Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Endless War on Terror (Part 1)

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The real terrorists wear $5,000 suits.
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Terrorized by 'War on Terror'How a Three-Word Mantra Has Undermined AmericaBy Zbigniew Brzezinski
Sunday, March 25, 2007; Page B01
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/23/AR2007032301613.html
The "war on terror" has created a culture of fear in America. The Bush administration's elevation of these three words into a national mantra since the horrific events of 9/11 has had a pernicious impact on American democracy, on America's psyche and on U.S. standing in the world. Using this phrase has actually undermined our ability to effectively confront the real challenges we face from fanatics who may use terrorism against us.
The damage these three words have done -- a classic self-inflicted wound -- is infinitely greater than any wild dreams entertained by the fanatical perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks when they were plotting against us in distant Afghan caves. The phrase itself is meaningless. It defines neither a geographic context nor our presumed enemies. Terrorism is not an enemy but a technique of warfare -- political intimidation through the killing of unarmed non-combatants.
But the little secret here may be that the vagueness of the phrase was deliberately (or instinctively) calculated by its sponsors. Constant reference to a "war on terror" did accomplish one major objective: It stimulated the emergence of a culture of fear. Fear obscures reason, intensifies emotions and makes it easier for demagogic politicians to mobilize the public on behalf of the policies they want to pursue. The war of choice in Iraq could never have gained the congressional support it got without the psychological linkage between the shock of 9/11 and the postulated existence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Support for President Bush in the 2004 elections was also mobilized in part by the notion that "a nation at war" does not change its commander in chief in midstream. The sense of a pervasive but otherwise imprecise danger was thus channeled in a politically expedient direction by the mobilizing appeal of being "at war."
To justify the "war on terror," the administration has lately crafted a false historical narrative that could even become a self-fulfilling prophecy. By claiming that its war is similar to earlier U.S. struggles against Nazism and then Stalinism (while ignoring the fact that both Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia were first-rate military powers, a status al-Qaeda neither has nor can achieve), the administration could be preparing the case for war with Iran. Such war would then plunge America into a protracted conflict spanning Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and perhaps also Pakistan.
The culture of fear is like a genie that has been let out of its bottle. It acquires a life of its own -- and can become demoralizing. America today is not the self-confident and determined nation that responded to Pearl Harbor; nor is it the America that heard from its leader, at another moment of crisis, the powerful words "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself"; nor is it the calm America that waged the Cold War with quiet persistence despite the knowledge that a real war could be initiated abruptly within minutes and prompt the death of 100 million Americans within just a few hours. We are now divided, uncertain and potentially very susceptible to panic in the event of another terrorist act in the United States itself.
That is the result of five years of almost continuous national brainwashing on the subject of terror, quite unlike the more muted reactions of several other nations (Britain, Spain, Italy, Germany, Japan, to mention just a few) that also have suffered painful terrorist acts. In his latest justification for his war in Iraq, President Bush even claims absurdly that he has to continue waging it lest al-Qaeda cross the Atlantic to launch a war of terror here in the United States.
Such fear-mongering, reinforced by security entrepreneurs, the mass media and the entertainment industry, generates its own momentum. The terror entrepreneurs, usually described as experts on terrorism, are necessarily engaged in competition to justify their existence. Hence their task is to convince the public that it faces new threats. That puts a premium on the presentation of credible scenarios of ever-more-horrifying acts of violence, sometimes even with blueprints for their implementation.
That America has become insecure and more paranoid is hardly debatable. A recent study reported that in 2003, Congress identified 160 sites as potentially important national targets for would-be terrorists. With lobbyists weighing in, by the end of that year the list had grown to 1,849; by the end of 2004, to 28,360; by 2005, to 77,769. The national database of possible targets now has some 300,000 items in it, including the Sears Tower in Chicago and an Illinois Apple and Pork Festival.
Just last week, here in Washington, on my way to visit a journalistic office, I had to pass through one of the absurd "security checks" that have proliferated in almost all the privately owned office buildings in this capital -- and in New York City. A uniformed guard required me to fill out a form, show an I.D. and in this case explain in writing the purpose of my visit. Would a visiting terrorist indicate in writing that the purpose is "to blow up the building"? Would the guard be able to arrest such a self-confessing, would-be suicide bomber? To make matters more absurd, large department stores, with their crowds of shoppers, do not have any comparable procedures. Nor do concert halls or movie theaters. Yet such "security" procedures have become routine, wasting hundreds of millions of dollars and further contributing to a siege mentality.
