Iranian-born Bijan Kian/Rafiekian, Vice-Chairman, Director, Secretary and Treasurer of Flynn Intel Group, Trump Transition Team, former director of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, Brought Michael Flynn into his GreenZone Systems, Inc.as a Board Member in 2014 and James Woolsey to sell their GZS secure chips as part of a 2015 Saudi Arabian, Egyptian and Israeli consortium to build several dozen nuclear power reactors.
Kamil Ekim Alptekin: Turkish-Dutch living in Istanbul, Turkey, close to Erdogan. Owns Dutch Inovo BV, in Ratio Oil Exploration (Israeli Leviathan gas field & Eastern Mediterranean Pipeline (Papadopoulos lobbied for), Chairman of the Turkey-U.S. Business Council (TAİK), nine-month fellowship to work as a staffer on the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs and for Representative Tom Lantos.[1
Indictment of Bijan Kian/Rafiekian and Kamil Ekim Alptekin December 17, 2018 Conspiracy, False Statements and FARA filing 18 U.S.C. § 371, Acting in US as Agent of Foreign Government 18 U.S.C. § 951, Fasle Statements 18 U.S.C. § 1001. Person A=Michael Flynn, Company A=Flynn Intel Group Inc., 44 Canal Center Plaza, Alexandria, VA, 22314 Company B=Inovo BV, Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, and Turkish energy minister/Erdogan’s son-in-law, Berat Albayrak Bijan Kian pleaded not guilty.
A failed coup against Erdogan on July 15, 2016, was blamed on the Western and educated-friendly Sunni Islam global initiative of schools and charitable organizations called Hizmet, led by Fethullah Gulen, an imam living in the Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania. 290 people killed, 1,400+ injured, 6,000 arrested. Since then, more than 113,000 people have been fired, suspended, or detained. Erdogan called it a “gift from God” to be able to identify his enemies. That same night, Michael Flynn supported the coup onstage at Act! Cleveland. This began the Gulen Purges from 2016-2017
January 29, 2016, The Turkish Court issued an Arrest Warrant for Gulen
July 26, 2016 Rafiekian replied to an email from Alptekin saying that he had a “detailed discussion” with Flynn the previous night. Rafiekian inform Alptekin that “We are ready to engage on what needs to be done.” Mueller’s indictment pg 3
July 29, 2016 Alptekin emailed Rafiekian, saying that he had met with a Turkish government minister (TM #1) and that, “he is interested in exploring this seriously and it is likely he’ll want to meet with you and Flynn..He asked me to formulate what kind of output we can generate on the short and mid-term as well as an indicative budget…keep this confidential.” Mueller’s indictment pg 3
July 30, 2016 Rafiekian sent Alptekin an email with the subject line “Truth,” copying Flynn, saying that he and Flynn had discussed a ninety-day “Truth Campaign” and listing nine bullet points, which he referred to as “Has Zero,” that he claimed were essential to the project” Mueller’s indictment pg 4
August 2, 2016, Rafiekian emailed Alptekin, saying, “Waiting to hear from you. You, Flynn and I are the only cleared entities on this at this time.” Mueller’s indictment pg 4
August 4, 2016, Flynn sent an email with the subject “Truth” to Rafiekian and Alptekin in response to an email from Alptekin saying, “I’ll get with [Rafiekian} today on your question regarding [the then US Secretary of State]’s staff.” Mueller’s indictment pg 4 Rafiekian sent an email with the subject “Truth” to Alptekin and Flynn stressing the need to begin work on the Truth Campaign. Referring to Iran’s Ayatolla Hkomeini, Rafiekian said: “…Well, the world neglected to take the layers off the ink blot in 1978. One year later, from the place under the apple tree, The soft spken spiritual man led the Islamic Revolution in Iran.”Mueller’s indictment pg 4
August 8, 2016, Alptekin sent an email with the subject “Truth” to Rafiekian and Flynn, saying “I had a long meeting with [Turkish government minister (“TM #2)] upon the referral of [TM #1]. I explained what we can offer. He agreed to discuss in general lines at the council of ministers today and subsequently with [a senior Turkish leader (“STL #2)] in more detail.”
August 9, 2016: Erdogan met with Putin
August 10, 2016: Alptekin sent an email with the subject “Truth” to Rafiekian and Flynn, saying, “I met with TM #1 and explained our proposed approach. He is receptive and indicated he would like to meet with us during his upcoming visit to DC…I will inform you and we can strategize how best to approach the meeting.” Alptekin again inquired about the then US Secretary of State, asking, “Do we know anyone on his team?” Alptekin sent an email with the subject “Truth” to Rafiekian and Flynn, saying “I just finished in Ankara after several meetings today with TM #2 and TM #1. I have a green light to discuss confidentiality, budget and the scope of the contract.” Mueller’s indictment pg 5
August 11, 2016: Renamed “Project Confidence” Rafiekian emailed Alptekin saying that Rafiekian and Flynn had discussed the “campaign design” and “resource allocation.” Rafiekian reassured Alptekin, “I did not touch the advisory support we discussed at 20%. Concurrently, for the first time, the source of funding was changed from the Government of Turkey to a company in the Netherlands that was wholly owned and controlled by Alptekin. This was the first mention of a company owned by Alptekin in connection with the project and the first time that Rafiekian made others at Flynn Intel Group aware of the project.” Mueller’s indictment pg 6
August 24, 2016: Turkey launched air strikes on Kurdish positions in Northern Syria BBC
August 24, 2016, Rafiekian emailed Alptekin, copying Flynn, thanking Alptekin for his decision to engage Flynn Intel Group on “Operation Confidence,” and noting that Alptekin would receive 20% of the money Flynn Intel Group received for the project. Mueller’s indictment pg 7
August 25, 2016, Alptekin told Rafiekian via Skype, “We are confirmed to go.” Alptekin also told Rafiekian, “I think im [sic] meeting [TM #1]’s boss…not direct boss but u know who.” Mueller’s indictment pg 7
September 1, 2016, Alptekin told Rafiekina via Skype, “We are also scheduling [sic] a meet with Flynn and [TM #1] and perhaps even [STL #1] in the third week of NY.” Mueller’s indictment pg 7
September 3, 2016, Rafiekian sent Alptekin an email enclosing a contract between Inovo BV and Flynn Intel Group. In the email, Rafiekian said, “We have been at work on this engagement since July 31st:-that is, when it was still called the “Truth” campaign-“However, we decided to set the start date as August 15, 2016”-after Rafiekian and ALptekin had changed the name to “Operation Confidence” and substituted Alptekin’s company, Inovo BV, for the Government of Turkey as the source of the funding for the project.
