Israeli professor arrested on suspicion of arms trafficking to China, Libya

Gal Luft rejected the accusations leveled against him and claimed he was arrested in relation to Hunter Biden's criminal investigation.

 Gal Luft, co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, speaks on stage during the opening day of Web Summit 2017 at Altice Arena in Lisbon (photo credit: VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
Gal Luft, co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, speaks on stage during the opening day of Web Summit 2017 at Altice Arena in Lisbon
(photo credit: VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

Israeli professor Gal Luft was arrested on Thursday at the Larnaca International Airport, in southern Cyprus, after Interpol issued an arrest warrant against him on suspicion of arms trafficking to Libya and China, according to Ynet.

According to Israeli and Cypriot reports, he was arrested at the airport as he was boarding a plane back to Israel. Luft is further suspected of conspiracy to commit serious felonies, as well as making false statements and other unspecified offenses he has allegedly committed since 2015.

 Luft: US trying to silence me to protect Biden family

The Israeli professor confirmed his arrest in a Sunday morning tweet, alleging that his arrest by Cypriot police was part of a 'politically motivated extradition request' by the United States.

Luft went on to deny suspicions leveled against him, affirming that he has "never been an arms dealer" and further claiming that the US Justice Department is "trying to bury me to protect [US President Joe] Biden" and his family.

 US President Joe Biden and son Hunter Biden disembark from Air Force One at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse, New York, US, February 4, 2023 (credit: REUTERS/ELIZABETH FRANTZ) US President Joe Biden and son Hunter Biden disembark from Air Force One at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse, New York, US, February 4, 2023 (credit: REUTERS/ELIZABETH FRANTZ)

Luft's attorney, Mordechai Tzivin, echoed Luft's claims in an interview given to Ynet on Sunday morning. According to Tzivin, the professor was targeted by Washington for information handed to law enforcement authorities in 2019 as part of Hunter Biden's criminal investigation.

Accusing Luft of trafficking weaponry to China and Libya "would be a good way to shut him up," the attorney cynically suggested, "because he knows a lot of information on Hunter. The Senate only recently began to investigate Hunter's case and Gal's testimony, if [he is allowed to testify] will bury Hunter Biden. 

"Even more so, his testimony will shift the attention toward the president himself," Tzivin claimed. 

The attorney also suggested that the Democratic Party would want Luft to "disappear...If this would have happened in Russia, they would have carried out a 'diplomatic car crash,' but luckily, he is in a safe location where no one can hurt him."

Who is suspected arms trafficker Gal Luft?

Luft, an author and an energy security and diplomatic expert, serves as the co-director of the Washington-based Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS), a think tank focused on energy, security and economic trends, as per its website.

Luft has been publicly critical of American foreign policy, as well as the Biden administration as a whole, in the past. In a 2021 Beijing summit, titled 'International Forum on Democracy: the Shared Human Values,' Luft accused the Biden administration's "commitment to democracy going only as far as its interests allow." 

Last month, the IAGS released a scathing analysis accusing the US of "pursuing illegal economic policies" in regard to its "extremely trigger-happy" economic measures against several nations across the world, most notably Russia, which has been at the receiving end of a multitude of economic sanctions from Washington and Western allies in Europe.