Government at every level has stimulated the paranoia. Consider, for example, the electronic billboards over interstate highways urging motorists to "Report Suspicious Activity" (drivers in turbans?). Some mass media have made their own contribution. The cable channels and some print media have found that horror scenarios attract audiences, while terror "experts" as "consultants" provide authenticity for the apocalyptic visions fed to the American public. Hence the proliferation of programs with bearded "terrorists" as the central villains. Their general effect is to reinforce the sense of the unknown but lurking danger that is said to increasingly threaten the lives of all Americans.
The entertainment industry has also jumped into the act. Hence the TV serials and films in which the evil characters have recognizable Arab features, sometimes highlighted by religious gestures, that exploit public anxiety and stimulate Islamophobia. Arab facial stereotypes, particularly in newspaper cartoons, have at times been rendered in a manner sadly reminiscent of the Nazi anti-Semitic campaigns. Lately, even some college student organizations have become involved in such propagation, apparently oblivious to the menacing connection between the stimulation of racial and religious hatreds and the unleashing of the unprecedented crimes of the Holocaust.
The atmosphere generated by the "war on terror" has encouraged legal and political harassment of Arab Americans (generally loyal Americans) for conduct that has not been unique to them. A case in point is the reported harassment of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) for its attempts to emulate, not very successfully, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Some House Republicans recently described CAIR members as "terrorist apologists" who should not be allowed to use a Capitol meeting room for a panel discussion.
Social discrimination, for example toward Muslim air travelers, has also been its unintended byproduct. Not surprisingly, animus toward the United States even among Muslims otherwise not particularly concerned with the Middle East has intensified, while America's reputation as a leader in fostering constructive interracial and interreligious relations has suffered egregiously.
The record is even more troubling in the general area of civil rights. The culture of fear has bred intolerance, suspicion of foreigners and the adoption of legal procedures that undermine fundamental notions of justice. Innocent until proven guilty has been diluted if not undone, with some -- even U.S. citizens -- incarcerated for lengthy periods of time without effective and prompt access to due process. There is no known, hard evidence that such excess has prevented significant acts of terrorism, and convictions for would-be terrorists of any kind have been few and far between. Someday Americans will be as ashamed of this record as they now have become of the earlier instances in U.S. history of panic by the many prompting intolerance against the few.
In the meantime, the "war on terror" has gravely damaged the United States internationally. For Muslims, the similarity between the rough treatment of Iraqi civilians by the U.S. military and of the Palestinians by the Israelis has prompted a widespread sense of hostility toward the United States in general. It's not the "war on terror" that angers Muslims watching the news on television, it's the victimization of Arab civilians. And the resentment is not limited to Muslims. A recent BBC poll of 28,000 people in 27 countries that sought respondents' assessments of the role of states in international affairs resulted in Israel, Iran and the United States being rated (in that order) as the states with "the most negative influence on the world." Alas, for some that is the new axis of evil!
The events of 9/11 could have resulted in a truly global solidarity against extremism and terrorism. A global alliance of moderates, including Muslim ones, engaged in a deliberate campaign both to extirpate the specific terrorist networks and to terminate the political conflicts that spawn terrorism would have been more productive than a demagogically proclaimed and largely solitary U.S. "war on terror" against "Islamo-fascism." Only a confidently determined and reasonable America can promote genuine international security which then leaves no political space for terrorism.
Where is the U.S. leader ready to say, "Enough of this hysteria, stop this paranoia"? Even in the face of future terrorist attacks, the likelihood of which cannot be denied, let us show some sense. Let us be true to our traditions.
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The Truth Exposed: Islamic Terrorist Training & Fundraising in America
Part I: The run-up to urban warfare & a warning of coming attacksBy Doug Hagmann
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
http://homelandsecurityus.com/?p=2573
Since 2004, investigators of the Northeast Intelligence Network have been performing an extensive investigation and surveillance operation of the activities of Jamaat ul Fuqra, an Islamic terrorist group that is currently active and operational across the US and Canada. The findings of our investigation and surveillance operations are as extensive as they are disturbing.
This organization of Muslim terrorists are actively training for urban warfare, infiltrating our government institutions, securing positions of public trust, and raising substantial sums of money through a wide range of white collar criminal activity and Islamic charities which is being funneled to terrorist kingpin Sheikh Mubarek Ali Gilani in Pakistan. The money is used for terrorist operations and organizational advancement. From their US headquarters in rural Delaware county, New York at the base of the Catskills where recruitment is brisk, especially from within our prison system, they have also reinforced their operations into Mexico, Latin America, the Virgin Islands, and elsewhere. Their primary focus, however, remains the US and Canada, and their targets are both religious and secular in nature, with emphasis on the former. Such targets include Jews and Christians, churches and synagogues, and perhaps most insidiously, our schools and school children. The latter will be for psychological effect.
Members associated with this terrorist organization have killed and will kill and attack again, although their future attacks will be much more horrific. Mark my words.
