January 9, 2022

KAZAKHSTAN: Former Intel Chief Who Was Fired Last Week Was Arrested On Charges Of Treason. Muslim Brotherhood Obama Biden Connection To Kazakhstan Beheadings And Violence.

BNE Intellinews.com
written by Joanna Lillis for Eurasianet
Sunday January 9, 2022

Karim Masimov, a hitherto political heavyweight who was sometimes tipped as presidential material, has experienced a spectacular downfall this week as unrest roils Kazakhstan. First, he was fired from his powerful position as security chief, then he was arrested on treason charges. Eurasianet looks back at the career of the banker turned politician turned security hawk turned (alleged) coup conspirator.

Linguist… and spy?

Born in 1965 in a provincial Soviet city that was then called Tselinograd and is now Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan, Masimov became an accomplished linguist in the 1980s, studying Arabic in Moscow and Chinese in Beijing. He also did graduate studies in management in Kazakhstan.

When he later became a politician, rumors swirled that he had worked for the KGB at this time, since this type of background was typical for recruits to the Soviet spy agency.

After Kazakhstan gained independence in 1991, Masimov became a representative for his new country in its trade and commercial structures in China and Hong Kong.

Well-connected banker

He worked in banking in the mid-1990s, at a time when many were making fortunes in the new Kazakhstan’s nascent financial sector.

As chairman of the board at Halyk Bank, he made some powerful connections: The bank is owned by Dinara Kulibayeva and her husband Timur, the daughter and son-in-law of Nursultan Nazarbayev, who was president of Kazakhstan from independence until his resignation in 2019.

Political heavyweight

Masimov later became a loyal stalwart in Nazarbayev’s political team, serving variously as minister of transport, minister of the economy and deputy prime minister before becoming prime minister.

He served two stints in that job: from 2007 to 2012 and from 2014 to 2016, working as Nazarbayev’s chief of staff in the interim. As PM, Masimov was generally regarded as affable and open, and sometimes tipped as a future president – though his mixed Kazakh-Uighur ethnic heritage was viewed as a factor that would hold him back in a country where people expected a full-blooded Kazakh as president. Masimov once forced a media outlet to issue a rebuttal to a report claiming that he was Uighur, on the grounds that his Uighur heritage is on his mother’s side, whereas ethnicity derives from the father by Kazakh tradition. In 2016, Nazarbayev appointed him as security chief, the position in which he was allegedly fomenting treason.


The most abiding image of the mustachioed Masimov in this rollercoaster of a career is of him boogying on down in a trendy nightclub in the capital, then called Astana, before it was renamed after his political protege Nazarbayev, back in 2008.

“Masimov entered at approximately 11:30 pm, accompanied by Presidential Administration head Kairat Kelimbetov, Astana mayor Askar Mamin, three middle-aged Kazakh women (presumably their wives), and a security detail,” U.S. diplomats recalled in a Wikileaks cable.

“Although the club offers a VIP area, Masimov chose to sit at a table in full view of all of the club's patrons.” A U.S. diplomat “lingered close to Masimov's group and saw several bottles of alcohol on the table,” the cable noted earnestly.

Masimov is then depicted as a bit of an exhibitionist, as he “led his companions on to Chocolat's dance floor soon after their arrival” and “chose to dance on an empty stage above the dance floor.”

He was also a stayer, because “his companions quickly tired, but Masimov remained, dancing alone and animatedly on the stage for another 15-20 minutes. At approximately 1:00 am, Masimov and his retinue left the club.”

Now, Masimov has left Kazakhstan’s political establishment to face what is likely to be a long spell behind bars.
written by Joanna Lillis
Saturday January 8, 2022

In a turn of events that has complicated the narrative around the unfolding drama in Kazakhstan, the authorities on January 8 announced that the recently dismissed head of the security services has been arrested on charges of treason.

Karim Masimov’s arrest comes only three days after he was dismissed without explanation from his post by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

This turn of events, which implicates a stalwart ally of former President Nursultan Nazarbayev in a suspected political conspiracy, hints at the likelihood of a vicious behind-the-scenes clash among elite insiders. At first glance, it appears the Nazarbayev clan is emerging as the loser.

Masimov’s arrest was announced by the very same National Security Committee, or KNB, that he led until his dismissal on January 5.

Russian-owned Sputnik news agency produced footage of a meeting of top national security officials presided over by Tokayev on that date which included Masimov among the attendees. The official chronology now produced by the KNB indicates he was dismissed after that meeting and then arrested the next day.

No other details about this developing case have been disclosed.

