Where did ISIS come from? How was it able to gain land, arms and money so quickly?
This book will answer those questions … and unmask ISIS.
Part 1 shows that the U.S. – through bad policies and stupid choices – is largely responsible for the rise of ISIS.
Part 2 reveals the strange history of the leaders of ISIS … Including one who never really existed, and another who – if you read mainstream media drivel – was killed … then arrested … and then killed again.
Part 3 delves into the little-known, secret history of Iraq and Syria … and discusses the real motivations behind our current policies towards those countries.
And Part 4 reveals the cynical support for ISIS from our closest “allies”.
So grab a cup of coffee, and prepare to learn the real story.
President Barack Obama noted in an interview in March 2015:
ISIL [also known as ISIS] is a direct outgrowth of Al-Qaeda in Iraq that grew out of our invasion. Which is an example of unintended consequences. Which is why we should generally aim before we shoot.
He’s correct. After all:
- ISIS leaders themselves credit the Iraq war for their success
- The New Yorker reports:
ISIS is run by a council of former Iraqi generals …. Many are members of Saddam Hussein’s secular Baath Party who converted to radical Islam in American prisons.
- Torture of Iraqis by Americans led to the rise of ISIS … and America’s Guantanamo prison inspired ISIS atrocities
- Al Qaeda wasn’t even in Iraq until the U.S. invaded that country, as admitted by President George W. Bush to ABC News in 2008:
Bush: One of the major theaters against al Qaeda turns out to have been Iraq. This is where al Qaeda said they were going to take their stand. This is where al Qaeda was hoping to take …
ABC News Interviewer: But not until after the U.S. invaded.
Bush: Yeah, that’s right. So what?
- ISIS took over large swaths of Iraq using captured American weapons leftover from the Iraq war
In addition, the entire American policy of arming “moderate” Syrian rebels has backfired.
Lebanon’s Daily Star reports that so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels support ISIS terrorists:
“We are collaborating with the Islamic State and the Nusra Front [another extremist and hard-line Islamic terrorist group] by attacking the Syrian Army’s gatherings in … Qalamoun,” said Bassel Idriss, the commander of an FSA-aligned rebel brigade.
The New York Times writes:
President Obama’s determination to train Syrian rebels to serve as ground troops against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria leaves the United States dependent on a diverse group riven by infighting, with no shared leadership and with hard-line Islamists as its most effective fighters.
After more than three years of civil war, there are hundreds of militias fighting President Bashar al-Assad — and one another. Among them, even the more secular forces have turned to Islamists for support and weapons over the years, and the remaining moderate rebels often fight alongside extremists like the Nusra Front, Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria.
Analysts who track the rebel movement say that the concept of the Free Syrian Army as a unified force with an effective command structure is a myth.
The Syrian rebels are a scattered archipelago of mostly local forces with ideologies that range from nationalist to jihadist. Their rank-and-file fighters are largely from the rural underclass, with few having clear political visions beyond a general interest in greater rights or the dream of an Islamic state.
Some European allies remain skeptical about the efficacy of arming the Syrian rebels. Germany, for instance, has been arming and training Kurdish pesh merga forces in Iraq, but has resisted doing the same for any groups in Syria — partly out of fear that the weapons could end up in the hands of ISIS or other radical groups.
“We can’t really control the final destination of these arms,” said Peter Wittig, the German ambassador to the United States.
The fluidity of battlefield alliances in Syria means that even mainline rebels often end up fighting alongside the Nusra Front, whose suicide bombers are relied on by other groups to soften up government targets.
“Even the groups that the U.S. has trained tend to show up in the same trenches as the Nusra Front eventually, because they need them and they are fighting the same battles,” Mr. Lund said.
Current and former American officials acknowledge the government’s lack of deep knowledge about the rebels. “We need to do everything we can to figure out who the non-ISIS opposition is,” said Ryan C. Crocker, a former United States ambassador to Iraq and Syria. “Frankly, we don’t have a clue.”
And yet, as the Wall Street Journal, PBS, CNN, New York Times, Medium, Pulitzer prize-winning reporter Seymour Hersh and others note, the U.S. and its allies have poured huge amounts of weapons and support to the Syrian Islamic “rebels”. This is in spite of the CIA warning President Obama that arming rebels rarely works.
Washington wants regime change in Syria, so it’s making up a myth of the “moderate Syrian rebel” who hates Assad and ISIS. But they “don’t have a clue” as to whether such a mythical unicorn actually exists (spoiler alert: it doesn’t).
The New York Times reported in 2013 that virtually all of the rebel fighters in Syria are hardline Islamic terrorists. Things have gotten much worse since then … as the few remaining moderates have been lured away by ISIS’ arms, cash and influence.
Michael Shank – Adjunct Faculty and Board Member at George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, and director of foreign policy at the Friends Committee on National Legislation – warned a year ago:
The Senate and House Intelligence committees’ about-face decision last week to arm the rebels in Syria is dangerous and disconcerting. The weapons will assuredly end up in the wrong hands and will only escalate the slaughter in Syria. Regardless of the vetting procedures in place, the sheer factionalized nature of the opposition guarantees that the arms will end up in some unsavory hands. The same militant fighters who have committed gross atrocities are among the best-positioned of the rebel groups to seize the weapons that the United States sends to Syria.
Arming one side of Syria’s multi-sided and bloody civil war will come back to haunt us. Past decisions by the U.S. to arm insurgencies in Libya, Angola, Central America and Afghanistan helped sustain brutal conflicts in those regions for decades. In the case of Afghanistan, arming the mujahideen in the 1980s created the instability that emboldened extreme militant groups and gave rise to the Taliban, which ultimately created an environment for al Qaeda to thrive.
Arming the enemies of our enemies hasn’t made the U.S. more friends; it has made the U.S. more enemies.
Some armed opposition factions, including powerful Islamist coalitions, reject negotiation altogether. Yet these are the same groups that will likely seize control of U.S.-supplied weapons, just as they’ve already seized control of the bulk of the rebels’ weaponry.
When you lift the curtain on the armed groups with the most formidable military presence on the ground in Syria, you find the Al Nusra Front and Al Farough Brigades. Both groups are closely aligned with Al Qaeda and have directly perpetrated barbaric atrocities. The Al Nusra Front has been charged with beheadings of civilians, while a commander from the Al Farough Brigades reportedly ate the heart of a pro-Assad soldier.
Shank’s warning was ignored, and his worst fears came to pass. And since the Obama administration is doubling-down on the same moronic policy, it will happen again …
And it’s not as if we only started supporting the rebels after the Syrian civil war started. Rather, the U.S. started funding the Syrian opposition 5 years before the civil war started … and started arming them 4 years beforehand.
And a leaked 2006 U.S. State Department Cable from the U.S. Ambassador to Syria discussed plans to overthrow the Syrian government.
So it’s not as if our intervention in Syria is for humanitarian reasons.
We summarized the state of affairs in 2014:
The Syrian rebels are mainly Al Qaeda, and the U.S. has been supporting these terrorists for years. Indeed, as reported in the Wall Street Journal, the National and other sources, Al Qaeda’s power within the Syrian rebel forces is only growing stronger.
Rank-and-file Syrian rebels have:
- Said: “We started our holy war here and won’t finish until this [Al Qaeda] banner will be raised on top of the White House. Keep funding them, you always do that, remember? Al Qaeda for instance.”
- A former Syrian Jihadi says the rebels have a “9/11 ideology”
- Indeed, they’re literally singing Bin Laden’s praises and celebrating the 9/11 attack
In fact, one of the heads of the Syrian rebels is also the global boss of Al Qaeda … and he is calling for fresh terrorist attacks on America. CBS News reports:
Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahri called has called on Muslims to continue attacking Americans on their own soil in order to “bleed” the U.S. economy.
“To keep up the hemorrhage in America’s security and military spending, we need to keep the Unites States on a constant state of alert about where and when the next strike will blow,” Zawahiri said.
Things are getting worse, not better: Al Qaeda is gaining more and more power among the rebels….
Summary: We’re arming the same guys who are threatening to blow us up.
Indeed, ISIS has tripled the size of its territory in Syria and greatly expanded its territory in Iraq even after the U.S. started its bombing campaign against ISIS. [Footnote: ISIS now has captured most of Syria.]
Is something deeper going on behind the scene?
There is a question about whether the heads of ISIS are who we’ve been told.
For example, the New York Times reported in 2007:
For more than a year, the leader of one the most notorious insurgent groups in Iraq was said to be a mysterious Iraqi named Abdullah Rashid al-Baghdadi.
As the titular head of the Islamic State in Iraq, an organization publicly backed by Al Qaeda, Baghdadi issued a steady stream of incendiary pronouncements. Despite claims by Iraqi officials that he had been killed in May, Baghdadi appeared to have persevered unscathed.
On Wednesday, a senior American military spokesman provided a new explanation for Baghdadi’s ability to escape attack: He never existed.
Brigadier General Kevin Bergner, the chief American military spokesman, said the elusive Baghdadi was actually a fictional character whose audio-taped declarations were provided by an elderly actor named Abu Adullah al-Naima.
The ruse, Bergner said, was devised by Abu Ayub al-Masri, the Egyptian-born leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, who was trying to mask the dominant role that foreigners play in that insurgent organization.
The ploy was to invent Baghdadi, a figure whose very name establishes his Iraqi pedigree, install him as the head of a front organization called the Islamic State of Iraq and then arrange for Masri to swear allegiance to him. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s deputy, sought to reinforce the deception by referring to Baghdadi in his video and Internet statements.
Bruce Riedel, a former CIA official and a Middle East expert, said that experts had long wondered whether Baghdadi actually existed. “There has been a question mark about this,” he said.
American military spokesmen insist they have gotten to the truth on Baghdadi. Mashadani, they say, provided his account because he resented the role of foreign leaders in Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.
The unmasking of the terror leader as being an actor’s fictitious persona came after al-Baghdadi was – according to mainstream media reports – arrested in 2007, killed in 2007, arrested again in 2009, and then killed again in 2010.
The story of ISIS’ previous leader – Abu Musab al-Zarqawi – was odd as well. He was declared dead in 2004. Then he was said to be arrested … several different times. Then he was supposedly killed again in 2006.
The Independent – in an article on “black propaganda” (i.e. intentional disinformation) by the U.S. government – cites the forging by the U.S. government of a letter which it pretended was written by al Zarqawi, which was then unquestioningly parroted by the media as an authentic by Zarqawi letter. The Washington Post reported:
One internal briefing, produced by the U.S. military headquarters in Iraq, said that Kimmitt [Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, the U.S. military’s chief spokesman in 2004, and subsequently the senior planner on the staff of the Central Command that directs operations in Iraq and the rest of the Middle East] had concluded that, “The Zarqawi PSYOP program is the most successful information campaign to date.”
And CNN reported that ISIS’ current leader – Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – was “respected” very much by the U.S. Army and allowed to communicate freely with other prisoners in the prison in which ISIS was hatched (see Part 1) and to travel without restriction at that prison:
To understand the deeper story behind ISIS, we have to go back more than half a century to look at U.S. history in the Middle East.
