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After UN Cocaine Exclusive Press Asks of Bomb Squad Inaction, "Noose Cover Up"

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, Jan 30, updated Jan 31, 10:40 am -- With the UN yet to answer the questions of Inner City Press, which exclusively broke last week's story about 14 kilograms of cocaine in the UN mail room, other UN Security whisteblowers have come forward with troubling tales, of racism and what they call lax response to packages identified by bomb sniffing dogs.

  Inner City Press was informed, and at Monday's UN noon briefing asked, about an incident this month in which three separate UN bomb sniffing dogs "sat down" -- conveying suspicious -- about a package brought in by a courier service by the name of TNT.

  But, the UN Security whistleblowers say, "the bomb squad was never called by the command." Rather, the TNT courier was allowed or told to take the suspicious package out of the UN, out onto the streets of New York.

  Last week after breaking the cocaine story on the morning of January 26, Inner City Press asked the UN why instead of waiting to see who might come and pick up the 14 kilograms of cocaine in the UN mail room, it was spirited so quickly out of the building with the UN claiming it had "no UN connection."

  That question, and follow up or even admission of the arrest in 2006 of an employee in the UN mail room after an indictment for drug trafficking, has still not been answered.

  In light of the UN's failure to provide any answers about the bomb threat, five hours and counting after the Q&A transcribed below, Inner City Press now posts as a matter of public concern another complain received from inside the UN:

"In the month of January 2012 a Security officer in the UN in New York discovered a 'hangman's noose'... in an office in the North Lawn Building... in view of other staff members and visitors to the UN. The UN.... is trying to keep it out of the media. Is this the respect for diversity and human rights the UN is practicing at headquarters? They why should the world listen to them?"

  We'd like to have Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson's office's (or DSS') answer to these charges, but there seems to be a back-up in answers, or the patterns of cover-ups alleged in the complaint above.

DSS Greg Starr & bags: bomb dogs etc not shown (c) MRLee

  As background, in 2006 a UN staffer was said to have drawn swastikas but, UN insiders say, was "protected by Bruno Henn" of UN Security, and only given sensitivity training.

From the UN's transcription of its January 30 noon briefing:

Inner City Press: I want to ask a security question, it’s following up on last week’s 14 kilograms of cocaine story. First, some other security individuals have stepped forward and said that this month, January, there was three separate UN bomb sniffing dogs sat down, i.e., identified a package that arrived in the mail room as being problematic and asked that the bomb squad be called, and rather than that happen, the package was allowed to drive off to parts unknown. They have a deep concern that there is something wrong with the way in which security is dealing with the mail thing, it is the same question of why the 14 kilograms of cocaine were spirited out of the building before waiting to see who would pick them up... The final thing is I got the answer, there is a 2006 indictment of a UN mail room employee, it was a pretty big case in which he was distributing khat from Somalia throughout the United States, it’s a federal indictment. So I wondered, you said that they were unaware of any arrests, maybe they didn’t understand, was there some limited time frame they were looking at or are they unaware that that took place?

Spokesperson Martin Nesirky: Do you recall what was the outcome of that case, Matthew?

Inner City Press: No, he was arrested; my question was [about arrests,] you wrote back and said they are unaware of any arrests.

Spokesperson: As I said, I would like to ask further about that, and that’s what I did. When I have something, I will let you know.

Inner City Press: On this other one, they have a concern and apparently they are not able to address it internally for whatever reason. And it seems [it could impact] all of us. I am saying this idea that if a package identified as potentially containing explosives is identified by UN security, is the protocol to actually check the package or just let it go, you know, continue on freely on the streets of New York?

Spokesperson: Let me check, Matthew. Okay, thanks very much.

But after nine hours and counting, there was no answer at all. Watch this site.

Update of January 31, 2012, 10:45 am -- more than twenty hours after the questions were asked, this came in which we publish in full:

Date: Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 10:05 AM
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Subject: Your question on security
To: Matthew.Lee [at]

On your questions yesterday on security:

- We do not discuss the specifics of security screening for rather obvious reasons.

- The Security and Safety Service has made it clear that no package that is identified as potentially hazardous by dogs or other screening methods is allowed into the premises or to proceed without further investigation. In all such cases action is taken.

  We'll have more on all this.

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