Syria will do whatever it takes to take back the occupied Golan Heights from the Israeli regime, says a high-ranking official.
Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad made the announcement on Sunday, in response to remarks made earlier by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who claimed “the Golan Heights will remain in the hands of Israel forever,” during the regime’s first cabinet meeting in the occupied territory.
Noting that the occupied region belongs to Syria according to international law, Mekdad stressed that the Arab Syrian Golan Heights will be taken back from the Israelis.
“All options are on the table for getting back the occupied territory from Israel,” he said during an interview aired on the Lebanese television channel al-Mayadeen.
“We are prepared to do anything in order to return the Golan to the Syrian motherland, including using military force,” Mekdad asserted.
During the Sunday cabinet meeting, Netanyahu also demanded that the international community recognize Syria’s Golan as Israeli territory. He said, “Whatever happens on the other side of the border, the border itself will not move. Secondly, after 50 years it is time that the international community realized that the Golan will remain under Israeli sovereignty.”
Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria after the 1967 six-day war and later occupied it in a move that has never been recognized by the international community.
The regime has built tens of illegal settlements in the area ever since and has used the region to carry out a number of military operations against the Syrian government.
Netanyahu also said that some 50,000 Israelis currently live there and “thousands of families… are supposed to join them in the coming years.”
Opposition against Assad’s role in Syria
The Israeli premier made the remarks amid a ceasefire in Syria and UN-backed talks being held in Geneva aimed at finding a political solution to the Syrian conflict.
The Saudi-backed opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) has threatened to leave the current round of talks unless progress is made over demands for a political transition without Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“We might suspend (our participation in) the talks if things carry on this way, and then there will be no prospect for any political solution,” said HNC member Abdulhakim Bashar.
Another unnamed HNC member noted that the talks had reached “an impasse” and are at risk of “failing.”
Before the talks kicked off, Mekdad rejected the “dream” of a transitional government without Assad, saying that such ideas are nothing short of a “coup d’etat.”
The last round of the talks came to a halt on March 24 over disagreements on the role of President Assad in Syria’s future.
The ceasefire brokered by the US and Russia went into effect on February 27 across Syria. The truce agreement does not apply to Daesh and al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. According to a February report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injuring 1.9 million others, and displacing nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.
Bizarre story behind film that supposedly sparked middle east unrest
Paul Joseph Watson
An anti-Muslim film that has been blamed for the attacks on U.S. embassies in Egypt, Libya and Yemen is likely a contrived fraud designed to stir up unrest in the Middle East while shielding the true reasons behind the murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens.
A trailer for the film, entitled The Innocence of Muslims, has been on You Tube for over two months. Despite the alleged film maker’s claim that the movie was funded by rich Jewish donors to the tune of $5 million dollars, it has all the quality of a low budget film school project. The trailer has now been banned in several middle eastern countries, including Egypt and Afghanistan.
Indeed, the full film itself may not even exist, a doubt that has also been shared about the existence of its shadowy director Sam Bacile, who told the Associated Press this week that he was a 56-year-old “Israeli Jew” who lives in California, despite telling actors on set that he is Egyptian, while others have claimed he is an American.
Bacile claims he made the film to illustrate how “Islam is a cancer, period.”
However, numerous authorities have failed in attempting to locate a ‘Sam Bacile’ residing in California. Bacile is likely a pseudonym for the only real person who has been positively connected with the movie – Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a 55-year-old Coptic Christian living in California who was convicted for federal bank fraud in 2010.
The movie itself – or the 14 minutes of it which have been released – is also highly suspect. Actors involved in filming were told “they were appearing in a film about the life of a generic Egyptian 2,000 years ago.” Following the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, all 80 cast members put out a joint statement stating that they were misled by the producer.
“The entire cast and crew are extremely upset and feel taken advantage of by the producer. We are 100% not behind this film and were grossly misled about its intent and purpose,” the statement says. “We are shocked by the drastic re-writes of the script and lies that were told to all involved. We are deeply saddened by the tragedies that have occurred.”
The film has been purposely dubbed and edited to elicit maximum outrage from Muslims. The Prophet Muhammad is depicted as a pedophile, a homosexual, a religious phony, a philanderer, a womanizer and a bloodthirsty dictator.
During dialogue, the actors words have been crudely dubbed to include references to Muhammad that were not in the original script.
As Cindy Lee Garcia, an actress involved in the movie, told Gawker, “In the script and during the shooting, nothing indicated the controversial nature of the final product. Muhammed wasn’t even called Muhammed; he was “Master George.”
“The words Muhammed were dubbed over in post-production, as were essentially all other offensive references to Islam and Muhammed,” writes Adrian Chen.
For example, at 9:03 in the trailer, the words “Is your Muhammed a child molester?” are heard, yet the actress’ voice has been dubbed as her lips do not form the word “Muhammed”.
As the Christian Science Monitor summarizes, the film looks like, “it could have been ginned up by someone sitting a basement with cheap dubbing software.”
Everything about the movie suggests it was a contrived fraud to artificially manufacture unrest in the middle east at a time where speculation that the U.S. and Israel are about to launch military interventions in Iran and Syria is rife.
The amateurish nature of the film may be a ruse to deflect suspicion away from its true purpose and the real identities of its creators.
“Those sniffing the air properly smell some sort of intelligence/influence operation in the whole situation,” writes Daniel McAdams, comparing the film to Kony 2012. “A purposely bad cover for what happened in Benghazi yesterday? A badly done attempted cover for what happened yesterday? Arabs — even Muslim Brotherhood — looking to score points by blaming “wealthy Jews” for making the film? A power struggle between Islamist factions in Egypt? Israelis attempting to make it look like Arabs made a crudely anti-Semitic cover story for a crude film?”
What’s known for sure is the fact that the establishment media has seized upon the movie as an excuse to explain away the attacks on the embassies in Cairo and Benghazi as just another instance of extremist Muslims getting riled up over nothing in particular.
Subsequent reports confirmed that the attacks were coordinated well in advance of the release of the Arabic version of the trailer this week and had nothing to do with the film, but the media immediately ran with that narrative.
This conveniently disguises the true narrative behind the attacks, which is the fact that the United States and other NATO powers are seeing their chickens come home to roost having armed and empowered Al-Qaeda affiliated Islamic extremists in pursuit of regime change, most notably in Libya where the removal of Gaddafi was achieved via NATO’s support for the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group – which is listed as a terrorist organization by the State Department and was responsible for killing U.S. troops in Iraq.
Given that these same militants are now being used by Gulf states and NATO powers in a bid to topple President Bashar Al-Assad in Syria, their connection to the embassy attacks must be downplayed. This was evident when NATO stooge Ali Aujali, Libya’s Ambassador to Washington, ludicrously claimed that Gaddafi loyalists were responsible for killing Ambassador Stevens.
With embassies in Yemen, Tunisia and other countries now coming under siege, the mass media’s promotion of what would otherwise have been an obscure, ineffectual and downright laughable 14 minute You Tube trailer has now created a crisis that threatens the stability of the entire region.
The bizarre circumstances behind The Innocence of Muslims, its shadowy creators and the deliberate attempt to manipulate the film to offend Muslims clearly suggests that the whole farce was a contrived set-up to inflame tensions in order to justify an acceleration of U.S., Israeli and NATO aggression across the Middle East and North Africa.
US secretly releasing Taliban fighters, report says
The US has been secretly releasing captured Taliban fighters from a detention center in Afghanistan in a bid to strengthen its hand in peace talks with the insurgent group, the Washington Post reported Monday.
The “strategic release” program of high-level detainees is designed to give the US a bargaining chip in some areas of Afghanistan where international forces struggle to exercise control, the report said.
Under the risky program, the hardened fighters must promise to give up violence and are threatened with further punishment, but there is nothing to stop them resuming attacks against Afghan and American troops.
“Everyone agrees they are guilty of what they have done and should remain in detention. Everyone agrees that these are bad guys. But the benefits outweigh the risks,” a US official told the Post.
In a visit to Afghanistan last week, President Barack Obama confirmed that the US was pursuing peace talks with the Taliban.
“We have made it clear that they [the Taliban] can be a part of this future if they break with Al Qaeda, renounce violence, and abide by Afghan laws. Many members of the Taliban — from foot soldiers to leaders — have indicated an interest in reconciliation. A path to peace is now set before them,” Obama said.