September 5, 2016, Rafiekian sent Flynn a draft “Playbook” for the project. The playbook referred to Gulen as “X” and referred to Turkey as “Country X.” It also noted that a public registration fo the project would claim that a Dutch entity was the client. The playbook explained that the project would compare Gulen to Khomeini.” Mueller’s indictment pg 7
September 6, 2016 Refiekian emailed Flynn, saying, “Client is seeking a high level meeting in NYC on September 19th or 20th.”
September 9, 2016 Rafiekian emailed Flynn, saying, “the meeting is with high level audience (Cabinet+ level) related to ‘Confidence'” Alptekin wired $200,000 to Flynn Intel Group.
September 12, 2016, Rafiekian emailed an employee of Flynn Intel Group, Sayinginthat FIG needed to wire $40,000 back to Alptekin. Rafiekian claimed that Alptekin was FIG’s “outside advisor on the Confidence Project.” Mueller’s indictment pg 7
September 13, 2016, Rafiekian wired $40,000 from Flynn Intel Group’s US Bank account to Inovo BV’s account in the Netherlands. Mueller’s indictment pg 7
September 15, 2016 Alptekin sent Rafiekian a Skype message saying, “TM #1}’s guy in Turkey who is read into project confidence advised me to include an oped that Flynn Intel Group would get published under my name.” Mueller indictment pg 11
September 18, 2016 Rafiekian sent Alptekin a document entitled “Background and Talking Points,”-20-all of which concerned Gulen, FETO, and Harmony US charter schools
September 19, 2016 “In March 2017, former CIA Director James Woolsey told the Wall Street Journal that he had been at a September 19, 2016 meeting with then Trump campaign advisor Mike Flynn with Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, and energy minister, Berat Albayrak, where the possibility of Gulen’s abduction and forced rendition to Turkey was discussed. Although no concrete kidnapping plan was discussed, Woolsey left the meeting, concerned that a general discussion about “a covert step in the dead of night to whisk this guy away” might be construed as illegal under American law. A spokesman for Flynn denied Woolsey’s account, telling Business Insider that no nonjudicial removal had been discussed at the meeting.
“Flynn participates in a meeting with senior Turkish officials in which the group reportedly discusses the option of kidnapping the cleric Gulen and removing him from the United States, according to a Wall Street Journal story (published in March 2017). Alptekin invited Flynn to the meeting, according to Flynn’s firm, and Alptekin is present at the meeting. [James] Woolsey, who was affiliated with Flynn’s firm at the time, was present for part of the meeting’s discussion,the contents of which he said greatly disturbed him. Woolsey thought the proposal for Gulen would “pretty clearly be a violation of law” and he reported it to “several people,” including U.S. government officials at the time, specifically including an intermediary to Vice President Joseph Biden. Note: Woolsey’s spokesman, Jonathan Franks, told Just Security that Woolsey did not inform members of the Trump campaign about the September meeting. An important question is whether, either through the “several people” Woolsey informed or through others, Trump or his inner circle learned of the September meeting. If the Trump campaign was aware of the meeting before the WSJ story broke in March, it was apparently not directly from Woolsey.” Just Security
The FARA filing made March 7, 2017, included this lie: “Flynn Intel Group understood the engagement to be focused on improving US Business organization’s confidence regarding doing business in Turkey” Mueller indictment pg 16
September 21, 2016, Rafiekian emailed Flynn that he had met with Alptekin that day and that “the feedback from the late evening meeting was positive.” Mueller indictment pg 9
October 2016: [Andrew] “Brunson, 50, [sic] detained for two years on espionage and terrorism-related charges that the pastor and U.S. officials said were false.” Washington Post
October 7, 2016, Rafiekian sent Alptekin the FIG invoice for $200,000. Mueller’s indictment pg 9 During a weekly conference call in which Rafiekian and Alptekin participated, one or more participants discussed publishing an oped concerning the funding for the Turkish citizen’s private schools. Mueller indictment pg 11
October 11, 2016, Rafiekian sent an email to an employee of FIG asking him to send a wife transfer to Inovo BV “as soon as Mr. Alptekin sends us an invoice for consulting services that he is providing to FIG on the Confidence Project.” Mueller’s indictment pg 10 Alptekin wired $185,000 from a Turkish bank account in Alptekin’s name to FIG’s US Bank account.