It is important to point out that the results of our investigations have been submitted to numerous local, state and federal law enforcement agencies within the US and Canada. In fact, over the last few years excerpts from our submitted reports have appeared verbatim in law enforcement bulletins, been the subject of a number of news reports within the media, and referenced on numerous Internet blogs. Still images copied from video footage surreptitiously secured during our on-site surveillance operations have turned up on countless web sites, been included in books, and shown on national television.
Despite the submission of evidence to authorities at the highest of levels, the followers of top Palistani Sheikh Mubarek Ali Gilani, the man who Wall Street Journal reporter was allegedly on his way to interview when he was kidnapped and beheaded, continue to operate their conclaves of seditious conspiracy unfettered by any agency tasked with securing our homeland against threats. Not only do they continue in their missions, they are embraced by clueless politicians and allowed parades that close American streets to celebrate Mohammed’s birthday, joined by equally clueless revelers in an orgy of interfaith dialogue. One can question “why,” although perhaps an answer to the latter question could be found by speaking to Tarik Abdelazim, Executive Assistant to Mayor Matthew Ryan of Binghamton, NY.
It is most disturbing and important to point out that despite such widespread coverage and level of law enforcement awareness, however, this terrorist organization not only continues to exist, but has become exponentially more dangerous than the day we first began our investigation in 2004. There are several but simple reasons for this.
This terrorist organization has been permitted to exist, operate and flourish under the freedom of religious education and sheltered by democratic laws, both rights that are treasured by Americans and flawlessly exploited by Jamaat ul Fulqra in the form of The Muslims of America and The International Qu’ranic Open University. They have deliberately nested themselves within rural communities and carefully structured a life-style of isolationism within their enclaves. Beyond the perimeter of their compounds, some members have secured employment in the security industry, in finance, and public service. Their relatively quiet existence within their own community, created by a strictly enforced code of conduct taught by Gilani himself, has effectively created the perception with some local residents of the communities in which they live that they are “good neighbors.” The absence of law enforcement calls to their community is often cited as evidence of their upstanding behavior and reinforces this appearance. Unfortunately, some people don’t understand that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
It should have been of no surprise, then, as the findings of our investigation and surveillance operations began to emerge on Internet websites in early 2005, the members of this organization quickly denounced allegations of illegal, improper or seditious activity as rooted in religious intolerance. They protested that observations or documentation of questionable or suspicious activity were misunderstood, misinterpreted or convoluted to intentionally portray something sinister, an explanation that has been eagerly accepted by those who don’t believe that such activity could exist in their neighborhood. Even Gilani himself took umbrage with our findings, so much so that he published a diatribe accusing me of trying to initiate a holy war against Islam. I still have the business card from the federal official who first told me about Gilani’s displeasure with me, and his suggestion that anonymity offers more protection than body armor.
As exposure of the legitimate threat posed by Jamaat ul Fuqra grew, there was a proportional growth in the number of bloggers more interested in writing dramatic headlines about the terrorist group, while others, not unlike storm chasers who get an adrenaline rush from chasing tornados, took day trips to search out the compounds for themselves. It became a cottage industry of Internet sleuths who were more interested in getting jump and run photos of well-placed signs and other artifacts of the controversial properties.
This became the norm for many Internet researchers, rather than engaging in the tedious but professionally necessary investigative task of documenting facts and evidence. Sadly, the tabloid mentality consumed even the most popular denizens of the blogoshphere, all chasing headlines in a frenzy for notoriety. That mentality was further illustrated by the recent production of a documentary of this terrorist organization, and was panned by at least one major media network for its hype over substance. This is one rare occasion where in my capacity as an investigator do I find myself in agreement with the network.
The documentary is based in part on a report submitted to law enforcement by the Regional Organized Crime Information Center (ROCIC), in which the Northeast Intelligence Network is cited as a source. The report also contains significant historical information mixed with information current at the time of its 2006 publication, some of which cannot be referenced as current or presented as evidence of current activity in 2009. Doing so gives those who are determined to minimize the threat, or even deny that any threat exists, enough of an opportunity to do so by pointing to such perceived inaccuracies. It also empowers the enemy by marginalizing those who are attempting to present clear and factual evidence in an effort to educate a wary public about a growing danger.
Spawned perhaps by the renewed interest in the terrorist organization and superficial references on Internet blogs did the attention-deficit corporate media again become interested, rushing once more to grab some suitable footage of a terrorist training camp in America. Unfortunately, they could not see through the veneer of contrived serenity, and were disappointed by the lack of directional signs pointing to the nearest Salman Pak mock-up. Whether they were denied the ability to look around or most recently, denied entry onto private property despite multiple requests, their disappointment seemed to manifest itself as a situation where “there is nothing to see here.” Leaving the audience confused about whether the headquarters of the terrorist group Jamaat ul Fuqra was akin to a year-around bible retreat or a boot camp for followers of Mohammed, the media will again lose interest as they had not uncovered any evidence by merely showing up and asking for it.
