Saudi government help for Isis extremists in Iraq

This video from the USA is called Willful Deceit: Michael Moore Speaks Out on The Iraq War Anniversary, Bush Crimes.

It says about itself:

24 March 2013

Bush Perverted, Distorted and Tarnished America’s Image Beyond Repair.

This video from the USA is called Bandar Bush. About Saudi royal and secret police boss Prince Bandar, nicknamed ‘Bandar Bush’ because of his close relationship to the Bush dynasty in the USA.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

World View: A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany

Patrick Cockburn

Sunday 13 July 2014

How far is Saudi Arabia complicit in the Isis takeover of much of northern Iraq, and is it stoking an escalating Sunni-Shia conflict across the Islamic world? Some time before 9/11, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, once the powerful Saudi ambassador in Washington and head of Saudi intelligence until a few months ago, had a revealing and ominous conversation with the head of the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove. Prince Bandar told him: “The time is not far off in the Middle East, Richard, when it will be literally ‘God help the Shia’. More than a billion Sunnis have simply had enough of them.”

The fatal moment predicted by Prince Bandar may now have come for many Shia, with Saudi Arabia playing an important role in bringing it about by supporting the anti-Shia jihad in Iraq and Syria. Since the capture of Mosul by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) on 10 June, Shia women and children have been killed in villages south of Kirkuk, and Shia air force cadets machine-gunned and buried in mass graves near Tikrit.

In Mosul, Shia shrines and mosques have been blown up, and in the nearby Shia Turkoman city of Tal Afar 4,000 houses have been taken over by Isis fighters as “spoils of war”. Simply to be identified as Shia or a related sect, such as the Alawites, in Sunni rebel-held parts of Iraq and Syria today, has become as dangerous as being a Jew was in Nazi-controlled parts of Europe in 1940.

There is no doubt about the accuracy of the quote by Prince Bandar, secretary-general of the Saudi National Security Council from 2005 and head of General Intelligence between 2012 and 2014, the crucial two years when al-Qa’ida-type jihadis took over the Sunni-armed opposition in Iraq and Syria. Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute last week, Dearlove, who headed MI6 from 1999 to 2004, emphasised the significance of Prince Bandar’s words, saying that they constituted “a chilling comment that I remember very well indeed”.

He does not doubt that substantial and sustained funding from private donors in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, to which the authorities may have turned a blind eye, has played a central role in the Isis surge into Sunni areas of Iraq. He said: “Such things simply do not happen spontaneously.” This sounds realistic since the tribal and communal leadership in Sunni majority provinces is much beholden to Saudi and Gulf paymasters, and would be unlikely to cooperate with Isis without their consent.

Dearlove’s explosive revelation about the prediction of a day of reckoning for the Shia by Prince Bandar, and the former head of MI6′s view that Saudi Arabia is involved in the Isis-led Sunni rebellion, has attracted surprisingly little attention. Coverage of Dearlove’s speech focused instead on his main theme that the threat from Isis to the West is being exaggerated because, unlike Bin Laden’s al-Qa’ida, it is absorbed in a new conflict that “is essentially Muslim on Muslim”. Unfortunately, Christians in areas captured by Isis are finding this is not true, as their churches are desecrated and they are forced to flee. A difference between al-Qa’ida and Isis is that the latter is much better organised; if it does attack Western targets the results are likely to be devastating.

The forecast by Prince Bandar, who was at the heart of Saudi security policy for more than three decades, that the 100 million Shia in the Middle East face disaster at the hands of the Sunni majority, will convince many Shia that they are the victims of a Saudi-led campaign to crush them. “The Shia in general are getting very frightened after what happened in northern Iraq,” said an Iraqi commentator, who did not want his name published. Shia see the threat as not only military but stemming from the expanded influence over mainstream Sunni Islam of Wahhabism, the puritanical and intolerant version of Islam espoused by Saudi Arabia that condemns Shia and other Islamic sects as non-Muslim apostates and polytheists.