Between 1932 and 1948, the roots for the current wars in Iraq were planted. As Wikipedia explains:
The Mosul–Haifa oil pipeline (also known as Mediterranean pipeline) was a crude oil pipeline from the oil fields in Kirkuk, located in north Iraq, through Jordan to Haifa (now on the territory of Israel). The pipeline was operational in 1935–1948. Its length was about 942 kilometres (585 mi), with a diameter of 12 inches (300 mm) (reducing to 10 and 8 inches (250 and 200 mm) in parts), and it took about 10 days for crude oil to travel the full length of the line. The oil arriving in Haifa was distilled in the Haifa refineries, stored in tanks, and then put in tankers for shipment to Europe.
The pipeline was built by the Iraq Petroleum Company between 1932 and 1935, during which period most of the area through which the pipeline passed was under a British mandate approved by the League of Nations. The pipeline was one of two pipelines carrying oil from the Kirkuk oilfield to the Mediterranean coast. The main pipeline split at Haditha with a second line carrying oil to Tripoli, Lebanon, which was then under a French mandate. This line was built primarily to satisfy the demands of the French partner in IPC, Compagnie Française des Pétroles, for a separate line to be built across French mandated territory.
The pipeline and the Haifa refineries were considered strategically important by the British Government, and indeed provided much of the fuel needs of the British and American forces in the Mediterranean during the Second World War.
The pipeline was a target of attacks by Arab gangs during the Great Arab Revolt, and as a result one of the main objectives of a joint British-Jewish Special Night Squads commanded by Captain Orde Wingate was to protect the pipeline against such attacks. Later on, the pipeline was the target of attacks by the Irgun. [Background.]
In 1948, with the outbreak of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, the official operation of the pipeline ended when the Iraqi Government refused to pump any more oil through it.
Why is this relevant today? Haaretz reported soon after the Iraq war started in 2003:
The United States has asked Israel to check the possibility of pumping oil from Iraq to the oil refineries in Haifa. The request came in a telegram last week from a senior Pentagon official to a top Foreign Ministry official in Jerusalem.
The Prime Minister’s Office, which views the pipeline to Haifa as a “bonus” the U.S. could give to Israel in return for its unequivocal support for the American-led campaign in Iraq, had asked the Americans for the official telegram.
The new pipeline would take oil from the Kirkuk area, where some 40 percent of Iraqi oil is produced, and transport it via Mosul, and then across Jordan to Israel. The U.S. telegram included a request for a cost estimate for repairing the Mosul-Haifa pipeline that was in use prior to 1948. During the War of Independence [what Jews call the 1948 war to form the state of Israel], the Iraqis stopped the flow of oil to Haifa and the pipeline fell into disrepair over the years.
National Infrastructure Minister Yosef Paritzky said yesterday that the port of Haifa is an attractive destination for Iraqi oil and that he plans to discuss this matter with the U.S. secretary of energy during his planned visit to Washington next month.
In response to rumors about the possible Kirkuk-Mosul-Haifa pipeline, Turkey has warned Israel that it would regard this development as a serious blow to Turkish-Israeli relations.
So the fighting over Iraq can be traced back to events occurring in 1948 and before.
But let’s fast-forward to subsequent little-known events in Iraq.
The CIA plotted to poison the Iraqi leader in 1960.
In 1963, the U.S. backed the coup which succeeded in killing the head of Iraq.
And everyone knows that the U.S. also toppled Saddam Hussein during the Iraq war. But most don’t know that neoconservatives planned regime change in Iraq once again in 1991.
4-Star General Wesley Clark – former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO – said:
It came back to me … a 1991 meeting I had with Paul Wolfowitz.
In 1991, he was the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy – the number 3 position at the Pentagon. And I had gone to see him when I was a 1-Star General commanding the National Training Center.
And I said, “Mr. Secretary, you must be pretty happy with the performance of the troops in Desert Storm.” And he said: “Yeah, but not really, because the truth is we should have gotten rid of Saddam Hussein, and we didn’t … But one thing we did learn [from the Persian Gulf War] is that we can use our military in the region – in the Middle East – and the Soviets won’t stop us. And we’ve got about 5 or 10 years to clean up those old Soviet client regimes – Syria, Iran, IRAQ – before the next great superpower comes on to challenge us.”
And many people don’t know that the architects of the Iraq War themselves admitted the war was about oil. For example, former U.S. Secretary of Defense – and former 12-year Republican Senator – Chuck Hagel said of the Iraq war in 2007:
People say we’re not fighting for oil. Of course we are. They talk about America’s national interest. What the hell do you think they’re talking about? We’re not there for figs.
4 Star General John Abizaid – the former commander of CENTCOM with responsibility for Iraq – said:
Of course it’s about oil, it’s very much about oil, and we can’t really deny that.
said in 2007:Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan
I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil
President George W. Bush said in 2005 that keeping Iraqi oil away from the bad guys was a key motive for the Iraq war:
‘If Zarqawi and [Osama] bin Laden gain control of Iraq, they would create a new training ground for future terrorist attacks,” Bush said. ”They’d seize oil fields to fund their ambitions.”
John McCain said in 2008:
My friends, I will have an energy policy that we will be talking about, which will eliminate our dependence on oil from the Middle East that will — that will then prevent us — that will prevent us from having ever to send our young men and women into conflict again in the Middle East.
Sarah Palin said in 2008:
Better to start that drilling [for oil within the U.S.] today than wait and continue relying on foreign sources of energy. We are a nation at war and in many [ways] the reasons for war are fights over energy sources, which is nonsensical when you consider that domestically we have the supplies ready to go.
Former Bush speechwriter David Frum – author of the infamous “Axis of Evil” claim in Bush’s 2002 State of the Union address – writes in Newsweek this week:
In 2002, Chalabi [the Iraqi politician and oil minister who the Bush Administration favored to lead Iraq after the war] joined the annual summer retreat of the American Enterprise Institute near Vail, Colorado. He and Cheney spent long hours together, contemplating the possibilities of a Western-oriented Iraq: an additional source of oil, an alternative to U.S. dependency on an unstable-looking Saudi Arabia.
Key war architect – and Under Secretary of State – John Bolton said:
The critical oil and natural gas producing region that we fought so many wars to try and protectour economy from the adverse impact of losing that supply or having it available only at very high prices.
General Wesley Clark said that the Iraq war – like all modern U.S. wars – were about oil:
A high-level National Security Council officer strongly implied that Cheney and the U.S. oil chiefs planned the Iraq war before 9/11 in order to get control of its oil.
The Sunday Herald reported:
It is a document that fundamentally questions the motives behind the Bush administration’s desire to take out Saddam Hussein and go to war with Iraq.
Strategic Energy Policy Challenges For The 21st Century describes how America is facing the biggest energy crisis in its history. It targets Saddam as a threat to American interests because of his control of Iraqi oilfields and recommends the use of ‘military intervention’ as a means to fix the US energy crisis.
The report is linked to a veritable who’s who of US hawks, oilmen and corporate bigwigs. It was commissioned by James Baker, the former US Secretary of State under George Bush Snr, and submitted to Vice-President Dick Cheney in April 2001 — a full five months before September 11. Yet it advocates a policy of using military force against an enemy such as Iraq to secure US access to, and control of, Middle Eastern oil fields.
One of the most telling passages in the document reads: ‘Iraq remains a destabilising influence to … the flow of oil to international markets from the Middle East. Saddam Hussein has also demonstrated a willingness to threaten to use the oil weapon and to use his own export programme to manipulate oil markets.
‘This would display his personal power, enhance his image as a pan-Arab leader … and pressure others for a lifting of economic sanctions against his regime. The United States should conduct an immediate policy review toward Iraq including military, energy, economic and political/diplomatic assessments.
‘Military intervention’ is supported …
The document also points out that ‘the United States remains a prisoner of its energy dilemma’, and that one of the ‘consequences’ of this is a ‘need for military intervention’.
At the heart of the decision to target Iraq over oil lies dire mismanagement of the US energy policy over decades by consecutive administrations. The report refers to the huge power cuts that have affected California in recent years and warns of ‘more Californias’ ahead.
It says the ‘central dilemma’ for the US administration is that ‘the American people continue to demand plentiful and cheap energy without sacrifice or inconvenience’. With the ‘energy sector in critical condition, a crisis could erupt at any time [which] could have potentially enormous impact on the US … and would affect US national security and foreign policy in dramatic ways.”
The response is to put oil at the heart of the administration — ‘a reassessment of the role of energy in American foreign policy’.
Iraq is described as the world’s ‘key swing producer … turning its taps on and off when it has felt such action was in its strategic interest”. The report also says there is a ‘possibility that Saddam may remove Iraqi oil from the market for an extended period of time’, creating a volatile market.
Halliburton is one of the firms thought by analysts to be in line to make a killing in any clean-up operation after another US-led war on Iraq.
All five permanent members of the UN Security Council — the UK, France, China, Russia and the US — have international oil companies that would benefit from huge windfalls in the event of regime change in Baghdad. The best chance for US firms to make billions would come if Bush installed a pro-US Iraqi opposition member as the head of a new government.
Representatives of foreign oil firms have already met with leaders of the Iraqi opposition. Ahmed Chalabi, the London-based leader of the Iraqi National Congress, said: ‘American companies will have a big shot at Iraqi oil.’
The Independent reported in 2011:
Plans to exploit Iraq’s oil reserves were discussed by government ministers and the world’s largest oil companies the year before Britain took a leading role in invading Iraq, government documents show.
The minutes of a series of meetings between ministers and senior oil executives are at odds with the public denials of self-interest from oil companies and Western governments at the time.
Minutes of a meeting with BP, Shell and BG (formerly British Gas) on 31 October 2002 read: “Baroness Symons agreed that it would be difficult to justify British companies losing out in Iraq in that way if the UK had itself been a conspicuous supporter of the US government throughout the crisis.”
The minister then promised to “report back to the companies before Christmas” on her lobbying efforts.
The Foreign Office invited BP in on 6 November 2002 to talk about opportunities in Iraq “post regime change”. Its minutes state: “Iraq is the big oil prospect. BP is desperate to get in there and anxious that political deals should not deny them the opportunity.”
After another meeting, this one in October 2002, the Foreign Office’s Middle East director at the time, Edward Chaplin, noted: “Shell and BP could not afford not to have a stake in [Iraq] for the sake of their long-term future… We were determined to get a fair slice of the action for UK companies in a post-Saddam Iraq.”
Whereas BP was insisting in public that it had “no strategic interest” in Iraq, in private it told the Foreign Office that Iraq was “more important than anything we’ve seen for a long time”.
BP was concerned that if Washington allowed TotalFinaElf’s existing contact with Saddam Hussein to stand after the invasion it would make the French conglomerate the world’s leading oil company. BP told the Government it was willing to take “big risks” to get a share of the Iraqi reserves, the second largest in the world.
Over 1,000 documents were obtained under Freedom of Information over five years by the oil campaigner Greg Muttitt. They reveal that at least five meetings were held between civil servants, ministers and BP and Shell in late 2002.
The 20-year contracts signed in the wake of the invasion were the largest in the history of the oil industry. They covered half of Iraq’s reserves – 60 billion barrels of oil …
[Footnote: The 1990 Gulf war – while not a regime change – was also about oil. Specifically, Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait caused oil prices to skyrocket. The U.S. invaded Iraq in order to calm oil markets. In its August 20, 1990 issue, Time Magazine quoted an anonymous U.S. Official as saying:
Even a dolt understands the principle. We need the oil. It’s nice to talk about standing up for freedom, but Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are not exactly democracies, and if their principal export were oranges, a mid-level State Department official would have issued a statement and we would have closed Washington down for August.]
The history of western intervention in Syria is similar to our meddling in Iraq.
