANOVIC. On April
14, 2001, I&NS and FPS S/As interviewed Ms. Mary Stanton, Property Manager
for the Rochelle Apartments. Ms. Stanton stated that CALMANOVIC had rented
five (5) apartments in the complex, and that these apartments were occupied
by 25 Israelis. Ms. Stanton stated that all of the Israelis left suddenly
and vacated the apartments on the week of March 26/27th, (the time of the
arrests of the 13 other Israelis). Ms. Stanton stated she believed CALMANOVIC
was still in the Dallas area, as he had recently called regarding his security
deposits. Copies of the lease agreements and copies of Israeli passports
were provided by Ms. Stanton.
50. Following this, the agents went to the Hidden Ridge Apartments, and at
approximately 1:00 pm encountered CALMANOVIC and Itay SIMON in apartment
#3018. Thev were in the process of vacating that apartment at the time.
CALMANOVIC was identified as an Israeli citizen, DPOB: 09-06-75/Israel. SIMON
was identified as an Israeli citizen, DPOB: 02-27-78/Israel. I&NS S/A
Martini positively identified CALMANOVIC as
the driver of the black Jeep Cherokee that picked-up VAINSHTEIN, BORENSTEIN,
and NAVON at DFW on March 27th. (See paragraph #46 above). CALMANOVIC stated
he was a recently dicharged electronic intercept operator for the Israeli
military, and SIMON stated he was recently discharged from the Israeli Army,
where he did "classified work for Israeli national security". SIMON refused
to answer further questions regarding his military service. Both CALMANOVIC
and SIMON were both arrested by I&NS and held on $50,000 bond. This bond
was subsequently posted.
Telephone number 214-882-5196 was identified as a possible contact number
for CALMANOVIC in Dallas. This number is owned by NEXTEL Communications.
Through an administrative subpoena, the subscriber was identified as Michael
CALMANOVIC, 11012 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604, business phone number
469-446-7777, SSN 613-23-1430, CA DL # 0077480. The service was established
on March 29, 2001. NOTE: 11012 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA [text
deleted by Cryptome at request of innocent party who claims to have contacted
DEA to correct a cited database].
Prior to the service start date of March 29, 2001 for Michael CALMANOVIC,
the phone number 214-882-5196 was used by N Lal MUMITH and Talal MUMITH (NADDIS
Negative) DBA American Limo and Transportation (NADDIS Negative), 415 E.
Airport Freeway, Suite 280, Irving, TX 75062, business phone number 972-256-0546
(all NADDIS Negative). Telephone number 214-882-5196 was changed to 214-882-8534
on February 13, 2001 and effective March 29, 2001 the phone was assigned
In addition to telephone number 214-882-5196, there are six (6) additional
phone numbers assigned to the account (all NADDIS Negative) with the assigned
users name. The following list is all the phone numbers on account number
3231266 subscribed to Michael CALMANOVIC with a users name:
Phone Number User
469-446-1248 Mosh (likely Eran MOSHE, para 944)
A nationwide search of available commercial databases for Michael CALMANOVIC,
identified one Michael CALMANOVIC at 319 S. 177th Place 4201, Seattle, Washington
98148, home phone number 206-244-7705 (all NADDIS Negative). A search against
the social security number was negative. CREF indicates that one Michael
CALMANOVIC is associated with 310 S. 177th Place, Apt3 04, Seattle, WA (206)
242-3484, and 317 S. 177th Place, Apt 104, Seattle, WA (206)-277-8303. All
51. On March 28, 2001 at approximately 2:00 pm, three-Israeli nationals arrived
at DFW again from Frankfurt, Germany. They were identified as Yoni ENGEL,
male, DPOB: 09-14-79/Israel, Yotam DAGA1, DPOB: 04-06-78/Israel, and Or ALROEI,
DPOB 08-08-78/Israel. ENGEL identified himself as a former company commander
in the Israeli Army. Arriving on this same flight was Eli RABINOVITZ, a U.S.
citizen, DOB 03-27-79, U.S. Passport E3701329518. RABINOVITZ was described
as a white, male, approximately 5'6" in height, 175 pounds, with brown hair
in long dreadlocks and a small patch of hair beneath his bottom lip. RABINOVOTZ
was seen waiting outside of the I&NS area, and seemed to be impatient.
He was observed speaking to a white female who was waiting by the curb. She
was not identified, but is described as being approximately 35-40 yoa, 5'6",
150 pounds, with short reddish-brown hair. She was dressed in European style
clothes, and appeared to SA Putnam to be possibly
German. Once an I&NS Inspector escorted one of the above Israelis out
of the I&NS area, RABINOVITZ starting speaking to the Israeli in Hebrew.
Once ENGEL, DAGAI and ALROEI had collected their bags, they walked outside
and spoke with RABINOVITZ, and then split into groups. During this time,
ENGEL was seen to be the leader of the group, giving orders to the DAGAI
and ALROEI. The unidentified white female stayed with RABINOVITZ at the curb,
while ENGEL, DAGAI and ALROEI walked down the sidewalk to the next terminal.
DAGAI then quickly walked into the terminal at the same time as a blue GMC
Safari Van, bearing California tags 3LVA018 arrived at the curb and picked-up
ENGEL and ALROEI. The van then quickly departed. DMV records indicate this
van is registered to ADESA GOLDEN GATE, Address: 6700 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont,
CA, transfer date 11-28-00:, receipt date: 12-11-00. In a few minutes, the
van returned and stopped quickly at the curb. DAGAI then came from the terminal
door-way and entered the van. The van then quickly departed. Again, the van
returned to the area, and RABINOVOTZ got into the van and the unlidentified
female spoke to the occupants, then it again departed. S/A4
Putnam attempted to locate the van, however
it could not be found. When he returned to the area, the unidentified female
had also departed.
52. On April 4, 2001, four (4), and possibly six (6), Israelis were arrested
in by the Ladue Missouri Police Dept. for peddling without a license. Three
of these individuals were identified ay Yoni ENGEL, Yotam DAGAI, and Or ALROEI.
During interviews conducted by I&NS St. Louis, three of the subjects
claimed to have traveled directly from New York City, NY to Dallas, TX. A
fourth subject claimed to have arrived at Dallas by way of New York City,
Minneapolis, and Seattle. All then claimed to have met in San Antonio, TX
with a fifth subject, identified as Ben SADAN, an Israeli national approximately
24 yoa, who acted as their driver. SADAN reportedly uses a cellular telephone
with number 214-562-1110. The group claimed they then traveled from San Antonio,
TX to Oklahoma City, OK, Tulsa, OK, Wichita, KS, Topeka, KS, Kansas City,
MO, Springfield, MO, and then to St. Louis for the purpose of "showing" art
produced by art students from the University of Art at Jerusalem. All admitted
opening bank accounts at various branches of Bank of America. They further
stated that the money collected from the sale of any art was normally deposited
into various Bank of America accounts with an unspecified amount going to
the individual seller. (See paragraph #129, under St. Louis Division).
53. On an unspecified date, (but believed to be on or about May 9, 2001 three
Israeli nationals arrived at DFW via Air France Flight #40 from Paris, France.
Two were sent for secondary inspection and interviewed by I&NS Agents.
They were identified as Tomer BEN DOR, male, Israeli, DOB: 08-24-75, Marina
GLIKMAN, female, Israeli, DOB: 12-15-72. BEN DOR stated he planned on being
in the Dallas, TX area for approximately two weeks and then was planning
on traveling to Mexico, New York City, and Canada before returning to Israel.
BEN DOR was in possession of a return ticket to Israel dated July 8, 2001
and a rental car reservation through Hertz for May 9, 2001 to June 9, 2001.
BEN DOR stated he works for NICE, a software engineering company in Israel.
BEN DOR stated he served in the Israeli military on a unit that was responsible
for Patriot missile defense.