A stumbling block in the US-Taliban peace talks has been the US refusal to approve the transfer of five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay to Qatar, which the Taliban says is necessary for negotiations to proceed.
The clock is ticking also on the US handover of security control to the Afghans.
At the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago, the US coalition will set a goal for Afghan forces to take the lead in combat operations across the country next year.
During his short visit, Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai signed a partnership deal that charts a 10-year relationship between the US and Afghanistan once the majority of American and foreign forces pull out of the country in 2014.
THE United States has been narrowly saved from lethal terrorist plots in recent years — or so it has seemed. A would-be suicide bomber was intercepted on his way to the Capitol; a scheme to bomb synagogues and shoot Stinger missiles at military aircraft was developed by men in Newburgh, N.Y.; and a fanciful idea to fly explosive-laden model planes into the Pentagon and the Capitol was hatched in Massachusetts.
But all these dramas were facilitated by the F.B.I., whose undercover agents and informers posed as terrorists offering a dummy missile, fake C-4 explosives, a disarmed suicide vest and rudimentary training. Suspects naïvely played their parts until they were arrested.
When an Oregon college student, Mohamed Osman Mohamud, thought of using a car bomb to attack a festive Christmas-tree lighting ceremony in Portland, the F.B.I. provided a van loaded with six 55-gallon drums of “inert material,” harmless blasting caps, a detonator cord and a gallon of diesel fuel to make the van smell flammable. An undercover F.B.I. agent even did the driving, with Mr. Mohamud in the passenger seat. To trigger the bomb the student punched a number into a cellphone and got no boom, only a bust.
This is legal, but is it legitimate? Without the F.B.I., would the culprits commit violence on their own? Is cultivating potential terrorists the best use of the manpower designed to find the real ones? Judging by their official answers, the F.B.I. and the Justice Department are sure of themselves — too sure, perhaps.
Carefully orchestrated sting operations usually hold up in court. Defendants invariably claim entrapment and almost always lose, because the law requires that they show no predisposition to commit the crime, even when induced by government agents. To underscore their predisposition, many suspects are “warned about the seriousness of their plots and given opportunities to back out,” said Dean Boyd, a Justice Department spokesman. But not always, recorded conversations show. Sometimes they are coaxed to continue.
Undercover operations, long practiced by the F.B.I., have become a mainstay of counterterrorism, and they have changed in response to the post-9/11 focus on prevention. “Prior to 9/11 it would be very unusual for the F.B.I. to present a crime opportunity that wasn’t in the scope of the activities that a person was already involved in,” said Mike German of the American Civil Liberties Union, a lawyer and former F.B.I. agent who infiltrated white supremacist groups. An alleged drug dealer would be set up to sell drugs to an undercover agent, an arms trafficker to sell weapons. That still happens routinely, but less so in counterterrorism, and for good reason.
“There isn’t a business of terrorism in the United States, thank God,” a former federal prosecutor, David Raskin, explained.
“You’re not going to be able to go to a street corner and find somebody who’s already blown something up,” he said. Therefore, the usual goal is not “to find somebody who’s already engaged in terrorism but find somebody who would jump at the opportunity if a real terrorist showed up in town.”
And that’s the gray area. Who is susceptible? Anyone who plays along with the agents, apparently. Once the snare is set, law enforcement sees no choice. “Ignoring such threats is not an option,” Mr. Boyd argued, “given the possibility that the suspect could act alone at any time or find someone else willing to help him.”
Typically, the stings initially target suspects for pure speech — comments to an informer outside a mosque, angry postings on Web sites, e-mails with radicals overseas — then woo them into relationships with informers, who are often convicted felons working in exchange for leniency, or with F.B.I. agents posing as members of Al Qaeda or other groups.
Some targets have previous involvement in more than idle talk: for example, Waad Ramadan Alwan, an Iraqi in Kentucky, whose fingerprints were found on an unexploded roadside bomb near Bayji, Iraq, and Raja Khan of Chicago, who had sent funds to an Al Qaeda leader in Pakistan.
But others seem ambivalent, incompetent and adrift, like hapless wannabes looking for a cause that the informer or undercover agent skillfully helps them find. Take the Stinger missile defendant James Cromitie, a low-level drug dealer with a criminal record that included no violence or hate crime, despite his rants against Jews. “He was searching for answers within his Islamic faith,” said his lawyer, Clinton W. Calhoun III, who has appealed his conviction. “And this informant, I think, twisted that search in a really pretty awful way, sort of misdirected Cromitie in his search and turned him towards violence.”
THE informer, Shahed Hussain, had been charged with fraud, but avoided prison and deportation by working undercover in another investigation. He was being paid by the F.B.I. to pose as a wealthy Pakistani with ties to Jaish-e-Mohammed, a terrorist group that Mr. Cromitie apparently had never heard of before they met by chance in the parking lot of a mosque.
“Brother, did you ever try to do anything for the cause of Islam?” Mr. Hussain asked at one point.
“O.K., brother,” Mr. Cromitie replied warily, “where you going with this, brother?”
Two days later, the informer told him, “Allah has more work for you to do,” and added, “Revelation is going to come in your dreams that you have to do this thing, O.K.?” About 15 minutes later, Mr. Hussain proposed the idea of using missiles, saying he could get them in a container from China. Mr. Cromitie laughed.
Reading hundreds of pages of transcripts of the recorded conversations is like looking at the inkblots of a Rorschach test. Patterns of willingness and hesitation overlap and merge. “I don’t want anyone to get hurt,” Mr. Cromitie said, and then explained that he meant women and children. “I don’t care if it’s a whole synagogue of men.” It took 11 months of meandering discussion and a promise of $250,000 to lead him, with three co-conspirators he recruited, to plant fake bombs at two Riverdale synagogues.
“Only the government could have made a ‘terrorist’ out of Mr. Cromitie, whose buffoonery is positively Shakespearean in its scope,” said Judge Colleen McMahon, sentencing him to 25 years. She branded it a “fantasy terror operation” but called his attempt “beyond despicable” and rejected his claim of entrapment.
The judge’s statement was unusual, but Mr. Cromitie’s characteristics were not. His incompetence and ambivalence could be found among other aspiring terrorists whose grandiose plans were nurtured by law enforcement. They included men who wanted to attack fuel lines at Kennedy International Airport; destroy the Sears Tower (now Willis Tower) in Chicago; carry out a suicide bombing near Tampa Bay, Fla., and bomb subways in New York and Washington. Of the 22 most frightening plans for attacks since 9/11 on American soil, 14 were developed in sting operations.
Another New York City subway plot, which recently went to trial, needed no help from government. Nor did a bombing attempt in Times Square, the abortive underwear bombing in a jetliner over Detroit, a planned attack on Fort Dix, N.J., and several smaller efforts. Some threats are real, others less so. In terrorism, it’s not easy to tell the difference.
Exclusive: Government Activating FEMA Camps Across U.S.
Kurt Nimmo and Alex Jones
A document originating from Halliburton subsidiary KBR that provides details on a push to outfit FEMA and U.S. Army camps around the United States. Entitled “Project Overview and Anticipated Project Requirements,” the document describes services KBR is looking to farm out to subcontractors. The document was passed on to us by a state government employee who wishes to remain anonymous for obvious reasons.
Services up for bid include catering, temporary fencing and barricades, laundry and medical services, power generation, refuse collection, and other services required for temporary “emergency environment” camps located in five regions of the United States.
Internment Camp Services Bid Arrives After NDAA
Police State 4: The Rise of FEMA.
KBR’s call for FEMA camp service bids arrives soon after the Senate overwhelmingly passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which permits the military to detain and interrogate supposed domestic terror suspects in violation of the Fourth Amendment and Posse Comitatus.
Section 1031 of the NDAA bill declares the whole of the United States as a “battlefield” and allows American citizens to be arrested on U.S. soil and incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay.
A number of civil liberties groups have come out in strong opposition to the legislation, most notably the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), the nation’s oldest and largest Asian American civil and human rights organization.
In a letter addressed to Congress, S. Floyd Mori, the national director of JACL, said the NDAA is the first time that Congress has scaled back on the protections provided by the Non-Detention Act of 1971. Mori said the legislation, if enacted and put into use, would be reminiscent of the unconstitutional indefinite detention of Japanese Americans during World War II.
