The 7 most dangerous men in the world
THERE USED TO be an established order to the world. A structure to things. You couldn’t print a gun like a term paper. It was impossible to wreck a nuclear production plant with a few lines of code. Flying robots didn’t descend on you in the dead of night and kill you in your home.
But that order has been upended. Cheap videos in California help spark riots in Cairo. Lynchpins of the Middle East now rant about ‘Planet of the Apes’ in public, and Iranian generals trash-talk David Petraeus over SMS. The world has gone a little haywire — sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. Here are our choices for the 15 people most responsible for making it that way.
He is the NSA whistleblower who is the most hazardous man on the internet. The world has known about the NSA’s illegal bulk compilation of phone records; its endeavors to challenge and weaken encryption used not only by common citizens yet by the U.S. government itself; its fight with companies such as Yahoo as well as Google to reach their customer data.
Ahmed Abu Khattala may not have played any role in the September attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. But he represents its enduring message: He mocked the impotence it projected about the United States.
The U.S. still doesn’t know exactly who’s responsible for the hours-long Benghazi assault. That’s partially the problem: Despite numerous precursor attacks during the summer of 2012, the U.S. intelligence presence in Benghazi wasn’t focused on jihadism. The Obama administration has sworn to bring the perpetrators to justice, but the hunt appears … less than substantial. That’s where Ahmed Abu Khattala comes in. Although ostensibly wanted for questioning in the attacks, the Libyan militant laughed at the feebleness of the U.S. manhunt during a leisurely chat with a New York Times reporter at a Benghazi hotel. Over a strawberry frappe.
Not to make too much of one interview, but, like the Benghazi attack itself, Abu Khattala went a long way toward undercutting the perception of competence that Obama projected in world affairs after killing Osama bin Laden. It’s spooked Obama’s administration: His advisers stopped talking about being thisclose to ending al-Qaida; and it stopped him from appointing Susan Rice as secretary of state after her account of Benghazi sparked a political scandal. Now the Libyan government has stalled in its aid to the Benghazi investigation. Abu Khattala can probably order another frappe.
— Spencer Ackerman
Photo: AP/Mohammad Hannon
3.THE UKRAINIAN MOBSTER
Who: Semion Mogilevich – Ukranian-born crime boss believed to be the “boss of bosses” of most Russian Mafia syndicates in the world, who operates without borders.
What he wants: Money and power
What he does: Drug trafficking, trading nuclear material, contract murders, and international prostitution. He has since held over 100 front companies and bank accounts in 27 different countries, all to keep the cash flowing. Before he was murdered, former Russian secret agent claimed Mogilevich had benefitted from a good relationship with Vladimir Putin since the 90s. Arguably one of Mogelivich’s most concerning characteristics is his influence in Europe’s energy sector. With only a $100,000 bounty on his head, he controls extensive natural gas pipelines in Russia and Eastern Europe.
How he can be stopped: In 2008, Russian police arrested Mogelivich, using one of his many pseudonyms, Sergei Schneider, in connection with tax evasion for a cosmetics company, Arbat Prestige. Three years later, the charges were dropped. He is on the FBI’s most wanted list for his involvement in defrauding $150 million. Defeating the corruption and managing to charge him for something will slow him down.
Bharara has completed the Southern District of New York a top control for computer crime cases, and impeached some of the most high-profile crime cases of the last years, from Stratfor hacker Jeremy Hammond to so-called Silk Road kingpin Ross Ulbricht.
5.The Mass Kidnapper
He is Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the terrorist group of Boko Haram. He claimed that he aims to establish an Islamic state in Nigeria and applying Sharia law. He committed bombings and village massacres, with 14 attacks already took place in 2014. The faction was highlighted with the kidnapping of 223 Christian schoolgirls.