54. BEN DOR stated he intended to stay at the La Quinta Inn, 14925 Landmark
Blvd, Addison, TX, however a check of the hotel revealed no reservations
under his name. BEN DOR was in possession of $1500 in cash and a credit card,
which he stated he was going to use to help pay his expenses while in the
U. S. BEN DOR stated he is a friend of GLIKMAN and traveled to the U.S. with
her, but might travel throughout the U.S. alone. During a search of BEN DOR's
luggage a printout from a Windows readme file named "WinPOS-53-readme" was
found that has some reference to a file named "DEA Groups".
55. Marina GLIKMAN stated she would be visiting the U.S. for two months in
the Dallas area. She originally claimed to be traveling alone, but later
claimed to be traveling with BEN DOR. GLIKMAN stated that an individual named
Ronen AKIVA or "HILLEL" (subsequently identified as Hillel DOR) would pick
her up. GLIKMAN did not know the address of AKIVA or HILLEL, but had home
and cellular telephone numbers for both, (not identified). GLIKMAN stated
she did not know whom AKIVA worked for. GLIKMAN also stated she was planning
on staying at the La Quinta Inn, and was in possession of $1500 in cash and
a credit card. Again, a check of the hotel revealed no reservation under
her name. GLIKMAN claimed to be a computer programmer for
RETALIX RAANANA in
Israel, and a prior intelligence officer in the Israeli military. During
a search of her personal luggage, a Declaration for Personal Effects Shipping
to Overseas was found which reflected she has shipped personal effects, to
include furniture and clothing, to 8081 Royal Ridge Parkway, Irving, TX,
the address used by
56. While GLIKMAN and BEN DOR were being processed, I&NS Inspectors went
to the lobby of DFW to attempt to identify any individuals who were present
to meet GLIKMAN and BEN DOR. The Inspectors identified Hillel DOR, male,
Israeli, DOB: 04-06-71 and Zeev MILLER, male, Israeli, DOB: 09-04-71. MILLER
had also arrived on the same flight as GLIKMAN and BEN DOR. MILLER claimed
he was a student at Tel Aviv University studying software engineering while
working part-time for RETALIX in Israel. MILLER stated he intended to travel
to Mexico, New York, and Canada while on vacation. MILLER stated he was an
explosive ordinance/combat engineer while in the Israeli military. MILLER
was in possession of $1200 in cash and a Visa credit card. Hillel DOR stated
he was at the airport to pick-up GLIKMAN. I&NS S/As verified that DOR
had entered the U.S. in January, 2001 as an H-1B nonimmigrant, working for
57. RETALIX provides integrated, enterprise-wide software for the retail
food industry. It has headquarters in the U.S. and Israel. RETALIX, USA Inc
is the U.S. subsidiary of the parent company, based in Israel. It was founded
in 1982 as POINT OF SALE LIMITED and changed its name in November 2000. It
is trades on the NASDAQ market under RTLX. The company has over 450 einployees,
with subsidiary offices in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. The chairman
and CEO is Barry SHAKED, who replaced Lawrence ALLMAN as the president and
CEO of RETALIX USA on January 31, 2001.
58. Sometime in July or August 2000, on two separate occasions, a male described
as Caucasian, 5'8", black hair, wearing baggy clothing, entered the reception
area of the Denver Divisional Office. The unidentified male spoke with a
heavy accent and was carrying a black artwork brief case. The unidentified
male asked to speak with anyone interested in purchasing artwork. The
unidentified rriale was asked to leave and did so without incident.
59. Sometime in December 2000, an unidentified white male, 20-25 years of
age entered the Colorado Springs, Colorado Resident Office in an attempt
to sell artwork, He was asked to leave and did so without incident.
60. Four separate incidents involving unidentified persons attempting to
sell artwork at the Salt Lake City, Utah Resident Office were reported by
a Receptionist. These incidents occurred during the 2000 calendar year. In
each incident, all suspicious persons entered the reception area of the Salt
Lake City, Utah Resident Office asking to speak to anyone interested in
purchasing artwork. All subjects spoke with a heavy accent believed to be
French. All subjects were asked to leave and did so without incident.
61. A second receptionist at the Salt Lake Ciiy, Utah Resident Office reported
one male and two female subjects attempted to sell artwork in the reception
area. The receptionist asked the male subject where he was from.
Apparently, he claimed he was from Israel. The receptionist purchased a painting,
for $100.00 and was not issued a receipt. This incident occurred sometime
in January 2001.
62. A Vehicle Technician at the Detroit Division reported that during the
fall of 2000, a female appearing to be either Jewish or Arabic in her twenties
visited her home in Southfield, Kentucky in an attempt to sell her artwork.
The Vehicle Technician declined to purchase any paintings and the female
left. The Vehicle Technician said it appeared the female was going door to
63. A DEA-6 Report of Investigation was received from the Louisville, Kentucky
Resident Office detailmig the suspicious activities of Israeli art students.
On February 12, 2001, an individual who identified himself as an Israeli
art student visited the residence of a Special Agent. The individual stated
he was selling artwork door to door. He claimed he and other Israeli students
were staying at a Motel 6 in Lexington, Kentucky. The Special Agent examined
the individual's Israeli Ministries of Transport photo ID. The ID indicated
that the individual was Shabar FREIDMAN, driver's license number 6728447
and ID number 033056433. On February 13, 2001, a Special Agent made contact
with an individual outside the Lexington, Kentucky Resident Office. The
individual claimed to be an Israeli art student. The individual was identified
as Gerzon Ofir AVRAHAM, (DOB 08/12/77). AVRAHAM presented his Israeli passport
(96315574) and a Ministries of Transport ID number 034193615. Contact was
made with AVRAHAM after ATF personnel observed him walking around the property
of the Lexington, Kentucky Resident Office. During an interview with AVRAHAM
he stated that he did not enter the Resident Office and that he was trying
to sell his artwork to individuals in the area. AVRAHAM also stated that
he and seven other Israelis were in the U.S. traveling and selling artwork.
AVRAHAM claimed that he and the others go to businesses and residenes in
an attempt to have people buy their artwork. Apparently, the Israelis were
staying at a Motel 6 located in Lexington, Kentucky and are planning to travel
to Cincinnati, Ohio. AVRAHAM told the Special Agents that there are two groups
of Israeli students currently in the U.S. The second group was then currently
in Memphis, Tennessee and Houston, Texas. The Israelis plan to stay in the
U.S. until the end ofMarch or the beginning of April. AVRAHAM also claimed
that one of the members of his group, SHAHAR (LNU), visited the residence
of a police officer. SHAHAR told AVRAHAM that the police officer questioned
him about the purpose of his visit.
El Paso Division
64. On February 28, 2001, at approximately 6:30 p.m. the Albuquerque District
Office Duty Agent received a phone call from Patrick
Dawson in Phoenix, Arizona (606) 664-5647.
Dawson stated that their respective office had
received a Teletype stating that a terrorist organization from the Middle
East has been attempting to obtain information about the layout of different
law enforcement agencies throughout the United States. According to
Dawson the organization sends college students
with framed paintings/prints to law enforcement buildings in an attempt to
gather information about the layout of the buildings.
65. On or around January 28, 2001, a young man attempting to sell artwork
approached a DEA Receptionist for the Albuquerque District Office. The
Receptionist advised the young man that the District Office was a federal
building and that she or anyone else was not interested. The Receptionist
observed: the young man leave; however, she does not remember the description
of the individual.
66. On Tuesday, March 6, 2001, a young female came to the IRS office trying
to sell artwork. The woman was dressed neatly in an "American style" dress.
The woman spoke very quietly and with a heavy accent, which made her very
difficult to understand. She advised one of the IRS employees that she was
Mongolian and that she had to sell a certain amount of artwork to get an
art scholarship. She carried a small portfolio type container and produced
a childish and unframed painting of some sort of animal with glitter. One
of the witnesses described it as something the girl might have done herself.