It is for the above reasons that Jamaat ul Fuqra is now more dangerous than ever, more emboldened, more organized, and more powerful. The blood of the next victims of Gilani and his disciples will be on the hands of many, spread through the hegemonic influence of Internet, an inept media, and at the highest levels of an infiltrated American government who have been aware of this group’s existence and activities for not only the last five years, but the last 2 ½ decades.
To fully understand the horrific nature of the threat posed by Gilani the terrorist and those who have sworn allegiance to him, it is necessary to understand their renewed objectives, their current method of operation, and perhaps most importantly, how they have adapted and their operations have evolved as a result of the spotlight that has been shined upon them over the last few years.
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Domestic Terrorists in Our MidstBy Geoff Metcalf
February 25, 2009
NewsWithViews.com
http://gunnyg.wordpress.com/2009/02/25/domestic-terrorists-in-our-midst-by-geoff-metcalf/
“Homeground Jihad: The Terrorist Camps Around the U.S.” is a new documentary that needs public attention.
“Act like you are his friend. Then kill him.” –Sheik Muburak Gilani explaining how to kill American infidels
The 2006 Justice Department document that exposes 35 terrorist training compounds in the U.S. was marked “Dissemination Restricted to Law Enforcement.” All the copies of Sheik Muburak Gilani’s terrorist training video, “Soldiers of Allah,” had been confiscated and sealed—all of them, except one…That one errant surviving copy landed with the Christian Action Network and became the foundation for the compelling documentary Homegrown Jihad: The Terrorist Camps Around the U.S
I too often say, it is not a question of WHO is right or wrong but WHAT is right or wrong that counts. The “Soldiers of Allah”/ Jamaat ul-Fuqra is flat out WRONG on multiple levels.
That the FBI, Homeland Security and other law enforcement knows who and what this group is and has apparently not moved aggressively to shut them down and make arrests is counter-intuitive brain flatulence of epic (and potential deadly) proportions.
After watching the video twice the obvious question is, where is the Main Stream Media? This story is what Sixty Minutes, 20/20, and the gaggle of presumptive wannabes is supposed to be all about.
Sheik Muburak Gilani can be seen on video saying, “We are fighting to destroy the enemy. We are dealing with evil at its roots and its roots are America.”
If a GOP candidate, talk show gadfly or militia even hinted at the domestic terrorism “Soldiers of Allah” advocates, they would be raided, shut down, tried and jailed quicker than a minnow can swim a dipper. How long did it take to drop chlorine in the Timothy McVey gene pool?
However, despite an abundance of evidence and series of violent crimes, Sheik Gilani appears literally to be getting away with murder.
• FBI Special Agent Jody Weis said, “What we are witnessing here is kind of a brand-new form of terrorism. These home-grown terrorists can prove to be as dangerous as any known group, if not more so.”• Former FBI Director Robert Mueller said, “These home-grown terrorists may prove to be as dangerous as groups like al Qaeda, if not more so.”• Senator Joseph Lieberman said, “We must also work to protect our country against the next attack---terrorism spawned right here among us.
That 2006 Department of Justice report said, “Today, Jamaat ul-Fuqra has more than 35 suspected communes and more than 3,000 members spread across the United States, all in support of one goal: the purification of Islam through violence.”
The documented list of this group’s violence screams out for action. So why is law enforcement sitting on their hands?
George Santayana is often quoted as having said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
Six years ago I wrote about Peter Lance’s gripping series of books. In the wake of interviews with scores of central figures and hundreds of pages of declassified documents, Lance uncovered startling evidence of FBI negligence that even a joint congressional committee either missed or ignored. His revelations can be read in “1000 Years for Revenge: International Terrorism and the FBI – The Untold Story.”
It is a tragedy to not know what we don’t know. To know what we know and not do anything about it exceeds mere malfeasance.
Sheik Gilani’s “soldiers have been actively engaging in domestic terrorism” since 1979 and reportedly continue to this day.
While hiding in plane view in 35 states and responsible for some 50 terrorist attacks on American soil linked to Jamaat ul-Fuqra the obvious question is what is law enforcement waiting for?
I was once attacked by CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) over something I said (on WMAL in D.C.). Basically I observed that the Qur’an allows Muslims to lie to unbelievers. Kinda/sorta like what Sheik Gilani said, “Act like you are his friend. Then kill him.”
Robert Spencer (from Jihad Watch) noted in a FrontPage article, “Yet even as it complained about Metcalf’s statement, CAIR’s press release attacking Metcalf doesn’t say what Metcalf said was false. Why not? Because it’s true.” Duh!
