Al-Qaeda

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The Quilliam Foundation, Set Up By the Spooks

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 16/04/2021 - 11:05pm in

Hat tip to Zelo Street for posting about this story. And it’s the type of stuff the conspiracy/ parapolitical magazine Lobster was set up to investigate and publicize: the covert shenanigans and dodgy activities of the British, American and western security services. Earlier this week the Quilliam Foundation, an organisation set up to counter Islamist religious extremism, went under. Its demise, as Zelo Street noted, raised the questions of why it had been wound up, considering all the millions had that been spent on it all these years, why its founder Maajid Nawaz had started deleting all his tweets about it, and what was the role of the security services in all of this. Ian Cobain, a former hack with the Groan knew, and told all.

Quilliam had been set up by the Home Office’s Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism. He knew this, as the OSCT had told him. The government initially planned to fund it covertly. It would ostensibly be funded by benefactors from the Middle East, but this would be a cover for its real source of income, MI6. However, the government then decided that it should be openly funded by the government, but that this would not publicised. This is now seen as a mistake. It should have been funded by the security agencies, who do it all the time apparently without anyone finding out.

Solomon Hughes also noted that its links to the security services seemed pretty open when it was founded, as early staff included Special Forces Captain Ed Jagger, and a ‘journalist’, who goes by the pseudonym ‘James Brandon’. Both of these men now work private security/ intelligence companies. This was all exposed six years ago by Nafeez Ahmed in an article in the Middle East Eye, ‘The Circus: How British Intelligence Primed Both Sides of the Terror War”. Ahmed revealed that the Quilliam Foundation was set up by Ed Husain and Nawaz with funding from the British government. And this, according to Ahmed, was why it failed, as neither of its founders were actually jihadis.

Perhaps the biggest problem with Husain’s and Nawaz’s claim to expertise on terrorism was that they were never jihadists. Hizb ut-Tahrir is a non-violent movement for the establishment of a global ‘caliphate’ through social struggle, focusing on the need for political activism in the Muslim world. Whatever the demerits of this rigid political ideology, it had no relationship to the phenomenon of al-Qaeda terrorism”.

Hizb-ut-Tahrir spawned a terrorist-supporting offshoot, al-Muhajiroun, which has also, like HuT, been banned in Britain as terrorist organisation. I think it was al-Muhajiroun, which was openly campaigning for donations to go to al-Qaeda from British Muslims at the time of the 9/11 terror attack. If I recall correctly, a couple of these jokers made the mistake of doing so in the street, and some other, ordinary stout Muslims lads showed them how strongly they disapproved of terrorism and mass murder. I think it was because of his role as a leading supporter and campaigner for al-Muhajiroun that Anjem Chowdhry, who never met an Islamist terrorist he didn’t like, apparently, ended up in the slammer. I thought Chowdry was behind the outfit, but it seems he wasn’t. It was founded instead by Omar Bakri. According to the US army intelligence officer and prosecutor for the US Justice Department, John Loftus, after Bakr left Hizb-ut-Tahrir he was recruited by MI6 facilitate Islamist activities in the Balkans. Ahmed concluded his piece by wishing that they could round up all the activists in the Quilliam Foundation and HuT and their handlers, and then put them in a boat on a journey to nowhere, so that everyone else could get some peace.

Zelo Street: Quilliam And The Spooks (zelo-street.blogspot.com)

It’s been Lobster’s contention since its foundation in the 1980s that the British security services are incompetent, out of control and very frequently working against the well-being of this country’s ordinary people. MI6’s recruitment of Bakri to assist in Islamist radicalisation and activities in the Balkans adds further evidence to this view. Years ago I found a book in the Central Library here in Bristol by a Muslim, which suggested that the 7/7 bombings had also been the result of a plot by the British security services. This was part of a wider scheme to keep western troops in the former Yugoslavia, ostensibly to keep the peace, but in reality to maintain control of yet another oil pipeline. I don’t know whether MI6 is so lawless that it was behind the 7/7 bombings – I sincerely hope not – but the revelation that it recruited Bakri to promote Islamism in that part of Europe suggests that there’s something to the idea that it’s all about oil politics. It was to get control of an oil pipeline that we invaded Afghanistan, not to overthrow al-Qaeda or the Taliban. And the Iraq invasion was to grab their oil industry as well as loot the country of its other, valuable state enterprises for the benefit of western multinationals.

And somehow the Quilliam Foundation fits in with this mess of Islamist surveillance and manipulation.

Private Eye on Johnson’s Appointment of Neocon as Anti-Extremism Chief

A few weeks ago the Labour left staged an event on Zoom in which a series of Labour MPs and activists, including the head of the Stop the War Coalition, explained why socialists needed to be anti-war. They stated that after going quiet following the debacles of the Iraq invasion, Libya and elsewhere, the Neocons were being rehabilitated. There was therefore a real danger that the ideology behind those wars was returning, and Britain and America would embark on further imperialist, colonialist wars. And now, according to this fortnight’s Private Eye, for 16th – 29th April, 2021, Boris Johnson has appointed Robin Simcox, a Neocon, as head of the government’s Commission on Countering Extremism. Simcox is a member of the extreme right-wing Henry Jackson Society, firmly backing the wars in the Middle East. He also supported the rendition of terrorists to countries, where they would be tortured, as well as drone strikes and detention without trial. And when he was in another right-wing American think tank, the Heritage Foundation, he objected to White supremacist organisations also being included in the American government’s efforts to counter violent extremism.

The Eye’s article about his appointment, ‘Brave Neo World’, on page 14, runs

Robin Simcox, appointed as the new head of the government’s Commission on Countering Extremism (CCE), has neoconservative view that will themselves seem pretty extreme to many observers. He replaces Sara Khan, the first head of the CCE, which Theresa May set up in 2017 as “a statutory body to help fight hatred and extremism”.

Simcox was researcher at the neoconservative think tank the Henry Jackson Society (HJS), before leaving for the US to become “Margaret Thatcher fellow” at the conservative Heritage Foundation. He was also a regular contributor to Tory website ConservativeHome, writing there in 2011 that David Cameron was wrong to criticise neoconservatives “what has been happening in the Middle East is proving the neocons right” (ie that invasions could build democracies.

In a 2013 study for the HJS, Simcox argued: “Rendition, drones, detention without trial, preventative arrests and deportations are the realities of the ongoing struggle against today’s form of terrorism; they are not going to disappear, because they have proved extremely effective.” Rendition meant the US and UK handing terror suspects over to nations such as Libya or Egypt so they could be tortured for information. He complained that politicians “failed to adequately explain to the public” why these methods were needed and were “failing to explain that the complexities of dealing with modern-day terrorism meant that not all roads lead to a court of law”.

Simcox spent many years looking at Islamist terrorism, but at the Heritage Foundation he argued that making “white supremacy” the subject of a “countering violent extremism policy” was mostly driven by “political correctness” and could be “overreach”, regardless of the terrorist acts by white racists in the UK, US and elsewhere.

Simcox has been appointed interim lead commissioner of the CCE, possibly because bring him in as a temp means his recruitment wasn’t subject to the same competition and inspection as a permanent appointment.

Johnson has therefore appointed as head of the commission an extreme right-winger, who supports unprovoked attacks on countries like Iraq and Libya. The argument that these invasions were intended to liberate these nations from their dictators was a lie. It was purely for western geopolitical purposes, and particularly to remove obstacles to western political hegemony and dominance of the oil industry in the region. In the case of Iraq, what followed was the wholesale looting of the country. Its oil industry was acquired by American-Saudi oil interests, American and western multinationals stole its privatised state industries. The country’s economy was wrecked by the lowering of protectionist trade tariffs and unemployment shot up to 60 per cent. The country was riven with sectarian violence between Sunni and Shia, American mercenaries ran drugs and prostitution rings and shot ordinary Iraqis for kicks. The relatively secular, welfare states in Iraq and Libya, which gave their citizens free education and healthcare vanished. As did a relatively liberal social environment, in which women were to be regarded as equals and were free to pursue careers outside the home. And western intervention in the Middle East created an environment leading to the further, massive growth in Islamist extremism in al-Qaeda and then Daesh. And this has led to the return of slavery. This was Islamist sex-slavery under Daesh in the parts of Iraq under their jackboot, while Black Africans are being enslaved and sold by Islamists in slave markets that have reappeared in Libya.

Domestically, Simcox’s appointment is also ominous. He clearly doesn’t believe in human rights and the protection of the law. Just as he doesn’t believe in tackling White supremacist extremism, even though at one point there were more outrages committed by White racists than Islamists.

His appointment is part of continuing trend towards real Fascism, identified by Mike over at Vox Political, of which the Tories proposed curtailment of the freedom to demonstrate and protest in public is a major part. At the same time, it also appears to bear out the Labour left’s statement that the warmongers responsible for atrocities like Iraq and Libya are coming back. And I fear very much that they will start more wars.

The people warning against this and organising to defend real freedom of speech is the Labour left, whatever the Tories might say about ill-thought out legislation designed to outlaw ‘hate speech’. We need to support left politicos like Richard Burgon, Bell Ribeiro-Addy, Diana Abbott and Apsana Begum. The last three ladies, along with former head of Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti, held another Zoom event as part of the Arise festival of left Labour ideas, Our right to resist – the Tory attacks on our civil liberties & human rights, in March. We need to support the Stop the War Coalition, because I’m afraid the Tories and the Blairite right in the Labour party will start more wars.