As early as 1949, this newly independent Arab republic was an important staging ground for the CIA’s earliest experiments in covert action. The CIA secretly encouraged a right-wing military coup in 1949.
The reason the U.S. initiated the coup? Little explains:
In late 1945, the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO) announced plans to construct the Trans-Arabian Pipe Line (TAPLINE) from Saudi Arabia to the Mediterra- nean. With U.S. help, ARAMCO secured rights-of-way from Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The Syrian right-of-way was stalled in parliament.
In other words, Syria was the sole holdout for the lucrative oil pipeline.
The BBC reports that – in 1957 – the British and American leaders seriously considered attacking the Syrian government using Muslim extremists in Syria as a form of “false flag” attack:
In 1957 Harold Macmillan [then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom] and President Dwight Eisenhower approved a CIA-MI6 plan to stage fake border incidents as an excuse for an invasion by Syria’s pro-western neighbours, and then to “eliminate” the most influential triumvirate in Damascus…. More importantly, Syria also had control of one of the main oil arteries of the Middle East, the pipeline which connected pro-western Iraq’s oilfields to Turkey.
The report said that once the necessary degree of fear had been created, frontier incidents and border clashes would be staged to provide a pretext for Iraqi and Jordanian military intervention. Syria had to be “made to appear as the sponsor of plots, sabotage and violence directed against neighbouring governments,” the report says. “CIA and SIS should use their capabilities in both the psychological and action fields to augment tension.” That meant operations in Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon, taking the form of “sabotage, national conspiracies and various strong-arm activities” to be blamed on Damascus. The plan called for funding of a “Free Syria Committee” [hmmm … sounds vaguely familiar], and the arming of “political factions with paramilitary or other actionist capabilities” within Syria. The CIA and MI6 would instigate internal uprisings, for instance by the Druze [a Shia Muslim sect] in the south, help to free political prisoners held in the Mezze prison, and stir up the Muslim Brotherhood in Damascus.
Neoconservatives planned regime change in Syria once again in 1991 (as noted above in the quote from 4-Star General Wesley Clark).
And as the Guardian reported in 2013:
According to former French foreign minister Roland Dumas, Britain had planned covert action in Syria as early as 2009:
“I was in England two years before the violence in Syria on other business,” he told French television: “I met with top British officials, who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria. This was in Britain not in America. Britain was preparing gunmen to invade Syria.”
Leaked emails from the private intelligence firm Stratfor, including notes from a meeting with Pentagon officials, confirmed that as of 2011, US and UK special forces training of Syrian opposition forces was well underway. The goal was to elicit the “collapse” of Assad’s regime “from within.”
In 2009 – the same year former French foreign minister Dumas alleges the British began planning operations in Syria – Assad refused to sign a proposed agreement with Qatar that would run a pipeline from the latter’s North field, contiguous with Iran’s South Pars field, through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and on to Turkey, with a view to supply European markets – albeit crucially bypassing Russia. Assad’s rationale was “to protect the interests of [his] Russian ally, which is Europe’s top supplier of natural gas.”
Instead, the following year, Assad pursued negotiations for an alternative $10 billion pipeline plan with Iran, across Iraq to Syria, that would also potentially allow Iran to supply gas to Europe from its South Pars field shared with Qatar. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the project was signed in July 2012 – just as Syria’s civil war was spreading to Damascus and Aleppo – and earlier this year Iraq signed a framework agreement for construction of the gas pipelines.
The Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline plan was a “direct slap in the face” to Qatar’s plans. No wonder Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, in a failed attempt to bribe Russia to switch sides, told President Vladmir Putin that “whatever regime comes after” Assad, it will be “completely” in Saudi Arabia’s hands and will “not sign any agreement allowing any Gulf country to transport its gas across Syria to Europe and compete with Russian gas exports”, according to diplomatic sources. When Putin refused, the Prince vowed military action.
It would seem that contradictory self-serving Saudi and Qatari oil interests are pulling the strings of an equally self-serving oil-focused US policy in Syria, if not the wider region. It is this – the problem of establishing a pliable opposition which the US and its oil allies feel confident will play ball, pipeline-style, in a post-Assad Syria – that will determine the nature of any prospective intervention: not concern for Syrian life.
[Footnote: The U.S. and its allies have toppled many other governments, as well.]
The war in Syria – like Iraq – is largely about oil and gas. International Business Times noted in 2013:
[Syria] controls one of the largest conventional hydrocarbon resources in the eastern Mediterranean.
Syria possessed 2.5 billion barrels of crude oil as of January 2013, which makes it the largest proved reserve of crude oil in the eastern Mediterranean according to the Oil & Gas Journal estimate.
Syria also has oil shale resources with estimated reserves that range as high as 50 billion tons, according to a Syrian government source in 2010.
Here are some additional graphics courtesy of Adam Curry:
Syria’s central role in the Arab gas pipeline is also a key to why it is now being targeted.
Just as the Taliban was scheduled for removal after they demanded too much in return for the Unocal pipeline, Syria’s Assad is being targeted because he is not a reliable “player”.
Specifically, Turkey, Israel and their ally the U.S. want an assured flow of gas through Syria, and don’t want a Syrian regime which is not unquestionably loyal to those 3 countries to stand in the way of the pipeline … or which demands too big a cut of the profits.
A deal has also been inked to run a natural gas pipeline from Iran’s giant South Pars field through Iraq and Syria (with a possible extension to Lebanon). And a deal to run petroleum from Iraq’s Kirkuk oil field to the Syrian port of Banias has also been approved:
Gail Tverberg- an expert on financial aspects of the oil industry – writes:
One of the limits in ramping up Iraqi oil extraction is the limited amount of infrastructure available for exporting oil from Iraq. If pipelines through Syria could be added, this might alleviate part of the problem in getting oil to international markets.
The Plan to Break Up Iraq and Syria?
In September 2015, Pentagon intelligence chief Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart said that he has “a tough time” seeing either Iraq or Syria really coming back together as sovereign nations. This may sound like a reaction to ISIS and the civil war raging in Syria. But – in reality – the hawks in the U.S. and Israel decided long ago to break up Iraq and Syria into small fragments.
The Guardian noted in 2003:
President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt predicted devastating consequences for the Middle East if Iraq is attacked. “We fear a state of disorder and chaos may prevail in the region,” he said.
They are probably still splitting their sides with laughter in the Pentagon. But Mr Mubarak and the [Pentagon] hawks do agree on one thing: war with Iraq could spell disaster for several regimes in the Middle East. Mr Mubarak believes that would be bad. The hawks, though, believe it would be good.
For the hawks, disorder and chaos sweeping through the region would not be an unfortunate side-effect of war with Iraq, but a sign that everything is going according to plan.
The “skittles theory” of the Middle East – that one ball aimed at Iraq can knock down several regimes – has been around for some time on the wilder fringes of politics but has come to the fore in the United States on the back of the “war against terrorism”.
Its roots can be traced, at least in part, to a paper published in 1996 by an Israeli thinktank, the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies. Entitled “A clean break: a new strategy for securing the realm”, it was intended as a political blueprint for the incoming government of Binyamin Netanyahu. As the title indicates, it advised the right-wing Mr Netanyahu to make a complete break with the past by adopting a strategy “based on an entirely new intellectual foundation, one that restores strategic initiative and provides the nation the room to engage every possible energy on rebuilding Zionism …”
The paper set out a plan by which Israel would “shape its strategic environment”, beginning with the removal of Saddam Hussein and the installation of a Hashemite monarchy in Baghdad.
With Saddam out of the way and Iraq thus brought under Jordanian Hashemite influence, Jordan and Turkey would form an axis along with Israel to weaken and “roll back” Syria. Jordan, it suggested, could also sort out Lebanon by “weaning” the Shia Muslim population away from Syria and Iran, and re-establishing their former ties with the Shia in the new Hashemite kingdom of Iraq. “Israel will not only contain its foes; it will transcend them”, the paper concluded.
The leader of the “prominent opinion makers” who wrote it was Richard Perle – now chairman of the Defence Policy Board at the Pentagon.
Also among the eight-person team was Douglas Feith, a neo-conservative lawyer, who now holds one of the top four posts at the Pentagon as under-secretary of policy.
Two other opinion-makers in the team were David Wurmser and his wife, Meyrav (see US thinktanks give lessons in foreign policy, August 19). Mrs Wurmser was co-founder of Memri, a Washington-based charity that distributes articles translated from Arabic newspapers portraying Arabs in a bad light. After working with Mr Perle at the American Enterprise Institute, David Wurmser is now at the State Department, as a special assistant to John Bolton, the under-secretary for arms control and international security.
A fifth member of the team was James Colbert, of the Washington-based Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (Jinsa) – a bastion of neo-conservative hawkery whose advisory board was previously graced by Dick Cheney (now US vice-president), John Bolton and Douglas Feith.
With several of the “Clean Break” paper’s authors now holding key positions in Washington, the plan for Israel to “transcend” its foes by reshaping the Middle East looks a good deal more achievable today than it did in 1996. Americans may even be persuaded to give up their lives to achieve it.
(Before assuming prominent roles in the Bush administration, many of the same people – including Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney, John Bolton and others – advocated their imperial views during the Clinton administration via their American think tank, the “Project for a New American Century”.)
Thomas Harrington – professor of Iberian Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut – writes:
[While there are some good articles on the chaos in Iraq, none of them] consider whether the chaos now enveloping the region might, in fact, be the desired aim of policy planners in Washington and Tel Aviv.
One of the prime goals of every empire is to foment ongoing internecine conflict in the territories whose resources and/or strategic outposts they covet.
The most efficient way of sparking such open-ended internecine conflict is to brutally smash the target country’s social matrix and physical infrastructure.
Ongoing unrest has the additional perk of justifying the maintenance and expansion of the military machine that feeds the financial and political fortunes of the metropolitan elite.
In short … divide and rule is about as close as it gets to a universal recourse the imperial game and that it is, therefore, as important to bear it in mind today as it was in the times of Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, the Spanish Conquistadors and the British Raj.
To those—and I suspect there are still many out there—for whom all this seems too neat or too conspiratorial, I would suggest a careful side-by side reading of:
a) the “Clean Break” manifesto generated by the Jerusalem-based Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS) in 1996
b) the “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” paper generated by The Project for a New American Century (PNAC) in 2000, a US group with deep personal and institutional links to the aforementioned Israeli think tank, and with the ascension of George Bush Junior to the White House, to the most exclusive sanctums of the US foreign policy apparatus.
To read the cold-blooded imperial reasoning in both of these documents—which speak, in the first case, quite openly of the need to destabilize the region so as to reshape Israel’s “strategic environment” and, in the second of the need to dramatically increase the number of US “forward bases” in the region ….
To do so now, after the US’s systematic destruction of Iraq and Libya—two notably oil-rich countries whose delicate ethnic and religious balances were well known to anyone in or out of government with more than passing interest in history—, and after the its carefully calibrated efforts to generate and maintain murderous and civilization-destroying stalemates in Syria and Egypt (something that is easily substantiated despite our media’s deafening silence on the subject), is downright blood-curdling.
And yet, it seems that for even very well-informed analysts, it is beyond the pale to raise the possibility that foreign policy elites in the US and Israel, like all virtually all the ambitious hegemons before them on the world stage, might have quite coldly and consciously fomented open-ended chaos in order to achieve their overlapping strategic objectives in this part of the world.
