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UK Gov failed to assassinate Scottish inventor of fraud-proof voting system

Mr Alex Weir | 29.06.2008 13:03 | Technology | World

2006 Alex Weir, Scottish software developer, invented a fraud-proof voting system specially designed for 3rd world conditions (i.e. Zimbabwe, Kenya, Nigeria etc). British and Chinese Governments described system as 'dangerous'. 2007/12 British Intelligence and French Intelligence tried unsuccessfully to assassinate Weir over 5 days in Conakry, Beirut and Aleppo.

UK Government fails in their attempt to
assassinate the Scottish inventor of a fraud-proof voting system for the 3rd


It started maybe some years ago – A black
Zimbabwean friend of mine was round at our place in Harare and we were brain-storming. One of the subjects which he brought up was –
would it be possible to use IT (information technology) to solve the democracy
problem in Zimbabwe

and in so many other 3rd world countries? We looked at each other for 30 minutes,
thought deeply, but nothing was apparent..


April through August 2006 I was having a
series of brainwaves coupled with mid-night insomnia. I created 3 concepts, the 2nd of which was a Tamper-Proof Electronic Voting
System for the 3rd World. The
first was a very low-cost electronic mailbox/messaging system for people
without mobile phones (yes – some of these people do exist). And the 3rd was a low-cost, highly
secure electronic and mobile banking system.


All of these systems were quite difficult
to imagine or conceive, but once conceived were and are very simple to
understand and to create. A Swedish
software guy commented that unless you were on the ground in the 3rd
world, it would be almost impossible to conceive of the solutions or even of
the need for them.


During August 2006 I peddled my voting
system around the foreign embassies of Harare. I got the usual response, to which I have
become very inured and accustomed – complete disinterest and sometimes even
hostility. After a lot of persuasion, I
finally got an appointment to present at the British Embassy – to Philip
Barclay, FCO’s man in Harare

– on 6 September 2006. I presented for
10-20 minutes and then he asked a few questions, to which I responded. Then, sensing something, I said ‘ Of course
if your organization isn’t interested in real democracy then a system like this
might not be welcomed…’. He responded –
‘You know, sometimes democracy can be a dangerous thing….’.


A similar experience May 2007, when
presenting to an official at the Chinese Embassy in Harare – he stopped me after 3 minutes of the
presentation and said – ‘Your system – it is dangerous!’ (I agreed).


Andrew Ellis – Operations Manager of
International IDEA in Stockholm (similar in
function to the Carter
Center and supposedly a
pro-democracy organisation) – by email February 2007 – ‘[Alex Weir’s voting
system] … has undesirable implications…’


The British Ambassador to Malawi - November 2006 – when talking to Tony
Farnum, a private election consultant to the UNDP – ‘[Alex Weir’s voting
system] … is politically unacceptable!’ (He meant politically unacceptable to
the British, not to the Malawians).


The day after I presented to the British
Embassy in Harare I flew to London, from where I spent 3 full months campaigning
to have my system welcomed by the West and the International Community. It was an uphill task, and almost without any
yield. Emailing, phoning, and some
face-to-face visits (to Stockholm,
Kopenhagen, and Bruxelles). Contacting
about 50 international organizations, including World Bank, Clinton Foundation,
Carter Center, International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) in
Washington DC, International IDEA in Sweden, the European Commission in
Brussels, OSI (George Soros), IMF, DFID, FCO, Norad, SIDA, Danida, UNDP, OSCE,
Westminster Foundation, Electoral Reform Society, Greater London Authority,
Scottish Executive, Transparency International, Amnesty International, United
Nations Electoral Assistance Division, USAID etc etc etc..


I got an interview on the BBC World Service
Radio which took place and went out Friday 29 September 2006; also an article
in the Zimbabwean online and paper newspaper, and another radio interview by
Violet Gonda on SW Radio Africa.


I had a 20-minute face-to-face surgery
session one Friday morning in Kilmaurs with Des Browne, the UK Defence
Minister, and the local MP for Kilmarnock Scotland, which is my place of birth
and where I spent my first 14 years, and therefore is the closest thing I have
to a Constituency. He was quite amicable
and positive. My request was that he
should put my system in front of Gordon Brown, who was then UK Finance Minister
(and is now in 2008 the UK Prime Minister).
He said that he could not do that, but that he would try to get the
system in front of Shriti Vadera, who was at that time a senior figure in the
UK Treasury and Gordon Brown’s right-hand woman on Debt Relief for the 3rd



3 weeks and a lot of effort later, I had a
10 minute phone conversation with Vadera.
She was sympathetic but informed me that all her advisers stated that my
system was ‘impractical and unworkable’.
I responded that all her advisers were wrong, but I did not at that time
appreciate the overwhelming level of opposition to my system from the UK Civil
Service (‘Whitehall’)
on Political and not on Technical grounds…
If I had then I would have impressed upon her that although the
opposition was ostensibly on technical grounds, in fact it’s sole motivation
was political.


The 2 bright spots on the otherwise bleak
landscape were Madeleine Williams and Marcus Baltzer. Madeleine was at that time the Head of
Elections and Demoracy at USAID.
November 2006 I phoned her and she suggested we use my system to run the
(ill-fated) Nigeria
Elections April 2007. I agreed, but that
proposal never came to anything. And a
few weeks later she was informed by USAID that she was being transferred to a
much lower-level field job in Cairo…


Marcus was a young (27-year-old) Human
Rights lawyer from Sweden
working in Malawi. A colleague of his had heard the radio
broadcast on BBC World Service, and we corresponded quite a bit on the
possibility of using the voting system in Malawi. But it appears that the British Embassy
sabotaged that opportunity, and Marcus did not have his UNDP Contract renewed.


