Skip to content
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Strategic Alliances for a Secure, Connected, and Prosperous Region

Iranian Terror and Argentinian Justice: The Case of Alberto Nisman, the Prosecutor Who Knew Too Much

Filed under: Antisemitism, Iran, Iranian Terrorism, Terrorism, World Jewry
Publication: Jewish Political Studies Review

Jewish Political Studies Review
Volume 27, Numbers 3–4

Introduction and Personal Statement

On Monday, January 19, 2015, my close friend, Prosecutor Alberto Nisman planned to address the Congress of Argentina and present a detailed explanation of the seismic accusations against President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and seven others. Five days before, Nisman had filed charges. His report of January 14, 2015 accused the following persons:

  • President Cristina Kirchner who sold the justice system of Argentina to the Islamic Republic of Iran;

  • Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman who pressed for the infamous Memorandum of Understanding between Argentina and Iran, signed on January 27, 2013, despite his knowledge of Iran’s responsibility for the bombing of the AMIA (Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina, the headquarters of the Jewish Community of Argentina) on July 18, 1994, in Buenos Aires.

  • Former Vice-Secretary of Housing and gang leader, Luis D’Elía, who served as go-between in the negotiations between President Kirchner and Iran and was protected because he no longer held a government position;

  • Deputy Andrés Larroque who served as the direct link between D’Elía and President Cristina Kirchner;

  • Intelligence agent Ramón Allan Bogado;

  • Fernando Esteche, ringleader of the violent Quebracho gang, who had served time in prison as punishment for a vicious assault on Jews who demonstrated against Iran (Esteche acted as the intermediary between Argentine intelligence agents and Iran.);

  • Islamist leader Jorge “Yussuf” Khalil, unofficial representative of the Iranian government in Argentina, who delivered information to the mastermind of the AMIA terror attack, Mohsen Rabbani, the Iranian cultural attaché in Buenos Aires at the time.

    Both D’Elia and Khalil are virulent Jew-haters who were close to power in their respective countries but held no official positions; and

  • Former Judge Héctor Yrimia, who had inside knowledge of the AMIA bombing trial because he worked on the case, and thus, provided legal counsel to those who rewrote the official version of events. Blaming the AMIA bombing on Israel had been considered, although there is recording of telephone conversation stating that “the people won’t believe it.”

The author of this article took part in a television debate against Esteche in 2006 where the latter argued that “the moment in which Nisman’s lies will be set aside, we will know what happened with AMIA and people like him [Perednik] won’t talk anymore.” At the time, I assumed that it was bravado on his part. With the hindsight of a decade, however, I have come to realize that Esteche meant that with the writing of a new, fabricated narrative of the AMIA bombing, demands for justice would cease. Accordingly, when the first stages of the secret agreement between Argentina and Iran were fulfilled, this false version of events would inform the public that Iran was completely innocent of the terror attack. Therefore, the claims of Alberto Nisman would be regarded as misleading and probably deemed as “the work of an agent serving foreign interests.” As a result, there would be a proliferation of conspiracy theories and everyone would be able express himself (or herself) freely about the events.

For more than a year, Nisman had been investigating Kirchner and the others. During that time, it had become clear that they had colluded with the Iranian government in obstructing the investigation. The aim of their conspiracy was to absolve the Iranians of their role in one of the worst terror attacks perpetrated in Argentina: the explosion and destruction of the Israel Embassy in Buenos Aires on March 17, 1992, and the bombing of the AMIA on July 18, 1994. These attacks left more than a hundred dead and hundreds of wounded and maimed. On January 18, 2015, the day before Alberto Nisman’s scheduled appearance before Congress, his mother found him shot dead in his apartment. There was a bullet in his head and a gun under his left shoulder.

Dressed in white, President Cristina Kirchner immediately appeared on television and proclaimed his death a suicide. To date, she has neither offered condolences nor displayed any gesture of sympathy to Nisman’s family. Since that day nearly two years ago, the case of Nisman has been a subject in the news media in Argentina. In addition, the impact of his death placed Argentina under the scrutiny of international media outlets.

The Nisman affair is perhaps the most important issue of contemporary Argentinian history. My own experience reflects of the intensive international interest in the subject. My book, Matar sin que se note (2009); To Kill without a Trace (2014), has been the subject of great interest to the news media including The New Yorker, CNN, 60 Minutes and leading European journals. Their interest lies not only in the identity of the murderer(s), but also in Nisman’s unique contribution to the international legal struggle against Islamic terror. About a month before his death, Nisman and I met at a café in Buenos Aires where he told me: “They [President Kirchner and her loyal Foreign Minister Timerman] will either go to jail or flee the country.” It is not clear if his prediction will prove true.