Antiwar’s Justin Raimondo notes:
Iraq’s fate was sealed from the moment we invaded: it has no future as a unitary state. As I pointed out again and again in the early days of the conflict, Iraq is fated to split apart into at least three separate states: the Shi’ite areas around Baghdad and to the south, the Sunni regions to the northwest, and the Kurdish enclave which was itching for independence since well before the US invasion. This was the War Party’s real if unexpressed goal from the very beginning: the atomization of Iraq, and indeed the entire Middle East. Their goal, in short, was chaos – and that is precisely what we are seeing today.
As I put it years ago:
“[T]he actual purpose was to blow the country to smithereens: to atomize it, and crush it, so that it would never rise again.
“When we invaded and occupied Iraq, we didn’t just militarily defeat Iraq’s armed forces – we dismantled their army, and their police force, along with all the other institutions that held the country together. The educational system was destroyed, and not reconstituted. The infrastructure was pulverized, and never restored. Even the physical hallmarks of a civilized society – roads, bridges, electrical plants, water facilities, museums, schools – were bombed out of existence or else left to fall into disrepair. Along with that, the spiritual and psychological infrastructure that enables a society to function – the bonds of trust, allegiance, and custom – was dissolved, leaving Iraqis to fend for themselves in a war of all against all.
“… What we are witnessing in post-Saddam Iraq is the erasure of an entire country. We can say, with confidence: We came, we saw, we atomized.”
Why? This is the question that inevitably arises in the wake of such an analysis: why deliberately destroy an entire country whose people were civilized while our European ancestors were living in trees?
The people who planned, agitated for, and executed this war are the very same people who have advanced Israeli interests – at America’s expense – at every opportunity. In “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” a 1996 document prepared by a gaggle of neocons – Perle, Douglas Feith, James Colbert, Charles Fairbanks, Jr., Robert Loewenberg, David Wurmser, and Meyrav Wurmser – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was urged to “break out” of Israel’s alleged stagnation and undertake a campaign of “regime change” across the Middle East, targeting Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Iraq, and eventually Iran. With the exception of Iran – and that one’s still cooking on the back burner – this is precisely what has occurred. In 2003, in the immediate wake of our Pyrrhic “victory” in Iraq, then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declared to a visiting delegation of American members of Congress that these “rogue states” – Iran, Libya, and Syria – would have to be next on the War Party’s target list.
And Michel Chossudovsky points out:
The division of Iraq along sectarian-ethnic lines has been on the drawing board of the Pentagon for more than 10 years.
What is envisaged by Washington is the outright suppression of the Baghdad regime and the institutions of the central government, leading to a process of political fracturing and the elimination of Iraq as a country.
This process of political fracturing in Iraq along sectarian lines will inevitably have an impact on Syria, where the US-NATO sponsored terrorists have in large part been defeated.
Destabilization and political fragmentation in Syria is also contemplated: Washington’s intent is no longer to pursue the narrow objective of “regime change” in Damascus. What is contemplated is the break up of both Iraq and Syria along sectarian-ethnic lines.
The formation of the caliphate may be the first step towards a broader conflict in the Middle East, bearing in mind that Iran is supportive of the al-Maliki government and the US ploy may indeed be to encourage the intervention of Iran.
The proposed re-division of both Iraq and Syria is broadly modeled on that of the Federation of Yugoslavia which was split up into seven “independent states” (Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia (FYRM), Slovenia, Montenegro, Kosovo). According to Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, the re division of Iraq into three separate states is part of a broader process of redrawing the Map of the Middle East.
The above map was prepared by Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters. It was published in the Armed Forces Journal in June 2006, Peters is a retired colonel of the U.S. National War Academy. (Map Copyright Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters 2006).
Although the map does not officially reflect Pentagon doctrine, it has been used in a training program at NATO’s Defense College for senior military officers”. (See Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a “New Middle East” By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Global Research, November 2006)
Similarly, Neooconservatives in the U.S. and Israel have long advocated for the balkanization of Syria into smaller regions based on ethnicity and religion. The goal was to break up the country, and to do away with the sovereignty of Syria as a separate nation.
In 1982, a prominent Israeli journalist formerly attached to the Israeli Foreign Ministry allegedly wrote a book expressly calling for the break up of Syria:
All the Arab states should be broken down, by Israel, into small units …. Dissolution of Syria and Iraq later on into ethnically or religiously unique areas such as in Lebanon, is Israel’s primary target on the Eastern front in the long run.
In any event, it is well-documented that – in 1996 – U.S. and Israeli Neocons advocated:
Weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria ….
As Michel Chossudovsky points out:
Destabilization and political fragmentation in Syria is also contemplated: Washington’s intent is no longer to pursue the narrow objective of “regime change” in Damascus. What is contemplated is the break up of both Iraq and Syria along sectarian-ethnic lines.
The Arabs divided between Sunnis and Shias – I think the Sunni Arabs are never going to agree to be in a state where the Shia outnumber them 3-1. That’s what ISIS has been able to take advantage of.
I think our objective should be a new Sunni state out of the western part of Iraq, the eastern part of Syria run by moderates or at least authoritarians who are not radical Islamists. What’s left of the state of Iraq, as of right now, is simply a satellite of the ayatollahs in Tehran. It’s not anything we should try to aid.
U.S. and Allied Support for Extremists
There’s one more historical fact which is key background to understanding ISIS: U.S. and allied support for extremists.
Front row, from left: Major Gen. Hamid Gul, director general of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), Director of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Willian Webster; Deputy Director for Operations Clair George; an ISI colonel; and senior CIA official, Milt Bearden at a Mujahideen training camp in North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan in 1987. (source RAWA)
Ronald Reagan meets Afghan Mujahideen Commanders at the White House in 1985 (Reagan Archives)
We Created Al Qaeda to Fight the Soviets in Afghanistan
Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski admitted on CNN that the U.S. organized and supported Bin Laden and the other originators of “Al Qaeda” in the 1970s to fight the Soviets.
Brzezinski told Al Qaeda’s forefathers – the Mujahadin:
We know of their deep belief in god – that they’re confident that their struggle will succeed. That land over – there is yours – and you’ll go back to it some day, because your fight will prevail, and you’ll have your homes, your mosques, back again, because your cause is right, and god is on your side.
confirmed in his memoir that the U.S. backed the Mujahadin in the 1970s.CIA director and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton agrees:
reported in 1998:MSNBC
As his unclassified CIA biography states, bin Laden left Saudi Arabia to fight the Soviet army in Afghanistan after Moscow’s invasion in 1979. By 1984, he was running a front organization known as Maktab al-Khidamar – the MAK – which funneled money, arms and fighters from the outside world into the Afghan war.
What the CIA bio conveniently fails to specify (in its unclassified form, at least) is that the MAK was nurtured by Pakistan’s state security services, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI, the CIA’s primary conduit for conducting the covert war against Moscow’s occupation.
The CIA, concerned about the factionalism of Afghanistan … found that Arab zealots who flocked to aid the Afghans were easier to “read” than the rivalry-ridden natives. While the Arab volunteers might well prove troublesome later, the agency reasoned, they at least were one-dimensionally anti-Soviet for now. So bin Laden, along with a small group of Islamic militants from Egypt, Pakistan, Lebanon, Syria and Palestinian refugee camps all over the Middle East, became the “reliable” partners of the CIA in its war against Moscow.
To this day, those involved in the decision to give the Afghan rebels access to a fortune in covert funding and top-level combat weaponry continue to defend that move in the context of the Cold War. Sen. Orrin Hatch, a senior Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee making those decisions, told my colleague Robert Windrem that he would make the same call again today even knowing what bin Laden would do subsequently. “It was worth it,” he said.
“Those were very important, pivotal matters that played an important role in the downfall of the Soviet Union,” he said.
Indeed, the U.S. started backing Al Qaeda’s forefathers even before the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. As Brzezinski told Le Nouvel Observateur in a 1998 interview:
Question: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs [“From the Shadows”], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.
Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?
B: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?
The Washington Post reported in 2002:
The United States spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings ….
The primers, which were filled with talk of jihad and featured drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines, have served since then as the Afghan school system’s core curriculum. Even the Taliban used the American-produced books ….
The Council on Foreign Relations notes:
The 9/11 Commission report (PDF) released in 2004 said some of Pakistan’s religious schools or madrassas served as “incubators for violent extremism.” Since then, there has been much debate over madrassas and their connection to militancy.
New madrassas sprouted, funded and supported by Saudi Arabia and U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, where students were encouraged to join the Afghan resistance.
For half a century the United States and many of its allies saw what I call the “Islamic right” as convenient partners in the Cold War.
In the decades before 9/11, hard-core activists and organizations among Muslim fundamentalists on the far right were often viewed as allies for two reasons, because they were seen a fierce anti-communists and because the opposed secular nationalists such as Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser, Iran’s Mohammed Mossadegh.
By the end of the 1950s, rather than allying itself with the secular forces of progress in the Middle East and the Arab world, the United States found itself in league with Saudi Arabia’s Islamist legions. Choosing Saudi Arabia over Nasser’s Egypt was probably the single biggest mistake the United States has ever made in the Middle East.
A second big mistake … occurred in the 1970s, when, at the height of the Cold War and the struggle for control of the Middle East, the United States either supported or acquiesced in the rapid growth of Islamic right in countries from Egypt to Afghanistan. In Egypt, Anwar Sadat brought the Muslim Brotherhood back to Egypt. In Syria, the United States, Israel, and Jordan supported the Muslim Brotherhood in a civil war against Syria. And … Israel quietly backed Ahmed Yassin and the Muslim Brotherhood in the West Bank and Gaza, leading to the establishment of Hamas.
Still another major mistake was the fantasy that Islam would penetrate the USSR and unravel the Soviet Union in Asia. It led to America’s support for the jihadists in Afghanistan. But … America’s alliance with the Afghan Islamists long predated the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and had its roots in CIA activity in Afghanistan in the 1960s and in the early and mid-1970s. The Afghan jihad spawned civil war in Afghanistan in the late 1980s, gave rise to the Taliban, and got Osama bin Laden started on building Al Qaeda.
Would the Islamic right have existed without U.S. support? Of course. This is not a book for the conspiracy-minded. But there is no question that the virulence of the movement that we now confront—and which confronts many of the countries in the region, too, from Algeria to India and beyond—would have been significantly less had the United States made other choices during the Cold War.
In other words, if the U.S. and our allies hadn’t backed the radical violent Muslims instead of more stable, peaceful groups in the Middle East, radical Islam wouldn’t have grown so large.
Every religion, including Islam, has its crazed fanatics. Few in numbers and small in strength, they can properly be assigned to the “loony” section. This was true for Islam as well until 1979, the year of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Indeed, there may well have been no 911 but for this game-changer.
Officials like Richard Perle, Assistant Secretary of Defense, immediately saw Afghanistan not as the locale of a harsh and dangerous conflict to be ended but as a place to teach the Russians a lesson. Such “bleeders” became the most influential people in Washington . *** The task of creating such solidarity fell upon Saudi Arabia, together with other conservative Arab monarchies. This duty was accepted readily and they quickly made the Afghan Jihad their central cause…. But still more importantly, to go heart and soul for jihad was crucial at a time when Saudi legitimacy as the guardians of Islam was under strong challenge by Iran, which pointed to the continued occupation of Palestine by America’s partner, Israel. An increasing number of Saudis were becoming disaffected by the House of Saud – its corruption, self-indulgence, repression, and closeness to the US. Therefore, the Jihad in Afghanistan provided an excellent outlet for the growing number of militant Sunni activists in Saudi Arabia, and a way to deal with the daily taunts of the Iranian clergy.