Thus it seems that people who back this
voting system have career reversals…


So beginning of December 2006, 3 months
after setting out on what I felt was a sure-fire successful mission, I slunk
back to my home and base in Harare Zimbabwe,
somewhat puzzled about my lack of success.
It was in February 2007 that it became very very apparent what was in
fact going on – I found out about the Global Electoral Organisation Conference
which was going to take place in Washington
DC 27-29 March 2007. I emailed the organizers – IFES (for whom I
had worked in Green Zone, Baghdad

3 months in 2005) – asking to present a paper on my voting system. 2 weeks later, after some political emails
which I was not meant to see (but which were copied to me by sympathizers), the
reply came – there is no space on the Agenda…


So I responded by email requesting that I
could come as a delegate/participant. 10
days later the response came – there is no remaining space for delegates. So I
phoned Dorin Tudoran of IFES (since fired from that organization, I
understand). He explained that they had
to turn away a number of other would-be participants, not only me… So I asked
him on the phone ‘How many people in total were turned away?’ – he responded
‘We don’t have to tell you that!!’. Such
an amateur that he couldn’t even maintain the lie….. It was and is immediately obvious to me
that only one person was turned away – and that was me – and the reasons were
(again) political in nature.


Eventually I emailed a 3rd time
and suggested that I could send a looping powerpoint presentation which could
be hosted on a PC in the exhibition area, without me having to be in Washington or at the
Conference. 2 emails and 2 phone calls
later there was still radio silence. And
as stated earlier, I had worked for these guys (IFES) for 3 months in Baghdad without any
complaint from their side – in fact I was the IT Guy in charge of the complete
Iraqi Voters Roll and Election Database and in charge of IT side of the
2005 Voters Registration Exercise. Thus it was not like Alex Weir was some guy
from the street – an unknown quantity of dubious or unknown quality…


And of course if my system had faults and
weaknesses, then what better strategy than to invite me to present and to ensure
that the big guns were there who could shoot me down in front of the entire
audience?… This tells you that by that
time, my voting system had matured into something fireproof and bullet-proof,
which the political opponents could no longer discount on technical grounds –
they simply had to suppress it by whatever means at their disposal.


June 2007 through December 2007 I did a
commercial programming contract for Rio Tinto Iron Ore
in Conakry, Guinea,

West Africa.
During that contract I had quite a bit of flexibility regarding leave
schedules, so I did 2 trips to Kigali,
Rwanda to try
to persuade them to use my voting system for their Parliamentary Elections
(2008) and their Presidential Elections (2010).
On my second trip in October 2007 they gave me a verbal OK to run the
Diaspora Voting for the Parliamentary in 2008/08. I was of course overjoyed, and on my return
to Conakry a
few days later I penned an email to Des Browne.

He had not been taking me or my system seriously, I stated. Now that the Rwandans were taking me
seriously he should please now put the voting system outline in front of Gordon
Brown. After a few weeks and several
reminders, Des replied – ‘I cannot grant your wish - there is nothing further I
can do….’ Or words to that effect. I
responded – ‘I will be contacting the Media’


So I contacted the Kilmarnock Standard
Newspaper – a small print and online newspaper with relatively limited
circulation. They were quite positive,
and when I phoned their Ian Russell on Friday 30th November 2007 he
informed me that they would almost certainly be publishing one week later –
they were simply waiting for a statement from Des Browne in response to the
draft article which had been emailed to him.

I was overjoyed (again) and joked with colleagues and friends that since
I was playing hardball with the UK
Minister of Defence they should keep an eye out for a red laser dot on my
forehead and inform me if they see one so that I could duck out of the line of
fire from the sniper’s bullet. I never imagined
that my joke might become some kind of reality.


A very important aside – which was not
really picked up or appreciated by Ian Russell – while reviewing the
approximately 20 emails which had passed between me and Des Browne during the
period October 2006 through November 2007, I came across a gem – in one email,
Des Browne used the following wording:



Thank you for your e-mail. I do not
understand your reluctance to have
those who so strongly support your proposal set out the advantages.

I have received, and read carefully, Mike
Clegg's e-mail but other than
a general endorsement it does not give me the hard arguments I need.
Please reconsider. Only with arguments can I hope to change the
negative opinion that has developed across Whitehall.





Thus Des Browne hides behind ‘The Negative
Opinion that has developed across Whitehall’. Because of that negative opinion, he, an
elected Minister, cannot present the system to Gordon Brown, again an elected
Minister. What an incredible piece of


This effectively states that unelected
civil servants are superior to elected Members of Parliament and even to
elected Ministers, and can dictate to Ministers what they can and cannot
do. Now whether Des Browne believes such
nonsense or whether he is lying and using that nonsense as an ostensible reason
not to grant my request, either way he has a case to answer. If he believes the nonsense which he uttered
then it is very obvious who is running the British Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – and it is not the



The next day – Saturday 1 December 2007 –
was at the start quite average – at work at the Rio Tinto Offices at Corniche
Sud, Conakry in Guinea. Programming on a Health and Safety
Documentation system for Guillaume Olivier, a South African guy working for
NOZA and out in Guinea
on contract with 2 other NOZA guys.
Guillaume was usually stationed upcountry at Canga East, Simandou, where
the Iron Ore deposits and the mine were stationed, but he had come down the previous
day – we were going to create and finish a system from scratch over the next
2-3 days. But for some reason, I felt
ill that day – lacking energy and motivation.

I went back to Riviera Royale Hotel for a sleep at lunchtime (something
I did quite often, since I often started work at 0530 hrs) but on my return
still neither the brain nor the body were working as they should. We left about 1500 hrs and dropped me at my
hotel after getting some souvenirs for G – carvings and stuff. I slept again, maybe for 60-90 minutes, and
then woke up with a very low body temperature.
Strange – I never usually get sick – and if I do it is never like
that. I dressed, put on my heavy fleece
jacket, and went to the dining area at about 1800 hrs to get some dinner. There was nobody else there – just 20 empty
tables outdoors near the pool and some waiters hanging around. I ordered vegetable soup, pizza and a
beer. The soup arrived. I started eating it.


Then 2 white guys arrived – walking like
military people walk, but in plain clothes – casual dress – both wearing
French-style short sleeved shirts with thin vertical stripes – 5-6 colours – a
fashion which only the French and/or French Canadians seem to wear. 26-28 years old maybe. They both walked in quite fast – like they
were on business, not there for pleasure or leisure. They sat down at the table right next to me,
and also on my side of the table. And
the funny thing – neither of them made any eye contact whatsoever, although I
was watching them all the way in and attempting to make eye contact with
them. They ordered Guillux beer, which
is a local beer – this to me marked them out as people who were not newcomers
to Guinea
– not just people passing through in a hurry – such people would order Heineken
or Becks – a known international brand.