News of this arrest arrives less than 24 hours after Tokayev claimed that what he described as “20,000 bandits” had emerged from sleeper cells to attack the commercial capital, Almaty. The attackers had a clearly defined strategy and were reporting to a central command point, Tokayev said.

The events of the past week started in the western oil town of Zhanaozen with a protest over a sudden surge in the price for car fuel. That rally sparked large gatherings in several cities in the west, which in turn inspired an unusually well-attended anti-government march in Almaty.

What began as peaceful demonstrations descended into violence on the evening of January 4, however. Eyewitnesses in central Almaty say riot police waded into the crowds in Almaty throwing tear gas and stun grenades.

Clashes then descended into severe bloodshed in circumstances still deeply shrouded in confusion. Internet connections in Almaty and much of the rest of the country have been down since that time, limiting the ability of residents to filter information to the outside world.

The strikingly frantic narrative presented by Tokayev on January 7 was that terrorist gangs with international backing exploited the unrest with the apparent intent of seizing power.

Skeptics have derided those accounts as an attempt to deflect blame from the regime for the rampant socioeconomic disaffection that has festered among ordinary people for years.

Masimov’s arrest, meanwhile, has added another tantalizing strand to the story. The charges of treason point to the possibility that the KNB chief was involved in a bid to topple Tokayev and seize power.

That theory appeared to receive a semi-official endorsement on January 7, when a well-known commentator and former high-ranking government official went on state television to declare that he had received information that Kazakhstan had been targeted by an “armed rebellion” that amounted to an “attempted coup d’etat.”

Yermukhamet Yertysbayev, a one-time adviser to Nazarbayev, is popularly known by the nickname “the president’s nightingale,” as it was widely understood he would express thoughts Nazarbayev wished to put in the public domain, but with plausible deniability.

By way of evidence for his theory, Yertysbayev told Khabar TV that he had been given information that an order was given to remove the security cordon around the airport at Almaty just 40 minutes before protesters occupied it on January 5. That would likely only have been possible with sanction from the very top.

Questions have been asked, ever since this crisis erupted, about the whereabouts of Nazarbayev himself. The 81-year-old stepped aside for Tokayev in 2019, but he retained a considerable role in the running of the country in his position as chair of the national security council, a job that gave him effective control over the security apparatus. In another shock reshuffle that hinted at infighting, Tokayev dismissed Nazarbayev from that post on the same day that he fired Masimov.

Nazarbayev’s absence from public attention has sent the rumor mill into overdrive and generated speculation that he and much of his immensely wealthy immediate family have fled the country.

On January 8, however, Nazarbayev’s spokesman, Aidos Ukibay, tried to quash what he described as “knowing untruths and speculation.” He referred to Nazarbayev by his state-bestowed honorific, Elbasy, or leader of the nation, a title concocted over a decade ago as a personality cult bauble.

“Elbasy is in the capital of Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan,” he tweeted.

He has been “holding a number of meetings and is in direct contact with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev,” and “held several telephone conversations with heads of states friendly to Kazakhstan,” Ukibay wrote.

Nazarbayev was last seen in public on December 28, when he visited St. Petersburg to attend an economic forum and met Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines.

In all the uncertainty, one thing that is clear is that suspicions over the loyalty of the security establishment figures close to Nazarbayev have prompted Tokayev to install himself and trusted people to key positions.

Tokayev took over from Nazarbayev as chairman of the security council. On the same day, he replaced Masimov at the KNB with Yermek Sagimbayev, the man hitherto entrusted with ensuring the president’s security as head of the State Protection Service.

This palace intrigue, moreover, offers additional insight into what may have moved Tokayev to appeal to the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization, or CSTO, to provide assistance in ending the ongoing unrest. As of January 7, thousands of elite troops from Russia, as well as a smaller number from Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, have been pouring into Kazakhstan, ostensibly with the task of guarding key strategic facilities, such as airports and important government buildings.

While a semblance of calm appeared to be returning to the streets of Almaty and the rest of the country on January 8, the reverberations of palace infighting may continue for months and years to come.

Fox News published November 30, 2021: Biden lied when he denied knowledge of Hunter’s businesses deals. Maranda Devine discusses her new book ‘Laptop from Hell.’
Axios published December 8, 2019: Joe Biden: "I don't know" what Hunter was doing for Burisma. Joe Biden is asked by Mike Allen about Hunter Biden's lucrative job for Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company: "I don't know what he was doing. I know he was on the board. I found out he was on the board after he was on the board. And that was it. ... I trust my son."