KBR Instrumental in Establishing Camps in 2006
In 2006, KBR was awarded a contingency contract from the Department of Homeland Security, allegedly to support its Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities in the event of an emergency, Market Watch reported.
The contract was effective immediately and provided for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to expand existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations Program facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs, KBR said. The contract may also provide migrant detention support to other government organizations in the event of an immigration emergency, as well as the development of a plan to react to a national emergency, such as a natural disaster, the company explained.
The 45 regions indicated in the KBR document.
Army Releases Civilian Inmate Labor Program Document
Soon after KBR’s announcement, a little-known Army document surfaced. Entitled the “Civilian Inmate Labor Program,” the unclassified document describes in detail Army Regulation 210-35. The regulation, first drafted in 1997, underwent a “rapid act revision” in January 2005 and now provides a policy for the creation of labor programs and prison camps on Army installations.
National Emergency Centers Act
In 2009, the National Emergency Centers Act or HR 645 was introduced in Congress. It mandates the establishment of “national emergency centers” to be located on military installations for the purpose of providing “temporary housing, medical, and humanitarian assistance to individuals and families dislocated due to an emergency or major disaster,” according to the bill.
In addition to emergencies, the legislation is designed to “meet other appropriate needs, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security,” an open ended mandate which many fear could mean the forced detention of American citizens in the event of widespread rioting after a national emergency or total economic collapse, as Paul Joseph Watson noted in January of 2009.
Clergy response teams.
Also in 2009, the Army National Guard began posting advertisements calling for Internment/Resettlement Specialists, a fact noted by alternative media outlets but ignored by the establishment media.
Precursor: Rex 84 Mass Detention Operation
Rex 84, short for Readiness Exercise 1984, was established under the pretext of a “mass exodus” of illegal aliens crossing the Mexican/US border, the same pretense used in the language of the KBR request for services.
During the Iran-Contra hearings in 1987, however, it was revealed that the program was a secretive “scenario and drill” developed by the federal government to suspend the Constitution, declare martial law, assign military commanders to take over state and local governments, and detain large numbers of American citizens determined by the government to be “national security threats.”
Rex 84 was devised by Col. Oliver North, who was with the NSC and appointed liaison to FEMA. John Brinkerhoff, the deputy director of “national preparedness” programs for FEMA, and North designed the plan on a 1970 report written by FEMA chief Louis Giuffrida, at the Army War College, which proposed the detention of up to 21 million “American Negroes” in the event of a black militant uprising in the United States.
DHS Coordinating Occupy Arrests
Following a crackdown by police on Occupy Wall Street protesters around the nation, Oakland, California, mayor Jean Quan mentioned during an interview with the BBC that she was on a conference call with leaders of 18 US cities shortly before a wave of raids broke up Occupy Wall Street encampments across the country. It was later discovered that the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and other federal police agencies had coordinated the often violent response to the protests.
New York Rep. Peter King, who heads up the House Homeland Security Subcommittee, signaled a sense of urgency when he said the federal government has “to be careful not to allow this movement to get any legitimacy. I’m taking this seriously in that I’m old enough to remember what happened in the 1960?s when the left-wing took to the streets and somehow the media glorified them and it ended up shaping policy. We can’t allow that to happen.”
The federal government responded similarly in the 1960s and 70s when the FBI organized and unleashed its unconstitutional secret police under the covert banner of COINTELPRO.
In addition to the DHS characterizing Americans supporting states’ rights and the Constitution as terrorists, the Defense Department’s Antiterrorism and Force Protection Annual Refresher Training Course in 2009 advised its personnel that political protest amounts to “low-level terrorism.”
Elements of the Police State Coming Together
The KBR document is more evidence that the federal government has established internment camps and plans to fill them with dissidents and anti-government activists that have been demonized consistently by the establishment media.
The NDAA was crafted precisely to provide the legal mechanism for tasking the military to round up activists it conflates with al-Qaeda terrorists. The plan was initially envisioned by Rex 84 and in particular Operation Garden Plot, an operational plan to use the Army, USAF, Navy, and Marine Corp. in direct support of civil disturbance control operations. It has since added numerous elements under the rubric of Continuity of Government, the overall war on terror, civil disturbance and emergency response.
The government has patiently put into place the crucial elements of its police state grid and overarching plan for the internment of political enemies.
We are quite literally one terror event away from the plan going live. As the DHS and the establishment media keep telling us, the next terror event will be on American soil and not the work of al-Qaeda but domestic patriot political groups. The FBI has specialized in creating domestic terrorists – or rather patsies – and shifting the blame over to their political enemies
Correcting the ‘fairy tale’: A SEAL’s account of how Osama bin Laden really died
Forget whatever you think you know about the night Osama bin Laden was killed. According to a former Navy SEAL who claims to have the inside track, the mangled tales told of that historic night have only now been corrected.
“It became obvious in the weeks evolving after the mission that the story that was getting put out there was not only untrue, but it was a really ugly farce of what did happen,” said Chuck Pfarrer, author of Seal Target Geronimo: The Inside Story of the Mission to Kill Osama Bin Laden.
In an extensive interview with The Daily Caller, Pfarrer gave a detailed account of why he believes the record needed to be corrected, and why he set out to share the personal stories of the warriors who penetrated bin Laden’s long-secret compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
In August the New Yorker delivered a riveting blow-by-blow of the SEALs’ May 1, 2011 raid on bin Laden’s hideaway. In that account, later reported to lack contributions from the SEALs involved, readers are taken through a mission that began with a top-secret helicopter crashing and led to a bottom-up assault of the Abbottabad compound.
Freelancer Nicholas Schmidle wrote that the SEALs had shot and blasted their way up floor-by-floor, finally cornering the bewildered Al-Qaida leader:
“The Al Qaeda chief, who was wearing a tan shalwar kameez and a prayer cap on his head, froze; he was unarmed. ‘There was never any question of detaining or capturing him—it wasn’t a split-second decision. No one wanted detainees,’ the special-operations officer told me. (The Administration maintains that had bin Laden immediately surrendered he could have been taken alive.) Nine years, seven months, and twenty days after September 11th, an American was a trigger pull from ending bin Laden’s life. The first round, a 5.56-mm. bullet, struck bin Laden in the chest. As he fell backward, the SEAL fired a second round into his head, just above his left eye.”
Chuck Pfarrer rejects almost all of that story.
“The version of the 45-minute firefight, and the ground-up assault, and the cold-blooded murder on the third floor — that wasn’t the mission,” Pfarrer told TheDC.
“I had to try and figure out, well, look: Why is this story not what I’m hearing? Why is it so off and how is it so off?” he recounted. “One of the things I sort of determined was, OK, somebody was told ‘one of the insertion helicopters crashed.’ OK, well that got muddled to ‘a helicopter crashed on insertion.’”
The helicopters, called “Stealth Hawks,” are inconspicuous machines concealing cutting-edge technology. They entered the compound as planned, with “Razor 1? disembarking its team of SEALs on the roof of the compound — not on the ground level. There was no crash landing. That wouldn’t occur until after bin Laden was dead.
Meanwhile, “Razor 2? took up a hovering position so that its on-board snipers, some of whom had also participated in the sea rescue of Maersk Alabama captain Richard Phillips, had a clear view of anyone fleeing the compound.
The SEALs then dropped down from the roof, immediately penetrated the third floor, and hastily encountered bin Laden in his room. He was not standing still.
“He dived across the king-size bed to get at the AKSU rifle he kept by the headboard,” wrote Pfarrer in his book. It was at that moment, a mere 90 seconds after the SEALs first set foot on the roof, that two American bullets shattered bin Laden’s chest and head, killing a man who sought violence to the very end.
President Obama stepped up to a podium in the East Room of the White House that night to announce bin Laden’s death. That rapid announcement, explained Pfarrer, posed a major threat to U.S. national security.
“There was a choice that night,” Pfarrer told TheDC. “There was a choice to keep the mission secret.” America, Pfarrer explained, could have left things alone for “weeks or months … even though there was evidence left on the ground there … and use the intelligence and finish off al-Qaida.”
But Obama’s announcement, he said, “rendered moot all of the intelligence that was gathered from the nexus of al-Qaida. The computer drives, the hard drives, the videocasettes, the CDs, the thumb drives, everything. Before that could even be looked through, the political decision was made to take credit for the operation.”