And yet I had never seen these 2 guys before, despite having been in Guinea for 6
months and having socialized at most of the places frequented by foreigners.

Then something happened which aroused my
interest even more – the one with the longer hair was talking on his mobile
phone (at a distance out of earshot) and was arguing very heatedly with someone
for a long time (3-5-7 minutes maybe).
It did not seem like an argument with a girlfriend, more like an
argument with a business partner, an organizational superior or an
organizational subordinate. Whatever the
issue was, it was something very serious.


My suspicions were now aroused. I left my table, walked past the 2 guys and
made a phone call from my mobile to my wife in Zimbabwe. I told her what was going on and said that if
anything happened to me she should know.
When I walked past the 2 guys both times again they failed to make eye


I finished my food and signed the
bill. I was ready to leave. Then I thought – what the hell – what do I
have to lose? – so as I stood up I swiveled round, put my hands on the table of
the 2 guys and said to them in English ‘Which company do you guys work for
then?’. After a slight pause the
longer-haired guy responded ‘Nous sommes Francais’ (we are French). I responded ‘Pour quelle compagnie vous travaillez?’ (which company do you work for ?). No response.

Some seconds pass. I add ‘Vous
etes tourists?’ (You are tourists? – this is a joke or let us say a sarcastic
comment, since Guinea
is a country where there are literally zero tourists). Some seconds pass again – I am looking at
them and making it obvious that I will not depart without some kind of sensible
reply. Eventually the longer-haired guy
says ‘Nous travaillons pour l’Embassade Francais’ (we work for the French
Embassy). I hadn’t expected that
reply. I draw in a breath and leave
their table. By that time it is dark,
and Oliver Baboujian, the Hotel Manager, is alone about 4 tables away, near the pool. I walk over to him and say – ‘Oliver – see
those 2 guys at that table – they work for French Embassy and are behaving
quite strangely. If I am found dead
tonight or tomorrow those are the guys who did it’. ‘Are you in some kind of trouble
Alex?’.. ‘It seems so, Oliver. I am disappearing for a few days…’. I left, phoned my wife again from hotel
reception, told her I was going underground for a few days and not to worry,
switched off my phone so as not to be trackable, and took a taxi to the Novotel
– where other Rio Tinto people were, and especially my friend G. I got the taxi driver to switch off his phone
also and warned him about the 2 guys I had seen and talked to, in case they
tried to interrogated him or worse in the days ahead. I did not even go back to my hotel room to
collect anything, since that would be a very predictable place to be trapped
and killed, either inside or outside.


So what explains the strange behaviour of
these 2 guys? I think within maybe 24
hours I had worked it out – they were probably sent to kill the guy who had my
mobile phone number about his person - +224 646 788 41. They were not given an identifying photo,
just the phone number, which was in my pocket as I sat at the hotel restaurant. Since the French Embassy have access to the
mobile phone system and to mobile phone tracking technology, their 2 operatives
had to get close to me to be sure they had the right guy. Thus they sat so close to me although there
were 20 empty tables. Because they were
going to kill me, they preferred not to make eye contact, in case their look
gave anything away, and/or in case they felt sympathy for me. Maybe they were not told it was a relatively
old (58) white guy they were doing to kill, who happened to be visibly ill at
that point in time (you have to be ill to wear a heavy fleece jacket when the
temperature is 32 Centigrade). So my
guess is that the intelligent one of the 2 requested his control to send a
photo over the phone, to verify the identity of the target. And the control refused, saying either they
didn’t have a photo or they were not going to send one. Just kill the guy! No! This guy is old and sick - maybe he
swapped phones with the guy you want killed - send over a photo! If the photo
matches then we kill him – no problem! We are not going to do that! Then we
don’t kill him! What has he done
anyway?! Just kill him! Obey orders! And
so on…. Then when I effectively gave them a chance to blow their cover, after
some 20 or more seconds and a few interchanges, he did so. By doing this he took his team out of the
action. Later in December, the French
Ambassador Harare’s reactions were interesting: ‘Maybe they were sent to scare
or intimidate you – that is often done’.

My response – ‘If they scared the wrong guy then no big deal – the
argument on the phone was about more than scaring’. The Ambassador’s second response – ‘How did
you know these 2 guys were from the French Embassy?’ ‘They told me so’. He was shocked – ‘That was MOST
unprofessional!’ I had also been surprised
– I had expected some kind of lie – like ‘we are from Orange Telecom’ or
something like that – I was actually very surprised when they stated they were
from the Embassy. This bolsters my
theory that the guy was deliberately blowing their cover because he was not
happy with the hit – he felt that something was wrong. (Of course something WAS wrong – they had
been sent on a Political Assassination of an innocent guy whose only crime was
to play hardball politics with the British Minister of Defence over a voting
system which would change the Geopolitics of the world, and in particular which
would effect a change in the balance of power away from the West and China and
towards the Third World).


Back to that evening – I arrive at Novotel
by taxi, and check at the desk for the room number of G – they take about 3
minutes to find his room number. I get
into the lift, and as the door is closing, a white guy walks in with a white
towel over his arm, draped like a waiter.
I don’t even think about it – I get out quickly without saying anything
and take the stairs. There are no white
waiters at Novotel or even in the whole of Guinea, and his dress was casual
apart from the strange way the towel was draped over his arm. I am guessing that under the towel was a knife
or a gun. Since I imagined that my trip
from Riviera
to Novotel had not been tracked, I didn’t think much about it at the time –
only later – it may just have been another botched attempt.