The girl was told that soliciting was not allowed in the building and she
left the IRS office. No one apparently saw the woman leave the floor or building
and no other subjects were seen. The woman described her as being in her
late teens to early 20's, plump / chunky and approximately 4'11 " and light
67. On October 20, 2000, a male Israeli art student was observed by the Security
Officers entering the lobby level and enter an elevator from a secure area
of the Houston, Texas Divisional Office. Security Officers were able to apprehend
the art student before he could enter a secure area on the second floor.
There are no written reports of the incident nor any identification attempt
made of the art student.
68. On January 16, 2001, a male Israeli art student was observed by a United
States Customs Service Special Agent entering a secured parking lot area
that leads into the Houston Divisional Office. The USCS Special Avent stopped
the art student and turned him over to the Security Officers. The student
claimed he wanted to gain access to the building to sell artwork. No personal
identification information was obtained.
69. On January 22, 2001, a third Israeli art student entered the lobby of
the Houston Division and asked the Security Officer if he could utilize a
pay phone. The Security Officer informed the student that there was no public
phone available. The Security Officer asked the student if he had any artwork
to sell. The student said, "yes," and proceeded to inform the Security Officer
that another student visited the Houston Division a week ago to sell artwork.
The Security Offlicer told the student that someone upstairs wanted to see
the artwork. The Houston Division Special Agent/Security Officer S/A
John Martin, Assistant Special Agent in Charge
Ric Ludowig, and another Special Agent interviewed
the student. The Israeli art student was carrying a Florida State Driver's
License (#B650-520-76-047-0). The information on the license was Lior BARAM,
10733 Cleary Blvd., #206, Plantation, Florida, 33324-0000, (DOB 02/07/76),
5'9", dark eyes and black hair. BARAM admitted to serving three years in
the Israeli military and served his last two years in Intelligence, working
with classified information. BARAM spoke fluent English with an accent.
He also claimed to be an art student at Bezalel University in Jerusalem;
however, he could not spell Bezalel. BARAM stated there were fifteen (15)
Israeli art students in the Houston, Texas area attempting to sell their
artwork. BARAM claimed to realize that the Houston Division was a Federal
building and that be would not be able to sell his artwork there. BARAM was
asked how he knew the Houston Division was a Federal Building. BARAM response
was, "By looking around and seeing all of the cars." BARAM also stated that
after he left the military, he traveled for one year, worked at a car rental
company, and studied at BEZALEL UNIVERSITY.
70. BARAM could not provide the name of address or phone number of a place
he was staying. He also referred to the person heading the student affair
as his "supervisor." When BARAM pronounced the name cf his supervisor it
sounded like "Ori," and that Ori could be contacted at (847) 456-6166. The
telephone number was called and Ori was not available. No one at that phone
number could provide any information. BARAM was allowed to use a DEA telephone
to call someone to pick him up. BARAM dialed 1-800-462-3541, but did not
speak to anyone. When asked, he stated he tried to call a friend in New York.
BARAM was instructed to leave and never return. BARAM cialmed he had visited
the U.S. three times on a tourist visa, A records check from the Immigration
and Naturalization Service revealed BARAM had visited the U.S. in 1997 and
once in 2000 and 2001.
a) On May 10, 1997, BARAM entered the U.S., via Miami, under admission number
75957562105, on American Airlines flight #5776. He departed the U.S., via
New York, on British Airways flight #0001 on May 17, 1997. His U. S. tourist
visa was issued on March 18, 1997.
b) On August 25, 1997, BARAM entered the U.S. via Los Angeles, under admission
number 35627816705, on El Al Israel flight #0105. At that time he was carrying
an Israeli passport (#4787090) and it is presumed he may have entered the
U.S. under the same U.S. tourist visa as noted above. BARAM departed the
U.S. on December 13, 1997, via Miami, on Air Jamaica flight #0093.
c) On December 16, 1997, BARAM entered the U.S. via Miami, under admission
number 76155245005, on Air Jamaica flight #0090. There was no date of issue
for the U.S. tourist visa, however, the visa was issued in Jerusalem. BARAM
departed the U.S., via Newark, NJ, on El AL Israel flight #0001 on January
d) On November 22, 2000, BARAM re-entered the U.S., via New York, on El Al
Israel flight #0003. He was carrying Israeli passport (#8722103) and was
issued a U.S. tourist visa on November 15, 2000 in Tel Aviv. There is no
departure information listed for this trip.
70 On March 1, 2001, two college students selling art visited the home of
a Staff Assistant from the San Antonio, Texas District Office. The Staff
Assistant's husband answered the door and sent the students on their way.
No information as to where they were from was revealed. No vehicle was seen
and they were walking door to door.
71. On March 23, 2001, the Houston Division HIDTA faxed ISP a security alert
that was issued from ONDCR. The security alert describes the apparent attempts
by Israeli nationals to learn about government personnel and office layouts.
The security alert reads:
"A Supervisory Special Agent from OTG has received information from the other
OTG's that there was an on-going "security threat" in the form of individuals
who are purportedly "Israeli National Art Students" that are targeting government
office selling "artwork." The purpose of them targeting Law Enforcement in
unknown. Intelligence information indicates that they are specifically targeting
Law Enforcement agencies as they showed up in an ATF office in Lexington,
KY, where their office is in a commercial building NOT associated with the
government. When questioned by the ATF, the "students" were vague about why
they were selling the artwork in that particular office. In the St. Louis
area, the source thought that the students were Palestinian and they have
been at the DEA office in that city. At that location, the Intel indicates
that they were caught "diagramming" the inside of the building. Also in St.
Louis, several of the Law Enforcement's Officer's homes have been visited
by these folks. One DCIS agent reported two individuals, who appeared to
be of Middle Eastern extraction, went to his house and tried to gain entry
under the ruse of "selling art." When he refused entry to them, they left.
What was unusual is that he watched them and they did not visit any other
houses in the area. Since this came from DEA, who is apparently on of the
major targets, I thoughy it imperative to get the word out as soon as practical.
DEA is attempting to build a database of the contacts in all areas. A TIGTA
Special Agent reports that he was visited at his home in west Little Rock,
AR approximately two months ago by a woman "selling artwork," and fitting
this description. It is unknown HOW these folks are getting the home addresses
of the agents contacted, whether via surveillance or by FOIA. requests, but
it is certainly well to be aware of anyone who may fit this description and
appears to be following an agent."
Los Angeles Division
72. On March 8, 2001, at approximately 6:30 p.m., two males claiming to be
art students from UCLA, visited the home of Intelligence Supervisor
Lori Fernandes and ASAC John
Fernandes, of the Los Angeles Division. The two males said they were
attending school from Europe and were trying to sell art to support their
economy. The two males looked to be in their 20's. One male had very short
black hair and the other had black hair that extended about two inches below
his ears. The I/S Fernandes informed the males
that she was not interested and they left the residence. The two males departed
the neighborhood in a vehicle bearing a Maryland license plate #HLB785, The
plate comes back to a 1991 Ford registered to Leviella MENDEL at 8377 Tamar
Drive, #37, Columbia, Maryland, DOB 10/29/75, driver's license
#M-534-514-009-032, 5'7", 150 lbs. All M204 inquiries were negative. Additional
inquiries revealed MENDEL has a new residential address, 4733 Haskell Ave.,
#46, Encino, California. Criminal checks are still pending.