Dearlove says that he has no inside knowledge obtained since he retired as head of MI6 10 years ago to become Master of Pembroke College in Cambridge. But, drawing on past experience, he sees Saudi strategic thinking as being shaped by two deep-seated beliefs or attitudes. First, they are convinced that there “can be no legitimate or admissible challenge to the Islamic purity of their Wahhabi credentials as guardians of Islam’s holiest shrines”. But, perhaps more significantly given the deepening Sunni-Shia confrontation, the Saudi belief that they possess a monopoly of Islamic truth leads them to be “deeply attracted towards any militancy which can effectively challenge Shia-dom”.

Western governments traditionally play down the connection between Saudi Arabia and its Wahhabist faith, on the one hand, and jihadism, whether of the variety espoused by Osama bin Laden and al-Qa’ida or by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s Isis. There is nothing conspiratorial or secret about these links: 15 out of 19 of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, as was Bin Laden and most of the private donors who funded the operation.

The difference between al-Qa’ida and Isis can be overstated: when Bin Laden was killed by United States forces in 2011, al-Baghdadi released a statement eulogising him, and Isis pledged to launch 100 attacks in revenge for his death.

But there has always been a second theme to Saudi policy towards al-Qa’ida type jihadis, contradicting Prince Bandar’s approach and seeing jihadis as a mortal threat to the Kingdom. Dearlove illustrates this attitude by relating how, soon after 9/11, he visited the Saudi capital Riyadh with Tony Blair.

He remembers the then head of Saudi General Intelligence “literally shouting at me across his office: ’9/11 is a mere pinprick on the West. In the medium term, it is nothing more than a series of personal tragedies. What these terrorists want is to destroy the House of Saud and remake the Middle East.’” In the event, Saudi Arabia adopted both policies, encouraging the jihadis as a useful tool of Saudi anti-Shia influence abroad but suppressing them at home as a threat to the status quo. It is this dual policy that has fallen apart over the last year.

Saudi sympathy for anti-Shia “militancy” is identified in leaked US official documents. The then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote in December 2009 in a cable released by Wikileaks that “Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qa’ida, the Taliban, LeT [Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan] and other terrorist groups.” She said that, in so far as Saudi Arabia did act against al-Qa’ida, it was as a domestic threat and not because of its activities abroad. This policy may now be changing with the dismissal of Prince Bandar as head of intelligence this year. But the change is very recent, still ambivalent and may be too late: it was only last week that a Saudi prince said he would no longer fund a satellite television station notorious for its anti-Shia bias based in Egypt.

The problem for the Saudis is that their attempts since Bandar lost his job to create an anti-Maliki and anti-Assad Sunni constituency which is simultaneously against al-Qa’ida and its clones have failed.

By seeking to weaken Maliki and Assad in the interest of a more moderate Sunni faction, Saudi Arabia and its allies are in practice playing into the hands of Isis which is swiftly gaining full control of the Sunni opposition in Syria and Iraq. In Mosul, as happened previously in its Syrian capital Raqqa, potential critics and opponents are disarmed, forced to swear allegiance to the new caliphate and killed if they resist.

The West may have to pay a price for its alliance with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies, which have always found Sunni jihadism more attractive than democracy. A striking example of double standards by the western powers was the Saudi-backed suppression of peaceful democratic protests by the Shia majority in Bahrain in March 2011. Some 1,500 Saudi troops were sent across the causeway to the island kingdom as the demonstrations were ended with great brutality and Shia mosques and shrines were destroyed.

An alibi used by the US and Britain is that the Sunni al-Khalifa royal family in Bahrain is pursuing dialogue and reform. But this excuse looked thin last week as Bahrain expelled a top US diplomat, the assistant secretary of state for human rights Tom Malinowksi, for meeting leaders of the main Shia opposition party al-Wifaq. Mr Malinowski tweeted that the Bahrain government’s action was “not about me but about undermining dialogue”.

