UQ Wire: The Mystery Of Fanning Island
The Mystery Of Fanning Island
Was Mohamed Atta close associate in Florida a CIA pilot?
Dec 11 2006--Venice,FL
by Daniel Hopsicker
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Wolfgang Bohringer , the German pilot who was one of Mohamed Atta's closest associates in Florida and the subject of an FBI terror alert in the South Pacific, was apprehended and taken into custody recently, but then almost immediately released after he told authorities responsible for his capture that he works for the CIA.
The drama began to unfold a year ago when Wolfgang Bohringer sailed a 47-foot yacht called “ The Argos” to tiny Fanning Island in the scattered South Pacific archipelago of Kiribati, a former British colony and today one of the world's smallest nations.
“U.S. authorities raised an alarm over the plan by the German pilot — linked to the Sept. 11 terror attacks — to build a flying school in the remote South Pacific island nation,” stated an AP report picked up by the New York Times-owned International Herald Tribune.
When we first reported Wolfgang Bohringer had close ties to Mohamed Atta over three years ago, in “Welcome to TERRORLAND: Mohamed Atta & the 9/11 cover-up in Florida,” the revelation was met with deafening silence.
But now U.S. authorities had “ raised an alarm.” Officials had “ uncovered a plot.” The FBI was hunting for Bohringer and his missing yacht, and the isolated Kiribati islands were “grappling with being catapulted into the world of terrorism.”
It all sounded too good to be true.
Just another 'four' looking for a 'nine'
An official Airport Security Report issued on November 22, 2006 offers a succinct summary of the intrigue in the South Pacific:
“Authorities have uncovered a plot to set up a flight training school in the Pacific nation of Kiribati, the man behind it having had links to September 11 mastermind Mohammed Atta. Since the plot emerged, Kiribati had asked for Australia's help to fight terrorism, ABC radio reported today.
‘The FBI said Wolfgang Bohringer was considered a "person of interest" and had close connections with a US flight school used by Atta, who masterminded the plot to hijack passenger planes and fly them into key targets in the United States five years ago.
Bohringer had fled Kiribati on his yacht, leaving questions about his intentions. He surfaced in the Pacific nation about a year ago and began talking up plans for a resort and flight school on Fanning Island - a remote outpost with no phones, no functioning airstrip but among the closest to Hawaii."
It's called a "get out of jail free" card
Bohringer fled tiny Fanning Island after a story in the MadCowMorningNews headlined "Close Associate of Mohamed Atta Surfaces in South Pacific" drew attention to his suspicious intention to open, on an island with no electricity and barely a hundred inhabitants, more than a thousand miles from a city of any size, a flight school to train pilots to fly only DC3's.
Then, two weeks ago, German pilot Wolfgang Bohringer was arrested. And notwithstanding the American public’s much-abused right-to-know, the news was to remain a closely-guarded secret, one person close to the investigation told us.
“There could be national security reasons for keeping this information quiet.”
The real reason for the secrecy, however, soon became clear soon enough...
Bohringer told authorities that he worked for the Central Intelligence Agency. The revelation brought his immediate release. As with Ali Mohamed, and so many others, The Inscrutable CIA Bassmasters were again playing catch-and-release.
We learned of these stunning developments only through a stroke of luck...
An associate just happened to be visiting a contact close to the Joint Terrorism Task Force in New York, and overheard a phone call reporting Bohringer’s arrest.
“I heard a voice on a speaker phone say, "'He was a ‘five’ when we got him but with the first words out of his mouth, he moved up to an eight,'” our associate stated.
Stop me if you've heard this one before
What had Bohringer said which so dramatically raised the level of interest in him?
“He said, ‘You can't bust me. I'm with the CIA,’” stated the source.
Wolfgang Bohringer moved from Munich Germany to Naples, Florida in 1995 to open a flight school which brought students from Germany to Naples for “The Flying Club of Munich,” whose goal, according to their website, is “active flying for everyone to make possible in particular for the air-minded youth.”
"Wolfgang showed up from Munich in the mid 1990s and immediately began operating a flight school illegally," stated an aviation source in Naples. "He’s half Swiss, half German."
Atta is known to have frequented the Naples airport. In an interview videotaped in December of 2002, Atta’s erstwhile American girlfriend Amanda Keller told us Atta “was always flying down to Naples and Fort Myers.”
The story of Wolfgang’s life to date is studded with inexplicable events. Instead of crossing the Indian Ocean from the coast of Africa while sailing around the world on a 47-foot yacht, he took a left turn and ended up in Bombay. There, as improbably as "defector" Lee Harvey Oswald met a KGB colonel's daughter named Marina, Wolfgang met his wife Sujita, who we hear he may have recently abandoned in Hawaii along with their young daughter.
A lotta damn spooks for one "lonesome cadre"
Tellingly, Wolfgang Bohringer next became the personal pilot for a notorious financier named Viktor Kozeny, who is currently under indictment by the US Justice Department on charges of corruption, money laundering and conspiracy in massive financial fraud involving billions of dollars.
One fact which bolsters the possibility that Mohamed Atta might have had connections with U.S. intelligence is that his close associate Bohringer was flying a man who himself had murky connections to spookdom.
