A Brief History Of The U.S. Relationship To Jihadists And al-Qaeda Across The World

By Brandon Turbeville

Major hat tip to Washington’s Blog for its article ““Sleeping With the Devil: How U.S. And Saudi Backing Of Al-Qaeda Led Directly To 9/11,” Tony Cartalucci of Land Destroyer Report

To many Americans who pay only a small portion of their time to what is happening in Syria, the claim that the United States is funding and supporting ISIS sounds like absolute insanity. After all, the corporations who feed them their news incessantly inform them of the threat of ISIS at home and abroad and remind them how hard their government is working in order to keep them safe. Even when many Americans can clearly see that the United States is funding extremists in order to destroy Assad, it is difficult for them to grasp that the most frightening enemy of all, ISIS itself, is also being directed by Western intelligence, the GCC, and Israel.

It is important to point out that the Islamic State is not some shadowy force that emerged from the caves of Afghanistan to form an effective military force that is funded by Twitter donations and murky secretive finance deals. IS is entirely the creation of NATO and the West and it remains in control of the organization.

As Tony Cartalucci writes in his article “Implausible Deniability: West’s ISIS Terror Hordes In Iraq,”

Beginning in 2011 – and actually even as early as 2007 – the United States has been arming, funding, and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and a myriad of armed terrorist organizations to overthrow the government of Syria, fight Hezbollah in Lebanon, and undermine the power and influence of Iran, which of course includes any other government or group in the MENA region friendly toward Tehran.

Billions in cash have been funneled into the hands of terrorist groups including Al Nusra, Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), and what is now being called “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria” or ISIS. One can see clearly by any map of ISIS held territory that it butts up directly against Turkey’s borders with defined corridors ISIS uses to invade southward – this is because it is precisely from NATO territory this terrorist scourge originated.

ISIS was harbored on NATO territory, armed and funded by US CIA agents with cash and weapons brought in from the Saudis, Qataris, and NATO members themselves. The “non-lethal aid” the US and British sent including the vehicles we now see ISIS driving around in.

They didn’t “take” this gear from “moderates.” There were never any moderates to begin with. The deadly sectarian genocide we now see unfolding was long ago predicted by those in the Pentagon – current and former officials – interviewed in 2007 by Pulitzer Prize-winning veteran journalist Seymour Hersh. Hersh’s 9-page 2007 report, “The Redirection” states explicitly:

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

“Extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam” and are “sympathetic to Al Qaeda” – is a verbatim definition of what ISIS is today. Clearly the words of Hersh were as prophetic as they were factually informed, grounded in the reality of a regional conflict already engineered and taking shape as early as 2007. Hersh’s report would also forewarn the sectarian nature of the coming conflict, and in particular mention the region’s Christians who were admittedly being protected by Hezbollah.

While Hersh’s report was written in 2007, knowledge of the plan to use death squads to target Middle Eastern countries, particularly Syria, had been reported on even as far back as 2005 by Michael Hirsh and John Barry for Newsweek in an article entitled “The Salvador Option.”

Regardless, Cartalucci states in a separate article, “NATO’s Terror Hordes In Iraq A Pretext For Syria Invasion,”

In actuality, ISIS is the product of a joint NATO-GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] conspiracy stretching back as far as 2007 where US-Saudi policymakers sought to ignite a region-wide sectarian war to purge the Middle East of Iran’s arch of influence stretching from its borders, across Syria and Iraq, and as far west as Lebanon and the coast of the Mediterranean. ISIS has been harbored, trained, armed, and extensively funded by a coalition of NATO and Persian Gulf states within Turkey’s (NATO territory) borders and has launched invasions into northern Syria with, at times, both Turkish artillery and air cover. The most recent example of this was the cross-border invasion by Al Qaeda into Kasab village, Latikia province in northwest Syria.

Cartalucci is referring to a cross-border invasion that was coordinated with NATO, Turkey, Israel, and the death squads where Israel acted as air force cover while Turkey facilitated the death squad invasion from inside its own borders.

Keep in mind also that, prior to the rapid appearance and seizure of territory by ISIS in Syria and Iraq, European media outlets like Der Spiegel reported that hundreds of fighters were being trained in Jordan by Western intelligence and military personnel for the purpose of deployment in Syria to fight against Assad. The numbers were said to be expected to reach about 10,000 fighters when the reports were issued in March, 2013. Although Western and European media outlets would try to spin the operation as the training of “moderate rebels,” subsequent reports revealed that these fighters were actually ISIS fighters.

Western media outlets have also gone to great lengths to spin the fact that ISIS is operating in both Syria and Iraq with an alarming number of American weapons and equipment. As Business Insider stated,

The report [study by the London-based small arms research organization Conflict Armament Research] said the jihadists disposed of ‘significant quantities’ of US-made small arms including M16 assault rifles and included photos showing the markings ‘Property of US Govt.’

The article also acknowledged that a large number of the weapons used by ISIS were provided by Saudi Arabia, a close American ally.

As Tony Cartalucci of Land Destroyer Report has documented on numerous occasions, the plan to invade and destabilize Syria by using hordes of al-Qaeda terrorists and mercenaries has been in existence since at least 2007. Cartalucci writes,

A 2007 New Yorker article written by renowned journalist Seymour Hersh revealed a plan under the Bush Administration to organize, arm, train, and deploy a regional army of terrorists, many with ties directly to Al Qaeda, in a bid to destabilize and overthrow both Syria and Iran. The plan consisted of US and Israeli backing, covertly funneled through Saudi proxies to conceal Washington and Tel Aviv’s role, in building the sectarian extremist front.

According to Seymour Hersh’s 2007 article, “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?,” Saudi Arabia, a more credible candidate for openly interfacing with the militants, openly admitted that it was a danger, but that they “created it,” and therefore could “control it,” in meetings with Washington. The plan called for not only setting up terrorist enclaves in nations neighboring Syria, including Lebanon, Jordan, and US-occupied Iraq, but also for building up the Muslim Brotherhood, both inside Syria’s borders and beyond – including in Egypt.[1] [2]

Hersh also pointed out the long history between the Saudi Royals and their funding of religious fanatics for the purposes of destabilization since the 1970s proxy war against the Soviet Union, the Iranians, and to the more recent (in terms of the writing of the article) possibilities of using such types of fighters in Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Iran, and Syria. He wrote,

Nasr went on, “The Saudis have considerable financial means, and have deep relations with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis”—Sunni extremists who view Shiites as apostates. “The last time Iran was a threat, the Saudis were able to mobilize the worst kinds of Islamic radicals. Once you get them out of the box, you can’t put them back.”

The Saudi royal family has been, by turns, both a sponsor and a target of Sunni extremists, who object to the corruption and decadence among the family’s myriad princes. The princes are gambling that they will not be overthrown as long as they continue to support religious schools and charities linked to the extremists. The Administration’s new strategy is heavily dependent on this bargain.

Nasr compared the current situation to the period in which Al Qaeda first emerged. In the nineteen-eighties and the early nineties, the Saudi government offered to subsidize the covert American C.I.A. proxy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Hundreds of young Saudis were sent into the border areas of Pakistan, where they set up religious schools, training bases, and recruiting facilities. Then, as now, many of the operatives who were paid with Saudi money were Salafis. Among them, of course, were Osama bin Laden and his associates, who founded Al Qaeda, in 1988.[3]

In a more telling passage, however, Hersh describes the connection between the Saudis, Jihadists, and the U.S. government. He wrote,

This time, the U.S. government consultant told me, Bandar and other Saudis have assured the White House that “they will keep a very close eye on the religious fundamentalists. Their message to us was ‘We’ve created this movement, and we can control it.’ It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs; it’s who they throw them at—Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians, if they continue to work with Hezbollah and Iran.”[4]

Hersh continued by stating that the Israelis, the Saudis, and the Americans have “developed a series of informal understandings about their new strategic direction.” In addition to the security of Israel, the weakening of Hamas, and the countering of “Shiite ascendance in the region,” there was also a fourth goal of the three entities. Hersh wrote,

Fourth, the Saudi government, with Washington’s approval, would provide funds and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad, of Syria. The Israelis believe that putting such pressure on the Assad government will make it more conciliatory and open to negotiations. Syria is a major conduit of arms to Hezbollah. The Saudi government is also at odds with the Syrians over the assassination of Rafik Hariri, the former Lebanese Prime Minister, in Beirut in 2005, for which it believes the Assad government was responsible. Hariri, a billionaire Sunni, was closely associated with the Saudi regime and with Prince Bandar. (A U.N. inquiry strongly suggested that the Syrians were involved, but offered no direct evidence; there are plans for another investigation, by an international tribunal.)[5]

Hersh also quoted Walid Jumblatt, leader of the Druze minority in Lebanon and adamant Assad opponent who stated to Hersh that he had actually traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with then Vice President Dick Cheney regarding the possibility of weakening and destabilizing the Assad government in Syria. Hersh stated,

Jumblatt then told me that he had met with Vice-President Cheney in Washington last fall to discuss, among other issues, the possibility of undermining Assad. He and his colleagues advised Cheney that, if the United States does try to move against Syria, members of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood would be “the ones to talk to,” Jumblatt said.

