An alleged Israeli whistleblower who is an expert on energy security has gone missing in Cyprus after claiming in a tweet that the Biden administration was out to “bury” him.
In February, Dr. Gal Luft, the founder and executive director of the Washington-based Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS), was preparing to reveal damning information about the Biden family’s international business exploits to Congress when the Biden Department of Justice had him arrested on weapon trafficking charges.
Luft reportedly told the FBI in 2019 that the Bidens informed a Chinese energy executive that he was the target of a federal investigation, allowing him to flee the country before he could be arrested.
According to Luft’s lawyer, the Justice Department is retaliating against his client “with trumped-up and false charges.”
Luft was arrested at the Larnaca International airport on February 16, after Interpol issued an arrest warrant against him on suspicion of arms trafficking to China and Libya. According to the Cyprus Mail, the whistleblower was boarding a plane for Israel when local authorities arrested him. Luft was also accused of lying to the FBI and violating the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA), according to his arrest warrant. He’s facing up to 96 years in prison if convicted of the charges.
Luft, a former lieutenant colonel in the Israel Defense Forces, confirmed his arrest in a tweet two days later.
“I’ve been arrested in Cyprus on a politically motivated extradition request by the U.S.,” he wrote on February 18. “The US, claiming I’m an arms dealer. It would be funny if it weren’t tragic. I’ve never been an arms dealer,” Luft continued. “DOJ is trying to bury me to protect Joe, Jim & Hunter Biden,” the 56-year-old added, threatening to “name names.”
I've been arrested in Cyprus on a politically motivated extradition request by the US.
The US, claiming I'm an arms dealer. It would be funny if it weren't tragic.
I've never been an arms dealer.
DOJ is trying to bury me to protect Joe,Jim&Hunter Biden.
Shall I name names?
— Gal Luft (@GalLuft) February 19, 2023
“Dr. Luft is a whistleblower,” Luft’s American attorney Robert Henoch told the Washington Free Beacon back in February. Henoch said prosecutors ignored Luft’s information “and are instead targeting him with trumped-up and false charges.” The attorney added: “This unfortunately appears to be part of an attempt to discredit a witness with critical information about an ongoing congressional and DOJ investigation.”
Luft disappeared some time in March after the Larnaca court ordered a conditional discharge for him. The whistleblower posted bail for €150,000 ($165,409.50) and was required to report to the Paphos central police station at regular intervals, according to the Cyprus Mail.
Larnaca police said he failed to report to the police station on March 28, and has been missing ever since. In April, Larnaca police spokesperson Haris Hadjiyiasemi told reporters that another European and international arrest warrant had been issued against him.
According to the Cyprus Mail, “police seized €250,000 from a guarantor Luft named before the Larnaca court ordered his release.”
Luft had reportedly worked with CEFC-USA—the nonprofit arm of the Chinese energy conglomerate CEFC China—between 2015 and 2018, the same period CEFC-China began its influence operations with the Biden family.
The whistleblower reportedly organized conferences in the United States, Hong Kong and China and developed close personal ties with several CEFC-USA senior officials, including the chairman of CEFC, Ye Jianming and his deputy Patrick Ho. Jianming and Ho reportedly began their outreach to the Bidens in 2015, while Joe Biden was serving as vice president.
Luft alleged through Henoch that four years ago, he tried to inform the DOJ that CEFC had paid $100,000 a month to Hunter Biden and $65,000 to Joe Biden’s brother Jim, “in exchange for their FBI connections and use of the Biden name to promote China’s Belt and Road Initiative around the world,” the New York Post reported in March.
Henoch, a former U.S. assistant attorney, said Ye confided to Luft that Hunter had an FBI informant called “One-Eye” who was “extremely well placed, who they paid lots of money to [provide] sealed law enforcement information.”