And in the days that followed, as politicians sought to thrust their identities into the details of the bin Laden kill, the tale began to grow out of control, said Pfarrer.
“The president made a statement, and as far as that goes, that was fine, that was the mission statement,” he explained. “But, soon after … politicians began leaking information from every orifice. And it was like a game of Chinese telephone. These guys didn’t know what they were talking about. Very few of them had even seen the video feed.”
Pfarrer suggests that much of the misinformation was likely born out of operational ignorance, even among those sitting in the White House.
“One of the things that happened was that there were only a handful of people who know about this mission,” he said. “On the civilian side, there were only a handful of people in the situation room who were watching the drone feed. They were looking at the roof of a building taken from a rotating aircraft at 35,000 feet.”
“None of those guys, not a single one of them, had a background in special operations, with the exception of General Webb who was sitting there running a laptop,” Pfarrer went on. “No one knew or could even imagine what was going on inside the building. They didn’t know.”
“There was an alternative feed going to CIA headquarters where Leon Panetta sat there with the communications brevity codes [a guide sheet for the mission’s radio lingo] in his lap and a SEAL off-screen by his side to be able to tell him what was going on,” he said. “But these guys, none of them, really knew what they were looking at.”
As the media raised more questions, officials gave more answers.
Whether or not bin Laden resisted ultimately developed into a barrage of murky official and unofficial explanations in the days following. And statements from as high as then-CIA Director Leon Panetta offered confirmation that the endeavor was a “kill mission.”
Pfarrer dismisses that assertion.
“An order to go in and murder someone in their house is not a lawful order,” explained Pfarrer, who maintains that bin Laden would have been captured had he surrendered. “Unlike the Germans in World War II, if you’re a petty officer, a chief petty officer, a naval officer, and you’re giving an order to murder somebody, that’s an unlawful order.”
Pfarrer also suggests some of the emerging claims were simply self-aggrandizing “fairy tales.”
“The story they tried to tell — it’s preposterous. And the CIA tried to jump in. About mid-June the CIA tried to jump into the car and drive the victory lap. There’s this whole stuff about the CIA guy joining the operation, the gallant interpreter — he couldn’t even fast rope!” exclaimed Pfarrer, referring to a technique for descending from an airborne helicopter.
“There’s this fairy tale about him walking out of the compound during the operation to tell crowds of Pakistanis to go home and everything’s OK.”
Pfarrer tried to put this in perspective: “Do you mean that during the middle of this military operation at night, with hovering helicopters over this odd house in this neighborhood, that people came out of their houses to ask what’s going on, instead of [remaining] huddled in their basement?”
“And I think that there were so many of these leaks that were incorrect, the administration couldn’t walk them all back,” Pfarrer explained. “And so, in the middle of May, they froze everything.”
It was that freeze-out that left Chuck Pfarrer with nowhere to turn for the real story but the SEALs themselves.
Seal Target Geronimo delivers an account of the night Osama bin Laden died with a level of detail unlike anything previously reported. Pfarrer bills the story as “absolutely factual.”
“That’s the other thing. I’m prepared for the White House to say, you know, ‘this is full of inaccuracies,’ et cetera,” offered Pfarrer. He told TheDC that in order to protect American interests, his book is “full of names that are made up, and it is full of bases that are not quite where they really should be.”
“But the timeline of my events,” he cautions, “and the manner in which it happened is 100 percent accurate. And they’ll know that.”
Al-Qaida calls on Ahmadinejad to end 9/11 conspiracy theories
Saeed Kamali Dehghan
Terrorist organisation’s magazine reportedly says it is ‘ridiculous‘ for Iran’s president to blame the attacks on the US government
Al-Qaida has sent a message to the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, asking him to stop spreading conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks.
Iranian media on Wednesday reported quotes from what appears to be an article published in the latest issue of the al-Qaida English language magazine, Inspire, which described Ahmadinejad’s remarks over the 11 September attacks as “ridiculous”.
In his UN general assembly speech last week, Ahmadinejad cast doubt over the official version of the 2001 attacks.
“The Iranian government has professed on the tongue of its president Ahmadinejad that it does not believe that al-Qaida was behind 9/11 but rather, the US government,” the article said, according to Iranian media. “So we may ask the question: why would Iran ascribe to such a ridiculous belief that stands in the face of all logic and evidence?”
Ahmadinejad said in New York that the “mysterious September 11 incident” had been used as a pretext to attack Afghanistan and Iraq. He had also previously expressed scepticism at the US version of events.
“By using their imperialistic media network which is under the influence of colonialism, they threaten anyone who questions the Holocaust and the September 11 event with sanctions and military actions,” said Ahmadinejad.
The al-Qaida article insisted it had been behind the attacks and criticised the Iranian president for discrediting the terrorist group.
“For them, al-Qaida was a competitor for the hearts and minds of the disenfranchised Muslims around the world,” said the article published in the Inspire magazine. “Al-Qaida … succeeded in what Iran couldn’t. Therefore it was necessary for the Iranians to discredit 9/11 and what better way to do so? Conspiracy theories.”
Al-Qaida also accused Iran of hypocrisy over its “anti-Americanism”.
The article said: “For Iran, anti-Americanism is merely a game of politics. It is anti-America when it suits it and it is a collaborator with the US when it suits it, as we have seen in the shameful assistance Iran gave to the US in its invasion of Afghanistan and in the Shia of Iraq, backed by Iran, bringing the American forces into the country and welcoming them with open arms.”
During his visit to New York, Ahmadinejad also changed his position on gay people in Iran. He had previously famously said: “We don’t have homosexuals [in Iran] like you do in your country. This does not exist in our country.”
But according to the American news website the Daily Beast, in a meeting with a number of journalists last week, he said: “In Iran, homosexuality is seen as an ugly act … There may be some people who are homosexuals who are in touch with you. But in Iranian society they’re ashamed to announce it so they’re not known. This is an act against God and his prophets. But we as the government can’t go out and stop people.”
[Oslo bombing] My heart goes out to the people who were massacred yesterday in Norway and their families. Here I will not make any conclusions as to who did the shooting and why, but I wanted to get this situation in writing before much of the information disappears, as has happened in the past with other terrorist acts.
Some of the earliest news reportage came from the blog “Gates of Vienna,” which was translating news out of Norway as it was happening (excerpted below).
Terror Attack in Central Oslo
…Although the source of the blast is unclear, Al-Jazeera TV notes that Norwegian prosecutors on Tuesday filed a terrorism charge against Mullah Krekar, founder of the Kurdish Islamist group Ansar al-Islam….
NRK is reporting that an unknown group called “Helpers of the Global Jihad” have posted a message that this is only the beginning of the reaction to Norwegian periodicals publishing the Muhammed cartoons, according to Andrew Boyle, a journalist in Norway.
Corriere Della Sera reports (Italian) that the terrorist group Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami has claimed responsibility for the explosion in Oslo with a message on a jihadi forum, blaming the presence of Norway in Afghanistan and “insults” to the prophet Muhammad.
Al Qaeda claims responsibility on Twitter (Swedish).
More on Twitter (Swedish site):
Abu Suleiman al-Nasser: “Today, Norway was targeted in order to serve as a lesson and example for the rest of the nations of Europe.”… Notorious online extremist Abu Suleiman al-Nasser has also now responded to reports of a possible terrorist attack in Oslo, Norway.
A group called “Helpers of Global Jihad” has taken responsibility for the bomb which ripped open buildings, including the prime minister’s office, in Norway’s capital, CBS News has learned.
It is apparently the same local shadowy extremist group that the Stockholm bomber in December 2010 had said he was connected to…
The Guardian UK also reported the attack as being Islamist-related:
….Peter Beaumont, foreign affairs editor at the Observer, says a jihadist group is most likely to be behind the blast…
The Voice of Russia also expressed its suspicion that jihadis were responsible:
The head of the Centre of Northern Europe of the Institute of Europe at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Yuri Deryabin, shared his opinion of possible motives for the double terrorist act in Oslo with The Voice of Russia.