The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, a branch of a radical Sunni movement founded in Egypt in 1928, engaged in more than a decade of violent opposition to the regime of Hafez Assad, Bashir’s father. In 1982, the Brotherhood took control of the city of Hama; Assad bombarded the city for a week, killing between six thousand and twenty thousand people. Membership in the Brotherhood is punishable by death in Syria. The Brotherhood is also an avowed enemy of the U.S. and of Israel. Nevertheless, Jumblatt said, “We told Cheney that the basic link between Iran and Lebanon is Syria—and to weaken Iran you need to open the door to effective Syrian opposition.”

There is evidence that the Administration’s redirection strategy has already benefitted the Brotherhood. The Syrian National Salvation Front is a coalition of opposition groups whose principal members are a faction led by Abdul Halim Khaddam, a former Syrian Vice-President who defected in 2005, and the Brotherhood. A former high-ranking C.I.A. officer told me, “The Americans have provided both political and financial support. The Saudis are taking the lead with financial support, but there is American involvement.” He said that Khaddam, who now lives in Paris, was getting money from Saudi Arabia, with the knowledge of the White House. (In 2005, a delegation of the Front’s members met with officials from the National Security Council, according to press reports.) A former White House official told me that the Saudis had provided members of the Front with travel documents.[6]

Hersh also spoke with Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah leader, who told Hersh that he believed that the United States wished to cause the partitioning of both Lebanon and Syria. Hersh states that, “In Syria, he [Nasrallah] said, the result would be to push the country “into chaos and internal battles like in Iraq.”[7]

It is also important to remember that the so-called leader of ISIS is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. As Voltaire Net describes Baghdadi,

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is an Iraqi who joined Al-Qaeda to fight against President Saddam Hussein. During the U.S. invasion, he distinguished himself by engaging in several actions against Shiites and Christians (including the taking of the Baghdad Cathedral) and by ushering in an Islamist reign of terror (he presided over an Islamic court which sentenced many Iraqis to be slaughtered in public). After the departure of Paul Bremer III, al-Baghdadi was arrested and incarcerated at Camp Bucca from 2005 to 2009. This period saw the dissolution of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, whose fighters merged into a group of tribal resistance, the Islamic Emirate of Iraq.

On 16 May 2010, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was named emir of the IEI, which was in the process of disintegration. After the departure of U.S. troops, he staged operations against the government al-Maliki, accused of being at the service of Iran. In 2013, after vowing allegiance to Al-Qaeda, he took off with his group to continue the jihad in Syria, rebaptizing it Islamic Emirate of Iraq and the Levant. In doing so, he challenged the privileges that Ayman al-Zawahiri had previously granted, on behalf of Al-Qaeda, to the Al-Nusra Front in Syria, which was originally nothing more than an extension of the IEI.

Regardless, false assumptions surrounding the true leadership of ISIS would be called into question in January of 2014 when Al-Arabiya, a Saudi-owned and operated news agency, published an article as well as a video of an interrogation of an ISIS fighter who had been captured while operating inside Syria.

When asked why ISIS was following the movement of the Free Syrian Army and who had given him the orders to do so, the fighter stated that he did not know why he was ordered to monitor the FSA’s movement but that the orders had come from Abu Faisal, also known as Prince Abdul Rachman al-Faisal of the Saudi Royal Family.

An excerpt from the relevant section of the interrogation reads as follows:

Interrogator: Why do you (ISIS) monitor the movement of the Free Syrian Army?

ISIS Detainee: I don’t know exactly why but we received orders from ISIS command.

Interrogator: Who among ISIS gave the orders?

ISIS Detainee: Prince Abdul Rachman al-Faisal, who is also known as Abu Faisal.

Such revelations, of course, will only be shocking news to those who have been unaware of the levels to which the Saudis have been involved with the funding, training, and directing of death squad forces deployed in Syria. Indeed, the Saudis have even openly admitted to the Russian government that they do, in fact, control a number of varied terrorist organizations across the world.

Even tired mainstream media organizations such as Newsweek (aka The Daily Beast) can no longer ignore the facts surrounding the Saudis’ involvement with the organization of terrorist groups across the world.

Note also that Voltaire Net describes al-Nusra, a documented al-Qaeda connected group, as merely an extension of the IEI (Islamic Emirate of Iraq) which itself was nothing more than a version of Al-Qaeda In Iraq. Thus, from Al-Qaeda in Iraq, came the IEI, which then became the Islamic Emirate of Iraq and the Levant. IEIL then became ISIS/ISIL which is now often referred to as IS.

In other words, Nusra=Al-Qaeda-IEI=IEIL=ISIL=ISIS=IS.

With the information presented above regarding the nature of the Free Syrian Army and the so-called “moderate rebels,” it would be entirely fair to add these “moderate” groups to the list as well.

1970s Mujhadeen

The fact that ISIS is nothing more than a name change for al-Qaeda is significant as well since the terror organization was the open creation of the United States with the help of Saudi Arabia as far back as the late 1970s. It is recommended that the reader access Washington’s Blog’s article , “Sleeping With the Devil: How U.S. And Saudi Backing Of Al-Qaeda Led Directly To 9/11,” for an in-depth discussion of America’s support of terrorism from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. Washington’s Blog writes:

Perhaps one of the most vaunted sources for documenting America’s support of terrorism comes from the man who could be considered the architect of al-Qaeda, Zbigniew Brzezinski. Brzezinski was Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser and was instrumental in creating the organization and helping steer policy that would direct it against the Afghan government and the Soviet Union.

Easily accessed on YouTube, a researcher with five minutes to spare can watch Brzezinski standing in front of his terrorist brigades and encouraging them in their jihad. At one point in the footage, Brzezisnki tells the Mujahadin fighters,

We know of their deep belief in god – that they’re confident that their struggle will succeed. That land over – there is yours – and you’ll go back to it some day, because your fight will prevail, and you’ll have your homes, your mosques, back again, because your cause is right, and god is on your side.

Brzezinski admitted on CNN that the United States organized and supported the Mujahadin at the time, including Osama Bin Laden. He said,

We immediately launched a twofold process when we heard that the Soviets had entered Afghanistan. The first involved direct reactions and sanctions focused on the Soviet Union, and both the State Department and the National Security Council prepared long lists of sanctions to be adopted, of steps to be taken to increase the international costs to the Soviet Union of their actions. And the second course of action led to my going to Pakistan a month or so after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, for the purpose of coordinating with the Pakistanis a joint response, the purpose of which would be to make the Soviets bleed for as much and as long as is possible; and we engaged in that effort in a collaborative sense with the Saudis, the Egyptians, the British, the Chinese, and we started providing weapons to the Mujaheddin, from various sources again – for example, some Soviet arms from the Egyptians and the Chinese. We even got Soviet arms from the Czechoslovak communist government, since it was obviously susceptible to material incentives; and at some point we started buying arms for the Mujaheddin from the Soviet army in Afghanistan, because that army was increasingly corrupt.[8]

Later, in 2001, it was admitted by Brzezinski in an interview with Le Nouvel Observatour, that the United States had funded al-Qaeda/Mujahadin six months before the Soviets invaded.

As Brzezinski told Le Nouvel Observateur in a 1998 interview:

Question: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs [“From the Shadows”], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?

Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.