Blair lied, people died. And Johnson lies as easily and as often as other people breathe. If not stopped, the Neocons will start more wars and more innocents will be massacred for the profit of big business.

Colonial Ties, Not Oppression, Is the Best Reason for Granting Asylum

This has been irritating me for some time now, and so I’m going to try to get it off my chest. A month or so ago I went to a Virtual meeting, organised by the left wing of the Labour party, on why socialists should be anti-war. It was part of the Arise Festival of ideas, and featured a variety of speakers all concerned with the real possibility that the war-mongering of Tony Blair, George W. Bush and so on would return. They made the point that all the interventions in Iraq, Libya and elsewhere were motivated purely by western geopolitical interests. Western nations and their multinationals had initiated them solely to plunder and dominate these nations and their industries and resources. One of the speakers was the Muslim head of the Stop War Coalition, who stated that many people from ethnic minorities had supported the Labour party because historically Labour had backed independence for their countries of origin. And obviously the Labour party was risking their support by betraying them through supporting these wars. After the failure of these wars – the continued occupation of Afghanistan, the chaos in Iraq and Libya – the calls for further military interventions had died down. But now these wars were being rehabilitated, and there is a real danger that the military-industrial complex will start demanding further invasions and occupations.

I absolutely agree totally with these points. Greg Palast’s book Armed Madhouse shows exactly how the Iraq invasion had absolutely nothing to do with liberating the Iraqi people from Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship, but was all about stealing their oil reserves and state industries. The invasion of Afghanistan has precious little to do with combatting al-Qaeda, and far more to do with the construction of an oil pipeline that would benefit western oil interests at the expense of Russia and its allies. And the overthrow of Colonel Gaddafy in Libya was also about the removal of an obstacle to western neo-colonial domination. These wars have brought nothing but chaos and death to these countries. The welfare states of Iraq and Libya have been decimated, and the freedoms women enjoyed to pursue careers outside the home have been severely curtailed our removed. Both of these countries were relatively secular, but have since been plunged into sectarian violence.

Despite this, one of the speakers annoyed me. This was the head of the Black Liberation Association or whatever Black Lives Matter now calls itself. She was a young a woman with quite a thick African accent. It wasn’t quite what she said, but the tone in which she said it. This was one of angry, indignant and entitled demand, rather than calm, persuasive argument. She explained that the Black Liberation Association campaigned for the rights and self-government of all nations in the global south and their freedom from neo-colonial economic restrictions and domination. She attacked the ‘fortress Europe’ ideology intended to keep non-White immigrants out, especially the withdrawal of the Italian naval patrols in the Med. This had resulted in more migrant deaths as unseaworthy boats sank without their crews and passengers being rescued. This is all stuff the left has campaigned against for a long time. I remember learning in ‘A’ Level geography in school that Britain and Europe had erected tariff barriers to prevent their former colonies competing with them in the production of manufactured goods. This meant that the economies of the African nations, for example, were restricted to agriculture and mining. As for the withdrawal of the Italian navy and coastguard, and the consequent deaths of migrants, this was very much an issue a few years ago and I do remember signing internet petitions against it. But there was one argument she made regarding the issue of the granting of asylum that was weak and seriously annoyed me. She stated that we had to accept migrants because we had oppressed them under colonialism.

This actually doesn’t work as an argument for two reasons. I’m not disputing that we did oppress at least some of the indigenous peoples of our former colonies. The colour bar in White Rhodesia was notorious, and Black Africans in other countries, like Malawi, were treated as second class citizens quite apart from the horrific, genocidal atrocities committed against the Mao-Mao rebellion. The first problem with the argument from colonial oppression is that it raises the question why any self-respecting person from the Commonwealth would ever want to come to Britain, if we’re so racist and oppressive.

The other problem is that the British Empire is now, for the most part, a thing of the past. Former colonies across the globe formed nationalist movements and achieved their independence. They were supposed to benefit from the end of British rule. In some cases they have. But to return to Africa, since independence the continent has been dominated by a series of brutal dictators, who massacred and looted their people. There is an appalling level of corruption to the point where the FT said that many of them were kleptocracies, which were only called countries by the courtesy of the west. Western colonialism is responsible for many of the Developing World’s problems, but not all. I’ve heard from a couple of Brits, who have lived and worked in former colonies, that they have been asked by local people why we left. These were older people, but it shows that the end of British rule was not as beneficial as the nationalists claimed, and that some indigenous people continued to believe that things had been better under the Empire. But the culpability of the leaders of many developing nations for their brutal dictatorships and the poverty they helped to inflict on their people wasn’t mentioned by this angry young woman. And that’s a problem, because the counterargument to her is that the British Empire has vanished, and with the handover to indigenous rule British responsibility for these nations’ affairs ended. It is up to these countries to solve their problems, and we should be under no obligation to take in people fleeing oppression in these countries.

For me, a far better approach would be to stress old colonial ties and obligations with these nations. Part of the ideology of colonialism was that Britain held these countries in trust, and that these nations would only remain under British rule until they developed the ability to manage themselves. It was hypocritical, and I think there’s a quote from Lord Lugard, one of the architects of British rule in Africa, about how the British had only a few decades to despoil the country. Nevertheless, it was there, as was Kipling’s metaphor of the ‘White Man’s Burden’, in which Britain was to teach these nations proper self-government and civilisation. It’s patronising, because it assumes the superiority of western civilisation, but nevertheless it is one of paternal responsibility and guidance. And some British politicians and imperialists took this ideology very seriously. I was told by a friend of mine that before Enoch Powell became an avowed and implacable opponent of non-White immigration with his infamous ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech, he sincerely believed that Britain did have an obligation to its subject peoples. He worked for a number of organisations set up to help non-White immigrants to Britain from her colonies.

It therefore seems to me that supporters of non-White migrants and asylum seekers would be far better arguing that they should be granted asylum because of old colonial ties and kinship in the Commonwealth and continuing paternal obligations, rather than allowed in as some kind of reparation for the oppression of the colonial past.

The first argument offers reconciliation and common links. The other only angry division between oppressed and oppressor.

CIA Pressured Yemen to Release al-Qaeda Leader From Prison

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 24/03/2021 - 2:03am in

WASHINGTON (Substack // Alex Rubinstein) — Explosive new recordings released by the Houthi government of Yemen pile more earth atop mountains of existing evidence of the U.S. government’s support for the very same terrorists it has claimed to be waging war against for nearly two decades.

The Moral Guidance Department, a branch of the Yemeni Armed Forces of the revolutionary Houthi government of Yemen published last week a number of secret documents and phone calls from the former regime of longtime president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Two phone calls between former president Saleh and the former director of the CIA George Tenet were released. A Yemeni government official has confirmed to me that the calls took place in 2001.

In the calls, the former CIA director can be heard pressuring Saleh to release a detained individual involved in the bombing attacks on USS Cole in October of 2000, which left 17 dead and 37 injured.

In the call, Tenet is asked by Saleh’s translator about the name of the individual in question.

“I don’t want to give his name over the phone,” Tenet tells him.

Saleh notes that the FBI team tasked with the USS Cole investigation had already arrived in Sana’a, and asks Tenet if the FBI personnel could meet with him to discuss the matter. Tenet refuses, saying “this is my person, this is my problem, this is my issue… The man must be released.”

“I’ve talked to everybody in my government; I told them that I was going to make this call,” Tenet says.

As Saleh’s translator is delivering Tenet’s message to the president, the CIA director cuts him off and says that the man in question “must be released within 48 hours.”

“After 50 days, this must stop,” he says.

Major General Abdul Qadir al-Shami, the deputy-head of the Yemeni Security and Intelligence Service, confirmed to Houthi media that the person in question was dual American-Yemeni citizen imam Anwar Al-Awlaki, a top leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), who was killed in Yemen in 2011 by a CIA drone strike.

Houthi media says al-Shami “pointed out that the Americans used to train their individuals in Yemen and send them abroad to carry out operations for them, and then affix the accusation to Yemen as an excuse to come under the cover of fighting those individuals.”

Another document from the State Department dated 1998 highly suggests US interests in establishing a military presence in Yemen around the sea of Aden.

CIA Yemen

Saudi-born Ali al-Ahmed of the Gulf Institute, a leading expert on Saudi politics and terrorism, told me that he is not at all surprised by the phone call between George Tenet and Yemen’s former president.

“I’ve been saying this for a long time,” al-Ahmed told me. “People that think that these organizations; al-Qaeda, ISIS, are organic, non-state-backed organizations are either lying or are completely stupid. The fact that ISIS had all these American weapons, they didn’t come from thin air. This was part of a plan. The same thing with al-Qaeda; the fact that this organization which has been attacked all over the world continues to survive 20 years on, and spread, it’s not by accident. It’s done by security and intelligence organizations in Washington, D.C. and in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and by Ali Abdullah Saleh.”

“This recording,” he said, “fits the bill; that Anwar al-Awlaki and others, they were sometimes knowingly or unknown being used as a tool.”

 

The Tenets of Tenet

George Tenet is the second-longest serving director of the CIA. Originally brought in to the post by Bill Clinton, he oversaw the Bush administration’s response to the September 11 attacks.

