PBS POV Arms Smugling - From The USA to Kosovo


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DonNikmare
July 20, 2005, 09:58 PM
FROM BROOKLYN TO PRISTINA
http://www.pbs.org/pov/pov2005/thebrooklynconnection/

http://www.pbs.org/pov/pov2005/thebrooklynconnection/i/headermainimage.jpg

http://www.pbs.org/pov/pov2005/thebrooklynconnection/i/hptocfeature2.jpg

"How does a gun purchased legally in the US end up in action in a guerilla war in Kosovo? Trace a route across the Atlantic, from the factory and gun show to an airport and, eventually, a Kosovo border village..."

I watched this last night and here are some comments...

The guy profiled raises $ for "the Kosovo independence" with which he buys as many weapons as he can and smuggles them from N.Y. city to Kosovo. He uses the cover of "humaniterian aid" and if given trouble for some of his bigger cal weapons has the cover of some kind of "hunting association" he has set up. They showed him buying a 50 cal rifle and telling the FFL that he needed it for elephant hunting in Africa.

He is helping an unofficial Kosovo army get armed for some future independance war against NATO/UN forces, the Serbs, and whoever else is in the way.

He told the reporter he smuggled 25 tons of weapons at one time by renting a cargo plane and hiding them with humanitarian aid packages. :scrutiny:

The program attempted to reinforce some stereotypes of gun owners/sellers. :rolleyes: The Kosovo character made a statement, while snickering, that FFL were all easy to fool as most of them are "...extreme rightwingers who hate communists. We just tell them we are buying the weapons to fight against communists. They are happy and give us discounts..." They went to some gunshow and talked to two sellers - one of them was going on about how he carries 24/7 and that he does not practice heart shot "...cause if you shoot somebody in the heart they have 9 seconds to live and shoot back. But if you shoot them in the head..."

He helped raise a lot of $ for John Kerry and at one point was shown righting a contribution check to democrat senetor Hyde at a fund raising event. It is beyond me how someone can come out of the opression of socialism and communism, profess to have nothing but hate and disgust for communists and yet support democrats here in the US :banghead:

The reporter could not resist and asked a couple of anti type questions such as "Do you think Americans are being killed by their own guns?" The guy brought up Columbine to answer affirmatively and then justified his countrymen's ownership of weapons all in the same breath. He said that no one would ever be able to disarm Albanians due to their history of war.

The program ended by stating that after learning of the smuggling efforts and activities the UN tried to find and confiscate them but found none. The UN also devised a program to confiscate an estimated 140,000+ firearm and ended up finding and taking only 155. Either the UN's plan must have really sucked or those guys are extremely good at hiding their firearms.

Well, all in all it was a very interesting program. Anyone else see it?

Found this too...here is how the reporter/film maker describes this character...

"He's full of tricks and you can easily see it. He has a sense of humor, he's a very engaging character, and the story was amazing. On the one hand he's a great guy, he's very sympathetic. He's a big charmer. He's a Brooklyn roofer and he's a father of three kids. And on the surface, he lives a totally normal life. On the other hand, he actually has a double life, because he is a gun runner. And during the Kosovo war in the late 1990's, he raised $30 million dollars and he bought thousands of weapons and brought them to Kosovo to fight a war there. And he bought them all here in the United States. He's ruthless."

Nik

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RevDisk
July 20, 2005, 10:54 PM
I call BS. I was with the NATO forces in Kosovo.

The weapons the KLA used were mostly com-bloc. Yugo, Bulgaria, Romania, some Russian. Occassionally, the oddball ChiCom stuff. I didn't see any US weapons except for old US weapons left over from WWII or the guerrila war in Greece. Why the heck would they want neutered US weapons when they can get access to non-crippled AK's, RPK's, RPG's, etc from various sources?

As for being used against US forces, not bloody likely. Obviously, the reporter has never been to Kosovo. The kids like wearing US Army patches, the Muslic clerics stop US soldiers in the street to thank them and offer Allah's blessings, etc etc. In my office was a poster with the skyline of NYC, with two candles standing in place of the two towers, with a caption at the bottom "In Memory of all who died on Sept 11" in the local lingo. The TMK got extremely annoyed that the US State department didn't allow them to go to Afghanistan to kill Taliban.