“This is undoubtedly a terrorist act but not against a certain politician. It was meant to intimidate the public and to prove that al-Qaeda is alive even after Bin Laden has died. Why Norway? Because it is taking an active part in the NATO operation in Afghanistan. As for the incident at the youth camp outside Oslo, the reasons are not so obvious. The suspect has been arrested and is answering police questions. I do not rule out that he has links with an international terrorist organization like al-Qaeda. Not all Islamists are Muslim nationals. The second version is that the suspect who is an ethnic Norwegian is a mentally unbalanced person….”
The Sydney Morning Herald likewise reported the theory that the attack was committed by Islamic terrorists:
Investigators are already working on the premise that Islamist radicals inspired by or linked to al-Qaeda are among the most likely perpetrators of the Oslo terrorist attacks.
The hallmark of a “mass casualty, no warning” attack with multiple targets is a typical tactic of the terrorist group and those who seek to emulate it, experts said. The attack also had echoes of the bomb and commando-style attacks in Mumbai, India, in 2008, albeit on a much smaller scale. Those attacks were carried out by the group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which has links to al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.
Once the blond Nordic-looking terrorist started shooting on Utaya Island, there was talk of “homegrown” Islamic terrorists and sleeper cells – a logical conclusion considering that Islamists have repeatedly threatened Norway, including in one foiled bomb plot last year, for which the plotters were just charged in early July. Norway had only just recently charged the “radical cleric” Mullah Kreker for his death threats after they threatened to deport him.
Indeed, the supposed al Qaeda mastermind behind the Swedish bombing in December 2010 allegedly made the following statement, as reported in The New Review:
At the same time, an organization called Ansar Al Jihad Al Alami, or The Helpers of the Global Jihad, has also taken responsibility for the attack. The group is a Kurdistan-based affiliate of Al Qaeda led by Abu Suleiman Al Nasser, someone who has repeatedly threatened attacks on Scandinavian countries, and most recently claimed responsibility for a defused bomb in Helsinki in June. Today, Al Nasser wrote that “Norway was targeted in order to become a lesson and example for the rest of the countries of Europe.” The attacks, he said, were a demand for “the European countries to withdraw their armies from the land of Afghanistan and to halt their war on Islam and Muslims.” He added, “We renew our warning again to the countries of Europe and we say to them, ‘Answer the demands of the Mujahideen, as what you see is only the beginning and what’s coming is more.'”
Many of these agencies and individuals later changed their articles to reflect the developing “lone nut right-wing anti-immigrant extremist” theory. Fast forward to a few hours later, and The Atlantic Wire has changed its site to include the following disclaimer:
From BBC News: “A terrorism expert tells the BBC that Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami, or the Helpers of the Global Jihad, a terror group that claimed responsibility for the explosion in Oslo, was not behind the attack.” Previously, a New York Times story cited a terrorism expert who mentioned that the group claimed credit for the attack. But the paper also noted: “It is not uncommon for terrorist groups to advance claims of responsibility for high-profile attacks, only to have the claims prove to be spurious.”
Some wag might suggest that the accusation of Islamists deliberately lying in this manner is “Islamophobic.”
In any case, the latest news from Yahoo is that the “lone nut” bought six tons of fertilizer–an amount that one might think would elicit some suspicion in consideration of the Oklahoma City bombing, as well as that fertilizer bombs are evidently a favored Islamist method of massacre. Moreover, instead of one “lone nut,” it is reported that “police investigated witness accounts of a second shooter.”
This current attack does in fact resemble the McVeigh situation, as pointed out by Gates of Vienna:
I’ve read several accounts that describe the Oslo murderer as “a Norwegian Timothy McVeigh.” The crime in downtown Oslo does resemble the Oklahoma City atrocity–a powerful vehicle bomb, possibly a fertilizer bomb, detonated near a government building for the purpose of causing mass casualties. Then, after initial alarm about Islam, we hear that the alleged perpetrator is a crazed right-wing zealot bent on killing as many of his fellow citizens as possible.
Yes, Oslo and Oklahoma City definitely have a lot in common in this regard.
But one thing many people seem to forget–and which they may never have known, thanks to the American government’s actions and the media spin that followed–is that there almost certainly was an Islamic terror connection to the Oklahoma City bombing.
I refer, of course, to the book The Third Terrorist by Jayna Davis. Ms. Davis did exhaustive research, examined all the evidence, interviewed the witnesses who had seen the third conspirator, tracked down the connections, and identified the Iraqi who helped Timothy McVeigh build the bomb. Her work provided more than enough evidence to satisfy Occam’s Razor: there was a third terrorist.
McVeigh’s bomb was thought to have an “Islamic signature”–that is, a bomb of that strength and type was considered almost certain to have been constructed or designed by Muslim terrorists who had the experience and know-how to do the job. It was believed that no domestic terrorist group had the ability to construct such a powerful fertilizer bomb.
That’s why government officials made their early announcement of Islamic terrorism–which, for reasons of their own, they backed away from a few days later. “White supremacists” and “militias” were the preferred culprits, and not Muslims, so the third terrorist had to disappear down the memory hole.
And so he did, as I discovered this afternoon when discussing the horrific events with several Europeans. They had never heard of The Third Terrorist.
So don’t rule Islam out of the Oslo picture, not just yet. Think of the level of destruction the killer managed to accomplish–how unreasonable would it be to assume the backing and assistance of people who have proved themselves proficient at making very, very powerful bombs and detonating them in major cities?
No matter what conclusions the Norwegian government comes to, look for a “second terrorist.” Or a third, or a fourth…
Here is how it stands now: “Authorities say he posted on Christian fundamentalist websites and reportedly held right-wing, anti-Muslim views. He was also once a member of the youth wing of a rightist party.” It seems that, as the McVeigh bombing essentially destroyed the America militia movement, the European “rightwing” anti-Islam, anti-immigrant movement may also be stopped in its tracks now by this attack.
Feds Ask for Vigilance on Trains based upon information found at Bin Laden Compound
Thursday, May 5, 2011 | Updated 8:00 PM EDT
Feds Issue Train Warning
By Jonathan Dienst and Shimon Prokupecz
An advisory has been sent to law enforcement officials asking them to be vigilant about train security based on information uncovered at Osama bin Laden’s compound after his death, officials said.
Officials stressed the advisory is general in nature and the information apparently uncovered from the bin Laden house in Pakistan dates back more than a year.
According to NBC News, U.S. officials say they have not found reference to specific plots. Instead, they say they’ve found what they call “aspirational” items — events al-Qaida operatives were interested in trying to make happen.
There was nothing specific to New York, according to a law enforcement official.
“We have no information of any imminent terrorist threat to the U.S. rail sector, but wanted to make our partners aware of the alleged plotting,” Department of Homeland Security spokesman Matt Chandler said in a statement.“We want to stress that this alleged al-Qaida plotting is based on initial reporting, which is often misleading or inaccurate and subject to change,”
A government advisory sent Thursday says that as far back as February 2010, al-Qaida was contemplating “an operation against trains at an unspecified location in the United States on the 10th anniversary” of the 9/11 attacks.
One option, the advisory says, was trying to tip a train by tampering with the rails so that the train would fall off the track at either a valley or on a bridge. Such an attempt would probably only work once, the material in bin Laden’s house said, because tilting or tampering with the rails would be spotted, the advisory says.
Other material mentions a desire to target major mass-transit hubs, an interest long familiar to law enforcement because of the history of al-Qaida attacks on rail targets in Spain, the U.K. and India.
The FBI and Homeland Security are encouraging local governments to be vigilant. But there are no plans to issue a terror alert, because there’s still no specific or credible intelligence of any actual attack plan in the works.
Rep. Peter King said “there was information found in the last several days — I don’t know where it’s come from — but that al-Qaida was considering having an attack on mass transit or trains before the 10th anniversary of September 11th.”
Jewish World Review March 31, 2011 / 25 Adar II, 5771
What if Qaddafi is actually telling the truth?
By Scott Peterson
While most experts say Qaddafi is grossly exaggerating the influence of Al Qaeda, new questions are being raised about its true scope as Washington debates arming the opposition
JRIPOLI — (TCSM) The young Qaddafi loyalist wove together a grim tale that fits the official Libyan narrative perfectly. Al Qaeda fighters torched his home in the rebel-held enclave of Misratah, he claimed, and then killed his father. The crazed Islamists, he charged, were dismembering their victims.
“May G0d be my witness, it is true!” shouted Osama bin Salah, pointing to the sky.
