Intelligence Panel Hears From Glass, by John Pacenti

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Intelligence Panel Hears From Glass, by John Pacenti

Postby admin » Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:56 am

Intelligence Panel Hears From Glass
by John Pacenti
The Palm Beach Post
October 17, 2002

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Randy Glass, the former Boca Raton con man who rubbed elbows with terrorists as a federal informant, testified Wednesday before congressional investigators looking into the terrorist attacks last year. What Glass has to say centers on his role in the probe that resulted in the West Palm Beach arrests of two men as arms brokers trying to finalize a deal to sell stinger antiaircraft missiles, nuclear components and other high-tech weaponry to terrorists linked in court documents to Osama Bin Laden. The special joint inquiry committee created by the House and Senate intelligence committees to review the events of Sept. 11 also is looking into intelligence communication breakdowns.

In August 2001, just before Glass started to serve a seven-month sentence for a $6 million jewelry scam, he said he reached out to Sen. Bob Graham and U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler. He said he told staffers for both lawmakers that a Pakistani operative working for the Taliban known as R.G. Abbas made three references to imminent plans to attack the World Trade Center during the probe, which ended in June 2001. At one meeting at New York's Tribeca Grill caught on tape, Abbas pointed to the World Trade Center and said, "Those towers are coming down," Glass said. Glass also now says the State Department, in an effort to maintain good diplomatic relations with Pakistan, pulled the plug on the South Florida terrorist probe, believing Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf could control the militant terrorist faction of his government.

Glass spent 3-1/2 hours under oath Wednesday. The staffers have spoken to about 500 people with information, said Paul Anderson, spokesman for Graham, the Florida Democrat who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee. "I told them I have specific evidence, and I can document it," Glass said. Court documents detail how Glass worked numerous cases as a confidential informant, including the arms probe that nabbed Diaa Badr Mohsen and Mohammed "Mike" Malik of New Jersey as they showed off weaponry at a Palm Beach International Airport hangar. A federal prosecutor told a judge that Glass had been in contact with agents of the Taliban, the Afghan regime that protected bin Laden. Both Mohsen and Malik pleaded guilty. Mohsen was sentenced to about 2-1/2 years in prison. Malik's sentence remains sealed but a source says he received 30 months.

State Sen. Ron Klein, D-Boca Raton, was the first to take Glass seriously when he sat down with him shortly after Mohsen and Malik were arrested in June 2001. The lawmaker said he is surprised it has taken so long for Washington to listen to Glass. "Shame on us," Klein said. "Whether Randy Glass is credible or not, he has some information that should be evaluated." Klein said he doesn't recall any talk from Glass about the World Trade Center but does recall specific national security information. He forwarded Glass' information to Graham's office, and followed up on it to make sure it was processed. Glass' reputation as a convicted con artist didn't help and no federal agency would corroborate his story.

Graham acknowledged at news conference in Boca Raton last month that Glass had contact with his office before Sept. 11, 2001, about an attack on the World Trade Center. "I was concerned about that and a dozen other pieces of information which emanated from the summer of 2001," the senator said. Graham later said he was unaware of Glass' information until after the terrorist attacks. Glass did speak to a Tallahassee staffer before the attacks but the impression was that Glass wanted Graham to intercede in his criminal case, Anderson said.

Eric Johnson, Wexler's chief of staff, said Glass contacted the office by phone before the terrorist attacks but there is no record of what happened to that information. Since then, other information provided by Glass has been passed on to the FBI. Glass angrily denies he contacted the lawmakers so they could intercede in his criminal case. He said he wanted only to relay information on plans for an attack in which the World Trade Center had been mentioned. He does say he wanted his prison sentence postponed so he could continue his work. When the attacks occurred, Glass was in federal prison at Eglin Air Force Base. "When it happened I literally fell to my knees and started to cry," Glass said. "The frustration level that I had. Who could I tell?"
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Re: Intelligence Panel Hears From Glass, by John Pacenti

