The Canadian media is awash with hysteria about what it calls a potential Iranian-sponsored terror attack in Ottawa.
Unsurprisingly, the hype is rooted in baseless innuendo typical of neocon warmongers who act as loudspeakers for the Zionist regime in Tel Aviv.
The neoconservative National Post, which is for all intents and purposes an Israeli propaganda organ, published a scurrilous piece on June 16 quoting from alarmist Canadian intelligence reports which state that Iran and Hezbollah (Lebanon’s national resistance movement) may be planning to strike Ottawa.
What evidence do these intelligence analysts proffer to support their slanderous assertions about Iran and Hezbollah? Absolutely none.
The National Post admitted the documents “do not specify the exact nature of the threat Tehran may pose to the Ottawa region.”
So they claim there is a “threat” but cannot even specify what that threat is or in what form it may manifest?
“[I]n the past,” the dubious intelligence report continued, “Iran has used its proxy force, Hezbollah, to attempt attacks internationally.”
This Zionist rhetoric looks as if it could have been written by Stephen Harper’s “good friend” Benjamin Netanyahu himself.
Despite feeble Zionist disinformation, Iran has not sponsored any international terror attacks. The bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Argentina in 1994, which took the lives of 85 people, is still unsolved. The Zionists immediately pinned the blame for the atrocity on their Iranian and Lebanese foes, offering not one particle of proof. Argentinian researcher Adrian Salbuchi contends that the attack was a false flag operation engineered by the Israeli secret services to swing public opinion against its enemies.
When in late 2013 Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez announced that she would launch a new joint Iranian-Argentinian probe into the 1994 attack, the Zionists went berserk and their mouthpieces in Ottawa and Washington condemned the move to have a real investigation into what happened, for obvious reasons.
Canada’s intelligence services function as a political tool of the neoconservative, pro-Zionist regime in Ottawa led by the rabid Likudnik Harper. As such, their reports about Iran, Hezbollah and anything else related to the Middle East, Arabs and “terrorism” cannot be considered to be anything but propaganda and misdirection designed to serve Israel’s geopolitical agenda.
In his book “Canada and Israel: Building Apartheid,” Canadian foreign policy expert Yves Engler documented the close ties between Canada’s spy agency CSIS and Israel’s spy agency Mossad. The two spook organizations work together closely, sharing intelligence and conducting joint espionage operations targeting Arabs in Canada and abroad. Mossad has often used forged Canadian passports on covert missions (even attempted assassinations), and CSIS has looked the other way.
What may lie behind this latest dose of Iranophobic poison emanating from Ottawa? The National Post says that the Canadian intelligence documents it based its story around are from late 2013, so why promote it now?
Well, a number of events that have unfolded over the past few weeks may explain it.
On June 13 three Israeli teens were allegedly kidnapped from an illegal Jewish settlement in the West Bank. The circumstances surrounding the alleged kidnapping are murky. Strangely, nobody has taken credit for the kidnapping nor has anyone demanded a ransom. “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists the militant Palestinian resistance group Hamas is to blame for the abduction and vowed swift action against it Monday,” reported a June 16 Globe and Mail article.
If Hamas was behind the capture of the three Israelis, surely they would have demanded a prisoner exchange as thousands of Palestinians are unjustly held as political prisoners in Israeli jails. But they have not done this, and as the Globe noted, Hamas has nothing to gain from such a reckless move at this critical juncture when they have just recently formed a unity government with the Palestinian Authority. Netanyahu called the new Hamas-PA unity government “bad for Israel.”
The only beneficiary of the kidnapping, it seems, is Israel.
Political analyst Kevin Barrett noted in a recent article on Veterans Today that this kidnapping incident may have been staged by Israel as a political stunt to undermine the new Palestinian unity government and to justify a crackdown on Hamas. “How dare the Palestinians unify against us,” the Zionist occupiers are saying to themselves.
Israel’s military chief of staff Benny Gantz has pledged a “broad operation” against Hamas. “Our aim is to find the three boys, bring them home and hurt Hamas as much as possible,” he said. Using the kidnapping incident as a pretext, Israel has arrested more than 160 Palestinians and conducted several air strikes in the Gaza Strip. Israeli officials are now lusting to re-arrest all 1,027 Palestinian prisoners who were freed in exchange for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2011, reported the Globe.
“Israeli political leaders on the right,” the Globe article continued, “have demanded all sorts of punitive action be taken against Hamas [as a result of the unsolved kidnapping]: some advocate expelling the group’s leaders to Gaza; others want to annex parts of the West Bank… Minister Moshe Ya’alon hinted at a return to the practice of targeted killings – assassinations – of Hamas leaders.”
To back up his false flag hypothesis, Kevin Barrett cited a revealing June 15 Haaretz article headlined, “Mossad chief’s chillingly prescient kidnap prophecy.” In the article Israeli journalist Barak Ravid disclosed that, “Ten days ago, at a security cabinet meeting, Mossad Chief Tamir Pardo outlined a scenario spookily similar to the kidnapping of the three Israeli teens missing since Thursday night.”
The security meeting in question “dealt with the report of the Shamgar Committee on prisoner exchanges and on the Habayit Hayehudi bill that prohibits granting pardons to terrorists.”
Pardo and his colleagues tried to convince Israeli ministers not to pass the bill, arguing that it would “limit the government’s room for maneuver in future abduction cases, would keep its hands tied, and prevent it from considering other solutions for dealing with a potential crisis.”
“What will you do if in a week three 14-year-old girls will be kidnapped from one of the settlements?” Pardo asked. “Will you say there is a law, and we don’t release terrorists?”
As Haaretz inadvertently demonstrated, Zionists have quite a talent for predicting and foreshadowing future events. In 1979, the founder of Israel’s spy agencies, Isser Harel, predicted 9/11 with amazing precision, telling an Evangelical Zionist named Michael Evans over dinner that “Islamic fundamentalists” would eventually strike New York City’s “tallest building.”
Zionist neocons of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) think-tank spoke of a “New Pearl Harbour” that would facilitate their militarist foreign policy objectives exactly one year before the planes hit the twin towers in New York in 2001.
Israeli dirty tricks of this nature are nothing new. Shortly after 9/11, the Israelis were caught red-handed establishing a fake al-Qaeda cell in Gaza. Ariel ‘the butcher’ Sharon attempted to use the existence of the counterfeit “terror cell” as a pretext to bomb the beleaguered coastal enclave. “Israel ‘faked al-Qaeda presence’,” noted a Dec. 2002 BBC headline, which unveiled Israel’s deception.