The bleeders soon organized and armed the Great Global Jihad, funded by Saudi Arabia, and executed by Pakistan. A powerful magnet for militant Sunni activists was created by the US. The most hardened and ideologically dedicated men were sought on the logic that they would be the best fighters. Advertisements, paid for from CIA funds, were placed in newspapers and newsletters around the world offering inducements and motivations to join the Jihad.
American universities produced books for Afghan children that extolled the virtues of jihad and of killing communists. Readers browsing through book bazaars in Rawalpindi and Peshawar can, even today, sometimes find textbooks produced as part of the series underwritten by a USAID $50 million grant to the University of Nebraska in the 1980’s . These textbooks sought to counterbalance Marxism through creating enthusiasm in Islamic militancy. They exhorted Afghan children to “pluck out the eyes of the Soviet enemy and cut off his legs”. Years after the books were first printed they were approved by the Taliban for use in madrassas – a stamp of their ideological correctness and they are still widely available in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.
At the international level, Radical Islam went into overdrive as its superpower ally, the United States, funneled support to the mujahideen. Ronald Reagan feted jihadist leaders on the White House lawn, and the U.S. press lionized them.
And the chief of the visa section at the U.S. consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (J. Michael Springmann, who is now an attorney in private practice) says that the CIA insisted that visas be issued to Afghanis so they could travel to the U.S. to be trained in terrorism in the United States, and then sent back to Afghanistan to fight the Soviets.
1993 World Trade Center Bombing
New York District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau believed that the intelligence services could and should have stopped the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, but they were preoccupied with other issues cover.
Shiekh Omar Abdel Rahman commands an almost deified adoration and respect in certain Islamic circles. It was his 1980 fatwa – religious decree – condemning Anwar Sadat for making peace with Israel that is widely believed to be responsible for Sadat’s assassination a year later. (Rahman was subsequently tried but acquitted.)
The CIA paid to send Abdel Rahman to Peshawar ‘to preach to the Afghans about the necessity of unity to overthrow the Kabul regime,’ according to Professor Rubin. By all accounts, Rahman was brilliant at inspiring the faithful.
As a reward for his services, the CIA gave the sheikh a one-year visa to the United States in May, 1990 – even though he was on a State Department terrorism watch list that should have barred him from the country.
After a public outcry in the wake of the World Trade Centre bombing, a State Department representative discovered that Rahman had, in fact, received four United States visas dating back to December 15, 1986. All were given to him by CIA agents acting as consular officers at American embassies in Khartoum and Cairo. The CIA officers claimed they didn’t know the sheikh was one of the most notorious political figures in the Middle East and a militant on the State Department’s list of undesirables. The agent in Khartoum said that when the sheikh walked in the computers were down and the Sudanese clerk didn’t bother to check the microfiche file.
Says one top New York investigator: ‘Left with the choice between pleading stupidity or else admitting deceit, the CIA went with stupidity.’
The sheikh arrived in Brooklyn at a fortuitous time for the CIA. In the wake of the Soviet Union’s retreat from Afghanistan, Congress had slashed the amount of covert aid going to the mujaheddin. The international network of Arab-financed support groups became even more vital to the CIA, including the string of jihad offices that had been set up across America with the help of Saudi and American intelligence. To drum up support, the agency paved the way for veterans of the Afghan conflict to visit the centres and tell their inspirational war stories; in return, the centres collected millions of dollars for the rebels at a time when they needed it most.
There were jihad offices in Jersey City, Atlanta and Dallas, but the most important was the one in Brooklyn, called Alkifah – Arabic for ‘the struggle.’ That storefront became the de facto headquarters of the sheikh.
On November 5, 1990, Rabbi Meir Kahane, an ultra-right-wing Zionist militant, was shot in the throat with a .357 magnum in a Manhattan hotel; El-Sayyid Nosair was gunned down by an off-duty postal inspector outside the hotel, and the murder weapon was found a few feet from his hand.
A subsequent search of Nosair’s Cliffside Park, New Jersey home turned up forty boxes of evidence – evidence that, had the D.A.’s office and the FBI looked at it more carefully, would have revealed an active terrorist conspiracy about to boil over in New York.
In addition to discovering thousands of rounds of ammunition and hit lists with the names of New York judges and prosecutors, investigators found amongst the Nosair evidence classified U.S. military-training manuals.
Also found amongst Nosair’s effects were several documents, letters and notebooks in Arabic, which when eventually translated would point to e terror conspiracy against the United States. The D.A.’s office shipped these, along with the other evidence, to the FBI’s office at 26 Federal Plaza. ‘We gave all this stuff to the bureau, thinking that they were well equipped,’ says one source close to the D.A.’s office. ‘After the World Trade Centre, we discovered they never translated the material.’
According to other sources familiar with the case, the FBI told District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau that Nosair was a lone gunman, not part of a broader conspiracy; the prosecution took this position at trial and lost, only convicting Nosair of gun charges. Morgenthau speculated the CIA may have encouraged the FBI not to pursue any other leads, these sources say. ‘The FBI lied to me,’ Morgenthau has told colleagues. ‘They’re supposed to untangle terrorist connections, but they can’t be trusted to do the job.’
Three years later, on the day the FBI arrested four Arabs for the World Trade Centre bombing, saying it had all of the suspects, Morgenthau’s ears pricked up. He didn’t believe the four were ‘self-starters,’ and speculated that there was probably a larger network as well as a foreign sponsor. He also had a hunch that the suspects would lead back to Sheikh Abdel Rahman. But he worried that the dots might not be connected because the U.S. government was protecting the sheikh for his help in Afghanistan.
Nevertheless, some in the D.A.’s office believe that until the Ryder van exploded underneath New York’s tallest building, the sheikh and his men were being protected by the CIA. Morgenthau reportedly believes the CIA brought the sheikh to Brooklyn in the first place….
As far as can be determined, no American agency is investigating leads suggesting foreign-government involvement in the New York terror conspiracy. For example, Saudi intelligence has contributed to Sheikh Rahman’s legal-defence fund, according to Mohammed al-Khilewi, the former first secretary to the Saudi mission at the U.N.
Friedman notes that intelligence agents had possession of notes which should have linked all of these terrorists, but failed to connect the dots prior to 1993.
Some Afghan groups that have had close affiliation with Pakistani Intelligence are believed to have been involved in the  New York World Trade Center bombings.
Pro-Western afghan officials … officially warned the U.S. government about Hekmatyar no fewer than four times. The last warning delivered just days before the  Trade Center attack.” Speaking to former CIA Director Robert Gates, about Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Peter Arnett reports, “The Pakistanis showered Gulbuddin Hekmatyar with U.S. provided weapons and sang his praises to the CIA. They had close ties with Hakmatyar going back to the mid-1970’s.”
This is interesting because it is widely-acknowledged that Gulbuddin Hekmatyar was enthusiastically backed by the U.S. For example, U.S. News and World Report says:
[He was] once among America’s most valued allies. In the 1980s, the CIA funneled hundreds of millions of dollars in weapons and ammunition to help them battle the Soviet Army during its occupation of Afghanistan. Hekmatyar, then widely considered by Washington to be a reliable anti-Soviet rebel, was even flown to the United States by the CIA in 1985.
As the New York Times, CBS News and others reported, an FBI informant involved in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center begged the FBI to substitute fake bomb power for real explosives, but his FBI handler somehow let real explosives be used.
As professor of strategy at the Naval War College and former National Security Agency intelligence analyst and counterintelligence officer John R. Schindler documents, the U.S. supported Bin Laden and other Al Qaeda terrorists in Bosnia.
We reported in 2012 that the U.S. supported Al Qaeda in Libya in its effort to topple Gadaffi:
The U.S. supported opposition which overthrew Libya’s Gadaffi was largely comprised of Al Qaeda terrorists. According to a 2007 report by West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center’s center, the Libyan city of Benghazi was one of Al Qaeda’s main headquarters – and bases for sending Al Qaeda fighters into Iraq – prior to the overthrow of Gaddafi:
The Hindustan Times reported last year:
“There is no question that al Qaeda’s Libyan franchise, Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, is a part of the opposition,” Bruce Riedel, former CIA officer and a leading expert on terrorism, told Hindustan Times.
It has always been Qaddafi’s biggest enemy and its stronghold is Benghazi.
Al Qaeda is now largely in control of Libya. Indeed, Al Qaeda flags were flown over the Benghazi courthouse once Gaddafi was toppled.
(Incidentally, Gaddafi was on the verge of invading Benghazi in 2011, 4 years after the West Point report cited Benghazi as a hotbed of Al Qaeda terrorists. Gaddafi claimed – rightly it turns out – that Benghazi was an Al Qaeda stronghold and a main source of the Libyan rebellion. But NATO planes stopped him, and protected Benghazi.)
Former top military and CIA officers said that the U.S intentionally armed Al Qaeda in Libya. The Daily Mail reported in 2014:
A self-selected group of former top military officers, CIA insiders and think-tankers, declared Tuesday in Washington that a seven-month review of the deadly 2012 terrorist attack has determined that it could have been prevented – if the U.S. hadn’t been helping to arm al-Qaeda militias throughout Libya a year earlier.
‘The United States switched sides in the war on terror with what we did in Libya, knowingly facilitating the provision of weapons to known al-Qaeda militias and figures,’ Clare Lopez, a member of the commission and a former CIA officer, told MailOnline.
She blamed the Obama administration for failing to stop half of a $1 billion United Arab Emirates arms shipment from reaching al-Qaeda-linked militants.
‘Remember, these weapons that came into Benghazi were permitted to enter by our armed forces who were blockading the approaches from air and sea,’ Lopez claimed. ‘They were permitted to come in. … [They] knew these weapons were coming in, and that was allowed..
‘The intelligence community was part of that, the Department of State was part of that, and certainly that means that the top leadership of the United States, our national security leadership, and potentially Congress – if they were briefed on this – also knew about this.’***‘The White House and senior Congressional members,’ the group wrote in an interim report released Tuesday, ‘deliberately and knowingly pursued a policy that provided material support to terrorist organizations in order to topple a ruler [Muammar Gaddafi] who had been working closely with the West actively to suppress al-Qaeda.’‘Some look at it as treason,’ said Wayne Simmons, a former CIA officer who participated in the commission’s research.
Pulitzer-prize winning investigative reporter Seymour Hersh – who broke the stories of the Mai Lai massacre in Vietnam and the Iraq prison torture scandals, which rightfully disgraced the Nixon and Bush administrations’ war-fighting tactics – also reported in 2014:
A highly classified annex to the report, not made public, described a secret agreement reached in early 2012 between the Obama and Erdoğan administrations. It pertained to the rat line. By the terms of the agreement, funding came from Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the CIA, with the support of MI6, was responsible for getting arms from Gaddafi’s arsenals into Syria. A number of front companies were set up in Libya, some under the cover of Australian entities. Retired American soldiers, who didn’t always know who was really employing them, were hired to manage procurement and shipping. The operation was run by David Petraeus, the CIA director who would soon resign when it became known he was having an affair with his biographer. (A spokesperson for Petraeus denied the operation ever took place.)
