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Cablegate: Ag Gonzales Visits Amia Bombing Site

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #0303 0461933
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 151933Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7299
INFO RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 0188
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 5792
RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 5944
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 6182
RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 5945
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 000303

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

USDOJ FOR AAG ALICE FISHER AND DAG BRUCE SWARTZ

E.O. 12958:N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PTER SNAR SCUL AR

SUBJECT: AG GONZALES VISITS AMIA BOMBING SITE


1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Leaders of the Argentine Israeli Mutual
Association (AMIA) and Delegation of Argentine-Israeli Associations
(DAIA) welcomed Attorney General Gonzales to AMIA headquarters on
February 7, thanking him in particular for USG support in the
efforts to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of the 1994
bombing of the AMIA site. They specifically sought USG support in
the March meeting of the Interpol Executive Committee where they
will decide on issuing "Red Notices" for the arrest of suspects. In
prepared remarks to the press, the AG commended the GOA's efforts to
bring the perpetrators of the bombing to justice. The event was
well-attended by the press, and received broad radio, broadcast, and
print coverage. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) Attorney General Gonzales, other members of the USDOJ
delegation, and the Ambassador visited the AMIA building on February
7 for a meeting with AMIA/DAIA leaders. AMIA and DAIA leadership
underscored to the AG that they continue to seek justice for the
1994 terrorist attack that claimed 85 victims and injured hundreds
more. They specifically requested USG support in the upcoming
Interpol Executive Committee proceedings that will determine whether
"Red Notices" will be published to seek the arrest of eight Iranian
officials and one Hizballah leader accused of involvement in the
bombing. AMIA President Grynwald expressed optimism that Argentine
prosecutors have gathered sufficient evidence to support their
accusations, but noted that Argentina "needs USG assistance" to
ensure a positive outcome in the March proceedings. AG Gonzales
noted that the USG has provided assistance in the case when
specifically requested and preferred to play a role "behind the
scenes". An AMIA representative replied that "sometimes one can do
more backstage than in front."

3. (SBU) Grynwald also noted that it has been a challenge to make
people realize that the terrorist attack on the AMIA and the the
Israeli Embassy in 1992 were an attack on all Argentines, not just
the Jewish community. Continued vigilance against terrorism and
anti-Semitism is crucial, DAIA vice-president Angel Schindel added.
He expressed concern that Iran has a regional "ally" in Venezuela.
Various delegates expressed the hope that domestic Argentine
legislation against terrorism, including the proposed law on
terrorist financing, will be approved soon and serve as important
tools in the on-going struggle against terrorism. The AG stressed
that the USG respects Argentina's sovereignty and while the USG
cannot tell the GOA to adopt such legislation, it can say that such
laws have strengthened US efforts to combat terrorism.

4. (SBU) After the meeting, the AG delivered a press statement
honoring the victims of the 1994 terrorist attack and commending the
GOA's efforts to bring the perpetrators of the bombing to justice.
The event was well-attended and
received broad radio, broadcast, and print coverage.

5. (U) The Attorney General has not cleared on the language of this
cable.
Wayne

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