October 13, 2016 Flynn employee prepared talking points for Flynn to use in discussing the project with Alptekin on a weekly conference call scheduled for the following day. One talking point said, “We will attempt to have an Op Ed written that links funding, Islamists and the subject et all as Mulllahs/Imams.” Mueller indictment pg 11
October 14, 2016 Alptekin asend Rafiekian an invoice to FIG from Inovo BV for $40,000, which Rafiekian approved the following day.Mueller’s indictment pg 10
October 17, 2016 Rafiekian wired $40,000 from RIG’s US bank account to Inovo BV’s bank account in the Netherlands. Mueller’s indictment pg 10
November 2, 2016 Alptekin complained to Rafiekian that Flynn Intel Group had not publicized enough negative information about Gulen. Alptekin asked for a “smoking gun,” and said that he wanted recorded conversations with unhappy teachers, media coverage of Gulen, private investigative work targeting Gulen’s supporters, and Congressional hearings about Gulen and his [Harmony] charter schools. Rafiekian sent an email to Alptekin enclosing.a drafts of an op-ed piece that Rafiekian had written urging Gulen’s extradition. In the email, Rafiekian said, “A promise made is a promise kept.” It contained the same “apple tree” comparison of Khomeini and the Turkish citizen that Raiekian had used in his email to Alptekin when the project was still called the “Truth campaign”; and in the “Playbook” when Rafiekian referred to Bulen as “X”; and in the “Background and Talking Points” that Rafiekian prepared for Alptekin and others just before the “High level” meeting in New York with Turkish cabinet members.Mueller indictment pg 12
November 3, 2016, Rafiekian wrote to Flynn, “I a seed [the editor] to review and edit my 1000 word draft to make sure it is tight before I send it out to you. The plan is to go out with the piece on Monday.” Mueller indictment pg 12
November 4, 2016, Rafiekian emailed Alptekin about the op-ed, saying, “I just left Flynn. The arrow has left the bow!…This is a very high profile exposure one day before the election.” Attached to the email was a draft of the op-ed, which argued that the United States should not provide “safe haven” to Gulen. Mueller indictment pg 12
November 5, 2016 Alptekin emailed Rafiekian, saying”Flynn is right on target.” Mueller indictment pg 12
November 8, 2016, an op-ed titled Our Ally Turkey Is in Crisis and Needs Our Support was published in the newspaper The Hill and on its website [credited author Michael Flynn]. The op-ed blamed Gulen for the July 15, 2016, attempted coup and urged the US government to deny the Turkish citizen refuge in the US and contained the same “apple tree” comparison of Khomeini and Gulen that Rafiekian had used before. Following Flynn’s op-ed, the FARA Unit sent a letter to Flynn requesting additional information to determine whether Flyy, Flynn Intel Group, and/or other individuals had an obligation to register as an agent of a foreign government under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) Act. Mueller indictment pg 13
“Cummings also released a Memorandum of Understanding signed on November 8, 2016, by the former Chair of the Transition Team, Chris Christie, and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, which provides that in order to obtain non-public and classified information, the Transition Team member must sign a statement that “he or she has no financial interest or imputed financial interest that would be directly and predictably affected by a particular matter to which the information is pertinent.” Cummings issued the following statement: “President-elect Trump promised during his campaign that he would ‘drain the swamp,’ but his top national security advisor is Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, whose firm is reportedly being paid to lobby the U.S. Government by a close ally of Turkey’s president. It is unclear how Lt. Gen. Flynn was reportedly allowed into intelligence briefings during the campaign despite these apparent conflicts of interest.” House Committee on Oversight
November 10, 2016, Rafiekian sent Alptekin an invoice for $100,000 fir its third paymentt under the agreement. Mueller’s indictment pg 10
November 14, 2016, Alptekin wired $145,000 from a Turkish bank account in Alptekin’s name to Flynn Intel Groups’s US bank account. Mueller’s indictment pg 10
November 18, 2016 “Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter to Vice President-Elect Mike Pence requesting information about the apparent conflicts of interest of the Vice Chairman of the Presidential Transition team, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who was reportedly offered the job of National Security Advisor.” House Committee on Oversight
November 19, 2016 What Mike Flynn Did for Turkey The New Yorker By Nicholas Schmidle March 16, 2017 Just Security “Trump campaign lawyer, William McGinley, holds a conference call with members of the Flynn firm “seeking more information” about the group’s foreign work on Turkey and “to review the particulars of Flynn’s piece in The Hill,”(McGinley was subsequently appointed as White House Cabinet Secretary.)”
December 9, 2016 “Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) send a letter to FBI Director James Comey, DNI James Clapper, and OPM Acting Director Beth Cobert calling for a re-evaluation of Flynn’s security clearance. They cite his “repeated mishandling of classified information,” his paid visit to Moscow, and his business interests as CEO of Flynn Intel Group.” Just Security
“In a second meeting with Turkish government representatives, Flynn reportedly discusses the idea of he and his son helping to forcibly remove Gulen and deliver the cleric to Turkish custody using a private jet, in a plot that would have paid the Flynns $15 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. “Flynn also was prepared to use his influence in the White House to further the legal extradition of the cleric,” Just Security
November 30, 2017
around December 4, 2017 the Justice Department notified Mr. Flynn of the inquiry. NY Times
January 4, 2017 “Mr. Flynn’s disclosure, on Jan. 4, was first made to the transition team’s chief lawyer, Donald F. McGahn II, who is now the White House counsel. That conversation, and another one two days later between Mr. Flynn’s lawyer and transition lawyers, shows that the Trump team knew about the investigation of Mr. Flynn far earlier than has been previously reported.” Trump Team Knew Flynn Was Under Investigation Before He Came to White House NY Times Michael T. Flynn at Trump Tower in December. His lawyer told the transition team in January that Mr. Flynn was under federal investigation for secretly working as a paid lobbyist for Turkey. By Matthew Rosenberg and Mark Mazzetti May 17, 2017. Trump transition knew Flynn might register as foreign agent Associated Press March 10, 2017
January – March 2017, outside attorneys for Flynn gathered information to determine whether Flynn Intel Group or any of its employees had an obligation to register under FARA based upon FIG’s work on “Operation Confidence”. During this process, Rafiekian and Alptekin knowingly provided false information to FIG’s attorneys in an effort to hide from the attorneys-and ultimately from the FARA Unit- the involvement of Turkish government officials in the project. Mueller indictment pg 13
January 24, 2017: Flynn in FBI interview denied discussing sanctions with Russian ambassador Washington Post Then-national security adviser Michael Flynn speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House on Feb. 13. By Sari Horwitz Adam Entous February 16, 2017
Feb. 7, 2017: Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have their first telephone call in which they discuss a range of policy issues. Flynn is still national security advisor at this point. Just Security
RAFIEKIAN LIES to FIG’s Attorneys:
- September 19, 2016 meeting in New York City had nothing to do with Project Confidence, and instead was in furtherance of an abandoned “Project Truth” that was distinct from Project Confidence;
- No other contacts with Turkish government officials regarding the project;
- The op-ed was Flynn’s own idea, and he wrote I on his own behalf, and unrelated to the project;
- Alptekin did not want the op-ed to be published; and
- Payments from FIG to Inovo BV were refunds for lobbying and public relation work that FIG did not perform.