***

Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

B: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

Similar admissions, although much less willing to accept the results as Brzezinski, came from former CIA Director Robert Gates and even President Jimmy Carter himself. As Eric Alterman wrote for The Nation,

First revealed by former Director of Central Intelligence Robert Gates in his 1996 memoir From the Shadows, the $500 million in nonlethal aid was designed to counter the billions the Soviets were pouring into the puppet regime they had installed in Kabul. Some on the American side were willing–perhaps even eager–to lure the Soviets into a Vietnam-like entanglement. Others viewed the program as a way of destabilizing the puppet government and countering the Soviets, whose undeniable aggression in the area was helping to reheat the cold war to a dangerous boil.

According to Gates’s recounting, a key meeting took place on March 30, 1979. Under Secretary of Defense Walter Slocumbe wondered aloud whether “there was value in keeping the Afghan insurgency going, ‘sucking the Soviets into a Vietnamese quagmire.’” Arnold Horelick, CIA Soviet expert, warned that this was just what we could expect. In a 1998 conversation with Le Nouvel Observateur, former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski admitted, “We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.”

Yet Carter, who signed the finding authorizing the covert program on July 3, 1979, today explains that it was definitely “not my intention” to inspire a Soviet invasion. Cyrus Vance, who was then Secretary of State, is not well enough to be interviewed, but his close aide Marshall Shulman insists that the State Department worked hard to dissuade the Soviets from invading and would never have undertaken a program to encourage it, though he says he was unaware of the covert program at the time. Indeed, Vance hardly seems to be represented at all in Gates’s recounting, although Brzezinski doubts that Carter would have approved the aid unless Vance “approved, however unenthusiastically.”[9]

Gates added a similar admission in his book, From The Shadows: The Ultimate Insider’s Story Of Five Presidents And How They Won The Cold War.[10]

One major terrorist supporter during her bloody tenure as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, also admitted that the United States created al-Qaeda. Clinton stated,

“Let’s remember here… the people we are fighting today we funded them twenty years ago… and we did it because we were locked in a struggle with the Soviet Union.

“They invaded Afghanistan… and we did not want to see them control Central Asia and we went to work… and it was President Reagan in partnership with Congress led by Democrats who said you know what it sounds like a pretty good idea… let’s deal with the ISI and the Pakistan military and let’s go recruit these mujahideen.

“And great, let them come from Saudi Arabia and other countries, importing their Wahabi brand of Islam so that we can go beat the Soviet Union.

“And guess what … they (Soviets) retreated … they lost billions of dollars and it led to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

“So there is a very strong argument which is… it wasn’t a bad investment in terms of Soviet Union but let’s be careful with what we sow… because we will harvest.

“So we then left Pakistan … We said okay fine you deal with the Stingers that we left all over your country… you deal with the mines that are along the border and… by the way we don’t want to have anything to do with you… in fact we’re sanctioning you… So we stopped dealing with the Pakistani military and with ISI and we now are making up for a lot of lost time.”[11]

But the fact that the United States created and funded both Bin Laden and al-Qaeda is not revealed only through a few statements by retired officials. It is fully part of American mainstream history. As the 1998 article by Michael Moran, “Bin Laden Comes Home To Roost,” for MSNBC states,

As his unclassified CIA biography states, bin Laden left Saudi Arabia to fight the Soviet army in Afghanistan after Moscow’s invasion in 1979. By 1984, he was running a front organization known as Maktab al-Khidamar – the MAK – which funneled money, arms and fighters from the outside world into the Afghan war.

What the CIA bio conveniently fails to specify (in its unclassified form, at least) is that the MAK was nurtured by Pakistan’s state security services, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI, the CIA’s primary conduit for conducting the covert war against Moscow’s occupation.

***

The CIA, concerned about the factionalism of Afghanistan … found that Arab zealots who flocked to aid the Afghans were easier to “read” than the rivalry-ridden natives. While the Arab volunteers might well prove troublesome later, the agency reasoned, they at least were one-dimensionally anti-Soviet for now. So bin Laden, along with a small group of Islamic militants from Egypt, Pakistan, Lebanon, Syria and Palestinian refugee camps all over the Middle East, became the “reliable” partners of the CIA in its war against Moscow.

***

To this day, those involved in the decision to give the Afghan rebels access to a fortune in covert funding and top-level combat weaponry continue to defend that move in the context of the Cold War. Sen. Orrin Hatch, a senior Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee making those decisions, told my colleague Robert Windrem that he would make the same call again today even knowing what bin Laden would do subsequently. “It was worth it,” he said.

“Those were very important, pivotal matters that played an important role in the downfall of the Soviet Union,” he said.[12]

Even the CIA-affiliated Washington Post admitted the Saudi role in an article written in 2002, entitled, “From U.S., the ABC’s of Jihad; Violent Soviet-Era Textbooks Complicate Afghan Education Efforts.” Stevens and Ottway wrote that

The United States spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings ….

The primers, which were filled with talk of jihad and featured drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines, have served since then as the Afghan school system’s core curriculum. Even the Taliban used the American-produced books ….

The Council on Foreign Relations also addressed the issue of Saudi and CIA-funded madrassas and the fact that these schools serve as an intentional breeding ground for extremism. The article, “Pakistan’s Education System And Links To Extremism,” states,

The 9/11 Commission report (PDF) released in 2004 said some of Pakistan’s religious schools or madrassas served as “incubators for violent extremism.” Since then, there has been much debate over madrassas and their connection to militancy.

For almost one thousand years, madrassas have been centers of Islamic learning that produce the next generation of Islamic scholars and clerics. In Pakistan in the 1980s they underwent a complete change under Zia’s Islamization efforts, but it was Pakistan’s leading role in the anti-Soviet campaign in neighboring Afghanistan during this time that radicalized some of these madrassas. New madrassas sprouted, funded and supported by Saudi Arabia and U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, where students were encouraged to join the Afghan resistance. The rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan in the 1990s, and reports that many of the group’s leaders were educated in Pakistan’s madrassas, fueled concern regarding these schools.

In an article by Jason Burke of the Guardian entitled, “Frankenstein The CIA Created,” Burke writes about the network of terrorists spawned by the CIA’s al-Qaeda operation in Afghanistan in the late 70s. Burke writes,

When Clement Rodney Hampton-el, a hospital technician from Brooklyn, New Jersey, returned home from the war in Afghanistan in 1989, he told friends his only desire was to return. Though he had been wounded in the arm and leg by a Russian shell, he said he had failed. He had not achieved martyrdom in the name of Islam.

So he found a different theatre for his holy war and achieved a different sort of martyrdom. Three years ago, he was convicted of planning a series of massive explosions in Manhattan and sentenced to 35 years in prison.

Hampton-el was described by prosecutors as a skilled bomb-maker. It was hardly surprising. In Afghanistan he fought with the Hezb-i-Islami group of mujahideen, whose training and weaponry were mainly supplied by the CIA.

He was not alone. American officials estimate that, from 1985 to 1992, 12,500 foreigners were trained in bomb-making, sabotage and urban guerrilla warfare in Afghan camps the CIA helped to set up.

Since the fall of the Soviet puppet government in 1992, another 2,500 are believed to have passed through the camps. They are now run by an assortment of Islamic extremists, including Osama bin Laden, the world’s most wanted terrorist.

Bin Laden arrived in Afghanistan from Saudi Arabia in 1979, aged 22. Though he saw a considerable amount of combat – around the eastern city of Jalalabad in March 1989 and, earlier, around the border town of Khost – his speciality was logistics.

From his base in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, he used his experience of the construction trade, and his money, to build a series of bases where the mujahideen could be trained by their Pakistani, American and, if some recent press reports are to be believed, British advisers.

One of the camps bin Laden built, known as Al-Badr, was the target of the American missile strikes against him last summer. Now it is used by Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, a Pakistan-based organisation that trains volunteers to fight in Kashmir.

Some of their recruits kidnapped and almost certainly killed a group of Western hostages a few years ago. The bases are still full of new volunteers, many Pakistanis. Most of those who were killed in last August’s strikes were Pakistani.

A Harkut-ul-Mujahideen official said last week that it had Germans and Britons fighting for the cause, as well as Egyptians, Palestinians and Saudis. Muslims from the West as well as from the Middle East and North Africa are regularly stopped by Pakistani police on the road up the Khyber Pass heading for the camps. Hundreds get through. Afghan veterans have now joined bin Laden’s al-Qaeda group.

