November 02nd 2010 03:30:09 AM
New York Republicans chose Joseph DioGuardi to be their candidate against Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand in this week’s Senate elections, but post-primary polls showed they know nothing about their candidate. “What’s really noteworthy about this [primary win],” read an NPR election blog, “is that…DioGuardi is more of a blank slate…Sixty one percent [of those surveyed] didn’t know enough about him to form an opinion.”
The same day, Newsmax reported, “A new Quinnipiac poll shows Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand leading her Republican rival, virtually unknown Joe DioGuardi, by just 48 percent to 42 percent….‘DioGuardi makes a race of it against her, even though three-fifths of New Yorkers don’t know much about him.’”
DioGuardi benefits from his being unknown, something that is pretty odd for a former Congressman and ethnic lobbyist about whom tons of information is available on the internet, along with information about his criminal and terrorist friends from the al Qaeda-supported Kosovo Liberation Army.
And yet a recent press release boasted, “DioGuardi Senate Campaign Gaining Momentum With PAC Support; California-based conservative PAC will air ads in key NY Markets,” and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa headlined a DioGuardi fundraiser.
Joe DioGuardi is masquerading as an off-the-shelf, GOP, pro-life, small-government conservative. But what he also is — and the typical Tea Party candidate is not — is a supporter of a radical terrorist organization tied to Albanian organized crime, which is rampant in New York. (”Top Albanian Aide Arrested in NYC Crime Ring Bust“; “Ethnic Albanian Thugs…So Violent Prosecutors [including Giuliani] Need Guards”; “FBI: Albanian mobsters ‘new Mafia’”; “Feds bust Albanian mobsters’ Astoria gambling ring.”)
Is this a cynical and discriminatory ploy to taint Joe DioGuardi, and an entire nationality, with the criminal element that every ethnic group is entitled to? If only. The sad fact is that the Albanian mafia and DioGuardi’s’s KLA are inextricably intertwined. And thanks to him, the United States is now intertwined with them both.
But the longer story of Joe DioGuardi is worse.
As founder and president of the Albanian American Civic League, DioGuardi has been lobbying Capitol Hill since the 1980s to promote the Greater Albania agenda, starting with the “liberation” of Kosovo. A Feb. 1998 statement on the AACL website reads: “The Civic League issues a public declaration, ‘In Defense of the Albanian National Cause,’ in which it announces its support for the Kosova Liberation Army….”
The KLA is a narco-terrorist crime syndicate that traffics internationally in heroin, humans, weapons, cars, etc. — and has ties to a slew of garden-variety terrorists and radicals. A month after the “Kosovars” unilaterally declared Kosovo theirs in Feb. 2008, a Washington Times editorial titled “Europe’s New Jihadist Statelet?” reminded readers, “The KLA was among the first international terrorist groups linked to al Qaeda in the late 1990s.” It’s a warning bell that was sounded in the months after 9/11 by Wall St. Journal-Europe, in a piece titled “Al Qaeda’s Balkan Links.”
The equation is simple. Joe DioGuardi supports the KLA. The KLA is a criminal and terrorist organization. Therefore, Joe DioGuardi supports crime and terror. There is no easy way around it.
In May 1999, at the height of our bombing Europe on the KLA’s behalf, former counter-narcotics agent Michael Levine made the following comments in an interview with The New American magazine’s William Norman Grigg:
Backing the KLA is simply insane. My contacts within the DEA are quite frankly terrified, but there’s not much they can say without risking their jobs. These guys [the KLA] have a network that’s active on the streets of this country. The Albanian mob is a scary operation. In fact, the Mafia relied on Albanian hit-men to carry out a lot of their contracts. They’re the worst elements of society that you can imagine, and now, according to my sources in drug enforcement, they are politically protected.
It’s the same old story. Ten years ago we were arming and equipping the worst elements of the mujahideen in Afghanistan — drug traffickers, arms smugglers, anti-American terrorists. We later paid the price when the World Trade Center was bombed, and we learned that some of those responsible had been trained by us. Now we’re doing the same thing with the KLA, which is tied in with every known Middle and Far Eastern drug cartel. Interpol, Europol, and nearly every European intelligence and counter-narcotics agency has files open on drug syndicates that lead right to the KLA, and right to Albanian gangs in this country.
In his piece last February explaining the Islamic “Green Corridor” (or “Green Route”) that is to infiltrate Europe via the Balkans (dismissed, like all Serbian warnings, as “propaganda” even as it takes shape before our eyes), author Srdja Trifkovic wrote, “By the end of 1998 U.S. DEA officials complained that the transformation of the KLA from terrorists into freedom fighters hampered their ability to stem the flow of Albanian-peddled heroin into America.” (Footnotes in the article include The Washington Times from May 4, 1999: “KLA Rebels Train in Terrorist Camps; bin Laden offers Financing Too,” preceded the day before by “KLA Finances Fight with Heroin Sales – Terror Group Linked to Crime Network.”)
A London Daily News article last year titled “Albanian hit men on hire in London for £5,000” read:
In an undercover investigation into criminal gangs operating in north London Albanians who fought in the KLA during the bloody Balkans conflict against Serbia, now have established themselves as formidable figures in [London’s] underworld. Experienced users of guns and knives the Albanians are one of the most able assassins in London. The war in Kosovo fuelled the spread of the Albanian Mafia after numerous gangsters disguised as Kosovar ‘refugees’ found their way into European countries….
Similarly, a few years earlier in an item titled “FBI: Albanian mobsters ‘new Mafia’,” CNN.com reported, “Thousands of Albanians and others who fled the Balkans for the United States in recent years have emerged as a serious organized crime problem….”
This reality was intimated by reporter Grigg back in another May 1999 article:
U.S. soldiers called upon to enforce a “peace” accord that turns Kosovo over to the KLA might be interested to know that they are risking their lives on behalf of a criminal syndicate that for years has pumped heroin into the U.S. and threatened the lives of American law enforcement officials…Unlike other ethnic criminal syndicates…the Albanian narco-mafia was willing to make war directly on U.S. law enforcement officials. One U.S. Attorney active in prosecuting “Balkan connection” gangsters learned that a contract had been taken out on his life by an ethnic Albanian defendant, as well as upon Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan M. Cohen and Drug Enforcement Administration agent Jack Delmore.