- ALptekin had not been consulted on the op-ed, and that he would have opposed it if he had been consulted;
- The project was done on behalf of an Israeli company [Ratio Oil] that owned a share in a natural gas consortium [Leviathan Gas Field] seeking to do business in Turkey. “Papadopoulos was involved in oil & gas in an ‘advisory’ role with the following 3 countries, Greece, Cyprus & Israel. One of the projects was the Leviathan offshore gas field in Israel.He opened the way for an American company, Noble Energy to be a major player in the project.” @911CORLEBRA777 Leviathan is to supply the Med East Pipeline.
February 13, 2017 Michael Flynn resigned. “A PAC aligned with the Democratic Party, the Democratic Coalition Against Trump files a report with the National Security Agency alleging that Flynn has sought “to influence the White House on behalf of Turkey and its president, Recep Erdogan, while failing to register as an agent with the Department of Justice.”” Just Security
February 14, 2017 Trump asked Comey if he could see his “way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Comey Testimony June 8, 2017
March 7, 2017, Rafiekian and Alptekin lied on their FARA filing Mueller indictment pg 14
March 22, 2017 “Trump made separate appeals to the director of national intelligence, Daniel Coats, and to Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, urging them to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion during the 2016 election….senior White House officials sounded out top intelligence officials about the possibility of intervening directly with Comey to encourage the FBI to drop its probe of Michael Flynn.” Trump asked intelligence chiefs to push back against FBI collusion probe after Comey revealed its existence Washington Post May 22, 2017 \By Adam Entous Ellen Nakashima
March 24, 2017 Video Interview with James Woolsey, Ex-CIA Director: Mike Flynn and Turkish Officials Discussed Removal of Erdogan Foe From U.S. Wall Street Journal The cleric [Gulen] has been accused by Turkey of orchestrating last summer’s failed military coup. Flynn Discussed Plan to Remove Erdogan Foe from U.S. Mike Flynn met with top Turkish government ministers and discussed removing a Muslim cleric from the U.S. and, according to former CIA Director James Woolsey, planned to “whisk this guy away” in the dead of night. Here’s what happened, and the timeline. By James V. Grimaldi, Dion Nissenbaum and Margaret Coker Updated March 24, 2017
April 4, 2017: Erdogan denounced a chemical attack that killed 86+ civilians in northwestern Syria, called Assad “a murderer”, April 7, praised the US missile strike on a Syrian airbase in retaliation.
May 9, 2017, Comey Fired.
May 24, 2017 Alptekin lied in the Eastern District of Virginia and to the FBI Mueller indictment pg 17
July 13, 2017 “Turkey’s Justice Ministry said on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been charged with complicity with the coup attempt. Many of those arrested or charged and are associated with the Gulen movement. The government has charged people merely associated with the Gulen movement through such means as possession of an account with Bank Asya, a Gulen-movement affiliated bank, or subscribing to Zaman, a Gulen-movement affiliated newspaper.“Wikipedia
September 13, 2017, NBC News Mike Flynn’s Son Is Subject of Federal Russia Probe
September 28, 2017, “Erdoğan requested the U.S. to extradite Gülen in exchange for American pastor Andrew Brunson, under arrest in Turkey on charges related to Brunson’s alleged affiliation with “FETO” (the Gulen movement); Erdoğan said, “You have a pastor too. Give him to us…. Then we will try [Brunson] and give him to you….” “You have a pastor too. … You give us that one and we’ll work with our judiciary and give back yours.” The Federal judiciary alone determines extradition cases in the U.S. Asked about the suggested swap on September 28, 2017, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said: “I can’t imagine that we would go down that road. … We have received extradition requests for him [Gulen].” Anonymous US officials have said to reporters that the Turkish government has not yet provided sufficient evidence for the U.S. Justice Department to charge Gulen.“Wikipedia
Erdogan sought the extradition of Gulen to Turkey and directed Alptekin’s Inovo BV (rather than Turkey directly) to become the client of Flynn Intel Group. Lobbying Registration effective September 15, 2016, Flynn Intel Group obtained Inovo BV as a client and registered Robert Kelley as lobbyist, 2006 Chief Counsel to the National Security Subcommittee of the US House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform.
In exchange for delegitimizing Gulen in the US and extradition to Turkey, Erdogan approved payments from Turkey to Inovo BV, who paid Flynn Intel Group $530,000 (of a $600,000 offering); Turkey received regular updates and Inovo BV got a 20% kickback.
October 2018, “Trump administration officials last month asked federal law enforcement agencies to examine legal ways of removing exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen in an attempt to persuade Erdogan to ease pressure on the Saudi government, the four sources said.” NCB News November 15, 2018
“An indictment was unsealed today charging Bijan Rafiekian, aka Bijan Kian, 66, of San Juan Capistrano, California, and Kamil Ekim Alptekin, 41, of Istanbul, and a Turkish national, with conspiracy, acting in the United States as illegal agents of the government of Turkey, and making false statements to the FBI.
“According to allegations in the indictment, the two men were involved in a conspiracy to covertly influence U.S. politicians and public opinion against a Turkish citizen living in the United States whose extradition had been requested by the Government of Turkey. The plot included using a company founded by Rafiekian and a person referred to as “Person A” in the indictment. The company, referred to as “Company A” in the indictment, provided services based upon Person A’s national security expertise.
The indictment charges that the purpose of the conspiracy was to use Company A to delegitimize the Turkish citizen in the eyes of the American public and United States politicians, with the goal of obtaining his extradition, which was meeting resistance at the U.S. Department of Justice. At the same time, the conspirators sought to conceal that the Government of Turkey was directing the work. However, not only did Turkish cabinet-level officials approve the budget for the project, but Alptekin provided the Turkish officials updates on the work, and relayed their directions on the work to Rafiekian, Person A, and others at Company A.