Some have returned to former battlegrounds, like the university-educated Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri, a key figure in the Egyptian al-Jihad terrorist group. Al-Zawahiri ran his own operation during the Afghan war, bringing in and training volunteers from the Middle East. Some of the $500 million the CIA poured into Afghanistan reached his group. Al-Zawahiri has become a close aide of bin Laden and has now returned to Afghanistan to work with him. His al-Jihad group has been linked to the Yemeni kidnappers.

One Saudi journalist who interviewed bin Laden in 1989 remembers three of his close associates going under the names of Abu Mohammed, Abu Hafz and Abu Ahmed. All three fought with bin Laden in the early Eighties, travelled with him to the Sudan and have come back to Afghanistan. Afghan veterans, believed to include men who fought the Americans in Somalia, have also returned.

Other members of al-Quaeda remain overseas. Afghan veterans now linked to bin Laden have been traced by investigators to Pakistan, East Africa, Albania, Chechnya, Algeria, France, the US and Britain.

At least one of the kidnappers in Yemen was reported to have fought in Afghanistan and to be linked to al-Quaeda. Despite reports that bin Laden was effectively funded by the Americans, it is impossible to gauge how much American aid he received. He was not a major figure in the Afghan war. Most American weapons, including Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, were channelled by the Pakistanis to the Hezb-i-Islami faction of the mujahideen led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

Bin Laden was only loosely connected with the group, serving under another Hezb-i-Islami commander known as Engineer Machmud. However, bin Laden’s Office of Services, set up to recruit overseas for the war, received some US cash.

Robert Dreyfuss also succintly describes the geo-political situation surrounding the creation of al-Qaeda and the organization and funding of terrorists since the late 1970s. Notably, he also mentions that the late 1970s were not the beginning of Western support for terrorism. Dreyfuss takes the timeline back to the 1960s. He writes,

For half a century the United States and many of its allies saw what I call the “Islamic right” as convenient partners in the Cold War.

***

In the decades before 9/11, hard-core activists and organizations among Muslim fundamentalists on the far right were often viewed as allies for two reasons, because they were seen a fierce anti-communists and because the opposed secular nationalists such as Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser, Iran’s Mohammed Mossadegh.

***

By the end of the 1950s, rather than allying itself with the secular forces of progress in the Middle East and the Arab world, the United States found itself in league with Saudi Arabia’s Islamist legions. Choosing Saudi Arabia over Nasser’s Egypt was probably the single biggest mistake the United States has ever made in the Middle East.

A second big mistake … occurred in the 1970s, when, at the height of the Cold War and the struggle for control of the Middle East, the United States either supported or acquiesced in the rapid growth of Islamic right in countries from Egypt to Afghanistan. In Egypt, Anwar Sadat brought the Muslim Brotherhood back to Egypt. In Syria, the United States, Israel, and Jordan supported the Muslim Brotherhood in a civil war against Syria. And … Israel quietly backed Ahmed Yassin and the Muslim Brotherhood in the West Bank and Gaza, leading to the establishment of Hamas.

Still another major mistake was the fantasy that Islam would penetrate the USSR and unravel the Soviet Union in Asia. It led to America’s support for the jihadists in Afghanistan. But … America’s alliance with the Afghan Islamists long predated the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and had its roots in CIA activity in Afghanistan in the 1960s and in the early and mid-1970s. The Afghan jihad spawned civil war in Afghanistan in the late 1980s, gave rise to the Taliban, and got Osama bin Laden started on building Al Qaeda.

Would the Islamic right have existed without U.S. support? Of course. This is not a book for the conspiracy-minded. But there is no question that the virulence of the movement that we now confront—and which confronts many of the countries in the region, too, from Algeria to India and beyond—would have been significantly less had the United States made other choices during the Cold War.

Pakistani nuclear scientist and peace activist, Perez Hoodbhoy, also wrote about the role of both the West and Pakistan in the creation of global jihad and the control those countries had over the movement. He wrote,

The bleeders [leaders who advocated the idea of “bleeding” the Soviet Union, by Hoodbhoy’s own definition] soon organized and armed the Great Global Jihad, funded by Saudi Arabia, and executed by Pakistan. A powerful magnet for militant Sunni activists was created by the US. The most hardened and ideologically dedicated men were sought on the logic that they would be the best fighters. Advertisements, paid for from CIA funds, were placed in newspapers and newsletters around the world offering inducements and motivations to join the Jihad.

American universities produced books for Afghan children that extolled the virtues of jihad and of killing communists. Readers browsing through book bazaars in Rawalpindi and Peshawar can, even today, sometimes find textbooks produced as part of the series underwritten by a USAID $50 million grant to the University of Nebraska in the 1980’s . These textbooks sought to counterbalance Marxism through creating enthusiasm in Islamic militancy. They exhorted Afghan children to “pluck out the eyes of the Soviet enemy and cut off his legs”. Years after the books were first printed they were approved by the Taliban for use in madrassas – a stamp of their ideological correctness and they are still widely available in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

At the international level, Radical Islam went into overdrive as its superpower ally, the United States, funneled support to the mujahideen. Ronald Reagan feted jihadist leaders on the White House lawn, and the U.S. press lionized them.

Washington’s Blog also adds that, Michael J. Springmann, chief of the visa section at the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, claims that the CIA insisted that the consulate approve visas for Afghanis so that they could travel to the United States and be trained in terrorism so that they could then be sent back to Afghanistan to fight the Soviets. This would later play a role in the questions surrounding the 9/11 attacks.

Funding Terror Domestically – 1993 World Trade Center Bombing

Without attempting to trace every movement of the Western-backed terror apparatus, it is important to note a number of flashpoints in its history. The 1993 WTC bombing was one of these flashpoints, since it ushered in an era of greater police state, shredding of civil rights, and a government/media-induced hysteria over “domestic terrorism” and terror attacks committed by foreigners against American targets at home.

Ample evidence exists to show that the attacks were committed with help from the FBI. Most notably, FBI informant, Emad Salem, who was attempting to help the FBI infiltrate and prevent the attacks (or so he thought) revealed that the FBI insisted that the terrorists be given real explosives against Salem’s own advice.

A New York Times report from 1993 summarzied Salem’s situation in the article entitled, “Tapes Depict Proposal To Thwart Bombs Used In Trade Center Blast,

Law-enforcement officials were told that terrorists were building a bomb that was eventually used to blow up the World Trade Center, and they planned to thwart the plotters by secretly substituting harmless powder for the explosives, an informer said after the blast.

The informer was to have helped the plotters build the bomb and supply the fake powder, but the plan was called off by an F.B.I. supervisor who had other ideas about how the informer, Emad A. Salem, should be used, the informer said.

Thankfully for Salem, he was smart enough to smell a rat and taped his conversations with intelligence and law enforcement agents in secret, which he then released. Many, however, appear to remain secret by order of the court. The Blumenthal article continues,

The account, which is given in the transcript of hundreds of hours of tape recordings Mr. Salem secretly made of his talks with law-enforcement agents, portrays the authorities as in a far better position than previously known to foil the Feb. 26 bombing of New York City’s tallest towers. The explosion left six people dead, more than 1,000 injured and damages in excess of half a billion dollars. Four men are now on trial in Manhattan Federal Court in that attack.

Mr. Salem, a 43-year-old former Egyptian army officer, was used by the Government to penetrate a circle of Muslim extremists now charged in two bombing cases: the World Trade Center attack and a foiled plot to destroy the United Nations, the Hudson River tunnels and other New York City landmarks. He is the crucial witness in the second bombing case, but his work for the Government was erratic, and for months before the trade center blast, he was feuding with the F.B.I. Supervisor ‘Messed It Up’

After the bombing, he resumed his undercover work. In an undated transcript of a conversation from that period, Mr. Salem recounts a talk he had had earlier with an agent about an unnamed F.B.I. supervisor who, he said, “came and messed it up.”

“He requested to meet me in the hotel,” Mr. Salem says of the supervisor. “He requested to make me to testify and if he didn’t push for that, we’ll be going building the bomb with a phony powder and grabbing the people who was involved in it. But since you, we didn’t do that.”

The transcript quotes Mr. Salem as saying that he wanted to complain to F.B.I. headquarters in Washington about the bureau’s failure to stop the bombing, but was dissuaded by an agent identified as John Anticev.

“He said, I don’t think that the New York people would like the things out of the New York office to go to Washington, D.C.,” Mr. Salem said Mr. Anticev had told him.

Another agent, identified as Nancy Floyd, does not dispute Mr. Salem’s account, but rather, appears to agree with it, saying of the New York people: “Well, of course not, because they don’t want to get their butts chewed.”