BNE IntelliNews.com
written by Editor
Friday January 7, 2022

By all accounts, Kazakhstan’s “Elbasy”, or “Leader of the Nation”, Nursultan Nazarbayev, fled abroad in panic after simmering anger at the corruption and poverty inflicted on the ordinary people of the oil-rich state boiled over this week. The country’s post-Nazarbayev era has truly begun and those of the regime remaining in power will attempt to erase any linkages with the great (now not-so-great) man. How long can the name of the capital, three years ago renamed Nur-Sultan in his honour, survive?

Various speculation has Nazarbayev and other members of his immensely wealthy clan—such as his son-in-law and business oligarch Timur Kulibayev—in Switzerland, Russia or China, or perhaps in Abu Dhabi, or even only over the border from Kazakhstan in Kyrgyzstan as an interim temporary home. But Switzerland was on January 6 the bet of the Almaty correspondent of bne IntelliNews, who said: “Nazarbayev’s name has disappeared from reporting in the last two days; [he] fled the country on January 5 and is now believed to be in Switzerland.”

“Officially Tokayev now holds all the levers of power,” he added, referring to Nazarbayev’s handpicked successor Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who became president in 2019.

Stripped of role

Around the time of Nazarbayev’s apparent departure from Kazakhstan, Tokayev stripped his 81-year-old predecessor of his role as head of the State Security Committee, the successor to the Soviet-era KGB. In the three years since he handed over the presidency to Tokayev, 68, most people in the country of 19mn have remained suspicious that Nazarbayev, who boasts full immunity from prosecution in his homeland, has remained in control of Kazakhstan from behind the scenes. Interestingly, if any cases under international law are ever mounted against the brutal crackdown on the unrest of the past few days, Nazarbayev might benefit from the fact that he was relieved of his national security post before the shooting began in earnest.

The reputation of Nazarbayev, however, looks irreparably damaged. Not even ex-UK prime minister Tony Blair—who pocketed a small fortune by giving ‘public relations advice’ to Nazarbayev, even after Kazakh security forces in 2011 shot dead 14 people in a showdown with oil workers demanding better pay—would likely take on the task of restoring it.

The chant of “Shal ket!” or “Leave, old man!” was heard rising from many a rally as anti-regime sentiment in Kazakhstan ignited following the lifting of a price cap on vehicle fuel at the start of the new year. Whatever ‘personality cult’ sway Nazarbayev held over Kazakhs during certain phases of his long rule appears well and truly dissolved. Photographs of crowds pulling down Nazarbayev statues amid the unrest served to underline that.

Lip service

Despite some warm praise from Blair over the years, including remarks made in a video released as recently as 2020, the ex-president—the last surviving Soviet-era leader in power when he stepped down as the autocrat who ruled over a country the size of Western Europe—is widely regarded as never having paid much more than lip service to democracy. If the wealth of the oil and uranium-rich nation had been more equitably shared during his 29-year-long rule, that might not have mattered so much to many of those who took to the streets to protest. But the fact is that Nazarbayev—a former Communist boss who was named First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Kazakh SSR in 1989 and became Kazakhstan’s first president the following year shortly after the gaining of independence from the Soviet Union—and his extended family are widely viewed as sitting on an obscene amount of unmerited fortunes.

If Tokayev uses the exit of Nazarbayev to dislodge the ex-president’s loyalists who still retain seats at the table of power and lucrative assets across the economy—and there is some evidence he is doing just that—there will still be the stupendous wealth that the Nazarbayev family and the associated ruling class have built up abroad, such as in London luxury property. His legacy trashed at home, Elbasy may find he still has plenty of friends offshore. On the other hand, film director Oliver Stone who made a hagiographic film portrait about Nazarbayev’s time in office, named Qazaq: History of the Golden Man, might find himself batting away demands for a remake.
The New York Post
written by Miranda Devine
May 26, 2021

(VP) Joe Biden met with Ukrainian, Russian and Kazakhstani business associates of his son’s at a dinner in Washington, DC, while he was vice president, records on Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop show.

The dinner, on April 16, 2015, was held in the private “Garden Room” at Cafรฉ Milano, a Georgetown institution whose catchphrase is: “Where the world’s most powerful people go.”

The next day, Hunter received an email from Vadym Pozharskyi, an executive of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, to thank him for introducing him to his father.

“Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together,” Pozharskyi wrote on April 17, 2015.

“It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure.”

At the time, Burisma was paying Hunter $83,333 a month to sit on its board.

The guest list prepared by Hunter three weeks before the Cafรฉ Milano dinner included Russian billionaire Yelena Baturina and her husband, corrupt former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov, who since has died. Baturina wired $3.5 million on Feb. 14, 2014, to Rosemont Seneca Thornton LLC, a Delaware-based investment firm co-founded by Hunter and Devon Archer, a former adviser to Secretary of State John Kerry.