The operation had not been disclosed at the time it was set up to the congressional intelligence committees and the congressional leadership, as required by law since the 1970s. The involvement of MI6 enabled the CIA to evade the law by classifying the mission as a liaison operation. The former intelligence official explained that for years there has been a recognised exception in the law that permits the CIA not to report liaison activity to Congress, which would otherwise be owed a finding. (All proposed CIA covert operations must be described in a written document, known as a ‘finding’, submitted to the senior leadership of Congress for approval.) Distribution of the annex was limited to the staff aides who wrote the report and to the eight ranking members of Congress – the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate, and the Democratic and Republicans leaders on the House and Senate intelligence committees. This hardly constituted a genuine attempt at oversight: the eight leaders are not known to gather together to raise questions or discuss the secret information they receive.
The annex didn’t tell the whole story of what happened in Benghazi before the attack, nor did it explain why the American consulate was attacked. ‘The consulate’s only mission was to provide cover for the moving of arms,’ the former intelligence official, who has read the annex, said. ‘It had no real political role.’
Secret intelligence reports from 2011, written before and during the illegal US-led attack on Libya and recently obtained by the Washington Times, state:
There is a close link between al Qaeda, Jihadi organizations, and the opposition in Libya…
As noted by Seymour Hersh and others, the U.S. supports terrorists within Iran.
Widespread Support for Terror
The director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan – Lt. General William Odom said:
By any measure the US has long used terrorism. In ‘78-79 the Senate was trying to pass a law against international terrorism – in every version they produced, the lawyers said the US would be in violation.
The Washington Post reported in 2010:
The United States has long been an exporter of terrorism, according to a secret CIA analysis released Wednesday by the Web site WikiLeaks.
Chomsky and Herman observed that terror was concentrated in the U.S. sphere of influence in the Third World, and documented terror carried out by U.S. client states in Latin America. They observed that of ten Latin American countries that had death squads, all were U.S. client states.
They concluded that the global rise in state terror was a result of U.S. foreign policy.
In 1991, a book edited by Alexander L. George [the Graham H. Stuart Professor of Political Science Emeritus at Stanford University] also argued that other Western powers sponsored terror in Third World countries. It concluded that the U.S. and its allies were the main supporters of terrorism throughout the world.
Indeed, the U.S. has created death squads in Latin America, Iraq and Syria.
Both [specialists Ethan McCord and Josh Stieber] say they saw their mission as a plan to “out-terrorize the terrorists,” in order to make the general populace more afraid of the Americans than they were of insurgent groups. In the interview with [Scott] Horton, Horton pressed Stieber:
“… a fellow veteran of yours from the same battalion has said that you guys had a standard operating procedure, SOP, that said – and I guess this is a reaction to some EFP attacks on y’all’s Humvees and stuff that killed some guys – that from now on if a roadside bomb goes off, IED goes off, everyone who survives the attack get out and fire in all directions at anybody who happens to be nearby … that this was actually an order from above. Is that correct? Can you, you know, verify that?
“Yeah, it was an order that came from Kauzlarich himself, and it had the philosophy that, you know, as Finkel does describe in the book, that we were under pretty constant threat, and what he leaves out is the response to that threat. But the philosophy was that if each time one of these roadside bombs went off where you don’t know who set it … the way we were told to respond was to open fire on anyone in the area, with the philosophy that that would intimidate them, to be proactive in stopping people from making these bombs …”
Terrorism is defined as:
The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.
So McCord and Stieber are correct: this constitutes terrorism by American forces in Iraq.
The U.S. and other “civilized” countries not only back terrorists, but sometimes carry out terrorist attacks themselves … and falsely blame them on others.
Specifically, governments from around the world admit they’ve used the bully’s trick … attack first, and then blame the victim:
- Japanese troops set off a small explosion on a train track in 1931, and falsely blamed it on China in order to justify an invasion of Manchuria. This is known as the “Mukden Incident” or the “Manchurian Incident”. The Tokyo International Military Tribunal found: “Several of the participators in the plan, including Hashimoto [a high-ranking Japanese army officer], have on various occasions admitted their part in the plot and have stated that the object of the ‘Incident’ was to afford an excuse for the occupation of Manchuria by the Kwantung Army ….” And see this
- A major with the Nazi SS admitted at the Nuremberg trials that – under orders from the chief of the Gestapo – he and some other Nazi operatives faked attacks on their own people and resources which they blamed on the Poles, to justify the invasion of Poland. Nazi general Franz Halder also testified at the Nuremberg trials that Nazi leader Hermann Goering admitted to setting fire to the German parliament building in 1933, and then falsely blaming the communists for the arson
- Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev admitted in writing that the Soviet Union’s Red Army shelled the Russian village of Mainila in 1939 – while blaming the attack on Finland – as a basis for launching the “Winter War” against Finland. Russian president Boris Yeltsin agreed that Russia had been the aggressor in the Winter War
- The Russian Parliament admits that Soviet leader Joseph Stalin ordered his secret police to execute 22,000 Polish army officers and civilians in 1940, and then blamed it on the Nazis. Current Russian president Putin and former Soviet leader Gorbachev have also admitted that the Soviets were responsible for the massacre
- Israel admits that an Israeli terrorist cell operating in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including U.S. diplomatic facilities, then left behind “evidence” implicating the Arabs as the culprits (one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to identify the bombers, and several of the Israelis later confessed) (and see this and this)
- The CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950′s to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister
- The Turkish Prime Minister admitted that the Turkish government carried out the 1955 bombing on a Turkish consulate in Greece – also damaging the nearby birthplace of the founder of modern Turkey – and blamed it on Greece, for the purpose of inciting and justifying anti-Greek violence
- The British Prime Minister admitted to his defense secretary that he and American president Dwight Eisenhower approved a plan in 1957 to carry out attacks in Syria and blame it on the Syrian government as a way to effect regime change
- The former Italian Prime Minister, an Italian judge, and the former head of Italian counterintelligence admit that NATO, with the help of the Pentagon and CIA, carried out terror bombings in Italy and other European countries in the 1950s and blamed the communists, in order to rally people’s support for their governments in Europe in their fight against communism. As one participant in this formerly-secret program stated: “You had to attack civilians, people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people, the Italian public, to turn to the state to ask for greater security” (and see this)(Italy and other European countries subject to the terror campaign had joined NATO before the bombings occurred). And watch this BBC special. They also allegedly carried out terror attacks in France, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the UK, and other countries
- In 1960, American Senator George Smathers suggested that the U.S. launch “a false attack made on Guantanamo Bay which would give us the excuse of actually fomenting a fight which would then give us the excuse to go in and [overthrow Castro]“.
- Official State Department documents show that, in 1961, the head of the Joint Chiefs and other high-level officials discussed blowing up a consulate in the Dominican Republic in order to justify an invasion of that country. The plans were not carried out, but they were all discussed as serious proposals
- As admitted by the U.S. government, recently declassified documents show that in 1962, the American Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan to blow up AMERICAN airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes), and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil, and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. See the following ABC news report; the official documents; and watch this interview with the former Washington Investigative Producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.
- In 1963, the U.S. Department of Defense wrote a paper promoting attacks on nations within the Organization of American States – such as Trinidad-Tobago or Jamaica – and then falsely blaming them on Cuba
- The U.S. Department of Defense even suggested covertly paying a person in the Castro government to attack the United States: “The only area remaining for consideration then would be to bribe one of Castro’s subordinate commanders to initiate an attack on Guantanamo.”
- The NSA admits that it lied about what really happened in the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964 … manipulating data to make it look like North Vietnamese boats fired on a U.S. ship so as to create a false justification for the Vietnam war
- A U.S. Congressional committee admitted that – as part of its “Cointelpro” campaign – the FBI had used many provocateurs in the 1950s through 1970s to carry out violent acts and falsely blame them on political activists
- A top Turkish general admitted that Turkish forces burned down a mosque on Cyprus in the 1970s and blamed it on their enemy. He explained: “In Special War, certain acts of sabotage are staged and blamed on the enemy to increase public resistance. We did this on Cyprus; we even burnt down a mosque.” In response to the surprised correspondent’s incredulous look the general said, “I am giving an example”
- The German government admitted (and see this) that, in 1978, the German secret service detonated a bomb in the outer wall of a prison and planted “escape tools” on a prisoner – a member of the Red Army Faction – which the secret service wished to frame the bombing on
- A Mossad agent says that, in 1984, Mossad planted a radio transmitter in Gaddaffi’s compound in Tripoli, Libya which broadcast fake terrorist trasmissions recorded by Mossad, in order to frame Gaddaffi as a terrorist supporter. Ronald Reagan bombed Libya immediately thereafter
- The South African Truth and Reconciliation Council found that, in 1989, the Civil Cooperation Bureau (a covert branch of the South African Defense Force) approached an explosives expert and asked him “to participate in an operation aimed at discrediting the ANC [the African National Congress] by bombing the police vehicle of the investigating officer into the murder incident”, thus framing the ANC for the bombing
- An Algerian diplomat and several officers in the Algerian army admit that, in the 1990s, the Algerian army frequently massacred Algerian civilians and then blamed Islamic militants for the killings (and see this video; and Agence France-Presse, 9/27/2002, French Court Dismisses Algerian Defamation Suit Against Author)
- An Indonesian fact-finding team investigated violent riots which occurred in 1998, and determined that “elements of the military had been involved in the riots, some of which were deliberately provoked”.
- Senior Russian Senior military and intelligence officers admit that the KGB blew up Russian apartment buildings in 1999 and falsely blamed it on Chechens, in order to justify an invasion of Chechnya (and see this report and this discussion)
- According to the Washington Post, Indonesian police admit that the Indonesian military killed American teachers in Papua in 2002 and blamed the murders on a Papuan separatist group in order to get that group listed as a terrorist organization.
- The well-respected former Indonesian president also admits that the government probably had a role in the Bali bombings
- As reported by BBC, the New York Times, and Associated Press, Macedonian officials admit that the government murdered 7 innocent immigrants in cold blood and pretended that they were Al Qaeda soldiers attempting to assassinate Macedonian police, in order to join the “war on terror”
- Senior police officials in Genoa, Italy admitted that – in July 2001, at the G8 summit in Genoa – planted two Molotov cocktails and faked the stabbing of a police officer, in order to justify a violent crackdown against protesters
- Although the FBI now admits that the 2001 anthrax attacks were carried out by one or more U.S. government scientists, a senior FBI official says that the FBI was actually told to blame the Anthrax attacks on Al Qaeda by White House officials (remember what the anthrax letters looked like). Government officials also confirm that the white House tried to link the anthrax to Iraq as a justification for regime change in that country
- Similarly, the U.S. falsely blamed Iraq for playing a role in the 9/11 attacks – as shown by a memo from the defense secretary – as one of the main justifications for launching the Iraq war. Even after the 9/11 Commission admitted that there was no connection, Dick Cheney said that the evidence is “overwhelming” that al Qaeda had a relationship with Saddam Hussein’s regime, that Cheney “probably” had information unavailable to the Commission, and that the media was not ‘doing their homework’ in reporting such ties. Top U.S. government officials now admit that the Iraq war was really launched for oil … not 9/11 or weapons of mass destruction (despite previous “lone wolf” claims, many U.S. government officials now say that 9/11 was state-sponsored terror; but Iraq was not the state which backed the hijackers)
- Former Department of Justice lawyer John Yoo suggested in 2005 that the US should go on the offensive against al-Qaeda, having “our intelligence agencies create a false terrorist organization. It could have its own websites, recruitment centers, training camps, and fundraising operations. It could launch fake terrorist operations and claim credit for real terrorist strikes, helping to sow confusion within al-Qaeda’s ranks, causing operatives to doubt others’ identities and to question the validity of communications.”