According to the 9/11 Commission Report, after Tenet asked for the Saudi’s help with Osama bin Laden prior to the attacks, the Saudi’s response was so encouraging that Clinton made Tenet “his informal personal representative to work with the Saudis on terrorism,” which included at least two trips to Riyadh.

Following the 9/11 attacks, Tenet authorized the CIA’s use of waterboarding and other torture methods.

Tenet told 9/11 investigators that he had not met with President Bush in the month prior to the attacks, but was later corrected by a CIA spokesman that same evening, who said he did.

A CIA Inspector General inquiry accused Tenet of failing to do enough to prevent the attacks, saying “by virtue of his position, [Tenet] bears ultimate responsibility for the fact that no such strategic plan was ever created” despite the CIA knowing of the dangers presented by al-Qaeda.

George Tenet Feature photo

President Bush receives an update on the status Iraq war, March 20, 2003, George Tenet is pictured second from left. Eric Draper | AP

“Many of the difficulties that were listed in that report today – the inability to share information, the lack of people to support and run operations against Osama bin Laden – those were problems that were brought to Mr. Tenet’s attention as early as 1996 and he never did anything about them,” Michael Scheuer, the former head of the CIA’s Osama bin Laden unit, told the BBC.

Tenet was “too busy schmoozing with foreign leaders… that he forgot that his job was to manage the intelligence community,” former CIA analyst Ray McGovern has said.

According to journalist Bob Woodward, who interviewed George Bush himself for his book “Plan of Attack,” Tenet and his deputy presented the president with satellite footage purported to show weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Unimpressed, Bush asked whether “this is the best we’ve got?” Tenet then leapt from the couch, raised his arms, and told the president it was a “slam dunk!”

When Bush challenged him again, Tenet repeated “The case, it’s a slam dunk.”

According to Woodward: “I asked the president about this and he said it was very important to have the CIA director – ‘Slam-dunk is as I interpreted is a sure thing, guaranteed. No possibility it won’t go through the hoop.’ Others present; Cheney, very impressed.”

 

Hijinks with the Hijackers

Anwar al-Awlaki has been perhaps the most enigmatic figure in the so-called War on Terror; even after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, al-Awlaki enjoyed free travel between Western countries like the United States and the United Kingdom and Yemen. He was killed in a CIA drone strike in Yemen in 2011, a likely-illegal targeted killing of an American citizen with little to no precedent.

Al-Awlaki’s name has appeared in connection with a plethora of terrorist attacks against Western targets and, in addition to the now apparent ties to US intelligence, had held relationships with suspected Saudi intelligence officers.

Anwar al-Awlaki would, according to a fellow student at Colorado State, spend his off time in the summer training with the US-funded and equipped Mujahideen in Afghanistan, the precursor of al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and ISIS. The Afghan militants were funnelled $20 billion by the CIA in Operation Cyclone, with Osama Bin Laden being a main benefactor, in order to fight off the Soviets defending the then-socialist government.

By 1996, al-Awlaki was recruiting Muslims in the United States to take up arms in foreign lands as he encouraged a young Saudi student to “to travel to Chechnya to join the jihad against the Russians.” He did, and was killed in fighting in 1999.

Though the record holds many discrepancies, al-Awlaki’s place of birth is said to be in New Mexico. Conservative journalist Paul Sperry writes in his book, “federal law enforcement records I have obtained indicate that he was born in Aden, Yemen, on April 21, 1971, and first came to the U.S. as a Yemeni citizen on a J-1 research-scholar visa on June 5, 1990.” Meanwhile, “a search of state vital records in New Mexico turns up no birth certificate.”

Al-Awlaki’s now-revealed status as a CIA asset may help explain this discrepancy and how — if it’s true that al-Awlaki was not born in the U.S. — he wound up with citizenship.

Anwar al-Awlaki

Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen circa 2008. Muhammad ud-Deen | AP

Nasser al-Awlaki, Anwar’s father, was a Fulbright Scholar who studied in New Mexico and later worked for the government of Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Anwar Al-Awlaki moved from Denver to San Diego and became the Imam at the Masjid Ar-Ribat al-Islami mosque. There, he held court with Nawaf al-Hazmi, Khalid al-Mihdhar, and Hani Hanjour, all three of whom would go on to hijack the planes that crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11.

According to the 9/11 Commission report, Hanjour’s older brother claimed Hani had gone to Afghanistan “in the late 1980’s, as a teenager, to participate in the jihad and, because the Soviets had already withdrawn, worked for a relief agency there.”

Even Ali al-Ahmed, a leading critic of Saudi Arabia, says the propaganda campaign promoting the Mujahideen in Afghanistan deluded him when he was very young. “It was part of a plan,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hazmi and Mihdhar had joined up with the Bosnian Mujahideen following the breakup of socialist Yugoslavia, a conflict which saw the Clinton administration and the Pentagon oversee clandestine foreign arms shipments Islamists fighting in the dirty war. Hazmi and Mihdhar were even granted Bosnian citizenship to fight there. Al-Qaeda operative and “principle architect of the 9/11 attacks” according to the 9/11 Comission Report, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, had “also spent time fighting alongside the mujahideen in Bosnia and supporting that effort with financial donations.”

As I have previously reported, the Brooklyn-based Al-Kifah Afghan Refugee Center, “a front for Maktab al-Khidamat, an organization co-founded by Osama bin Laden” was used by the CIA in Operation Cyclone to send young American Muslims to fight in Afghanistan, and continued to be used by the Clinton administration to recruit young fighters to the war in Bosnia.

“The Bosnian War drew extremists of all types from all over the world. The El Mujahid, the unit of foreign mujahideen fighters in Bosnia, videotaped themselves committing war crimes against Serbs including beheadings and torture,” Lily Lynch, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Balkanist Magazine, told me. “There are also reports that the mujahideen terrorized the local Bosniak population by making aid contingent upon radical conversion.”

“Unfortunately, much of the discussion of the crimes committed by El Mujahid in Bosnia has been led by Islamophobes with a wider political agenda, usually anti-immigration,” she continued. “This has prevented an honest and complete coming to terms with the crimes of the past, including those very real and documented crimes committed by the mujahideen.”

Al-Awlaki was under investigation by the FBI in 1999 and 2000 after they learned he “may have been contacted by a possible procurement agent for Osama Bin Laden,” according to the 9/11 Comission Report. Additionally, al-Awlaki had “been visited by Ziyad Khaleel, an al-Qaeda operative who purchased a battery for Osama bin Laden’s satellite phone, as well as by an associate of Omar Abdel Rahman, the so-called blind Shaykh.”

Around this period of time, al-Awlaki was the vice-president of the Charitable Society for Social Welfare, a money-funneling front for al-Qaeda.

One contact of al-Awlaki’s in San Diego was Omar al-Bayoumi, who introduced al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi to him. Al-Bayoumi was presented in the 9/11 Commission Report as a “good Samaritan,” according to mainstream media reports, who wanted to help fellow Saudis al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi, who had previously been surveilled by three governments at the request of the CIA before showing up in San Diego.

However, the “28 pages” of the congressional “Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11” that had long been withheld from the U.S. public until they were declassified 13 years later following lobbying by victims of the terrorist attacks, strongly indicate that al-Bayoumi was a Saudi intelligence officer. Additionally, former US intelligence official Richard Clarke has speculated that he was also a CIA asset. The 28 pages note that the “FBI discovered that al-Bayoumi has ties to terrorist elements as well.”

Al-Bayoumi, who was on the payroll of the Saudi monarchy via a third party company, set up al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi with an apartment. That very same day, four phone calls took place between al-Bayoumi and al-Awlaki.

Another “close associate” of al-Bayoumi and yet another suspected Saudi intelligence officer — and friend of al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi — Osama Basnan, had been investigated by the FBI in 1993 for his support for Osama Bin Laden, contacts with the Bin Laden family, and holding a party in 1992 for the Blind Shaykh, another Afghan Mujahideen figure who worked with the CIA and Osama Bin Laden. The Blind Shaykh died in prison in 2017 for his role in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

Money sent to Basnan from members of the Saudi Royal Family had made its way into al-Bayoumi’s pockets. The two had called each other “roughly 700 times” over the period of one year. Basnan would later brag that he did more to help the 9/11 hijackers than al-Bayoumi to an FBI asset.

News reports from 2003 note how “FBI officials continue to downplay any possible culpability on the part of Omar al-Bayoumi, Anwar Al-Awlaki or Osama Basnan.” Al-Bayoumi and Basnan’s extremism wasn’t acknowledged by US authorities until the long-withheld 28 pages were released in 2016.

During al-Awlaki’s time in San Diego, when he wasn’t getting busted for trying to pick up prostitutes or starting failed business ventures, he held frequent, closed-door meetings with al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar until he went on what he told reporters was a “sabbatical” through “several countries” in 2000, the year that the USS Cole was bombed.

Some time the following year, al-Awlaki resettled just outside Falls Church, Virginia, and became the imam at a local mosque. He was followed by the three hijackers: Hanjour, al-Hazmi, and al-Mihdhar, and an associate of his set them up with an apartment in Alexandria. Additionally, one accused key planner of the 9/11 attacks, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, the so-called “20th hijacker” currently held in Guantanamo Bay, had al-Awlaki’s phone number in his personal contact list when his apartment was raided in the days following the attacks.