As for the Kosovo that DioGuardi’s “freedom fighters” had us wrest, former chief prosecutor of mostly Serbian defendants at the Yugoslavia tribunal, Carla Del Ponte, agrees with the characterization of it by international human rights organizations, UN workers and countless of others, describing it as “a land with no laws or institutions, a land of blood feuds ruled by the thugs who present themselves as heroes of the alleged suffering Albanian people.” The Sunday Times of London put it more bluntly in an April 2006 headline reading “Albanian Gangs Running Kosovo.”
Even during the KLA’s fight for “freedom,” a May 1999 London Times article read, “Reports from Macedonia and Albania confirm that KLA ‘minders’ ensure that all refugees peddle the same line when speaking to Western journalists. KLA gangsters rob them of any remaining cash. And KLA pimps driving Mercedes kidnap refugee girls for prostitution in Italy.”
In her 2008 book The Hunt: War Criminals and Me, Del Ponte mentions what law enforcement personnel refer to as “the Albanian reach.” Serbian newspaper Glas Javnosti reported:
She claims that UNMIK [UN Mission in Kosovo] and KFOR [NATO in Kosovo] officials and even some ICTY [International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia] judges in the Hague tribunal are fearful for their lives if connected to the KLA crime investigations, and feel threatened by the so-called Albanian reach. In her book, Del Ponte says that those few and far between investigations of the terrorist KLA were the hardest during her appointment as the ICTY chief prosecutor, that her researchers were confronted by the clans, vendettas and political pressures, and that “policemen from Bern and Brussels and all the way to Bronx” are well aware about the insurmountable difficulties when it comes to the attempts to investigate Albanian organized crime.
A site monitoring the criminal activity of the KLA and its variously-monikered affiliates (which employ plenty of the same fighters) — and monitoring the 2001 Albanian insurgency in Macedonia, which Americans missed despite opening that door — relates the following about our new best friends, who moved on like clockwork to terrorize that neighboring country and southern Serbia:
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that “Albanian clans are funnelling the [sex trade] profits into the coffers of former Kosovo Liberation Army strongmen who are fighting Serbs in the Presevo Valley and attacking their Slavic neighbours in Macedonia.” …The Financial Times reported that “diplomats said the [Albanian] diaspora, which has a significant presence in drugs and prostitution rackets, particularly in Switzerland, Belgium and Germany, is providing financing and weapons to the rebels.”…Business AM reported that “there was ample evidence available two summers ago about the ties of the so-called Albanian national liberation struggle to organised crime, and how intertwined the Albanian mafia was — and still is — with the political militants.”
It is somewhat surprising that DioGuardi doesn’t want voters to know all this, considering how proud he is of his lobby’s achievement in getting us to train and arm the Albanian insurgents while bin Laden and Iran were doing the same in order “to turn the region into their main base for Islamic armed activity in Europe,” as The London Times reported in March 1998. And in an October 2004 bulletin, World Net Daily’s Joseph Farah noted, “Credible intelligence indicates that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps…[had] been training KLA members and funneling millions of dollars through Bosnia and Albania to buy arms for the KLA…corroborated by Director of the U.S. House Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare Yossef Bodansky…” Meanwhile, Grigg had it as early as 1999: “Iran is actively arming and supporting the KLA, and Iran’s terrorist network has extended its reach into Italy by way of KLA-aligned ethnic Albanians residing there.”
Nonetheless, in his 2008 endorsement of John McCain, an early Albanian purchase who introduced a resolution calling for U.S. ground troops to further the KLA insurrection (defeated by fellow Republicans), DioGuardi gushed, “McCain did everything that we asked of him to the benefit of the Albanian people, including arming the KLA.”
Also in 2008, in an article titled “Group Tied to al-Qaida Backs McCain for Prez,” World Net Daily quoted DioGuardi saying, “We support any politician, Republican or Democrat, who understands the problems of the Balkans the way we do.”
This should give Republicans some pause. DioGuardi reveals that his priorities aren’t ideological but tribal, and he flaunts them heavily. Similar sentiments were expressed by other Albanians when asked whom they were rooting for, McCain or Obama, with one replying, “Kosovars will love either candidate as long as they continue to love us.” There is your Albanian “pro-Americanism” in a nutshell. Highly conditional.
Lest the McCain connection cause too much cognitive dissonance in conservative minds and hearts, remember that the KLA is impartial: “Kerry Campaign Financed by Terrorists;” indeed, the group is as bipartisan as its congressional supporters.
Futilely trying to warn New York Republicans before the primaries with his article “Joseph DioGuardi, Terrorist Enabler,” writer Eugene Girin noted:
During NATO’s assault on Serbia, DioGuardi was pictured burning a Yugoslav flag at a pro-KLA demonstration…DioGuardi’s noxious activism also extended to Macedonia. During that country’s September 2001 offensive against the NLA [KLA extension] insurgents in the Tetovo region, DioGuardi and his wife demanded that President Bush intervene on the insurgents’ behalf and warned that “massive human rights violations” are taking place. What the duo really demanded was American help in the dismemberment of Macedonia and the creation of another Kosovo-like enclave in the Tetovo region of Macedonia…The DioGuardis had the gall to release their report on September 12, 2001….
The AACL has been a major fundraiser for Albanian ventures abroad, and has contacts with other, less peaceful, Albanian groups: for example, the AACL was involved in a 1999 rally in Washington, where it marched with the KLA and the militant “Homeland Calling” group. This organization sent fighters to Kosovo in 1999, and more recently it sent volunteers to fight for the NLA. A New York Times article (March 19, 2001) chronicled a typical Albanian fundraising event. At a bar in New York, $500,000 was raised in one night at a private party. The newspaper quoted Dervish Jahjaga, editor of the Albanian-American newspaper (Bota Sot), as supporting a war on Macedonia. In attendance were representatives of the NLA, who recruited several [Albanian-]Americans to fight for them…
Ethnic Albanians in Macedonia burn the Macedonian flag.