Since Libya’s popular uprising began in mid-February, Col. Muammar Qaddafi has repeatedly declared that this rebellion is different: He is not facing pro-democracy activists who want to end his four decades in power, but Al Qaeda militants determined to make Libya a base for global jihad.
“This is the Al Qaeda that the whole world is fighting,” warned the Libyan leader, who demands that the Western-led alliance help him fight a common enemy instead of decimating his military apparatus.
Yet as debate commences in Washington about arming antigovernment rebels — men who largely hail from eastern Libya, which per capita sent more Islamist fighters to Iraq in 2006-2007 than anywhere else — questions are being raised about the true scope of Al Qaeda’s influence among the Libyan opposition.
“We have seen flickers in the intelligence of potential Al Qaeda, Hezbollah,” said Admiral James Stavridis, commander of NATO forces, who testified before the Senate Tuesday. “We have seen different things. But at this point I don’t have detail sufficient to say there is a significant Al Qaeda presence or any other terrorist presence.”
Overall, he said, the opposition leaders appear to be “responsible men and women.”
And yet while the regime’s true believers like Mr. Salah echo Qaddafi’s Al Qaeda allegations in Tripoli, on the ground in rebel-head territory there is only marginal evidence of Al Qaeda fighters or their ideals.
Outside Ajdabiya, Abdullah ElHeneid, who helps run the pro-rebellion Libya Hurra (“Free Libya”) satellite channel, surveyed the wreckage of Qaddafi’s tanks.
“The dead? A lot of them are brainwashed and think they’re fighting Al Qaeda,” he says. “They’re Qaddafi’s victims too. But we have to fight for liberty.”
So far, the opposition has largely demonstrated that its demand for change echoes those expressed throughout the Arab world in recent months: an end of dictatorship. They codified those aims in an eight-point “vision of democratic Libya” issued Tuesday.
While most experts agree that Qaddafi is grossly exaggerating the Al Qaeda threat to discredit his opposition, eastern Libya has had a history of Islamic militancy. Documents captured by the US military from Al Qaeda in Iraq show that eastern Libya — and especially the city of Derna — provided per capita far more foreign fighters in Iraq from August 2006 to August 2007 than anywhere else in the world.
Today, no one knows how many Libyan veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are taking up the fight against Qaddafi. And while Islamists are reported to be among the most active on the fluctuating frontline, they are a small minority among the mosaic of fighters who earlier this week made huge territorial gains, backed by US and French-led allied airstrikes, only to lose the ground in panicked retreat Tuesday.
The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) in early 2007 publicly supported the insurgency in Iraq, calling on all “Muslim peoples” to wage jihad there. The LIFG declared in November 2007 that it had joined Al Qaeda.
The documents captured in 2007 in Sinjar, Iraq, give details of 595 foreign fighters in Iraq who crossed from Syria and listed a nationality, according to a late 2007 report by the Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) at West Point, which first published the Sinjar documents. Most of the fighters (41 percent) were from Saudi Arabia. Libya was second, accounting for 18.8 percent.
But when tallied on a per capita basis, the documents — known as the Sinjar Records — show that Libya accounted for virtually twice the number of insurgents as came from Saudi Arabia. And of the half of Libyans who listed their intended “work” in Iraq, more than 85 percent — the highest of any nation — said they wanted to be suicide bombers, according to the documents.
“Both Derna and Benghazi have long been associated with Islamic militancy in Libya, in particular for an uprising by Islamist organizations in the mid-1990s,” notes the CTC report. “The Libyan uprisings became extraordinarily violent,” it reads. “Qaddafi used helicopter gunships in Benghazi, cut telephone, electricity, and water supplies to Derna and famously claimed that the militants ‘deserve to die without trial, like dogs.’ ”
In recent years, Qaddafi has largely made peace with Libya’s homegrown Islamist groups, and released a number from prison after they denounced violence and any affiliation with Al Qaeda.
In a dialogue overseen by Qaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam, some 200 LIFG members were freed, including many top figures who issued recantations in 2009 and foreswore violence, according to a mid-March report by the US Congressional Research Service. A further 110 members were released at the beginning of the uprising in February.
THE SPECTER OF IRAQ
Despite that apparent reconciliation, Libyan officials are warning that the popular uprising against Qaddafi’s nearly 42-year rule is, in fact, the latest jihadist front.
“Today Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has raised its voice and the level of its threats,” government spokesman Musa Ibrahim said in the past week, referring to the Al Qaeda affiliate in North Africa.
“We believe they have the power; we believe they have the logistics. Their strategic depth goes from the Libyan-Algerian border to the coast of Mauritania on the Atlantic. This is not a secret,” said Mr. Ibrahim.
Militants could easily move through the Sahara Desert and “enter Libya in the thousands,” Ibrahim said. “We know how Qaeda operates … so we are expecting to see death on the ground, car explosions, bombs in the streets of Tripoli. It’s the story of Baghdad being played again in Tripoli. If the world cares about civilians … they should not allow Libya to become another Iraq.”
The specter of Iraq also worries US military planners, as they consider arming what they deem to be pro-democracy rebels to finally oust Qaddafi, versus the uncertain outcome of adding firepower to those from areas known for Islamic militancy.
“Al Qaeda in that part of the country is obviously an issue,” a senior US official told The New York Times on Tuesday.
Tripoli has fanned those concerns also, charging that the rebel-held enclave of Misratah, 125 miles east of Tripoli, is a militant hotbed.
In the city, “unfortunately we have hardcore, violent pockets of violence,” says spokesman Ibrahim. “These people — because they are Al Qaeda affiliates — they are prepared to die, they want to die, because death is for them is happiness, is paradise. So they know they are going to die, they want it and they are working hard for it.”
‘WE WANT THIS FREEDOM IN LIBYA’
Among true believers in the rule of Qaddafi, there is little doubt about the danger — and the miscalculation by the West.
“France, the US, and UK in Libya are trying to replace moderate Islam with radical Islam,” says a visibly angry man at a recent funeral ceremony in Tripoli. He would only identify himself as a “citizen.”
“There will be revenge [because] they are providing extremists and Al Qaeda with support. Libya was a moderate country; 90 percent of these people don’t have beards. Now Al Qaeda will extend its presence,” he says.
Few on the ground in rebel-held territory of eastern Libya describe an Al Qaeda advance, though there clearly are fighters of an Islamist turn of mind at the front, sprinkled among the less ideologically committed rank and file. But they insist their devotion to their faith has nothing to do with Al Qaeda or international ambitions.
“I’m fighting because Qaddafi wouldn’t let people pray freely, think freely,” said Mohammed Shuwaidy, a young fighter from Derna, speaking outside Ras Lanuf earlier this month. “But we want this freedom in Libya. Qaddafi is the terrorist, with his wars outside the country and his torture of us.”
[Osama bin Laden] “Throughout the world … its agents, client states and satellites are on the defensive — on the moral defensive, the intellectual defensive, and the political and economic defensive. Freedom movements arise and assert themselves. They’re doing so on almost every continent populated by man — in the hills of Afghanistan, in Angola, in Kampuchea, in Central America … [They are] freedom fighters.”
Is this a call to jihad (holy war) taken from one of Islamic fundamentalist Osama bin Laden’s notorious fatwas? Or perhaps a communique issued by the repressive Taliban regime in Kabul?
In fact, this glowing praise of the murderous exploits of today’s supporters of arch-terrorist bin Laden and his Taliban collaborators, and their holy war against the “evil empire”, was issued by US President Ronald Reagan on March 8, 1985. The “evil empire” was the Soviet Union, as well as Third World movements fighting US-backed colonialism, apartheid and dictatorship.
How things change. In the aftermath of a series of terrorist atrocities — the most despicable being the mass murder of more than 6000 working people in New York and Washington on September 11 — bin Laden the “freedom fighter” is now lambasted by US leaders and the Western mass media as a “terrorist mastermind” and an “evil-doer”.
Yet the US government refuses to admit its central role in creating the vicious movement that spawned bin Laden, the Taliban and Islamic fundamentalist terrorists that plague Algeria and Egypt — and perhaps the disaster that befell New York.
The mass media has also downplayed the origins of bin Laden and his toxic brand of Islamic fundamentalism.
In April 1978, the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) seized power in Afghanistan in reaction to a crackdown against the party by that country’s repressive government.