Now as for the UN on the other hand... Heh. The UN might not have started the whole situation, but they sure as heck helped it along. Their gun control is at least partially responsible for the genocide. They passed a blanket arms importation ban. The UN is still trying to use gun control against the Kosovars to maintain their fiefdom. It's not working so well.

Most of the arms manufacturing equipment from Yugoslavia happened to be in Serb hands, along with a majority of the munitions stores. The "arms ban" was their best help, as Bosnia/Croatia/Kosovo did not have the same amount of weapons nor the facilities to make more weapons. Not to meantion, the UN is running Kosovo as their own little fiefdom, and the Kosovars (Serb and Albanian) really hate the UN. I've personally seen UN personnel involved in every shady activity imaginable. Drug trade, human trade, extortion, you name it. The UN has no intention of voluntarily letting Kosovo gain its independence without a fight. A lot of folks within the UN are making fat salaries in Pristine. 100-150k euros for a paperpusher ain't uncommon. Working really hard 5, 6 hour work days. Show up at 10 am, leave for lunch at 11 or 11:30, show up at the office around 2 or 3, leave well before 5. It was never easy getting a hold of UN outside of those time slots. Yes, there were a couple hardworking, well-intentioned UN folks. Very few, and they were an absolute minority.


I call BS. He could have flown to Sofia, Bulgaria, and within a couple days bought anything he wanted from the various mafias. Hell, you can buy a T-72 on the black market in that section of the world, let alone a .50 cal rifle.

Did the reporter check the guy's background? Is the guy a K-Albanian, or a Serb, or what? Because it smells like propaganda. Things are stable in Kosovo at the moment, but they're getting annoyed because the UN has ignored several deadlines on moving towards independence.

There were several professional bombings in Kosovo not too long ago. Mostly in Pristine, against UN targets. Intentionally, no one was killed. But the message was clear. "Get the ball rolling, or else".

Of course, the US Army is very interested in helping the UN with its problems and forcibly disarming 'em Kosovars. Yep. We'll get right on it. Any day now. ;)

Dave R
July 20, 2005, 11:46 PM
I 2nd the BS call. Anybody with a rudimentary understanding of economics could poke holes in this story.

Real, full-auto AKs are available for about $50-$100 in 3rd world countries. Why would someone come to America, break our laws, pay $400 for an AK at a gun show, and then smuggle it back to the 3rd world?

Likewise, why buy a .50BMG rifle at retail in the US and smuggle it into the black market? Buy it on the black market to begin with.

I think the current buzz-phrase for this business practice is "shortening the supply chain."

RavenVT100
July 21, 2005, 12:00 AM
It smells of BS if only for the fact that New York City is not exactly the best place to be doing that out of, and the BATFE is not dumb enough to let that kind of thing go unnoticed. "Tons" of weapons? Yeah, right. New York and New Jersey don't F around with even handfuls of the things. I've seen NJSP investigate ordinary people who transfer large amounts of guns at a time.

If he really is doing it, he's doing it illegally and he's not doing it through FFLs.

boofus
July 21, 2005, 12:03 AM
Violation of Arms Control Export Act. Dealing in firearms without a license. Perjury on the 4473.

It's true, if we had just 1 more law it would have stopped him! /sarcasm :rolleyes:

Standing Wolf
July 21, 2005, 12:09 AM
He helped raise a lot of $ for John Kerry and...

If it looks like a week-old dead fish, and smells like a week-old dead fish...

ak47nevada
July 21, 2005, 01:29 AM
I second DaveR.

Sounds bogus to me. "Hey, let's go 5,000 miles away and acquire expensive weapons with our worthless roubles instead of buying them dirt cheap next door."

I'm sure the people behind this article are the same type who refer to gun shows as "illegal arms bazaars."

DonNikmare
July 21, 2005, 01:32 AM
I call BS. I was with the NATO forces in Kosovo. The weapons the KLA used were mostly com-bloc. Yugo, Bulgaria, Romania, some Russian. Occassionally, the oddball ChiCom stuff. I didn't see any US weapons except for old US weapons left over from WWII or the guerrila war in Greece. Why the heck would they want neutered US weapons when they can get access to non-crippled AK's, RPK's, RPG's, etc from various sources?

The only US weapons he confessed to smuggling were .50 cal rifles. He actually went through the process in the film - buying it, checking it in at the airport, and then smuggling it into the country.