Postby admin » Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:27 am

Taliban Showed Interest in Boca Snitch
by John Pacenti
The Palm Beach Post
September 29, 2001

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Randy Glass chatted up diamond wholesalers as easily as shadowy arms dealers looking to buy missiles for terrorists. The former Boca Raton jeweler's talents made him the consummate con man, accused of bilking people out of millions of dollars worldwide. Those skills also suited him for work as a prized government snitch. Facing a substantial federal prison sentence for 13 felonies in 1998, Glass put his skills into overdrive on numerous undercover investigations, transforming himself into what a prosecutor called "one of the most prolific informants the world has ever seen."

He might have gotten close to associates of Osama bin Laden, the most wanted man on Earth whose vast terrorist network has been blamed for the Sept. 11 attacks. Glass was the government's go-to guy in a 31-month investigation into the attempted sale of military weapons -- Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, night-vision goggles, even nuclear weapon components -- to various groups in foreign countries, including Afghanistan's ruling Taliban, which has been secreting bin Laden. The probe led to the arrest of two New Jersey men -- Egyptian national Diaa Badr Mohsen and Pakistani native Mohammed "Mike" Malik -- in June at a West Palm Beach warehouse. Two others were arrested in Fort Lauderdale on related money-laundering charges.

But the attorneys for the two New Jersey men say Glass conned them into thinking they themselves were working for the U.S. government to either facilitate a legitimate arms deal or catch terrorists. It was all part of Glass' scheme to reduce his own sentence, they say. "The more we learn about Mr. Glass, the stronger our case gets," said attorney Val Rodriguez, who represents Mohsen. If Glass was blowing smoke, the government was pouring the fuel for the fire. Members of three federal agencies -- the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and Customs -- went before a federal judge on July 9, 1999, to ask that Glass remain out of prison to work on multiple "undercover matters." They said national security, as well as Glass' life, was at stake, especially now that bin Laden appeared to be involved.

Bin Laden had been tied to the August 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people. "I mean, he is the most wanted individual in the world at this time," ATF agent Steve Barborini told U.S. District Judge Wilkie D. Ferguson. "And at this point, that is a major concern." Ferguson was skeptical. "National security interests will be triggered, but what we have so far, I guess, is talk," he said. "I can't see that Mr. Glass ever paid the price for any of his misdeeds. He has a way of getting out of everything." But the judge deferred to the agents, allowing Glass to remain free. When it finally came time to sentence Glass last year, prosecutors gushed over his work. "He has met with individuals in Pakistan, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Republic of Congo, in South America and West Africa, as well," Assistant U.S. Attorney Neil Karadbil told a judge on May 19, 2000. "The individuals that Mr. Glass has dealt with are essentially terrorists. They are without question dangerous individuals." Glass, 49, was sentenced to 20 months in prison last year, but remained free while working for the government. After the arrests of the four men in June, Glass' sentence was cut again to seven months, which he is now serving in a prison at Eglin Air Force Base in the Florida Panhandle.

Series of scams, cons

Glass' metamorphosis from con artist to informant started in 1998 when he was arrested for bilking $6 million from diamond and jewelry wholesalers worldwide. Glass wrote worthless checks and made up stories that he had been burglarized or robbed of precious jewels, investigators said. The victims were from South America, Belgium, New York, California, Toronto and South Florida. He was accused of laundering $1 million in drug money and filing a $1 million false burglary claim from Palm Beach Jewelry Center on Okeechobee Boulevard in West Palm Beach and a false report that he was robbed of $250,000 in diamonds on a Chicago street corner by two black men in camouflage. During "Operation Diamondback," as the probe was called, investigators gathered information about other Glass capers. For years, the man known as Randy Goldberg back in his native Baltimore had used his charm as a means to scam.