The Nisman affair consists of at least six components: proof of the role of the Iranian government in the 1994 AMIA bombing, according to Nisman’s report of 2006; the decade-long cover-up of the role of the Iranians in this major terror attack; proof of the leading role of Iran in international terrorism, according to Nisman’s report of 2013; the secret collusion between the governments of Argentina and Iran, established by Nisman’s report of January 14, 2015;  the assassination of Alberto Nisman on January 18, 2015; and the deliberate, criminal mishandling of the investigation of his death. 

Nisman’s Rise from a Provincial Civil Servant to Outstanding Fighter for Justice

The fateful story of Alberto Nisman began almost by chance at a wedding celebration, on Saturday, April 28, 1997, in the picturesque San Telmo neighborhood in Buenos Aires. At this gathering, the unknown 33-year-old prosecutor was asked by Eamon Mullen, one of the two prosecutors of the AMIA bombing case to join their team. (The other was José Barbaccia.) They were preparing the case for the courtroom trial against fifteen Argentinian police officers accused of perpetrating the AMIA bombing in July 1994. Nisman had far more experience in the courtroom as a public prosecutor than either of his colleagues. Therefore, they asked him to do most of the work. His success changed his life and regrettably hastened its end.

The trial began on September 24, 2001, shortly after the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11. In fact, the terror attack in Buenos Aires was regarded as a precursor to 9/11. During his examination of each witness in court, Nisman gradually became aware of the stark contradictions in their statements and concluded that the accusations against the policeman were a frame-up. He quickly grasped that the entire courtroom trial was part of a deliberate cover-up. Three years into this widely publicized trial, Nisman withdrew the accusations against the police officers, which disappointed the families of the victims, and decided that he would begin from scratch and devote himself to uncovering the truth.

Nisman embarked upon a decade of thorough investigation, serving as head of the ad hoc Prosecuting Unit for Investigation (UFI) [Unidad Fiscal de Investigación del Caso AMIA] established at the end of 2004. Its purpose was to analyze some 113,000 pages in more than 500 dossiers, 400 ancillary files and 1,700 intelligence documents. Despite the continuous arguments of those who belittled their efforts, a professional interdisciplinary team of 40 experts, headed by Nisman, pressed on. Nisman’s obsessive goal was to uncover the facts, even if they defied the conventional wisdom. He called his method the “tyranny of evidence.” On March 4, 2005, nearly eleven years after the Iranian terror attack, the Argentine government admitted to the cover-up.

Nisman demonstrated in court that the Islamic Republic of Iran, not police officers or random Iranians, sponsored and planned the attack. The UFI exposed Iran in international forums and was recognized by Interpol, which issued “red alerts” against eight terrorists (seven Iranians and one Lebanese) in November 2006, thereby obligating police forces all over the world to detain these suspects if they traveled outside Iran.

Seven years later, in 2013, Nisman proved that the Islamic Republic of Iran headed a terror network with dormant cells in several countries. On May 29, 2013, he revealed that convicted terrorist Abdul Khadir, who attempted to blow up John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, operated under the command of Mohsen Rabbani, the mastermind of the AMIA bombing. This disclosure confirmed that Iran was a major global terrorist power. Indeed, Nisman had become its foremost enemy in the arena of law.

After he learned that the administration of President Cristina Kirchner intended to discredit his work in order to appease Iran, his investigation entered its third and final phase.  Nisman collected hundreds of taped telephone calls, and on January 14, 2015, revealed more of the “tyranny of evidence,” namely two treaties between Argentina and Iran: a secret one signed in Aleppo, Syria, on January 24, 2011, and a public Memorandum of Understanding signed in Ethiopia, on January 27, 2013. The secret agreement set in motion a devious plan of three stages, as follows: completely exonerating Iran for the terror attack in exchange for money and goods; discrediting Alberto Nisman’s investigation and arousing suspicions about his motivations and connections; and fabricating a new narrative of what had “really” happened at AMIA on that lethal morning in July 1994.