Mary Jo White, who, as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York is prosecuting defendants in two related bombing cases, declined yesterday to comment on the Salem allegations or any other aspect of the cases. An investigator close to the case who refused to be identified further said, “We wish he would have saved the world,” but called Mr. Salem’s claims “figments of his imagination.”

The transcripts, which are stamped “draft” and compiled from 70 tapes recorded secretly during the last two years by Mr. Salem, were turned over to defense lawyers in the second bombing case by the Government on Tuesday under a judge’s order barring lawyers from disseminating them. A large portion of the material was made available to The New York Times.

In a letter to Federal Judge Michael B. Mukasey, Andrew C. McCarthy, an assistant United States attorney, said that he had learned of the tapes while debriefing Mr. Salem and that the informer had then voluntarily turned them over. Other Salem tapes and transcripts were being withheld pending Government review, of “security and other issues,” Mr. McCarthy said.

William M. Kunstler, a defense lawyer in the case, accused the Government this week of improper delay in handing over all the material. The transcripts he had seen, he said, “were filled with all sorts of Government misconduct.” But citing the judge’s order, he said he could not provide any details.

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The transcripts do not make clear the extent to which Federal authorities knew that there was a plan to bomb the World Trade Center, merely that they knew that a bombing of some sort was being discussed. But Mr. Salem’s evident anguish at not being able to thwart the trade center blast is a recurrent theme in the transcripts. In one of the first numbered tapes, Mr. Salem is quoted as telling agent Floyd: “Since the bomb went off I feel terrible. I feel bad. I feel here is people who don’t listen.”

Ms. Floyd seems to commiserate, saying, “hey, I mean it wasn’t like you didn’t try and I didn’t try.”

In an apparent reference to Mr. Salem’s complaints about the supervisor, Agent Floyd adds, “You can’t force people to do the right thing.”

The investigator involved in the case who would not be quoted by name said that Mr. Salem may have been led to believe by the agents that they were blameless for any mistakes. It was a classic agent’s tactic, he said, to “blame the boss for all that’s bad and take credit for all the good things.”

In another point in the transcripts, Mr. Salem recounts a conversation he said he had with Mr. Anticev, saying, “I said, ‘Guys, now you saw this bomb went off and you both know that we could avoid that.’ ” At another point, Mr. Salem says, “You get paid, guys, to prevent problems like this from happening.”

Mr. Salem talks of the plan to substitute harmless powder for explosives during another conversation with agent Floyd. In that conversation, he recalls a previous discussion with Mr. Anticev.

“Do you deny,” Mr. Salem says he told the other agent, “your supervisor is the main reason of bombing the World Trade Center?” Mr. Salem said Mr. Anticev did not deny it. “We was handling the case perfectly well until the supervisor came and messed it up, upside down.”

The transcripts reflect an effort to keep Mr. Salem as an intelligence asset who would not have to go public or testify.

A police detective working with the F.B.I., Louis Napoli, assures Mr. Salem in one conversation, “We can give you total immunity towards prosecution, towards, ah, ah, testifying.” But he adds: “I still have to tell you that if you’re the only game in town in regards to the information,” then, he says, “you’ll have to testify.”
. . . . .
The transcripts are being closely studied by lawyers looking for signs that Mr. Salem and the law enforcement officials, in their zeal to gather evidence, may have crossed the legal line into entrapment, a charge that defense counsel have already raised.

But the transcripts show that the officials were concerned that by associating with bombing defendants awaiting trial in the Metropolitan Correctional Center, Mr. Salem might have been accused of spying on the defense.

In an undated conversation, Mr. Anticev tries to explain the perils.

“We’re not allowed to have any information regarding that,” he tells Mr. Salem. “That could jeopardize, you know, if you go see a lawyer, ah, you know, with the defendant’s friend or whatever like that, and you’re talking about things we’re not suppose to, ah, condone that. We’re not supposed to make people do that for us. That’s like sacred ground. You can’t be privileged, ah, you can’t know what’s being talked about at all.”

Mr. Salem seems to bridle. “I, I, I don’t think that’s right,” he says.

The agent insists: “Yeah, but that’s just a guideline. If that ever happened, ah, you can back and reported on the meeting between, ah, you know, Kunstler and Mohammad A. Elgabrown. Forget about it. I mean a lot of people ah the case can get thrown out. You understand?” The references were to the defense lawyer, Mr. Kunstler, and his client in the second bomb case, Ibrahim A. Elgabrowny.

Mr. Salem seems to reluctantly agree.

“They want you to have a hand in it,” Mr. Anticev goes on, “but they’re afraid that when you get that kind of, ah, too deep, like me, it’s almost like, especially with all this legal stuff going on right now.”

If it were just intelligence gathering, the agent says, “You can do anything you want. You could go crazy over there and have a good time. Do you know what I mean?”

The agent goes on: “But now that everything is going to court and there is legal stuff and it’s just, it’s just too hard. It’s just too tricky, if, this, you know. And then there’s the fact if you come by with the big information, he did this, ah, let me talk about this with the other people again.”

“O.K.,” Mr. Salem says. “All right. O.K.”

In an article for the New York Magazine entitled “The CIA’s Jihad,” Robert I. Friedman, wrote in 1995 (March 27) on another questionable facet of the bombing. He wrote,

Shiekh Omar Abdel Rahman commands an almost deified adoration and respect in certain Islamic circles. It was his 1980 fatwa – religious decree – condemning Anwar Sadat for making peace with Israel that is widely believed to be responsible for Sadat’s assassination a year later. (Rahman was subsequently tried but acquitted.)

***

The CIA paid to send Abdel Rahman to Peshawar ‘to preach to the Afghans about the necessity of unity to overthrow the Kabul regime,’ according to Professor Rubin. By all accounts, Rahman was brilliant at inspiring the faithful.

As a reward for his services, the CIA gave the sheikh a one-year visa to the United States in May, 1990 – even though he was on a State Department terrorism watch list that should have barred him from the country.

After a public outcry in the wake of the World Trade Centre bombing, a State Department representative discovered that Rahman had, in fact, received four United States visas dating back to December 15, 1986. All were given to him by CIA agents acting as consular officers at American embassies in Khartoum and Cairo. The CIA officers claimed they didn’t know the sheikh was one of the most notorious political figures in the Middle East and a militant on the State Department’s list of undesirables. The agent in Khartoum said that when the sheikh walked in the computers were down and the Sudanese clerk didn’t bother to check the microfiche file.

Says one top New York investigator: ‘Left with the choice between pleading stupidity or else admitting deceit, the CIA went with stupidity.’

***

The sheikh arrived in Brooklyn at a fortuitous time for the CIA. In the wake of the Soviet Union’s retreat from Afghanistan, Congress had slashed the amount of covert aid going to the mujaheddin. The international network of Arab-financed support groups became even more vital to the CIA, including the string of jihad offices that had been set up across America with the help of Saudi and American intelligence. To drum up support, the agency paved the way for veterans of the Afghan conflict to visit the centres and tell their inspirational war stories; in return, the centres collected millions of dollars for the rebels at a time when they needed it most.

There were jihad offices in Jersey City, Atlanta and Dallas, but the most important was the one in Brooklyn, called Alkifah – Arabic for ‘the struggle.’ That storefront became the de facto headquarters of the sheikh.

***

On November 5, 1990, Rabbi Meir Kahane, an ultra-right-wing Zionist militant, was shot in the throat with a .357 magnum in a Manhattan hotel; El-Sayyid Nosair was gunned down by an off-duty postal inspector outside the hotel, and the murder weapon was found a few feet from his hand.

A subsequent search of Nosair’s Cliffside Park, New Jersey home turned up forty boxes of evidence – evidence that, had the D.A.’s office and the FBI looked at it more carefully, would have revealed an active terrorist conspiracy about to boil over in New York.

***

In addition to discovering thousands of rounds of ammunition and hit lists with the names of New York judges and prosecutors, investigators found amongst the Nosair evidence classified U.S. military-training manuals.

***

Also found amongst Nosair’s effects were several documents, letters and notebooks in Arabic, which when eventually translated would point to e terror conspiracy against the United States. The D.A.’s office shipped these, along with the other evidence, to the FBI’s office at 26 Federal Plaza. ‘We gave all this stuff to the bureau, thinking that they were well equipped,’ says one source close to the D.A.’s office. ‘After the World Trade Centre, we discovered they never translated the material.’