[The Albanians] became a potential threat to their former allies. And so in Kosovo, US troops cowered in the relative luxury of Camp Bondsteel, rather than chase down the gun-runners and guerrillas trying to cross the Macedonian border. In Macedonia, the new fear of the Albanians has caused the US to go along with all of their demands — lest they might perhaps open fire on NATO.
This position was stated way back in March, in an article in London’s Guardian ( “Why NATO is ignoring Macedonia,” by Simon Tisdall, 22 March, 2001). The author maintained that the NLA had the upper hand — and knew it — because of the perceived American fear of casualties…Quite simply, they know no one is going to stop them…The Albanian-American lobbyist groups are both well-organized and well-funded, and they have the ear of influential lawmakers…Macedonia, unfortunately, does not have similar legislative influence in the US.
Indeed, if anyone thought our alliance with the KLA and its criminal partners ended with Kosovo, note that as the drug-funded expansionist terror continues, we’re being dragged along for the ride. This is how the U.S. military came to be obstructing European investigators and protecting KLA heroin factories and even transporting their narcotics and weapons.
The previously cited 2008 World Net Daily article reported that DioGuardi dismissed a 1999 U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee white paper warning “that the KLA was closely associated with ‘the extensive Albanian crime network that extends throughout Europe and into North America, including allegations that a major portion of the KLA finances are derived from that network, mainly proceeds from drug trafficking; and Terrorist organizations motivated by the ideology of radical Islam, including assets of Iran and of the notorious Osama bin-Laden….’”
Attributing the concerns in the Senate committee report to “Serbs and Greeks,” and reinforcing the utter distaste he helped plant on the American palate for at least one of those national origins, he added, “The Serbs and the Orthodox Christian church are fighting a medieval battle. To them, anybody who is a Muslim is a problem.”
In other words, when confronted with the potential threat to Americans of the KLA and its associations, DioGuardi deflects attention to Serbs and Greeks. So concerned is this Tea Party-endorsed candidate with American security that when someone raises a red flag, he wants Americans to dismiss the warning as an ethnic rivalry that’s trying to turn them against Albanians, a case of projection if ever there was one.
In a June 2006 Legal Times article — between cursing that took reporter Andy Metzger by surprise when it was let loose “barely two minutes into [the] interview” — DioGuardi called Orthodox Christians “some of the most fundamentalist people in the world.”
So amid increasing Albanian criminality and terror recruitment, and amid the constant threat of Albanian violence (which, make no mistake, is what has been driving our pro-independence policy since 1999), “Republican” Joe DioGuardi wants to shift your focus to Serbs and Greeks who have never attacked us, nor been a threat to us, and are not expansionist societies. DioGuardi sees Belgrade, Skopje and Athens as the enemy, and anyone who has paid the slightest attention to American behavior in the region will discern that at some point, we began to as well.
But it wasn’t Greeks and Serbs who were behind the Fort Dix plot that was interrupted in May 2007. Out of six co-conspirators, four were ethnic Albanians. The man who supplied the guns, Agron Abdullahu, had been a sniper in Kosovo and, despite being “rescued” by the US — entering through the makeshift refugee camp at Ft. Dix in 1999 — at work he would refer to bin Laden as “Uncle Benny”. While in jail in 2007 he etched “UCK” in his cell (Albanian for “KLA,” which prosecutors explained to reporters as “a paramilitary organization with a history of war crimes”). He also drew a gun pointing toward the letters “FBI.” It came out during the trial that the gang had been deciding between hitting Ft. Dix and firing on the White House.
Ft. Dix was just the most high-profile Albanian-involved terror news in America. Skipping all the regional terrorism they’ve been engaging in in the Balkans — incidents too numerous to recount — KLA veterans have turned up in jihad theaters beyond the Balkans, as Damir Bajrami’s application at an al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan showed. “I have Kosovo Liberation Army combat experience against Serb and American forces. I need no further training. I recommend (suicide) operations against (amusement) parks like Disney,” USA Today quoted in 2001.
In September of last year, Brooklyn-born Betim Kaziu was indicted for “conspiring to commit murder overseas and helping terrorists…[He] traveled abroad to try to join several terrorist groups….He also allegedly tried to travel to Afghanistan, Iraq and the Balkans to fight against U.S. armed forces.” (Indictment here.) In August 2009 four men, one of them a U.S. citizen, were arrested in Kosovo “for illegal possession of weapons and endangerment….police found two Kalashnikov rifles and five hand grenades….” And a month earlier we all heard about the North Carolina crew led by Daniel Patrick Boyd, which included two Albanians and meant to target the Marine base in Quantico and to wage terror abroad.
There have been some disrupted plots against our Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo, at least one that was exposed through a polygraph administered to a local Albanian terrorist.
In the foiled 2006 bomb plot against Montenegro’s parliament, the Austrian newspaper that broke the story — Kronen Zeitung – reported that the man who was to detonate two bombs in the building was an al Qaeda-connected Kosovo Albanian named Dodu Ljucaj. Following the Zeitung story was Mickey Bozinovich, proprietor of a Serbian news site, who learned that Ljucaj had been extra nervous upon arrest, as he’d just been “turned” by the CIA to be a mole in al Qaeda.
Similarly, Deliso writes in his Caliphate book, “One Kosovo jihadist in particular, Samedin Xhezairi, worked for the CIA and Austrian and German intelligence when those countries were helping train the KLA for war against the Serbs in the late 90s — all while acting as an intermediary between Albanian extremists and al Qaeda.” (Much like the way London tube co-conspirator Haroon Rashid Aswat and Daniel Pearl kidnap-mastermind Omar Sheikh had been utilized by British intelligence to stir up protests and terror against Serbia in the 90s.)
In late 2007 Serbia charged 15 people with a planned attack on the U.S. embassy in Belgrade, the names being mostly Bosnian, but with at least two Albanian ones among them — one of many collaborative efforts between Albanian and Bosnian Muslims to carve out the Sandzak (or Sanjak) region from Montenegro and southern Serbia. (“Suspected terrorists, members of the Sandzak Liberation Army (SLA) were hiding in Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia this  spring, Tirana’s daily Korrieri said.”)
And to cite just one of a multitude of such associations, it came out that an Albanian mafia boss named Princ Dobrsi (or Dobroshi) had been helping one of the jihadists arrested for the 2006 Oslo synagogue attack, to plan attacks against Prague.