To understand the background of the AMIA bombing we must go back to 1989, when Carlos Menem was elected president. A right-wing Peronist, he sought to align Argentina with the United States, leave the Non-Aligned Movement and stop defining Argentina as a ‘third world’ country.  His overtures to the West were successful. As part of his pro-American policy, Menem sent two ships to the Gulf to join the blockade against Saddam Hussein in 1991 and suspended the nuclear technology agreements with Iran. Argentina had participated in Iran’s nuclear projects during the reign of the Shah. In fact, in 1975, Argentinians made up half of the foreign staff at the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, and the director of Argentina’s nuclear program for some fifteen years, Admiral Oscar Quihillalt, served as a major consultant to Iran. This continued after Ayatollah Khomeini ousted the Shah in 1979. Until 1993, Argentina remained one of Iran’s main arms suppliers.

In 1992, Menem suspended a contract for the supply of heavy water which was necessary for Iran’s nuclear program. The halt of a shipment angered the Iranian government which demanded 85 million dollars in compensation, which it never received. As a consequence, Iran expressed its dissatisfaction by bombing the Israel embassy in Buenos Aires on March 17, 1992. Menem retaliated by canceling all agreements with Iran. Subsequently, in 1993, Iran decided to bomb the building where AMIA was located. This plan was approved at a special meeting in the Iranian city of Mashhad, and, on July 18, 1994, the attack took place in Buenos Aires. While the clerics in Mashhad were setting the attack in motion, Alberto Nisman did not have any special interest in terrorism or Iran. Similarly, the Iranian government could not have imagined that a determined team of investigators and a stubborn “infidel” prosecutor would work tirelessly to expose those who were responsible for the attack.

Ali Fallahijan was delegated to take care of the details, and two weeks after the meeting in Mashhad, he met with those in charge of financing Hezbollah and planning international terrorist attacks. Hezbollah’s chief of foreign affairs, the late Imad Mugniyah, was asked to coordinate the operational phase. Simultaneously, Fallahijan requested that his comrade Rabbani take care of the logistics in Argentina.  Five days after the attack, the judge in charge of the investigation, Juan Galeano, flew to Caracas, where the secret service provided him with substantial information, provided by an Iranian defector, regarding the involvement of the Iranian government and the perpetrators of the attack. Argentina’s ambassador in Tehran, Mario Quadri Castillo, was summoned by Iranian officials who angrily protested against any kind of investigation.

At his next cabinet meeting, President Menem announced that Argentina would break relations with Iran. Foreign Minister Guido di Tella objected, stating that such a drastic measure would upset the Iranians even more and encourage further terrorism in Argentina. Local media frequently referred to this fear euphemistically as “the third terror attack.” Economy Minister Domingo Cavallo also objected to the continuing alienation of Iran, which had replaced the former Soviet Union as the leading purchaser of wheat from Argentina. Briefly, it was considered prudent to avoid any further provocation and to allow the door to remain open for negotiations with Iran. Furthermore, there was a rumor that Menem had been paid ten million dollars in order not to blame Iran. Although he denied this accusation categorically, he was unable to explain the Swiss bank account with that amount of money opened by his wife and daughter.  Within a matter of days, both the president and the judge changed their positions completely. In order to avoid a confrontation with Iran, they now had to invent new culprits and bribe witnesses.

The False Accusation of Suicide

Despite the summer holidays, Argentinians were profoundly shocked by Nisman’s sudden death and by President Kirchner’s immediate and unconvincing announcement of a suicide. President Kirchner quickly changed her version of the events to “induced suicide,” and ultimately, to murder. She blamed the secret agents whom she had recently fired and accused them of trying to embarrass her. In her own view, she was the real victim. Moreover, the declarations of Nisman’s computer technician, Diego Lagomarsino, officially the last person who saw him alive, were suspect. According to Lagomarsino, Nisman had requested a gun in order to protect his daughters. Nisman, however, owned a gun, and his daughters were in Europe at the time. Therefore, there was no reason for him to approach his computer technician with such a request. In any case, there was incontrovertible proof that the Bersa pistol that killed Nisman belonged to Lagomarsino.

The night of the murder brought chaos to Nisman’s apartment. During the eleven hours preceding his death, his ten bodyguards disappeared under mysterious circumstances. The prosecutor in charge of the investigation, Viviana Fein, allowed some 60 people to visit the crime scene in order “to search” the apartment. They effectively obliterated all the evidence. Thus, for a year, Fein could maintain that Alberto Nisman’s death was a suicide. In addition, the hasty autopsy, the lack of the customary coroner’s report, cytological analysis and psychological examination as to possible motives for suicide cast further doubts about the initial conclusion. Fein’s team even dismissed the report that showed that Nisman’s laptop and cell phone were in use after his death.  After experts demonstrated that a Bersa pistol leaves traces of gunpowder on the shooter’s fingers, Fein revealed her true colors and declared that “unfortunately [lamentablemente] we did not find any gunpowder on Nisman’s hands.” Finally, the official medical team that first examined the corpse affirmed that its position did not resemble the police department’s photographs. Moreover, Nisman was right-handed and the gun was under the left shoulder.