G wasn’t in his room but I found him and 3
of his South African buddies at the restaurant/bar. I joined them without eating, and told G what
had happened so far (missing out the waiter in the lift). He became very serious. ‘I used to be in the
South African Special Forces, and also I did UN Protection Duty for VIPs in Burundi. I know how these things work. It seems to me that the 2 French Embassy guys
were there to kill you. And just because
you escaped do not think you are safe – they or other teams will try again and
again for the next 1-2 weeks. Probably
after that, if you survive, it will die down again. You have to leave Guinea tonight or tomorrow and you
cannot fly out – they will be watching the airport. And you cannot go to Europe – they will get
you anywhere in EU, even in the UK. In fact it is much better I don’t know where
you are going – then if I am asked or interrogated I cannot tell anything. By the way – is the battery still inside your
phone?’. ‘Yes – but the phone is
switched off’ I replied. ‘Get the
battery out also – it still gives off a tracking signal with the battery
in!’. You learn something every day….


The cell-phone tracking thing may also
explain the white waiter in the lift – the French Embassy could have been
tracking me the whole way from the Riviera
to the Novotel, even though my phone was switched off. It makes sense of course to have a backup
team or individual, in case the main team fails or their cover is blown.


G gave me a rucksack, toothpaste, socks,
tee-shirt, soap and a few other items. I
dozed fitfully for some hours and left Novotel about 0400 hrs Sunday 2 December
2007. I bought a radio and a torch when
shops had opened, and was in Sierra Leone,
in Freetown the
capital, before 0900 hrs the next morning – a distance of about 200 kilometres
and across an international frontier.

Strangely enough, G got a considerable amount of flack for assisting me
– from NOZA and from Rio Tinto – it seems that British Government and/or French
Embassy Conakry exerted considerable pressure on either or both these companies
to harass him.


Since Europe was out of bounds and
traveling in the direction of Zimbabwe would maybe have been a bit predictable
(anyway, I wanted to confront the scoundrels who were behind these attempts –
and that I felt meant traveling to UK – when the situation had calmed down a
bit), I reckoned I should be heading for an Arab country – where I also feel
quite at home (like I do in Africa).
Because the Lebanese traders are the Indians of West Africa, I reckoned
there would be good flight links to Beirut. I was correct. I paid cash for the ticket, but of course my
name and probably also my passport number went into the computer.


2 hours later I was on the ferry from Freetown to the Island where Lungi Airport
is. There was one character who was out
of profile – a white guy with sandals and a rucksack. He was at the airport too a bit later,
looking intently through his own passport for a long time. I guess from that that the passport was a
false one. So I tackled him. ‘Who do you
work for?’ ‘Tigo Telecom – I am a software guy’

And he was French. But then he
said something after that which made me think he was not a software guy. But I didn’t want to be paranoid, so I
discounted my hunch. I didn’t see him on
the plane or on any of the connections, so I guess maybe he was a watcher whose
task was just to ensure that I got on the plane I had booked. Or maybe he was just a strangely-behaving
innocent – these people do exist, you know.


24 hours later I arrived in Beirut by plane. Immigration suggested I stay at Talala Hotel,
near the Corniche I think. A pleasant
place, very inexpensive. I checked in
and they recommended Le Chef restaurant quite nearby. 1500 hrs I was sitting there enjoying some
decent food when 2 really criminal-looking guys walked in. They ordered with undue haste, in French, but
from what I could gather they were not regulars. They were short in height with shaven
haircuts. I didn’t think much about them
but observed them, since they were the most interesting people in the
restaurant. Their phone rang, and one of
them walked out of the resto before answering.

Then he walked back in and through to the back area of the resto to
converse. I watched the other in a wall
mirror. He didn’t see me watching I
guess, because he gave me a very long (4-second) and intense and malevolent
stare. Shit, I thought – this could be
more of the Conakry
stuff. Ok – no panic. Finished or nearly finished my food, then
called over to the waiter in French – ‘Great meal. I am coming back here this evening to eat
again!’. I.e. bad guys – kill me this evening after dark – much easier and
safer for you to get away. I paid and
walked out of the resto, 10 metres down the street, and into a communal taxi
with 2 women already inside. After they
had been dropped at their destinations, I discussed possibilities with the taxi
driver. Eventually, it became clear that
I should be heading into Syria,
which is pretty much like Eastern Europe or Russia before the fall of communism
– i.e. a closely observed state where it is difficult or impossible for Western
Intelligence to operate.


So I took a bus from Beirut
to Aleppo – I deliberately avoided Damascus, since that is
the capital city, with diplomats, foreigners and possibly spies. We got in at midnight, and I checked into the
Baron Hotel, as recommended by the immigration guys at the Lebanon/Syria
Border. Next morning I made 2 mistakes –
I used my Visa card in an ATM to get cash at 0750 hrs and I used the internet
in a cybercafe at 0810 hrs. At 1400 hrs
later the same day, a strange guy appeared in the same cybercafe, saying, in
English in a loud voice ‘Hey – you guys got Skype?’ Some minutes later – when he thinks I cannot
see him - he gives me the same long intense and bad stare which the hoodlum in
Le Chef in Beirut

had given me one day earlier. I told the
cybercafe attendant that I was going downstairs for a coffee but in fact I took
a taxi to the Mubarrat (secret police) Headquarters and told them what was
going on (my enemy’s enemy is my friend – an old Arab saying). Later about 1900 hrs the same day I was back
in the same cybercafe, and the same guy walked in 5 minutes later, with an
Australian girl colleague. They worked
as Tour Guides it transpired, and stayed also at Le Baron Hotel. He made a very long mobile phone call to London and chatted it
seemed about nothing of any consequence.
When he had finished I tapped him from behind on the shoulder. ‘I am
here for 2-3 days and would like to do a tour.
Do you have a business card?’ ‘No’ he replied, without turning
round. One-2-3 seconds passed in
silence. ‘Do you have a web address then?’ I said. He wrote on a small piece of squared paper –
like mainland Europeans use - and handed the paper to me without a word –
and again without turning round - very untypical behaviour for a tour
guide. I checked the website – it seemed
legitimate – an anglo-australian operation.