One hazy incident that went unreported involved six Albanian-American fundamentalists who arrived in the village of Skenderaj in the weeks before 9/11, according to the Caliphate book. Says Tom Gambill — a former OSCE security chief who in 2005 blew the whistle on the Kosovo mission in an interview with Cybercast News Service — the men had “spread anti-American slogans and stated, one week before 9/11, that the US would soon be attacked.”
According to Gambill, the radicals were “linked to a wealthy Mafioso in Mitrovica” — a shock admission linking Islamic radicals and the Albanian mafia. More shocking, however, was the utter disinterest with which UN authorities greeted this apparent “smoking gun” case. While investigators elsewhere were racing furiously to track down anyone and everyone with foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks, the CivPol [UN police] officer who identified the agitators, according to Gambill, “was frustrated that no one above him [in rank] was interested, and no one above him really pushed [for this investigation] — there was little said about it — and no follow-up.
Specific plots and attacks aside, Kosovo has become a useful den for Wahhabi and terror activity, a point of transit, organization, explosives-procurement (video here), and refuge for terrorists. Kosovo was eyed as the possible origin of the weapons used in both the 2007 attack on the U.S. embassy in Athens and the 7/7 attacks in London. As well, evidence entered in the trial of would-be dirty bomber Jose Padilla included some itemized spending in Kosovo (see items 56, 58, 59, 60, 63, 70, and 71 of link). Indeed, Greater Albania is an ideal zone for hiding or operating in the shadows, given the triple advantage of the Western powers not wanting the region exposed, the media not trying to expose it, and the public not being interested anyway.
According to one memorable exposé by the UK Sunday Mirror in 2003:
Posing as members of the Real IRA, we…made our deal in Kosovo, a breeding ground for fanatics with al-Qaeda links. Our contact was the deputy commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army Niam Behljulji….Hulji is said to supply terrorists across Europe and has been accused of massacring Serbian women and children during the war. He even posed grinning for a photograph, holding the severed head of one of his victims…Hulji said: “The plastics (Semtex) is the old type. No metal strips inside. It cannot be detected at airports.”
Assistant Director of Columbia University’s Harriman Institute, Gordon N. Bardos, put it well over the summer:
…In the somewhat intellectually perverse foreign policy salons of New York and Washington, the more ties a Balkan politician has to drug smuggling, human trafficking, and al-Qaeda, the bigger their fan club is likely to be…The Fort Dix bomb plot….A 2009 plot “to engage in violent jihad” in Gaza, Israel, Jordan and Kosovo. Another 2009 attempt by a Brooklyn resident to attack US targets in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Balkans. September 11th. The organized crime gangs who have taken over heroin distribution along the eastern seaboard. The terrorists who beheaded Daniel Pearl.
What is the common denominator here? All were carried out or planned by individuals who had fought in the Balkans, or who come from the region…Yet despite the grave, direct nature of this threat, it is practically ignored in Washington.
Joe DioGuardi made sure of that. In a 1999 article titled “Buying an Intervention: Kosovo and Albanian PAC Money in Congress,” military affairs analyst and then director of the Strategic Research Institute of the United States, Benjamin Works, recalled DioGuardi sponsoring a House resolution, which had a companion Senate resolution proposed by Bob Dole, in 1986 — a time when American newspapers were reporting the stated Albanian goal of a Greater Albania, and reporting the exodus of Serbs and other non-Albanians. Yet DioGuardi’s and Dole’s resolutions decried “Yugoslavian official oppression of the Albanian population of Kosovo,” writes Works, which is what we called the boycott of Yugoslav institutions by Albanians building a parallel system in preparation for war. (A parallel system which banned Serbian books, the Serbian language and the Cyrillic alphabet, and fired Serbian workers while killing non-racist Albanian “collaborators” with the host society such as police and postmen.)
Works emphasized, “That’s 1986, when the Albanian Autonomous government was still fully operational [and Slobodan Milosevic wasn’t yet in power]….both of [the resolutions] never emerged from committee.”
But DioGuardi stayed busy. He convinced Dole and other legislators to visit Kosovo in 1990, and when Clinton’s special Balkans envoy Robert Gelbard in Feb. 1998 said about the KLA that “I know a terrorist when I see one, and these men are terrorists,” DioGuardi pushed for a House International Relations Committee hearing “in which now retired Democratic representative Lee Hamilton hammered Robert Gelbard,’” according to a 1999 Village Voice article titled “New York’s Kosovo Kingpin.” Afterwards, Gelbard allowed that the KLA had never been “classified legally” by the U.S. as a terrorist organization, and started referring to them simply as “guerilla rebels.”
The same phenomenon was transplanted to Macedonia, as Deliso wrote in 2001:
[A]n increasingly ominous pattern has been visible in the Western media’s Macedonia coverage. What began as a cautious position of neutrality towards the NLA became, by August, downright cheerleading. While in the beginning of the war the NLA had been called “terrorists” by EU security chief Javier Solana, and “murderous thugs” by NATO boss Lord [Robertson], these appellations were quickly forgotten in favor of more romantic names like “ethnic rebels” and “freedom fighters.” The Macedonians, on the other hand, became known as “angry Slavs,” or worse. Amazingly, after each and every outrage against Macedonia…the bombing of Leshok Monastery…and others, each ensuing Macedonian protest was dealt with more and more harshly by the media and Western diplomats.
This is Macedonia we’re talking about, Deliso wrote in his book, which
took in over 400,000 Kosovo Albanian refugees. However, when the country was no longer needed for Clinton’s military adventures, it was forgotten, and the long-term consequences of Kosovo — an emboldened pan-Albanian Balkan insurgency — were ignored…[America] began secretly supporting the NLA from its Kosovo base, Camp Bondsteel, through logistical and communications support as well as secret arms airdrops to Albanian-held mountain villages in northwestern Macedonia.
For Macedonians, the nadir was reached in June , during a three-day battle at the Skopje-area village of Aracinovo, where NATO ordered the Macedonian Army to stop its operations and then spirited the heavily armed Albanian fighters off to freedom…[T]he public was shocked when it was reported that Islamic fighters and 17 American military contractors from the Virginia-based Military Professional Resources Incorporated (MPRI) had been found amongst the NLA’s ranks.