73. On Wednesday April 2, 2001 at approximately 8:00 PM one of two individuals
rang the doorbell of the residence of a DEA Special Agent
Wayne Schmidt in Duarte, California. Upon answering
the door, the S/A observed the two individuals walking away from the residence
and walking toward an adjoining neighbor's residence. Upon exiting the residence,
the S/A observed that both individuals, a male and a female, were at the
neighbor's front door and stated that they were "Israeli art students", The
neighbor advised them she was not interested and both left the area walking
south on foot. The S/A observed that the male spoke English with a pronounced
accent and was approximately 5'10" medium build short curly dark hair and
carried an artist's portfolio. The female was approximately 5'7" with shoulder
length auburn hair. The S/A was not able to obtain any further description
due to the lack of available light in the area. The S/A returned to his residence
and contacted by telephone the Temple Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's
Department (LASO) and requested assistance in attempting to find and identify
the individuals. While awaiting the arrival of the LASO, the S/A returned
to the area where he had last observed the individuals and attempted to locate
their exact location without success. The S/A was contacted telephonically
by LASO Sergeant Joseph B. O'Conner [not redacted]. Subsequently,
the S/A briefed Sergeant O'Conner in person
at a location away from his residence, While briefing, Sergeant
O'Conner dispatched a number of marked police
units into the area of the last sighting. After approximately 30 minutes
of searching the area the units reported no observations. Sergeant
O'Conner, along with several LASO Deputies canvases
on foot the residents of several houses north and south of the S/A's residence
on the pretext of looking for door to door peddlers. Sergeant
O'Conner determined that the two individuals
approached the resident of 615 Royalview Street, Duarte, identified as Kathy
SABGUNDJIAN (626) 358-6453 (626) 256-1027 at approximately 7:30 PM and had
entered that residence and stayed for approximately 30 minutes. Ms. SABGUNJIAN
had made a purchase from the individuals. During questioning by Sergeant
O'Conner Ms. SAPGUNDJIAN recalled that the two
individuals would not give her their names nor did they provide her with
a telephone number. When asked about framing the artwork the individuals
obtained Ms. SABGUNDJIAN's telephone numbers and said that they will be in
touch with her. Sergeant O'Conner left his business
card wtih Ms. SABGUNJIAN and requested that she contact him in the event
the art students telephoned. Sergeant O'Conner
also requested that Ms. SABGUNDJIAN not tell the sellers about his visit.
74. The Miami Division, including SouthCom, ATF, INS, FDLE, and SFISC, and
the Southeast Laboratory, (for lab incidents, see Laboratories), has had
at least 20 encounters with Israelis selling artwork. These encounters took
place at the Divisional Office and at the residences of several employees.
A Chemist made a purchase at his residence via personal check for $155.00.
The check was deposited into Colonial Bank account number 067001518. A copy
of the check has been furnished.
75. In a Federal Protective Service report dated February 9, 2001, a FPS
Officer while on patrol at a Federal facility adjacently located to DEA,
was notified by a Security Officer that there were two individuals walking
around the back of the building. The subjects stated that they were there
from Israel to try to sell paintings for art school. The male subject was
carrying an Israeli passport, a Florida State driver's license, and a Florida
state ID card. The female subject had a Florida State driver's license and
a Florida state ID card. The female subject could not provide a passport
or visa from Israel. The subjects were detained and transferred to FPS Miami
Headquarters where they were interviewed. Both subjects were issued tickets
for "soliciting for commercial purposes." While interviewed, both subjects
produced counterfeit social security cards. Both subjects stated they were
approached by a man at the Florida State driver's license office and paid
him $100.00 for the counterfeit social security cards. Both subjects were
issued tickets for "possession of a false U.S, Government document." The
male subject was identified as Ohad AHARON and the female as Yafit SEGAL.
Later in the intervievv, SEGAL stated that they are not art students, but
answered an ad in Israel to go to the U.S. to sell art. The company, which
is located in Florida, is "Oil Paintings and Frames Universal Art," and the
manager's name is ALMOG. SEGAL also stated that they had a disagreement with
ALMOG, left the company, and decided to sell art on their own. The art is
bought from a company in Los Angeles, California. SEGAL and AHARON were released
and the case remains open with the U.S. Dept. of State.
75. [Number reused] On February 15, 2001, an off duty agent spotted
two individuals believed to be identified with subjects of a security adviory
posted by the Miami F.D. Surveillance was conducted and the local police
approached them to obtain identification and photographs. They were both
carrying passports. The female's name was Hammutal COHEN, DOB 01/29/62, passport
416077838, Immigration departure #41060016307 (02/12/01), 5'8", 145 lbs.
The male's name was Itay RUBINSTEIN, DOB 01/17/79, U.S. visa #39127358, date
of entry 12/28/00, passport #39127358, 6'0", 165 lbs, They stated they were
showing artwork that was not for sale. They were promoting an art gallery
that was opening in New York. DEA Special Agents observed these two individuals
in a strip mall near the DEA Orlando District Office in Heathrow, Florida.
The Israelis were observed going business-to-business selling artwork they
carried in a large portfolio. The agents photographed the two individuals,
76. On March 1, 2001, at approximately 3:00 p.m., SA
Kevin McLaughlin of theTampa DO responded to
a knock at one of the fifth floor office doors. (It should be noted that
the Tampa DO occupies the fourth and fifth floors of a First Union bank Office
building). The reception area is on the fourth floor, with the fifthi floor
doors being locked, and possessing no signs of idwitification.) At the door
was a young fernale who immediately identified herself as an Israeli aii
student who had beautiful art to sell. She was carrying a crudely made portfolio
of canvas, matted, but unframed pictures. Taking note of the posted Miami
Field Division Security Alert regarding a similar incident, SA
McLaughlin invited her into one of the interview
rooms and SA Adrian Chindgren joined him in
listening to her presentation. She had approxiinately 15 paintings of different
styles, some copies of famous works, and others similar in style to famous
artists. When asked her name, she identified herself as Bella POLLCSON, and
pointed out one of the paintings was signed by that name. She then changed
her story and said that the paintings were not for sale, but that she was
there to promote an art show in Sarasota, FL, and asked for the agents' business
cards so that information regarding the show could be mailed to them. She
was not able to say when, or where the show would take place. After this
discrepancy, the agents began to question her more closely, and her responses
were evasive at best. When asked whom she was with, she stated that she was
dropped at this office building by her Team Leader, who knew everything and
could answer more questions. The Team Leader was described as a male driving
a red van, dropping off this female, with another four females and a male.
77. Tampa DO agents then began searching the area around the Tampa DO office
and found the individuals described by the young female. Two of the girls
were on a street corner near another busy office complex area and as agents
were speaking with thern, the red van pulled up. All were escorted to the
Tampa DO for questioning.
78. Agents from the Tampa DO then interviewed each of the subjects. Through
identification that was produced, it wat revealed that the female who approached
the Tampa DO and identified hersclf as Bella POLLCSON, was now identified
as Inbal VAKSHI. The other subjects were: Sussie OSHRA, Keren KUZNITZ, Keren
MATATIA, Livnat SELLA, Eli COHEN, Oshirt ZAGURI, Rachel KENDEL, and Hanan
SERFATY. SERFATY, the driver of the red van, was identified as the Team Leader.
All of the subjects gave ambiguous answers to the agents, but keeping to
the story that they were Israeli art students.
79, VAKSHI produced an Israeli identification card, an Israeli passport,
a student identification card, and a Florida driver's license for Sarah Minna
SASSOON. VAKSI stated that she had received the license from a friend of
hers who was no longer living in Florida.
80. S/A David Keikin interviewed subject Hanan
SERFATY. SERFATY stated that he served in the Israeli military between the
ages of 18-21. He further indicated that he arrived in the U.S. approximately
one year ago at the age of 23. When questioned as to what he did between
the ages of 21 and 24, he refused to answer. The interviewing agent indicated
that SERFATY's command of the English language was excellent, even the
utitilization of slang words. SERFATY indicated that he resides in Hollywood,
FL, with a phone number of (954) 478-1006. He further related that he purchases
the paintings from an Anglo male, TOM (LNU) for $8.00-$15.00/piece, In turn,
each piece of artwork is subsequently sold for $50-80. TOM (LNU) allegedly
resides in Hollywood/Ft. Lauderdale area, and reportedly has a storage unit
in south Florida where he keeps the artwork to be picked up.