According to other sources familiar with the case, the FBI told District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau that Nosair was a lone gunman, not part of a broader conspiracy; the prosecution took this position at trial and lost, only convicting Nosair of gun charges. Morgenthau speculated the CIA may have encouraged the FBI not to pursue any other leads, these sources say. ‘The FBI lied to me,’ Morgenthau has told colleagues. ‘They’re supposed to untangle terrorist connections, but they can’t be trusted to do the job.’

Three years later, on the day the FBI arrested four Arabs for the World Trade Centre bombing, saying it had all of the suspects, Morgenthau’s ears pricked up. He didn’t believe the four were ‘self-starters,’ and speculated that there was probably a larger network as well as a foreign sponsor. He also had a hunch that the suspects would lead back to Sheikh Abdel Rahman. But he worried that the dots might not be connected because the U.S. government was protecting the sheikh for his help in Afghanistan.

***

Nevertheless, some in the D.A.’s office believe that until the Ryder van exploded underneath New York’s tallest building, the sheikh and his men were being protected by the CIA. Morgenthau reportedly believes the CIA brought the sheikh to Brooklyn in the first place….

As far as can be determined, no American agency is investigating leads suggesting foreign-government involvement in the New York terror conspiracy. For example, Saudi intelligence has contributed to Sheikh Rahman’s legal-defence fund, according to Mohammed al-Khilewi, the former first secretary to the Saudi mission at the U.N.

Friedman also points out that intelligence agencies had notes in their possession that by all reason should have connected these terrorists but these agencies did not connect the dots before 1993.

Washington’s Blog quotes CNN’s 1994 report entitled “Terror Nation? U.S. Creation?“, which stated (as summarized by Congressman Peter Deutsch),

Some Afghan groups that have had close affiliation with Pakistani Intelligence are believed to have been involved in the [1993] New York World Trade Center bombings.

***

Pro-Western afghan officials … officially warned the U.S. government about Hekmatyar no fewer than four times. The last warning delivered just days before the [1993] Trade Center attack.” Speaking to former CIA Director Robert Gates, about Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Peter Arnett reports, “The Pakistanis showered Gulbuddin Hekmatyar with U.S. provided weapons and sang his praises to the CIA. They had close ties with Hakmatyar going back to the mid-1970’s.”

Washington’s Blog adds,

This is interesting because it is widely-acknowledged that Gulbuddin Hekmatyar was enthusiastically backed by the U.S. For example, U.S. News and World Report says:

[He was] once among America’s most valued allies. In the 1980s, the CIA funneled hundreds of millions of dollars in weapons and ammunition to help them battle the Soviet Army during its occupation of Afghanistan. Hekmatyar, then widely considered by Washington to be a reliable anti-Soviet rebel, was even flown to the United States by the CIA in 1985.

As the New York Times, CBS News and others reported, an FBI informant involved in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center begged the FBI to substitute fake bomb power for real explosives, but his FBI handler somehow let real explosives be used.

Kosovo

The United States would once again use al-Qaeda in the late 90s in Kosovo under the name Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) which would, much like the Libyan war, provoke a response from the Yugoslav government used to justify a “humanitarian war” which resulted in thousands of deaths of innocent people. As Michel Chossudovsky wrote in his Global Research article, “Bill Clinton Worked Hand in Glove with Al Qaeda: “Helped Turn Bosnia into Militant Islamic Base,”

The “Bosnian pattern” described in the 1997 Congressional RPC report was then replicated in Kosovo. Among the foreign mercenaries fighting in Kosovo (and Macedonia in 2001) were Mujahideen from the Middle East and the Central Asian republics of the former Soviet Union as well as “soldiers of fortune” from several NATO countries including Britain, Holland and Germany.

Confirmed by British military sources, the task of arming and training of the KLA had been entrusted in 1998 to the US Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) and Britain’s Secret Intelligence Services MI6, together with “former and serving members of 22 SAS [Britain’s 22nd Special Air Services Regiment], as well as three British and American private security companies”. (The Scotsman, Glasgow, 29 August 1999)

The US DIA approached MI6 to arrange a training programme for the KLA, said a senior British military source. `MI6 then sub-contracted the operation to two British security companies, who in turn approached a number of former members of the (22 SAS) regiment. Lists were then drawn up of weapons and equipment needed by the KLA.’ While these covert operations were continuing, serving members of 22 SAS Regiment, mostly from the unit’s D Squadron, were first deployed in Kosovo before the beginning of the bombing campaign in March. (ibid)

While British SAS Special Forces in bases in Northern Albania were training the KLA, military instructors from Turkey and Afghanistan financed by the “Islamic jihad” were collaborating in training the KLA in guerilla and diversion tactics. (Truth in Media, April 2, 1999)

Bin Laden had visited Albania himself. He was one of several fundamentalist groups that had sent units to fight in Kosovo, … Bin Laden is believed to have established an operation in Albania in 1994 … Albanian sources say Sali Berisha, who was then president, had links with some groups that later proved to be extreme fundamentalists. (Sunday Times, London, 29 November 1998, emphasis added).

. . . .  of the RPC congressional document, . . . .  confirms that the Clinton administration was collaborating with Al Qaeda. The actions taken by the Clinton administration were intended to create ethnic and factional divisions which eventually were conducive to the fracturing of the Yugoslav Federation.

In retrospect, the Obama Administration’s covert support of the ISIS in Syria and Iraq bears a canny resemblance to the Clinton administration’s support of the Militant Islamic Base in Bosnia and Kosovo. What this suggests is that US intelligence rather than the White House and the State Department determine the main thrust of US foreign policy, which consists in supporting and financing “Jihadist” terrorist organizations with a view to destabilizing sovereign countries.

The Plot To Assassinate Ghaddafi In The ’90s

Former MI5 agent David Shayler caused a massive controversy in Britain after revealing a failed plot by MI6 to assassinate Muammar Ghaddafi in Libya in 1996. The plan centered around paying and working closely with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, an al-Qaeda terrorist organization that would later surface again during the course of the Western backed war to overthrow Ghaddafi in 2011. The plot, which centered around planting a bomb in Ghaddafi’s car, failed to kill Ghaddafi as the device was planted in the wrong vehicle. It did, however, kill a number of innocent civilians. The goal, according to Shayler, was to kill Ghaddafi, which would send Libya into absolute chaos, possibly allowing al-Qaeda to seize power. This would allow Britain and most likely the United States to invade and seize control of the oild fields, pipelines, and the coast, all while seeing the leader who had long resisted Western machinations eliminated.

As Gary Gambill wrote in his article, “The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group,” for the Jamestown Foundation,

After weeks of intense fighting, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) formally declared its existence in a communiqué calling Qadhafi’s government “an apostate regime that has blasphemed against the faith of God Almighty” and declaring its overthrow to be “the foremost duty after faith in God.” [3] This and future LIFG communiqués were issued by Libyan Afghans who had been granted political asylum in Britain (often after being rejected by continental European governments), where anti-Qadhafi sentiments stemming from the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, remained at a fever pitch. The involvement of the British government in the LIFG campaign against Qadhafi remains the subject of immense controversy. LIFG’s next big operation, a failed attempt to assassinate Qadhafi in February 1996 that killed several of his bodyguards, was later said to have been financed by British intelligence to the tune of $160,000, according to ex-M15 officer David Shayler. [4] While Shayler’s allegations have not been independently confirmed, it is clear that Britain allowed LIFG to develop a base of logistical support and fundraising on its soil. At any rate, financing by bin Laden appears to have been much more important. According to one report, LIFG received up to $50,000 from the Saudi terrorist mastermind for each of its militants killed on the battlefield.

While not the United States government proper, the UK and US intelligence agencies often function as one unit as a result of the so-called “special relationship” that saw the intelligence communities of both countries merged during the second World War. Regardless, the incident, at the very least, shows Western governments working hand in hand with al-Qaeda in an effort to kill the leader of a sovereign state.

Libya

The war against Ghaddafi in Libya worked in much the same way as the attempted killing of Ghaddafi was supposed to work in the ’90s. Indeed, it also followed the same trend as the war in Syria, the difference being the fact that Syria has not only been able to hold on for seven years but also seems to be on the cusp of defeating Western the Western agenda.

During the course of the war against Libya, the United States openly supported al-Qaeda terrorists as a proxy army to overthrow the Libyan government.