The executive branch of the government embarked upon a vast conspiracy of silence.  Minister of Security Sergio Berni spent all night at Nisman’s apartment, despite the fact that his presence at the crime scene was illegal. In fact, Nisman’s mother overheard Berni’s phone call to Kirchner, in which he said:  “Relax, Madam President. It is a suicide.” Such a statement was characteristic of the corruption that was part of Kirchnerismo, a tendency within Peronism, the populist movement that shaped Argentinian politics from the end of World War II. In 2015, the year of Nisman’s assassination, the Kirchners (Nestor and his wife, Cristina) had been in power for twelve years, and many government officials, including the president, face charges of corruption. An example is Eugenio Zaffaroni, a member of the Supreme Court, despite the fact that he owned a network of brothels. Surprisingly, he is still a member of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. In February 2016, Zaffaroni declared that he “would have hanged Nisman.”

The other partner in this conspiracy of silence was the judiciary. During their final years in office, the Kirchners selected a group of judges and prosecutors who called themselves “Legitimate Justice.” They strived to subordinate the judiciary to the president, thereby covering up corruption, and were particularly active after the death of Nisman. Their leader is the current Prosecutor-General, Alejandra Gils Carbó. A few hours after Nisman’s body was found, Judge Daniel Rafecas, a Kirchner supporter, ruled that Nisman’s report should not be investigated. His conclusion was based upon technicalities such as the fact that the agreement with Iran had not been ratified, and therefore, no crime had been committed. Rafecas gave the order to discard all of Nisman’s evidence, including thousands of hours of taped phone calls. Furthermore, the prosecutor in charge, Javier De Luca, accepted Rafecas’s swift ruling and decided to close the case. Several scholarly articles appeared, refuting the arguments of these corrupt judges. The most important study is that by Leopoldo Schiffrin, “About the Attempt at the Crime of Concealment,” published in Spanish in the journal of legal affairs, La Ley, in September 2015. Schiffrin dedicated his article to Alberto Nisman.

There were also posthumous efforts to defame Nisman as an immoral womanizer who abused his powerful position. Immediately after the murder, pictures of Nisman escorted by young women appeared on posters throughout Buenos Aires. These photographs were stolen from his cell phone, which the police had taken for safekeeping. Despite the atmosphere of suspicion and malice, one month after the assassination, some 400,000 people demonstrated in Buenos Aires in pouring rain to honor the memory of the murdered prosecutor and demand justice from a government whose criminal responsibility was obvious. Confident that they could get away with murder owing to their popularity up to this time, the Kirchner government and its entourage of officials arrogantly dismissed this public outcry. In fact, a landslide victory was predicted for Kirchner’s chosen candidate in the forthcoming elections of October 2015.

However, the tide turned unexpectedly. Partially as a consequence of the government’s handling of the Nisman case, Kirchner’s candidate for president was defeated. Arguably, Nisman’s incriminating report and subsequent murder were the major factors in the unforeseen replacement of the Peronist regime.

The current Conservative President Mauricio Macri revived the public’s hope and trust in the rule of law. From the outset, he announced that the agreement between Argentina and Iran signed in January 2013 was no longer valid and that he intended to direct his efforts toward solving the Nisman case. Despite his efforts, Macri could not remove Kirchner loyalist, Prosecutor-General Gils Carbó from office.

The Collusion of the Government of Argentina With the Iranian Perpetrators

My first book about Alberto Nisman, To Kill without a Trace (Buenos Aires: Planeta, 2009) ends with our trip together to Israel in December 2007. It was his first visit to the country and he enjoyed a hero’s welcome. He gave many interviews, addressed the Knesset and other important forums and he held meetings with government officials, judges and other dignitaries. His trip to Israel strengthened his Jewish identity. After this visit, he used a picture of the Western Wall as the screen saver on his computer.

On December 25, 2007, Nisman delivered a lecture at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. When asked whether he was afraid, Nisman replied that, despite the death threats, he enjoyed the protection of the state of Argentina.1 Alas, eight years later it was this state that facilitated his murder. During the later stages of his investigation, he thought that his life was in danger. Three days before his death, Nisman admitted as much on television. In fact, he was not aware that he was vulnerable, as the security devices around his home had been deactivated. The murderers entered the building and made their way into his apartment after someone opened the doors from inside. Nisman could never have imagined that he would be killed at home.

