WASHINGTON, March 18, 2015 — The Foundation for Defense of Democracies today launched AlbertoNisman.org, a resource for government officials, the diplomatic corps, policy makers, journalists, the legal community and others interested in the work of the late Argentinian prosecutor.
Nisman was investigating Argentina’s worst terrorist attack, the July 18, 1994 bombing of the Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA). The attack killed 85 people and injured hundreds more. Nisman’s evidence led Interpol to issue red notices, similar to arrest warrants, for five Iranian officials and led the Argentine government to issue arrest warrants – one for former Iranian presidentHashem Rafsanjani and one for former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati. The red notices and arrest warrants remain in effect today.
The new website contains key documents associated with Nisman’s decade-long work, including his last formal complaint, indictments, reports, Interpol red notices and opinions from judges. It will include a news blog that will be updated regularly. The website is accessible in both English and Spanish.
Nisman was found dead in his Buenos Aires apartment on January 18, 2015, hours before he was due to present evidence to the Argentine Congress of what he was convinced was a planned cover-up of Iran’s role in the AMIA bombing. Nisman’s January 2015complaint, based on both open-source information and wiretaps, alleged that President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and Foreign Minister Hector Timerman were assisted by others in an “oil for grains” deal with Iran. Reports that Iran sought Argentina to aidTehran in its nuclear program also have surfaced.
Nisman devoted years to tracking Iranian penetration in Latin America that emerged from his investigation of the AMIA bombing. His findings, documented in several thorough and detailed reports, all of which appear on the new website, have been important guides in helping U.S. authorities and others in the security community understand Iran’s methods in recruiting, radicalizing, and establishing sleeper cells, using its embassies in the Western Hemisphere to carry out terrorism and other nefarious activities.
“Alberto Nisman was a man of great courage and determination who pursued the evidence where it led him without fear or favor,” said Mark Dubowitz, FDD’s executive director. “He was a devoted friend and an inspiration to us at FDD. Through the new website, a new award in Alberto’s name, and our own work in defense of democracies, we are committed to continuing his legacy.”
“It won’t be sufficient for us to mourn his death,” said Toby Dershowitz, FDD’s vice president for government relations and strategy. “We must pay careful attention to the detailed Iranian playbook he left behind and from it, heed important lessons in counter-terrorism and law enforcement.” She continued, “It takes courage to stand up not only for the principles of justice, but for the implementation of justice, no matter the consequences. Alberto stood up for both.”
FDD will present The Alberto Nisman Award for Courage on April 15. The new award, to be presented at FDD’s annual Washington Forum, will go to an individual who exemplifies the courage, bravery and determination for which Nisman should be remembered.
The inaugural award will be presented to Robert Morgenthau, who served for 35 years as Manhattan’s district attorney and prosecuted some of the most high-profile national security cases. Under his leadership, the office became a central player in the enforcement of U.S. sanctions against Iran through New York’s unique relationship with financial markets around the world. His office tracked and prosecuted rogue activities in the Tri-Border Area of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay — a region in which Iranian proxy Hezbollah is known to be active — and uncovered a pervasive system of illicit financing used by Iranian banks to skirt U.S. sanctions. Like Nisman, Morgenthau’s investigations of specific activities uncovered vast networks of money laundering, organized crime, and terrorism.
About the Foundation for Defense of Democracies: The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) is a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)3 policy institute focusing on foreign policy and national security. Founded in 2001, FDD combines policy research, democracy and counterterrorism education, strategic communications and investigative journalism in support of its mission to promote pluralism, defend democratic values and fight the ideologies that drive terrorism. Visit our website at www.defenddemocracy.org and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.