The PDPA was committed to a radical land reform that favoured the peasants, trade union rights, an expansion of education and social services, equality for women and the separation of church and state. The PDPA also supported strengthening Afghanistan’s relationship with the Soviet Union.
Such policies enraged the wealthy semi-feudal landlords, the Muslim religious establishment (many mullahs were also big landlords) and the tribal chiefs. They immediately began organising resistance to the government’s progressive policies, under the guise of defending Islam.
Washington, fearing the spread of Soviet influence (and worse the new government’s radical example) to its allies in Pakistan, Iran and the Gulf states, immediately offered support to the Afghan mujaheddin, as the “contra” force was known.
Following an internal PDPA power struggle in December 1979 which toppled Afghanistan’s leader, thousands of Soviet troops entered the country to prevent the new government’s fall. This only galvanised the disparate fundamentalist factions. Their reactionary jihad now gained legitimacy as a “national liberation” struggle in the eyes of many Afghans.
The Soviet Union was eventually to withdraw from Afghanistan in 1989 and the mujaheddin captured the capital, Kabul, in 1992.
Between 1978 and 1992, the US government poured at least US$6 billion (some estimates range as high as $20 billion) worth of arms, training and funds to prop up the mujaheddin factions. Other Western governments, as well as oil-rich Saudi Arabia, kicked in as much again. Wealthy Arab fanatics, like Osama bin Laden, provided millions more.
Washington’s policy in Afghanistan was shaped by US President Jimmy Carter’s national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and was continued by his successors. His plan went far beyond simply forcing Soviet troops to withdraw; rather it aimed to foster an international movement to spread Islamic fanaticism into the Muslim Central Asian Soviet republics to destabilise the Soviet Union.
Brzezinski’s grand plan coincided with Pakistan military dictator General Zia ul-Haq’s own ambitions to dominate the region. US-run Radio Liberty and Radio Free Europe beamed Islamic fundamentalist tirades across Central Asia (while paradoxically denouncing the “Islamic revolution” that toppled the pro-US Shah of Iran in 1979).
Wikileaks proves: Afghan war unjust and unwinnable
Mark Steel on Wikileaks:Shooting the messenger
John Pilger: Wikileaks must be defended
War on Afghanistan: a crime against humanity
Washington’s favoured mujaheddin faction was one of the most extreme, led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. The West’s distaste for terrorism did not apply to this unsavoury “freedom fighter”. Hekmatyar was notorious in the 1970s for throwing acid in the faces of women who refused to wear the veil.
After the mujaheddin took Kabul in 1992, Hekmatyar’s forces rained US-supplied missiles and rockets on that city — killing at least 2000 civilians — until the new government agreed to give him the post of prime minister. Osama bin Laden was a close associate of Hekmatyar and his faction.
Hekmatyar was also infamous for his side trade in the cultivation and trafficking in opium. Backing of the mujaheddin from the CIA coincided with a boom in the drug business. Within two years, the Afghanistan-Pakistan border was the world’s single largest source of heroin, supplying 60% of US drug users.
In 1995, the former director of the CIA’s operation in Afghanistan was unrepentant about the explosion in the flow of drugs: “Our main mission was to do as much damage as possible to the Soviets… There was a fallout in terms of drugs, yes. But the main objective was accomplished. The Soviets left Afghanistan.”
Made in the USA
According to Ahmed Rashid, a correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review, in 1986 CIA chief William Casey committed CIA support to a long-standing ISI proposal to recruit from around the world to join the Afghan jihad. At least 100,000 Islamic militants flocked to Pakistan between 1982 and 1992 (some 60,000 attended fundamentalist schools in Pakistan without necessarily taking part in the fighting).
John Cooley, a former journalist with the US ABC television network and author of Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism, has revealed that Muslims recruited in the US for the mujaheddin were sent to Camp Peary, the CIA’s spy training camp in Virginia, where young Afghans, Arabs from Egypt and Jordan, and even some African-American “black Muslims” were taught “sabotage skills”.
The November 1, 1998, British Independent reported that one of those charged with the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, Ali Mohammed, had trained “bin Laden’s operatives” in 1989.
These “operatives” were recruited at the al Kifah Refugee Centre in Brooklyn, New York, given paramilitary training in the New York area and then sent to Afghanistan with US assistance to join Hekmatyar’s forces. Mohammed was a member of the US army’s elite Green Berets.
The program, reported the Independent, was part of a Washington-approved plan called “Operation Cyclone”.
In Pakistan, recruits, money and equipment were distributed to the mujaheddin factions by an organisation known as Maktab al Khidamar (Office of Services — MAK).
MAK was a front for Pakistan’s CIA, the Inter-Service Intelligence Directorate. The ISI was the first recipient of the vast bulk of CIA and Saudi Arabian covert assistance for the Afghan contras. Bin Laden was one of three people who ran MAK. In 1989, he took overall charge of MAK.
Among those trained by Mohammed were El Sayyid Nosair, who was jailed in 1995 for killing Israeli rightist Rabbi Meir Kahane and plotting with others to bomb New York landmarks, including the World Trade Center in 1993.
The Independent also suggested that Shiekh Omar Abdel-Rahman, an Egyptian religious leader also jailed for the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, was also part of Operation Cyclone. He entered the US in 1990 with the CIA’s approval. A confidential CIA report concluded that the agency was “partly culpable” for the 1993 World Trade Center blast, the Independent reported.
Osama bin Laden, one of 20 sons of a billionaire construction magnate, arrived in Afghanistan to join the jihad in 1980. An austere religious fanatic and business tycoon, bin Laden specialised in recruiting, financing and training the estimated 35,000 non-Afghan mercenaries who joined the mujaheddin.
The bin Laden family is a prominent pillar of the Saudi Arabian ruling class, with close personal, financial and political ties to that country’s pro-US royal family.
Bin Laden senior was appointed Saudi Arabia’s minister of public works as a favour by King Faisal. The new minister awarded his own construction companies lucrative contracts to rebuild Islam’s holiest mosques in Mecca and Medina. In the process, the bin Laden family company in 1966 became the world’s largest private construction company.
Osama bin Laden’s father died in 1968. Until 1994, he had access to the dividends from this ill-gotten business empire.
(Bin Laden junior’s oft-quoted personal fortune of US$200-300 million has been arrived at by the US State Department by dividing today’s value of the bin Laden family net worth — estimated to be US$5 billion — by the number of bin Laden senior’s sons. A fact rarely mentioned is that in 1994 the bin Laden family disowned Osama and took control of his share.)
Osama’s military and business adventures in Afghanistan had the blessing of the bin Laden dynasty and the reactionary Saudi Arabian regime. His close working relationship with MAK also meant that the CIA was fully aware of his activities.
Milt Bearden, the CIA’s station chief in Pakistan from 1986 to 1989, admitted to the January 24, 2000, New Yorker that while he never personally met bin Laden, “Did I know that he was out there? Yes, I did … [Guys like] bin Laden were bringing $20-$25 million a month from other Saudis and Gulf Arabs to underwrite the war. And that is a lot of money. It’s an extra $200-$300 million a year. And this is what bin Laden did.”
In 1986, bin Laden brought heavy construction equipment from Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan. Using his extensive knowledge of construction techniques (he has a degree in civil engineering), he built “training camps”, some dug deep into the sides of mountains, and built roads to reach them.
These camps, now dubbed “terrorist universities” by Washington, were built in collaboration with the ISI and the CIA. The Afghan contra fighters, including the tens of thousands of mercenaries recruited and paid for by bin Laden, were armed by the CIA. Pakistan, the US and Britain provided military trainers.
Tom Carew, a former British SAS soldier who secretly fought for the mujaheddin told the August 13, 2000, British Observer, “The Americans were keen to teach the Afghans the techniques of urban terrorism — car bombing and so on — so that they could strike at the Russians in major towns … Many of them are now using their knowledge and expertise to wage war on everything they hate.”
Al Qaeda (the Base), bin Laden’s organisation, was established in 1987-88 to run the camps and other business enterprises. It is a tightly-run capitalist holding company — albeit one that integrates the operations of a mercenary force and related logistical services with “legitimate” business operations.
