In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, retired agents Bob Clifford and Kevin Foust review their international terrorism investigation of the hijacking of Egypt Air Flight 648 during an international trip from Athens, Greece to Cairo, Egypt, on November 23, 1985. The plane was hijacked in Malta by members of the terrorist organization, Abu Nidal. The hijackers began systematically shooting Israeli and American passengers. A rescue attempt by Egyptian commandoes resulted in dozens of deaths, making the hijacking of Flight 648 one of the deadliest such incidents in history. Sixty-one of the 95 passengers and crew died, as did two of the three hijackers.
Omar Mohammed Ali Rezaq was the only member of the terrorist team that survived the rescue attempt. Rezaq was tried in a Maltese court and sentenced to the maximum 25 years imprisonment, but when he was released after serving seven years, Clifford and Foust were determined to bring him to justice in a U.S. court. Clifford and Foust, via sensitive diplomatic negotiations with the leaders of several different African nations, were able to take Rezaq into custody in Lagos, Nigeria in July 1993 and transport him back to the United States to stand trial. He was sentenced to life in prison and is currently being held at the United States Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois.
Special Agent (Retired)
1/9/1989 – 6/30/2012
Retired agent Robert “Bob” Clifford served with the FBI for 24 years. He rose from FBI Special Agent to Senior Executive with responsibilities that specialized in international terrorism, counter-espionage, nuclear proliferation, and transnational criminal gangs, such as the violent MS-13. His assignments included FBI field offices, FBI Headquarters, the Iraq combat theater, and international and diplomatic postings throughout the world including US embassies, the European Union, and NATO. Bob Clifford is the recipient of numerous awards and decorations, to include FBI Director’s Award for Counterterrorism, the Director of National Intelligence Commendation Award, the Award of Excellence from the National Counterintelligence Executive, and the Bolivian National Police Medal of Merit. In 2004, Bob Clifford received the Service to America Medal and was named Federal Employee of the Year.
Special Agent (Retired)
1/4/1987 – 4/16/2011
Retired agent Kevin Foust served 24 years with the FBI. After an initial assignment in the Jacksonville Division, where he worked mainly drug investigations, Kevin Foust received a transfer to the Washington Field Office (WFO) and eventually began working international terrorism. Soon he was named the supervisor of the International Terrorism Squad and traveled to over 25 countries investigating and supervising hijackings and bombings. Later in his career, Kevin Foust made a personal decision to leave FBI Headquarters and relocate to the Richmond Division where he was appointed as the Supervisory Senior Resident Agent of the Roanoke, Lynchburg, and Bristol offices of the FBI. During that assignment, he responded to and assisted in the investigation of the deadly mass shooting that occurred on the Virginia Tech campus in April 2007. Upon his retirement from the FBI, Kevin Foust accepted a position with the university and is currently Virginia Tech’s Chief of Police and Director of Security.
Retired agent Eugene Casey served 21 years with the FBI. As a special agent, he used skills acquired from his prior employment as a compliance officer at Wall Street investment firms to work white-collar crime matters, drug money laundering, food stamp benefit fraud, and terrorist financing investigations. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, Eugene Casey reviews a series of interviews he conducted with Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, known worldwide as Carlos the Jackal, the inventor of modern-day terrorism. Before Osama Bin Laden, Carlos the Jackal was the world’s most famous terrorist. At the time that these debriefings, Eugene Casey was serving as Assistant Legal Attaché for the FBI in Paris, France. During his career, Casey received several awards from the Department of Justice including one for spearheading the Salt Lake Olympic Bribery investigation. He also served as the supervisor of the Joint Task Force on Terrorist Finance in Saudi Arabia and was the Unit Chief for the Eurasian Organized Crime Unit of the Criminal Investigative Division. His last Bureau assignment before retiring earlier this year was as an instructor at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia teaching Interviewing and Interrogation Skills.
Retired agent Russell Atkinson served with the FBI for 25 years. He specialized in investigating high-technology crimes in Silicon Valley. Atkinson also worked on several kidnapping cases and has arrested murderers and drug dealers. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, Russell Atkinson reviews the case of Charles Geschke, a wealthy Silicon Valley businessman kidnapped at gunpoint and held for four days before being rescued. After retiring from the FBI, Russ Atkinson, with degrees in mathematics and law, practiced law and also worked for many high-tech firms in the computer industry including IBM, Fairchild Semiconductor, and AOL. Now retired, he spends time writing crime fiction and is the author of eight mystery novels. His book Held For Ransom, is a fictionalized account of the kidnapping of a wealthy Silicon Valley executive inspired by the Geschke case. You can learn more about Russell Atkinson and his books at his website Cliff Knowles Mysteries.