Western powers and their regional allies have largely escaped criticism for their role in reigniting the war in Iraq. Publicly and privately, they have blamed the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for persecuting and marginalising the Sunni minority, so provoking them into supporting the Isis-led revolt. There is much truth in this, but it is by no means the whole story. Maliki did enough to enrage the Sunni, partly because he wanted to frighten Shia voters into supporting him in the 30 April election by claiming to be the Shia community’s protector against Sunni counter-revolution.

But for all his gargantuan mistakes, Maliki’s failings are not the reason why the Iraqi state is disintegrating. What destabilised Iraq from 2011 on was the revolt of the Sunni in Syria and the takeover of that revolt by jihadis, who were often sponsored by donors in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates. Again and again Iraqi politicians warned that by not seeking to close down the civil war in Syria, Western leaders were making it inevitable that the conflict in Iraq would restart. “I guess they just didn’t believe us and were fixated on getting rid of [President Bashar al-] Assad,” said an Iraqi leader in Baghdad last week.

Of course, US and British politicians and diplomats would argue that they were in no position to bring an end to the Syrian conflict. But this is misleading. By insisting that peace negotiations must be about the departure of Assad from power, something that was never going to happen since Assad held most of the cities in the country and his troops were advancing, the US and Britain made sure the war would continue.

The chief beneficiary is Isis which over the last two weeks has been mopping up the last opposition to its rule in eastern Syria. The Kurds in the north and the official al-Qa’ida representative, Jabhat al-Nusra, are faltering under the impact of Isis forces high in morale and using tanks and artillery captured from the Iraqi army. It is also, without the rest of the world taking notice, taking over many of the Syrian oil wells that it did not already control.

Saudi Arabia has created a Frankenstein’s monster over which it is rapidly losing control. The same is true of its allies such as Turkey which has been a vital back-base for Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra by keeping the 510-mile-long Turkish-Syrian border open. As Kurdish-held border crossings fall to Isis, Turkey will find it has a new neighbour of extraordinary violence, and one deeply ungrateful for past favours from the Turkish intelligence service.

As for Saudi Arabia, it may come to regret its support for the Sunni revolts in Syria and Iraq as jihadi social media begins to speak of the House of Saud as its next target. It is the unnamed head of Saudi General Intelligence quoted by Dearlove after 9/11 who is turning out to have analysed the potential threat to Saudi Arabia correctly and not Prince Bandar, which may explain why the latter was sacked earlier this year.

Nor is this the only point on which Prince Bandar was dangerously mistaken. The rise of Isis is bad news for the Shia of Iraq but it is worse news for the Sunni whose leadership has been ceded to a pathologically bloodthirsty and intolerant movement, a sort of Islamic Khmer Rouge, which has no aim but war without end.

The Sunni caliphate rules a large, impoverished and isolated area from which people are fleeing. Several million Sunni in and around Baghdad are vulnerable to attack and 255 Sunni prisoners have already been massacred. In the long term, Isis cannot win, but its mix of fanaticism and good organisation makes it difficult to dislodge.

“God help the Shia,” said Prince Bandar, but, partly thanks to him, the shattered Sunni communities of Iraq and Syria may need divine help even more than the Shia.

Libya news update

This video says about itself:

Tawergha: Libya‘s Ghost Town

8 Nov 2011

In October, Refugees International visited Tawergha, Libya from which all 35,000 inhabitants of the town were forced to flee after Misrata brigades ransacked the area.

By Aya Elbrqawi, 28 February 2014:

Libya: Slow Death of Derna

Benghazi — Derna residents live a life of fear. Al-Qaeda has transformed their eastern Libya port city into a new base for its global campaign and as the prime export centre for jihadists.

Known for its long history of fierce fighters and proud tribes, Derna has faced relentless violence. Now it will not have a say in national governance because it is too unsafe to vote.

The night before last week’s constituent assembly elections, six polling stations were struck by bombs. The High National Election Committee (HNEC) had rescheduled the ballot for Wednesday (February 26th), but the Derna Local Council said elections could not be held since no one was securing the polling centres.