The rest of the firearms were SKS's, AK -47's, and other non US rifles I did not recodnize. As to why he would do it from here to there and not from a closer source...could be bs I quess but it makes sense to an extent. He has his $ foundation here and can legally and more easily buy the weapons & ammo here than he would be from an illegal source in Europe or some 3rd world country. But something tells me he was doing both smuggling from here and other sources closer to Kosovo.

My BS meter was set off when he seemingly was revealing so much potentially incirminating information with a smurk on his face but then one never knows how much was purposeful BS he shoveled up for some tactical reason. From what was seen in Kosovo it was clear he was very respected by the locals and even had a hero's song written and sung in his name.

As for being used against US forces, not bloody likely. Obviously, the reporter has never been to Kosovo. The kids like wearing US Army patches, the Muslic clerics stop US soldiers in the street to thank them and offer Allah's blessings, etc etc
A big part of the film was filmed in Kosovo. What she was implying was the US produces and allows the free sale of so so many weapons that they certainly end up being used against Americans by Americans in America as well as in other parts of the world.

That whole little discussion in the film left with me with the eerie feeling :scrutiny: that guns and rifles have a life of their own - they sleep, they wake up, have breakfast at IHOP's & Denny's, and then just walk up and down the streets of free America killing Americans because...well, just because there are so many of them being manufactured and sold with no constraint. WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO? :banghead:

RevDisk
July 21, 2005, 02:03 AM
What's his name, out of curiousity?

My bet is that he is smuggling something else, and wants everyone to think he's smuggling weapons. Probably "legal" drugs, amoung other stuff. Some legal drugs are worth even more than cocaine.

Think I'm kidding? Back in Kosovo, I once got sent out for anti-smuggling mission. What were we looking for? Cattle. Contraband... cattle. "You woke me up at 2 am to look for COWS being moved over the border?"

Gods, you don't even want to know about the other meat smuggler we caught. Got caught smuggling 300 lbs of salami. Yea, "hide the salami" jokes were rather popular.


That place is weird on a completely new level.


The rest of the firearms were SKS's, AK -47's, and other non US rifles I did not recodnize. As to why he would do it from here to there and not from a closer source...could be bs I quess but it makes sense to an extent. He has his $ foundation here and can legally and more easily buy the weapons & ammo here than he would be from an illegal source in Europe or some 3rd world country. But something tells me he was doing both smuggling from here and other sources closer to Kosovo.

Ha. I once asked an arms smuggler what the biggest thing he's smuggled to date. "A squad of T-72's and some helicopters". I smirked a bit, not believing him. So he showed me the last one he had in stock. Yep. Fully loaded T-72.

Believe me, it's cheaper and easier to buy them in other places much closer. I can break out a map and show you the smuggling routes they use. Mostly old trails that go through the mountains. Same paths have been used since the Middle Ages for smuggling purposes, passed from generation to generation.

DonNikmare
July 21, 2005, 02:17 AM
http://www.pbs.org/pov/pov2005/thebrooklynconnection/i/special_journey.jpg

His name is Florin Krasniqi and that's him pulling one of those .50 cal rifles.

Think I'm kidding? Back in Kosovo, I once got sent out for anti-smuggling mission. What were we looking for? Cattle. Contraband... cattle. "You woke me up at 2 am to look for COWS being moved over the border?" :D
And salami too huh...what can I say we like our food there in that part of the world.

I'm from Bulgaria and we are notorious for liking our food and booze. I went camping with two American friends a few years ago. They had their dried camping foods and I had...well, let's just say they called my backpack "The Deli" :D

In the film, they showed some Albanians at a fund raising event for a democratic presedential candidate, General Wesley Clark I think. Well, the talking heads were talking and the Albanians were shoving food down pretty hard.


Believe me, it's cheaper and easier to buy them in other places much closer. I can break out a map and show you the smuggling routes they use. Mostly old trails that go through the mountains.

They showed that being done in the film as well - loading a poor donkey or a mule with two cases of ammo and a bunch of SKSs and Ak-47s and taking off up into the mountains. Looked staged for the film though.