81. It should be noted that in SERFATY's possession were deposit and withdrawal
slips for Washington Mutual Bank account #038300002297689, dating, from December
19, 2000 through February 21, 2001. The fifty-one (51) slips were for
transactions at various banks in Dade and Broward County, FL, banks, specifically
in Coral Gables, Miami, Hollywood, Aventura, and Tamarac, The deposits for
the timeframe toaled $93,252,00, with withdrawals totaling $86,000. Also
in SERFATY's possession were four (4) deposit slips for First Union Bank
account #1010017986436, from February 26, 2001 through March 1, 2001, totaling
82. After being photographed, the subjects were released. G/S
Mark Baughman contacted G/S
James Williams, Miami Field Division SOG, and
was instructed to contact Matheson of the Federal Protective Service in Atlanta,
which he did telephomically. On March 2, 2001, G/S
Baughman contacted Air Force Intelligence, OSI
at MacDill Air Force Base and relayed all pertinent information to Air Force
Commander Joseph Lukowski. Copies of all documents
were forwarded to Commander Lukowski.
83. Follow-up calls to the Tampa Police Department revealed the following
information. On 2/27/01, the Tampa Police Dept. responded to two calls of
suspicious persons in the Davis Island area of Tampa. Shortly after 8 PM,
officers responded to the first call and encountered a male and female alleging
to be selling art prints in a residential area. One of the homes they embarked
upon was that of a U.S. Marshal. During the interview of the two subjects,
the male claimed he was previously a police officer with the Israeli Army
and was currently touring the U.S. with an associate. The male subject was
identified as Assaf MARZIANO, DOB: 02-04-78. The female subject was identified
as Orit BENDALAK, DOB: 10-28-78. MARZIANO stated that he had relatives in
Miami, but could not recall their names. He also claimed that he was traveling
to Los Angeles after leaving FL. Both subjects claimed that a NADAV (LNU)
was responsible for introducing them to the idea of selling artwork while
in Miami, and added that NADAV was responsible for dropping off the subjects
on Davis Island to sell artwork. BENDALAK stated that she originally left
Israel and traveled to Thailand and Taiwan. She also claimed that while serving
in the Israeli army, she was trained as a bomb technician. At 9:15 PM, a
second call brought TPD officers to another location on Davis Island, which
resulted in the interview of another male and female also selling artwork.
These subjects claimed to ro be promoting artwork for an organization that
they could not recall the name of. They both additionally claimed that they
had been dropped off in Tampa after departing Miami on same day. These subjects
are identified as Michael SIMON, DOB: 11-23-78 and Ilana HARARI, DOB: 4-29-79.
TPD fingerprinted and photographed all 4 subjects. (The Tampa DO retains
copies of all documentation.) These subjects all had passports in their
possession reflecting travel through Czech, Warsaw, and Nepal (10/2000).
It should be noted that in addition to one Deputy U.S. Marshal residing on
Davis Island, also residing there is a DEA agent and his spouse who is a
Deputy U.S. Marshal, a FL state representative, and a captain with the Tampa
84. The day before this incident, February 28, 2001, four students were observed
going door-to-door in a Tampa neighborhood. They knocked on the door of a
U.S. Marshal. The U.S. Marshal stated that the students were selling and
promoting artwork for the Jerusalem Art Academy. The students claimed they
came to the U.S. on February 21, 2001 from Israel, through New York, and
then to visit friends in Miami. None of the students could provide the names
of their ftiends. The students indicated that they had just recently traveled
to Thailand and Taiwan. The students indicated that they had served in the
Israeli military (which is required). One male stated he was a police officer
in the military and one female stated she was trained as a bomb technician.
85. On March 6, 2001, two males and one female student attempted to sell
artwork at the IRS office in Maitland, Florida, The students appeared to
be from the Middle East and possibly Israeli, according to the IRS agent.
Two agents encountered the students and they were asked to wait while a
supervisor was contacted. The students left and were followed to the parking
lot. The students were seen getting into a vehicle bearing Florida license
plate number D36-TTQ. The registration belongs to Seth Thomas BURKHOLDER
of 3329 Bartlett Blvd., Orlando, Florida. The vehicle is a white 1995 Nissan
86. The U.S. Marshals Service also provided information regarding similar
incidents at the Federal Courthouse and Federal Building in downtown Tampa.
On February 7, 2001, a female carrying a large flat package was stopped on
the 17th floor of the courthouse. The female stated that she was an Israeli
art student that had some photos and paintings to sell. The subject was
instructed to check with the first floor Security Post to get permission.
The subject then departed to the elevators. It was noted that the female
had a thick accent possibly middle-eastern.
87. An inquiry at the U.S. Attomey's Office (USAO) in Tampa by the Marshals
Service revealed that a female had visited the USAO floor of a commercial
bank building where they lease space. She claimed to have pictures to see,
and may also have claimed to be an Israeli art student.
88. On February 27, 2001, Deputy U.S. Marshal (DUSM)
Scott Ley observed two females fitting the profile
of the Israeli art student seen at the Tampa Federal courthouse, standing
on a street corner in downtown Tampa. They were carrying hand-made portfolios,
approximately 4-ft. by 3-ft, made up of white foam core sides with heavily
taped carrying handles. One of the females was followed into a commercial
bank buildina where she proceeded to sell her paintings. She proceeded to
other buildings in the area for the next hour, before joining a third female
in the lobby of another bank building. The third female had set up her artwork
in the lobby. Information obtained from the building management revealed
a Florida IID card in the name of Keren KUZNITZ, and a telephone number for
her "boss," The number, (954) 478-0961 is a Voice Stream Wireless cellular
phone out of Fort Lauderdale, FL. 12. DUSM Ley
approached this female and inquired about the paintings, She immediately
identified herself as an Israeli art student named Keren. She stated that
she was one of the ten students from a class of forty that traveled to the
U.S. for one month selling their own artwork as a fundraiser. DUSM
Ley purchased a painting for $150.00, and obtained
additional information from KUZNITZ. The name of her "Team Leader" and/or
"Boss" is Hanane SARFATI, and the name of the art school is BEZALEL. The
"boss" was to pick the art students up in downtown Tampa at approximately
5:00 p.m. Additional surveillance revealed a dark-colored mini van, driven
by a white male with dark hair, picking up approximately six females, all
carrying similar "portfolios," in a crowded area during downtown Tampa rush
hour. The Florida license plate on the van was U71 DLD, a 1991 red Dodge
mini-van, registered to Hanane SARFATI, W/M, DOB 06/03/1977, 4220 Sheridan
St. #303, Hollywood, FL, and 701 S. 21st Ave., Hollywood, FL. A Florida Driver's
License check revealed S613-320-77-203-0 to belong to Hinane SARFATI, 4220
Sheridan St.,, #303, Hollywood, FL. This license has been suspended and is
not curreatly valid.
89. The U.S. Marshals Service subsequently found the BEZALEL ACADEMY OF ARTS
AND DESIGN in Jerusalem via the Intemet. The telephone number is
www.bezalel.ac.il. The Tampa DO has
copies of all of the above reports, photographs, and identification. For
further information, please contact GS Jane Feeney
or IRS Bonnie Godshall.
90. The following was received by the RAC of the Ft. Meyers kesident Office:
Commonwealth Financial Center (CFC) (the DEA FTMRO is a tenant of this building)
and approached several people attempting to sell artwork. The females were
asked to leave by tenants on the fourth floor that then notifiied the FTMRO.
[Note: a MFD On 15 March 2001, sometime after noontime, two white females
entered the Security Alert on these Israeli art students was previously given
to the non-DEA tenants of the Commonwealth Financial Center, Also, other
tenants of the building reported seeing this group on a previous occasion.]