I used their contactus email form to ask ‘Do you have any tour guides
currently in Syria?
If so in Aleppo?
If so, staying at le Baron Hotel? If so
then please their names?’ I am still
waiting for any response 5 months later, which makes me think
are fishy. Anyway, I went back to the
Mubarrat HQ and communicated that to my
contacts there, but they were still complacent and were maintaining that no
foreign intelligence service can operate inside Syria. I told them I no longer had any confidence in
them. That didn’t seem to go down so
well. The 2 kumuka ‘tour guides’ left
the cybercafe about 5 minutes after I tackled the guy – I guess you could say
their cover had been blown… Really –
such amateurs… More like Johnny English
than James Bond. The guy looked half
English half Arabic, both by features and by skin colour.


So – by their amateurishness, I had no real
fear that such an idiot team could harm me, so I went back to the Baron
Hotel. The male tour guide was on one of
his interminable mobile phone conversations, so my plan to engage him in
discussion over a drink never materialized.
Instead I mixed with some photographers and artists – German, French,
Belgian and Latvian – who were in Aleppo
for some arts festival. We had a good
time and consumed some beers and whiskies.
With the very visible Mubarrat guy(s) at the bar, I felt quite safe.


About midnight we wound up. The others it transpired did not stay at the
Baron – they were in a small cheap hotel nearby. I considered – although the
strangely-behaving amateurs seemed to be no real threat of any kind, who knows,
maybe their assassination skills were better than their surveillance and
deception skills?… So I went with the
artists to their hotel. They had space
and I had money, but my passport was still at Baron’s reception - that is how
they operate. So I went back alone. To
get my passport I had to check out, which I did reluctantly. I was standing at reception ready to walk out
the door when a very very tall white guy walked in. The Reception guy said ‘Good evening Danish
gentleman!’. So I guess he had checked
in earlier, and had a Danish passport. I
didn’t think anything of him, but decided to have some fun – I speak a
smattering of Danish. ‘Voor
dang gode, skal du caffe?’ (good day – would you like a coffee ?). He replied ‘Ah – an Englishman who speaks Danish’, took his key and
climbed the stairs. Luckily when I
have consumed some alcohol my brain works slower, otherwise I might have
confronted him immediately – and said ‘My friend – you are not Danish!’. Several things were out of profile – firstly
– how did he know I was British? – I did not speak English in front of
him. I did not dress like a Brit. My haircut at that time was not typically
British – it was more German, Swiss or Austrian. Secondly – you address a Dane in Danish and
he will usually reply in Danish – such is their love of their language – so he
would have retorted ‘Er du Dansker?’ (are you Danish?) or he could have
bamboozled me with some colloquial Danish which would have left me
reeling. So – once I worked out that
this Dane was in fact a fake, I said to the receptionist – ‘You Mubarrat – you
are such amateurs – you have at this hotel a tour guide who doesn’t sell tours
and now a Danish passport-holder who doesn’t speak Danish. You have a serious problem!’ ‘What do you advise?’ he asked. ‘Put one of your people in my room with a gun
– and he must stay awake all night and wait to see what happens. Or you can arrest both these guys and
question them and see what you find.

Anyway, I have no more confidence in Mubarrat – I am leaving, and I
don’t tell you where I am going.’ I went
to another small hotel, where no whites ever go, and stayed inside there for 2


Time for a recapitulation. What does all this mean? Surely all the evidence is
circumstantial? Yes – it is, but there
is so much circumstantial evidence that it starts to make a convincing
case. 3 (or 4, if you include the white
waiter at Novotel Conakry) incidents in 3 separate global locations. Strange goings on in Syria, a
country where it is expensive, difficult and risky for foreign intelligence to
operate and to conduct a hit. Of course
the apparent trigger for the assassination attempts – a relatively innocuous
article about the UK Defence Minister – does not seem to be sufficient reason
to kill someone, however irritating that person or that person’s actions or
statements may be. But then people in
power develop strange ideas of their own importance and their own immunity from
normal legal and democratic processes.

In particular, whoever actually runs the British Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq probably orders at least one
assassination (political or otherwise) each month. Maybe Des Browne merely mentioned
(deliberately or accidentally) to one of his aides that ‘Alex Weir is becoming
a nuisance’ – that is fairly standard intelligence-speak for ‘Eliminate Alex
Weir’, and maybe MI6 (Britain’s
foreign intelligence service) went off to do the job without explicitly
informing Des Browne or getting his signature.
Such systems are used to facilitate ‘Plausible Denial’.


My theory behind the Riviera/Conakry
incident I explained above – a hit instructed on a mobile phone number with no
corroborating photo ID, which the hit-man questioned, and ultimately blew his
own cover.


The Beirut
incident was too short to form any conclusions – only the (by now classic)
4-second-stare plus the obvious criminality of the team of 2 alerted me.


The Aleppo
setup was slightly different – instead of a 2 man team (brains/communicator
plus killer) - they had effectively a
reconnaissance team (the 2 tour guides plus 1 or maybe more others) and also a
separate hit team – I am speculating here that the very tall ‘Dane’ was the hit
man. Now as I state above, operating a
hit inside Syria

is a risky and expensive operation. To
be the target of such an apparent hit attempt is very flattering. The recce team probably came in from Beirut or from Damascus., by road The hit man possibly came in from as far away
as Dubai, Frankfurt or London,
through Damascus.


Here is another consideration – why were
the French used in Conakry
and not a British team? 2 possible
reasons – British embassy is really in Conakry
only a consulate, therefore they probably have zero hit-men on their
staff. Thus they have to subcontract to
some other friendly agency – French, USA, Israeli, German or
something. French are best in Guinea since
they control everything, including the police and army. Therefore easiest to dispose of the body
and/or avoid any awkward questions. I am
guessing that the team in Beirut

was also French or French-controlled.
But I think the team in Aleppo
was directly controlled by MI6/British Intelligence. And the hit-man – by his height and accent,
could well have been Estonian (his accent was reasonably close to Danish
although he apparently could not speak or understand Danish – and Estonians are
famously tall). I guess MI6 use a
variety of nationalities and passports apart from British. It is also very possible that when MI6 have
to kill a Brit then whenever possible they use a reciprocal arrangement with
another western intelligence service.
Then when they are asked occasionally in the UK Parliament ‘How many
British citizens were killed by MI6 over the last year/10 years?’ then they can
(semi-) truthfully reply – ‘None!’.