“The truth,” Ann Coulter has observed, “is the truth whether we like it or not.”
The allegations in the referenced documentary are serious as a heart attack…and potentially more deadly.
At an absolute minimum, the Foggy Bottom Bureaucrats should add Jamaat ul Fuqra to the State Department's Foreign Terrorist Organization Watch List, thereby shutting down the domestic terrorist camps in the U.S. run by ul-Fuqra's front group, Muslims of America.
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Six Algerian soldiers killed in terrorist attack
Submitted by Sahil Nagpal
Fri, 06/06/2008
http://www.topnews.in/six-algerian-soldiers-killed-terrorist-attack-246102
Algiers - Six Algerian soldiers were killed and four were injured Thursday in an attack by suspected Islamic terrorists, Algerian security sources said Friday.
The soldiers were returning from a fishing excursion when a bomb concealed on the roadway exploded under their vehicle. The attack took place in the small port of Cap Djinet, near the city of Dellys, about 60 kilometres east of the capital Algiers.
On Wednesday, a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a barracks of the Algerian Republican Guard in a suburb of Algiers, injuring as many as six people.No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the group Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has carried out a series of bloody bombings in Algeria since it linked itself to Osama bin Laden's terrorist network at the beginning of 2007.
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"Islamic Terrorists" supported by Uncle Sam: Bush Administration "Black Ops" directed against Iran, Lebanon and Syriaby Prof Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, May 31, 2007
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?aid=5837&context=va
The Bush administration has admitted that covert actions of an aggressive nature were applied against Iran and Syria. The stated objective was to wreck the countries' economies and currency systems. The infamous Iran-Syria Policy and Operations Group (ISOG) created in early 2006, integrated by officials from the White House, the State Department, the CIA and the Treasury Department, had a mandate to destabilize Syria and Iran, and bring about "Regime Change" :
"The committee, the Iran-Syria Policy and Operations Group [ISOG], met weekly throughout much of 2006 to coordinate actions such as curtailing Iran's access to credit and banking institutions, organizing the sale of military equipment to Iran's neighbors and supporting forces that oppose the two regimes." (Boston Globe, 25 May 2007)
ISOG had also been providing undercover assistance to Iranian opposition groups and dissidents. The group's propaganda ploy consisted in feeding disinformation into the news chain and "building international outrage toward Iran". (Boston Globe 2, January 2007)
About-Turn in Iran-Syria Policy?Washington has recently announced an apparent about-turn: no more treacherous covert ops directed against "rogue enemies" in the Middle East. The Iran-Syria Policy and Operations Group (ISOG) has been disbanded on the orders of President Bush. The US will no longer be involved in "[covert] aggressive actions against Iran and Syria", according to State Department officials.
"The group had become the focus for administration critics who feared that it was plotting covert actions that could escalate into a military conflict with Iran or Syria. The air of secrecy surrounding the group when it was established in March 2006, coupled with the fact that it was modeled after a similar special committee on Iraq, contributed to those suspicions.
A senior State Department official,... said the group [ISOG] was shut down because of a widespread public perception that it was designed to enact regime change. State Department officials have said the focus of the Iran-Syria group was persuading the two regimes to change their behavior, not toppling them." (Ibid)
Believe it or not?Foreign policy analysts have described Washington's decision as proof of a welcome "softening" of US strategy in the Middle East. The Bush administration is said to have discarded " regime change" in favor of a more flexible approach, consisting of constructive dialogue with Tehran and Damascus. Aggressive covert actions, we are told, have been swapped for bona fide international diplomacy:
The [dissolution of ISOG] comes as the Bush administration has embarked on a significant new effort to hold high-level meetings with Iran and Syria.
[...]
Shortly before the Iran-Syria group was shut down, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice launched a major initiative to engage Iran and Syria in a regional effort to stabilize Iraq, reversing longstanding U.S. policy against high-level contact with the countries.
For years, the Bush administration has shunned meetings with Syria. ...But Rice met this month with Syria's foreign minister in Egypt, the first such high-level meeting between the two countries since 2004, and on Monday, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, is scheduled to meet his Iranian counterpart in Baghdad.
Kenneth Katzman, a Middle East specialist at the Congressional Research Service, the research arm of the U.S. Congress, said he did not think it was a coincidence that the Iran-Syria group was disbanded at the same time the State Department began its diplomatic outreach.