According to allegations in the indictment, the scheme included using a Dutch company owned by Alptekin to appear to be the “client” of Company A and to pay the company’s fee of $600,000, which was to be paid in three installments. Alptekin made the payments from an account in Turkey. The indictment alleges that after Alptekin made the payments to Company A, it was to kick back 20 percent of the payments to Alptekin’s company in the Netherlands, and two such kickbacks were made.
Rafiekian is charged with conspiracy and acting in the United States as an illegal agent of the government of Turkey. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison for the conspiracy charge, and 10 years in prison for the charge of acting as an agent of a foreign government.
Alptekin is charged with conspiracy, acting in the United States as an illegal agent of the government of Turkey, and four counts of making false statements to the FBI. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison for the conspiracy charge, 10 years in prison for the charge of acting as an agent of a foreign government, and 5 years in prison for each of the four false statement charges.”
“A business partner of former national security adviser Michael Flynn took part in sensitive hiring and policy discussions involving U.S. intelligence as a member of President Donald Trump’s transition team, but failed to inform Trump’s team that he had conducted political work on behalf of a foreign client of Flynn and might have to register with the Justice Department as a foreign agent.
Internal records for Flynn’s partner, Bijan Kian, indicate he had not disclosed his work on behalf of a Turkish businessman last year with the Flynn Intel Group or provided any warning that he planned to file as a foreign agent, a current Trump transition official told The Associated Press. Kian, a little-known figure active on the presidential transition team, is emerging as a key player in the political controversy involving Flynn, Trump’s fired national security adviser.
“He did not indicate that to us in his transition documents. We would have no reason to know,” said the transition official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss Kian’s role during the post-election period. Almost two months after the transition period, both Kian and Flynn filed in March as foreign agents with the Justice Department, acknowledging their political work for Turkish-run Inovo BV could have principally benefited the government of Turkey.
For Kian, who led most of Flynn Intel Group’s research and lobbying for a Turkish businessman, the Trump transition role offered influence in the selection of intelligence agency candidates and access to internal discussions of U.S. national security policy. But Kian’s participation in the transition — following his management of work that Flynn Intel acknowledged may have benefited Turkey’s government — reinforces concerns about the adequacy of the administration’s vetting process.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., who is co-sponsoring a bill to toughen regulation of Americans performing political work for foreign interests, said Tuesday it was “very troubling that an unregistered foreign agent was playing a key role in the Trump administration’s transition.” She added that “similar to General Flynn, someone working on behalf of foreign governments should never be put in a position where they’re making important decisions within our government.”
An Iranian-American businessman whose full name is Bijan Rafiekian, Kian did not respond to repeated attempts over two months by the AP to contact him by phone, email and visits to properties listed for him in public records.
Kian described his transition role on his LinkedIn profile as “deputy lead” assigned to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Kian said he provided “policy input, strategic guidance and operational counsel to prepare” candidates for the director of national intelligence, the CIA and other top officials.
Two former transition officials who met with Kian during that period said that Kian was clearly close with Flynn and served as the retired general’s sounding board. One of the officials said Kian helped scrutinize then-Rep. Mike Pompeo before he was named Trump’s CIA director. The second official said Kian was involved in transition discussions for the National Security Council and the director of national intelligence. That official added that Kian did not expect to get an administration post. Both transition officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the transition’s work.
Like Kian, Flynn also worked on the transition while he was under Justice Department scrutiny for the Turkish work. But, as the AP previously reported , Flynn did inform the Trump transition about his Turkish work through his attorneys, who notified the transition he might have to register as a foreign agent. After Flynn joined the administration, his attorneys followed up with the White House counsel’s office, disclosing that Flynn would indeed be registering with the government as a foreign agent.
As Flynn’s little-known business partner, Kian played a key role last year in supervising much of Flynn Intel Group’s foreign work while the former U.S. lieutenant general campaigned for Trump. The research and lobbying they conducted for the Turkish firm has boomeranged on Flynn, now the target of a federal criminal investigation and congressional inquiries.
…Kian connected Flynn with his Turkish client, helped to negotiate their $600,000 contract and oversaw a documentary and an op-ed aimed at an opponent of Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said the client and several others who requested anonymity because of the ongoing criminal investigation. The client, Ekim Alptekin, also confirmed to the AP that Kian worked for one of his Turkish companies at the same time he was working for Flynn Intel.Until Trump’s election, Flynn served with Kian on the board of GreenZone Systems Inc., a technology firm Kian headed until April. Flynn and Kian co-authored a 2015 op-ed about ISIS militants, and attended galas put on by the Nowruz Commission, a nonprofit run by Kian and his wife promoting the Iranian Nowruz holiday. Alptekin was named a board director of that group in 2011.For the three months leading up to the election, Kian was Flynn Intel’s linchpin, lobbying and managing contractors in the Turkish work. Alptekin said Kian was the intermediary who brought Flynn’s firm together last summer with Alptekin’s Dutch-based company, Inovo BV. Kian was also the “main one” representing Flynn Intel in contract talks with him last fall, Alptekin said, adding Flynn “wasn’t involved at all” in the talks, though he signed the contract.
Inovo ended up paying Flynn Intel $530,000 for research and lobbying aimed at persuading authorities to file criminal charges against Fethullah Gulen, a political foe of Erdogan. Flynn Intel disclosed its contract and other details of its Turkish work last March to the Justice Department, which regulates lobbying and other political activities for foreign interests in the U.S. Flynn and Kian were the only individuals who personally registered as foreign agents for Inovo.