Freedom of Information Act requests have furnished the public with under-reported documents showing when the FBI investigated al-Awlaki’s Visa transactions, an entry for “Atta, Mohammed — American West Airlines, 08/13/2001, Washington, DC to Las Vegas to Miami” turned up. Mohammed Atta is widely described as the “ringleader” of the September 11 attacks.

Atta flight log

The flight referenced was one of Atta’s so-called “surveillance flights.” Logs for flights of two more hijackers — one of the al-Shehri brothers and Satam al-Squami, also appear in the disclosed Visa investigation documents. The FBI has denied having evidence of al-Awlaki purchasing plane tickets for the hijackers.

By this time, al-Awlaki was becoming a somewhat prominent figure, with up to 3,000 people regularly showing up for his Friday services, and with CD box set lectures becoming popular. He went back briefly to San Diego in August 2001 and reportedly told a neighbor “I don’t think you’ll be seeing me… Later on you’ll find out why.”

One frequent attendee at al-Awlaki’s lectures was Gordon Snow, then-FBI Director of Counterintelligence for the Middle East. Snow had recently been “assigned to assessment, protection, and investigative support missions after the bombing of the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen.” Al-Awlaki was also around this time serving as the Muslim chaplain at D.C.’s George Washington University.

Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, “al-Awlaki was one of Washington DC’s go-to Muslim sources, considered a moderate Islamic voice with positive views of the United States and the West who did not shy away from publicly condemning Islamist terrorism and the 9/11 attacks” according to a research paper published by the Homeland Security Digital Library.  In highly-public remarks, he was condemning the attacks, but just days after he was giving comments to Islamic websites blaming Israel and claiming the FBI had placed the blame on any passenger on those flights with Muslim-sounding names.

Though it was then not known that al-Awlaki was the “spiritual leader” of some of the hijackers, the New York Times, National Public Radio, and the Washington Post among others, went to him as their default Muslim voice.

“I think that in general, Islam is presented in a negative way. I mean there’s always this association of Islam and terrorism when that is not true at all, I mean, Islam is a religion of peace” he told the Washington Post as they recorded him from the passenger seat of his car in November 2001. In a subsequent video, al-Awlaki downplays the crimes of the Taliban, saying “the US is kind of demonizing the Taliban, and it’s true, the Taliban have made a lot of mistakes in the past, but the Northern Alliance isn’t really any better.”

Al-Awlaki

A screenshot from a Washington Post interview Al-Awlaki

Around this time, al-Awlaki would become the first imam in history to conduct a prayer service in the U.S. Capitol. Between September 15, 2001 and September 19th, 2001, the FBI interviewed al-Awlaki four times according to FBI documents.

“The FBI told the 9/11 Commission and Congress that it did not have reason to detain Awlaki,” according to a later article by the Washington Post.

Within months of the attacks and following a vetting process, al-Awlaki was invited to a luncheon with military brass at the Pentagon as a “moderate Muslim” to hold dialogue with as part of move to reach out to Muslim community members.

Despite his support in high places, al-Awlaki left the United States in 2002 with the Falls Church mosque citing a “climate of fear and intimidation.”

He would spend the next years in the United Kingdom before returning to Yemen. But he made a stop back in the U.S. in 2002, flying in on a Saudi Arabia Airlines flight with a Saudi agent accompanying him at the connecting airport on his way to JFK, according to law enforcement documents obtained by Paul Sperry.

With an arrest warrant out on him for passport fraud, federal agents detained al-Awlaki upon his return. But a federal judge had rescinded the arrest warrant that very same day, allowing al-Awlaki to walk free.

He’d go back to northern Virginia and meet with Ali al-Timimi, a radical cleric who was later arrested for recruiting 11 Muslims to join the Taliban, to talk to him about getting young Muslims to take up jihad.

Even al-Timimi thought something was suspect, reportedly wondering “if Mr. Awlaki might be trying to entrap him at the FBI’s instigation,” according to his friends. Al-Awlaki left again on a Saudi flight without incident, however, Sperry claims, citing law enforcement documents, that he had another warrant out for his arrest based on an investigation against terrorism financing by the U.S. Treasury Department. That claim has been corroborated by government documents which reveal that FBI agent Wade Ammerman ordered that the warrant be bypassed.

By the time 9/11 Commission Investigators tried to interview al-Awlaki in 2003, they were unable to locate him, according to the report.

And yet, documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act reveal that al-Awlaki was exchanging emails and voice messages with an FBI agent that year. One document has an FBI agent writing to another “Holy crap, [redacted] isn’t this your guy? The [imam] with the prostitutes.”

Another document has an FBI agent complaining of the 9/11 Commission’s “numerous and unrelenting” attempts to access al-Awlaki. Another memo dated within days of al-Awlaki’s return to the U.S. to meet with al-Timimi has al-Awlaki’s name in the subject line in addition to “Synopsis: Asset reporting.”

 

The Candide of Jihad

When al-Awlaki started preaching in London, his rhetoric took a decidedly more extremist turn with frequent denunciations of non-Muslims and calls for martyrdom. He would relocate to Yemen where he would lecture at a university in Sana’a run by Sheik Abd-al-Majid al-Zindini, who was later designated a terrorist by the U.S. and fought with Osama bin Laden, with U.S. support during Operation Cyclone in Afghanistan.

In 2006, al-Awlaki was arrested again in Yemen for participating in a al-Qaeda plot to kidnap a U.S. military attaché and a Shia teenager. FBI agents would interview him in prison about the 9/11 attacks. After a while, some U.S. officials were “disturbed at the imprisonment without charge of a United States citizen” and “signaled that they no longer insisted on Mr Awlaki’s incarceration, and he was released,” according to the New York Times.

Following his release in Yemen, al-Awlaki started his own website and his far-reaching online rhetoric became even more extremist and supportive of attacks against the United States. He also started being featured in videos published by al-Qaeda itself and has been dubbed the “bin Laden of the internet.”


“The bin Laden of the internet”

His name would begin to increasingly surface in connection to high-profile terrorist attacks on Western targets: Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, the perpetrator of a drive-by shooting on a US military recruiting office in Arkansas, claimed to be dispatched by AQAP and carried al-Awlaki’s literature; Nidal Hasan, who killed 13 and injured 30 at Fort Hood, had attended al-Awlaki’s lectures at the Falls Church mosque and exchanged up to 20 emails with him leading up to his attack (al-Awlaki later described Hasan as a “hero”); Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the failed “underwear bomber,” is believed to have met with him weeks prior in Yemen; a New Jersey man by the name of Sharif Mobley who killed a Yemeni hospital guard after he was captured in a raid against al-Qaeda had made contact with al-Awlaki and went to Yemen to seek him out; and the 2010 attempted Times Square bomber had contact with him.

Anwar al-Awlaki

Anwar al-Awlaki pictured with the so-called “underwear bomber”

A full list of all the people arrested for trying to support al-Qaeda who had contact with al-Awlaki, or those who attempted to carry out terrorist attacks who were inspired by al-Awlaki, would be too long for this article. “Al-Awlaki’s sermons and recordings have been found on the computers of at least a dozen of [sic] terror suspects in the U.S. and Britain,” CNN reported in 2010. Al-Awlaki is considered to have helped inspire the Boston Marathon bombing, the 2015 attack in San Bernardino, California, and the shooting at the Orlando Pulse Nightclub.

In 2010, al-Awlaki was placed on the U.S. kill list, he then made his way onto the Treasury Department’s list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists, and then the United Nation Security Council’s list of individuals associated with al-Qaeda.

The following year, the CIA finally liquidated its own former asset with a drone strike.

“The death of Awlaki is a major blow to Al-Qaeda’s most active operational affiliate. He took the lead in planning and directing efforts to murder innocent Americans,” President Obama said at the time.

Two weeks after the killing of al-Awlaki, another drone strike ordered by Obama killed Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, Anwar’s American-born 16-year-old son. Six years later, President Trump ordered a raid that killed Nawar al-Awlaki, the eight-year-old daughter of Anwar.

Nawar Anwar Al-Awlaqi

Eight-year-old Nawar Anwar Al-Awlaki bled to death over two hours

 

Best Frenemies Forever

Yemen has suffered six years of devastating war since revolutionary Houthi forces took over the capital in September of 2014 from then-President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, the former vice president of longtime ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is widely considered to be a puppet of Saudi Arabia. The war was exacerbated by the introduction of foreign forces and foreign air power to the conflict, most notably by the Saudi-led coalition’s entry on March 25th, 2015.

Six years on, the war has produced what experts have been calling the worst humanitarian catastrophe in the world, with the United Nations estimating that 80 percent of the Yemeni population in severe need of humanitarian assistance including 12 million children.

While the U.S. has repeatedly pounded AQAP in Yemen with bombs, they are not entirely enemies. The Saudi coalition, which the U.S. is a part of, is at war with the revolutionary Houthi government, and therefore shares a purpose in the country with al-Qaeda: expelling the Houthis from power.

“The coalition cut secret deals with al-Qaeda fighters, paying some to leave key cities and towns and letting others retreat with weapons, equipment and wads of looted cash,” the Associated Press reported in 2018. “Hundreds more were recruited to join the coalition itself.”