In another analysis by SIRIUS’s Ben Works, Works cited New York-based reporter Marko Lopusina, writing for the Yugoslav magazine Interview and describing
a May 1987 Dole-DioGuardi Albanian-American fund-raiser in New York City that collected some $1.25 million: ‘In their speeches, Dole and Dioguardi acknowledged those present for their contributions of $1.2 million for Dole and $50,000 for Dioguardi’s campaign.’
Joseph DioGuardi must be given credit for a sustained campaign to influence Congress beginning in the mid-1970s. DioGuardi, an Albanian American whose ancestors came from an Albanian transplant community in the heel of Italy, sat in Congress for several years in the mid-1980s as a Conservative Republican from New York’s Westchester County, but creating a Greater Albania was his agenda as a map on his website shows [since removed]. His Political Action Committee (PAC) activities are easy to follow from 1988 on.
What makes the PAC and individual contributions to campaigns more interesting is the demonstrated connection between the Kosovo Heroin Mafia, its “pizza connection” distribution (”inherited” from the Gambino crime family) and money-laundering networks, and the number of pizzeria owner-contributors listed in DioGuardi’s filings. The Croats and Albanians came up with big pots of laundered money, then spread it around selectively, with American politicians helping to persuade other members in Congress.
…[F]oreign policy, in a democracy, can be “bought”–that is precisely what happened in the case of the Kosovo Air War…In particular, most of the Congressmen speaking loudest against Serbia and Serbs are those receiving money from DioGuardi’s PAC. Some have simply been beguiled, others may be more disingenuous. Recipients come from both sides of the aisle but are mostly members of the House or Senate foreign relations committees: Joseph Lieberman and Jesse Helms, Benjamin Gillman [sic] and Tom Lantos. [The] records do not reveal monster sums of money, but demonstrate the tip of the iceberg, where “soft money,” individual declared contributions and bags full of $100 bills also find their way to select candidates.
The author of the aforementioned Village Voice article was impressed:
While reports have appeared in the Times of London and elsewhere linking members of the Albanian Mafia to the KLA, as Stacy Sullivan demonstrated in her examination of the group in the November 22, 1998, New York Times Magazine, a substantial amount of the KLA’s money comes from the worldwide Albanian diaspora…Indeed, New York is a KLA cash cow. “The KLA keeps getting more money,” says DioGuardi, noting that contributions from New York’s Albanian community have run into the millions. “Albanians work hard, work together, and are good at raising capital,” he adds, noting that recently $385,000 was collected in one night in Dallas.
Hard work and other things. Citing the infamous Johnny Chung on fundraising, as well as an unnamed Dole aide, Works wrote:
Albanian Mafiosi, meanwhile, were dealing heroin from communities in New York’s Brooklyn and Bronx boroughs, from Boston, Detroit and Chicago. From 1991 Albanian Mafia “crews” were also robbing supermarkets, ATMs and check cashing services in New York and other cities around the nation to raise campaign money and to buy arms for what became the Kosovo Liberation Army.
Scenes like those the Village Voice described were on display in a documentary — based on a book by the aforementioned Stacey Sullivan — titled “The Brooklyn Connection,” which PBS aired in 2005. It profiled Brooklyn-based roofing contractor Florin Krasniqi, who admits on camera to working with al Qaeda, and who is filmed smuggling American sniper rifles to Kosovo. (In 1998 he was buying weapons in Pakistan.) This promotional PBS page describes DioGuardi as “a politician with whom Florin Krasniqi worked closely during the build-up to the Kosovo War.”
As does another pro-KLA book by a Chicago professor:
Congressmen David Bonior and Joseph Dioguardi worked tirelessly to build support in the U.S. Congress, as did Senator Robert Dole. They were consistently encouraged by such leaders of the Albanian American Diaspora as Florin Krasniqi, Hary Bajraktari, and Dino Asanaj. At one point, Krasniqi took Dioguardi to visit KLA resupply camps in Tropoja.
Tropoja was a KLA stronghold, and hailing DioGuardi’s primary victory as “shaking up the Republican Party” was a Wall St. Journal blog post by a businessman named Sahit Muja, “President of Albanian Minerals & BYTYCI SHPK, Tropoje, Albania.” A village along the Kosovo-Albanian border, Tropoja (or Tropoje) was a common staging area for bin Laden’s network and the KLA, as WND’s Joseph Farah revealed in his aforementioned bulletin, citing intelligence documents obtained by The Washington Times in 1999. (The Times also called it “a center for Islamic terrorists.”) The place was identified in 1994 as the Kosovo headquarters of the Albanian drug network by European Commission investigators at the France-based Observatire Geopolitique Des Drogues.
“United Nations doesn’t know what we are capable of,” DioGuardi’s pal Krasniqi tells the documentary’s director. “If we were capable of getting NATO to help us, I think we are capable of throwing the UN out of there also. And we will throw the UN out if we have to.”
When the director asks Krasniqi if there will be war, he replies, “If Kosova does not get its independence there will be a war.” Which led Balkans observer Andy Wilcoxson to wonder whom it was the Albanians would have their war with, since “the Serbs all withdrew in 1999 after the NATO bombing,” adding, “These terrorists have already shown that they are not afraid to attack the UN. In September , UCK [KLA] sniper attacks on UN vehicles forced the UN to stop using the Kosovska Mitrovica-Leposavic road between 9:00 PM and 6:00 AM. [This was just one of scores of attacks or threats of attack on UN property and/or personnel, causing UNMIK to issue at least one memo for staff to check under their cars before starting the engines.]
Krasniqi raised $30 million from the Albanian-American community for the Kosovo war. He also contributed to the political campaigns of John Kerry, Wesley Clark, John McCain, the late Henry Hyde and Tom Lantos, the last one subsequently hailing the American creation of a Muslim state in the heart of Europe. In the film, the Krasniqi family attends a party at an Albanian catering hall, where Florin is reminded to write a check to “Hyde for Congress” and the guests dance on dollar bills strewn about the dance floor like confetti, to a song about Kosovo and the KLA. Later they are seen writing out thousand-dollar checks at a 2003 Kerry fundraiser, where they share a few laughs with Wesley Clark and ambassador Richard Holbrooke after Krasniqi calls Clark over to come shake hands with “your KLA.”
