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CAB111 / Italy / U.S. NATIONAL JAMES ARGER IMPLICATED IN NEUTRALITY ACT VIOLATIONS

U.S. NATIONAL JAMES ARGER IMPLICATED IN NEUTRALITY ACT VIOLATIONS

¶1. (C) SUMMARY: U.S. National Sophia Torres was arrested on the grounds of NATO HQ Naples on December 16 on multiple felony counts. Under interrogation by officers of the Italian Carabinieri and Guardia di Finanza (GDF), she claimed to have information about criminal activities carried out by U.S. National James Arger. END SUMMARY.

JAMES ARGER
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¶2. (C) Arger, James D. (DOB 10/31/1968) (Ref. FJ-JDS681031) is a former journalist with the Detroit Free Press (1994-2005), now a freelance blogger and occasional stringer for United Press International, Mother Jones, Huffington Post, and HDNet. Arrested for trespassing during a protest against the Gulf War in 1991. Has repeatedly traveled to countries under State Department watch or interdiction: Cuba, North Korea, Burma, Afghanistan. (Ref. full passport record DOS/PP1003954.)

¶3. (C) Arger is currently subject of close monitoring for CODE RED threats to government document confidentiality, including classified information. He is the registered owner of the Internet domain for the website Warmongers Inc. (WMI), which displays copies of leaked cables from DOS and other agencies, as well as other data and imagery of unknown provenance. (Ref. DOS130555)

SOPHIA TORRES
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¶4. (C) Torres, Sophia A. (DOB 11/9/1985) (Ref. FJ-JDS803112) is a graduate student in international relations at Columbia University. Member of International ANSWER, Students For Peace in Palestine, International Coalition for Justice, other groups. Arrested for trespassing and resisting arrest on numerous occasions since 2002, mostly anti-war and pro-Palestinian protests. Repeated travel to Gaza since 2003. Deported from Israel 2009, on Shin Bet watch list: ISA threat YELLOW. (Ref. DOS/DOJ0023383)

SOPHIA TORRES ARREST AND SUMMARY OF STATEMENT
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¶5. (SBU) Torres was arrested by Italian Carabinieri officers on December 16 for trespassing on the grounds of NATO HQ Naples. At the police central office in Naples she was also 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)

¶6. (C) On December 19, Torres provided initial claims of knowledge concerning ongoing financial criminal activity. In response to her initial statement, GDF Lieutenant Giulio Mazzucheli joined the investigation later that day: which agency currently holds jurisdiction of the case remains unclear. This bureaucratic confusion has delayed USCON and other DOS access to Torres’ full statement and case files. She made a fuller statement to Carabinieri and GDF interrogation on December 20:

– Torres first met James Arger in Gaza in 2003, and again in 2005. (NOTE: Passport and travel records indicate Arger was in Gaza at those times.)

– Believing him to be an ideological ally, Torres shared details of operational plans by pro-Palestinian groups with him. Israeli security forces later demonstrated knowledge of those plans.

– Torres shared emails between herself and Arger in which he offered her money in exchange for names, contact information, and details of Western NGO personnel and activists working in Burma.

– According to Torres’ statement, Arger works as a provocateur for the Steinlöw Investment Group (Ref. DOS40457-FIN/2B and DOS48475-FIN/3A). His role is to use his connections in the anti-globalist, anti-corporate, pro-ecology, and other political and protest networks to incite unrest and spark specific incidents that will create maximally favorable conditions for the Steinlöw crisis market investment strategy.

– According to Torres’ statement, Arger has previously engaged in such operations at the behest of the Steinlöw Group in Nigeria (2006), Mexico (2008 and 2010), and Zambia (2011). Torres specifically named Arger’s involvement instigating labor-union activists into actions benefiting the Ontiveros coup attempt, and encouraging NGO activities in dangerous, warlord-dominated sectors of Zambia. (NOTE: Passport and travel records indicate Arger was in Nigeria in 2006 and in Mexico in 2008.)

– According to Torres’ statement, Arger is currently running an Internet disinformation operation intended to create a false crisis to further benefit Steinlöw Group.

COMMENT
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¶7. (C) Passport and travel records confirm some of Torres’ testimony. Without access to Torres’ full statement, or to the emails she provided the GDF, we cannot immediately authenticate or disauthenticate her statements or conclusions. Torres’ testimony does not fit the current case profile of Arger (Ref: Psychological evaluation of Arger by Dr. Franck Hinrich: DOD PS-9328840) as a temperamental loner and borderline narcissist. Politically, his expressed opinions over the course of 30 years or so are broadly leftist and hostile to global investment firms such as the Steinlöw Group. While this does not demonstrate Torres’ confabulation, her testimony remains unproven at best.

¶8. (C) Recommend circulating this information (and any further primary testimony or evidence available from Italian LEO) to SIPDIS-cleared officers of relevant U.S. LE/I/O community assigned to monitoring or other open investigations of Arger per DOS113839 and DOS130555.

END COMMENT.

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