Part 1: AMIA in Advance of 27th Anniversary of Deadly Terror Attack in Buenos Aires
Part 2: Shared Threads: AMIA, Burgas and Other Global Terror Attacks
(Washington, D.C., July 16, 2021)--B’nai B’rith International hosted a two-part virtual series—Hezbollah: Sowing Global Terror—in advance of the anniversaries of two deadly attacks on Jews.
The bombing of the AMIA building in Buenos Aires that killed 85 and wounded more than 300 took place July 18, 1994. Terrorists detonated a car bomb, killing and maiming those who worked at the AMIA (the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association) building and destroying the structure that housed so many Jewish Agencies in Buenos Aires. It was the deadliest terror attack ever in Argentina.
In 2012 on the same date, a suicide bomber blew up a passenger bus carrying Israeli tourists from Tel Aviv at the Burgas Airport in Bulgaria. The explosion killed the Bulgarian bus driver and five Israelis and injured 32 other Israelis.
Even though there is ample evidence that Hezbollah—a terrorist group that's a proxy of Iran—is behind both attacks, there is reluctance to tackle the terrorist organization head-on to this day.
In Part 1 of our series, “Commemorating AMIA,” we spoke with Luis Czyzewski, the father of a victim, about his search for justice. The interview, in Spanish with simultaneous English translation, was conducted by Adriana Camisar, B’nai B’rith’s Special Advisor on Latin American and U.N. Affairs from Argentina, with a special introduction by CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin. Czyzewski, whose 21-year-old daughter, Paola, was killed in the attack, has spent the last 27 years fighting for justice for his daughter and all of the victims of the attack. That unforgettable, tragic day was the first time Paola ever entered the AMIA building. She was visiting during a break from her law studies to assist her parents, who both worked at AMIA.
Czyzewski noted that there is no method, formula or book that says how to move forward after such a horrific loss. That the families of the victims have a burden they will carry throughout their lives. He said the many investigations into the bombing have revealed much about the attack, but that what we don’t have are convictions.
Camisar and Mariaschin commended Czyzewski for his courageous fight for justice.
In Part 2, “Shared Threads: AMIA, Burgas and Other Global Terror Attacks,” Mariaschin interviewed two experts about Iran’s proxy terror arm, Hezbollah, and its malign global reach. Guest Matthew Levitt is the Fromer-Wexler Fellow at The Washington Institute and director of its Jeanette and Eli Reinhard Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. Our 2nd guest was Gustavo Perednik, whose long resume includes writing two books dealing with the work of his friend, the late AMIA case prosecutor Alberto Nisman, “To Kill Without a Trace” and “To Die for Argentina.”
Perednik said that Nisman would have approved of combining AMIA and Burgas for commemoration, because he would have appreciated the connecting of the dots between multiple attacks and how the linked events expose Iran’s influence in terrorist attacks across the world—and by extension its guilt. Levitt said the Burgas attack didn’t happen in a vacuum and also observed that Hezbollah sees terror against innocent civilians as a legitimate path to achieving its objectives.
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Alberto Nisman bravely fought for justice after 1994 bombing of Jewish building in Buenos Aires
B’nai B’rith International has issued the following statement:
We mourn the shocking loss of brave Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was found dead late Sunday night at his home under mysterious circumstances.
A prosecutor is investigating his death, which is preliminarily being called a suicide.
It appears Nisman died on Sunday. He was scheduled to appear today before the Argentine Congress to go over his recent findings.
Nisman was courageous and determined in his investigation of the 1994 bombing of the Argentine-Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) building that killed 85 and wounded 300. Just days ago, B’nai B’rith commended Nisman for his dogged investigation that led to his filing a complaint against Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman alleging they offered Iran impunity before jointly creating the “Commission of Truth,” designed to find those responsible for the attack.
For years, Nisman heroically followed evidence in the terror attack wherever it led.
When the “Commission of Truth” was first signed two years ago, B’nai B’rith was dubious as to whether any actual information would surface, let alone lead to the prosecution of the perpetrators. Iran, the world’s largest state-sponsor of terror, is widely acknowledged to be behind the AMIA attack.
Officials from the top levels of the government were named in Nisman’s original report as being responsible for the bombing. Interpol issued arrest warrants for the attack, but no arrests have ever been made. Given Iran’s deplorable judicial track record and its refusal to turn over those previously implicated in the bombings, there was little doubt any serious “truth” would be produced.
We have closely followed Nisman’s investigation over the years and have strongly supported his efforts. His death creates a gaping void in the pursuit of terrorists.
B’nai B’rith sends its deepest condolences to Nisman’s family.