A Sept. 10, 2001, Washington Times report also shed light on Israel’s penchant for ruthlessness and deception. Reporting on the content of a US Army study on the Israel-Palestine conflict, the Times article quoted the study’s authors who stated that Israel is “known to disregard international law to accomplish mission.” The US Army analysts were even more blunt in their assessment of Israel’s Mossad, characterizing the rogue agency as a “ruthless and cunning” wildcard that is “[capable of targeting] U.S. forces” and making it “look like a Palestinian/Arab act.”
Knowing Israel’s sordid history of false flags and dirty tricks, one would be foolhardy to dismiss the possibility that the “kidnapping” scandal that has unfolded over the past few days is yet another Machiavellian stage-play designed to derail Palestine’s unity government and expedite Israel’s expansionist aims.
With Syria and Iraq being overrun by bloodthirsty Western-backed mercenaries and brutes, Israel sees an opportunity to push forward with its imperialist schemes to neutralize Palestinian resistance to the occupation.
Ottawa’s ratcheting up of anti-Iranian hysteria at this conspicuous time can only be seen as a gesture of support for Tel Aviv’s campaign of terror in Gaza and the West Bank, deflecting international attention from the Israeli cuckoo in the nest.
A Syrian opposition leader has praised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for expressing support for militants wounded during the conflict in Syria.
Muhammad Badie told Israel Radio Friday that the Syrian opposition is grateful to Netanyahu for his February 18 tour to a field hospital in the (occupied) Golan Heights.
Speaking from Istanbul, the Syrian opposition leader added that Netanyahu’s public presence near the wounded militants sent an “important message.”
Badie also said that he and his friends thanked the Israeli premier for publicly voicing support for injured militants, especially after the collapse of the recent talks between the Syrian government and the opposition in Geneva, Switzerland.
Israel Channel 2 News recently aired footage of a secret Israeli field hospital in the occupied Golan Heights that has treated over 700 Syrians including militants over the past months.
Last year, the Israeli military carried out at least three airstrikes against Syria.
Damascus says Tel Aviv and its Western allies are aiding al-Qaeda-linked militant groups operating inside Syria.
In late September 2001, a couple of weeks after 9/11, the United States was struck with what the Bush regime dubbed a “second wave” of terrorism. Letters laced with deadly anthrax spores arrived in the mailboxes of prominent media figures and two American senators. Five people were killed and 17 others were infected.
A concerted effort was made by the Bush regime and the mainstream US media to present the anthrax attacks as the work of the same people who perpetrated 9/11. They were, in a sense, correct, but the people behind 9/11 and the subsequent anthrax fiasco were not members of al-Qaeda or adherents of the Islamic faith.
A very clear and discernible pattern of propaganda was foisted upon the American public following 9/11. Zionists from Israel and the US took a leading role in assigning responsibility for the biggest attack on American soil since Pearl Harbour. Unsurprisingly, the Zionists immediately pointed fingers at all of their Middle Eastern rivals and adversaries, from resistance groups like Hamas and Hezbollah to countries such as Iraq, Iran and Syria.
Israel’s enemies were being portrayed as America’s enemies too. Together, said the Zionists, Israel and America can defeat “the forces of darkness.” Israel’s crude campaign of innuendo and Orwellian projection manifested within a few hours of the 9/11 attacks. Israeli politicians Ariel Sharon, Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak and Shimon Peres all made public statements calling on the US and other Western powers to initiate a global “war on terrorism,” a term coined by Likudniks in the 1980s.
Israel’s army intelligence service Aman and the former Mossad chief Rafi Eitan trumpeted brazen disinformation shortly following 9/11, alleging Iraqi involvement in the attacks. In August of 2001 the Mossad delivered a propagandistic “warning” to the CIA alleging al-Qaeda and Iraq were working together and were plotting terror attacks on major US landmarks. The neoconservatives, who are for all intents and purposes emissaries of the Israeli regime in the US, went straight to work in the op-ed pages of the Washington Post, the New York Times and other Zionist-controlled media outlets, attempting to portray Arabs and Muslims generally as the sponsors of 9/11 and the source of all terrorism in the world.
The same pattern of Zionist deception is apparent with the anthrax attacks. Israel’s partisans immediately mobilized a propaganda initiative to link Iraq and al-Qaeda to the anthrax mailings.
On various occasions [former US] president George W. Bush and vice president Dick Cheney told reporters that al-Qaeda was likely involved in the lethal mailings. The docile mainstream media unquestioningly repeated this unfounded assertion. A stunning piece of disinformation appeared in an Oct. 27, 2001, report in the London Times, alleging that an Iraqi official met with 9/11 patsy Mohamed Atta in the Czech Republic in April 2001. The report went on to suggest that during the rendezvous the Iraqi official gave Atta a flask of anthrax. The origin of this dubious claim was noted in the article: Israeli security sources. The chief of Czech foreign intelligence, Frantisek Bublan, later revealed that this supposed meeting never took place and was nothing more than a propaganda invention of interested parties. “Promoting a so-called ‘Prague connection’ between Atta and [the Iraqi official] al-Ani might have been a ploy by U.S. policymakers seeking justifications for a new military action against…Saddam Hussein,” Bublan told the Prague Post.
When the Iraq/al-Qaeda propaganda narrative fell apart, the FBI targeted two… within the US bio-weapons establishment: scientists Steven Hatfill and Bruce Ivins. The FBI began harassing Hatfill and publicly called him a “person of interest” in the anthrax investigation.
Hatfill vehemently denied the charges and was eventually exonerated. He later sued the FBI and other US government agencies, winning a settlement of more than $5 million in damages. Like Hatfill, Ivins was an unlikely suspect for the anthrax attacks as well.
There was no evidence tying Ivins to the anthrax letters and he had no conceivable motive. The FBI launched an intense campaign of innuendo against Ivins in an effort to convict him in the court of public opinion. Ivins allegedly committed suicide while in a Maryland hospital just before he was set to be indicted and stand trial. How convenient.
Ivins worked at a US bio-weapons facility called USAMRIID in Fort Detrick, Maryland. This is where the FBI claims the anthrax used in the attacks originated. Since there is no evidence that Ivins was involved in the anthrax mailings, there is likewise no reason to believe the FBI’s claim that the anthrax spores used in the letters originated from that facility.
Another curious event took place during the anthrax affair that garnered little attention from the mainstream press for obvious reasons. An Arab-American scientist who worked at the same Fort Detrick facility as Ivins was the victim of an attempted frame-up. Shortly before the first known victim of the anthrax attacks was confirmed, an anonymous letter was mailed to the FBI that attempted to implicate Dr. Ayaad Assaad as a “potential biological terrorist.” The author of the letter claimed to have worked with Assaad previously and alleged that Assaad had a vendetta against the US government, urging the FBI to stop him. The letter prompted the FBI to investigate Assaad. The FBI questioned him in early October 2001 and quickly cleared him of any involvement with the anthrax attacks.
