Categotry Archives: Criminals

by

Abul Abbas

1 comment

Categories: Criminals

Muhammad “Abul” Abbas, the Palestinian mastermind of the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro, died on March 8 from natural causes. He was 55.
Born in Israel, Abbas grew up in a Palestinian refugee camp. He joined the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1964 and became the leader of its splinter group, the Palestinian Liberation Front, two decades later.
In October 1985, several PLF members hijacked the Achille Lauro, an Italian cruise ship en route from Egypt to Israel. The hijackers demanded the release of 50 Palestinians held by Israel, and permission to dock the boat in Syria. When the demands were not met, they killed American Leon Klinghoffer and dumped his wheelchair-bound body overboard.
The PLF hijackers negotiated to give up the ship in exchange for passage on an Egyptian airline to Tunisia. Once on board the plane, however, U.S. Navy fighters forced the aircraft to land in Sicily where Abbas and the hijackers were arrested. Although he wasn’t on the Achille Lauro during the hijacking, Abbas admitted to planning the ship’s seizure. For lack of evidence, the Italian authorities released him. He was later convicted of the hijacking and sentenced in absentia to five life terms in connection with Klinghoffer’s murder.
In recent years, Abbas lived in Iraq under the protection of Saddam Hussein’s government. He apologized in the mid-1990s for Klinghoffer’s death, saying the killing was part of a botched “military” operation. The Klinghoffer family refused the apology, calling him a “murderous terrorist.”
American Special Operations forces captured Abbas last April during a raid of a suspected terrorist training camp on the outskirts of Baghdad. U.S. officials held him for nearly a year without filing charges while they considered his legal status. Abbas was still in U.S. custody when he died.

by

Ryszard Kuklinski

1 comment

Categories: Criminals, Military

rkuklinski.jpgIn Poland, Col. Ryszard Kuklinski is considered a traitor by many of his countrymen. George Tenet, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, calls Kuklinski “a true hero of the Cold War.”
“This passionate and courageous man helped keep the Cold War from becoming hot, providing the CIA with precious information upon which so many critical national security decisions rested. He did so for the noblest of reasons — to advance the sacred causes of liberty and peace in his homeland and throughout the world,” Tenet stated.
Kuklinski was born in Warsaw in 1930. He joined the Polish army at the age of 17, and worked his way through the ranks to become a liaison officer between the Polish military and the Soviet Army. When the Communist regime ordered the Polish army to take part in the bloody, military crackdown on Czechoslovakia’s pro-democracy movement in 1970, Kuklinski became disillusioned and sent an offer of cooperation to American intelligence officials in Bonn, Germany.
From 1976 to 1981, he spied on his country for the CIA, passing 35,000 pages of Warsaw Pact secrets from behind the Iron Curtain. These documents exposed the government’s plan to launch a crackdown on the Solidarity movement. Just before martial law was imposed in 1981, Kuklinski and his family defected to America.
Back in Poland, the government seized his house and property, and sentenced him to death for his espionage activities and desertion. Because threats were made on his life, the Kuklinskis went into hiding, living under assumed names. Both of his sons later died in mysterious accidents. Kuklinski did manage to visit his homeland once more in 1998. After 17 years in exile, he regained his citizenship and military rank when a Polish court cleared him of treason charges.
Kuklinski received a Distinguished Service medal from the CIA for his years as an East Bloc intelligence asset. He’s also the subject of the Benjamin Weiser book, “A Secret Life: The Polish Officer, His Covert Mission, and the Price He Paid to Save His Country.”
Kuklinski died on Feb. 10 from a stroke. He was 73.

by

Vasili Mitrokhin

1 comment

Categories: Criminals, Politicians, Writers/Editors

When KGB archivist Vasili Nikitich Mitrokhin defected from the Soviet Union in 1992, he gave six trunks, full of incriminating files, to the British Secret Intelligence Service.
As a young adult, Mitrokhin attended the Higher Diplomatic Academy in Moscow, then joined the Soviet secret service in 1948. He worked as the chief archivist for the FCD, the foreign-intelligence arm of the KGB, for 30 years and spent 12 of those smuggling documents out of the office in his shoes. At home, he copied the files longhand and hid them in milk containers secreted under the floorboards of his home and in the back garden.
Disillusioned with his life, Mitrokhin contacted the CIA for help in 1995, offering 25,000 classified documents as his ticket out of the Soviet Union. The Americans didn’t believe his claims, so he turned to the British for aid. The Secret Intelligence Service accepted him as an MI6 agent, and flew him to Britain where he and his family received a home, a pension and new identities.
The copied KGB files formed the basis of the 1999 book, “The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB,” which was co-written by Cambridge University historian Christopher Andrew. Its tales of covert operations and assassination attempts were also serialized in The Times of London. The excerpts named several Britons as Soviet spies, including two former lawmakers, a Scotland Yard policeman and grandmother Melita Norwood. Norwood later acknowledged she’d been revealing nuclear secrets to the KGB for four decades.
Mitrokhin, who spent 14 years living in Britain under a false name and with police protection, died on Jan. 23 from pneumonia. He was 81.

by

Harry Claiborne

4 comments

Categories: Criminals, Law

Harry Eugene Claiborne, the first federal judge to be sent to prison, committed suicide on Jan. 19.

Claiborne received his law degree from Cumberland University and was admitted to the Arkansas and Nevada bars. He spent two years as a deputy district attorney in Las Vegas before going into private practice as one of Nevada’s top defense lawyers. Whenever a celebrity needed legal advice in Las Vegas, the masterful litigator was the person to call. He handled a divorce for Judy Garland and settled casino licensing cases for Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

He lost his bid for the Senate in 1964, but his opponent, Senator Howard Cannon, later recommended Claiborne for a federal district court judgeship. President Jimmy Carter appointed him to the bench in 1978.

He was serving as the chief U.S. district judge for Nevada in 1984 when he was indicted on bribery, fraud and tax evasion charges. His first trial ended in a hung jury, but he was eventually convicted of fraud for failing to report more than $107,000 on his 1979 and 1980 federal income tax returns. In 1986, he was removed from the bench by the Senate and served 17 months in prison. He was one of only seven federal officials in U.S. history to be removed from office through impeachment.

After his prison term ended, the Nevada Supreme Court reinstated him to the bar and he returned to private practice. Claiborne, who had cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, died of a self-inflicted gunshot. He was 86.

by

Richard A. Ausley

3 comments

Categories: Criminals

Richard Alvin Ausley, the convicted child molester who inspired the passage of a Virginia sexual predator law, was killed in prison on Jan. 13. He was 64.
Ausley was discovered in his cell by a prison worker at Sussex I State Prison in Waverly, Va. He was strangled and suffered blunt trauma to the torso, the autopsy report said.
In 1973, Ausley kidnapped a teenage boy, sexually molested him for eight days and buried him in a wooden box; the 13-year-old was later rescued by a group of hunters. Ausley was sentenced to more than 47 years in prison. He was scheduled for early release last November when he received another five-year sentence for sodomizing a different teenager in 1972.
Even with the second conviction, Ausley could have been released from prison as early as March 2007. This event prompted state legislators to approve funding for a civil commitment program for sexual predators. Under the new law, which became effective on Jan. 1, authorities may hold sex offenders indefinitely in a secure treatment center after their prison terms end.
Ausley was previously convicted in 1961 of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy and leaving him hogtied in the woods. For that crime, he was sentenced to 26 years and paroled in 1971.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9