Kian and Alptekin had an existing business relationship when Flynn Intel began its foreign work. Alptekin confirmed Kian had been vice chairman of his Istanbul-based aviation company, EA Havacilik, since November 2011. Alptekin said he and Kian regularly strategized to build an aviation customer base.” Continue reading the main story
Fethullah Gulen “Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College awarded its 2015 Gandhi King Ikeda Peace Award to Gülen in recognition of his lifelong dedication to promoting peace and human rights.. Gülen topped the 2008 Top 100 Public Intellectuals Poll and came out as the most influential thinker.. Gülen was named as one of TIME magazine’s World’s 100 Most Influential People in 2013.. In 2015, Oklahoma City Thunder basketball player Enes Kanter said that he was excluded from the Turkish national basketball team for his public support of Gülen. Kanter was disowned by his family in 2016 due to his support for Gülen.. Gülen was listed as one of the 500 most influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Amman, Jordan.” Wikipedia
“On June 18, 1997, following a series of ultimatums from the military, Erbakan resigned. His party, the Welfare Party, was banned, as were three other Islamist parties that Erbakan and Erdoğan had once belonged to. No shots were fired: the generals stood back and the civilians sheepishly slinked off the political stage. The event is still referred to as the “postmodern coup.”
Around the same time, a group of military officers calling themselves the Western Working Group began to reassert their authority and tried to remove any traces of what they regarded as undue Islamist influence. Public servants, even university professors, were required to attend lectures by military officers on the menace of political Islam. The generals aimed at getting rid of Erdoğan, who, as the mayor of Istanbul, was regarded as the most powerful local leader. Their opportunity came in December, 1997, when Erdoğan went to the city of Siirt and read aloud an Islamic-accented poem: ‘The mosques are our barracks; The domes our helmets; The minarets our bayonets; And the faithful our soldiers.’ In fact, the poem was written by Ziya Gökalp, one of the country’s most famous secular nationalists, in 1912. Nevertheless, Erdoğan was charged with “incitement of religious hatred,” sentenced to ten months in prison (of which he served four), and banned from politics.” The New Yorker
Erdogan was jailed in 1999.
Fethullah Gülen moved to the US for medical treatment, settling in the Poconos Mountains of Pennsylvania.
- On or before February 20, 2012, the Turkish government requested the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) give evidence of Gulen-linked AKP politicians (the Justice and Development Party Erdogan became President of in August 2014) Wikipedia
- March 12, 2012, The New Yorker published “The Deep State“: “When Erdoğan and his comrades in the A.K. Party came to power, there were widespread concerns that, as ardent Islamists, they were intent on foisting a religious regime on secular Turkey. Erdoğan, for his part, feared the resistance of what is commonly referred to as derin devlet, the “deep state.” The deep state is a presumed clandestine network of military officers and their civilian allies who, for decades, suppressed and sometimes murdered dissidents, Communists, reporters, Islamists, Christian missionaries, and members of minority groups—anyone thought to pose a threat to the secular order, established in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal, or Atatürk. The deep state, historians say, has functioned as a kind of shadow government, disseminating propaganda to whip up public fear or destabilizing civilian governments not to its liking.Friends and colleagues say Erdoğan worried that the deep state would never allow him to govern. But, to the surprise of many, he has pulled Turkey closer to the West, opening up the economy and becoming a crucial go-between for the West with Palestine, Iran, and Syria. He has called on the Assad government, in Damascus, to step down, and has tried to help build a bridge between the West and Tehran in the current nuclear standoff. In the eyes of American and European leaders, Erdoğan has fashioned Turkey into an indispensable Islamic democracy, offering a potential example for Egypt, Tunisia, and Syria.”
- May 13, 2012, CBS News “US Charter Schools Tied To Powerful Turkish Imam “Over the past decade, followers of the mysterious Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen have opened scores of charter schools in the U.S., inspired by a man who is as powerful as he is reclusive. There are a total of about 130 charter schools like Harmony in 26 states. Together they form the largest collection of charter schools in the country. Here’s what’s curious: they’re founded and run by immigrant businessmen and academics from Turkey. The Turkish imam Fethullah Gulen who tells his followers that to be devout Muslims they shouldn’t build mosques – they should build schools; and not to teach religion, but science. In sermons on the web, he actually says: “Studying physics, mathematics, and chemistry is worshipping God.” So Gulen’s followers have gone out and built over 1,000 schools around the globe – from Turkey to Togo; from Taiwan to Texas. Alp Aslandogan: His message is that if you want to solve any social problem for the longer term, the solution has to go through education. Businessman Alp Aslandogan chairs a foundation in Houston that advances Gulen’s teachings.”
- August 2013: Proposal of a new law that would force the closure Gulen-Movement Cram Schools met with protests until it became law in February 2014 and took effect February 2015.Wikipedia
- November 28, 2013 Taraf article “claiming that the decision to bring down the Gülen Movement had in fact been taken during a National Security Council (MGK) meeting in 2004. The article claimed that the formal decision to end the movement’s political influence had been signed in August 2004 by both Prime Minister Erdoğan and President Abdullah Gül. Erdoğan’s chief advisor Yalçın Akdoğan denied the claims, but his denial failed to convince the pro-Gulen media. Samanyolu TV alleged that a decision for the National Intelligence Organisation to maintain surveillance on individuals was included in the leaked documents.In response to the leaking of MGK documents, Prime Minister Erdoğan made a statement reiterating his decision to abolish cram schools, while slamming the leak as an act of national treason.” Wikipedia
- “The Cram school crisis created a split within the AKP’s parliamentary group, with pro-Gulen MPs openly voicing their concern over the new educational legislation. These included İdris Bal. Bal resigned from the AKP. Another key resignation was that of Hakan Şükür in December 2013, who is openly a follower of Gulen and strongly critical of his party’s cram school policy. Şükür revealed after his resignation that he had been to visit Gulen on numerous occasions while still an AKP Member of Parliament, telling Gulen that he wanted to resign from his party. He claimed that Gulen had delayed his decision.Wikipedia
- Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Real Estate Corruption 80 Arrests (24 Charged) on December 17, 2013 Blamed on Gulen followers and Erdogan retaliated by Purging the Police forces of Hundreds: Corruption Scandal Is Edging Near Turkish Premier NY Times December 25, 2013 “A corruption investigation that has encircled the Turkish government moved an ominous step closer to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday, as three top ministers whose sons have been implicated abruptly resigned — and one of them, on his way out the door, said Mr. Erdogan should step down as well. The resignations, coming only hours after the ministers welcomed Mr. Erdogan at the Ankara airport as he returned from Pakistan late on Tuesday, were enough to inspire new talk of a deepening crisis, which Mr. Erdogan has repeatedly denounced as a foreign plot. The corruption inquiry has targeted the ministers’ sons, a major construction tycoon with links to Mr. Erdogan and municipal workers, and it centers in part on allegations that officials received bribes in exchange for ignoring zoning rules and approving contentious development projects. On Wednesday morning, Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan and Interior Minister Muammer Guler, whose sons are among 24 people arrested in the corruption investigation, stepped down. A few hours later the environment and urban planning minister, Erdogan Bayraktar, closest among the three to Mr. Erdogan, said in a live television interview that he had resigned under pressure. He also said Mr. Erdogan was personally involved in unspecified property deals that are a focus of the investigation. The resignations came after a week in which Mr. Erdogan’s government sought to purge the police forces of those it believes are behind the investigation, which has been linked to Fethullah Gulen, a popular Muslim spiritual leader in exile in Pennsylvania who has millions of followers in Turkey, including some who hold high positions within the police and judiciary. Mr. Erdogan and others have called them a “criminal gang” and a “state within a state.” In a televised speech on Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Erdogan used some of his strongest language yet to denounce his former allies in the Gulen movement and promised to dismiss them. “We will root out the bad apples or whatever is necessary,” he said. Dozens of high-level police officials, and hundreds of other officers, already have been removed. Reports emerged in the Turkish news media on Wednesday that prosecutors were pursuing other high-level officials, but that new police officials installed by the government had resisted pursuing them. This essentially highlights a power struggle within state structures.” NY Times. “the government branded the investigation as a ‘planned psychological attack’, ‘an illegal group within the state’ and ‘dirty games being played within and outside the Turkish state‘.”[61Wikipedia
- December 25, 2013, “the same day that the HSYK ruled that the government’s demands were unconstitutional, prosecutor Muammer Akkaş issued an arrest warrant for 30 more individuals on charges of corruption, yet the Istanbul Directorate of Security refused to make the arrests. As a result, Akkaş issued a statement claiming that he was being prevented from doing his job. The government responded by accusing Akkaş of attempting to begin a second operation through unlawful means, thus taking him off the case and allegedly giving it to prosecutor Turan Çolakkadı. In the end, the case was transferred to five other prosecutors. Realising that the ministers involved in the 17 December operations did not initially know that investigations had begun into them, the government made it compulsory for such investigations to be reported to the most senior officials in government.The Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) ruled this requirement unconstitutional.Wikipedia
- December 26, 2013: “The three ministers that were incriminated in the corruption scandal, namely Zafer Çağlayan, Erdoğan Bayraktar and Muammer Güler, resigned from their cabinet ministers. Having also been mentioned in the corruption investigations, Egemen Bağış also lost his position in the ensuring reshuffle. Prime Minister Erdoğan claimed that Akkaş had disgraced the judiciary by issuing such a statement and claimed that the HSYK had committed a crime by refusing the government’s demands to notify senior ministers of investigations. He claimed that had he had the right, he would have ‘tried’ the HSYK himself, but claimed that the people would have the right to judge. A day later, the Turkish Council of State voted down the government’s demands, with Erdoğan subsequently issuing a statement saying ‘what needs to be done will be done, and then you will see’ and claiming that the judicial changes proposed in the 2010 constitutional referendum had been a mistake. Several pro-government ministers claimed that the judicial setback was the last open attack against the AKP by the Gulen Movement. A new law that would bring the HSYK directly under the control of the Ministry of Justice was passed on 1 February 2014 despite several breakouts of violence between government and opposition MPs. Wikipedia
- December 31, 2013: “Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, who was later himself accused of being a supporter of Gulen, claimed that the events of 17 December 2013 had been a mini-coup attempt. An intelligence report for the Prime Minister was leaked on the same day, with claims that the ‘parallel structure‘ had branches in 27 provinces and had over 2,000 police officers and several academics, journalists and bankers under its control. President Abdullah Gül issued a statement on 4 January 2014 claiming that a state within a state was ‘absolutely unacceptable’. Erdoğan claimed that the corruption scandal had been an attempt to tarnish the AKP’s image, to worsen his relations with President Gül, to sabotage the ongoing solution process with Kurdish rebels and to stop Turkey’s growth. A new spate of anti-corruption operations began on 7 January, in provinces such as İzmir, Amasya and İstanbul. These operations were mocked by the pro-AKP media.Wikipedia
- January 1, 2014: MIT trucks were accused of carrying weapons into Syria and publicly stopped, FIRST BLAMED on GULEN in a failed smear campaign special intelligence operation, later claiming they were humanitarian aid as cover.
- January 31, 2014 the “MIT Law” presented: National Intelligence Organization (MIT) allowing the MIT to “function as the intelligence branch of a party state.” Surveillance Police State. Al-Monitor
- 2014 Internet Censorship Law, blocked Twitter and Youtube
- February 25, 2014, “A recording was posted on YouTube allegedly featuring Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan telling his son Necmettin Bilal Erdoğan to ‘nullify’ all the cash kept in their home due to the ongoing operations occurring in other government ministers’ homes. The Prime Minister called the tape a ‘dastardly, shameless and nasty montage’, adding that there was nothing that he could not give a justification to. He claimed that the perpetrators behind the montage were members of the parallel structure (i.e. the Gulen Movement) and committed to beginning legal proceedings into the recording, as well as proving that it was a forgery. The recording was broadcast in Parliament by opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who claimed that new revelations would emerge in the following days and called for the Prime Minister to ‘grab a helicopter and flee the country or resign’. Legal proceedings began into Kılıçdaroğlu for broadcasting the recording to Parliament, with him being accused of acquiring the recording through illegal methods. Despite the investigation later being abandoned, the court decided to restart the case in June 2015. The MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli claimed that the tapes put minds into shock, adding that the unjustifiable recording would go down in Turkish history as a disgrace. The pro-government newspaper Star claimed that the government had received a report from an American company (John Marshall Media) confirming the recording to be a fake. However, the company CEO later took to Facebook stating that they did deal with legal verifications of tape recordings and stated that the report bearing their company name was a fake, announcing that they would look into possible legal action into their brand name being used unlawfully.” Wikipedia
- March 13, 2014: Turkish local election, AKP party won “In a balcony speech declaring the AKP’s victory, Erdoğan claimed that the population had given him a mandate to continue his fight against the parallel structure. He further stated that the parallel structure’s treachery would not be forgotten and that he had been a victim of his own good intentions, which was a perceived reference to the AKP’s traditionally cosy relationship with Gulen. Finally, Erdoğan pledged to have Gulen’s sympathisers tried before the people and not the courts that they had ‘infiltrated’.” Wikipedia
- May 31, 2014 Anti-Erdogan Protests at Istanbul’s Taksim square.
