At 9:29 p.m. on March 8, Hakim Mamad Ali Diab Fattah landed at Venezuela's Simon Bolivar International Airport on board Delta Flight 397. The Venezuelan-born Arab had been the subject of international surveillance because he had taken lessons at two New Jersey flight schools attended by Hani Hanjour, who crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.
The FBI had arrested Fattah in the United States after discovering that he also had talked about blowing up an airliner and had used forged identity documents. Information about him was requested from Venezuela's internal security service, Direccion de Inteligencia Seguridad y Prevencion (DISIP). But little was forthcoming other than psychiatric records showing that he was a diagnosed schizophrenic who had failed to attend therapy for more than a year.
Top-level members of Venezuela's security services now are shedding some light on the mystery. Gen. Marcos Ferreira, who recently resigned as director of the Venezuelan national guard's border control, Departamento de Extranjeria (DX), says that DISIP picked up Fattah directly from the plane and escorted him into a waiting car parked on the runway.
Fattah represents the tip of an iceberg, according to security officials, confirming that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has been setting up a terrorist regime to overthrow the constitution of the oil-rich South American country. A dedicated disciple of Fidel Castro [see "Fidel's Successor in Latin America," April 30, 2001], Chavez is plugging international terrorist networks into the country's security services, financial system and state corporations as part of his plans to done Cuba's revolution and turn Venezuela into a terrorist base.
The president's scheme also involves government-sponsored armed militias, or Circulos Bolivarianos, modeled on Cuba's Revolutionary Defense Committees. These militias are taking over police stations around the Venezuelan capital of Caracas and invading the facilities of the state-run oil company, PDVSA. Indeed, the latter is presided over by an ex-communist guerrilla leader, Ali Rodrignez Araque.
Following the blueprint that Castro drafted for Chile's Salvador Allende, a minority president who similarly imported thousands of Cuban paramilitaries to overthrow the constitution of Chile and establish a Marxist-Leninist regime there, Chavez is facing an internal rebellion against his plans. With 80 percent or more of the national revenues cut off by an off strike, he is faced with difficult choices. Chavez may be forced to order his navy to take over some 20 oil tankers that are refusing to load. Since he cannot entirely rely on the loyalty of his armed forces, he is expected to bring in the Cuban advisers.
Cuba's Direccion General de Inteligencia (DGI) special-operations teams already are positioned at the port of La Guaira, according to Venezuelan navy sources, who report that Cuban undercover agents are using the local merchant-marine school. Sources say that they could be studying Venezuela's oil-tanker fleet as part of contingency plans to prepare for commandeering of some of the tankers by a U.S.-trained Venezuelan intelligence officer. A Cuban special-assault unit reported to be occupying the second and third floors of the Sheraton Hotel in La Guaira also could be part of the plans to break the strike and impose a terrorist dictatorship.
During the last few weeks, Chavez has moved to control the military high command with his closest acolytes. Gen. Luis Garcia Carneiro, who has been leading the Caracas-based 3rd Infantry Division in operations to disarm the metropolitan police, now is the effective head of the army.
Possibly thousands of Arab terrorists as well as Colombian narcoguerrillas are being protected by DISIP, which has come under the control of Cuba's DGI, according to members of the Venezuelan security agency. European diplomatic officials in Caracas confirm that Cubans are operating DISIP's key counterterrorist and intelligence-analysis sections. …