"He's got that kind of personality that anything he says to anybody, people believe him," said Carolyn Furst, a Lighthouse Point jeweler who worked with Glass briefly in the early 1990s. "I don't know anybody who has been fleeced by him who doesn't think he is a hell of a nice guy." In 1990, he was able to "convince two desperate owners/sellers of a $500,000 Pompano Beach home to take what Randy claimed was $200,000 worth of rare stamps as down payment," according to information gathered by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. When the owners discovered the stamps were worthless, they tried to back out of the contract. Glass sued, tying up the property until he received $5,000 in a settlement, according to the PBSO report. In 1993, Glass convinced a 70-year-old man to loan him $200,000, the report said. As collateral, he put up some jewelry that the victim discovered was fake after Glass reneged on the loan. The man sued and got a judgment against Glass, according to the report. In 1995, Glass was charged with luring two Brazilians to a Pompano Beach bank with promises of paying them $1.5 million for rough-cut diamonds. Inside the bank, Glass locked the jewels in a safe deposit box. Detectives said he was trying to steal the gems to pay back some Belgians he had conned in 1993. He pleaded guilty to grand theft and returned the gems. In Glass' shop on Palmetto Park Road in Boca Raton, he would often deal his diamonds and move money from one bank account to another and back again within a few hours, Furst said. When a customer came in, he would order Furst and Jennifer Donnelly -- Glass' wife, co-worker and later codefendant -- into a back room where there was a gun in the safe. "He said if anybody pulls anything, pull out the gun. We were just like there to protect him," Furst said. "It was like the blind leading the blind." Glass and Donnelly hosted champagne auctions to raise money for the United Cerebral Palsy of Palm Beach and other charities, including a home for abused teenagers. Despite his charm, Glass' personal life was often in turmoil. He has been married five times. Police records show that in 1997, one of his ex-wives, Jan Yager, said she was intentionally hit by a red car as she walked on her Boca Raton street. She told police she believed the driver was Glass because she was arguing with him over visitation rights to their son. Glass was not charged. "He has a charisma about him that everybody seemed to love but when you see him on a daily basis, he had a very short temper," Furst said. "He could blow up on a drop of a dime."

Donnelly's attorney, Richard L. Rosenbaum, said it wouldn't surprise him if Glass set up people into thinking they were government operatives. "It wouldn't shock me at all. He's a scammer all day and all night," Rosenbaum said. "He could sell you ice cubes in Alaska. He is not the kind of person you want to see our government rewarding with a reduced sentence." Donnelly pleaded guilty to two fraud counts. Glass, hit with 13 felony charges, started to cooperate with the government. By the time Glass pleaded guilty last year, the 13 felonies had been dropped and two counts of fraud had taken their place. When it came time for sentencing, the prosecutor -- normally the defendant's adversary -- appeared to be in awe of Glass. "He is an individual who is very bright, beyond any kind of degree that a person could have," Karadbil said. "He is someone who is able to move in any type of social circle. . . . He has a tremendous gift of gab, tremendous resourcefulness."

According to Karadbil, Glass:

Provided information for the FBI, the ATF, the Secret Service, Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

Helped recover a 30-plus carat diamond stolen in the armed robbery of $2.5 million in jewels from a Palm Beach jewelry store. The FBI was then able to arrest the robbers and their fence.

Worked with the New York City FBI regarding forged Picasso and Reubens paintings and the recovery of two burial masks, said to be more than 30 centuries old, stolen from Egyptian museums.

Helped the Secret Service expose a counterfeit operation of fake $100 bills supplied through Guyana.