So – after lying low some days in Aleppo, I decided to go to UK to try to confront the
perpetrators of these attempts on my life.
I took a bus to Damascus and flew to London, arriving Monday morning
0600 hrs 10 December 2007, 9 days after the
merry-go-round had started, and 3 days after the fairly innocuous story was
published in the Kilmarnock Standard newspaper (print and online). I went to the Independent newspaper with my
story, but they seemed to have been warned off touching it. Same with the Conservative Party. The same night I took a National Express
coach to Edinburgh

overnight. At Victoria Coach Station
before departure a very clumsy and amateur observation exercise by one
guy. I ‘made’ him very quickly – once
again British Intelligence’s Johnny English syndrome. Then on the bus a young black guy wearing
police boots gets on at Golders Green and forces his way into the seat
diagonally behind me. Very clumsy and
very comical. And the Arabic/Islamic guy
sitting next to him seems like he wants to tell me something while we are
stopped some hours later in the middle of the night at a service station near Leeds. But he
never gets back on the bus, or if he does he is sitting somewhere totally
different. Throughout my 7 days in the UK on that
trip, that is the apparent sum of visible surveillance, and there were no
menacing characters (only comical amateurs).

This ties in with the remit that MI6 are not permitted to operate inside
the UK
– that is left to MI5.


Friday 14 December 1400 hrs I try to report
to Kilmarnock Police in Scotland
the details of the assassination attempts.
At the beginning they seem interested, but as soon as they discover that
Des Browne may be involved they change their tune – ‘You must take this up with
the authorities in Conakry, Beirut

and Aleppo’
they say ‘It is out of our jurisdiction’.
Despite saying at the start that such a case was inside their
jurisdiction…. 2 young guys from Special
Branch from Pitt Street Police Station Glasgow come to the house of my 75 year
old sick uncle in Kilmarnock and intimidate and stress him (and me at the same
time of course). I move to a hotel in Kilmarnock for that night, and they visit me again
there. They are becoming less hostile
and are warming to me a little. I
complain that my statement was never taken in the end – they promise to enter
something in the security log, so that there is some record of what was going


The company for whom I was working in Guinea, Rio
Tinto, were unseemingly hasty in wishing to terminate my services – they booked
me business class London Amsterdam Nairobi on Monday 17 December and then
Nairobi Harare on Wednesday 19 December.
I book a side trip to Kigali
at the last minute in order to confirm to the CNE Rwanda that I was still on
board with running their diaspora voting exercise using my voting system.


On the KLM flight Amsterdam

to Nairobi
there was something suspicious but which could not be proven – fortunately
before sleeping on that day flight I informed the Head Purser that there were
strange goings-on which were connected to the newspaper article - which I
showed him. I told him that if I died on
the flight that everyone near me should be a suspect and that my death would
not be from natural causes. I was in the
upper-class area, and there was only one other passenger near me – sitting
opposite me on the same row - a guy to whom I did not speak at all. A small
Belgian or French-looking guy with very developed upper body strength – i.e. he
was not your typical flabby middle-aged easy-living expense-account business
class type. And he folded his clothes in
his hand luggage towards the end of the flight the way a military person would
fold them. There was no-one in front of
us in that area, and some other guys at the back, but at least one completely
empty row behind me and this military guy.
OK – mildly suspicious, nothing I can prove. I should have engaged him in conversation –
then something out of profile may have appeared. Hindsight is 20-20…


The overnight Monday at Nairobi
airport was uneventful and I did my business smartly in Kigali on the Tuesday morning. From about 1300 hrs I was in the departure
lounge of Kigali airport, along with a number of
people who were catching the 1830 hrs to Nairobi,
which in fact had been delayed from 1230 scheduled time. I was drinking Black Label whisky and beer
with some interesting characters from DRC Congo (they were paying). For some reason I feel that something is
going on – I pick on 2 guys who look like aid workers, and ask them who they
work for (in English or French, I forget which) – ‘Ah we work for a French NGO
which you wont have heard of’ one says.

I am immediately suspicious, I swear at them and warn them not to f***
with me. I follow them out of the lounge
into the departure seating area and repeat my warning, again with swearwords
built in. Then I return to the bar
area. 3 minutes later I revisit them
from behind and observe them for some minutes.
They are sitting perfectly normally, not conversing with each
other. If it had been me, and I was
innocent, then I would be discussing with the other guy who the hell the crazy
guy was, what did he imagine we were doing etc etc.. But from them – total calm – this confirmed
to me that they were fakes of some kind.


5 or 10 minutes later, I had a feeling
about 3 guys sitting at the bar. I go
over there and start with the guy at the end of the bar. ‘Which company do you work for?’. ‘United
Nations’. ‘Oh – those useless people!’ He is an American. Then I tackle the other 2 guys, who seem to
be together. ‘We work for a private
French company which you won’t have heard of…’
Whao! The same wording again as the 2 fake NGO guys! I look at the 3 guys to see if I am just
being paranoid or if there are any more clues that these 3 are not what they
seem. Then I note that all 3 of them are
drinking tea. It is 1800 hrs in the late
afternoon. Their flight has been delayed
5 hours, and will take off in the next 30-60 minutes for Nairobi.

And they are drinking – wait for it – tea – not beer, not spirits –
tea. If it had been one or two drinking
tea – no problem. But all 3?
Strange. And they are sitting at the
bar, not at one of the tables…. OK –
time to test them out – I say to the barmaid in French in a loud voice, less
than 1 metre from the 3 guys – ‘Ces
trois saligauds pedes boivent du the a 6 heures du soir!’ (These 3 homosexual
f***ers are drinking tea at 6 in the afternoon). None of the 3 react – at least 2 of them –
the French guys – understood and heard perfectly what I had just said. This lack of reaction confirms to me that
something was going on. But again
between the 2 fake NGO guys and the 3 other fakes at the bar, I don’t know if
they were there to observe me or maybe to observe someone much more interesting
– maybe even the DRC guys I was drinking with.