SA's Paul Mangone and Mark
Strang approached the females and asked them what their business ws
in the building. The two females, subsequently identified as Zwaig MEIRAV
and Hilda MACHBUBI told the agents that they arrived that same day from Fort
Lauderdale "by bus" and planned on returning the same day. They said they
had "walked" from the bus station in downtown Fort Myers to the CFC. They
said they had no identification on them. As they left the CFC, SAs
Mangone and Strang
followed the two females as they walked around the neighborhood returning
to the corner of New Brittany Blvd. and College Parkway after, apparently,
placing a telephone call to associates.
91. A short time later, SA Mangone saw a bronze/tan
Ford Aerostar XLT, bearing Florida license number T37-VTH, arrive at the
northeast comer of New Brittany Blvd. and College Parkway. Two other persons
occupied this vehicle. These persons were subsequently identified as Nimrod
SIMKIN and Inbal KEREN. MEIRAV and MACHBUBI then entered the vehicle. SAs
Mangone and Strang
followed the vehicle as it headed west on College Parkway toward the city
of Cape Coral. The vehicle entered Cape Coral on Cape Coral Parkway then
turned north on Del Prado Blvd. It turned into a small business center on
the East Side of Del Prado Blvd and parked in the parking lot of the business.
92. SA's Mangone and
Strang then approached the vehicle and the driver,
SIMKIN, who was already out of the vehicle. SA Mangone [not redacted]
then asked the other three occupants to exit the vehicle. SA
Mangone asked each to provide ID, which they
did. SA Mangone asked MEIRAV why she lied to
him at the CFC. She said she was afraid. SA
Mangone asked SIMKIN, the vehicle driver, for
permission to search the vehicle. SA Mangone [not redacted] saw a
small Panasonic digital recorder and photographic equipment in the vehicle.
93. The following personal information was obtained from the four individuals:
Zwaig MEIRAV, w/f, thin build, short long dark hair, DOB: 2/9/76, US VISA
control #20003205620012, Israeli passport #7831088
Hilda MACHBUBI, w/f, DOB: 5/4/79, US VISA control #20000397210011, Israeli
passport # 6530284, FL ID # M211-320-79-664-0
Nimrod SIMKIN, w/m, over 6' tall, curly hair, DOB: 9/2/77, FL DL#
Inbal KEREN, w/f, DOB: 7/17/79, US VISA control #20001710300009, Israeli
94. SIMKIN explained that they are part of a group of Israeli students who
are working to earn money so that they may continue their education in Israel.
All of the students travel to the United States on tourist visas and pay
for their own airfare and living expenses. They remain in the U.S. for a
period of four months then return to Israel. SIMKIN did not know how many
students participate in this program but stated that in addition to himself
and the three females currently with him there are three other students residing
in Ft. Lauderdale. These students learn of this opportunity in Israel and
they are put in touch with a several outlets where they purchase paintings
out of pocket. The students then sell the paintings and they retain any profit
for themselves. SIMKIN was unable to provide names of the persons/businesses
from which they purchase the paintings nor was he able to provide the name
of the organization that sponsors this employment.
The following was received from the Orlando District Office:
95. On May 2, 2001 in response to that Interoffice memorandum, SA
Lee Madeam noted a suspicious vehicle outside
of the Orlando District Office parked in the travel lanes taking photographs
of the office building and parking lots. SA
Madeam attempted to get a closer look at this
vehicle and possibly a license plate number, however, this vehicle sped away
before he could reach it. SA Madeam described
this vehicle as a late model Mitsubishi Diamante, maroon in color. SA
Madeam described the driver of this vehicle
as a white male.
96. On May 3, 2001, the DEA Orlando District Office was visited by an Israeli
art student at approximately 1:00 p.m. This subject was detained and identified
as Peer SEGALOVITZ (DOB: 03-16-1974). SEGALOVITZ is a 27 year old male that
has been in the United States since January 17, 2001. SEGALOVITZ is in the
United States on a B-2 (visitation) visa which expires July 17, 2001. INS
was contacted and INS requested that DEA detain SEGALOVITZ until they could
arrive to take him into custody. FBI SA John Weyrauch also responded to assist
with the interrogation. SEGALOVITZ was interrogated for approximately 4 hours
while waiting for INS to respond. SEGALOVITZ was untruthful about his reasoning
to be in the United States for approximately the first 3 hours. SEGALOVITZ
finally admitted that he was one of approximately 30 Israeli art students
who are currently in Florida. SEGALOVITZ would not admit what their purpose
was in Florida, but did state that they were not here for legitimate means.
97. SEGALOVITZ reluctantly stated that he was an officer of the Israeli military
special forces 605 battalion in Golan Heights. SEGALOVITZ has the rank of
Leiutenent and his military ID number is 5087989. SEGALOVITZ stated that
he commanded approximately 80 men. SEGALOVITZ stated that he had been in
infantry, but as a platoon leader he and his men specialized in demolition.
SEGALOVITZ then began to explain the various types of explosives that he
was familiar with and stated that his main purpose was to clear mine fields
for Israeli tanks and soldiers. SEGALOVITZ acknowledged he could blow up
buildings, bridges, cars and anything else that he needed too. SEGALOVITZ
further stated that he was very familiar with small arms and had operational
knowledge of tanks and other large military machinery. SEGALOVITZ stated
that the only thing he was not trained to operate was military aircraft.
SEGALOVITZ admitted that he had been in two (2) military actions in Lebanon
involving explosives, these missions were to eradicate members of the Hezbolah.
SEGALOVITZ asked agents not to divulge this information to Israel because
it would lead to his immediate arrest in Israel,
98. SEGALOVITZ stated that he was aware of Israeli Organized Crime, involvment
in drug smuggling and weapons smuggling. SEGALOVITZ admitted that he was
selling art and working for his brother's company. SEGALOVITZ identified
his brother as Dror SEGALOVITZ with an address of 8187 N. University Drive
Apartment 129 in Tamarac, Florida. A search of Peer SEGALOVITZ and his vehicle
found numerous deposit slips, paintings, receipts for art sales and art
equipment. INS SA's Nigel Jason and Bill Forester from the Orlando INS Office
responded and arrested Peer SEGALOVITZ for violation of his B-2 (visitation)
visa by working in the United States.
99. Following the interview of Peer SEGALOVITZ, FBI SA John Weyrauch [not
redacted] drove to several area shopping centers lookin for SEGALOVITZ's
buddy "Schlomo" as SEGALOVITZ called him. S/A Weyrauch [not redacted]
spotted an odd looking male (long braided pony tail) with art portfolio
like SEGALOVITZ's at a Winn Dixie, just down the street from the Orlando
D.O. S/A Weyrauch [not redacted] approached the individual and did
an interview. The subject identified himself as follows:
Akyuz Shmuel SAGIV
Israeli Passport # 8710426
POB: Maaloot, Israel
Entered US IN New York
SAGIV stated he is scheduled to leave the U.S. in May to go back to Israel.
SAGIV stated he has a cousin (NFI) in Hollywood, FL, and a cousin (NFI) in
Coral Springs, FL. SAGIV stated he was in the Israeli military in 1995-1996,
and was the personal bodyguard of the highest ranking General in the Israeli
Army. He also stated he was a demolition expert.
SAGIV stated he met Peer SEGALOVITZ one week earlier, in a pub. SAGIV stated
SEGALOVITZ asked him to help set-up art in Orlando, FL. SAGIV stated he knew
nothing about art, but that they drove to Orlando that day but did not stay
overnight. He stated he did not go to Daytona, FL, and did not stay in the
Knights Inn. (Receipts found in SEGALOVITZs pocket indicated they did.) SAGIV
stated he did not know anyone named "AVI" and did not know that Peer SEGALOVITZ
had a brother named Dror. S/A Weyrauch stated
that SAGIV was evasive with answers, that SAGIV did not speak English well,
and S/A Weyrauch had to continually repeat
questions. Following the interview, SAGIV was released.