Holbrooke, Krasniqi and Clark
Clark with then KLA commander and now former “prime minister” and indicted war criminal Agim Ceku to his right, and the current “prime minister” Hashim ‘The Snake’ Thaci on the left
Richard Holbrooke with his terrorist pals
Krasniqi was giving money to Lantos to the very end, as well as to Lantos’s daughter Katrina Swett for her 2008 Senate campaign in New Hampshire. (The money also continued flowing to McCain, Biden and Lieberman.) And so it was that DioGuardi’s wife, Shirley Cloyes DioGuardi, could boast Tom Lantos’s “‘commitment, and that of his daughter, Katrina Swett, to help Albanians wherever they live in the Balkans,’” proprietor of the Serbian-American website Serbianna.com Mickey Bozinovich quoted Cloyes. “‘Just as he played a critical role in internationalizing the Albanian issue in Kosova, Tom Lantos is now prepared to do the same for Albanians in Montenegro.’”
It was no surprise, then, that Montenegro — whose government was known to have good relations with the Albanian minority — started hearing from American lawmakers such as Tom Lantos and Carl Levin, expressing concern for the human rights of 18 Albanian men who were arrested in the 2006 bomb plot against the Montenegro parliament. Levin pledged to continue “efforts to ensure that Montenegro follows all domestic and international laws with those under arrest, while his nephew Sander met the protesting Albanians in Washington assuring them that [the] Levins will seek ways to prove that Montenegro is violating human rights of the arrested terrorists and on basis of that violation get them free.”
One of the four U.S. citizens rounded up in that plot was named Kola Dedvukaj, who along with a relative and co-conspirator named [Rrok] were campaign contributors to Lantos and his daughter. According to Bozinovich, in October 2003 Lantos had organized a hearing to make recommendations to the Bush administration regarding human rights in Montenegro; presenting testimony that Montenegro was made up partly of “annexed Albanian lands” and that Albanians there suffered genocidal discrimination was Lantos’s star witness Kola Dedvukaj.
“On August 24, 2005,” continued Bozinovich, “Congressman Dana Rohrabacher also went to Montenegro on a fact-finding mission and Kola Dedvukaj was the man in his delegation as well…In Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives have Penetrated Washington the author Paul Sperry uncovers that radical Muslim groups have contributed substantial amounts of money to Rohrabacher in order to have him support anti-Jewish groups including Hamas, as well as violent Albanian groups across the the Balkans.” (Note : After being exposed, Rohrabacher did a one-eighty vis-à-vis Israel; as for Hamas’s Albanian counterparts who have been giving Rohrabacher all kinds of goodies for his loyalty, well who’s going to complain about that? Where is that dastardly Serbian lobby?)
DioGuardi has openly advocated carving out a Greater Albania. The Christian Science Monitor reported in 1998, “The league not only supports the KLA and its goal of independence for Kosovo, but advocates the ‘liberation’ of areas of Macedonia, Montenegro, and Greece…a recipe for a regional cataclysm.” In the early 2000s, DioGuardi’s AACL website still blatantly exhibited “a picture of an idealized ‘Greater Albania,’ incorporating parts of Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Greece,” wrote Caliphate author Deliso. The map has since been removed and today the site sports two eagles — American and Albanian — above the Capitol dome.
Obviously, the map was not demonstrating a commitment to “freedom and democracy,” as the Albanian claim has been, but something else altogether. To that end, Shirley Cloyes has been writing about “human rights violations” in southern Serbia’s Presevo (or Presheva) Valley, stoking the Albanian-separatist fires to start a Kosovo-style war there. There, where Serbian — and again “collaborator” Albanian — police are being targeted (including at stations shared by KFOR). Just as it began in Kosovo and Macedonia. (Albanians had tried to seize this “East Kosovo,” as some call it, in 2000 on the heels of the Kosovo conflict, but NATO brokered a peace deal with Belgrade.) Imagine Presevo Valley and Montenegro separatism being put on the Senate’s agenda, as they surely will if DioGuardi is allowed back inside the Capitol Building. Will he again push for ground troops, which reporter Grigg characterized correctly the first time: “The KLA gets U.S. arms to continue its irredentist campaign, and U.S. servicemen get the dubious privilege of dying on behalf of ‘Greater Albania.’” We’re seeing again, what coexistence the Serbs and Albanians have managed there can’t be allowed to stand.
Grigg had interviewed Cloyes for that May 1999 article which quoted the former DEA agent Levine, and revealed:
When the conversation turned to the question of the KLA’s larger designs, Cloyes stuck close to her scripted talking points. “I have no time for talk about ‘Greater Albania,’” Cloyes emphatically told The New American. “The only quest for hegemony in the Balkans is Milosevic’s quest for a ‘Greater Serbia….’” When asked if it is the KLA’s intention to change existing borders in the Balkans, as the map distributed by the group suggests, Cloyes once again parried the inquiry by condemning “Serb aggression”: “There are no borders to change. The only borders that have been changed were changed by Serbia.” It will be interesting to see how this line of reasoning plays with those residents of Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia, and Greece who live within the KLA-defined boundaries of “Greater Albania.”
(Note the technique of bringing every question about the Albanian side back to “Milosevic” or “Serbs,” a habit that U.S. officials also picked up, as Cato Institute’s Gary Dempsey noticed in 2000, when Albanian snipers shot two French peacekeepers and State Dept. spokesman James Rubin was asked about it. “‘When things go bad,’ explains Rubin, Milosevic ‘feels like he had a good day.’”)
Grigg hit another brick wall in his interview with Cloyes as she stunningly attributed what every law enforcement agency in the world knows to be true about the KLA — to “Serbian propaganda”:
Asked by The New American about accusations that the KLA is implicated in drug smuggling and terrorism, Shirley Cloyes…dismissed the charges as “absolutely preposterous” products of “Serb propaganda.”…”As the atrocities of Milosevic’s regime have been exposed to the public, the Serb propaganda machine has stepped up its rhetoric about the supposed connections between the KLA and drug traffickers and Islamic fundamentalists. There is simply no merit to any of these charges.”