Among the Libyan “rebels” being supported by the United States was the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, a terrorist organization that, as was mentioned above, is nothing more than another regional division and nomenclature for al-Qaeda itself. As Webster Tarpley wrote in his article, “The CIA’s Libya Rebels: The Same Terrorists Who Killed US, NATO Troops In Iraq,

The specific institutional basis for the recruitment of guerrilla fighters in northeastern Libya is associated with an organization which previously called itself the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). During the course of 2007, the LIFG declared itself an official subsidiary of al Qaeda, later assuming the name of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). As a result of this 2007 merger, an increased number of guerrilla fighters arrived in Iraq from Libya. According to Felter and Fishman, “The apparent surge in Libyan recruits traveling to Iraq may be linked the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group’s (LIFG) increasingly cooperative relationship with al-Qaeda, which culminated in the LIFG officially joining al-Qaeda on November 3, 2007.” This merger is confirmed by other sources: A 2008 statement attributed to Ayman al-Zawahiri claimed that the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group has joined al-Qaeda.

. . .

The West Point study [ Joseph Felter and Brian Fishman, “Al Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighter in Iraq: A First Look at the Sinjar Records,” (West Point, NY: Harmony Project, Combating Terrorism Center, Department of Social Sciences, US Military Academy, December 2007).] makes clear that the main bulwarks of the LIFG and of the later AQIM were the twin cities of Benghazi and Darnah. This is documented in a statement by Abu Layth al-Libi, the self-styled “Emir” of the LIFG, who later became a top official of al Qaeda. At the time of the 2007 merger, “Abu Layth al-Libi, LIFG’s Emir, reinforced Benghazi and Darnah’s importance to Libyan jiha

dis in his announcement that LIFG had joined al-Qa’ida, saying: ‘It is with the grace of God that we were hoisting the banner of jihad against this apostate regime under the leadership of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which sacrificed the elite of its sons and commanders in combating this regime whose blood was spilled on the mountains of Darnah, the streets of Benghazi, the outskirts of Tripoli, the desert of Sabha, and the sands of the beach.’”This 2007 merger meant that the Libyan recruits for Al Qaeda became an increasingly important part of the activity of this organization as a whole, shifting the center of gravity to some degree away from the Saudis and Egyptians who had previously been most conspicuous. As Felter and Fishman comment, “Libyan factions (primarily the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group) are increasingly important in al-Qa’ida. The Sinjar Records offer some evidence that Libyans began surging into Iraq in larger numbers beginning in May 2007. Most of the Libyan recruits came from cities in northeast Libya, an area long known for jihadi-linked militancy.”
. . . . .

Looking back at the tragic experience of US efforts to incite the population of Afghanistan against the Soviet occupation in the years after 1979, it should be clear that the policy of the Reagan White House to arm the Afghan mujahedin with Stinger missiles and other modern weapons turned out to be highly destructive for the United States. As current Defense Secretary Robert Gates comes close to admitting in his memoirs, Al Qaeda was created during those years by the United States as a form of Arab Legion against the Soviet presence, with long-term results which have been highly lamented.

Today, it is clear that the United States is providing modern weapons for the Libyan rebels through Saudi Arabia and across the Egyptian border with the active assistance of the Egyptian army and of the newly installed pro-US Egyptian military junta. This is a direct violation of UN Security Council resolution 1973, which calls for a complete arms embargo on Libya. The assumption is that these weapons will be used against Gaddafi in the coming weeks. But, given the violently anti-American nature of the population of northeast Libya that is now being armed, there is no certainty that these weapons will not be soon turned against those who have provided them.

. . . . .

For those who attempt to follow the ins and outs of the CIA’s management of its various patsy organizations inside the realm of presumed Islamic terrorism, it may be useful to trace the transformation of the LIFG-AQIM from deadly enemy to close ally. This phenomenon is closely linked to the general reversal of the ideological fronts of US imperialism that marks the divide between the Bush-Cheney-neocon administrations and the current Obama-Brzezinski-International Crisis Group regime. The Bush approach was to use the alleged presence of Al Qaeda as a reason for direct military attack. The Obama method is to use Al Qaeda to overthrow independent governments, and then either Balkanize and partition the countries in question, or else use them as kamikaze puppets against larger enemies like Russia, China, or Iran. This approach implies a more or less open fraternization with terrorist groups, which was signaled in a general way in Obamas famous Cairo speech of 2009. The links of the Obama campaign to the terrorist organizations deployed by the CIA against Russia were already a matter of public record three years ago.But such a reversal

of field cannot be improvised overnight; it took several years of preparation. On July 10, 2009, The London Daily Telegraph reported that the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group had split with Al Qaeda. This was when the United States had decided to de-emphasize the Iraq war, and also to prepare to use the Sunni Moslem Brotherhood and its Sunni Al Qaeda offshoot for the destabilization of the leading Arab states preparatory to turning them against Shiite Iran. Paul Cruikshank wrote at that time in the New York Daily News about one top LIFG honcho who wanted to dial back the relation to al Qaeda and the infamous Osama Bin Laden; this was “Noman Benotman, a former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. While mainstream Muslim leaders have long criticized Al Qaeda, these critics have the jihadist credentials to make their criticisms bite.” But by this time some LIFG bosses had moved up into al Qaeda: the London Daily Telegraph reported that senior Al Qaeda members Abu Yahya al-Libi and Abu Laith al-Libi were LIFG members. Around this time, Qaddafi released some LIFG fighters in an ill-advsided humanitarian gesture.

It is highly recommended for the reader to acces Peter Dale Scott’s article “Who are the Libyan Freedom Fighters and Their Patrons? Peter Dale Scott’s Libyan Notebook” published in the Asia Pacific Journal in order to views his “notes” in the run-up to the destabilization and invasion of Libya.

Later, in 2016, as the United States and Britain used the presence of “extremists” in Libya to justify military action in the country yet again, Tony Cartalucci wrote in his article, “US-NATO Invade Libya To Fight Terrorists Of Own Creation,

As has been explained by geopolitical analysts since 2011, terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda and their various rebrandings are far from being the West’s true adversaries. Besides being funded, armed, and backed by the West’s closest and oldest Middle Eastern allies – particularly the Saudis and Qataris – these terrorist organizations serve a two-fold purpose. First, they serve as a mercenary army with which the West fights targeted nations by proxy. Second, they serve as a pretext for direct Western military intervention when proxy war fails or is not an option.

This was first illustrated with the very inception of Al Qaeda in the 1980’s where it was used as a proxy force by the US and Saudis to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. In 2001, the presence of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan was used as a pretext for a US invasion and occupation that endures to this very day.

As of 2011, literally these very same terrorists were organized, armed, funded, and provided with NATO aircover to overthrow the government of Libya. From there, they were rearmed and shipped to NATO-member Turkey where they then invaded northern Syria, and more specifically Idlib and the pivotal city of Aleppo.

The Business Insider would report in its article, “REPORT: The US Is Openly Sending Heavy Weapons From Libya To Syrian Rebels,” that:

The administration has said that the previously hidden CIA operation in Benghazi involved finding, repurchasing and destroying heavy weaponry looted from Libyan government arsenals, but in October we reported evidence indicating that U.S. agents — particularly murdered ambassador Chris Stevens — were at least aware of heavy weapons moving from Libya to jihadist Syrian rebels.

There have been several possible SA-7 spottings in Syria dating as far back as early summer 2012, and there are indications that at least some of Gaddafi’s 20,000 portable heat-seeking missiles were shipped before now.

On Sept. 6 a Libyan ship carrying 400 tons of weapons for Syrian rebels docked in southern Turkey. The ship’s captain was “a Libyan from Benghazi” who worked for the new Libyan government. The man who organized that shipment, Tripoli Military Council head Abdelhakim Belhadj, worked directly with Stevens during the Libyan revolution.

The Business Insider’s mention of Abdelhakim Belhaj working directly with Ambassador Stevens is particularly important. Belhaj was quite literally the leader of US State Department-listed foreign terrorist organization, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) – Al Qaeda in Libya. Despite his obvious ties to Al Qaeda, he was openly backed by the US during the 2011 Libyan War, and afterward, was posing for pictures with US senators including Arizona senator John McCain in the aftermath of NATO’s regime change operations. LIFG’s leader, Abdelhakim Belhadj, is now reportedly also a senior leader of ISIS in Libya.

