By Mary Fanning and Alan Jones | May 29, 2015
Gulftainer, the UAE container terminal operator that was recently awarded a 35-year lease at strategically-important Port Canaveral, FL, adjacent to a U.S. Navy nuclear submarine base and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, has allegedly been shipping weapons through the Port of Umm Qasr to two Iranian-backed terrorist militia groups in Iraq, the Badr Brigades and Asaeib Ahl al-Haq (AAH), according to a leak from Iraq General Port Company officials in Basra to Iraqi media.
“AAH is an Iranian-backed Shiite militant group that split from Moqtada al-Sadr’s Jaish al-Mahdi (JAM) in 2006. Since that time, AAH has conducted thousands of lethal explosively formed penetrator (EFP) attacks against U.S. and Iraqi forces, targeted kidnappings of Westerners, rocket and mortar attacks on the U.S. Embassy, the murder of American soldiers, and the assassination of Iraqi officials”. – Institute of the Study of War
The Iraq General Port Company, part of the Iraq Ministry of Transport, is the embattled nation’s port authority.
A former senior official with a coalition embassy in Iraq has confirmed to 1776 Channel that the report, which was published in Arabic by electronic newspaper Al-aalem Al-jadeed on February 10, 2015, charges that Gulftainer is moving weapons to terrorist groups the Badr Brigades and Asaeib Ahl al-Haq (AAH).
Al-aalem Al-jadeed describes itself as an “electronic newspaper free from influence of partisan and sectarian and owners.”
Gulftainer’s 35-year lease with Port Canaveral was negotiated in secret and then approved by the Obama Administration, without a national security review, despite Port Canaveral’s strategic location and it’s extreme proximity to some of the U.S. government’s most sensitive space and defense installations.
Gulftainer operates the Iraq Container Terminal inside Iraq’s deep-water Umm Qasr Port, located on the Persian Gulf near Kuwait.
The Badr Brigades and Asaeib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) are backed by Iran’s extremist Islamic regime.
Both Shiite militant groups are listed as terrorist organizations by the UAE government, according to the report.
Privately-owned Gulftainer and its corporate parent the Crescent Group are based in the UAE.
Hadi Al-Ameri leads the Badr Organization, a Shiite political faction in Iraq associated with the Badr Brigades. Al-Ameri is the former Iraq Transport Minister, and likely has deep connections with port officials and shipping companies.
Gulftainer’s shadowy deal with Port Canaveral
As reported earlier by 1776 Channel, Gulftainer’s new GT USA division plans to begin operations next month in Port Canaveral, FL near sensitive U.S. national security installations including a U.S. Navy submarine base and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
Gulftainer’s 35-year lease at Port Canaveral, secretly negotiated by Canaveral officials under code name ‘Project Pelican’, was approved without a national security review by Treasury Secretary Jacob ‘Jack’ Lew, a long-time associate of former President Bill Clinton.
It is unclear if Treasury Secretary Lew, the Department of Commerce or other officials within the Obama administration accessed any intelligence reports indicating that Gulftainer was possibly involved in trafficking weapons to Iranian-backed terrorist militias in Iraq. U.S. officials decided that Gulftainer should not be subjected to a national security review before commencing operations at Port Canaveral.
Gulftainer previously attempted to secure a lease at the Port of Jacksonville (JAXPORT), close to Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay and Naval Air Station Jacksonville, but was abruptly rebuffed by Port of Jacksonville officials.
Bill Clinton met last summer with Malik Jafar, a member of the family that owns Gulftainer and who is also a top executive at Crescent, the parent company of Gulftainer.
Although the official business of the meeting between former President Clinton and Jafar concerned the Business Backs Education Foundation, the two men met during the same time period in which Gulftainer and Port Canaveral officials were secretly negotiating Project Pelican. 1776 Channel reported on that meeting and the possibility that Clinton engaged Gulftainer in a pay-to-play arrangement to secure Department of Treasury approval for the deal.