“Key participants in the pacts said the U.S. was aware of the arrangements and held off on any drone strikes,” according to AP. In fact, the coalition actively recruits them because they are considered formidable on the battlefield, the outlet says before continuing to detail al-Qaeda figures playing key roles in major militias backed by the United Arab Emirates, another coalition partner.

And since the U.S. has sent billions of dollars in weapons to the coalition to fight the Houthis, it should come as little shock that al-Qaeda militias are parading around Yemeni city streets in U.S.-made MRAP armored vehicles.


Screenshot of CNN-obtained footage of the Abu Abbas brigade using U.S. MRAPS. The AQAP-linked militia was incorporated into the coalition despite its leader being a U.S.-designated terrorist

Saudi expert Ali Al-Ahmed told me that the U.S. can justify its presence in Yemen by supporting al-Qaeda and then saying that AQAP is a great threat to America.

He said the “idea that Muslims are our enemies, we need to bring them down, take their wealth and keep them fighting each other” was started by Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski, the architect of Operation Cyclone, but was mainly supported in the beginning by Qatar.

He added: “they even had to overthrow the government of Pakistan to get this policy through. They made Pakistan into this arm to carry out this thing with Brzezinski.”

“Al-Qaeda and ISIS would not survive without state support, including the U.S., and they do it because it serves their interests. Not the interests of the U.S., but of those in power and the companies that make money off this,” he said.

Al-Ahmed describes al-Qaeda as a useful tool for U.S. intelligence and other actors to achieve their geopolitical goals. He tells me a story of a Jordanian carpenter who was pressured and bribed to join al-Qaeda in their effort in Syria against the government of Bashar Assad, with American, British, and Jordanian intelligence officers offering him whatever he wanted to go.

He didn’t want to go, and so they threatened him. Eventually, al-Ahmed describes, he went, came back and was quickly “taken out” upon his return.

“Al-Qaeda is like a whore, and everybody is sleeping with that whore,” al-Ahmed said.

Rune Agerhus, co-founder of the Yemen Solidarity Council, contributed to this report.

Feature photo | Alex Rubinstein

Alex Rubinstein is an independent reporter on Substack. You can subscribe to get free articles from him delivered to your inbox here, and if you want to support his journalism, which is never put behind a paywall, you can give a one-time donation to him through PayPal here or sustain his reporting through Patreon here.

The post CIA Pressured Yemen to Release al-Qaeda Leader From Prison appeared first on MintPress News.

Boris Says There’s No Money to Pay Nurses, But Has Millions to Spend on Atomic Weapons

Mike’s put up an excellent and disturbing article today, which shows very clearly where Boris Johnson’s priority’s really are. He’s planning to reverse the proposed reduction of Britain’s nuclear arsenal to 180 warheads and increase it instead to 260. As the peeps on Twitter have pointed out, this is a 45 per cent increase. It’s supposed to be in preparation for a possible terrorist attack using chemical or nuclear weapons by 2030. ‘Russ’, one of the critics of this insane proposal, has asked what Boris intends to do in the event of an attack like 9/11, when the terrorists came from four different countries. Would he launch those missiles at four different capitals? He states ‘Not a chance. Idiotic, dangerous, flashy bullshit.’

The question about 9/11 is a very good one. The vast majority of the plotters came from Saudi Arabia, and there is very, very strong evidence that responsibility for the attack goes all the way to the very top, to country’s present king or his head of intelligence. But George Dubya and Blair didn’t order reprisals against Saudi Arabia. Instead, we invaded Afghanistan. The country was indeed hosting Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, the organisation responsible for it. But I’ve also heard that the Afghans denied all knowledge of the plot and offered to surrender bin Laden to the Americans, but were ignored. The American military were planning the possibility of invading Afghanistan several years before in order to control a planned oil pipeline passing through it.

Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was also accused of complicity with 9/11, and Blair was scaremongering about Hussein having weapons of mass destruction that could be launched within three quarters of an hour. This was also a lie. The real reason for the invasion was, once again, oil. The American and Saudi oil companies wanted Iraq’s reserves and its oil industry, while American multinationals also wanted to get their grubby mitts on the country’s state industries. The actual cost to the Iraqi people has been horrendous. The country’s tariff barriers were lowered as part of a plan to create the low tax, free market state the Neo-Cons dreamed about, with a result that every nation dumped their excess goods there, undermining its domestic businesses. The result was soaring bankruptcy and unemployment. The country’s welfare state was destroyed, as was the ability of women to pursue a career in safety outside the home. The country was riven by sectarian violence, and the mercenaries used as part of the invasion force ran amok, running drugs and prostitution rings. They also shot ordinary Iraqis for sport. The Allied forces also used depleted uranium and other highly toxic materials in their armaments, with the result that the country also has a horrendously high rate of birth defects.

And now Boris wants more nukes. Does he intend to use them on further victims of western imperialism, countries deliberately and wrongfully blamed for terrorist attacks just to further western geopolitical and commercial goals? Mike also suggests that it seems to him that Boris is planning to start some kind of war with a country on or near the Indian and Pacific Oceans, and would like to set off a few nukes to show how tough he is.

This is all too possible. The American radical magazine, Counterpunch, published an article a few years ago arguing that the American military was set on a policy of ‘full spectrum dominance’. This meant that it was to remain the world’s only superpower with the ability to destroy or conquer any other country that could threaten it. And it looked very, very much that Hillary Clinton, who claimed to be terribly offended by the treatment of Meghan Markle, was preparing for a war with China. Lobster has also published a very detailed article arguing that, despite the rhetoric and posturing about the Chinese threatening western security interests in the South China Sea, the Chinese actually aren’t any danger at all. But they do threaten the global American commercial power both in practice and at an ideological level. The Americans believe in deregulation and free trade, while in China capitalism is regulated and state-directed. The global struggle between America and China is partly about which model of capitalism should be dominant.

And then there’s the issue of whether you could ever use a nuclear bomb in the event of a terrorist attack. From the 1970s to historic Good Friday peace agreement in the ’90s, Northern Ireland and Britain suffered terrorist violence and bombings. In Ulster this was by Irish Nationalist and Loyalist paramilitaries, while in Britain the bombings were carried out by the IRA. Following 9/11, one of the critics of the invasion of Afghanistan or Iraq asked whether Britain would have used the same tactics of mass bombing and air strikes on Northern Ireland in response to the IRA’s terrorism. Of course we wouldn’t, although we did send troops there to suppress it. There’s a real possibility that, thanks to Brexit, the Good Friday Agreement could break down and Ulster could once again fall into violence and bloodshed. Which also raises the spectre of further terrorist bombings in Britain. Would Boris nuke Derry or Belfast in response? I doubt it. At the same time, many of the Islamist terrorists responsible for atrocities in Britain seem to be homegrown, Muslim Brits who come from ordinary, peaceful families, but who have been radicalised by Islamist propaganda on the Net or from some firebrand preacher in a British mosque. Obviously, Boris isn’t going to use it in Britain itself.

There’s also the danger that if Boris every uses them against a foreign enemy, it’ll pitch the world into a nuclear war that will end very quickly with the destruction of the planet. I can remember the late, great Irish comedian Dave Allen commenting on this in one of his shows on the Beeb during Reagan and Thatcher’s New Cold War of the 1980s. ‘Do you know,’ he said in his tobacco and whisky cured voice, ‘that there are enough nuclear weapons to blow up the world three times. Three times! Once is enough for me!’ It was a profound relief for millions around the world when Reagan and Gorbachev signed their arms limitation agreement in Iceland. That, and the collapse of Communism, promised the beginning of a better world, where we wouldn’t have to fear nuclear annihilation. Well, it was until India and Pakistan looked set to nuke each other later in the ’90s.

But now those dreams of a better, more peaceful world are fading as Boris once again wishes to send us all back to the days of Thatcher and the Cold War. Thatcher was vehemently in favour of keeping Britain’s nuclear deterrent. So much so that she falsified the results of an experiment to estimate the results of a nuclear war on Britain. The experiment showed that it would end with the country’s major cities reduced to nuclear cinders. This was too much for the leaderene, who had the parameters of the projection altered to give the results she wanted. But this still would have resulted in millions dead, and so she had the parameters altered again to show that Britain would have survived with minimal damage. By which time the whole exercise had to be scrapped as it was completely unreliable.

Michael Foot, the leader of the Labour party at the time, favoured unilateral nuclear disarmament. He was right, but the Tories and their puppet press viciously attacked him as some kind of fool or traitor, who would give in to the evil Commies. The complaint of many Tories was that he would give our nuclear weapons away. Unlike Maggie, the bargain basement Boadicea, as I think Roy Hattersley once called her.

It looks very much like Boris is playing the same game. He’s wrecking the economy, destroying the health service and welfare state, but he’ll have the right-leaning part of the British public praising him for standing up to those evil foreigners and protecting the country with nukes.

And all the while he’s claiming that there’s no money to give the nurses and other hardworking, front-line professionals anything more than what is in reality a derisory cut in wages. Which is clearly a lie. But it does remind me of what Goering once said:

‘Guns will make us powerful. Butter will make us fat.’

He’s following the Nazis in deliberately starving people while splashing the cash on arms.