100. On May 3, 2001, at approximately 1:30 pm, while SEGALOVITZ was being
interrogated, T/S James Wise spotted a maroon
car with a while male sitting inside. This car was parked in the turn lane
outside of the DEA (Orlando) office building, T/S
Wise was not able to get the license plate number
of the vehicle, as the driver sped away as T/S
Wise approached it.
New Orleans Division
A female identifying herse as an Israeli art student visited the Little Rock,
Arkansas Resident Office in mid January 2001. The female student was attempting
to sell her artwork. She was allowed into the reception area where she displayed
a cassava bag with approximately six to eight pictures to the Receptionist
and a National Guard Analyst. Both employees were not interested and the
female student left without incident.
102. Also in mid January 2001, a white male, approximately 25 years old,
visited the Birmingham, Alabama Resident Office in an attempt to sell some
artwork, A Task Force Agent at the front desk informed the unidentified male
that he was not interested and the unidentified male left.
103. On March 7, 2001 at approximately 7:15 PM, the wife of the RAC of the
Little Rock, Arkansas Resident Office was contacted at her residence by a
male and female attempting to sell paintings. After she turned them away,
the wife informed the RAC of the encounter. The RAC exited his residence
and observed the male and female knock on the door of his neighbor's house
and, after receiving no reply, walk back to the street. The RAC contacted
them at this time. The male verbally identified himself as Danny SILVER.
The female attempted to verbally identify herself several times but the RAC
was unable to understand her as she had a very heavy accent. Both subjects
were in their early twenties and, according to SILVER, were Israeli nationals.
The RAC asked to see some form of identification. SILVER said that they had
Israeli driver licenses and military cards but he refused to show these items
to the RAC. SILVER said that he and the female were part of a group of
twenty-five Israeli art students going around the area selling paintings
and attempting to generate interest in a planned art gallery in St. Louis,
Missouri. SILVER refused to identify the director and the location of the
planned gallery. SILVER had in his possession a large case containing five
or six paintings. The RAC asked SILVER how they arrived at his neighborhood.
He initially said they drove but changed his story after the RAC requested
to see his vehicle. SILVER then said that he and the female arrived in a
taxi and would leave the same way. The RAC asked SILVER who had sent them
to the neighborhood. SILVER said that their supervisor had sent them and
that their supervisor makes the decisions as to where the students go to
sell their art. SILVER refused to identify the supervisor and refused to
provide a telephone number for him. The RAC asked SILVER for the telephone
number and address of their current residence. SILVER said they were staying
in a local hotel but refused to provide the name of the hotel or the telephone
number. SILVER then stated that he did not want to answer anymore questions
and that he wanted to leave. The RAC returned to his residence and called
for a Little Rock Police Department patrol unit to search the area in an
attempt to locate SILVER and the female for the purpose of identifying them.
The RAC also searched the area. Neither the patrol unit nor the RAC was
successful in locating SILVER and the female. In a subsequent discussion
with the RAC's wife, he learned that this past summer she had been visited
at their residence by a young female with an unknown accent attempting to
104. The following is information received by the Special Agent in Charge
of the New Orleans Division:
During the period of February 16 through February 23, 2001, Group Supervisor
(GS) James E. Myles, Jr. and Security Specialist
(SS) Allen Davis met with members of the Federal
law enforcement community in the metropolitan area of New Orleans, Louisiana
to discuss matters regardmg the above captioned subject. The following Federal
law enforcement agencies reported negative responses: U.S. Customs Service
(USCS) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).
105. The following offices reported incidents of Israeli students approaching
their employees at their office or residence:
United States Secret Service New Orleans, LA
106. On Friday, February 16, 2001, S/S Allen Davis
and GS James E. Myles, Jr. met with United States
Secret Service Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Michael
James and Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC)
Kent Tate in New Orleans, Louisiana. SAC stated
that in December 2000, around Christmas time, two young Israeli students
visited his residence with artwork. SAC James
further recounted that approximately two weeks prior to his personal encounter
with the Israeli students, two other young Israeli students attempted to
sell artwork to his spouse at their residence. Neither SAC
James nor his spouse purchased artwork from
the students. Finally, SAC James disclosed that
his office was in receipt of a Counter terrorism Advisory Report regarding
suspicious activities around Federal buildings that related to Israeli students.
SAC James provided S/S
Davis with a copy of the report.
Federal Bureau of Investigation / New Orleans, LA
107. On Tuesday morning February 20 2001, SS
Davis and GS Myles
interviewed Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent (SA)
Gary McDaniel in his office. SA
McDaniel is the designated security officer
for the FBI office which is located at 2901 Leon C. Simon Boulevard, New
Orleans, Louisiana. SA McDaniel stated that
he was unaware of any incidents involving Israeli students. SA
McDaniel assured SS
Davis that he would canvass his office regarding
the Israeli incidents and contact SS Davis if
any significant information was discovered. Later the same evening, SA
McDaniel reported to SS
Davis that no Israeli students had approached
FBI employees at the office or their residences. SA
McDaniel queried his perimeter security officers
to determine if they had been approached by anyone attempting to sell artwork
with negative results.
108. On Wednesday, February 21, 2001, SA
McDaniel contacted SS
Davis and reported that the FBI had information
that an Israeli student attempted to sell artwork to U.S. Federal Magistrate
Docia Dalby and U.S. District Judge
James Brady at their residences in Baton Rouge,
Louisiana. SA McDaniel did not know if either
Magistrate Dalby or Judge
Brady purchased any of the artwork.
US. Marshals Service / New Orleans, LA
109. On Tuesday afternoon, February 20, 2001, GS
Myles and SS Davis
interviewed U.S. Deputy Marshal Bernie Deschamp
at his office in the Hale Boggs Federal Building, 500 Camp Street, New Orleans,
Louisiana. Deputy Deschamp reported that he
learned about an incident that involved males who identified themselves only
as Israeli students while trying to enter the DEA and FBI buildings in Houston,
Texas attempting to sell paintings to building occupants. Deputy
Deschamp further reported that an alert regarding
the Israeli students in Houston, Texas became official when he received a
Security Advisory Notice regarding suspicious activities around Federal buildings
from Acting U.S. Deputy Director Louie T. McKinney.
110, Deputy Deschamp stated that on February
13, 2001, days after receiving the Security Advisory Notice, he received
a telephone call from the United States Coast Guard Office, which is also
located in the Hale Boggs Federal Building on the 13th floor, and was advised
that an unknown male was in Room 1341 showing artwork to employees, According
to Deputy Deschamp the unknown male was identified
as David DROR; White Male; 5'10" tall; 170 pounds; Date of Birth 10/04/76;
citizenship: Israeli/Canadian; National Origin: Israeli (Tel Aviv); and U.S.
Visa (B-1/B-2) number 7338630. Deputy Deschamp
explained that DROR entered the Hale Boggs Federal Building from Magazine
Street, got on the elevator and went up to the 13th floor to the U.S. Bankruptcy
Court. Deputy Deschamp described the item DROR
was carrying when he entered the Hale Boggs Federal Building as an oversized
black binder with gray duct tape wrapped around the carrying handle. DROR
departed U.S. Bankruptcy Court and went to the nearby U.S. Coast Guard Office.
Deputy Deschamp stated that pursuant to the
telephone call received from the U.S. Coast Guard, DROR was temporarily detained
and interviewed by the U.S. Marshals Service. At the same time, a Personal
History Data Sheet was also completed for DROR. In addition, Deputy
Deschamp stated that he contacted FBI Special
Agent Pete Licata in New Orleans, Louisiana
before contacting FBI Special Agent who is assigned to the FBI Joint Terrorism
Task Force (JTTF) in Houston, Texas. Deputy
Deschamp provided SS
Davis a copy of theU.S. Marshals' Security Advisory
Notice along with other related documents.