The plot to cover up Iran’s responsibility for the AMIA bombing began on Saturday, January 13, 2007, when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called on his Venezuelan counterpart, Hugo Chávez, at the Miraflores Presidential Palace in Caracas. The two leaders claimed to be the vanguard of an anti-imperialistic war against the United States and regarded each other as close allies. In May 2001, Chávez began his many trips to Tehran where he declared that the cooperation of his country with the Islamist theocracy would “prepare the way for peace, justice, stability and progress for the Twenty-first Century.” Chávez called President Mohamed Khatami “a tireless fighter for all the just causes of the world.” Chávez not only became a submissive partner of the Iranians but also drew other countries such as Argentina, Bolivia and Nicaragua into the Iranian orbit. Argentina was the strongest country of that group, but the unforeseen electoral defeat of the Kirchners brought an end to this partnership.

In 2015, twelve defectors from Venezuela who had been granted political asylum in the US disclosed the contents of the 2007 meeting at the palace in Caracas. On March 19, 2015, the contents were published in the major Brazilian weekly Veja which has over a million subscribers. Leonardo Coutinho interviewed three of the defectors. Each one gave the same information.  Apparently, during his secret meeting with Chávez, Ahmadinejad expressed his concern with the imminent Interpol convention in France, where the Argentinian representative (Nisman) planned to restate his demand that Interpol monitor the Iranians. Ahmadinejad probably offered Chávez a substantial sum of money, as Venezuela purchased (with Iranian money) six billion dollars of the Argentinian debt with by the end of 2008.

While President Néstor Kirchner favored a thaw with Tehran, he was not prepared to surrender the justice system of his country to Iran. He expected the AMIA investigation to continue without interruption. His wife Cristina, however, was more inclined to make a compromise and when she was elected president before the end of 2007, rapprochement with Iran became a real possibility. Nevertheless, as head of the Peronist ruling party, Néstor wielded considerable influence and he rejected any blatant interference with the judiciary for the purpose of absolving the Iranians of the AMIA bombing. His objections prevented Cristina Kirchner from expediting reconciliation with Iran. In October 2010, Néstor’s sudden death enabled his widow to make a deal that would solve Argentina’s energy crisis by receiving cheaper oil in payment for wheat, along with plenty of cash. Thus, Chávez could again encourage Iranian penetration. During his visit to Argentina for Nestor’s funeral, he spent several days with Cristina Kirchner. Evidently, he finally persuaded her to accept the benefits for both of their countries of making an agreement with Iran. Three months later, Foreign Minister Timerman signed the secret agreement in Aleppo. Further impetus for this subterfuge derived from the policy of the Obama administration that maintained that Iran was no longer an enemy and from the fact that the Iranian government would pour endless resources into Argentina. 

Cristina Kirchner and Timerman were not averse to contacting Mohsen Rabbani, the mastermind of the AMIA terror attack. Moreover, they assured Iran that the withdrawal of Interpol red alerts against Iranian terrorists would follow the signing of an open agreement.2 The plan was to set up a fictitious “Commission of Truth” with judges from both Iran and Argentina. They would carry out the terms of the 2013 Memorandum. The Commission was given the task of shedding light upon the terror attack and its motives, despite the fact that the secret treaty of 2011 had designated a different role for the “Commission of Truth.” It had nothing to do with exposing the facts. Its purpose was to bury the case by spreading false information and fomenting confusion. In order to avoid the demand for justice, it was necessary to discredit the AMIA bombing investigation by slandering it as “paralyzed.”  The legal opinion of Alberto Nisman of January 14, 2015 provides extensively the details of this project and discloses the real purpose of the Commission.

The Memorandum of Understanding between Argentina and Iran was signed in Ethiopia on January 27, 2013. Since the Government of Argentina failed to stop the Interpol warrants for arrest, the Iranians became angry and, therefore, did not submit the Memorandum to their parliament for ratification. As we noted above, the purpose and specifics of the 2013 agreement between Argentina and Iran had been decided two years before in a secret meeting between Foreign Ministers Timerman and Salehi. During a state visit to Kuwait, Qatar and Turkey with a delegation led by President Kirchner, Timerman departed for Syria. He met with his Syrian counterpart Walid Muallem and with President Bashar al-Assad who served as a go-between with the Iranians. The latter were reassured that Argentina would not seek justice for the AMIA bombing.