The wires were flagged in suspicious activity reports provided by the Treasury to a Senate Republican inquiry into Hunter last year by the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Hunter told guests before the dinner that his father would be attending. In one email, he appears to use his role on the board of World Food Program USA as a cover story for the evening’s true purpose of introducing his father to his business associates.

“Ok – the reason for the dinner is ostensibly to discuss food security,” writes Hunter on March 26 to Michael Karloutsos, son of the then-head of the Greek Orthodox Church.

“Dad will be there but keep that between us for now. Thanks.”

Karloutsos replies: “Everything is between us. All good‎! … I know you mentioned your dad would probably join the dinner as well.”

The dinner raises questions about how much Joe Biden, who has claimed ignorance of his son’s activities, knew about Hunter’s dealings with foreign businesses and government officials.

Three officials from Kazakhstan also were invited to the Cafรฉ Milano dinner, including Marc Holtzman, then chairman of the former Soviet republic’s largest bank, Kazkommertsbank.

A Mexican ambassador and representatives of World Food Program USA also were on the guest list, which Hunter emailed to Archer three weeks before the dinner:

-------- please click link to read the entire article --------

Kazakhstan banker Holtzman emailed: “Deer [sic] Hunter, Thank you for an amazing evening, wonderful company and great conversation. I look forward to seeing you soon and to many opportunities to work closely together.”

Hunter does not name the other two Kazakhstan representatives on his guest list, but on the morning of the dinner, Archer was invited to a “small private breakfast” with Kazakhstan’s Prime Minister Karim Massimov in his suite at the Willard Hotel: “There are several matters the Prime Minister is eager to discuss with you and he will be grateful for the opportunity to spend quality time together.”

The following year, Hunter would describe Massimov in an email as a “close friend.”

The president’s 51-year-old son had business dealings in Kazakhstan with an associate of Massimov, oligarch Kenes Rakishev.

Hunter’s chummy correspondence with Rakishev, pitching money-making ideas, also appears on the laptop.

Rakishev’s company Novatus used a Latvian bank to wire $142,300 to Archer’s firm, Rosemont Seneca Bohai LLC, on April 22, 2014, according to a currency transaction report recorded in the Republican Senate report. The wire included a note saying the money was “for a car.”

Massimov and Rakishev appear in an unverified photograph, posing alongside a smiling Joe Biden and Hunter, which was posted on a Kazakhstani anti-corruption website in 2019.

Hunter Biden brought his laptop to a MacBook repair shop in Delaware in April 2019 and apparently forgot about it. He admitted last month, while promoting his addiction memoir “Beautiful Things,” that the laptop “certainly” could belong to him, but “I really don’t know.”

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

UPDATE 1/9/21 at 3:03pm: Added info below.
Mideast Discourse
written by Steven Sahiounie, Chief Editor
Saturday January 9, 2022

Kazakastan descended into chaos and street violence on January 1. What appears to be a popular uprising against the government has an organized crime network calling the shots from a central headquarters, according to officials. Almaty, the biggest and most prosperous Kazakh city, was turned into a war zone littered with dead bodies, burned buildings and incinerated cars.

The government recently announced a sharp price hike in fuel prices, and the protests began afterwards. The true source of the unrest has less to do with price increases than a power struggle of the loyalists of Nursultan Nazarbayev, who stepped down as president in 2019 but retained wide powers and was given the honorary title of “leader of the nation”. and Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the current president who has recently reshuffled important posts.

Samat Abish, nephew of Nazarbayev, was removed from his post as deputy head of security by Tokayev, who also fired several other Nazarbayev loyalists. Sources on the ground report Abish played a major role in organizing the unrest.

Nazarbayev promoted Abish to the position of first deputy chairman of the National Security Committee (KNB) in December 2015.

Abish was a well-known follower of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is a political form of Islam that had been deemed too dangerous for the internal political stability and the national security of Kazakhstan. Turkey’s President Erdogan and his AKP party are Muslim Brotherhood followers, but the terrorist group is outlawed in Russia, Egypt, UAE and Syria.

One twitter account claims Abish has been detained in Almaty today.

Karim Massimov, former head of Kazakhstan’s National Security Committee (KNB), the country’s intelligence and security service, was arrested on January 6 on charges of treason.

A human -activist in Almaty, Galym Ageleulov, noticed the crowd of protesters seemed to be criminal gangs, and common thugs, not the usual government opposition and students.

Arman Dzhumageldiev is one of the most well-known gangster in the country, and he gave speeches as the government buildings burned behind him. The interior ministry announced he had been arrested along with five associates yesterday.

Please CLICK HERE to read the entire article...

UPDATE 1/9/21 at 3:53pm: Added info below.

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