U.S. Federal Protective Service New Orleans, LA
111. On February 20, 2001, SS Davis and GS
Myles met with U.S. Federal Protective Service
(FPS) Supervisor Lieutenant Herbert Patterson
at his office in the aforementioned Hale Boggs Federal Building. Lt.
Patterson stated that his office did receive
a general alert notice from the FPS's Headquarters' Office in Ft. Worth.,
Texas regarding suspicious activities around Federal buildings. No specific
details regarding Israeli students were mentioned in the advisory. Lt.
Patterson canvassed his office regarding suspicious
activities around the Hale Boggs Federal Building and received negative
responses. Lt. Patterson assured SS Davis and
GS Myles that he would contact them at the DEA New Orleans Divisional Office
if any information was obtained regarding the Israeli students.
112. On March 21, 2001, the DEA Little Rock, Arkansas Residen t Office reported
that an IRS S/A assigned to Little Rock was visited at his home on the night
of March 20, 2001. The IRS S/A identified the individual as Idan UNIKOVSKY,
a W/M with DOB 7-22-79. Identification was made via an Israeli passport number
not obtained. UNIKOVSKY stated he was part of a group of 8 Israeli art students
who are attending the University of Jerusalem. They have been in Memphis,
TN and Baton Rouge, LA. He identified their "Team Leader" as Sharon RATZADY,
(NFI), After the IRS S/A identified himself to UNIKOVSKY as a federal agent,
UNIKOVSKY asked if he could take a picture of himself with the Agent, to
show his friends that he had met a U.S. federal agent. The IRS agent refused,
and sent him on his way.
New York Division
113. On September 24, 1999, a Senior Investigator of Task Force Group T-11
two suspicious Israeli Nationala parked outside the New York Divisional Office
in a white Chevrolet van. The two subjects were identified as Yaniv Shem
TOV (DOB 06/02/74) and Sahlev DOR (DOB 08/08/77). NADDIS and NCIC checks
114. No response.
115. There have been no reports of suspicious activities by Israeli art students
occurring at DEA facilities or at the residences of any DEA Employee under
the Philadelphia Division.
116. On February 28, 2001, at approximately 3:15 p.m., a white male identified
as Travis Wayne SMITH, (DOB 11/09/74, U.S. Citizen), went to the Asset Forfeiture
Unit located on the second floor of the Phoenix Division, to sell framed
painting and posters. SMITH stated he had just come from the U.S. Customs
office and sold artwork to a gentleman that was re-doing his office. SMITH
also stated he had visited other floors and tenants in the building and sold
artwork to them. An Investigative Assistant contacted Asset Forfeiture Unit's
Task Force Agents regarding the unauthorized solicitor. The Task Force Agents
asked SMITH for identification. SMITH wanted to know why he was being asked
for ID and he was told because he was a suspicious person. Phoenix Police
Department and Identification Bureau records revealed SMITH had two outstanding
misdemeanor traffic warrants for driving on a suspended license. SMITH was
booked into the Madison Street Jail. SMITH has FBI No. 530083DB8 (Assault
- Domestic Violence). On the same day, the Task Force Agents checked SMITH'S
residence, 615 S. Hardy, #210, Tempe, Arizona, and found that he is in fact
renting that apartment. A search of SMITH'S vehicle revealed it was rented
from Enterprise Rental Car in Albuquerque, New Mexico. SMITH had a Washington
State driver's license, but was born in Utah. On March 1, 2001, the Task
Force Agents went to SMITH'S place of employment, Sun City Designs, 7662
Gray Rd., #105, Scottsdale, Arizona, and contacted the branch manager Ramon
ESTRADA (H/M, DOB 07/26/63). ESTRADA said he has known SMI TH for three years
while working for the company. ESTRADA claimed that his business offers
incentives for sales people to sell framed artwork to commercial businesses.
ESTRADA also claimed that the business provides the artwork to the sales
people and takes a percentage of the sales.
117. A NCIC triple "I" check revealed that the Los Angeles Sheriff's Office
arrested Ramon ESTRADA in December 1982 for "processing marijuana for sale".
ESTRADA was arrested in May 1995 for "transport/sell narcotics" by the Los
Angeles Police Dept. and again in July 1995 by the Lake Tahoe, CA Police
Dept. for "transport/sell narcotics," and "adult giving minor narcotics."
ESTRADA was arrested in August 1995 by King County, Washington Sheriff s
Office for "domestic violence." ESTRADA'S FBI No. 76435FAO, CASID No. CA07401218
and WASID No. WA17692473.
San Diego Division
118. A number of San Diego Field Division employees, including the Southwest
Laboratory, (for incidents at the Southwest Lab see Laboratories), and the
Carlsbad Resident Office, reported attempts to sell artwork by Israeli students.
The description of one Israeli female is, early 20's, 5'7", light complexion,
thin build, 110 lbs. Another Israeli female is described as 5'4", dark brown
hair, 130 lbs., and both are considered very attractive. There is no description
for the Israeli male involved. All of the students claimed they were in the
country to open their own art gallery in San Diego. ISP has not received
a detailed report of the incidents.
119. The San Diego Division is currently working with the FBI, Department
of State, and CIA personnel on advancing this investigation. Five names were
retrieved from DEA and FBI sources and ran through INS. There were hits on
three Israeli individuals who entered the U.S. on non-immigrant tourist visas.
A license plate was also found belonging to a 1997 Chevy van that the students
were seen in. The registration belongs to Yaniv Zacoravich GILOR. GILOR has
rented hotel rooms and seems to be the leader of the group.
San Francisco Division
120. A young brown haired woman claiming to be from San Francisco College
selling artwork contacted the wife of a Special Agent at home in mid January
2001. The young woman was observed contacting two of the Special Agent's
121. Approximately one year ago, a Group Supervisor from the Sacramento,
California Resident Office purchased a painting from a female identified
as Hagit GROSS (DOB 09/30/78), Israeli passport #5111696.
122. A Special Agent of the Fresno, California Resident Office was approached
at his home by a female identifying herself as an Israeli art student selling
123. On January 4, 2001, two Special Agents were conducting surveillance
at a shopping center in East Palo Alto, Cafforriia. A brown haired female,
18-21 yoa, 5'4", 140 lbs., approached the agents. She was carrying a brown
portfolio and identified herself as an Israeli exchange student selling art
to earn money. The agents declined and then observed the female approach
another individual in the parking lot.
124. There have been no reports of suspicious activities by Israeli art students
occurring at DEA facilities or at the residences of any DEA Employee under
the Seattle Division.
125. On December 12, 2000, Shay ASHKENAZI, male, Israeli, DOB: 11-12-74,
Israeli Passport number 6847902, arrived at the SEA TAC International Airport
via Northwest Airlines flight 33 from Tel Aviv, Israel. He was referred for
secondary inspection by the I&NS Inspectors. As reported by I&NS
Intelligence officer Omar N. Nuri, ASHKENAZI stated he was a former Israeli
intelligence officer, and was now traveling to "enjoy life". He claimed to
have been in the U.S. in April 2000, when he was involved in a car accident
in South Carolina. The purpose of this trip was to finalize the case with
his attorney and to receive medical treatment. ASHKEHAZI volunteered information
that a fraud scheme involving Israeli nationals was taking place in the U.S.
He stated that young male and female Israelis are being recruited in Israel
to enter the U.S. with B-1/B-2 tourist visas and be employed as door-to-door
salesmen of paintings that are shipped to the U.S. from Israel. He claimed
that one of the individuals involved in this is "Mikaeel" (sic) and is present
in Texas operating this business. (See above paragraphs regarding Michael
CALMANOVIC). He stated the Israelis usually operate in Texas, New York, Atlanta,
Georgia, Washington, and possibly other states. ASHKEHAZI stated another
person involved in this is "GERUD" (LNU), residing at 27461-150th Avenue
SE, Kent, WA 98402 with telephone 253-638-8143. ASHKEHAZI was admitted into
the U.S. following the inspection.