Bin Laden has simply continued to do the job he was asked to do in Afghanistan during the 1980s — fund, feed and train mercenaries. All that has changed is his primary customer. Then it was the ISI and, behind the scenes, the CIA. Today, his services are utilised primarily by the reactionary Taliban regime.
Bin Laden only became a “terrorist” in US eyes when he fell out with the Saudi royal family over its decision to allow more than 540,000 US troops to be stationed on Saudi soil following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.
When thousands of US troops remained in Saudi Arabia after the end of the Gulf War, bin Laden’s anger turned to outright opposition. He declared that Saudi Arabia and other regimes — such as Egypt — in the Middle East were puppets of the US, just as the PDPA government of Afghanistan had been a puppet of the Soviet Union.
He called for the overthrow of these client regimes and declared it the duty of all Muslims to drive the US out of the Gulf states. In 1994, he was stripped of his Saudi citizenship and forced to leave the country. His assets there were frozen.
After a period in Sudan, he returned to Afghanistan in May 1996. He refurbished the camps he had helped build during the Afghan war and offered the facilities and services — and thousands of his mercenaries — to the Taliban, which took power that September.
Today, bin Laden’s private army of non-Afghan religious fanatics is a key prop of the Taliban regime.
Prior to the devastating September 11 attack on the twin towers of World Trade Center, US ruling-class figures remained unrepentant about the consequences of their dirty deals with the likes of bin Laden, Hekmatyar and the Taliban. Since the awful attack, they have been downright hypocritical.
In an August 28, 1998, report posted on MSNBC, Michael Moran quotes Senator Orrin Hatch, who was a senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee which approved US dealings with the mujaheddin, as saying he would make “the same call again”, even knowing what bin Laden would become.
“It was worth it. Those were very important, pivotal matters that played an important role in the downfall of the Soviet Union.”
Hatch today is one of the most gung-ho voices demanding military retaliation.
Another face that has appeared repeatedly on television screens since the attack has been Vincent Cannistrano, described as a former CIA chief of “counter-terrorism operations”.
Cannistrano is certainly an expert on terrorists like bin Laden, because he directed their “work”. He was in charge of the CIA-backed Nicaraguan contras during the early 1980s. In 1984, he became the supervisor of covert aid to the Afghan mujaheddin for the US National Security Council.
The last word goes to Zbigniew Brzezinski: “What was more important in the world view of history? The Taliban or the fall of the Soviet Empire? A few stirred up Muslims or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War?”
In George Orwell’s classic “1984,” his world was held together by continuous and unending war: In the book his concept was defined by video clips of HATE, broadcast several times a day during which the population (in the novel) was required to watch and rave against the ENEMY. Those who rule this nation now, seek to use Al Qaeda as the 2005 version of the terror created in ‘1984’ by proclaiming the now infamous phrase “Links to Al Qaeda!”
Since the war began in Afghanistan, the administration has been using this completely damning and completely empty phrase at every opportunity. “Damning ” because the phrase carries all the unspoken horror, and all the unspecified terror that our Bandits want the world to feel – every time there is any activity that the USA disapproves of. “Empty” because nothing, despite Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, has ever been publicly found, no trials have been held that we know of, and no one has been convicted of being part of Al Qaeda – except the dead. So – What exactly is Al Qaeda?
Al Qaeda was created by the CIA, in their offices in Washington D.C., According to Richard Clark in his most recent book. It was created for Saudi Arabia to bankroll Osama bin Laden, through the House of Saud, “in the Afghan war against the Soviet Union during the 1980’s and Riyadh and Washington together contributed an estimated $3.5 billion to the mujahideen.”
“In late 2003, U.S. News & World Report conducted an exhaustive study titled. ‘The Saudi Connection.’ Its findings included the following.”
“The evidence was indisputable: Saudi Arabia, America’s longtime ally and the world’s largest oil producer, had somehow become, as a senior Treasury Department official put it, ‘the epicenter’ of terrorist financing’
Starting in the late 1980’s – after the dual shocks of the Iranian revolution and the Soviet war in Afghanistan – Saudi Arabia’s quasi-official charities became the primary source of the funds for the fast-growing jihad movement. In some twenty countries the money was used to run para-military training camps, purchase weapons, and recruit new members’
Saudi largess encouraged U.S. officials to look the other way, some veteran intelligence officers say. Billions of dollars in contracts, grants, and salaries have gone to a broad range of former U.S. officials who had dealt with the Saudis: ambassadors, CIA station chiefs, even cabinet secretaries’
Electronic intercepts implicated members of the royal family in backing not only al Qaeda but also other terrorist groups.”
“In October 2003, Vanity Fair magazine disclosed information that had not previously been made public, in an in-depth report entitled ‘Saving the Saudis.’ The story that emerged about the relationship between the Bush family, the House of Saud, and the bin Laden family” (outlined) relationships that went back at least to the time of the Saudi Arabian Money-laundering Affair which began in 1974, and to George H.W. Bush’s terms as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (1971-1973) and then as head of the CIA (1976-1977).
“Vanity Fair concluded: The Bush family and the House of Saud, the two most powerful dynasties in the world, have had closed personal business, and political ties for more than 20 years’.
In the private sector, the Saudi’s supported Harken Energy, a struggling oil company in which George W. Bush was an investor. Most recently former president George H.W. Bush and his longtime ally, former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, have appeared before Saudis at fundraisers for the Carlyle Group, arguably the biggest private equity firm in the world. Today former president Bush continues to serve as senior advisor to the firm, whose investors allegedly include a Saudi accused of ties to terrorist support groups’
Just days after 9/11, wealthy Saudi Arabians, including members of the bin Laden family, were whisked out of the U.S. on private jets. No one will admit to clearing the flights, and the passengers weren’t questioned. Did the Bush family’s long relationship with the Saudis help make it happen?”
With the above as background, consider that Bush junior has sworn to go after all those who shelter terrorists, as well as all those who have been responsible for funding terrorist activities. Why hasn’t ‘Poppy’ been arrested? Moreover – why has the public not picked up on the fact that right up until September 11, 2001, Al Qaeda was ours; we created it, we trained the terrorists and we used them! Why can we not find them now, and why has bin Laden not been captured or killed? In this light “Links to Al Qaeda!” takes on an entirely new meaning. This is not just idle conjecture – there is a real problem here. Bush and his henchmen are in this up to their eyes, and have been, since long before this current episode became public.
American forces are, at this moment, fighting people and organizations that we created, the groups we armed, and whom we continue to protect, from implications in the actions that occurred on 911. So who at the top is “friend” and who is “foe”? When that ‘secrecy-protected phrase’ “Links to Al Qaeda!” is uttered: Why is there never any proof of anything, and why has it continued now for three years without any challenge to the legitimacy of these empty claims? It appears that the American public has been had – and will continue to be taken down the primrose path (lined with the bodies of the hundreds of thousands that we’ve killed) – all because we’d really prefer not to look too closely at what our tax dollars are paying for.
This administration needs to answer these questions on the record, the world wants to hear their response, because the facts simply don’t add up – they never have.
It’s one thing to keep the coffins of the dead a secret from the media, but it is another matter all together, to hide this Bush complicity, with the very people who he says – started this war. Bush begged the people of Iraq to rise up and fight us, when he said: “Bring it on!” That has been done, and the stats to date continue to soar with every day that passes, despite the unofficial news blackouts on the war in Iraq. Bush vowed to bring “all those responsible to justice” – what happened to that empty promise when it came down to his own family and that closed but very special circle of his friends, who all came together to create Al Qaeda and to feed all that hate that keeps the resistance going strong?
The global economic world is about to be consumed by fire, and this charade will melt in the flames of the coming disaster: but these “Myths” are what underlie it all!
Given the crash above, these dirty-little-secrets will all be coming out anyway – there just might not be time to prosecute the dynasties and all their friends unless the public gets involved.
Whatever happens, the government needs to open the books on Al Qaeda now, and prosecute all those who had a hand in this charade – especially the entire Bush family. The public also needs to begin to demand answers about that obscene little phrase: “Links to Al Qaeda!” We deserve to have those “links” spelled out in specific detail, or have the mention of them dropped from any and all future reports emanating from this mythical bogeyman that has proved to be such a boon to thieves who inhabit Washington D.C. today.
Quotations from pgs 96 thru 98 of “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.”
More information: http://www.infowars.com/al-qaeda-100-pentagon-run/