The prosecutor also said Glass' son had information about the beating death of Adam Jones that occurred after a Boca Raton birthday party was broken up by police on Feb. 26, 2000. Karadbil said the information led to the arrest of Derrick Acklin, who was convicted of battery for hitting Jones and was sentenced to four years in prison. Most federal investigations are cloaked in secrecy, so it's hard to corroborate Glass' involvement in these cases. Karadbil declined to comment. When Palm Beach police announced the arrest of three men in the robbery of Richters jewelry store on Worth Avenue, it acknowledged the help of an FBI informant. A source close to the Richters investigation confirmed that Glass played a role. However, New York newspapers reported that a stock fraudster had helped police nab members of the Gambino crime family peddling the fake Picasso and Reubens pieces. Glass' lawyer -- his brother, Gerald -- did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Taliban tried to buy weapons

Of all Glass' reported missions, the most wide-reaching by far was the weapons sting. Soon after he was charged in the fraud case, Glass told agents he knew of an arms dealer, a gambling buddy from New Jersey named Diaa Mohsen. Agents fitted Glass with a wire and tapped his phone, according to transcripts of court hearings. Mohsen, an Egyptian national, led Glass to a former Egyptian judge named Shireen Shawky, federal agents told Judge Ferguson in 1999. Shawky, ready to front $2 million of his own money, tried to broker a deal for weapons. Shawky was shopping on behalf of buyers in the civil war-ravaged Congo, but after a peace accord there, he looked for possible buyers elsewhere.

The night before the July 1999 hearing, a phone conversation revealed the interest of the Taliban. "That group is presently seeking arms on behalf of themselves, and maybe for the benefit of bin Laden," ATF agent Barborini told the judge. Shawky had set up a bank account in Boca Raton for the arms deal, Barborini said. Mohsen asked about grenade launchers, machine guns, anti-tank missiles, a component for a nuclear weapon and Stinger missiles, according to a federal arrest report. In the 1980s, Afghan and Muslim rebels, including bin Laden, used U.S.-supplied Stinger missiles to bring down Soviet aircraft. Up to 100 unused Stingers remain in the hands of the Taliban or bin Laden, arms experts believe. Mohsen and Malik were arrested June 12 after inspecting a Stinger missile in a West Palm Beach warehouse. They were charged with violating the Arms Export Control Act. The men who brought the missile to the warehouse were undercover agents. Photographs obtained by The Palm Beach Post show a gloating Glass and a man defense attorneys believe is Shawky holding Stingers and other weapons. One photo also shows Glass counting cash with other men, possibly federal agents.

Agents also nabbed one-time Wall Street high-flyer Kevin Ingram and Connecticut airplane broker Walter Kapij in a related money laundering scheme. Ingram has pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. Prosecutors do not plan to call Glass to testify, according to defense lawyers. Past experience might be why. The last time the government called Glass as a witness in a trial, it backfired. In a 1999 contempt of court hearing for famed defense attorney F. Lee Bailey, who was accused of taking a client's money for legal fees when it should have been forfeited to the government, Glass took the stand and claimed Bailey tried to have Glass fence $1 million in jewelry. Bailey accused Glass of lying and Glass refused to answer questions on cross-examination about his plea deal in the West Palm Beach case. Glass' testimony was tossed out. Bailey was eventually found in contempt of court but wasn't jailed or fined.

Outside of court, Bailey said Glass had asked him to talk to the U.S. secretary of defense about getting Glass a reduced sentence in his West Palm Beach case if Glass turned in an international terrorist. Bailey said he threw him out of his office. Now, in the wake of the worst terrorist attack on American soil, the FBI hasn't even talked to Malik, said his lawyer, James Eisenberg. Mohsen offered on his own to help the government investigate the Sept. 11 attacks, Rodriguez said. When Mohsen was arrested, he had a card in his wallet from an FBI agent working on a terrorism task force, Rodriguez said. "We have every reason to believe Glass duped the government during this investigation," Rodriguez said. "At no time did they have control of what he did."