Fox News in a March 2015 report titled, “Herridge: ISIS Has Turned Libya Into New Support Base, Safe Haven,” would claim:

Herridge reported that one of the alleged leaders of ISIS in North Africa is Libyan Abdelhakim Belhadj, who was seen by the U.S. as a willing partner in the overthrow of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

“Now, it’s alleged he is firmly aligned with ISIS and supports the training camps in eastern Libya,” Herridge said.

It is clear that the West is not fighting ISIS, but instead, has clearly both created it and is intentionally perpetuating it to help justify its military and geopolitical maneuvering across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, and advance its aspirations toward regional and global political, military, and economic hegemony.

The very same technicals – armed trucks used in combat – bearing the Libyan “rebel” insignia, have literally just been painted over by images of ISIS’ flag, like props on a Hollywood set being used in a bad sequel. With the US-British and European intervention in a destroyed Libya overrun by terrorists – a Libya we were promised by NATO was bringing brought peace, stability, “freedom,” and “democracy” with its 2011 intervention, we see fully the danger of entrusting other nations to a similar fate wrought by Western intervention – most notably Syria.

9/11

Books, documentaries, articles, and lectures abound regarding the 9/11 terrorist attacks and who was ultimately responsible for them. Needless to say, an attempt to prove that 9/11 was an inside job is beyond the scope of this article. One aspect that is not up for debate, however, is whether or not the official story regarding 9/11 is true. The official story is demonstrably false.

With this in mind, I highly access reading and/or viewing the following materials in order to gain a better understanding of the link between al-Qaeda and the United States government as it relates to 9/11.

Loose Change – documentary

Fabled Enemies – documentary

Confronting The Evidence – documentary

The New Pearl Harbor book by David Ray Griffin

Debunking 9/11 Debunking by David Ray Griffin

9/11 Synthetic Terror book by Webster Griffin Tarpley

Syria ISIS IS Al-Qaeda

It is important to remember that the so-called leader of ISIS is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. As Voltaire Net describes Baghdadi,

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is an Iraqi who joined Al-Qaeda to fight against President Saddam Hussein. During the U.S. invasion, he distinguished himself by engaging in several actions against Shiites and Christians (including the taking of the Baghdad Cathedral) and by ushering in an Islamist reign of terror (he presided over an Islamic court which sentenced many Iraqis to be slaughtered in public). After the departure of Paul Bremer III, al-Baghdadi was arrested and incarcerated at Camp Bucca from 2005 to 2009. This period saw the dissolution of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, whose fighters merged into a group of tribal resistance, the Islamic Emirate of Iraq.

On 16 May 2010, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was named emir of the IEI, which was in the process of disintegration. After the departure of U.S. troops, he staged operations against the government al-Maliki, accused of being at the service of Iran. In 2013, after vowing allegiance to Al-Qaeda, he took off with his group to continue the jihad in Syria, rebaptizing it Islamic Emirate of Iraq and the Levant. In doing so, he challenged the privileges that Ayman al-Zawahiri had previously granted, on behalf of Al-Qaeda, to the Al-Nusra Front in Syria, which was originally nothing more than an extension of the IEI.

Regardless, false assumptions surrounding the true leadership of ISIS would be called into question in January of 2014 when Al-Arabiya, a Saudi-owned and operated news agency, published an article as well as a video of an interrogation of an ISIS fighter who had been captured while operating inside Syria.

When asked why ISIS was following the movement of the Free Syrian Army and who had given him the orders to do so, the fighter stated that he did not know why he was ordered to monitor the FSA’s movement but that the orders had come from Abu Faisal, also known as Prince Abdul Rachman al-Faisal of the Saudi Royal Family.

An excerpt from the relevant section of the interrogation reads as follows:

Interrogator: Why do you (ISIS) monitor the movement of the Free Syrian Army?

ISIS Detainee: I don’t know exactly why but we received orders from ISIS command.

Interrogator: Who among ISIS gave the orders?

ISIS Detainee: Prince Abdul Rachman al-Faisal, who is also known as Abu Faisal.

Such revelations, of course, will only be shocking news to those who have been unaware of the levels to which the Saudis have been involved with the funding, training, and directing of death squad forces deployed in Syria. Indeed, the Saudis have even openly admitted to the Russian government that they do, in fact, control a number of varied terrorist organizations across the world.

Even tired mainstream media organizations such as Newsweek (aka The Daily Beast) can no longer ignore the facts surrounding the Saudis’ involvement with the organization of terrorist groups across the world.

Note also that Voltaire Net describes al-Nusra, a documented al-Qaeda connected group, as merely an extension of the IEI (Islamic Emirate of Iraq) which itself was nothing more than a version of Al-Qaeda In Iraq. Thus, from Al-Qaeda in Iraq, came the IEI, which then became the Islamic Emirate of Iraq and the Levant. IEIL then became ISIS/ISIL which is now often referred to as IS.

In other words, Nusra=Al-Qaeda-IEI=IEIL=ISIL=ISIS=IS.

With the information presented above regarding the nature of the Free Syrian Army and the so-called “moderate rebels,” it would be entirely fair to add these “moderate” groups to the list as well.

Conclusion

The United States not only openly uses extremist groups in Syria for the purpose of destroying the secular government of Bashar al-Assad, it continues to use the terrorist proxy army either for the purpose of mass destabilizations or “isolated” terror attacks by which to put target governments under pressure and/or justify American invasion based upon the invented threat.

The use of terrorist proxy armies did not begin with Syria and it will not end with Syria.

Nevertheless, it is important to understand the level to which the U.S. has used these organizations for its own geopolitical and domestic purposes in order to understand current affairs and thus effect change. From Afghanistan in the 1980s to Syria in 2018, the United States has found a useful army of terrorists that has been used to great effect over nearly four decades. This article has only scratched the surface of the incidents discussed as well as American funding and use of terrorism in general.

However, these incidents are well-known and American support for extremists is not something that is grossly hidden. Until Americans understand that the domestic and foreign bogeyman they have been trained to hate and fear is a creation working at the behest of their own government, they will continue to be passed back and forth between loss of liberty at home and war abroad.

Notes:

[1] Hersh, Seymour. “The Redirection.” The New Yorker. March 5, 2007. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/03/05/the-redirection

[2] Cartalucci, Tony. “Extremists Ravaging Syria Created By US In 2007.” Land Destroyer Report. March 11, 2012. http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2012/05/sunni-extremists-ravaging-syria-created.html

[3] Hersh, Seymour. “The Redirection.” The New Yorker. March 5, 2007. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/03/05/the-redirection

[4] Hersh, Seymour. “The Redirection.” The New Yorker. March 5, 2007. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/03/05/the-redirection

[5] Hersh, Seymour. “The Redirection.” The New Yorker. March 5, 2007. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/03/05/the-redirection

[6] Hersh, Seymour. “The Redirection.” The New Yorker. March 5, 2007. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/03/05/the-redirection

[7] Hersh, Seymour. “The Redirection.” The New Yorker. March 5, 2007. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/03/05/the-redirection

[8] Brzezinski, Zbigniew. “Interview with Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski.” June 13, 1997. NSA Archive. George Washington University. GWU.edu. Cold War Interviews Episode 17. http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/coldwar/interviews/episode-17/brzezinski1.html

[9] Alterman, Eric. “Blowback: The Prequel.” The Nation. October 25, 2001. https://www.thenation.com/article/blowback-prequel/

[10] Gates, Robert. From The Shadows: The Ultimate Insider’s Story Of Five Presidents And How They Won The Cold War. Simon and Schuster. May 7, 1997.

[11] Chossudovsky, Michel. “Hillary Clinton: ‘We Created al-Qaeda.’ The Protagonists In the ‘Global War On Terrorism’ Are The Terrorists.” Global Research. May 4, 2016/June 1, 2016. http://www.globalresearch.ca/hillary-clinton-we-created-al-qaeda/5337222

See also

“Hillary Clinton: We Created Al Qaeda.” YouTube. Video includes the statement quoted above.

[12] Moran, Michael. “Bin Laden Comes Home To Roost.” MSNBC. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3340101/#.UEaKb6BFbKc

Brandon Turbeville writes for Activist Post – article archive here – He is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President, and Resisting The Empire: The Plan To Destroy Syria And How The Future Of The World Depends On The Outcome. Turbeville has published over 1000 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.

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