Flynn Intel Group Founder Convicted of FARA Violations after Trial

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Saturday, August 3, 2019
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
8
Abstract: 

On July 23, 2019, a federal jury in Alexandria, VA convicted Bijan Rafiekian, 67, of San Juan Capistrano, CA of conspiring to act as an agent of a foreign government, making false statements to the Justice Department, and acting as a foreign agent.[1] Court records and evidence presented at the trial showed that Rafiekian, along with his co-conspirator, Kamil Ekim Alptekin, 42, of Istanbul, a Turkish national with close links to the highest levels of the Government of Turkey, participated in a conspiracy to covertly influence United States politicians and public opinion against a Turkish national, Fethullah Gulen, who is living in Pennsylvania.  The Turkish government filed two extradition requests for Gulen, and has tried to persuade the Department of Justice to extradite Gulen to Turkey since 2015.  The conspiracy involved using the Flynn Intel Group (FIG), a company Rafiekian and Michael T. Flynn founded.  It provided services based upon Flynn’s national security expertise.