Rodriguez and Eisenberg say their clients began looking for weapons because Glass fooled them into thinking they all were working for the government. Eisenberg said Malik brought in a Pakistani government official, Mohammed Abbas, and thought the arms deal was legitimate. When prosecutors praised Glass' work to Judge Ferguson last year, the judge was wary. "I don't want to become duped," the judge said, adding he didn't want to end up just another of Glass' marks. He did, however, eventually reduce Glass' sentence to just seven months. Glass had wanted mere house arrest. In a sealed motion, he said the prosecutor downplayed his role. He said his contacts helped the government prevent a bombing at the U.S. Embassy in India and led to the arrest of eight people in Yemen related to last year's suicide bombing of the USS Cole, in which 17 sailors died. This month, the judge refunded Glass' $75,000 bond even though he has been ordered to pay $4 million in restitution to the fraud victims. "It appears that Mr. Glass is one of the more prolific informants the world has ever seen, and one of the more successful, and got one of the best deals the world has ever seen," said Eisenberg, Malik's attorney.
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Re: Intelligence Panel Hears From Glass, by John Pacenti

Postby admin » Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:49 am

Tip Questions
by Kathleen Walter
WPTV 5 (West Palm Beach)
October 7, 2002

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Tonight, questions about a possible connection to the worst day in American history. Did an admitted con-man turned informant tip authorities, including a state senator and a U.S. senator, to a threat against the World Trade Center? News Channel Five's Kathleen Walter is joining us with the result of a News Channel Five investigation tonight. Kathleen.

KATHLEEN WALTER: Well, Jim, Randy Glass is a man with a criminal past, but someone the government trusted enough with very sensitive and classified intelligence information. There is no dispute he was wired into international arms dealers and may have heard about terrorist threats to the United States. What did a local, and a U.S., senator do with the information he says he passed along?

WALTER: [?] of the unthinkable. Terrorists using airplanes as deadly weapons to attack the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. But to Randy Glass, the idea that terrorists wanted to bring down the Twin Towers came as no surprise to him.

RANDY GLASS: I felt incredibly uncomfortable, because I knew that something was going to happen.

WALTER: For more than two years, Glass was caught up in an international arms deal. An admitted con-man living in Boca Raton, Florida, Glass put his skills to work for the government, an informant for the FBI and Florida's Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, Glass and other agents posed as illegal arms dealers, [hawking?] arms purportedly diverted from U.S. military armories and luring in prospective weapons buyers who might have been linked to terrorism. His life as a secret agent was chronicled on tape.

GLASS (TAPE): What would you do?

MOHSSEN (TAPE): I'll kill him! I'll kill you!

Through accused middle man Diaa Mohassen [Mohsen], Glass was introduced to weapons buyers who said they had connections to Islamic militant groups, with possible links to Osama bin Laden.

MOHSSAN (TAPE): You know who supplies them with money?

GLASS (TAPE): Who?

MOHSSAN (TAPE): Osama bin Laden.

GLASS (TAPE): That's very nice. Thanks for mentioning that.

GLASS: Americans were the enemy, and that the purpose of attaining these weapons systems and nuclear materials was to use against Americans.

WALTER: And Glass says threats against Americans didn't end there.

GLASS: I did know that there was a plan of attack on the United States, and the World Trade Center had been mentioned.

WALTER: But in the summer of 2001, Glass' undercover work came to an end. Three months before September 11th, he reached out to Florida state senator Ron Klein, and told him about threats against national security. Klein says he does not recall any mention of World Trade Center threats.

STATE SEN. RON KLEIN: This is before September 11th and all that. Um, again it was enough information for me to say I don't know exactly what to do with this other than to contact one of my federal colleagues.

WALTER: And so state senator Ron Klein contacted the office of Florida senator Bob Graham, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

WALTER: According to Graham's spokesperson, Jill Greenberg, caseworker Charlie [?] spoke with Graham last summer prior to September 11th, Glass claiming he had at least six conversations with the caseworker. And while we have been unable to corroborate the nature of those conversations, Greenberg confirmed that some of that information was passed along to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

REPORTER: A few months before September 11th, your office received information from ATF informant Randy Glass, who also worked on the terrorism task force, and he also advised your office of terrorist intentions to bring down the World Trade Center. And this was before September 11th.