Dozens of protesters have stormed Libya’s parliament building, shooting and injuring two lawmakers and wounding several others. The protesters were contesting the interim parliament’s decision to extend its mandate: here.

A French engineer has been shot dead in the Libyan city of Benghazi, hospital sources said Sunday. The man, so far unnamed, was shot as he was working on extension work at Benghazi Medical Centre: here.

Unidentified gunmen shot an Egyptian worker in Libya’s city of Benghazi on Sunday, leading to his injury, state-owned agency MENA reported: here.

Already buffeted by lawlessness and seemingly unending political turmoil Libya is now facing budgetary and energy crunches, say top officials: here.

With all the attention being paid to Ukraine, Venezuela and other geopolitical hot spots, energy investors may take their eye off Libya, whose oil production has derailed and may not come back anytime soon: here.

At the heart of the Libyan capital, the open-air Fish Market was once a place where residents went to buy everything from meat and seafood to clothes and pets. Now it’s Tripoli’s biggest arms market, with tables displaying pistols and assault rifles. Ask a vendor, and he can pull out bigger machine guns to sell for thousands of dollars: here.

Three years after Gaddafi, Libya is imploding into chaos and violence: here.

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Greek minister doesn’t know refugees from terrorists

This video from Greece says about itself:

The survivors of Farmakonisi, Greece arrived in Athens

23 Jan 2014

11 women and kids drowned in this tragic incident. It happened when they were approaching the Greek shore; the coast guard tried to push them back to Turkey.

After Nelson Mandela being for decades on a United States government list of so-called “terrorists”, along with President Morales of Bolivia, the late US Senator Edward Kennedy, and a million people more

After the persecution of Egyptian archaeologist Hawass as a “terrorist” … the persecution of a little eight-year-old boy as a “terrorist” … the persecution as a “terrorist” in Britain for singing a song by punk rock band The Clash … after the British government persecuting journalism as “terrorism” … now, another NATO country: Greece. Greece, where refugees from wars in Afghanistan, Syria, etc. come; but the government does not want to know they are refugees.

From I Can’t Relax in Greece blog:

Public order minister links ‘illegal immigration’ to terrorism

Posted on 26/01/2014 by icantrelaxingreece

Nikos Dendias makes claims only days after Farmakonisi drowning disaster

In the same week that nine children and three women drown during a controversial coastguard operation, Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias claims ‘terrorism is likely to exploit the issue of phenomenon of illegal immigration’.

Days after the drowning of twelve migrants, including nine children, in the eastern Aegean during a controversial coastguard operation, a government minister has sought to link the issue of “illegal immigration” with terrorism.

“Terrorism is likely to exploit the issue of phenomenon of illegal immigration,” Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias said at a press conference following the conclusion of an informal meeting of EU justice and home affairs ministers in Athens.

Dendias said that raised the issues of combating international terrorism, border management, immigration and illegal immigration at the meeting.

Meanwhile, another minister who alleged on Thursday that Europe’s human rights watchdog was trying to make a “political point” against Greece over the drowning tragedy near the islet Farmakonisi said that he was “shocked” at the incident.

“We are shocked at the Farmakonisi incident and at any loss of human life at sea,” Miltiadis Varvitsiotis told the same press conference.

He said the circumstances surrounding the accident would be investigated by prosecutors.

EnetEnglish, ANA-MPA

From Eleftherotypia’s English website, 24 January 2014.

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More German neo-nazi terrorism than previously thought

This video is called The Real Terror: Germany’s Tolerated & Supported Next Nazi Generations.

By Christoph Dreier in Germany:

German prosecutors to investigate more far-right terror groups

18 December 2013

Statistics from the Interior Ministry and Attorney General suggest that far-right terrorist networks are much larger and more numerous in Germany than previously thought. At the same time, new evidence has come to light of their ties to government agencies.