DonNikmare
July 21, 2005, 02:35 AM
Google turned up some more info. equally likely to be BS or at least highly exagurated...
http://www.booknoise.net/benotafraid/characters/

http://www.booknoise.net/benotafraid/characters/src/florin.jpg
Florin Krasniqi (pronounced Kras-nee-chi)
Owner of Triangle General Contractors in Brooklyn. He immigrated to the United States from Kosovo on Christmas Eve 1988 by sneaking across the Mexican border in the trunk of a Cadillac. He would eventually raise $30 million for the Kosovo Liberation Army and smuggle hundreds of high-powered American sniper rifles to the guerrillas. He is currently working on a multi-million dollar hydroelectric power plant in Kosovo.

http://www.booknoise.net/benotafraid/characters/src/xhev.jpg
Xhevdet Krasniqi (pronounced Jev-det)
Florinís first cousin. Xhevet helped Adrian smuggle weapons into Kosovo by building a secret compartment underneath the flatbed of his dump truck, which he would load with wet sand. When he came upon Serb police checkpoints, he would say that he had taken the sand from the river to make cement.
Xhevdet Krasniqi inspecting bullets for the KLAís .50-caliber American sniper rifles; photo courtesy of Florin Krasniqi

Apperantly some consider this guy a terrorist and the KLA a terrorist organization. He was asked about that in the film and denied cooperating with Al Qaeda but implied he had used them when the KLA was in dire circumstance. He is a muslim but professes to be focused on Kosovo's independance as opposed to any Jihad type activities. John Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate, is being given money by an Albanian terrorist organization known as the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA or UCK in Albanian). (http://wheels128.blogspot.com/2004/10/if-this-is-true.html)

True or not it's a facinating story.

Justin
July 21, 2005, 02:55 AM
I posted this last week in the other thread about this guy:

A search of the 2004 election cycle for the name Krasniqi at

http://www.tray.com/cgi-win/indexhtml.exe?MBF=NAME

Turned up the following info:


3 . Krasniqi, Florim
7/17/2004 $2,000.00
Brooklyn, NY 11228
Triangle General Contractors Inc/Pr [Contribution]
KERRY VICTORY 2004
[View Image]

4 . Krasniqi, Florim
6/28/2003 $1,000.00
Brooklyn, NY 11228
Triangle General Contracting/Owner [Contribution]
JERRYS POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (JERRYS PAC)
[View Image]

5 . Krasniqi, Florim
8/5/2003 $250.00
Brooklyn, NY 11228
Self/Triangle Roofing/Contractor [Contribution]
ENGEL FOR CONGRESS
[View Image]

6 . Krasniqi, Florim
9/2/2004 $1,000.00
Brooklyn, NY 11228
Self/Triangle Roofing/Contractor [Contribution]
ENGEL FOR CONGRESS
[View Image]

7 . Krasniqi, Florim
6/23/2003 $1,000.00
Brooklyn, NY 11228
Self-employed/Roofing Contractor [Contribution]
TOM LANTOS FOR CONGRESS COMMITTEE
[View Image]

8 . Krasniqi, Florim
6/27/2003 $1,000.00
Brooklyn, NY 11228
self/roofing contractor [Contribution]
HENRY J. HYDE FOR CONGRESS COMMITTEE
[View Image]

9 . Krasniqi, Florim
3/31/2004 $500.00
Brooklyn, NY 11228
self/roofing contractor [Contribution]
HENRY J. HYDE FOR CONGRESS COMMITTEE
[View Image]

10 . Krasniqi, Florin
3/23/2004 $1,000.00
Brooklyn, NY 11228
Triangle Gal Contractors/President [Contribution]
JOHN KERRY FOR PRESIDENT INC
[View Image]

11 . Krasniqi, Florin
10/24/2004 -$1,000.00
Brooklyn, NY 11228
[contribution refunded to individual]
JOHN KERRY FOR PRESIDENT INC

Heavy contributor to Kerry?
Buying hundreds of .50's in NY?
This one should have anyone's bullpucky detector twitching...

Rebar
July 21, 2005, 04:00 AM
This has the smell of the CBS documents.

If so (more than likely), it shows the desperation of the gun grabbers to manufacture such a story.

c_yeager
July 21, 2005, 04:17 AM
That region is actually relatively stable at the moment. I suspect that any high-dollar american weapons being imported are being sold FOR A PROFIT to arms collectors that want a cool weapon. You know, the same people that buy them here.

toivo
July 21, 2005, 05:16 AM
He helped raise a lot of $ for John Kerry and at one point was shown righting a contribution check to democrat senetor Hyde at a fund raising event.Hyde is a Republican.