BOB GRAHAM: Mhmm. (Nods.)

REPORTER: Your office tells me it forwarded information from Mr. Glass to the Intelligence Committee, and my question is: why did no one from the Committee follow up with Mr. Glass to pursue this?

GRAHAM: Well, because we in turn gave that information to the appropriate intelligence agency. We are an oversight and legislative agency. The actual operations of collection of information, interviewing possible sources, is the responsibility of the FBI if it's a domestic matter, or the CIA if it's foreign.

WALTER: And according to state senator Klein, three weeks after he made initial contact with Senator Graham's office in the summer of 2001, staffers there confirmed to him Glass' information had been passed on to the intelligence community.

REPORTER: They confirmed to you that they'd sent it on?

KLEIN: (Nods). Yep. Mhmm. They said to me that they had spoken...that they had processed it through their office and spoken to Randy is I believe what they said, and processed it.

GRAHAM: I had a concern about that and a dozen other pieces of information which were emanating in the summer of 2001.

REPORTER: So you did forward Mr. Glass' information along, to who?

GRAHAM: Yep. I cannot say what agency, but the agency that we felt was the most appropriate one for the nature of the information that he was providing.

WALTER: Despite his keen insight into the world of terrorists, Randy Glass says that until recently no one from any intelligence agency had contacted him. And since our interview with Senator Graham in Boca Raton last month, his office offered this clarification, that "Mister Glass didn't provide any information to our office prior to Sept. 11 2001 that needed to be pursued by intelligence agencies. When I was interviewed in Boca Raton, I said I did know of this individual and that he had been in touch with the Intelligence Committee, but I didn't indicate when that contact had taken place. It was earlier this year, not prior to Sept. 11, 2001."

WALTER: Even though Graham's press aid Jill Greenberg and state Senator Klein say Glass' information did go to the intelligence community prior to September 11, 2001, the Senator still maintains that's not the case, even though that's what he initially told us. Jim.

JIM: Kathleen, a lot of information to digest, but do we know exactly what information did go to the senator?

WALTER: Well, at the end of the day, we just don't know. We called Graham's staffer Charlie [?] several times to find out more about his conversations with Mr. Glass, but he did not return our phone calls. We are still investigating and hope to have answers in the coming weeks.
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Re: Intelligence Panel Hears From Glass, by John Pacenti

Postby admin » Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:31 am

U.S. Reopens Arms Case in Probe for Taliban Role
by John Mintz
Washington Post Staff Writer
August 2, 2002

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Federal investigators are reexamining a recent arms smuggling case in Florida to determine whether agents of the Pakistani government tried to buy missiles and nuclear weapons components in the United States last year for use by terrorists or Pakistan's military.

The original criminal case -- a sting operation in which intermediaries allegedly tried to buy the weapons from a diamond thief-turned-informant for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms -- attracted little public notice when arrests were made in June 2001. It resulted in a single guilty plea and the sealing of court files for another defendant.

One reason, informed sources said, was that prosecutors, in an unusual step, removed references to Pakistan from public filings because of diplomatic concerns.
The alleged weapons buyers repeatedly said in conversations taped by authorities that they represented the Pakistani government and were arranging the purchases for Pakistani intelligence, the then-Taliban government of Afghanistan or terrorists.

Many details of the case have not been made public previously. The investigation was brought to light by "Dateline NBC," which shared some material, including undercover audiotapes, with The Washington Post and is scheduled to air its report tonight.

Lawyers for the two men arrested in the sting said their clients have no connections to terrorists or arms dealers, and became involved only when approached by a U.S. government informant.

"None of those people who came over from Pakistan were government officials who could get an arms deal done," said Jim Eisenberg, attorney for Mohammed "Mike" Malik, one of the potential buyers, who remains free and whose case is sealed.