(Here is DioGuardi also in denial, on Fox News Channel in 1999.)
As for the “Albanian National Cause” that the non-Muslim DioGuardis trumpet, like so many other national causes it predictably has long since been hijacked by jihad, whose elements were involved from the beginning and whose handiwork can be seen in the 400 mosques that have gone up in Kosovo since 1999, with funding from Saudi Arabia, UAE and Turkey. While 150 churches have been destroyed.
The Wall St. Journal-Europe article “Al Qaeda’s Balkan Links” noted that “Albanian separatism in Kosovo and Metohija was formally characterized as a ‘jihad’ in October 1998 at an annual international Islamic conference in Pakistan.” In his 2006 memoir, then Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf casually referred to “the Kosovo jihad,” and in November 1998 The London Times mentioned a KLA volunteer from Saudi Arabia telling a Dutch interviewer that Kosovo was his “eighth jihad.” Aussie terrorist David Hicks also trained with the KLA. So it doesn’t really matter how we insist on seeing Kosovo, the Islamic world sees it for what it effectively was.
But despite being Catholic, DioGuardi is undeterred. Being Albanian for a living has made him a lot of money and besides, almost all Albanians share the same nationalist goals (well, the ones still living do; the others have been done away with). You’ll rarely find one without an Albanian flag either in hand or affixed to his car, clothes, or business.
The bigger picture is of course that DioGuardi’s still predominately moderate Muslims (though they weren’t moderate nationalists, an extremism that is easily channeled in new directions) were the long-term target of the radicals who “helped” them in their territorial war against Balkan Christians (and are still helping).
Chris Deliso explained it succinctly shortly after the unilateral secession (internal link added):
Kosovo’s Albanian leaders have sought to reassure the West, and especially Israel, that an independent Kosovo will present no threat of Islamic radicalism. And with the past couple weeks of constant cameras panning over a province awash in American flags, while helpful Western journalists make a point of witnessing Muslim Albanians drinking beer, the average reader might be forgiven for believing them. The reality, however, is more complex…In every case, it only takes a radicalized minority to present a problem. To claim that Kosovo does not have such a population, let alone to deny that it is slowly increasing, is simply whistling in the dark…The establishment of strong cross-border logistical networks, ‘safe houses’ and propaganda channels blossomed after August 1999, when the United Nations began administering Kosovo following NATO’s bombing campaign. At that point, Wahhabi proselytizers from the Arab world descended on Kosovo in force.
…American and European police investigators and advisors within Kosovo’s UN administration have noted a slow yet steady increase in the number of committed Islamists being inserted into positions of influence within the Kosovo governmental bureaucracy…Indeed, regardless of what its leaders may say, the Islamist internationale sees a definite opportunity in the new Kosovo.
Even its original “national” struggle bore uncanny resemblances to violent jihad. To win its Kosovo turf, in addition to the intimidation and ambushing of an ethnic array of Yugoslav officials, the KLA was involved in torture, in rape, beheadings, organ-harvesting, and church-burning. In 2001 Human Rights Watch reported:
…abductions and murders of Serbs and ethnic Albanians considered collaborators with the state. Elements of the KLA are also responsible for post-conflict attacks on Serbs, Roma, and other non-Albanians, as well as ethnic Albanian political rivals… widespread and systematic burning and looting of homes belonging to Serbs, Roma, and other minorities and the destruction of Orthodox churches and monasteries.
“In the name of supporting a convoluted and hypocritical interventionist policy,” Deliso wrote in his book, “…the West has ironically created all the conditions for radical Islam…to take root. In short, Western interventionists in the Balkans have become desperately wedded to a policy of disaster.”
Deliso then asks the ultimate question: How will America compel the world to stand against terrorists when it in fact coaxed the world into sponsoring them — and continues to do so?
A case in point is another DioGuardi pal, the U.S.-backed former “prime minister” of Kosovo Ramush Haradinaj, currently being retried at the Hague after some witnesses started dropping dead the first time around and others backed out — resulting in an “insufficient evidence” acquittal. (Upon Haradinaj’s re-incarceration over the summer, DioGuardi’s KLA “veterans” threatened war.) Haradinaj has been an honored guest at AACL events and DioGuardi made an appearance at his friend’s trial in March 2007.
As a KLA commander, Haradinaj ordered the murder of 40 Serb civilians in Glodan, Kosovo, including six whom he killed with his own hands. His atrocities are too numerous to name, but one in particular was when he stopped a bus in 1998 to look for two Albanians — because they had Serbian wives. The men were never seen again. Haradinaj was also involved with the KLA’s kidnapping-and-organ-removal slaughter which, according to former prosecutor Del Ponte, was overseen by current U.S.-backed “prime minister” Hashim Thaci. The site of the operation was near Tropoja. As author Trifkovic wrote after the primaries, “The horrors of Tropoja and the KLA are light years away from DioGuardi’s New York State audiences and his usual sales pitch: standard fiscal conservatism, family values. No mention of the KLA anywhere, of course…a sad testimony on the decrepitude of the GOP and on the state of this country’s politics.”
Biden, DioGuardi and indicted war criminal/terrorist Ramush Haradinaj, whom Biden publicly saluted in 2007 (In this video Biden lays it on thick, earning his narco-dollars; his son Bo gets in on the act with a fiery, oh-so-risky anti-Serb performance at the 2008 Democratic Convention)
Such are the friends we’ve made through Joe DioGuardi, with the U.S. and UN exerting heavy pressure on the tribunal to not try Haradinaj at all, and U.S. NATO soldiers being ordered to remove evidence from the scene of one of his crimes. Nor should we forget U.S.-backed former Kosovo prime minister Agim Ceku. From Chris Deliso’s Caliphate:
Embarrassingly for Ceku, two of his KPC (Kosovo Protection Corps) men were involved in an ANA (Albanian National Army) bridge bombing attempt on April 12, 2003, near the northern Kosovo town of Zvecin…[UNMIK Chief] Harri Holkeri, had infuriated Agim Ceku on December 3  by ordering the suspension of [the] two KPC generals….Ceku darkly intoned that “this decision is unacceptable for us.”