For further information, see: Nuclear bomb announcement sends clear message: warmonger Johnson has cash to KILL, not heal | Vox Political (voxpoliticalonline.com)

Yemen’s Marib Offensive Born of Desperation, with No Sign Saudis/US Will Cease Their War

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 13/03/2021 - 7:53am in

MARIB, YEMEN — Overcoming a rugged and Sahara-like desert climate and under the constant fire of Saudi warplanes, Tawfiq Hassan, a third-term Sufi law school student, along with a cadre of other young Yemeni fighters, partook in the recent liberation of the Nakhla Valley near the western gate of the city of Marib.

“To recapture Marib and its natural resources is the last chance to secure its oil,” Tawfiq told MintPress. But for Khaled Mudaher, a soldier in Yemen’s Republican Guard, liberating Marib is a sacred patriotic duty. ”They bomb us, kidnap our women, block medicine and fuel, and steal our wealth,” Mudaher lamented.

Battles over Yemen’s oil-rich Marib province, which lies only 100 kilometers east of the capital Sana’a, have raged on since 2015 when the war began. The clashes pit Saudi-led Coalition soldiers and their Salafist militant allies against Yemeni forces supported by the Houthis as well as partisans from local tribes. Those clashes have become more fierce as the war and Saudi-imposed blockade approach six years’ duration on March 26, and amid a new push by Sana’a to liberate the last strongholds of the Saudi-led Coalition from Riyadh’s control.

For the past few months, Yemeni forces have fought a grueling ground campaign to recapture strategic points on Marib battlefields, including villages and military positions surrounding Marib city. Across the western and north-western oil-rich fronts, fierce clashes have erupted as more and more local tribes join battles to reclaim ancient landmarks with evocative names from Saudi forces. From The Thunders and The Hunter’s Birthmark to the strategic Shower Heights overlooking the Dish of Jinn and the tribal Balkan Mountains near the famous Marib Dam itself, long battles slog on, peppered with small but frequent hit-and-run battles in outlying districts, including Altielat Alhamra. Coalition forces for their part claim that they are thwarting ٍSana’a’s advance and have recaptured many of the liberated sites.

 

Escalation born of desperation

The recent escalation is not only a result of the brutal siege and bombardment of Yemen, which has bred a communal sense of desperation, but it is also born from a recognition that there are no real intentions on behalf of the Saudis or Americans to stop the war. That sense of hopelessness has had fuel poured onto it in the form of violent acts carried out by Saudi forces that violate the core tenants and mores of Yemeni people, not to mention their very dignity.

On February 1, Saudi-backed militants raided the homes of an unknown number of displaced families in Marib and kidnapped seven women who were allegedly then sold to Saudi Arabia. Five of the women were kidnapped on a Saturday night and, as locals were still reeling, the militants returned the next morning and kidnapped two more women by force. The news quickly spread across Yemen and anger mounted, sparking dozens of protests against Saudi forces. Major tribes in Marib, who for decades have maintained either neutrality or loyalty to Saudi Arabia, held a meeting in Sana’a to declare their desire to create a united front and expel Saudi forces and their allies. The declaration came on the heels of historic non-aggression treaties signed between Houthi-backed Yemeni forces and elders from Marib’s indigenous tribes of Ubaidah, Murad, Jahm, and Jadaan in the weeks leading up to the kidnappings.

 

Tragic stories drive the fight

Yemen’s battlefields, especially those in Marib, are a picture of contradiction. On one side are the latest warplanes and weapons made by the likes of Raytheon and BAE; fighters from a variety of backgrounds, including al-Qaeda and ISIS; Egyptians; American and British experts; and an extensive network of intelligence agents from around the world monitoring everything. On the other, young partisans with Kalashnikovs and machine guns; sometimes artillery or missiles mounted to the back of an old pickup truck; and explosive charges, usually old Soviet-era RPGs. They advance under heavy airstrikes and bombings through the rugged terrain, usually wearing sandals but sometimes barefoot.

There are no paranormal forces aiding their advance, but incentives born out of desperation. Some are steeped in patriotism, some bear a sense of religious duty; but a majority are driven by some tragic story. A loved-one lost in an airstrike or to hunger or disease, unable to travel abroad for treatment. Others have had to pull family members from beneath the rubble of their own homes. Most have lost their jobs, homes, or farms. But all of their stories speak to the suffering endured by Yemenis.

Yemen

A Yemeni boy prays at the grave of a relative killed fighting Saudi-led forces, at a cemetery in Sana’a,. Mar. 2, 2021. Hani Mohammed | AP

The Saudi-led Coalition’s campaign in Marib is not limited to the massive airstrikes for which it is now known, but it relies heavily on ideologically-driven fighters from al-Qaeda and Daesh armed with the latest Western weapons. On the al-Murad battlefield, members of al-Qaeda led by Mansur Mabkhout Hadi al-Faqir al-Mouradi, known colloquially as “Zubair Al-Mouradi,” have many tasks including artillery bombardment, bomb-making, and their trademark across the Middle East, planting IEDs.

According to a recent report from Yemen’s Security and Intelligence Agency (SIA), the Saudi government has facilitated a massive al-Qaeda presence in the oil-rich Marib province. This includes a fully-equipped headquarters, shelters, houses, farms, camps, and hotels used openly by al-Qaeda-linked groups. The SIA released the names of more than 100 leaders and members of the so-called “State of Marib” and presented the tasks assigned to them.

According to the SIA, the leadership of the organization in the “State of Marib” has established a safe haven for the group in the Shabwa governorate, establishing medical and reception shelters to aid Saudi-led military operations. Moreover, the villages of Al-Khatla and al-Fageir, the al-Jufina region, and the Wakra region in Marib have all turned into al-Qaeda strongholds.

In fact, al-Qaeda has become more organized and publicly active. They have a fully-functioning organizational structure with Samir Rayan, also known as Mutaz al-Hadhrami, appointed as “Amir of the state of Marib,” and Jamal al-Qamadi, known as Abu Abdul Rahman al-San’ani, appointed as a medical officer and military logistics official. Osama al-Hasani, also known as Muath al-San’ani, has been appointed as head of al-Qaeda. Their organizational structure includes an official to oversee transportation, a medical representative at the Commission Hospital in the Marib, a procurement officer, and even an official to head the organization’s “housing.”

 

“No Iranians here”

Bakeil al-Murady’s face immediately began to redden and a thoughtful grin appeared when I asked the 35-year-old, who had been captured on Marib’s al-Alam battlefield, whether he really believed that he was on a sacred mission to defend against the Iranians. “There are no Iranians here, but there are Saudi Rials and we are in need,” he answered. Like most Yemenis, al-Murady was inundated by warnings of Iranian intervention in Yemen from Saudi-funded media but never saw it with his own eyes. Most hear tidbits of news about the Iranian nuclear program or other aspects of the country that lies two thousand kilometers away but has been tied ad nauseam to the war in Yemen.

As the media ties recent developments in Yemen to the Iranian nuclear issue or to Houthi attempts to position themselves favorably for potential American-led negotiations, the tragic truth on the ground is that the plight of 17 million Yemenis is being wholly ignored.

The offensive against Saudi Arabia taking place in oil-rich Marib, a province deep inside of Yemen, was launched as part of an effort to end, or at least deter, ongoing Saudi airstrikes against civilian targets and to force the Saudis to allow the entry of life-saving goods. It has nothing to do with the Iranian nuclear program or a future settlement. In fact, most Yemenis, including the Houthis, have announced repeatedly that their only demand is that the blockade against Yemen ends and that the airstrikes be halted. The simple reality of the battle over Marib is that, regardless of the outcome of the Iranian nuclear deal, it will rage on until Saudi Arabia’s deadly campaign in Yemen grinds to a halt.

 

Death from the air

On Sunday, scenes of frightened children and families fleeing their homes amidst plumes of rising smoke were repeated after Saudi warplanes bombarded the densely populated al-Nahdhah neighborhood in central Sana’a. The airstrikes hit near Halima Girls School, causing damage to the school and surrounding houses and civic facilities. The attack was one of more than a hundred Saudi airstrikes that targeted populated areas and military sites this week across Yemen, including a scientific center in Arhab.

Yemen

Smoke rises following Saudi airstrikes in a residential area of Sanaa, Mar. 7, 2021. Hani Mohammed | AP

In retaliation for the airstrikes, on Sunday the Houthi-backed Yemeni military launched 22 drone and missile attacks against Saudi targets, including an Aramco oil facility in the port of Ras Tanura, the largest of its kind in the world, located north of the capital of Saudi Arabia’s eastern province of Dammam. The attacks came on the back of other Yemeni strikes on Saudi targets, including on the Abha Airport and King Khalid Air Base, located near Khamis Mushait, some 884 kilometers south of the Saudi capital Riyadh. Both of the airbases have been used to launch airstrikes against targets in Yemen, according to officials.

Yemen’s Houthi-backed Army unveiled the ballistic missiles and drones that were used in Sunday’s attacks on Ras Tanura last Thursday in an event in which Mahdi al-Mashat, the president of the Supreme Political Council, reiterated that attacks on Saudi Arabia will stop if the Kingdom halts airstrikes in Yemen and lifts the blockade on the country.

 

“Sparkling words”

The UN has warned that the recent clashes in Marib could trigger the displacement of thousands of civilians. “An assault on the city would put two million civilians at risk, with hundreds of thousands potentially forced to flee — with unimaginable humanitarian consequences,” U.N aid chief Mark Lowcock said on Tuesday, urging de-escalation.