Val Rodriguez, lawyer for Diaa Mohsen, the only man in the case currently imprisoned, said his client also lacked the ties necessary to arrange a secret arms deal. He acknowledged, however, that Mohsen "kept trying to get the connections [the undercover agent] wanted." However, both Mohsen and Malik, he added, "had contact with people who knew terrorists."

Asad Hayauddin, spokesman for the Pakistani Embassy here, said his government does not "buy weapons on the black market. . . . The government of Pakistan had nothing to do with this, so maybe it was rogues."

But the U.S. government is convinced that the alleged buyers were, in some fashion, connected to militant groups affiliated with the Pakistani government. U.S. intelligence confirmed key parts of the buyers' statements concerning their affiliations, and a federal prosecutor attested to that in court hearings.

Teamed up in the sting were two men who had spent a lifetime deceiving people -- but on opposite sides of the law.

One is Randy Glass, 50, an admitted lifelong fraud artist from Baltimore. Once he found himself charged with bilking jewelers out of $6 million, Glass volunteered to track down arms merchants for the federal government.

The other is Dick Stoltz, 56, an easygoing, 31-year veteran of the ATF who has a legendary reputation for working undercover as a gun smuggler or Mafia hit man for years at a time.

For 2-1/2 years, this pair posed as illegal dealers hawking arms purportedly diverted from U.S. military armories, and made 500 audio- and videotapes of their eager customers. Fourteen months ago, ATF and FBI agents in Florida arrested two men from Jersey City, N.J. -- Mohsen, originally from Egypt, and Malik, an immigrant from Pakistan -- moments after showing them a new shipment of arms.

Some federal officials were frustrated that the FBI, while allowing a Florida agent to work on the probe, did not declare the case a counterterrorism matter. That would have given ATF officials better access to FBI information and U.S. intelligence from around the world, and would have drawn bureaucratic backing from people all the way to the White House, officials said.

"Had more attention been paid to this inside the government, the case agents in the trenches would have had more information on who these Pakistani people on U.S. soil were," said Stoltz, who is now retired. "It would have steered us in other directions, and possibly justified continuing the investigation. . . . We couldn't understand why this wasn't treated as a national security matter."

An FBI official said the case "was handled appropriately," but acknowledged that some FBI agents believed that officials in FBI headquarters "could have been more aggressive."

After the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the FBI and the ATF decided to take another look at the Pakistani figures who tried to acquire the weapons, in the hope of making additional arrests and learning more about their possible links to terror.

The story began with Glass, a former jeweler in Boca Raton, Fla., who had been arrested at least 10 times since his teenage years, mostly for small thefts and frauds. His only stretch in jail was one year in the 1980s, for misdemeanor possession of cocaine.

In 1996, after his fourth wife turned state's evidence, Glass was indicted in Florida on federal charges of cheating jewelry wholesalers from Antwerp to Toronto out of $6 million.

It seemed a good time to shift gears, and in the fall of 1998 he called federal agents and asked whether they were interested in listening in as he chatted up an old friend who had spoken to him of an arms deal. The agents were interested, and on their instructions Glass called his friend, diamond broker Diaa Mohsen, to say he had a lucrative business proposition.

Mohsen, a member of Egypt's national soccer team in the 1960s and a U.S. citizen for 30 years, flew to Fort Lauderdale the next day. Wired for sound by agents, Glass listened as Mohsen said he knew people eager to buy U.S. weapons, including officials of a government and "terrorists" who would pay in heroin.

"They use rocket grenades," Mohsen said. "They have like 120-millimeter howitzer."

In the hope that Mohsen could lead them to big-time arms dealers, ATF officials arranged for Stoltz to join the team, posing as rogue arms trader "Ray Spears." The agency set him up in a Florida warehouse crammed with supposedly stolen U.S. weapons.