Cosmoline
July 21, 2005, 06:09 AM
The whole thing stinks, as I mentioned in a thread from a few days ago. EIther this guy is a publicity seeker or he needs to be doing federal crime. The maker of this agitprop is of course a European anti. Why do people get so worked up about the Mexicans working in the fields when our Euro "friends" go out of their way to tear down what freedom we have left? This manipulative creature Quirijins bragged in an interview about how she was able to fool US gun shop owners into letting her film them by having an American woman do the talking for her. Her avowed goal is to destroy our freedom. Frankly, she hates us a whole lot more than OBL ever has.

RevDisk
July 21, 2005, 07:25 AM
Apperantly some consider this guy a terrorist and the KLA a terrorist organization. He was asked about that in the film and denied cooperating with Al Qaeda but implied he had used them when the KLA was in dire circumstance. He is a muslim but professes to be focused on Kosovo's independance as opposed to any Jihad type activities. John Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate, is being given money by an Albanian terrorist organization known as the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA or UCK in Albanian).

To be fair, the KLA only came into being shortly after the Serbs started committing atrocities in Kosovo. They especially became active after the Drenica massacre. Some members did commit war crimes. Yes, they got funding from less than scrupious folks and activities. In that region, no one is as innocent as they claim, nor as guilty as their opposition makes them out to be. Nothing in that region is white or black, but varying shades of grey.

Some members of the KLA were responsible for helping the US Army hunt down the mujihadeen folks that were really into committing war crimes. Plenty of good apples, plenty of bad apples.

As for being labeled terrorists by the State Department, so was Garden Gnome Liberation Front. Not saying all of them were honourable folk. Far from it. But equating them to al Queda is a real stretch.



And salami too huh...what can I say we like our food there in that part of the world.

I'm from Bulgaria and we are notorious for liking our food and booze. I went camping with two American friends a few years ago. They had their dried camping foods and I had...well, let's just say they called my backpack "The Deli"

In the film, they showed some Albanians at a fund raising event for a democratic presedential candidate, General Wesley Clark I think. Well, the talking heads were talking and the Albanians were shoving food down pretty hard.

Oh yea, I noticed. Gods, I loved the food, booze and women of Bulgaria. Yea, they tried to kill me with food in Sofia. I remember this one resturant, "Rio" I think it was, we ordered the uh, meat lover's special. They brought out about seven or eight different types of meats on spits. Huge amounts of each.

Yea, I always enjoyed eating with the locals. This one Albanian from the TMK was giving me a historical lesson on Kosovo during a meal. He was chowing down on a pork roll with one hand, and a beer in the other. "Hey, aren't you Muslim? - Uh, yea? - Should you be doing that? - Probably not. But Allah is merciful. Hey, pass me another beer, will ya?" :evil:

Yea, I could see him getting along REAL well with the mujihadeen. Probably "greet" them with a beer in one hand, and an AK in the other. ;)

bogie
July 21, 2005, 07:31 AM
1) If I bought $30,000 worth of guns, I'd likely get visits from F-Troop.

2) If I bought $300,000 worth of guns, I'd likely get a LOT of visits from F-Troop.

3) If I bought $3,000,000 worth of guns, I'd likely have a dead dog, a dead wife, a dead kid, and a squashed cat.

4) If I bought $30,000,000 worth of guns, I'd likely still be in jail.

5) And if I tried to export ANY of them without the proper paperwork, I'd have a cellmate.

The story's BS. They're cheaper there, they're more available there. At $3,000 for a .50 caliber, you're talking 1,000 transactions. Since he makes it sound like he's buying 'em one at a time.

Okay - he's going to gun shows. How many .50s do you see at the average non-Knob Creek gun show? One? Two? Maybe 10, if you get really lucky? Let's say he buys 10 on Saturday and 10 on Sunday.

He'd better be driving good-sized truck...

BS meter is broken.

DonNikmare
July 21, 2005, 08:43 PM
"Hey, aren't you Muslim? - Uh, yea? - Should you be doing that? - Probably not. But Allah is merciful. Hey, pass me another beer, will ya?"
LOL :D That's so very tipical. It is also tipical of many Orthodox Christians and even priests in Bulgaria who pig out during their fasts just as much as they do during regular times. I've heard many stories of the village priests all pigged out, drunk, and asleep under a shade tree.

RevDisk, glad you enjoyed the food and beer and got to see part of my country.

Nik

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