- United Press International reported in June 2005:
U.S. intelligence officers are reporting that some of the insurgents in Iraq are using recent-model Beretta 92 pistols, but the pistols seem to have had their serial numbers erased. The numbers do not appear to have been physically removed; the pistols seem to have come off a production line without any serial numbers. Analysts suggest the lack of serial numbers indicates that the weapons were intended for intelligence operations or terrorist cells with substantial government backing. Analysts speculate that these guns are probably from either Mossad or the CIA. Analysts speculate that agent provocateurs may be using the untraceable weapons even as U.S. authorities use insurgent attacks against civilians as evidence of the illegitimacy of the resistance.
- Undercover Israeli soldiers admitted in 2005 to throwing stones at other Israeli soldiers so they could blame it on Palestinians, as an excuse to crack down on peaceful protests by the Palestinians
- Quebec police admitted that, in 2007, thugs carrying rocks to a peaceful protest were actually undercover Quebec police officers (and see this)
- At the G20 protests in London in 2009, a British member of parliament saw plain clothes police officers attempting to incite the crowd to violence
- Egyptian politicians admitted (and see this) that government employees looted priceless museum artifacts in 2011 to try to discredit the protesters
- A Colombian army colonel has admitted that his unit murdered 57 civilians, then dressed them in uniforms and claimed they were rebels killed in combat
- U.S. soldiers have admitted that if they kill innocent Iraqis and Afghanis, they then “drop” automatic weapons near their body so they can pretend they were militants
- The highly-respected writer for the Telegraph Ambrose Evans-Pritchard says that the head of Saudi intelligence – Prince Bandar – recently admitted that the Saudi government controls “Chechen” terrorists
- High-level American sources admitted that the Turkish government – a fellow NATO country – carried out the chemical weapons attacks blamed on the Syrian government; and high-ranking Turkish government admitted on tape plans to carry out attacks and blame it on the Syrian government
- The former Ukrainian security chief admits that the sniper attacks which started the Ukrainian coup were carried out in order to frame others
- Britain’s spy agency has admitted (and see this) that it carries out “digital false flag” attacks on targets, framing people by writing offensive or unlawful material … and blaming it on the target
With the historical background in Parts 2 and 3, we can now look at the deeper story behind ISIS.
America’s Closest Allies In the Mideast Support ISIS
America’s top military official – the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin E. Dempsey – and Senator Lindsey Graham admitted last September in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that America’s closest allies are supporting ISIS:
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA, MEMBER OF ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: Do you know any major Arab ally that embraces ISIL?
GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY, CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: I know major Arab allies who fund them.
GRAHAM: Yeah, but do they embrace them? They fund them because the Free Syrian Army couldn’t fight Assad. They were trying to beat Assad. I think they realized the folly of their ways.
says that U.S. ally Qatar funds ISIS.4-Star General Wesley Clark – who served as the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO – agrees: Vice President Joe Biden agrees: A German minister
ABC News reports:
The Sunni rebels [inside Syria] are supported by the Islamist rulers of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, as well as the U.S., France, Britain and others.
The Independent headlines “Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country”:
Some time before 9/11, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, once the powerful Saudi ambassador in Washington and head of Saudi intelligence until a few months ago, had a revealing and ominous conversation with the head of the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove. Prince Bandar told him: “The time is not far off in the Middle East, Richard, when it will be literally ‘God help the Shia’. More than a billion Sunnis have simply had enough of them.”
There is no doubt about the accuracy of the quote by Prince Bandar, secretary-general of the Saudi National Security Council from 2005 and head of General Intelligence between 2012 and 2014, the crucial two years when al-Qa’ida-type jihadis took over the Sunni-armed opposition in Iraq and Syria. Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute last week, Dearlove, who headed MI6 from 1999 to 2004, emphasised the significance of Prince Bandar’s words, saying that they constituted “a chilling comment that I remember very well indeed”.
He does not doubt that substantial and sustained funding from private donors in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, to which the authorities may have turned a blind eye, has played a central role in the Isis surge into Sunni areas of Iraq. He said: “Such things simply do not happen spontaneously.” This sounds realistic since the tribal and communal leadership in Sunni majority provinces is much beholden to Saudi and Gulf paymasters, and would be unlikely to cooperate with Isis without their consent.
Dearlove … sees Saudi strategic thinking as being shaped by two deep-seated beliefs or attitudes. First, they are convinced that there “can be no legitimate or admissible challenge to the Islamic purity of their Wahhabi credentials as guardians of Islam’s holiest shrines”. But, perhaps more significantly given the deepening Sunni-Shia confrontation, the Saudi belief that they possess a monopoly of Islamic truth leads them to be “deeply attracted towards any militancy which can effectively challenge Shia-dom”.
Western governments traditionally play down the connection between Saudi Arabia and its Wahhabist faith, on the one hand, and jihadism, whether of the variety espoused by Osama bin Laden and al-Qa’ida or by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s Isis. There is nothing conspiratorial or secret about these links: 15 out of 19 of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, as was Bin Laden and most of the private donors who funded the operation.
But there has always been a second theme to Saudi policy towards al-Qa’ida type jihadis, contradicting Prince Bandar’s approach and seeing jihadis as a mortal threat to the Kingdom. Dearlove illustrates this attitude by relating how, soon after 9/11, he visited the Saudi capital Riyadh with Tony Blair.
He remembers the then head of Saudi General Intelligence “literally shouting at me across his office: ‘9/11 is a mere pinprick on the West. In the medium term, it is nothing more than a series of personal tragedies. What these terrorists want is to destroy the House of Saud and remake the Middle East.’” In the event, Saudi Arabia adopted both policies, encouraging the jihadis as a useful tool of Saudi anti-Shia influence abroad but suppressing them at home as a threat to the status quo. It is this dual policy that has fallen apart over the last year.
Saudi sympathy for anti-Shia “militancy” is identified in leaked US official documents. The then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote in December 2009 in a cable released by Wikileaks that “Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qa’ida, the Taliban, LeT [Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan] and other terrorist groups.”
Saudi Arabia and its allies are in practice playing into the hands of Isis which is swiftly gaining full control of the Sunni opposition in Syria and Iraq.
For all his gargantuan mistakes, Maliki’s failings are not the reason why the Iraqi state is disintegrating. What destabilised Iraq from 2011 on was the revolt of the Sunni in Syria and the takeover of that revolt by jihadis, who were often sponsored by donors in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates. Again and again Iraqi politicians warned that by not seeking to close down the civil war in Syria, Western leaders were making it inevitable that the conflict in Iraq would restart. “I guess they just didn’t believe us and were fixated on getting rid of [President Bashar al-] Assad,” said an Iraqi leader in Baghdad last week. Of course, US and British politicians and diplomats would argue that they were in no position to bring an end to the Syrian conflict. But this is misleading. By insisting that peace negotiations must be about the departure of Assad from power, something that was never going to happen since Assad held most of the cities in the country and his troops were advancing, the US and Britain made sure the war would continue.
Saudi Arabia has created a Frankenstein’s monster over which it is rapidly losing control. The same is true of its allies such as Turkey which has been a vital back-base for Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra by keeping the 510-mile-long Turkish-Syrian border open.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), now threatening Baghdad, was funded for years by wealthy donors in Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, three U.S. allies that have dual agendas in the war on terror.
The extremist group that is threatening the existence of the Iraqi state was built and grown for years with the help of elite donors from American supposed allies in the Persian Gulf region.
A key component of ISIS’s support came from wealthy individuals in the Arab Gulf States of Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Sometimes the support came with the tacit nod of approval from those regimes ….
Gulf donors support ISIS, the Syrian branch of al Qaeda called the al Nusrah Front, and other Islamic groups fighting on the ground in Syria ….
Donors in Kuwait, the Sunni majority Kingdom on Iraq’s border, have taken advantage of Kuwait’s weak financial rules to channel hundreds of millions of dollars to a host of Syrian rebel brigades, according to a December 2013 report by The Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank that receives some funding from the Qatari government.
“The U.S. Treasury is aware of this activity and has expressed concern about this flow of private financing. But Western diplomats’ and officials’ general response has been a collective shrug,” the report states.
When confronted with the problem, Gulf leaders often justify allowing their Salafi constituents to fund Syrian extremist groups ….
That’s what Prince Bandar bin Sultan, head of Saudi intelligence since 2012 and former Saudi ambassador in Washington, reportedly told Secretary of State John Kerry when Kerry pressed him on Saudi financing of extremist groups earlier this year. Saudi Arabia has retaken a leadership role in past months guiding help to the Syrian armed rebels, displacing Qatar, which was seen as supporting some of the worst of the worst organizations on the ground.
Business Insider notes:
The Islamic State for Iraq and the Levant … is also receiving private donations from wealthy Sunnis in American-allied Gulf nations such as Kuwait, Qatar, and, possibly, Saudi Arabia.
As far back as March, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar of openly funding ISIS as his troops were fighting them.
“I accuse them of inciting and encouraging the terrorist movements. I accuse them of supporting them politically and in the media, of supporting them with money and by buying weapons for them,” he told France 24 television.
In Kuwait, donors have taken advantage of weak terror financing control laws to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars to various Syrian rebel groups, including ISIS, according to a December 2013 report by The Brookings Institution, which receives some funding from the government of Qatar.
“Over the last two and a half years, Kuwait has emerged as a financing and organizational hub for charities and individuals supporting Syria’s myriad rebel groups,” the report said, adding that money from donors in other gulf nations is collected in Kuwait before traveling through Turkey or Jordan to reach the insurgents.
Ironically, Kuwait is a staging area for individuals funneling money to an ISIS organization that is aligned with whatever is left of the Baathist regime once led by Saddam Hussein. In 1990, the U.S. went to war with Iraq over Hussein’s invasion and occupation of Kuwait.
Turkey Supports ISIS
NATO member Turkey has long been directly supporting ISIS.
The Jerusalem Post reports that an ISIS fighter says that Turkey funds the terrorist group.
A German news program – with English subtitles captions – shows that Turkey is sending terrorists into Syria: Opposition Turkish lawmakers say that the government is protecting and cooperating with ISIS and Al Qaeda terrorists, and providing free medical care to their leaders.
According to a leading Turkish newspaper (Today’s Zaman), Turkish nurses are sick of providing free medical treatment to ISIS terrorists in Turkish hospitals.
Now, Turkey is massively bombing the most effective on-the-ground fighters against ISIS. As Time Magazine pointed out in June 2015:
Ethnic Kurds—who on Tuesday scored their second and third significant victories over ISIS in the space of eight days—are by far the most effective force fighting ISIS in both Iraq and Syria.
And yet Turkey is trying to destroy the Kurds. Time writes:
Since [Turkey announced that it was joining the war against ISIS] it has arrested more than 1,000 people in Turkey and carried out waves of air raids in neighboring Syria and Iraq. But most of those arrests and air strikes, say Kurdish leaders, have hit Kurdish and left wing groups, not ISIS.
Turkey is also supporting ISIS by buying its oil … its main source of funding. The Guardian reported:
US special forces raided the compound of an Islamic State leader in eastern Syria in May, they made sure not to tell the neighbours.
