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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.

The predictable terror of Trump’s rise and fall

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 08/01/2021 - 3:05pm in

Under Trump, the presidency revealed itself, perhaps like no time before, to be a veritable monarchy. 

The January 6 sack of the U.S. Capitol by far-right extremists, egged on by President Trump and his refusal to acknowledge defeat at the November presidential elections, is among the darkest days in modern American history. For scholars of authoritarianism, however, and especially those of us with lived experiences with such regimes, there is little surprise at what transpired. Instead, it is a kind of informed terror.

In my case, it is the dissolution of Yugoslavia and the rise of the genocidaire Slobodan Milosevic that has informed my perspective on Trump’s rise and the chaos of his fall. I was a young child when my family was forced to flee Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital, in April 1992. But the onset of nationalist aggression against Bosnia, orchestrated by Milosevic’s then regime in Belgrade, was not sudden. It had been carefully prepared, organized, and regimented. So, too, the ensuing genocide in Bosnia: it involved bureaucrats, paperwork, pay stubs, and complex logistics.

My parents and their peers watched much of the Yugoslav dissolution crisis play out on their TV screens—mostly in disbelief. Yugoslavia was a one-party, authoritarian regime, but it was widely considered the most “liberal” communist polity in Europe. It had a large, relatively prosperous middle class; Western commodities were widely available, as were Western media and entertainment. Yugoslavs traveled freely to both the First and Second World. And in cosmopolitan Sarajevo, the center of multiethnic Bosnia, a litany of punk and rock bands, literary circles, and youth groups agitated for social and democratic change.

Understandably, then, when Milosevic first appeared on the radar of Yugoslavia’s educated middle class, he was seen as a deeply ridiculous figure. A dour communist apparatchik, his affect was transparently false. He spoke in an overwrought, airy way, his head perennially tilted upwards, capped by a crown-line pompadour.

But my parents and their peers were wrong. Milosevic’s appeal to the supposedly beleaguered ethnic Serbs of Kosovo, Yugoslavia’s poorest region, struck a note with many, especially in Serbia. He and his tight-knit circle of political operatives promptly outmaneuvered the sclerotic communist party apparatus in Belgrade. They quickly seized control of the country’s state media, while simultaneously ingratiating themselves with the hardline authoritarian leadership of the Yugoslav military.

And on the streets, Milosevic whipped up mobs of Serb nationalists with sinister speeches that alluded—with no evidence—to a brewing conspiracy to exterminate the Serb nation. Directing the crowds against other members of the communist regime, Milosevic toppled the governments of Vojvodina, Kosovo, and Montenegro, to seize the Yugoslav collective presidency and install himself as the country’s supreme leader. He called this ploy the “anti-bureaucratic revolution”; it lacked mass support as such, but it was ferociously supported by a hardcore base of Serb nationalist radicals and extremists.

Within the span of three years, between 1987 and 1990, Milosevic emerged as the most influential and powerful figure in Yugoslavia, a complex, multiethnic federation. His adept use of Serb nationalist grievance politics was successful but only for a moment. By 1990, the leadership in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, and Macedonia realized that Milosevic was on the cusp of a total takeover, and that he would impose his sectarian-authoritarian rule with an iron fist.

When a last-ditch effort at curtailing his rise failed at the 14th Congress of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia in January 1990, the country began to fragment. There were no more institutional avenues left to check him and so, one by one, the remaining republics held multiparty elections, and then promptly sought to exit the federal state.

Milosevic’s pursuit of one-man rule failed but it also killed the Yugoslav federation. With the union dissolving, Milosevic used the massive Yugoslav military, and an assortment of ultra-nationalist and criminal paramilitaries, to attempt to carve out of Croatia and Bosnia chunks of territory to append to a new “Greater Serbia”. This necessarily involved the systematic killing, torture, rape, and expulsion of tens of thousands. Bosnia became the site of the worst atrocities in Europe since World War II. The Bosnian War and genocide resulted in the deaths of nearly 100,000 people in less than four years.

As a result of these experiences, former Yugoslav and Bosnian scholars and writers were among the first  to warn, from the earliest days of Trump’s candidacy, that his political program was a threat to American constitutional government; that American institutions and politicians would struggle to contain his sustained assault on the rule of law; that his administration was a mortal threat to black, brown, and immigrant communities; and that he would help unleash a din of sectarian violence that would tear at the fabric of the republic.

Every subsequent week confirmed the accuracy of our predications. Privately, many of us spoke about what our “red lines” were: when was it time to try to leave the country? What was the point of no return? Flashes of Yugoslavia’s dissolution, the early days of the war in Bosnia, filled our sleepless nights.

The imposition of Executive Order 13769—the Muslim ban—in January 2017 immediately set off alarm bells for all of us. The sustained civil society push-back gave us hope, but the failure of the courts to roll back a transparently discriminatory policy gutted those prospects. Then came a flurry of scandals and horrors: family separation, the white nationalist march in Charlottesville, impeachment.

Trump kept pushing, and America’s famed system of “checks and balances” kept buckling. The presidency revealed itself, perhaps like no time before, to be a veritable monarchy. Seemingly no outrage, no violation was severe enough to warrant a meaningful sanction from the Republican Party, or Trump’s electoral base.

During last summer’s Black Lives Matters protests, when federal forces were called in by the President and used to violently clear Washington, D.C.’s streets of peaceful protesters, and military helicopters ominously hung over the few remaining crowds, I drove to a nearby ATM. I took out several thousand dollars in cash, went home, and took out all my family’s passports. I told my wife that we should seriously talk about leaving. She did not disagree, but we wondered where to go. Perhaps to Vancouver, Canada to stay with my folks, I said—or perhaps back to Sarajevo.

We did not leave. But we began recording videos for our young daughters about this moment in American history. About how we rationalized our decision to stay, and to use whatever resources we had, whatever platforms we could tap into to protect and shore up the American republic, and those most vulnerable in it.

The United States is not Yugoslavia. But it also not an unassailable bastion of good governance. It has its own long, dark histories of sectarian violence and authoritarianism. The collapse of the Jim Crow South is a recent historical event, and the struggle between white supremacy and racial equality still, indelibly, shapes contemporary American politics. America is not uniquely resistant to the threat of illiberalism or civil strife, and despite Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ electoral triumph, Donald Trump remains a significant danger to the republic.

It is imperative that once he is removed from office, all levels of American government and civil society initiate a sustained campaign to restore the American republic. Major social and financial investments must be made in renewing civic trust, rolling back disinformation and spreading media literacy, promoting the study of civics and governance, and aggressively dismantling and prosecuting domestic far right and white supremacist cells.

Above all, this moment cannot be forgotten. The page cannot be turned on this period before there is a genuine national reckoning, a true commitment to truth and reconciliation, and an accounting for how Donald Trump, a vulgar, semi-literate demagogue, was able to bring the American constitutional regime to its breaking point in four years—and why so many were, and continue to be, willing to aid him in this pursuit. America’s future depends on confronting, rather than forgetting his tenure.

The post The predictable terror of Trump’s rise and fall appeared first on The Conversationalist.

Internationalism series – Some reflections on the Workers’ Aid to Bosnia campaign

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 24/10/2020 - 2:22am in


Bosnia, War, Yugoslavia

image/jpeg iconmilankovic-serb-road-mender-e1427617652812.jpeg

I can only see it in this way – all of our knowledge and experience had to begin to burst free from the constraints of our old outlooks and in doing this it helped clear decades of dogma from the road.

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