According to the UN, more than 8,000 people have been displaced in and around Sirwah since early February, many of them fleeing existing refugee camps. Sana’a said the camps are being used as human shields and that Saudi-backed militants are preventing civilians from leaving the province in order to obstruct the advance of Houthi-led forces towards Ma’rib or to spur anger from the international community should the advance continue.

Marib

A girl plays at a camp for internally displaced people in Marib, October 2, 2020. Ali Owidha | Reuters

ِThe advance on Marib has sparked panic among Saudi Arabia and her allies, including the United States, which called on the “Houthis” to stop military operations, warning them that they should not interpret President Joe Biden’s public pivot on Yemen as a sign of weakness. “The Houthis are under the false impression that this administration intends to let its leadership off the hook,” U.S. State Department spokesman and former intelligence officer Ned Price said, adding, “They are sorely mistaken.”

On Thursday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken added that “The United States joins France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom in condemning the Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia and their offensive in Ma’rib,” concluding, “We call on all parties to engage in the diplomatic efforts through the Yemen process to bring peace to Yemen.”

Mohamed AbdulSalam, the official spokesman and chief negotiator for Ansar Allah, the political arm of the Houthis, responded by tweeting “The U.S. depicts the battle of Marib as an aggression, asking us not to defend ourselves and leave the terrorist recruitment centers to operate with freedom.” AbdulSalam insisted that the military operation in Marib was not a spur-of-the-moment decision, nor was it decided on January 20, when President Biden assumed power. He added, “So far, the American statements have been still [just] words. We have not noticed any actual progress; the airstrikes and the blockade are continued with American backing. Sparkling words will not deceive us.”

The Yemenis’ rush to liberate Marib, which is home to sizable oil reserves, may be understood in light of the stifling humanitarian crisis foisted upon the country for the past six years — especially the ongoing fuel crisis, which has plunged much of the nation into darkness. It is incomprehensible to many Yemenis that international criticism has now surfaced over the advance on Marib when the same critics cannot muster condemnation of the battles, airstrikes, and blockade that are battering and squeezing more than 30 million people already struggling against famine and Covid-19.

Feature photo | Houthis fighters hold posters of relatives killed in recent fighting by Saudi-backed forces during a funeral procession in Sanaa, Yemen, Feb. 16, 2021. Hani Mohammed | AP

Ahmed AbdulKareem is a Yemeni journalist based in Sana’a. He covers the war in Yemen for MintPress News as well as local Yemeni media.

The post Yemen’s Marib Offensive Born of Desperation, with No Sign Saudis/US Will Cease Their War appeared first on MintPress News.

Yemen’s Leningrad: The Unforeseen Consequences of the State Department’s Houthi Designation

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 19/01/2021 - 3:46am in

The war-torn country of Yemen is in the midst of the largest humanitarian crisis in the world thanks in large part to a Saudi-led war fueled by American weapons. Now, as the war nears its six-year anniversary in March, any hopes for a diplomatic resolution have faded faster than the presidency of Donald Trump, whose outgoing administration recently announced plans to designate the Houthi rebels, the principal force battling both the Saudi-led Coalition and al-Qaeda militants in Yemen, as a foreign terrorist organization. The move effectively eliminates any ray of hope for the more than 24 million people struggling for survival amid war, siege, famine, and countless diseases and epidemics, according to the United Nations.  

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement that the State Department would notify Congress of its intent to designate Ansar Allah, known colloquially as the Houthis, as a foreign terrorist organization as well as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity. Of note is the fact Ansar Allah does not own a single company, nor does it own a single bank account outside of Yemen. In fact, ranking members rarely even travel outside of the country’s borders. Pompeo’s announcement was met with alarm by the United Nations, international aid groups, and diplomats who warned that the move would further inflame the situation on the ground, upend any hope for peace talks and exacerbate the country’s humanitarian crisis.

Predictably, Pompeo’s move treats Saudi Arabia as a victim instead of the perpetrator, and perhaps of no surprise to many historians, Saudi Arabia and the militant groups that it backs in Yemen appear to have already taken that message to heart. Since Pompeo’s statement was issued, Saudi warplanes have launched over 200 airstrikes targeting the Sana’a International Airport and the provinces of Marib, Sadaa, Hajjah, and Al-Jawf. Local prisoner exchange deals have stalled and UNICEF has announced plans to stop supplying some water pumps in Sana’a with fuel, according to the Sana’a-based Ministry of Water, who went on to say that the move could potentially harm up to four million people, including the many displaced people taking shelter in the city. 

 

“Pure diplomatic vandalism” 

The United Nations warned of major repercussions for international assistance to a country with a “growing risk of famine.” Mark Lowcock, the UN undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, said of the designation, “What is the likely humanitarian impact? The answer is a large-scale famine on a scale that we have not seen for nearly 40 years.” He added that exemptions to allow aid agencies to deliver supplies, as suggested by Washington, would not be sufficient to avoid a famine, adding “what would prevent it? A reversal of the decision.” 

https://twitter.com/UNReliefChief/status/1349422579623342089

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric echoed that sentiment, warning that “The decision is likely to have serious humanitarian and political repercussions.” Dujarric was likely referring to the fact that the designation will likely dissuade third parties from engaging in any transactions with Houthi authorities for fear of U.S. prosecution. 

It wasn’t just the UN that condemned the move either. David Miliband, president of the International Rescue Committee called the move, “pure diplomatic vandalism,” adding that “the last thing the Yemeni people need is further interruption of aid and economic flows.” The International Rescue Committee had already ranked Yemen as the top crisis in the world at risk of deterioration in 2021 and said that 24 million Yemenis are at catastrophic humanitarian risk following the designation of Ansar Allah. While the Norwegian Refugee Council, one of the most active aid groups in Yemen, said that the U.S. must ensure sanctions do not block aid from entering “a country already in the middle of a full-blown humanitarian catastrophe.” Save the Children warned that the measures could “threaten the supply of lifesaving food, fuel, and medicine,” and French aid group Action Contre la Faim (ACF)  declared that the designation would have “an immediate impact.”

Not surprisingly, the decision will impact Ansar Allah-controlled areas of northern Yemen the most, but eh the effects will be felt across the entire country – delaying or even halting not only the import of food, medicine, and other humanitarian goods but commercial goods as well, according to the UN. Yemen imports 90% of its food items and the new designation is likely to slow or even stop imports at a time when thousands are at risk of famine. “The U.S. government’s action today is likely to tip the scale towards economic meltdown, famine, and death.” the UN said.

To compare Secretary of State Pompeo’s decision to that of Adolf Hitler’s intentional starving of  Leningrad is no exaggeration. Hitler launched a brutal siege against the three million residents of Leningrad in 1941 in an effort to starve its civilians into submission in one of the most notorious and brutal crimes in history. In many ways, the State Department’s decision is much worse and sets a far more dangerous precedent. In fact, World War II’s Siege of Leningrad stands as a chilling reminder of the toll that the Trump administration’s decision could potentially have on the civilian population in Yemen, particularly the 13 million people who live in the north of the country.

 

Paving the way for an al-Qaeda Resurgence

The designation of the Houthis was predictably met with ire from the group’s allies and supporters in Yemen and abroad. It is being seen as an attempt to balkanize the country and subject its western half to the sort of perpetual famine and suffering endured by nearby Somalia.

There are also fears that the move will hamper the ability of the Houthis to combat Saudi-backed extremist forces in Yemen, especially al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and IS, allowing them to use Yemen and a launching group to plan and carry out terrorist operations inside the United States and the European Union, according to Yemeni security experts who spoke to MintPress. “The environment in Yemen will become more encouraging for the prosperity of al-Qaeda and IS after Washington’s decision against the Ansar Allah forces, who cleared most areas in the north country including al-Bayda province, a stronghold of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. 

 

The Houthi-led government in Sana’a, known as the National Salvation Government of the Republic (NSG) of Yemen said in a statement that Pompeo`s plan to designate Ansar Allah is an unprecedented act of hostility. They warned the international community and the countries sponsoring the peace process in Yemen of the consequences of the move, ”We have the will to defend our country by taking appropriate steps towards the American decision if it takes place including reciprocity,” the NSG said. The statement added that” The steadfastness of our people and their sincere bias towards the issues of the nation, particularly the Palestinian cause as well as the rejection of the normalization project, was not acceptable to the Trump administration.” 

Even some of Yemen’s political rivals in the country have come out against the designation. General People’s Congress Party, the largest political party in the country and the party of Saudi-backed President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, said in a statement that the Trump administration’s decision will have major negative repercussions on peace and political settlement, and will complicate international efforts. The Nasserist Reform Organisation also strongly condemned the State Department’s decision, describing it as a hostile and irresponsible act aimed at serving the personal interest of presidents who struggle to stay in the White House. The Tribal Cohesion Council, the highest tribal body in Yemen said ”we consider [the United States] decision as a source of pride showing that Yemenis have become a challenge to them in the region” and called on tribal leaders to mobilize fighters.

 

What’s behind a designation?

The Houthis, for their part, have downplayed the impact of the decision, warning that it not only means that a peace deal can not be achieved but that the United States could now be directly targeted by the group.