"I think the rationale for that group was promoting regime change, and Rice is going in a much different direction from that," Katzman said. "The regime-change school within the administration has really gotten quite a bit weaker." (Ibid)
The decision to dismantle ISOG is largely cosmetic. Most of these intelligence operations remain intact. ISOG was one among several covert initiatives to destabilize Iran and Syria. Regime change and outright war are still part of the Administration's agenda. In fact, destabilizing covert intelligence operations directed against Iran and Syria have been stepped up in the course of the last four years. Moreover, these operations are closely coordinated with Israeli and NATO war plans, which constitute an integral part of the US sponsored military operation directed against Iran, Syria and Lebanon.
The covert ops have been synchronized with the military road map, including the various US war scenarios envisaged since the launching of " Theater Iran Near Term" (TIRANNT) in May 2003, barely a month after the invasion of Iraq. These war-like scenarios explicitly envisage regime change:
... Under TIRANNT, Army and U.S. Central Command planners have been examining both near-term and out-year scenarios for war with Iran, including all aspects of a major combat operation, from mobilization and deployment of forces through postwar stability operations after regime change." (William Arkin, Washington Post, 16 April 2006)
The US is on a war footing and the various covert operations and Psy-Ops --which routinely feed despicable images of the Iranian head of State into the news chain--, are an integral part of the military-intelligence and propaganda arsenal.
In turn, the covert ops are coordinated with US, Israeli and NATO military deployments in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf including the conduct of major war games, which have been carried out almost continuously since Summer 2006.
CIA " Black Ops" directed against Iran
Coinciding with the announcement on the closing down of ISOG, "The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, according to current and former officials in the intelligence community... " (ABC News Report 22 May 2007). This parallel CIA sponsored initiative, which "received approval by White House officials and other officials in the intelligence community", has broadly the same mandate as that of the defunct ISOG:
"The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject, say President Bush has signed a "nonlethal presidential finding" that puts into motion a CIA plan that reportedly includes a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran's currency and international financial transactions.
"I can't confirm or deny whether such a program exists or whether the president signed it, but it would be consistent with an overall American approach trying to find ways to put pressure on the regime," said Bruce Riedel, a recently retired CIA senior official who dealt with Iran and other countries in the region.
A National Security Council spokesperson, Gordon Johndroe, said, "The White House does not comment on intelligence matters." A CIA spokesperson said, "As a matter of course, we do not comment on allegations of covert activity." (ABC News Report 22 May 2007)
The CIA plan was apparently "designed to pressure Iran to stop its nuclear enrichment program and end aid to insurgents in Iraq." The covert operation, according to US officials, was a softer alternative to that of a military strike on Iran, an option which was favored by Vice President Dick Cheney and other hawks within the administration:
"Current and former intelligence officials say the approval of the covert action means the Bush administration, for the time being, has decided not to pursue a military option against Iran.
"Vice President Cheney helped to lead the side favoring a military strike," said former CIA official Riedel, "but I think they have come to the conclusion that a military strike has more downsides than upsides." (Ibid)
The covert intelligence operations directed against Iran and Syria is not an alternative to military action. Quite the opposite. The CIA plan was designed to support Washington's strategy to destabilize Iran and Syria, through both military action and non-military means including covert intelligence operations.
Unleashing The Islamic Brigades Inside IranIn relation to Iran, US intelligence has been supporting a Pakistani based terrorist group, Jundullah (Soldiers of God), that has conducted terrorist raids inside Iran. The group operates "from bases on the rugged Iran-Pakistan-Afghanistan 'tri-border region'." According to a report by ABC News:
"A Pakistani tribal militant group responsible for a series of deadly guerrilla raids inside Iran has been secretly encouraged and advised by American officials since 2005, U.S. and Pakistani intelligence sources tell ABC News.
The group, called Jundullah, is made up of members of the Baluchi tribe and operates out of the Baluchistan province in Pakistan, just across the border from Iran.
It has taken responsibility for the deaths and kidnappings of more than a dozen Iranian soldiers and officials." (ABC News, 2 April 2007)
Abd el Malik Regi, the leader of Jundullah, commands a force of several hundred guerrilla fighters "that stage attacks across the border into Iran on Iranian military officers, Iranian intelligence officers, kidnapping them, executing them on camera, ... Most recently, Jundullah took credit for an attack in February that killed at least 11 members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard riding on a bus in the Iranian city of Zahedan." (Ibid)
US government sources have acknowledged that Jundullah's leader "had regular contact with US officials" but denies any "direct funding" of Jundullah by US intelligence.