The target of that raid, the first of its kind since US jets returned to the skies over Iraq last August, was an Isis official responsible for oil smuggling, named Abu Sayyaf. He was almost unheard of outside the upper echelons of the terror group, but he was well known to Turkey. From mid-2013, the Tunisian fighter had been responsible for smuggling oil from Syria’s eastern fields, which the group had by then commandeered. Black market oil quickly became the main driver of Isis revenues – and Turkish buyers were its main clients.
As a result, the oil trade between the jihadis and the Turks was held up as evidence of an alliance between the two.
In the wake of the raid that killed Abu Sayyaf, suspicions of an undeclared alliance have hardened. One senior western official familiar with the intelligence gathered at the slain leader’s compound said that direct dealings between Turkish officials and ranking Isis members was now “undeniable”.
“There are hundreds of flash drives and documents that were seized there,” the official told the Observer. “They are being analysed at the moment, but the links are already so clear that they could end up having profound policy implications for the relationship between us and Ankara.”
However, Turkey has openly supported other jihadi groups, such as Ahrar al-Sham, which espouses much of al-Qaida’s ideology, and Jabhat al-Nusra, which is proscribed as a terror organisation by much of the US and Europe. “The distinctions they draw [with other opposition groups] are thin indeed,” said the western official. “There is no doubt at all that they militarily cooperate with both.”
One Isis member says the organisation remains a long way from establishing a self-sustaining economy across the area of Syria and Iraq it controls. “They need the Turks. I know of a lot of cooperation and it scares me,” he said. “I don’t see how Turkey can attack the organisation too hard. There are shared interests.”
Israel Supports ISIS
The Israeli air force has bombed near the Syrian capital of Damascus, and attacked agricultural facilities and warehouses (the Syrian government is the other main opponent of ISIS in Syria besides the Kurds).
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Monday that Israel has been providing aid to Syrian rebels, thus keeping the Druze in Syria out of immediate danger. Israeli officials have previously balked at confirming on the record that the country has been helping forces that are fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad.
“We’ve assisted them under two conditions,” Ya’alon said of the Israeli medical aid to the Syrian rebels, some of whom are presumably fighting with al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad. “That they don’t get too close to the border, and that they don’t touch the Druze.”
(Al Nusra is Al Qaeda, and closely affiliated with ISIS.)
The Times of Israel reported in 2014:
A Free Syrian Army commander, arrested last month by the Islamist militia Al-Nusra Front, told his captors he collaborated with Israel in return for medical and military support, in a video released this week.
In a video uploaded to YouTube Monday … Sharif As-Safouri, the commander of the Free Syrian Army’s Al-Haramein Battalion, admitted to having entered Israel five times to meet with Israeli officers who later provided him with Soviet anti-tank weapons and light arms. Safouri was abducted by the al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front in the Quneitra area, near the Israeli border, on July 22.
“The [opposition] factions would receive support and send the injured in [to Israel] on condition that the Israeli fence area is secured. No person was allowed to come near the fence without prior coordination with Israel authorities,” Safouri said in the video.
In the edited confession video, in which Safouri seems physically unharmed, he says that at first he met with an Israeli officer named Ashraf at the border and was given an Israeli cellular phone. He later met with another officer named Younis and with the two men’s commander, Abu Daoud. In total, Safouri said he entered Israel five times for meetings that took place in Tiberias.
Following the meetings, Israel began providing Safouri and his men with “basic medical support and clothes” as well as weapons, which included 30 Russian [rifles], 10 RPG launchers with 47 rockets, and 48,000 5.56 millimeter bullets.
Haaretz reported the same year:
The Syrian opposition is willing to give up claims to the Golan Heights in return for cash and Israeli military aid against President Bashar Assad, a top opposition official told Al Arab newspaper, according to a report in Al Alam.
The Western-backed militant groups want Israel to enforce a no-fly zone over parts of southern Syria to protect rebel bases from air strikes by Assad’s forces, according to the report.
In a separate article, Haartez also noted:
According to reports, Israel has also been involved, and even provided active assistance in at least one attack by rebel troops four months ago, when its communications and intelligence base on Mount Hermon jammed the Syrian army’s communications system and the information relayed between its fighting forces and their headquarters.
Jacky Hugi – an Arab affairs analyst for Israeli army radio – recently wrote:
The Israeli security establishment should gradually abandon its emerging alliance with the Syrian rebels …
It is a dangerous, irresponsible gamble to choose Assad’s enemies and encourage his collapse — it would be playing with fire.
The U.S. Supports ISIS
Former CIA boss and 4-star general David Petraeus – who still (believe it or not) holds a lot of sway in Washington – suggests we should arm Al Qaeda. Quite a few mainstream Americans are also saying we should support Al Qaeda in Iraq and Syria.
Influential New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman asks if we should arm ISIS itself, so as to counter Iranian influence. This isn’t just empty rhetoric.
A former Al Qaeda commander says that ISIS already works for the CIA.
Former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds – deemed credible by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General, several senators (free subscription required), and a coalition of prominent conservative and liberal groups – says that the CIA and NATO started recruiting and training people at a NATO base in Turkey – right near the Syrian border – to stage terrorist attacks in Syria to overthrow the Syrian government … and that this was the birth of ISIS:
In 2011, months and months before Syria came in the headlines – anything about Syria was written on the New York Times, Washington Post and CNN – we broke a story [background here, here, here and here] based on my sources here in United States military but also in Turkey about the fact that special CIA/NATO forces in a NATO base in Turkey, which is in the southern portion of Turkey very close to the Syrian border, they were bringing in, in Turkey, the CIA/NATO Gladio unit, they were recruiting and bringing in people from northern Syria into these camps, part of the US air force base in southern Turkey. They were training them – military training – they were arming them, and they were basically directing them towards create terror events inside Syria, not only against Assad, but also in various villages and regions against the people, against public.
That was the training and beginning of the ISIS brand. It started as ISIL and then turned to ISIS and now for short IS. This was completed by design, it was created and the people who are part of the so called ISIS they were carefully selected, brought into the U.S. NATO base in Turkey, they were trained they were funneled, and this is what they were told to do. They created a new brand and a new brand with purpose of replacing the old brand: Al Qaeda.
Sounds like a conspiracy theory, right?
Unfortunately, an internal Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) document produced recently shows that the U.S. knew that the actions of “the West, Gulf countries and Turkey” in Syria might create a terrorist group like ISIS and an Islamic caliphate.
By way of background, a non-profit organization called Judicial Watch has – for many years – obtained sensitive U.S. government documents through freedom of information requests and lawsuits. The government just produced documents to Judicial Watch in response to a freedom of information suit which show that the West has long supported ISIS.
The documents were written by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) on August 12, 2012 … years before ISIS burst onto the world stage. Here are screenshots from the documents (we have highlighted the relevant parts in yellow): Why is this important? It shows that extreme Muslim terrorists – salafists, Muslims Brotherhood, and AQI (i.e. Al Qaeda in Iraq) – have always been the “major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.”
The newly-declassified document continues:
… there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist Principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime ….
In other words, the powers supporting the Syrian opposition – the West, our Gulf allies, and Turkey wanted an Islamic caliphate in order to challenge Syrian president Assad.
This is a big deal. A former British Army and Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism intelligence officer and a former MI5 officer confirm that the newly-released documents are a smoking gun.
And the former head of the DIA – Lieutenant General Michael Flynn – confirmed its importance as well. By any measure, Flynn was a top-level American military commander. Flynn served as:
- The Director of the U.S. Intelligence Agency
- The Director of intelligence for Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), the main military agency responsible for targeting Al-Qaeda and other Islamic terrorists
- The Commander of the Joint Functional Component Command for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance
- The Chair of the Military Intelligence Board
- Assistant director of national intelligence
Flynn confirmed the authenticity of the document in a new interview, and said:
[Interviewer] So the administration turned a blind eye to your analysis?
[Flynn] I don’t know that they turned a blind eye, I think it was a decision. I think it was a willful decision.
[Interviewer] A willful decision to support an insurgency that had Salafists, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood?
[Flynn] It was a willful decision to do what they’re doing.
World Net Daily reports that the U.S. trained Islamic jihadis – who would later join ISIS – in Jordan.
Der Spiegel and the Guardian confirmed that the U.S., France and England trained hundreds if not thousands of Islamic fighters in Jordan.
ISIS does not represent mainstream Islam.
For example, the Intercept points out that ISIS has “more in common with Mao’s Red Guards or the Khmer Rouge than it does with the Muslim empires of antiquity“.
Huffington Post reports:
Can you guess which books the wannabe jihadists Yusuf Sarwar and Mohammed Ahmed ordered online from Amazon before they set out from Birmingham to fight in Syria last May? A copy of Milestones by the Egyptian Islamist Sayyid Qutb? No. How about Messages to the World: the Statements of Osama Bin Laden? Guess again. Wait, The Anarchist Cookbook, right? Wrong.
Sarwar and Ahmed, both of whom pleaded guilty to terrorism offences last month, purchased Islam for Dummies and The Koran for Dummies. You could not ask for better evidence to bolster the argument that the 1,400-year-old Islamic faith has little to do with the modern jihadist movement. The swivel-eyed young men who take sadistic pleasure in bombings and beheadings may try to justify their violence with recourse to religious rhetoric – think the killers of Lee Rigby screaming “Allahu Akbar” at their trial; think of Islamic State beheading the photojournalist James Foley as part of its “holy war” – but religious fervour isn’t what motivates most of them.
In 2008, a classified briefing note on radicalisation, prepared by MI5’s behavioural science unit, was leaked to the Guardian. It revealed that, “far from being religious zealots, a large number of those involved in terrorism do not practise their faith regularly. Many lack religious literacy and could . . . be regarded as religious novices.” The analysts concluded that “a well-established religious identity actually protects against violent radicalisation“, the newspaper said. [Here’s the Guardian report.]
For more evidence, read the books of the forensic psychiatrist and former CIA officer Marc Sageman; the political scientist Robert Pape [Pape found that foreign occupation – and not religion – made certain Arabs into terrorists; the CIA’s top Bin Laden hunter agreed]; the international relations scholar Rik Coolsaet; the Islamism expert Olivier Roy; the anthropologist Scott Atran. They have all studied the lives and backgrounds of hundreds of gun-toting, bomb-throwing jihadists and they all agree that Islam isn’t to blame for the behaviour of such men (and, yes, they usually are men).
Instead they point to other drivers of radicalisation ….
When he lived in the Philippines in the 1990s, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, described as “the principal architect” of the 11 September attacks by the 9/11 Commission, once flew a helicopter past a girlfriend’s office building with a banner saying “I love you”. His nephew Ramzi Yousef, sentenced to life in prison for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, also had a girlfriend and, like his uncle, was often spotted in Manila’s red-light district. The FBI agent who hunted Yousef said that he “hid behind a cloak of Islam”. Eyewitness accounts suggest the 9/11 hijackers were visiting bars and strip clubs in Florida and Las Vegas in the run-up to the attacks. The Spanish neighbours of Hamid Ahmidan, convicted for his role in the Madrid train bombings of 2004, remember him “zooming by on a motorcycle with his long-haired girlfriend, a Spanish woman with a taste for revealing outfits”, according to press reports.
No wonder Muslim leaders worldwide condemn ISIS.
Similarly, the 9/11 hijackers used cocaine and drank alcohol, slept with prostitutes and attended strip clubs … but they did not worship at any mosque. See this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this.
As such, Islamic terrorists do not necessarily represent Muslims as a whole.