Last week, the Interior Ministry released figures from the Federal Criminal Office (BKA) and the 16 state police agencies (LKA) about possible far-right assassination attempts over the last 20 years. Officials have investigated 3,300 unsolved cases of attempted or completed homicides between 1990 and 2011. In 746 cases, they found evidence of a “possible right-wing political motive.”

The government’s official statistics for this period have previously recorded only 63 such offences. Journalists and victims’ associations had previously assumed that some 150 to 200 cases existed. The 746 cases are now to be examined more closely, with results not expected until next summer.

On Wednesday, the Attorney General’s Office announced it was investigating four further alleged right-wing extremist terrorist groups, each with four to seven members. According to Federal Prosecutor-General Harald Range, so far there is no evidence of concrete plans for attacks. However, he did not provide detailed information.

Both reports suggest that the “National Socialist Underground” (NSU) terrorist organisation uncovered in 2011 was not an isolated group, but part of a much broader network that may be responsible for numerous terrorist attacks. The three alleged members of the NSU—Uwe Mundlos, Uwe Böhnhardt and Beate Zschäpe—are accused of responsibility for ten murders.

Previous investigations have already shown that the trio could rely on a wide network of supporters. The Attorney General has presented the NSU trial in Munich with a list of 129 people regarded as part of the group’s wider network. Later, it admitted that this was only part of a list of over 500 people.

In September, 21-year-old Florian H. wanted to provide the Baden-Württemberg state police (LKA) with information about another alleged terrorist group called “Neoschutzstaffel” (NSS, New SS). The NSS was said to have been active in the Heilbronn region, where the NSU murdered the police officer Michèle Kiesewetter in 2007 for as yet unexplained reasons. Florian H. died as a result of a fire in his car shortly before he could provide his statement, however, and the exact circumstances of his death remain unclear.

It beggars belief that the connection between various right-wing terrorist groups and the complex structures of the extreme right were not known to the security agencies. Rather, the evidence suggests that sections of the intelligence agencies are closely linked with far-right groups and want to cover up this connection. The latest revelations portray a picture of a close-knit mesh of intelligence agencies and neo-fascists and their supporters.

Last Tuesday, the ARD programme Report Mainz broadcast an interview with an LKA official in Thuringia, who reported how his superiors prevented him from investigating the NSU trio. Mundlos, Böhnhardt and Zschäpe had been sought by the police since 1998, after one of their explosives depots was uncovered and the three went underground.

In June 2003, the police received some promising evidence: an old school friend of Böhnhardt claimed to have seen the right-wing extremists in Jena in August or September of last year. He was even able to provide the model and part of the license plate of the car in which Böhnhardt was travelling.

According to his own statements, the officer was sent with a colleague to meet the informant. Apparently, they received a clear order: “Drive out there so no one can say we did nothing,” then-Deputy LKA President Werner Jakstat supposedly told the police officers, who continued: “But we should not investigate anything. It was explicitly said, ‘Don’t find anything out.’ (…) There was then no further investigation because that was prevented from the very top. For us, the matter was done with.”

Jaksat, who is now president of LKA Thuringia, wrote concerning the witness in a report to the ministry responsible: “The investigation did not lead to success, as the details provided by the witness were related to events one to three years earlier, and were inconclusive.” In fact, the sighting of Börnhardt was less than a year previously, as the witness told Report Mainz.

Confronted by the Report Mainz journalists with the statements made by his co-worker, Jaksat began evasively. He “could not say anything about it. I don’t know anything about what you’re saying, there is no interview. This is not authorised,” Jaksat stammered into the reporter’s microphone.

The identity of the officer interviewed was disguised in the broadcast. [This] is, according to Report Mainz, a serious source.

The statements are also in agreement with previous revelations that the secret service and police protected the NSU. Recently, Mundlos’ father Siegfried stated before the investigative committee of the Thuringia state parliament that he had given the police evidence of the whereabouts of his son, which was not pursued. Furthermore, he had been instructed by the secret service not to disclose new information to the police, but only to them.

There is growing evidence that the secret service was not only informed about the goings on of the NSU trio and covered this up, but may have been involved very much further and more directly in the organization of the murders.