Strangely, the FBI seemed uninterested in finding out who sent the anonymous letter implicating Assaad, even though the contents and timing of the letter were amazingly conspicuous, coming just prior to a real bio-terrorist attack. Assaad suspected the letter-writer was involved in the anthrax mailings and opined that his Arab background made him the “perfect scapegoat.”
One possible source of the frame-up letter was a man named Dr. Philip Zack, a microbiologist and Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army. Zack worked at USAMRIID alongside Assaad in the early 1990s. Zack and other employees at the lab formed a clique called the “camel club” to bully Arab co-workers, particularly Assaad. One day in April 1991 Assaad found a poem in his mailbox written by Zack and other members of the “camel club” which mocked his Arabic heritage. Zack and several of his fellow anti-Arab racists voluntarily left the facility when Assaad informed his superiors of the harassment campaign.
In 1992, anthrax spores, Ebola virus and other deadly pathogens went missing from the Fort Detrick facility. An internal investigation discovered that someone was entering the lab late at night to conduct unauthorized research involving anthrax. The inquiry also revealed that Dr. Philip Zack made an unauthorized visit to the lab on Jan. 23, 1992, at a time when he was no longer working at the facility. Despite Zack’s suspicious past behaviour and harassment of Assaad, the FBI made no effort to pursue him as a suspect in the 2001 anthrax investigation.
A very revealing aspect of the whole affair was the fact that the anthrax-tainted letters were made to look like a Muslim who was angry at Israel and the United States authored them. “Death to Israel, Death to America, Allah is Great,” the letters read. Whoever was actually behind the anthrax mailings was evidently attempting to lead authorities to believe a Muslim or group of Muslims was responsible.
So where did the anthrax used in the 2001 attacks come from? Researcher Robert Pate posited a plausible theory in an essay entitled, “The Anthrax Mystery: Solved” In the paper, Pate suggests Israel is the most likely culprit. According to Pate’s research, Israel had the means, motive and opportunity to secure anthrax spores and deliver them to her targets without being detected. Pate demonstrates that Israel has had a sophisticated chemical and biological weapons program since its inception in 1948. Israel has produced biological agents including anthrax at the Israel Institute of Biological Research (IIBR) in Ness Ziona, located a few miles southeast of Tel Aviv.
“With the help of Jewish scientists from the former Soviet Union,” Pate opines, “Israel’s bio-weapons research has probably surpassed that of all other nations. The Soviet Union’s bio-weapons program had 32,000 scientists and staff working in 40 different research and production facilities. Two thousand of these scientists worked exclusively on the Soviet anthrax program. A significant number of these scientists may have immigrated to Israel and become employed in her bio-weapons programs.”
Pate cites a research paper by Dr. Avner Cohen titled “Israel and Chemical/Biological Weapons: History, Deterrence, and Arms Control” which outlines Israel’s biological and chemical weapons capabilities. Anthrax is certainly in Israel’s biological arsenal. In the paper, Cohen also describes how Zionist militants poisoned Palestinian water supplies with deadly pathogens during the 1948 ‘Nakba,’ wherein Zionist gangs completely destroyed and depopulated more than 500 Arab villages in order to birth… [Israel entity] . Historical examples of Zionist biological warfare noted by Pate, in addition to Israel’s penchant for false flag terrorism against its “allies” such as the Lavon Affair and USS Liberty attack, lead him to believe that Israel was willing and able to commit a biological attack in the US – a classic false flag operation to frame her enemies for political gain.
“A motive for the anthrax attacks would be to blame Arab terrorists or a ‘rogue nation’ for this atrocity and to help launch the United States into war against Israel’s enemies,” writes Pate. “[Israel’s motive] in launching the anthrax attacks would be to bring America into war against Iraq and to remove that country as a potential threat to…[Israel].” As noted earlier, Israeli intelligence contrived a false story to implicate Muslims where they claimed to have observed a meeting between an Iraqi official and alleged al-Qaeda ringleader Mohamed Atta in the Czech Republic in which an exchange of anthrax is said to have occurred. If Israel had nothing to do with the anthrax attacks, then why did they propagate lies with the intent to implicate Iraq and al-Qaeda? American authorities admit that no Muslim or Arab was involved in the anthrax mailings, so who else but Israel and corrupted Americans in the Bush administration could have been behind this obvious false flag?
It can be said without doubt that some members of the Bush administration had foreknowledge of the anthrax attacks. Press reports revealed that White House officials including Bush and Cheney went on a steady regimen of the drug known as Cipro, a powerful antibiotic effective against anthrax infection, weeks before the anthrax-trained letters were first discovered.
The theory that Israel and its accomplices in the Bush administration launched a biological false flag operation as a “second phase” of the overarching 9/11 deception is well within the realm of possibilities regarding 2001’s anthrax attacks in the US. It is certainly far more plausible than the FBI’s flimsy and still-unproven case against Bruce Ivins who conveniently died before any evidence could be aired in the courts.
But it would be foolish to place any hope on President Obama — a committed servant of the Israeli-American empire — to launch a new, independent investigation into any of these troubling matters.
The attacks by opposition forces largely integrated by Al Qaeda terrorists can no longer be denied.
What is now occurring is a re-branding of the various terrorist formations covertly support by Western intelligence.
The latest slur of media disinformation consists in providing a “human face” to Al Qaeda.
While the media acknowledges that the Al Nusrah front is integrated by Al Qaeda affiliated rebels, the Islamist rebels affiliated with the New Islamic Front –which has received Washington’s ascent– are now portrayed as “freedom fighters” involved strictly in para-military operations.
According to the media reports:
1. The opposition rebels are predominantly Syrian nationals.
2. They are not targeting innocent civilians.
3. They are acting in a responsible fashion. They are no longer involved in terrorist acts. They are targeting government forces and the pro-government National Defense Force militia, set up in towns and villages across Syria.
The attack on an Alawite village in the province of Hama
A Reuters report pertaining to a recent rebel attack on an Alawite village in the province of Hama suggests that civilians deaths are few in number, largely the result of “collateral damage”, attributable to “neglect” pertaining to the government evacuation programs from the areas of combat.
Read carefully (emphasis added). The Reuters report casually denies the atrocities committed by US-NATO-Saudi sponsored terrorists:
Islamist fighters battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces seized control of an Alawite village in the central province of Hama on Sunday, part of an offensive to try to cut off supply routes from Damascus to the north of the country.
The report denies, despite ample evidence, that the “freedom fighters” killed civilians. Detailed government data on civilian casualties are dismissed;
But the government said the dead were mainly women and children and accused the fighters of committing a massacre on the eve of the resumption of peace talks in Geneva.”
Reuters prefers to quote the “evidence” provided by the fake UK based Syrian Observatory. Those killed were part of the government’s militia forces:
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said the Islamists killed 25 people in the village of Maan, mainly from a pro-Assad National Defence Force militia.