Anyway, when the plane landed about 2000
hrs in Nairobi
I made sure I was almost first off the plane.
I had only hand luggage. By a combination of skill and luck I entered Kenya without passing through Immigration, so
within minutes of landing I was in a taxi heading for Nairobi City. And during my illegal transit through the
airport there was at one stage a helper waving me towards a door which
facilitated my exit. I never found out
to this day who that helper was and/or whom he worked for. Maybe he was there to help someone else,
and I was literally in the right place
at the right time? That night I stayed
in Nairobi

without registering at any hotel, just in case… So maybe there had been a reception party of
some kind waiting for me at the airport – connected to the 5 fakes at Kigali
Airport - who knows?…


Next day (Wednesday 19 December) I had to
explain to the Kenyan Immigration staff at the airport what had happened the
evening before, because I had no entry stamp in my passport. I explained to them some of the story from 1
December onwards. They were very kind
and helpful. ‘Do you work or did you
work for an Intelligence Service?’ ‘Never’ I replied.


Wednesday morning - I am back at the
airport in the business lounge. 2 white
guys walk in – Brits. They want to sit
in the same lounge area as me but an Egyptian family are hogging the
space. I join them at their table to
chat. They work for Peak Investments – a
seemingly shadowy Manchester-based organization which is staffed by ex-military
types and is (supposedly) concerned with making investments in Africa and other 3rd world regions. I regale them with some of my story so
far. They are puzzled by the French
being so amateur and/or ethical – ‘The French hitmen are usually very
effective’ they assure me. ‘I could have
been sent here to poison you’, the younger one informs me. ‘That is why I took
my beer with me when I went over to fetch my luggage’ I reply. ‘We are glad that we are not on the same
plane as you this morning’, they tell me.

‘You mean that sometimes intelligence guys bring down a plane to get one
person?’ I ask. They give me a knowing
look. The older one gets quite
aggressive towards me at one point in the conversation, but the younger one
keeps his cool throughout. I tell them –
‘Pass on the message – whoever kills me will never sleep again..’


Ok – the whole trip back down from London
to Harare on 17 through 19 December is quite low key, especially when compared
with the activity Conakry, Beirut and Aleppo 1 through 5 December, but it does
indicate that something may still have been going on (and again maybe not – the
evidence – what there is – was much flimsier then the original 5 days – maybe a
sign that the watchers and killers were getting more professional at not
getting spotted, if equally ineffective in getting the job done). If necessary we discount these happenings
17-19 December and concentrate on the original evidence.

The Conakry
stuff is very interesting, since 2 staff from the French Embassy are
involved. The Beirut stuff is too lacking in evidence to be
of any real interest. The Syria stuff is
interesting, since real or fake UK (?), Australian and Danish passports were
used and are recorded at the Baron Hotel (and at borders and/or airports). And to mount any operation in Syria means that the target must be quite
important, since there are risks to operations inside Syria which are
not present in other more normal countries.


After my return to Harare 19 December 2007 I approached the French Ambassador there.
He initially said ‘This whole thing sounds like a cartoon, like a
movie!’. I agreed. Then he said – ‘Maybe the 2 guys from the
French Embassy Conakry were there just to frighten you? ‘. ‘I don’t think so’, I said – ‘ why did they
argue so heatedly over the phone about just scaring someone?’ On our second or third conversation, when I
explained the urgency for me of knowing for sure was it the British who had
instigated the hit, he looked me in the eye and said ‘ I think you have to
speak to your Embassy’ in a knowing way.

So I guess he had been in touch with Paris
and/or Conakry,
and had at least some basic minimal information about what had been going on.


The British Embassy Harare were worse than
useless. Valerie Brownridge, the acting
ambassador, told me – ‘The French never ever do that kind of thing!’ Ambassador Pocock on his return from leave
informed me that he would not request information from the French Embassy Conakry
about who had instigated the hit (of course he wouldn’t, because he knew
already who did – the British Government and/or British Intelligence). Then he refused to put in writing for me what
he had just stated. Before I know it,
the FCO in London are phoning my GP sister in
the UK

to inform her that I am manic depressive (bi-polar is the modern
politically-correct term).



I traveled back to the UK in January
2008, and on 1 February I requested and was granted about 20 minutes with Des
Browne at his surgery in Stewarton. He
denied all knowledge of any assassination attempts (which is pretty stupid of
him, since I had communicated the story at the end of December 2007 to the
British Embassy Harare – therefore he must have been informed). So at his request I stated to him most or all
of the detail of the 3 attempts in Conakry, Beirut and Aleppo. At the end of the account of Conakry, he stated ‘But that is just
circumstantial evidence!’ ‘Of course it is’, I replied ‘but there is so much
circumstantial evidence that when you take the 3 cases together they form a
case’. He pretty much shut up after
that. It was actually quite comical –
while I was narrating the Beirut

incident, I noticed that he was sitting with arms akimbo – in classic
body-language defensive mode. So I said
to him ‘Des – why are you being so defensive? You have no reason to be?’ He replied ‘Defensive – what do you
mean?’. When I explained the body
language interpretation he blustered ‘I am sitting like that because it is
comfortable!’ – but he was not convincing.
At the end of our session, I asked him just to instruct MI6 to stop
trying to assassinate me. He did by the
way confirm that as MOD he was the minister (supposedly) in charge of MI6, and
that he dealt with them on a daily basis – I was not exactly sure of that until


What did I conclude from the session with
Des Browne? There was guilt there, but
not 100% guilt it seemed to me (Of
course politicians get very used to lying and to partial truths). Therefore maybe MI6 or whoever were
off on their own vibrations performing a hit of which Des Browne was only
partly aware or had some suspicion may be carried out; or again he may well be
100% guilty but is just a good actor.



So – where from here? – it is now May 2008,
and some appreciable water has flowed under the bridge. The Diaspora voting exercise in Rwanda has been
shelved for 2008 – it may take place for 2010.
The decision was taken at a high level of Rwandese Government and/or the
CNE (Electoral Commission). My
suspicions point to interference/influence by the International Community (in
the shape of UNDP and DFID), but also the Rwandans and the CNE were not very
organized with respect to such a vote, regardless of whatever system they might
have used, so who knows?