In the NSU trial in Munich, in which Beate Zschäpe is the main defendant, the attention of the joint plaintiffs is currently focused on Andreas Temme. He was present at the murder of Halit Yozgat by the NSU on April 6, 2006, at an Internet cafe in Kassel. Temme was then a full-time agent and lead the undercover informants of the Hesse State Office for the Protection of the Constitution (as the secret service is called).

After the murder, he did not volunteer as a witness, and when the police determined his identity, he stated that he had not heard the shot and had not noticed the corpse behind the counter on the way out. When he heard of the murder, he had thought it had been on a different day in the café. He repeated these allegations in court without being able to dispel a single of the numerous open questions.

Rather, more new information keeps coming to light that place in question Temme’s claim he had nothing to do with the murder. A map of Kassel, which was found in the NSU’s secret apartment, listed potential attack targets. They were mostly on Temme’s daily route.

The ancillary suit lodged by Yozgat’s relatives point to the fact that the 2006 investigation file contains the record of a phone call between Temme and a secret service officer, Mr. Hess. In the call, Hess recommended Temme stay as close as possible to the truth, in order to lie all the better.

The fact that the Hesse state secret service has something to hide is also evident in its intervention in the questioning of Benjamin G, one of the undercover informants Temme was running at the time of the attack. A few months previously, he had been at a far-right rock concert, at which a witness claims to have also seen members of the NSU.

The secret service paid for a lawyer to represent G. at his interview in Munich, so that he not exceed the “limit of his ability to provide evidence.” G. was forbidden to make “statements on the functioning” of the secret service and regarding “the cooperation of employees there,” a spokesman said. Another reason why the state paid for a lawyer was to prevent G. becoming a mere “object of the proceedings.”

The attorney of the co-plaintiffs Thomas Bliwier, Doris Dierbach Kienzle and Alexander have detailed all the inconsistencies in the statements made by Temme and G. Based on this record, they have twice applied for access to the entire 2006 investigation file, from which so far only partial information has been provided. The court has rejected both applications.

Last week marked one year since the start of the trial in Munich of the last surviving member of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Underground (NSU). The anniversary of the start of the trial was overshadowed by the mysterious death of a longstanding German undercover agent, Thomas Richter, nicknamed “Corelli”: here.

British soldier suspected of racist terrorism

This video is called UK Soldier Apprehended Under Terrorism Act Over ‘Nail Bomb‘.

This time, British authorities seem to have arrested, for a change, someone for “terrorism” who looks like being a real terrorist, like extreme Rightist Breivik in Norway; not someone like David Miranda, arrested for journalism exposing illegal governmental spying on millions of people.

From The Huffington Post UK:

Soldier Arrested After Nail Bomb Found In Salford House

04/12/2013 08:34 GMT

A 19-year-old soldier has been arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences after a nail bomb was found at a house.

Officers raided the Army base in Paderborn, Germany, following the discovery of the suspicious device at a terraced house Mellor Street, Eccles, on November 28.

He was flown to the UK and questioned by detectives in Greater Manchester before he was released on bail until January pending further inquiries.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: “Police have arrested a man in connection with the investigation into a suspicious device found in Salford last Thursday.

“A 19-year-old man was last night arrested on suspicion of Section 57 of the Terrorism Act. He has now been bailed until January.

“Shortly before 1.30pm on Thursday November 28 a warrant was executed at an address on Mellor Street in Patricroft.

“A 20-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession of abusive images and was bailed pending further inquiries.

“During a search of the property on Mellor Street, a suspicious device was found. A cordon was put in place and a number of residents were evacuated as a precautionary measure. Specialist officers assessed the device and were later able to confirm it was no longer a threat to the community.”

Last week, bomb disposal officers were called to safely remove the device as residents were evacuated to a local school.

Police arrested a 20-year-old man on suspicion of possession of abusive images and “several items of literature which could be viewed by some as potentially inflammatory” – reported to be extreme right-wing leaflets.