Residents of Maan, around 5 miles east of Syria’s main north-south highway, are from the same Alawite minority as the Assad family which has ruled Syria for the last four decades.
The Observatory said most women and children had been evacuated from the village before it was taken over.
(Reuters report Chicago Tribune, February 9, 2014
The “freedom fighters” are “overwhelmingly” Syrian national
The Reuters report fails to acknowledge something which is amply documented by media reports and official data: most of the rebels are mercenaries recruited in Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, not to mention several European countries including Britain and France.
The “freedom fighters” are “overwhelmingly” Syrian nationals according to Reuters:
Rebels fighting to overthrow Assad are overwhelmingly from the country’s Sunni Muslim majority, backed by Islamist and jihadi fighters from across the Islamic world.
“Video footage released on Sunday showed a rebel fighter performing Muslim prayers on top of a municipal building after the seizure of Maan, one of several sites in Hama targeted by the rebels in recent days. Another video showed the dead body of a pro-Assad fighter.
The Observatory said most women and children had been evacuated from the village before it was taken over.
(Reuters report Chicago Tribune, February 9, 2014
Yarmouk: The Palestinian Urban Suburb
A BBC report pertaining to the Palestinian Yarmouk, urban suburb of Damascus, sustains the legend of opposition “activists” and “freedom fighters” coming to the rescue of Palestinians:
The situation has grown desperate since last summer when the Syrian army blocked regular supplies to the camp in an attempt to force out rebels [Al Qaeda terrorists supported by US-NATO] holed up inside.
Activists’ videos and photographs have shown little children crying in hunger and with visible signs of malnutrition. Residents told the BBC that recently there have been about 100 deaths from starvation.
The strategy of the Al Qaeda rebels advised by Western and Israeli Special Forces has been to block the supply routes of food and essential commodities. And then the media comes in and blames the government:
“Babies also died because there was no milk. Their mothers couldn’t breastfeed them because they were sick and undernourished.”
Palestinians in Yarmouk say they have resorted to eating boiled herbs and plants found growing near their homes.
The insinuation is that government forces –which have acted in support of the Palestinians– are responsible for the humanitarian crisis in Yarmouk.
At the same time, the BBC refutes its own lies. It acknowledges that the Syrian authorities supported the Palestinians from the very outset:
The unofficial camp was set up as a home for refugees who left or were forced from their original homes because of the 1948 war that led to the creation of Israel.
Although the Syrian authorities did not give citizenship to refugees, they had full access to employment and social services. Many say they had relatively good lives compared to their counterparts in other Arab countries.
Yet the BBC in its coverage of Yarmouk, insinuates that the terrorists integrated by Western advisers had the support of the Palestinians against the Syrian government and that ultimately the “freedom fighters” allowed the supply routes to be opened to the United Nations relief programs led by the UNRWA:
Armed rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad moved into the camp and found support among some Palestinian groups.
After months of negotiations, a deal was struck at the end of last year between the Syrian authorities and Palestinian representatives to allow food to be delivered to the camp. BBC, February 10, 2014.
A journalist was sentenced Tuesday to 12 years in prison by a Saudi criminal court for “disobeying the ruler” and claiming in televised remarks that the Saudi kingdom incites terrorism, state media reported.
Local media identified the convicted as Wajdi Al-Ghazzawi, who was also accused of contacting an unnamed “enemy of Saudi Arabia at the time (2009) and receiving a suspicious sum of money from it,” according to SPA news agency.
Reports suggested that Ghazzawi was accused of taking money from former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2009, a time of tension between Tripoli and Riyadh.
Ghazzawi, the court in Riyadh said, was guilty of “disobeying the ruler on a television programme, inciting sedition… discrediting the kingdom and claiming that terrorism and Al-Qaeda were created by Saudi Arabia.”
He was also charged with spreading excerpts of the televised remarks on the internet and of accusing the Saudis “of insulting residents and denying them their rights,” SPA reported.
The court also instituted a 20-year travel ban on Ghazzawi, in addition to barring him from appearing in any media.
Gaddafi, a long-time foe of Saudi Arabia during his four-decade rule in Libya, was killed by rebels in 2011 following the NATO-led ouster of his regime. In 2004, US and Saudi news outlets accused Gaddafi of allegedly plotting to assassinate Saudi King Abdullah, who was crown prince at the time, AFP pointed out.
On Sunday, Saudi Arabia passed a broad law that deems those that “disturb the public order” as terrorists.
It defines terrorism as “any act carried out by an offender… intended to disturb the public order… to shake the security of society…stability of the state… expose its national unity to danger… suspend the basic law of governance or some of its articles,” according to its text, as cited by Human Rights Watch.
Terrorists can also be considered those individuals who “insult the reputation of the state or its position… inflict damage upon one of its public utilities or its natural resources,” or those who attempt to force “governmental authority to carry out or prevent it from carrying out an action, or to threaten to carry out acts that lead to the named purposes or incite [these acts].”
The legislation, made up of 40 clauses, allows security forces to arrest and detain suspects for up to six months with the possibility to extend the confinement for another six months. Suspects are allowed to be held incommunicado for 90 days without the presence of their lawyer during the initial questioning.
Saudi Arabia has all the vices and none of the virtues of an oil rich state like Venezuela. The country is governed by a family dictatorship which tolerates no opposition and severely punishes human rights advocates and political dissidents. Hundreds of billions in oil revenues are controlled by the royal despotism and fuel speculative investments the world over. The ruling elite relies on the purchase of Western arms and US military bases for protection. The wealth of productive nations is syphoned to enrich the conspicuous consumption of the Saudi ruling family. The ruling elite finances the most fanatical, retrograde, misogynist version of Islam, “Wahhabi” a sect of Sunni Islam.
Faced with internal dissent from repressed subjects and religious minorities, the Saudi dictatorship perceives threats and dangers from all sides: overseas, secular, nationalists and Shia ruling governments; internally, moderate Sunni nationalists, democrats and feminists; within the royalist cliques, traditionalists and modernizers. In response it has turned toward financing, training and arming an international network of Islamic terrorists who are directed toward attacking, invading and destroying regimes opposed to the Saudi clerical-dictatorial regime.