The well-known journalist José (Pepe) Eliaschev was the first to expose these proceedings in an article3 published in Perfil on March 26, 2011, in which he stated that “the government negotiated a secret treaty with Iran in order to ‘forget’ the terror attacks in exchange of launching again the commercial relations that are already up to $1,200,000,000.”  Eliaschev’s report was based on a secret document which Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi had sent to President Ahmadinejad where he stated that “Argentina is no longer interested in solving the two terror attacks.” This document, leaked by Iranian dissidents, circulated within the foreign ministries of several countries. Timerman kept his meeting with Salehi secret. Unfortunately for Timerman, however, it was reported by SANA, the official Syrian news agency. To add insult to injury, Timerman had pledged to the families of the AMIA bombing victims that he would always keep them informed about every new development. 

Bashar al-Assad had been warmly welcomed in Buenos Aires in July 2010. Perhaps, during this visit, Assad detected the Argentinian government’s desire for a thaw with Iran. Several months later, he informed the Argentinian government that Timerman’s trip to the region would coincide with the visit of the Iranian foreign minister. Timerman took the bait and agreed to meet the Iranians. After the 2013 Memorandum, Salehi declared that “…we have been meeting with Timerman during these two years.” Obviously, he was referring to the meeting in Aleppo in 2011. Salehi’s admission refuted Timerman’s claim that he had not met with the Iranians. In his report to Ahmadinejad, Salehi requested permission to negotiate with Argentina for the immunity of former Minister of Defense Ahmad Vahidi who had been involved in the terror attacks against the Israel embassy in 1992 and against the AMIA building in 1994.  Slowly but surely, the mediation of Hugo Chávez bore fruit, along with his vision that Argentina must join forces with Cuba, Syria and Iran in order to “confront imperialism.” Thus, a country that was a victim of acts of terror decided to appease the perpetrators by signing an agreement that would whitewash their crimes. Indeed, Nisman’s indictment of January 14, 2015 exposes one of the worst cases of state-sponsored fraud ever. The country’s justice system was betrayed, along with the memory of the victims of the terror attacks. 

As we have noted, in the course of several months, Sergio Berni and Viviana Fein did everything possible to interfere with the scene of the crime and obliterate all the evidence. By mid-December 2015, Fein was dismissed, and, at the end of November 2016, she and Berni were incriminated for mishandling the investigation. A month later, a more dramatic development took place when the court removed Judge Daniel Rafecas and his team of prosecutors from the case.  Nisman’s accusations were vindicated and a thorough investigation would be conducted.

At present, there is a struggle between two groups of the judiciary in Argentina: those intent upon pursuing a thorough investigation, as had Nisman, and others, striving hard to obstruct the path of real justice and the disclosure of truth in the name of “progress” and “justice.” Among the former are prosecutors German Moldes and Ricardo Saenz, while the latter are led by Attorney-General Alejandra Gils Carbó. Almost every day, the struggle between the two groups is in the news. Occasionally, there are reports of progress toward solving the case, thereby unmasking the criminal plot which Nisman exposed. Sometimes, the obstructionists, in their efforts to save the former president from a jail sentence, seem to have the initiative. It is not clear which side will ultimately prevail. But the investigation continues, and new facts are disclosed every day.

Alberto Nisman was a genuine hero and a brilliant idealist who believed that forces of law can defeat terrorism. Against great odds he dedicated his life to proving this proposition. His work was based on the hard truth of data which he uncovered through meticulous professional investigation. Unfortunately, Alberto Nisman underestimated the determination of his adversaries. His opponents may vilify him and question the “conspiratorial and paranoid” services he supposedly rendered to the “global Zionist empire.” His detractors, however, cannot deny the truth that emerges from his 289 incriminating pages. In hindsight, one chilling incident haunts me. When I finished writing To Kill without a Trace, I showed Alberto my list of five possible titles for the book. He smiled, pointed to the third item, and remarked: “This sounds catchy.”   The title read: The Assassination of Alberto Nisman.

* * *


1 At the author’s lecture at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs on January 18, 2016, a year after Nisman’s death, the video of Nisman’s ominous answer to question was projected. This lecture probably was the only memorial of Alberto Nisman outside Argentina.

2 The statement by former secretary-general of Interpol, Robert Noble, that Argentina never officially requested the cancellation, makes no difference, since there were other ways of attaining the desired result without an official request.

3 The article is entitled: “Argentina negocia con Irán dejar de lado la investigación de los atentados” (“Argentina is negotiating with Iran to leave aside the investigation on the terror attacks”).