If the Scottish Police decide they have
enough political courage to investigate British Intelligence and Des Browne,
then we have some starting points for such an investigation – namely Conakry and Aleppo. But Scottish Police rolled over very easily
14 December 2007, so can one expect anything different now? Failing action by Scottish police, I could
mount a private investigation and a private (civil) prosecution.

What is the principal at stake here? It is whether the British Government, Civil
Service and/or British Intelligence should be allowed to get away with a
political assassination or an attempted political assassination on a British
Citizen who is innocent of any crime and who is not a terrorist or linked to
terrorists? In this case, a British Citizen who has invented a voting system
which will almost certainly change global Geopolitics and the International
Balance of Power if and when it is implemented.
In view of recent electoral fiascos in Nigeria,
Kenya and Zimbabwe, it
would seem that such a voting system is something very necessary. If it would also resolve the Burma problem,
that would be a plus. The fact that the
political assassination failed due to a lot of incompetence and due to ethical
behaviour by one of the hit-men should not be a mitigating factor in deciding
whether to prosecute or in deciding the sentence(s) if found guilty.


Mr Alex Weir



13 May 2008


PS – although I hope this account is not
too dry and boring, it is the unembellished account – the embellished one
should be much more fun to read. Contact
me if you want that version.





Link to the Kilmarnock Standard online



I reproduce the article below, in case the
link above for any reason (including archiving) becomes inoperational…. There are some errors, inaccuracies and
untruths below, but I leave them unchallenged, since in the greater picture,
they are relatively unimportant.

Mr Alex Weir
- e-mail:
- Homepage:


Hide the following 5 comments

Mr Weir, thanks for your byline - can we now have the article?

29.06.2008 14:52

It seems the censors did their bestest to garble your message.


What is this voting system?

29.06.2008 22:17

Hey, can you give a brief description about your voting system - how it works etc. The system you made may just be pants and you are paranoid cos no one has taken you seriously. Or it may indeed be really good and you have ruffled some feathers. A brief explanation as to why it is so great would be helpful.


Sounds interesting, but...

01.07.2008 10:22

... the response from Des Browne seems perfectly OK. If you weren't prepared to release other statements endorsing your proposals, then it seems like there is not much for him to go on. It could be true of course that DFID and FCO have returned a politically-motivated answer, of course, but you haven't proven this to be the case. Ditto the other accusations you have made - from a disinterested point of view, they could be true but you've not proven them, and you meanwhile run the risk of sounding paranoid and delusional.

Your best approach is to publish technical information, schematics, designs, computer code etc - whatever you have - on a website. It needs to be thorough and cannot include any of this article or similar material. You should then email lots of experts in the field - your Canadian chap plus many others - and get people talking. Talk to overseas government representatives who fear foreign subversion of their elections. Host an online discussion forum on the topic. Write a blog. If you have the financial means to do so, take time out with interested parties to demonstrate and discuss your proposals.

As much as possible, try not to damage your own campaign. As much as is possible, even if you think someone is out to stop you by any and all means, unfortunately saying so publicly is likely to get your ideas substantially ignored - and that's not a conspiracy, it's just that people think you might be mad. So, prove them wrong :o)


Where to find more info on this voting system

21.07.2008 12:13

Dear All, please find the system at and a better-laid-out version of the article at Thanks, Alex Weir

Mr Alex Weir
mail e-mail:
- Homepage:

In poor communities, a cellular phone is as accessible as a Ferrari.

19.02.2009 05:44

I read your lengthy article and was still in the dark as to motive, assuming that murders and especially assasinations are not motiveless. I checked out the newspaper article and your presentation.

It is evident from wording in your presentation that your product is aimed at developing countries.

I have to say that if I was a government official being given your presentation in a developing country, I would find many of the points raised from undiplomatic to downright offensive in their colonial tone whether they have substance or not. I think you should seriously review your wording and emphasise positives with more tact. Will somebody really want to do business with you when you are making inflammatory remarks and calling them corrupt? I think you can strike Kenya off your customer list for certain.

Mobile phones systems are being implemented for cashless transactions in the developing world where people may not have bank accounts, so what you are proposing in essence will have a place in future but without going into the obvious operational flaws of your system, mobile phone use is not widespread enough in Africa to make it workable. In poor communities, a cellular phone is as accessible as a Ferrari.

I believe that we should have electronic voting in Britain and not just once every four years so perhaps you should increase your targeting of the technologically developed countries first. If we can vote by text for the winner of 'Big Brother', why can't we vote for the Government of the real Big Brother using text and web technology?

Your envelope coding system is confusing enough for someone who is literate and just as open to abuse in the same way that postal votes are, regardless of the encoding. In countries which have low literacy rates, it will be far too complex a system. You are a developer and number crunching part of your thought process. It will have to be far simpler, as simple as placing an 'X' next to a recognisable symbol.

The long codes mean there will be many unintentionally spoiled spoiled votes and I'm pretty certain that a proportion of people who can't read or who don't have access to a phone for whatever reason will entrust their votes onto someone who has.

It will be even easier for politically voted thugs to rig the vote by merely using intimidation to steal people's cards than it will be to get them to vote a certain way using traditional voting booths as multiple votes are permitted from the same terminal.

This could make people using the coded card voting system targets for intimidation rather than combatting it.

I would suggest that you dispense of the terminology 'uncrackable' and 'tamper proof' as there is no such code ever likely to be developed but rather make comparisons to say encryption for banking transactions etc.

Just one quick comment on your Middle East Pursuit, as a Scotsman you did not appear very indignant to being mistaken for an Englishman by the 'Danish' gentleman. he in fact got it wrong, did he not? My experience of restaurants is that people gravitate towards other people, even if they have no intention of directly socialising with them. This behaviour can be observed in many creatures especially prey animals where being part of a group makes them less of a target. Rather than targeting you, could they have been sub-consciously making themselves less of a target?

I hope my comments are useful and wish you luck with the development of your system.

French Connection UK


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