Retired agent Dr. Joseph Dizinno, DDS. served in the FBI for 22 years. Prior to joining the FBI, Dr. DiZinno, who received a Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, owned and operated a family dental practice. He was initially assigned to the Washington Field Office where he investigated reactive crimes. After three years in the field, he was promoted and transferred to the FBI Laboratory where he began to specialize in the examination of hairs and fibers. Dr. DiZinno served as a critical investigative resource on many high-profile cases including dental and DNA identification at the Branch Davidian Cult fire, kidnappings, and major extortion cases. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, Dr. DiZinno reviews the functions of FBI Laboratory and the investigation of the tragic murders of Joann Katrinak and her baby Alex where mitochondrial DNA analysis was first applied to forensic casework. He was part of the research team that developed and validated forensic mitochondrial DNA analysis capability which enabled the FBI to obtain a DNA profile from evidence containing small or degraded quantities of DNA from hair, bone, teeth, and bodily fluids. Dr. DiZinno ended his Bureau career as the Director of the FBI Laboratory where he led more than 550 FBI Laboratory personnel, providing forensic examinations, technical support, expert witness testimony, and training to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and responding to events all around the world. Currently, Dr, DiZinno is a faculty member at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia where he teaches forensic science to undergraduate and graduate level students in the Forensic Science Program.
Retired agent Stewart Fillmore served with the FBI for 29 years. He began his Bureau career as a support employee and after three years received an appointment to the special agent position. Stewart Fillmore was assigned to the Little Rock, Chicago, Dallas, and Tyler, Texas offices. A career “street agent,” he worked most of the criminal investigation under the jurisdiction of the FBI. However, his primary specialty was investigating public corruption. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, Stewart Fillmore reviews a case initiated based on allegations that minority motorists were being illegally stopped on an isolated stretch of highway in rural East Texas. The case was eventually redirected to determine how and by whom drugs and firearms confiscated from motorists had gone missing from the Tenaha, Texas police evidence room. Stewart Fillmore wrote a book about the case, Tenaha: Corruption and Cover-Up In Small Town Texas. The true crime story provides an inside look at how an actual FBI public corruption investigation is worked. Since retiring from the FBI, Stewart Fillmore currently operates his own private investigation company.
Retired agent Kevin Rust served 29 years with the FBI. He spent a majority of his career in Mississippi in resident agencies out of the Jackson Division, including 13 years in a one person office. In this episode of FBI Retired case File Review, Kevin Rust reviews the reopened civil rights investigation of the racially motivated murder of sharecropper Ben Chester White by known Ku Klux Klan members. In the federal trial, witnesses spoke from the grave when testimony from the original state trial was read into the court record. The new case resulted in the murder conviction of Ernest Avants 34 years after the horrific hate crime occurred. During his Bureau career, Kevin Rust also had assignments in Chicago, Budapest, FBI Headquarters and Quantico. He was a crisis negotiator who responded to many incidents both domestically and internationally and taught negotiation concepts to hundreds of state, local and international officers. Kevin Rust, who prior to entering the FBI was a CPA with Price Waterhouse, currently works as a contractor for the FBI’s International Corruption Unit tracing money flows and identifying assets for seizure that were purchased with money stolen by foreign kleptocrats.
Retired agent John Terry served 25 years with the FBI. After a short stint in the Richmond Division, John was assigned to the Philadelphia Division where he developed an expertise in working International White Collar Crime investigations involving sophisticated schemes conducted by organized crime groups from eastern Europe. After a few years he was moved to the Organized Crime Squad where he investigated the Philadelphia mob. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, John Terry reviews his investigation of Ralph Natale, the first sitting mob boss ever to cooperate with and testify for the FBI. John also talks about his relationship with informant Ron Previte, also known as the “Fat Rat.” John Terry was later promoted to supervise the Organized Crime Squad. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, John Terry was appointed as the FBI’s On-Scene Commander at the Baghdad International Airport in Baghdad, Iraq, where he managed 25 task force investigators from various federal agencies conducting counter-terrorism and terrorist financing investigations. Later in his Bureau career, John served as the program manager responsible for covert operations utilizing all aspects of physical security to include locks, alarms, and video surveillance systems in support of counter-terrorism, counter-intelligence and criminal investigations throughout the United States. Currently, John Terry is employed as the Global Manager of Compliance Investigations for Ingersoll Rand.