“One-Eye” allegedly tipped off Ye Jianming that the Southern District of New York was investigating him, according to the Post. According to the Post, Luft learned about the scheme through his own relationship with Patrick Ho and Ye Jianming.
Soon after that tipoff, Ye offered Hunter $1 million to be his “private counsel” and flew to China, leaving his wife, daughter, son, mother, and nanny in his $50 million penthouse at 15 Central Park West. Ye was detained in Shanghai three months later and disappeared. Before he left New York, Ye told Ho that the coast was clear for him to come back to the US.
On Nov. 18, 2017, Ho flew into JFK Airport, where he was arrested by FBI agents on bribery and money laundering charges. Hunter was paid $1 million by CEFC to represent Ho, which entailed contacting his FBI sources on Ho’s behalf and engaging another attorney to do the legal work, according to emails on his laptop. CEFC paid a further $4.9 million to Hunter and Jim Biden in monthly installments for 14 months from August 2017, government records show.
Luft claims he contacted the DOJ after Ho was jailed, and federal investigators flew to Brussels to interview him for more than 18 hours on March 28 and 29, 2019. However, he never heard from them again, and less than four weeks later, Joe Biden announced he was running for president. The House Oversight Committee has released bank statements showing an additional $1,065,000 was funneled from a Chinese company affiliated with CEFC to Hunter, Jim, and Hallie Biden, Hunter’s former lover and widow of his late brother, Beau. The payments were made in increments over three months through Biden associate Rob Walker, whose wife, Betsy, had been personal assistant to then-second lady Jill Biden.
According to the Free Beacon, Henoch, told the Justice Department in a filing under penalty of perjury that he had accompanied Luft during his 2019 meeting with FBI and Justice Department officials.
“The DOJ had this information in March 2019 and did nothing,” Henoch said.
The attorney said in March that he planned to submit letters to Congress with details of Luft’s case and of his 2019 meeting with federal investigators.
Luft’s fate remains to be seen. His attorneys have called on Israeli authorities to intervene in Cyprus to block his extradition to the United States. Rep. James Comer (R., Ky.), the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said this month that he is investigating Luft’s claims and has been in contacts with his lawyers.
After Luft’s arrest in February, Jeremy Carl, a senior fellow at the Claremont Institute, wrote on Twitter that he had spent many years as an energy and environmental policy analyst, and had gotten to know Luft fairly well through this work.
“Gal was *very* connected to the energy policy and security establishments, in the U.S., China, and elsewhere,” Carl wrote.
But he certainly didn’t behave like an international arms dealer. He didn’t splash money around, personally or professionally. He just seemed like a politically-connected think tank guy. And you meet lots of those in my line of work.
In all the time I knew him, Gal never asked me to do anything or say anything that I felt was remotely inappropriate. And here is where things get interesting: Gal Luft struck me as absolutely connected enough (particularly in China) that he could know some information about corrupt Biden family business dealings there. But he did not remotely strike me as an arms dealer.
Now I want to be careful here. I have no idea what information the Biden administration and FBI claim to have on Luft. He may be guilty as charged. He wouldn’t be the first politically-connected DC policy guy to have a double life.
But given what we’ve seen from the FBI and Biden Family, I see no reason to given them the benefit of the doubt. Did a corrupt FBI and Biden family have Luft arrested on bogus charges to try to silence him? Or did they make a mountain out of a molehill for the same reason?
The House Oversight Committee is attempting to obtain Luft’s testimony. It is not clear if he will be allowed to testify, but we should all be very interested in what he has to say.
Two national security experts who had worked with Luft in the past, told American Greatness that it was a “really weird situation” and that Luft did not strike them as someone who could be an international arms dealer. “F—k no,” said one of the experts, when asked. “That said, these guys rarely look like that,” he added.
The other source said, “He was a nerd obsessed with getting the US off of Arab oil.”
In response to American Greatness’ inquiries about the status of their investigation, Comer’s office said it had no comment at this time, but would let us know if that changes.