Soon Mohsen was bringing them his contacts. An Egyptian father-son team wanted to buy mortars and Stinger missiles -- the kind used to shoot down aircraft -- for the Congolese military and later for rebels in the breakaway Russian province of Chechnya. Both deals died.

Agents were amazed at the ease with which they reeled in brokers seeking Stingers, famed for helping Afghan guerrillas defeat the Soviet army in the 1980s. "All we had to do was say 'Stinger,' and they came running," Stoltz said.

Their other secret weapon was Glass, agents said. While at first Glass wanted simply to reduce a potentially lengthy sentence, he threw himself into the case out of patriotic motives, they said.

"Randy went way beyond what was required to get a sentence reduction," Stoltz said. "Most undercover operations take place in a hotel room or a bar, but I drove these [arms dealer] subjects to his home in a gated community, with two maids and yapping dogs and kids. It gave them a level of comfort," Stoltz added.

As it progressed, the sting snared a New York investment banker, Kevin Ingram, who ultimately pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder $350,000 that Glass told him was the proceeds of other arms deals.

Mohsen, meanwhile, introduced the undercover agents to a friend, Mohammed "Mike" Malik, a Jersey City deli owner originally from Pakistan. Mohsen said Malik, in turn, could connect them to the ultimate buyers, who Mohsen identified as "the intelligence of Pakistan" and as people close to Afghanistan's Taliban regime and al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden.

Malik met many times with Stoltz over the next two years, saying that his clients in Pakistan wanted to buy hundreds of Stingers, TOW antitank missiles, many varieties of rockets and artillery, night-vision goggles and even "heavy water," which can be used to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons.

Pakistanis who said they represented the buyers in Islamabad flew to Florida several times to negotiate with Stoltz. At various points, Malik and these middlemen said that they represented Pakistan's spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). The ISI, they said, was seeking weapons for the Pakistani military and for terrorist groups Islamabad has sponsored in the disputed Kashmir region along the Indian border.

U.S. officials say that at least before Sept. 11, elements of ISI and Pakistan's military worked closely with bin Laden, the Taliban and Kashmiri terrorists.

At one point, one of Malik's middlemen arranged for Stoltz to speak by telephone with a man in Pakistan who he described as a top Pakistani military procurement officer. U.S. officials say they are convinced the man holds that job.

Stoltz said in an interview that U.S. investigators concluded Malik and the middleman were "associates of Middle Eastern terrorists," and had "associations with militants and arms trafficking groups."

In a closed hearing in May 2000, Assistant U.S. Attorney Neil Karadbil told a Florida judge reviewing Glass's case that Glass was helping uncover "an actual deal" involving Pakistani officials, and that "the individuals that Mr. Glass has dealt with are essentially terrorists."

In January 2001 Malik and the middlemen began arranging for $32 million to be sent to Florida from a bank in Dubai for a series of arms deals, arrangements U.S. agents confirmed by electronic eavesdropping. The weapons' destination "was going to be for Kashmir, or in defense of the Taliban," one U.S. official said.

The buyers insisted on using convoluted fund transfer methods that they hoped would allow them to secure the return of the money if the deal soured. Weeks of delay resulted -- and eventually, the frustrated Pakistanis went home.

Suspecting the deal was dead, agents arrested Mohsen and Malik in June 2001 on charges of trying to export weapons without a license. But the Pakistani figures had left the country and were not arrested.

Mohsen pleaded guilty to trying to export Stinger missiles and night-vision goggles without a license, and is serving a 30-month sentence. But Malik remains free, and the resolution of his case is unclear because documents have been sealed.

Mohsen is cooperating with U.S. officials in a continuing investigation of the Pakistani connection, said Rodriguez, his attorney.

Glass, meanwhile, pleaded guilty to two counts in connection with his jewelry fraud case, and served seven months.

"I was a scoundrel for a long time," he said, "but I got a chance to use my talents for my country."
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