The mastermind of the Saudi terror network is Bandar bin Sultan, who has longstanding and deep ties to high level US political, military and intelligence officials. Bandar was trained and indoctrinated at Maxwell Air Force Base and Johns Hopkins University and served as Saudi Ambassador to the US for over two decades (1983-2005). Between 2005-2011 he was Secretary of the National Security Council and in 2012 he was appointed as Director General of the Saudi Intelligence Agency. Early on, Bandar became deeply immersed in clandestine terror operations working in liaison with the CIA. Among his numerous “dirty operations” with the CIA during the 1980s, Bandar channelled $32 million dollars to the Nicaragua Contra’s engaged in a terror campaign to overthrow the revolutionary Sandinista government in Nicaragua. During his tenure as ambassador he was actively engaged in protecting Saudi royalty with ties to the 9/11/01 bombing of the Triple Towers and the Pentagon. Suspicion that Bandar and his allies in the Royal family had prior knowledge of the bombings by Saudi terrorists (11 of the 19), is suggested by the sudden flight of Saudi Royalty following the terrorist act. US intelligence documents regarding the Saudi-Bandar connection are under Congressional review.
With a wealth of experience and training in running clandestine terrorist operations, derived from his two decades of collaboration with the US intelligence agencies, Bandar was in a position to organize his own global terror network in defense of the isolated retrograde and vulnerable Saudi despotic monarchy.
Bandar’s Terror Network
Bandar bin Sultan has transformed Saudi Arabia from an inward-looking, tribal based regime totally dependent on US military power for its survival, to a major regional center of a vast terror network, an active financial backer of right-wing military dictatorships (Egypt) and client regimes (Yemen) and military intervenor in the Gulf region (Bahrain). Bandar has financed and armed a vast array of clandestine terror operations, utilizing Islamic affiliates of Al Qaeda, the Saudi controlled Wahhabi sect as well as numerous other Sunni armed groups. Bandar is a “pragmatic” terrorist operator: repressing Al Qaeda adversaries in Saudi Arabia and financing Al Qaeda terrorists in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere. While Bandar was a long-term asset of the US intelligence services, he has, more recently, taken an ‘independent course’ where the regional interests of the despotic state diverge from those of the US. In the same vein, while Saudi Arabia has a longstanding enmity toward Israel, Bandar has developed a “covert understanding” and working relationship with the Netanyahu regime, around their common enmity toward Iran and more specifically in opposition to the interim agreement between the Obama-Rohani regime.
Bandar has intervened directly or via proxies in reshaping political alignments, destabilizing adversaries and bolstering and expanding the political reach of the Saudi dictatorship from North Africa to South Asia, from the Russian Caucuses to the Horn of Africa, sometimes in concert with Western imperialism, other times projecting Saudi hegemonic aspirations.
North Africa: Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, and Egypt
Bandar has poured billions of dollars to bolster the right-wing pro-Islamic regimes in Tunisia and Morocco, ensuring that the mass pro-democracy movements would be repressed, marginalized and demobilized. Islamic extremists receiving Saudi financial support are encouraged to back the “moderate” Islamists in government by assassinating secular democratic leaders and socialist trade union leaders in opposition. Bandar’s policies largely coincide with those of the US and France in Tunisia and Morocco; but not in Libya and Egypt.
Saudi financial backing for Islamist terrorists and Al Qaeda affiliates against Libyan President Gadhafi were in-line with the NATO air war. However divergences emerged in the aftermath: the NATO backed client regime made up of neo-liberal ex-pats faced off against Saudi backed Al Qaeda and Islamist terror gangs and assorted tribal gunmen and marauders. Bandar funded Islamic extremists in Libya were bankrolled to extend their military operations to Syria, where the Saudi regime was organizing a vast military operation to overthrow the Assad regime. The internecine conflict between NATO and Saudi armed groups in Libya, spilled over and led to the Islamist murder of the US Ambassador and CIA operatives in Benghazi. Having overthrown Gadhafi, Bandar virtually abandoned interest in the ensuing blood bath and chaos provoked by his armed assets. They in turn, became self-financing – robbing banks, pilfering oil and emptying local treasuries – relatively “independent” of Bandar’s control.
In Egypt, Bandar developed, in coordination with Israel (but for different reasons), a strategy of undermining the relatively independent, democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood regime of Mohammed Morsi. Bandar and the Saudi dictatorship financially backed the military coup and dictatorship of General Sisi. The US strategy of a power-sharing agreement between the Muslim Brotherhood and the military regime, combining popular electoral legitimacy and the pro-Israel-pro NATO military was sabotaged. With a $15 billion aid package and promises of more to come, Bandar provided the Egyptian military a financial lifeline and economic immunity from any international financial reprisals. None were taken of any consequences. The military crushed the Brotherhood, jailed and threatened to execute its elected leaders. It outlawed sectors of the liberal-left opposition which it had used as cannon fodder to justify its seizure of power. In backing the military coup, Bandar eliminated a rival, democratically elected Islamic regime which stood in contrast to the Saudi despotism. He secured a like-minded dictatorial regime in a key Arab country, even though the military rulers are more secular, pro-Western, pro-Israel and less anti-Assad than the Brotherhood regime. Bandar’s success in greasing the wheels for the Egyptian coup secured a political ally but faces an uncertain future.
The revival of a new anti-dictatorial mass movement would also target the Saudi connection. Moreover Bandar undercut and weakened Gulf State unity: Qatar had financed the Morsi regime and was out $5 billion dollars it had extended to the previous regime.
Bandar’s terror network is most evident in his long-term large scale financing, arming, training and transport of tens of thousands of Islamic terrorist “volunteers” from the US, Europe, the Middle East, the Caucuses, North Africa and elsewhere. Al Qaeda terrorists in Saudi Arabia became “martyrs of Islam” in Syria. Dozens of Islamic armed gangs in Syria competed for Saudi arms and funds. Training bases with US and European instructors and Saudi financing were established in Jordan, Pakistan and Turkey. Bandar financed the major ‘rebel’ Islamic terrorist armed group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, for cross border operations.
With Hezbollah supporting Assad, Bandar directed money and arms to the Abdullah Azzam Brigades in Lebanon to bomb South Beirut, the Iranian embassy and Tripoli. Bandar directed $3 billion to the Lebanese military with the idea of fomenting a new civil war between it and Hezbollah. In co-ordination with France and the US, but with far greater funding and greater latitude to recruit Islamic terrorist, Bandar assumed the leading role and became the principle director of a three front military and diplomatic offensive against Syria, Hezbollah and Iran. For Bandar, an Islamic takeover in Syria would lead to an Islamic Syrian invasion in support of Al Qaeda in Lebanon to defeat Hezbollah in hopes of isolating Iran. Teheran would then become the target of a Saudi-Israeli-US offensive. Bandar’s strategy is more fantasy then reality.
Bandar Diverges from Washington: the Offensive in Iraq and Iran
Saudi Arabia has been an extremely useful but sometimes out of control client of Washington. This is especially the case since Bandar has taken over as Intelligence chief: a long-time asset of the CIA he has also, at times, taken the liberty to extract “favors” for his services, especially when those “favors” enhance his upward advance within the Saudi power structure. Hence, for example, his ability to secure AWACs despite AIPAC opposition earned him merit points. As did Bandar’s ability to secure the departure of several hundred Saudi ‘royalty’ with ties to the 9/11 bombers, despite a high level national security lockdown in the aftermath of the bombing.
