Latest developments in ongoing Kazakh intelligence war

Alnur Musaev

Alnur Musaev

In September of 2008, a Kazakh spy, identified by Austrian authorities only as “Ildar A.”, tried to kidnap from Austria former Kazakh National Security Committee (KNB) chief Alnur Musaev (photo), who has lived in self-imposed exile in Vienna since 2007. Apparently, Musaev, who has fallen out with the Kazakh dictatorship, knows too many secrets about corrupt Kazakh rulers. One can see why the latter consider him a national security threat: last week, Musaev gave an interview to Washington-owned Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), in which he said that Rakhat Aliyev, also former KNB director and former son-in-law of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev, might have been involved in the kidnapping of two high-ranking bankers in Kazakhstan. The plot gets thicker, however, because the Kazakh regime is also on the hunt for Aliyev, who also lives in exile in Vienna. Could it be that the Kazakh leadership offered to let Musaev off the hook if he spilled the beans on Aliyev? RFE/RL says Aliyev showed its reporters documents “indicating that Kazakh authorities asked Austrian officials to postpone hearings into [a previous] request to extradite Musaev to Kazakhstan by three months”. Meanwhile, Western intelligence services are not standing on the sideline in this imbroglion, which involves one of the world’s richest energy suppliers. So far British and Austrian agents have been found to have had involvement in the affair –interestingly enough on the side of Kazakh authorities.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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