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CAB152 / Italy / CAMORRA MURDERED U.S. NATIONAL SOPHIA TORRES IN NAPLES HOLDING CELL

CAMORRA MURDERED U.S. NATIONAL SOPHIA TORRES IN NAPLES HOLDING CELL

1. (C) SUMMARY: Further investigation by Carabinieri indicates Camorra involvement in murder of U.S. National Sophia Torres in Naples on December 26.

SOPHIA TORRES MURDER
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2. (U) Torres, Sophia A. (DOB 11/9/1985) (Ref. FJ-JDS803112) Born in Long Island City, NY. Parents divorced. One brother, living in Rochester, MN. Graduate student in international relations at Columbia University. Radical political connections; repeated travel to Gaza. Deported from Israel 2009. (Ref. DOS/DOJ0023383)

3. (SBU) On December 16, Torres was arrested by Italian Carabinieri for trespassing on the grounds of NATO HQ Naples. She was charged with resisting arrest, assault, conspiracy to commit acts contrary to the security of Italy, possession of explosives, possession of narcotics with intent to traffic, and possession of classified Italian military information. She did not attempt to contact the U.S. Consular Office in Naples (USCON). The Carabinieri contacted USCON on December 17. Torres refused to meet with any USCON personnel, including her assigned consular representative, Assistant Charge d’Affairs Susan Swedlow. (Incident Report Ref. DOS/EI/CON78059)

4. (C) On December 20, in a sworn statement to officers of the Italian Guardia di Finanza (GDF), Torres claimed U.S. National James Arger (Ref. FJ-JDS681031) was working for the Steinlöw Investment Group (Ref. DOS40457-FIN/2B and DOS48475-FIN/3A) as an agent provocateur and disinformation specialist, creating international incidents and information climates conducive to the crash of local resource prices.

5. (C) At approximately 0900 hours on December 26, a guard discovered Torres in her cell hanged with her own belt. It had been confiscated at her arrest on December 16. No record could be immediately produced indicating its release to her. No guard saw or heard anything on the cell block that night (Christmas night); all guards’ stories match. No fingerprints were found on Torres’ belt except hers, and those of seven guards in the Naples central police division, any of which might have handled her belt in evidence.

INVESTIGATION
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6. (C) On January 31, two weeks after formally requesting an interview, ACDA Swedlow met with the Naples district office of the Agenzia Informazioni e Sicurezza Interna (AISI) and obtained clearance for both the ongoing GDF and Carabinieri investigations into Torres’ death. She spent the next ten days interviewing the available guards and police staff on duty December 25 and 26, and reviewing Carabinieri files on Camorra (local organized crime) ties to the guards and their families.

7. (C) On February 13, while in Sala Consilina en route to an interview with Naples Police sergeant Cosimo Saglieri, at that time reported to be on invalid leave, ACDA Swedlow was badly injured in a drive-by shooting. Local authorities and the Carabinieri identified no suspects; ACDA Swedlow was evacuated to a US Navy medical facility at NATO HQ Naples.

8. (C) The attempted murder of ACDA Swedlow placed the investigation under U.S. Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) control; on February 24, Special Agent Cameron Moore began his investigation into the attack on Swedlow and the murder of Torres. On March 6, SA Moore obtained a memorandum of cooperation from the AISI and continued Swedlow’s investigation, this time with the full involvement of the anti-Camorra magistracy and the Raggruppamento Operativo Speciale (ROS) of the Carabinieri.

8. (C) In cooperation with ROS and US OTFI personnel, SA Moore focused investigation on the finances of the suspect guards, local Camorra captains, and Steinlöw Group subsidiaries and partner investors in Italy, Monaco, Albania, and Malta. Saglieri’s uncle received substantial funds from bank accounts associated with the Camorra during a time of increased account activity in Steinlöw Group assets, including funds associated with Libyan government accounts. Other Saglieri relatives showed sudden prosperity and anomalous bank balance increases. Sophia Torres’ brother Nicholas K. Torres also received $100,000 from Silent Hands, a Monaco-based charity, on December 14, using the funds for treatment at the Mayo Clinic.

9. (C) A nearly complete paper trail connects the Steinlöw Group, Silent Hands, the real-estate group Campania Holdings, known Camorra associate Dio Carmella, and Sergeant Saglieri. (See full financial rundown in DOT/OTFI 4435.)

10. (C) Sergeant Saglieri is currently being held by the ROS on suspicion of bribery and conspiracy to commit murder.

COMMENT
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11. (C) Sergeant Saglieri’s political beliefs and sympathies, and those of Dio Carmella, are at odds with Arger’s; there is no personal or financial connection currently discernible between any of the three. SA Moore does not believe there is any indication of involvement by Arger in the conspiracy behind the death of Sophia Torres and the attack on ACDA Swedlow.

12. (C) Given the initial allegations of disinformation, and the payment to Torres’ brother, recommend domestic LEO examine or re-examine Arger and Steinlöw Group accounts forensically.

END COMMENT.

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