While there were episodic transgressions in the past, Bandar moved on to more serious divergences from US policy. He went ahead, building his own terror network, directed toward maximizing Saudi hegemony – even where it conflicted with US proxies, clients and clandestine operatives.
While the US is committed to backing the right-wing Maliki regime in Iraq, Bandar is providing political, military and financial backing to the Sunni terrorist “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria”. When the US negotiated the “interim agreement” with Iran Bandar voiced his opposition and “bought” support. Saudi signed off on a billion dollar arms agreement during French President Hollande’s visit, in exchange for greater sanctions on Iran. Bandar also expressed support for Israel’s use of the Zionist power configuration to influence the Congress, to sabotage US negotiations with Iran.
Bandar has moved beyond his original submission to US intelligence handlers. His close ties with past and present US and EU presidents and political influence have encouraged him to engage in “Big Power adventures.” He met with Russian President Putin to convince him to drop his support for Syria, offering a carrot or a stick: a multi-billion dollar arms sale for compliance and a threat to unleash Chechen terrorists to undermine the Sochi Olympics. He has turned Erdogan from a NATO ally supporting ‘moderate’ armed opponents to Bashar Assad, into embracing the Saudi backed ‘Islamic State of Iraq and Syria”, a terrorist Al Qaeda affiliate. Bandar has “overlooked” Erdogan’s “opportunist” efforts to sign off oil deals with Iran and Iraq, his continuing military arrangements with NATO and his past backing of the defunct Morsi regime in Egypt, in order to secure Erdogan’s support for the easy transit of large numbers of Saudi trained terrorists to Syria and probably Lebanon.
Bandar has strengthened ties with the armed Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, arming and financing their armed resistance against the US, as well as offering the US a site for a ‘negotiated departure’.
Bandar is probably supporting and arming Uighur Muslim terrorists in western China, and Chechens and Caucasian Islamic terrorists in Russia, even as the Saudi’s expand their oil agreements with China and cooperate with Russia’s Gazprom.
The only region where the Saudi’s have exercised direct military intervention is in the Gulf min-state of Bahrain, where Saudi troops crushed the pro-democracy movement challenging the local despot.
Bandar: Global Terror on Dubious Domestic Foundations
Bandar has embarked on an extraordinary transformation of Saudi foreign policy and enhanced its global influence. All to the worst. Like Israel, when a reactionary ruler comes to power and overturns the democratic order, Saudi arrives on the scene with bags of dollars to buttress the regime. Whenever an Islamic terror network emerges to subvert a nationalist, secular or Shia regime, it can count on Saudi funds and arms. What some Western scribes euphemistically describe as “tenuous effort to liberalize and modernize” the retrograde Saudi regime, is really a military upgrade of its overseas terrorist activity. Bandar uses modern techniques of terror to impose the Saudi model of reactionary rule on neighboring and distant regimes with Muslim populations.
The problem is that Bandar’s “adventurous” large scale overseas operations conflict with some of the ruling Royal family’s “introspective” style of rule. They want to be left alone to accrue hundreds of billions collecting petrol rents, to invest in high-end properties around the world, and to quietly patronize high end call girls in Washington, London and Beirut while posing as pious guardians of Medina, Mecca, and the Holy sites. So far Bandar has not been challenged, because he has been careful to pay his respects to the ruling monarch and his inner circle. He has bought and brought Western and Eastern prime ministers, presidents, and other respectable notables to Riyadh to sign deals and pay compliments to the delight of the reigning despot. Yet his solicitous behavior to overseas Al Qaeda operations, his encouraging Saudi extremists to go overseas and engage in terrorist wars, disturbs monarchical circles. They worry that Saudi trained, armed and knowledgeable terrorists — dubbed as “holy warriors” — may return from Syria, Russia, and Iraq and bomb the King’s palaces. Moreover, overseas regimes targeted by Bandar’s terror network may retaliate: Russia or Iran, Syrians, Egyptians, Pakistanis, Iraqis may just sponsor their own instruments of retaliation. Despite the hundreds of billions spent on arms purchases, the Saudi regime is very vulnerable on all levels. Apart from tribal legions, the billionaire elite have little popular support and even less legitimacy. It depends on overseas migrant labor, foreign “experts” and US military forces. The Saudi elite is also despised by the most religious of the Wahhabi clergy for allowing “infidels” on sacred terrain. While Bandar extends Saudi power abroad, the domestic foundations of rule are narrowing. While he defies US policymakers in Syria, Iran and Afghanistan, the regime depends on the US Air Force and Seventh Fleet to protect it from a growing array of adversarial regimes.
Bandar, with his inflated ego, may believe that he is a “Saladin” building a new Islamic empire, but in reality, by waving one finger his patron monarch can lead to his rapid dismissal. One too many provocative civilian bombings by his Islamic terrorist beneficiaries can lead to an international crises leading to Saudi Arabia becoming the target of world opprobrium.
In reality, Bandar bin Sultan is the protégé and successor of Bin Laden; he has deepened and systematized global terrorism. Bandar’s terror network has murdered far more innocent victims than Bin Laden. That, of course, is to be expected; after all he has billions of dollars from the Saudi treasury, training from the CIA and the handshake of Netanyahu!
An Iranian rights official says Saudi Arabia is a victim of US policies, urging Middle East countries not to support terrorists.
Speaking on the sidelines of a Monday conference in Tehran, Secretary-General of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights Mohammad-Javad Larijani said terrorist measures do not stem from the Middle East.
“Regional countries must know that by supporting terrorists they are only jeopardizing their own interests,” he added.
Regarding the recent bombings taking place in the region, Larijani said, “My position regarding these bombings is completely clear and I believe that the most part of their planning took place outside the region.”
He said Saudi Arabia is a victim of US policies and urged regional countries to stay away from American policies.
Larijani’s remarks come following a wave of terrorist bombings across the region, especially in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, widely attributed to al-Qaeda-linked groups that are believed to be funded and supplied by Saudi Arabia.
Regional reports suggest al-Qaeda-linked terrorist and leader of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades Majed al-Majed, who was arrested in connection with the twin bombings near the Iranian embassy in Beirut on November 19, 2013 and later pronounced dead in a Lebanese military hospital- was a high-ranking official of Saudi Arabia’s intelligence service.
Media reports said Riyadh had put pressure on Lebanon to extradite al-Majed before his death in detention.
The Saudi terrorist had extensive secret information as he had been active in various countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Pakistan and had direct cooperation or contact with mid- and high-ranking al-Qaeda leaders.