- The Justice and Development Party (AKP) announced Erdogan would be their presidential candidate and he won after a 40-day campaign on August 28, 2014. The main campaign slogans were People’s Man Erdogan and Bring Strength to Turkey. Wikipedia
- July 15, 2014, Free Coal to the Turkish region of Izmir campaign
- İdris Bal “formed the Democratic Progress Party (DGP) in November 2014, with many media outlets describing the party as the party of the Gulen Movement. Before the June 2015 general election however, Bal resigned as the leader of his new party, accusing the pro-Gulen media of limiting his party’s ability to reach out to voters. This cast doubt over initial claims that the DGP was a pro-Gulen political party.”Wikipedia
- “In January 2015, the EU Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Füle called on Ankara to restore judicial independence in order to make progress in its accession negotiations.“Wikipedia
- February 5, 2015 “The United States Congress has urged Secretary of State John Kerry to push Turkey for a free press after the raids on pro-Gulen newspapers that saw the arrest of Samanyolu TV director Hidayet Karaca and Zaman editor-in-chief Ekrem Dumanlı. Following the police raids on pro-Gulen media, the US Congress condemned Turkey for an “assault on democracy”.“
“On February 10, 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi declared that the two countries plan to build Egypt’s first nuclear power plant together.
On February 14, 2015, a delegation of Egyptian nuclear power experts and officials headed to Moscow to meet with Russian officials for talks on the Egyptian nuclear power-generation program to be implemented in partnership with Russia. The delegation in Russia included the head of Egypt’s Nuclear Power Plants Authority, Khalil Yaso, the head of the Egypt’s Atomic Energy Authority, Atef El-Kadim, and the deputy president of Egypt’s Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Authority, Walid Zeidan, in addition to officials from the ministry of electricity. The delegation visited nuclear energy training centers and nuclear power plants in Moscow.” Israel Defense
GreenZone Systems, Inc: Secure Chips with Fmr. CIA Director James Woolsey
What Michael Flynn Could Tell the Russia Investigators Bloomberg By David Kocieniewski and Lauren Etter “Kian was chairman of a Persian cultural nonprofit group, the Nowruz Commission, that gave him entree into high Washington circles. He built a relationship with former CIA Director James Woolsey and, in 2013, used it to get Flynn, then the Pentagon’s top intelligence officer, to support his computer chip company’s bid for a contract. The next year, when Flynn was forced out by the Obama administration, his friendship with Kian blossomed into a business partnership. Kian brought him into the chip company, GreenZone Systems Inc., as a board member. According to Flynn’s financial disclosure, GreenZone and its parent company paid him more than $150,000 in cash, plus an undisclosed amount of stock in 2015. Kian also helped fund and found Flynn Intelligence Group, the ex-general’s consulting firm, and served as a senior partner. While it’s been known that Flynn was advocating in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel in 2015 for a consortium seeking to build several dozen nuclear power reactors, it’s not been reported that he and Kian were also trying to sell GreenZone’s secure chips as part of the deal. Flynn lied about the trip in his federal disclosures.”
- June 19, 2015 Saudis said set to build 16 nuclear reactors with Russian help The Times of Israel “Saudi Arabia and Russia reached an agreement on Friday under which Riydah is reportedly to build up to 16 nuclear reactors under Moscow’s supervision, further bolstering ties between the two countries days ahead of the deadline for nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers. According to Saudi owned al-Arabiaya TV, the agreement, which provides for the “peaceful use of nuclear technology,” was signed at a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at an economic forum in St. Petersburg. Saudi Arabia, which has no industrial nuclear power plants, has recently increased efforts to forge new regional alliances and pursue nuclear capabilities in part to ward off a perceived threat from Iran. The Saudi TV report quoted the Saudi ambassador to Russia Abdulrahman Al-Rassi as saying that Moscow plays an “important” role in implementing a United Nations Security Council call to “maintain stability and security in the world” — apparently a reference to a UN resolution urging the withdrawal of the Iranian-backed Houthi militias from Yemen. Beginning in March, Saudi Arabia has spearheaded a military coalition of nine Arab states in an effort to restore power to Yemen’s president Mansour Hadi, who was ousted by the Shiite rebels last year. Saudi concerns have led to meetings between Saudi and Israeli officials over fears that a weak nuclear accord with Tehran would leave the Islamic republic as a nuclear threshold state. Saudi and other Gulf officials have been pressing for the United States to supply advanced weapons like F-35 stealth fighters as well as a written security guarantee in the face of the threat from Iran. Last month, US President Barack Obama failed to reassure Gulf leaders that the nuclear deal would not embolden Iran to act more aggressively in the region.”
- July 26, 2015 Kurdish Rebellion Resumes: A car bomb killed two soldiers, response was to crack down on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)
- October 22, 2015: 26 people arrested in wiretapping scandal within the prime ministry (scandal ongoing in 2014) BBC
- November 24, 2015 Turkey shot down a Russian warplane on its border with Syria BBC
- November 19, 2015 “Egypt and Russia signed an agreement, under which Russia will build and finance Egypt’s first nuclear power plant, in a ceremony attended by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.”Israel Defense. Financed by a Russian bank loan
- December 27, 2015, “Ertuğrul Günay, Haluk Özdalga and Erdal Kalkan all resigned from the AKP.”Wikipedia