Inherent in CIA covert operations, the Agency never grants funding "directly". It invariably proceeds through one of its proxy organizations including Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), which historically, since the Soviet-Afghan war, has provided support to Islamic terror groups, including the funding of the training camps and the madrassahs, always acting on behalf of the CIA. In fact this insidious role of Pakistan's ISI (on behalf of the the CIA) is candidly acknowledged by US intelligence:
"American intelligence sources say Jundullah has received money and weapons through the Afghanistan and Pakistan military and Pakistan's intelligence service. Pakistan has officially denied any connection." ( Brian Ross and Christopher Isham, The Secret War Against Iran, April 03, 2007
Other channels used by US intelligence in funding terrorism is through Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, where foundation money is funneled to various militant Islamic groups on behalf of Uncle Sam. "Some former CIA officers say the arrangement [with regard to Jundullah] is reminiscent of how the U.S. government used proxy armies, funded by other countries including Saudi Arabia, to destabilize the government of Nicaragua in the 1980s [reminiscent of the Iran-Contra affair]." (Ibid)
Consistent Pattern: Historical Origins of "Islamic Terrorism"Ironically, the Islamic groups are portrayed as working hand in glove with Tehran. Iran, a predominantly Shia country, is accused of harboring Sunni Islamic terrorists, when in fact these Islamic terrorists are " intelligence assets" of the United States, supported indirectly by Washington.
This role of US intelligence in support of "Islamic terrorists" is well established. The covert op applied in Iran are part of a consistent pattern
The not so hidden agenda of US intelligence, applied throughout Central Asia and the Middle East, is to trigger political instability and foment ethnic strife by supporting "Islamic terrorist organizations", ultimately with a view to weakening the Nation State and destabilizing sovereign countries.
From the onslaught of the Soviet-Afghan war and throughout the 1990s, a central feature of CIA activities has consisted in providing covert support to " Islamic terrorist organizations":
In 1979 "the largest covert operation in the history of the CIA" was launched in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in support of the pro-Communist government of Babrak Kamal.(See Fred Halliday, "The Un-great game: the Country that lost the Cold War, Afghanistan, New Republic, 25 March 1996): Ahmed Rashid, The Taliban: Exporting Extremism, Foreign Affairs, November-December 1999. See also Michel Chossudovsky, America's "War on Terrorism", Global Research, 2005, Ch. 2.)
With the active encouragement of the CIA and Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence, "some 35,000 Muslim radicals from 40 Islamic countries joined Afghanistan's fight between 1982 and 1992. Tens of thousands more came to study in Pakistani madrasahs. Eventually more than 100,000 foreign Muslim radicals were directly influenced by the Afghan jihad." (See Chossudovsky, op cit)
These covert operations in support of the "Islamic Brigades" continued in the post-Cold war period. The ISI's extensive intelligence military-network was not dismantled in the wake of the Soviet-Afghan war. The CIA continued to support the Islamic "jihad" out of Pakistan. New undercover initiatives were set in motion in Central Asia, the Middle East and the Balkans. Pakistan's military and intelligence apparatus essentially "served as a catalyst for the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the emergence of six new Muslim republics in Central Asia." (Ibid). "Meanwhile, Islamic missionaries of the Wahhabi sect from Saudi Arabia established themselves in the Muslim republics of the Former Soviet Union as well as within the Russian federation encroaching upon the institutions of the secular State." (Ibid)
A similar pattern emerged in the Balkans. Starting in the early 1990s, the Clinton Administration supported the recruitment of Al Qaeda Mujahideen to fight in Bosnia alongside the Bosnian Muslim Army. Ironically, it was the Republican Party in a document published by the Republican Party Committee of the US Senate which accused Clinton not only of a "''hands-on' involvement with the Islamic network's arms pipeline" but also of collaborating with the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA), "a Sudan-based, phony humanitarian organization believed to be connected with such fixtures of the Islamic terror network as Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman (the convicted mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing) and Osama Bin Laden,... " (The original document can be consulted on the website of the US Senate Republican Party Committee (Senator Larry Craig), at http://www.senate.gov/~rpc/releases/1997/iran.htm )
Since the launching of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) in the wake of September 11, 2001, many of the official documents, which single out the insidious relationship of US intelligence to the "Islamic terror network", have been carefully removed from the public eye.
US Sponsored "Islamic Terrorists" inside LebanonThe recent killings of civilians in Palestinian refugee camps in northern Lebanon, resulted from the confrontation between Fatah Al Islam and the Lebanese armed forces. Fatah al-Islam is a predominantly non-Palestinian Sunni fundamentalist group, operating inside the refugee camps. Fatah Al Islam is also inspired by the Wahabi sects of Saudi Arabia, which were part of the CIA's covert operations since the onslaught of the Soviet-Afghan war.
The Lebanese armed forces have been involved in raids on the camps, leading to the uprooting of the Palestinians refugees. The number of Fatah al Islam militants (made up of Saudi, Syrian, Yemeni and Moroccan fighters), inside the camp was of the order of 150-200 according to press reports. The Lebanese military offensive has been disproportionate, resulting in countless civilian casualties.