By Inayat Bunglawala | The News | February 12, 2009
He was a self-confessed al-Qaida insider who in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks was interviewed by all the major news networks eager to hear his fiery rhetoric.
Following the 7/7 bombings, he told us that he had now recognised the error of his ways and was committed to countering “Islamism”. He was going to spill the beans in a keenly anticipated book called Leaving al-Qaida relating how he had gone about recruiting British Muslims to go overseas and fight.
The American CBS network’s flagship documentary programme 60 Minutes broadcast an interview with him in March 2007 in which he talked about his “recruiting and fundraising techniques” in his extremist days.
Government ministers such as Tony McNulty sought an audience with him in order to listen to his learned thoughts on how to de-radicalise young Muslims.
Nick Cohen praised him for steering British Muslims:… away from violence while teaching wider society that radical Islam is not a rational reaction to Western provocation, but a totalitarian ideology with a life of its own.
In Manchester in April (2007), Hassan Butt, a one-time jihadist who is now opposed to extremism, was stabbed and beaten for speaking out against fanaticism. He now lives in hiding. There was only one problem with all this though – it was complete bullshit.
Hassan Butt’s admission in court that he was a “professional liar” who said what “the media wanted to hear” because all he was really interested in was making money will not have come as a surprise to many British Muslims who have long viewed him as a charlatan.
Butt “confessed he had also stabbed himself in the arm to make it appear as if he had been attacked by extremists for speaking out against violence.”
The tens of millions of pounds that the government has poured into its preventing violent extremism programme has inevitably attracted a number of self-professed “ex-Islamists” who are prepared to say exactly what the government and sections of the media want to hear ie that the rise of violent extremism in the UK has little to do with our government’s warmongering abroad and is mainly the fault of “Islamist ideology”.
Such an answer of course perfectly suits the government, which does not favour closer scrutiny of the impact of some of its actions abroad.
It also suits those like Cohen who were enthusiastic propagandists for those misbegotten wars.
With the election of Barack Obama and his warmly received call for there to be a “new partnership based on mutual respect and mutual interest” between the United States and the Muslim world, there at long last exists an opportunity to make amends for some of the disastrous mistakes of the past.
If we in the UK are to also avail ourselves of that opportunity it will require the government to do more than simply offer what are in effect bribes to those who are willing to turn a blind eye to its unjust policies.
A UK spy agency infiltrated international hotel booking systems for some three years, tracing high profile officials and wiretapping their suites, new leaks reveal. GCHQ’s top secret ‘Royal Concierge’ program tracked 350 hotels across the globe.
Germany’s Der Spiegel has published yet another episode of scandalous revelations from the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, currently enjoying temporary asylum in Moscow.
Constantly on the move, top officials and diplomats prefer to stay in high-end establishments and boutique hotels with premier service standards. And since the number of high-class hotels in the world is finite, British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) came up with the idea of turning them into a huge net to fish for secrets in high-tech style.
After the ‘Royal Concierge’ program underwent testing in 2010, it was readied and put into action.
Documents unearthed by Snowden reveal that over a three-year period GCHQ had an automatic system for singling out people of interest, who made reservations in about 350 upscale hotels worldwide.
Field operatives then allegedly wiretapped the phone and network cables inside the targeted suite, and were potentially able to check into the next door suite in order to eavesdrop the target at the scene.
‘Royal Concierge’ in operation
According to documents seen by Der Spiegel, when a top official or a diplomat makes a reservation using his working e-mail address (or his secretary does) with a governmental domain like .gov, GCHQ gets a notification and decides whether it needs to take ‘action’ or not.
Once a foreign diplomat is booked into a hotel, putting him under the microscope becomes a purely technical objective. Der Spiegel lists an impressive array of spying techniques and capabilities “that seem to exhaust the creative potential of modern spying”. No details, however, are provided.
On occasions, when a guest of special interest checks in, a crack intelligence unit can be deployed who have ‘specialist technologies’ for spying at their disposal. GCHQ may also put into action codename ‘Humint’ [Human Intelligence], for close scrutiny of the target, an operation that could also include field agents working in the vicinity.
Der Spiegel also highlights the speculation that ‘Royal Concierge’ could possibly manipulate hotel choices through the booking programs and also bug hired cars.
Der Spiegel has not provided information about whether ‘Royal Concierge’ has been spying on Britain’s major allies, or if the targets of the GCHQ hotel surveillance had any connections to Al-Qaeda.
Remarkably, the report comes right after British intelligence chiefs made assurances that their actions were conducted within the framework of the war on terror. At a November-7th hearing by parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee in London, GCHQ head, Sir Ian Lobban, acknowledged that Edward Snowden’s leaks would make GCHQ’s work “far harder” for years to come.
Rendition of Libyan Terror Suspect: What If Abu Anas al-Liby Had Nothing to Do With the Embassy Bombings?
A Libyan terror suspect kidnapped from Libya in a raid by US special forces on October 5 was transferred from the naval ship, where he was being detained and interrogated, into “law enforcement custody” over the weekend.
The Justice Department indicated in a press release that he was “brought directly to the Southern District of New York, where he has been under indictment for more than a decade.” He was expected to be brought before a judge on October 15.
Al-Liby is suspected of being involved in the bombings of US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.
Last week, a chief federal public defender, David E. Patton, according to the Los Angeles Times, had pressed a federal judge to order that he be “brought to court immediately,” as he was aboard a ship being interrogated by the High Value Detainee Interrogation Group, which is a special task force of personnel from the Pentagon, FBI, CIA and other agencies. He had not been read Miranda rights, which he and other terror suspects have a right to be read if they are being prosecuted under US law. But a federal judge would not issue such an order and would not appoint a defense lawyer to represent him either.
A more critical issue is that al-Liby, whose real name is Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, may not be the dangerous al Qaeda terrorist the United States government believes he happens to be.
American-British foreign correspondent Jamie Dettmer interviewed family members of al-Liby, who suggested just last month he had “talked with the Libyan attorney general and the head of intelligence to say he was keen to clear his name of the bombing accusations and was ready to face any Libyan judicial inquiry they deemed necessary. He was prepared for an American interrogation—in Libya. [Dettmer saw a copy of a letter from the attorney general's office dated September 15, 2013, that confirmed his father's discussions.]
Umm Abdul Rahman, al-Liby’s wife, explained to Dettmer that in the 1990s, at the same time as the bombings, they were living in Britain and “under tight surveillance, with their home being raided frequently and her husband’s computers seized.” Rahman was “sure that if British intelligence had any evidence, they would have acted and the British authorities would have agreed to an extradition request made by the Americans during their stint in the UK.” Al-Liby’s family essentially decided to flee Britain because the surveillance and harassment was no longer tolerable and were allowed to legally leave the country.