The Trump administration’s assessment of the situation in Yemen, officials say, is flawed, as the Houthis have never threatened the United States unlike al-Qaeda, IS, or the Taliban. And unlike those groups, the Houthis are well-armed with ballistic missiles, drones, and gunboats and Houthi attacks on the Saudi-led Coalition have always been retaliatory and not preemptive. 

Moreover, they warn, any U.S. military action against the Houthis under the pretext of fighting terrorism will serve to gain the group even more supporters in the Middle East, as it is one of the few left in the Arab world to stand in opposition to Washington’s support for Israel’s internationally-recognized theft of Palestinian land. The Houthis see that policy as a major driving force in the U.S. decision to designate them and maintain that it will serve to garner them even more popular support both inside of Yemen and across the Islamic and Arab world.

 

Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a leading member of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council said in a series of tweets that “the Trump administration’s policy and actions are terrorist. We reserve the right to respond to any designation issued by the Trump administration or any administration.” He also called for the ”formation of independent investigation committees for each crime committed in the country.” 

Ultimately, the decision to designate the Houthis seems aimed at stirring chaos in an already chaotic theater. It spurs on violence by using a political decision as a gruesome tactic to incite Yemenis against the Houthis by compounding the suffering of those in their midst. It is an alternative to the six-year-long failed attempt to take over the whole country by brute military force, despite the fact that that attempt has been fueled with billions of dollars worth of advanced weapons, intelligence information, and training, in addition to active participation in the blockade.

Feature photo | Houthi supporters chant slogans during a demonstration outside the closed U.S. embassy over its decision to designate the Houthis a foreign terrorist organization in Sanaa, Yemen, Jan. 18, 2021. Arabic on posters reads: “America creates terrorism in the world.” Hani Mohammed | AP

Ahmed AbdulKareem is a Yemeni journalist. He covers the war in Yemen for MintPress News as well as local Yemeni media.

The post Yemen’s Leningrad: The Unforeseen Consequences of the State Department’s Houthi Designation appeared first on MintPress News.

The Three Qualities Marking the Capitol Assault as Terrorism

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 09/01/2021 - 8:55am in

While the horrific scenes of the invasion and occupation of the US Capitol building were...

Jama’at-i Islami – The Pakistani Islamic Party Pushing for Theocracy

Pakistan was founded as an explicitly Muslim country. It’s a democracy, but there is a section of its parliament, if I remember correctly, that’s made up of Muslim clergy, who scrutinise legislation passed by the lower house to make sure it accords with Islamic law. Since the 1970s and the regime of the dictator, Zia al-Haqq, Islam has become increasingly powerful in Pakistani politics. I believe the current president, Imran Khan, is the leader of an Islamic party. Pakistan was one of the nations that experienced protests against France over the Charlie Hebdo cartoons and there have been official denunciations of the cartoons and President Macron’s attempts to combat Muslim radicalism.

The force behind the growth of political Islam in Pakistan appears to be the Jama’at-i Islami, whose name translates as ‘The Islamic Society.’ The article about them in The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions runs as follows

A highly disciplined and well-organised Muslim political party, founded in 1941 by Abul al-A’la Mawdudi. it aims at establishing an observant Islamic state in Pakistan. The Jam’at’s political platform offers an alternative to teh secularists and modernists, and in this lies its appeal (especially since 1977). The Ja’amat advocates that Pakistan should be a theocratic state, ruled by a single man whose tenure of office and power are limited only by his faithfulness to Islam. The ruler should be assisted by a shura (advisory council), with no political parties and no provision for an opposition. General Zia al-Haqq, the military leader after the overthrow of Z. Bhutto (1977)., used the Jama’at as a political prop for his ‘back to Islam’ campaign. The Jama’at has influence among the military, the middle classes, and the college and university students. It publishes a monthly magazine, Tarjuman al-Quran, in Lahore that has a high circulation. On the international level, the Jama’at was on good terms with Imam Khumayni and the oil rich Arab states; the Saudis have supported the movement since the early 1970s. (p. 489).

This looks like an attempt to create a kind of caliphate, and the Dictionary notes that there is considerable support for its return in Pakistan. I also wonder about the movement’s influence in British Islam, as there has been a problem with fire-breathing radicals immigrating to Britain to supply the shortage of imams for British mosques. Which is why moderate Muslims in this country have demanded government assistance in training Muslim Brits, who have grown up in our ostensibly democratic culture, as imams and community leaders.

I’m not a secularist, and believe that people of faith have a right to have their voices heard in politics and parliament, but this is just a movement for religious tyranny. In Pakistan as it is there’s persecution, including violence and pogroms against religious minorities. We’ve seen Christians murdered and imprisoned following accusations of blasphemy. There have also been riots and murders of the Ahmadiyya. Apparently even pious Muslims have been murdered because of comments they have made, which have been interpreted by others as blasphemous. There are 200 people on Pakistan’s Death Row accused of blasphemy. Many of these accusations are spurious, cynically levelled because of other disputes between the parties concerned. If a theocracy was established in Pakistan, it would only cause more oppression and violence.

I also believe that it wouldn’t be good for Islam either. Atheist sites on the web have reported that there has been a massive increase in atheism in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia and Iran. Six years or so ago Saudi news reported that a large number of Qurans had been found thrown into a sewer. A few days ago Iranian media reported that this had also happened in their country. A poll conducted of 50,000 Iranians found that 38 per cent of the population is either atheist or has no religion. If this is true, then it’s probably the result of people becoming fed up of the repression they are experiencing from their theocratic governments. The religious violence of the Islamist extremists, al-Qaeda and Daesh, are undoubtedly another factor. A few years ago I read a book by a French anthropologist, who came to the conclusion that the Islamist movements were the response of Muslim societies as the experienced the transition to modernity. This was comparable to the way radical, militant Christian movements had appeared in Europe in the 17th century, such as those in the British Civil War. Now Islam was experiencing the same.

My guess is that if the Jama’at ever succeeded in creating a theocracy in Pakistan, it would be massively unstable as the various sects excluded from the regime’s view of what was properly Islamic were oppressed and rebelled. I don’t believe that the Jama’at and other extreme, theocratic movements have anything to offer Muslims or anyone else anything except more oppression and violence.

The Political Background to the Balfour Declaration and the Harm Done by Western Interference in Palestine

2017 was the centenary of the Balfour Declaration. This was the statement of the British government during the First World War committing Britain to supporting a Jewish state in Palestine. There’s a very interesting article on it in Bowker’s Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, which makes it very clear that our support for Zionism was hardly disinterested. It states very clearly that, enacted as it was by politicos who were ignorant of religion, it has resulted in immense harm and conflict. The article says that it was the

British declaration of sympathy with Zionism. It was made in a letter of 2 November 1917, from the British Foreign Secretary (i.e., Balfour) to Lord Rothschild: ‘His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people ….’It was qualified by a clause ‘that nothing should be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine’. But at the time, the British supported the idea of a Jewish commonwealth in Palestine under British protection in order to detach Palestine from the Ottoman Empire, and as a means of encouraging Russian Jews to pressurize the new Bolshevik government to stay in the First World War. According to Field-Marshal Smuts (in 1947), it had been passed ‘to rally Jewry on a worldwide scale to the Allied Cause’. The declaration was endorsed in 1920 by the allies at the San Remo Conference. It was, however, in apparent conflict with the McMahon correspondence, which made commitments to the Arabs. Sharif Hussein and ibn Sa’ud were ‘courted in order to secure their help against the Ottoman Turks. Thus are the seeds of conflict sown by politicians who (as almost always in post-Enlightenment countries) neither understand nor care about religions. (p. 121).

We had absolutely no business making that commitment. The British Jewish establishment, including the only Jewish member of the cabinet at the time, didn’t want it. They wanted British Jews to be accepted as patriotic fellow Brits, and felt that the establishment of a Jewish state would lead to them being accused of disloyalty. The British government may have envisaged the founding of a small canton, rather than the populous country that emerged. It has also been claimed that the British government was anti-Semitic in issuing the declaration, because they followed the anti-Semitic view that Jews had considerable power in Soviet Russia. It has been remarked that it’s one of the few times anti-Semitism has worked to the Jews’ advantage.

Tony Greenstein has written a long piece about how we courted the Saudis and other Arab leaders to get their support for Israel against the interests of the Palestinians. It’s a convoluted, violent, and sordid tale. It’s also been argued that Israel was founded and supported with the aid of Britain and America as a kind of western colony and centre for European and American imperial influence in the Middle East.

The West has frequently interfered in the affairs of the Middle East not for the benefit of its people, but for the West’s own geopolitical and commercial interests. These have been very much against those of the region’s indigenous peoples. The Iraq invasion, for example, wasn’t about liberating the Iraqi people from a murderous tyrant, but about grabbing its oil and state industries. Ditto the invasion of Afghanistan. We never went in to punish al-Qaeda for the horrendous attacks of 9/11 nor the Taliban’s oppression of the Afghan people. It was just another attempt to secure American oil interests in the region against those of Russia and Iran. And the article on ‘Anti-Semitism’ in the same Dictionary states that, in contrast to the hopes of the Zionists, ‘as a result of the Arab-Israeli conflict, Muslim anti-Semitism is today even more virulent than its Christian counterpart’. (p.77).

It could therefore be said that Zionism, or at least the persecution of its indigenous Arab population by the Israeli state, far from combating anti-Semitism has simply spread it still further.

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