"Yet, the massively disproportionate assault on the camp has been unconditionally endorsed by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. “The Siniora government is fighting against a very tough extremist foe,” Rice said. “But Lebanon is doing the right thing to try to protect its population, to assert its sovereignty and so we are very supportive of the Siniora government and what it is trying to do.”
Lebanon has used the police action against this tiny group to ask the US for $280 million in military assistance to help put down what it grandiosely calls an “uprising.” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the request for funds, $220 million of which would go to the Lebanese Armed Forces and another $60 million to security forces, was being considered by Washington. The US gave $40 million in military aid to Lebanon last year and an additional $5 million so far this year. (Chris Marsden, 27 May 2007)
Fatah Al Islam has been presented in media reports, in an utterly twisted logic, as an organization linked to the Fatah movement in Palestine, a secular organization, founded by Yaser Arafat. From an ideological standpoint, Fatah al Islam, is similar to Al Qaeda, which is known to financed out of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States and supported by Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) in liaison with its US counterpart.
According to Seymour Hersh, Saudi Arabia is providing funding as well as covert support to Fatah Al Islam, in close consultation with the Bush administration
Hersh points to a "private agreement" between top NeoCon officials and Prince Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia, who worked closely with CIA Director George Tenet, when he was Saudi Ambassador in Washington. The Lebanese government is also involved in this intelligence operation:
“The key player is the Saudis. What I [Hersh] was writing about was sort of a private agreement that was made between the White House, we’re talking about Richard—Dick—Cheney and Elliott Abrams, one of the key aides in the White House, with Bandar [Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi national security adviser]. And the idea was to get support, covert support from the Saudis, to support various hard-line jihadists, Sunni groups, particularly in Lebanon, who would be seen in case of an actual confrontation with Hezbollah—the Shia group in the southern Lebanon—would be seen as an asset, .as simple as that.. We're in the business now of supporting the Sunnis anywhere we can against the Shia, against the Shia in Iran, against the Shia in Lebanon, that is Nasrullah. Civil war. We're in a business of creating in some places, Lebanon in particular, a sectarian violence..”(CNN Interview with Seymour Hersh, CNN International's Your World Today, 21 May 2007)
The pattern of Saudi support to Fatah Al Islam is part of a US sponsored covert operation similar to those conducted by the CIA in the 1980s in support of Al Qaeda.
Well, the United States was deeply involved. This was a covert operation that Bandar ran with us. Don't forget, if you remember, you know, we got into the war in Afghanistan with supporting Osama bin Laden, the Mujahideen back in the late 1980s with Bandar and with people like Elliott Abrams around, the idea being that the Saudis promised us they could control -- they could control the jihadists so we spent a lot of money and time, ... in the late 1980s using and supporting the jihadists... And we have the same pattern, ... using the Saudis again to support jihadists [Fatah Al Islam], Saudis assuring us they can control these various group, the groups like the one that is in contact right now in Tripoli with the government. (CNN Interview with Seymour Hersh, CNN International's Your World Today, 21 May 2007)
Staged Event in Lebanon? Building a Humanitarian Justification for Military Intervention
Fatah Al Islam is an "intelligence asset" financed by Saudi Arabia. While the Bush administration accuses Damascus of supporting Fatah Al Islam, there are indications that the killings in the Palestinian refugee camps were the result of a carefully staged military intelligence operation..
Since the Summer 2006 following the Israeli bombing of Lebanon, NATO forces are present inside Lebanon as well as off Syrian-Lebanese coastline. The UN Security Council Resolution allowing for the deployment of NATO peace-keeping forces was the first step in this process, which followed the 2005 withdrawal and Syrian forces from Lebanon.
The objective of the military roadmap, is to create sectarian violence inside Lebanon which will provide a pretext "on humanitarian grounds" for a stepped up military intervention by NATO forces under a formal UN mandate. This humanitarian military NATO intervention in liaison with Israel, is envisaged as a sequel to the withdrawal of Syrian troops in 2005 and the Israeli bombings of 2006. If it were to be launched it could lead to a situation of de facto foreign occupation of Lebanon as well as the enforcement of a economic blockade directed against Syria.
The pretext for these stepped up military actions are Syria's alleged support of Fatah Al Islam and Damascus' supposed involvement in the assassination of Rafiq Hariri. The timely "investigation" into Hariri's assassination and the setting up of a kangaroo court are being used by the coalition to foment anti-Syrian sentiment in Lebanon. From a military and strategic standpoint, Lebanon is the gateway into Syria. The destabilization of Lebanon supports the US-NATO-Israeli military agenda directed against Syria and Iran. US intelligence sets loose its Islamic brigades, while also accusing the enemy of sponsoring terrorist groups, which are in fact covertly supported and financed by Uncle Sam.
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