And what was this “leader” in our “multi-ethnic” Kosovo doing during the March 2004 pogroms?
Most embarrassing for the UNMIK authorities, Agim Ceku’s KPC officers actively aided the mobs. The suspicious complicity of leading Kosovo Albanian politicians and KPC commanders was attested to by other internationals, such as the Greek policeman who pondered, “Why did Thaci and Ceku not say ‘stop’ until three days into the riots?…And why, once they did say ‘stop,’ did everything suddenly stop?”
Condoleezza Rice with Agim Ceku on the right and then president Fatmir Sejdiu on the left
DioGuardi with Ceku
Cindy McCain visits with “prime minister” Thaci in 2008
Madeleine “the-Serbs-need-some-bombing-and-that’s-what-they’re-gonna-get” Albright reaches for a smooch from then KLA commander and spokesman Hashim Thaci in 1999, shortly after he executed six of his lieutenants
The UN folks caught on quickly, adds Deliso:
The international administration that set up shop in July 1999 had to deal with the hardened fighters of the KLA, most of whom were dangerous and some of whom controlled powerful, clan-based organized crime networks, while moonlighting as politicians. Since such men had the capability of causing everything from political liquidations to mass armed resistance at the snap of a finger, UNMIK officials quickly realized it was better to come to an understanding with the ex-KLA than to cross it; “the deal was, you leave us alone, we leave you alone,” a former Swedish OSCE official in Kosovo sums up. “It had its benefits, mainly, that we were allowed to live.”
This helps explain why we see all these disparate names — Engel, Dole, Bush, Albright, Rice, Biden, Clinton, Helms, Hyde, Schumer, Lantos, Gilman, McConnell, Wexler, Kyl, Rohrabacher, Clark, (George) Mitchell, Traficant, Lieberman, etc — patting one another on the back in agreement on Kosovo, with no partisan distinctions. Every one of them has been an ardent supporter of independence and will tell you that this is the “mainstream” and “American” position when it’s rather the only position to be found or heard on the subject. (Most have a boulevard, building, square, street, store, statue, or children named after them in Albania/Kosovo.) Republican objections in 1999 are long forgotten, and like a mantra every one of them repeats that full statehood is “the only solution.”
DioGuardi with the late Henry Hyde, and Dana Rohrabacher smiling on
By the time the West realizes that Albanian demands will never end, it may be too late. Like spoiled children, the Albanian negotiators will keep complaining that their “rights” are being denied them- and they will have the firepower of the NLA/ANA as leverage. The general trend with Western diplomacy is to avoid embarrassment at all costs, and indeed, to completely deny making any mistakes. In this sense, Macedonia suffers because of Kosovo. Western leaders do not want to admit that supporting the KLA/NLA has been a disaster–because it implies that all of the actions leading up it, including the Kosovo campaign, and the earlier anti-Serbian interventions, were fundamentally flawed. Pulling one thread would indeed unravel the whole cloak; but the emperor does not wish to be seen standing naked.
Our leaders were roped in by foreign interests and when they didn’t know how to extricate us from it, they got us roped in deeper and called it a “success.” So complete has the graft of Albanian interests been onto American “interests” despite that being a direct conflict of interests — so entrenched is this policy by now — that even squeaking up that there is another, more sober view, one that’s more in synch with a post-9/11 world, is branded as promoting “foreign interests.” If you should question or object to the official “American” policy, then you’re the propagandist, you’re the fringe — and you’re hijacking American policy! (As DioGuardi accused a belated and underfunded effort at a counter-lobby of doing.)
Certainly complicating these otherwise straight-forward accusations is the fact that the US government made the KLA out as ‘pro-American freedom fighters’ and whitewashed their record because of foreign policy considerations at the time. While it is naive to suppose that the US has not embraced terrorists and mobsters for policy considerations before — the wisdom of which we can differ on — that does not mean that terrorists and mobsters are not terrorists and mobsters. Nor does it grant DioGuardi immunity for his ties to them. One doesn’t whitewash his ties just because we made use of them at one point. In WWII the Italian mob facilitated our entry into Italy, but that didn’t make it immune from future scrutiny.
Why should DioGuardi’s associations not be of interest? Why are Christine O’Donnell’s high school Wicca dabblings a bigger story than DioGuardi’s connections to the greater Albanian crime syndicate? Which of course begs the next question: With all the Albanian mafia money sloshing around New York and making its way to lawmakers for decades, it would take a great leap of faith to think that it hasn’t been fueling his campaign. But again, no one has bothered to check.
Given the bipartisan nature of our lawmakers’ treachery, a Gillibrand win won’t change our policies in the Balkans, as she will no doubt toe the same line the rest do. But we’re talking about electing the very genesis of America’s self-destructive, pro-crime, pro-narcotic, and pro-jihad orientation there, now spanning four presidential administrations. It can all be traced back to Joe DioGuardi, who nonetheless has the gall to run for office. Letting this KLA public relations organ, this terror financier and lobbyist, this gangster back into the Capitol Building where he first started America down a disastrous road will help ensure that ever new tasks at Albanian bidding, will receive greater priority than they otherwise might. And with the KLA’s American godfather in Washington, there’d be even more string-pulling on their behalf, and more protection. Republican New Yorkers essentially would be directly placing the KLA, whose ethnic supremacy has come to guide U.S. foreign policy in the region and has been endangering American lives for more than a decade, into the Capitol.
If one can’t bring oneself to vote for a sharia-compliant Democrat instead of DioGuardi, feeling that choosing one over the other is like choosing typhoid fever over a bullet, write in a friend’s name. But anyone who still plans to vote DioGuardi should at least know who and what the man is. Consider that if he does win, at some point his ties are going to come out. How will Republicans look then?
It would really be something if conservative New Yorkers, who want politicians to take a stronger stand against the Islamic sprawl, vote in a terrorist like Joe DioGuardi. Indeed, one fears that all he’ll have to do from here is object to the Ground Zero mosque to win favor. As a French anti-jihad activist I met recently put it: “Ah, so ze Repooblicans who are against ze Gwound Zero Mosque voted for a man who helps spread ze terror?” Exactly.