At least four of Viktor Kozeny’s partners, we discovered, are in some way connected with American intelligence, like John Sununu, the former chief of staff for the first President George Bush, who took a position in a private Cyprus-based company used to funnel as much as a half-billion dollars from investors in Czechoslovakia into the hands of Kozeny and his cronies.
Kozeny’s other cronies with intelligence connections include former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, who used Kozeny’s private Lear jet during his shuttle diplomacy to bring an end to the conflict in Northern Ireland; Michael Dingman, former chief of major defense contractor Allied Signal; and Hank Greenberg, of AIG, one of whose top executives was also indicted for helping facilitate the massive theft.
Greenberg—in a move that would make a bad situation incalculably worse—is said to be currently contemplating a takeover bid for the New York Times.
Hates Jews, carries a Glock, works for the CIA
At various times, Bohringer told locals on Fanning Island that he both “hates the Jews” and “hates the U.S.”
“Wolfgang said he not only knew Mohamed Atta, he liked him. Atta was his friend, a nice guy, and it was too bad he had to die,” stated one of the islanders who contacted us.
Like former boss Kozeny, who always carried several passports at all times, Wolfgang Bohringer was well-stocked with official identification, with passports from a half-dozen nations on his yacht.
Also onboard his yacht he also carried a small cache of firearms, including a Glock, and a treasure chest filled with “stacks of brand new hundred dollar bills, more money that I have ever seen in my life,” said one local resident. "To me, Wolfgang is carrying dirty money, and lots of it."
Bohringer also claimed to be an arms dealer, boasted of his association with Eastern European Mobster Kozeny, and admitted knowing Mohamed Atta, islanders said.
He told them another German pilot in Naples, Rex Gasteiger, had been to blame for linking him to 9/11.
Residents quietly reported their suspicions to local authorities, and the Honolulu FBI, only to be met with yawns.
Then they contacted the MadCowMorningNews.
A researcher who has assisted our efforts in the past then contacted the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in New York. After Bohringer fled Fanning Island in the wake of several stories in this space, the terror alert was issued.
Amanda Keller shoots. Amanda Keller scores.
The world learned of the relationship between German pilot Bohringer and terrorist ringleader Atta from Amanda Keller, whom the Sarasota Herald Tribune has been at pains to discredit.
We are now beginning to understand why.
Keller told us that Wolfgang was one of only a few people whom Atta called “ my brother.”
During the time she lived with the terrorist ringleader, Spring of 2001, Atta and Wolfgang were “inseparable,” Keller stated. The two could be seen tooling around together in Bohringer’s red convertible, and drinking in Sarasota nightclubs. They had been thrown out of an area Hooters together for harassing the waitresses.
Bohringer’s relationship with Atta also appeared to be of long-standing, pre-dating the time both were in Florida, according to the same eyewitness. Atta always spoke German with Wolfgang, who was in his thirties, said Keller.
“I called him Ice Man, because he looked just like Val Kilmer’s character named Ice Man in the movie ‘Top Gun,’” she stated.
In pictures taken on Fanning Island, it is clear that Bohringer does, indeed, bear a striking resemblance to Kilmer.
In Spring 2002, he became a naturalized U.S. citizen. In a deposition recently Stephan Verhaaren told us that Wolfgang had won his green card in a lottery, which was exactly the same thing we heard three years ago from Amanda Keller.
Another German pilot weighs in
Wolfgang was instrumental in bringing another German pilot to Naples named Stephan Verhaaren, who was on parole in Germany for smuggling when he came to the U.S. Verhaaren took over Bohringer’s flight school in Naples in 1999.
While regular German flight students struggle to obtain the necessary visas, Wolfgang and Stephan had inside connections which smoothed their progress, said a flight instructor in Naples.
“Sometimes it makes me mad that a criminal gets preference," stated the instructor with some bitterness.
"Wolfgang signed off on Stephan’s books, and Stephan also got in on a fraudulent business investor’s visa."
In a recent deposition in a lawsuit he filed against us, Verhaaren stated that he first came to Florida with his then-girlfriend, named Mahfouz, whose family owned a home in Florida.
Verhaaren was associated with “The Flying Club of Munich,” which now looms as an increasingly suspicious entity, because he appears to have lied to protect it.
Despite ample evidence to the contrary, including Bohringer’s own online resume, which Bohringer attempted to delete (but which we had already cached), Verhaaren denied under oath that Bohringer had anything to do with “The Flying Club of Munich.”
Unlike Bohringer, who freely admitted to island residents his association with Atta, Verhaaren claims to have never met Mohamed Atta.
Bohringer’s capture and release is another dispiriting episode in recent American history.
Our national life has became a charade. Our cowed major media never asks the President why he's failed to make even a half-hearted effort to bring the killer of 3000 civilians to justice...
"Stay the course" involves keeping our troops in Baghdad until Tikrit feels like an off-ramp on the 405 freeway.
And "counter-terrorism" means FBI agents in fishing caps studded with golf ties riding in a government car with a license plate reading UNHOOKM.
- Daniel Hopsicker is the author of Barry & 'the boys: The CIA, the Mob and America's Secret History. About the author. - Email the author.
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