CST Blog

Prosecutor who led Jewish centre bombing investigation was murdered

8 November 2017

An Argentinian police investigation has revealed that the prosecutor who led the investigation into the bombing of the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires Jewish centre, was murdered and did not commit suicide, as previously claimed. The prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, was found dead, with a bullet hole in his head, on 18 January 2015. His death occurred four days after accusing former President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, of masking Iran’s role in the deadly bombing of the AMIA Jewish Centre, which left 85 people dead.

On 18 July 1994, 85 people were murdered at the AMIA centre. A suicide bomber drove a truck bomb into the Jewish community centre, which led to the virtual collapse of the whole building. The attack took place one week before a car bomb exploded at the Israeli embassy in London, for which two Palestinians, Jawad Botmeh and Samar Alami, were convicted. Another car bomb exploded outside Balfour House, a Jewish community building in London, the following day.  

In 2004, Alberto Nisman was made the Special Prosecutor to investigate the 1994 AMIA bombing. In 2006 he accused the government of Iran of carrying out the deadly attackvia their Lebanese militia proxy Hizbollah. Two years later, in 2008, he called for the former President, Carlos Menem, and the judge who originally worked on the case, Juan Jose Galeano, to be arrested. In 2013, former President Kirchner was accused by Nisman of signing a pact with Iran that would effectively clear four Iranian representatives of any responsibility for the bombing. Nisman later formally accused Kirchner, along with several politicians, of colluding with the Iranians to cover up their role in the bombing. This official accusation materialised four days before he was killed.

Kirchner appeared in court last month on charges of treason and conspiracy to mask the role of Iranian officials in the bombing. She claimed that her government had no role in Nisman’s death, nor in the cover-up. Previously police investigators into his death, during Kirchner's Presidency, had claimed that Nisman was alone when he died and maintained that he shot himself in the bathroom where he was found.

The new report by the border police investigation team, obtained by The Associated Press, has revealed that Nisman was attacked and drugged with ketamine by two people who killed him in the bathroom. Furthermore, there have been issues with tampered evidence, deleted information from computer equipment and the exact time of death which hampered the case. Despite this, there are no suspects in the murder case. It has been suggested that Nisman was murdered because he claimed Kirchner covered up Iran’s role at their behest.

Hizbollah, the group who the AMIA suicide bomber, Ibrahim Hussein Berro, was allegedly working for, has been linked to at least 18 attempts to target the Jewish community around the globe since September 1986. These attacks and attempts include bombings in France, Kenya, Georgia, Romania, Azerbaijan, Thailand, India and Bulgaria; plots to murder Jews and Israelis in Turkey, Singapore and Azerbaijan; and information collection in Sweden, Cyprus and Nigeria.   

The investigations into the AMIA bombing and the murder of Alberto Nisman continue, 23 years after 85 people were murdered in the Buenos Aires bombing. 

[Image credit: La Nación]

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