Although she admitted he had been affiliated with al Qaeda and was a member for a period, he left at some point in the mid-1990s to join the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), which was formed by Islamic dissidents to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi. She contended that allegations by the US government that he was now overseeing al Qaeda groups in North Africa were “untrue.” She showed Dettmer a copy of a document that showed he was trying to get back his job as a computer engineer for the Ministry of Oil. [Gaddafi convinced President George W. Bush's administration that LIFG members were jihadists and a number were victims of rendition, detention and torture. They were transferred to Libya where they were abused.]
Dettmer’s story suggests that the rendition of al-Liby deprived him of a key due process he should have had in Libya. Al-Liby was obviously ready to offer up any information on his past and evidence of crimes could have been passed on to the US government. Rather than allow this to take place, he was abducted.
If the US had requested that he be extradited to face charges for his alleged role in the embassy bombings, he could have challenged the allegations in a court in Libya. He could have argued that if he was tried in the US he would not receive a fair trial and, if convicted, he would likely be held in a supermax prison and subjected to conditions of solitary confinement that were cruel and inhuman. He could have also argued that he might be deprived other due process rights, like a right to a lawyer.
This is what makes rendition a violation of international human rights law. The abduction of a person is clearly intended to bypass a process that he should have been afforded because President Barack Obama’s administration was unwilling to wait for the Libyan government to extradite him.
Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zidan, who was kidnapped and released by militants angry the US raid had occurred, has called the snatch and grab of al-Liby a “kidnapping.” But no clear proof exists yet that Zidan did not privately grant consent to US forces to conduct a raid and remove him from Libya.
Even if Zidan granted consent to the US government, that does not necessarily make it any more lawful. It would mean Zidan had agreed to deprive due process rights to al-Liby and allow him to be transported to a navy ship vessel, where he could not guarantee that al-Liby’s human rights would be protected.
Al-Liby may be suspected of bombing US embassies, and, if there is any evidence to support this serious allegation, he should have been able to defend himself in a court of law before being handed over to US custody.
As Jeremy Scahill has eloquently stated, “Our values are not defined by how we treat the rich and the powerful and the popular. It’s defined by how we treat the least of our people, how we treat the poorest. And it’s also how we treat the most reprehensible.”
Unfortunately for al-Liby, a process may have been set in motion that virtually guarantees he will be imprisoned for a lengthy period of time. He may not be responsible for the bombings but his past history with al Qaeda—even though Britain found no evidence of crimes—may discourage a judge from letting him return to Libya.
That the due process he will be given in the United States is likely to take place under a cloud of fear is why renditions of terrorist suspects should be opposed.
The refusal came after some US defense lawyers from the Federal Defenders of New York demanded to be allowed to represent al-Libi, arguing there is no legal basis for holding him “offshore” on a navy vessel.
However, US District Judge Lewis Kaplan claimed it was premature because the Libyan man has not apparently been formally arrested.
“The government denies that any federal criminal arrest has taken place, and there is no evidence to the contrary,” wrote Kaplan.
Kaplan also said even if an arrest is made, the appropriate time to assign counsel would depend on the first court appearance.
Al-Libi was abducted over his alleged involvement in the 1998 twin bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and is believed to be held in military custody and interrogated on board a navy ship, the USS Antonio, in the Mediterranean.
According to a law enforcement source, authorities in New York have not indicated when or if he might be brought to the US.
Kaplan said that the Federal Defenders have expressed concerns about the legality of the man’s detention but added that the matter is outside his jurisdiction.
Officials say al-Libi has not been Mirandized, and is facing open-ended interrogation on the ship without access to a lawyer.
Even US Secretary of State John Kerry last week defended al-Libi’s abduction as “legal” and “appropriate.”
Dr. Randy Short, an American human rights activist, who talked Thursday to Press TV on the arrest of al-Libi, said “I am just intrigued that the same government that funded al-Qaeda to destroy Libya” and “the same government [that] funds and supports al-Qaeda which is fighting and killing people in Lebanon and in Syria now goes back retroactively and attack someone who may have even been in their service”.
In a highly speculative September 12 report entitled “Game-Changer: Signs of the al-Qaeda-Assad Alliance,” PJ Media’s Washington editor Bridget Johnson attempts to turn conventional wisdom about the current Syria debate on its head by asserting that “al-Qaeda is working not against Bashar al-Assad but in concert with the dictator.”
In support of this rather tendentious claim, Johnson cites a “student dissident” named Ahed Al Hendi whom she says fled Syria five years ago after imprisonment and torture by the Assad regime. According to Al Hendi, Damascus was secretly collaborating with Al-Qaeda during the Iraq War even as it sought to convince the U.S. that it was serious about fighting terrorism. That covert alliance persists to this day, asserts Johnson:
Assad appears OK with losing a building now and then by a car bomb — bombings that never hit too close to his home and that come with ample warning anyway. Al-Qaeda units, meanwhile, get left alone by Assad’s forces. “They never touch them,” Al Hendi said.
PJ Media’s spurious effort to persuade readers that Al-Qaeda is an ally rather than a foe of Assad makes a lot more sense, however, when you know that both the “conservative” American website and its seemingly objective Syrian source both have intimate ties to the country that has done most to induce Washington to use military force against Syria.
The effort to raise the $3.5 million in venture capital to start Pajamas Media [the original name for PJ Media] was led by Aubrey Chernick. A former trustee of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a think tank created by the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, Chernick provides funding for a broad spectrum of pro-Israel organizations from the supposedly liberal Anti-Defamation League to the extremist Islamophobia-promoting Jihad Watch.
CyberDissidents.org is a project launched in 2008 by the Jerusalem-based Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies “to research and focus attention on the online activities of democracy advocates and dissidents in the Middle East, in the hope of empowering them at home and raising awareness of their plight abroad.” Until its demise in 2009, the Adelson Institute was located at the Shalem Center, a controversial research institute associated with right wing Zionist causes.
While Israel and its media assets might like Americans to believe that Assad and al-Qaeda are allies, there is far more reason to suspect an al-Qaeda-Israeli alliance in Syria. As Israel’s outgoing ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren recently admitted to the Jerusalem Post:
“The initial message about the Syrian issue was that we always wanted [President] Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran,” he said.
This was the case, he said, even if the other “bad guys” were affiliated to al-Qaida.
Maidhc Ó Cathail is an investigative journalist and Middle East analyst. He is also the creator and editor of The Passionate Attachment blog, which focuses primarily on the U.S.-Israeli relationship. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter @O_Cathail.
- Syria and the ‘devious’ Israeli connection – Dr. Olmert doth protest too much, methinks (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Was Kerry’s ‘Munich moment’ on Syria created by a protégé of the Israel lobby? (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Israelis Flying Aid to Syrian Rebels Under the Cover of Humanitarianism (thepassionateattachment.com)