NATO is harbouring the Islamic State

1-uPGE-GLlKmVVEvfyKjqzHwWhy France’s brave new war on ISIS is a sick joke, and an insult to the victims of the Paris attacks

INSURGE INTELLIGENCEby Nafeez Ahmed, Nov. 19, 2015:

“We stand alongside Turkey in its efforts in protecting its national security and fighting against terrorism. France and Turkey are on the same side within the framework of the international coalition against the terrorist group ISIS.”

Statement by French Foreign Ministry, July 2015

The 13th November Paris massacre will be remembered, like 9/11, as a defining moment in world history.

The murder of 129 people, the injury of 352 more, by ‘Islamic State’ (ISIS) acolytes striking multiple targets simultaneously in the heart of Europe, mark a major sea-change in the terror threat.

For the first time, a Mumbai-style attack has occurred on Western soil — the worst attack on Europe in decades. As such, it has triggered a seemingly commensurate response from France: the declaration of a nationwide state of emergency, the likes of which have not been seen since the 1961 Algerian war.

ISIS has followed up with threats to attack Washington and New York City.

Meanwhile, President Hollande wants European Union leaders to suspend the Schengen Agreement on open borders to allow dramatic restrictions on freedom of movement across Europe. He also demands the EU-wide adoption of the Passenger Name Records (PNR) system allowing intelligence services to meticulously track the travel patterns of Europeans, along with an extension of the state of emergency to at least three months.

Under the extension, French police can now block any website, put people under house arrest without trial, search homes without a warrant, and prevent suspects from meeting others deemed a threat.

“We know that more attacks are being prepared, not just against France but also against other European countries,” said the French Prime Minister Manuel Valls. “We are going to live with this terrorist threat for a long time.”

Hollande plans to strengthen the powers of police and security services under new anti-terror legislation, and to pursue amendments to the constitution that would permanently enshrine the state of emergency into French politics. “We need an appropriate tool we can use without having to resort to the state of emergency,” he explained.

Parallel with martial law at home, Hollande was quick to accelerate military action abroad, launching 30 airstrikes on over a dozen Islamic State targets in its de facto capital, Raqqa.

France’s defiant promise, according to Hollande, is to “destroy” ISIS.

The ripple effect from the attacks in terms of the impact on Western societies is likely to be permanent. In much the same way that 9/11 saw the birth of a new era of perpetual war in the Muslim world, the 13/11 Paris attacks are already giving rise to a brave new phase in that perpetual war: a new age of Constant Vigilance, in which citizens are vital accessories to the police state, enacted in the name of defending a democracy eroded by the very act of defending it through Constant Vigilance.

Mass surveillance at home and endless military projection abroad are the twin sides of the same coin of national security, which must simply be maximized as much as possible.

“France is at war,” Hollande told French parliament at the Palace of Versailles.

“We’re not engaged in a war of civilizations, because these assassins do not represent any. We are in a war against jihadist terrorism which is threatening the whole world.”

The friend of our enemy is our friend

Conspicuously missing from President Hollande’s decisive declaration of war, however, was any mention of the biggest elephant in the room: state-sponsorship.

Syrian passports discovered near the bodies of two of the suspected Paris attackers, according to police sources, were fake, and likely forged in Turkey.

Earlier this year, the Turkish daily Meydan reported citing an Uighur source that more than 100,000 fake Turkish passports had been given to ISIS. The figure, according to the US Army’s Foreign Studies Military Office (FSMO), is likely exaggerated, but corroborated “by Uighurs captured with Turkish passports in Thailand and Malaysia.”

Further corroboration came from a Sky News Arabia report by correspondent Stuart Ramsey, which revealed that the Turkish government was certifying passports of foreign militants crossing the Turkey-Syria border to join ISIS. The passports, obtained from Kurdish fighters, had the official exit stamp of Turkish border control, indicating the ISIS militants had entered Syria with full knowledge of Turkish authorities.

The dilemma facing the Erdogan administration is summed up by the FSMO: “If the country cracks down on illegal passports and militants transiting the country, the militants may target Turkey for attack. However, if Turkey allows the current course to continue, its diplomatic relations with other countries and internal political situation will sour.”

This barely scratches the surface. A senior Western official familiar with a large cache of intelligence obtained this summer from a major raid on an ISIS safehouse told the Guardian that “direct dealings between Turkish officials and ranking ISIS members was now ‘undeniable.’”

The same official confirmed that Turkey, a longstanding member of NATO, is not just supporting ISIS, but also other jihadist groups, including Ahrar al-Sham and Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria. “The distinctions they draw [with other opposition groups] are thin indeed,” said the official. “There is no doubt at all that they militarily cooperate with both.”

In a rare insight into this brazen state-sponsorship of ISIS, a year agoNewsweek reported the testimony of a former ISIS communications technician, who had travelled to Syria to fight the regime of Bashir al-Assad.

The former ISIS fighter told Newsweek that Turkey was allowing ISIS trucks from Raqqa to cross the “border, through Turkey and then back across the border to attack Syrian Kurds in the city of Serekaniye in northern Syria in February.” ISIS militants would freely travel “through Turkey in a convoy of trucks,” and stop “at safehouses along the way.”

The former ISIS communication technician also admitted that he would routinely “connect ISIS field captains and commanders from Syria with people in Turkey on innumerable occasions,” adding that “the people they talked to were Turkish officials… ISIS commanders told us to fear nothing at all because there was full cooperation with the Turks.”

In January, authenticated official documents of the Turkish military were leaked online, showing that Turkey’s intelligence services had been caught in Adana by military officers transporting missiles, mortars and anti-aircraft ammunition via truck “to the al-Qaeda terror organisation” in Syria.

According to other ISIS suspects facing trial in Turkey, the Turkish national military intelligence organization (MIT) had begun smuggling arms, including NATO weapons to jihadist groups in Syria as early as 2011.

The allegations have been corroborated by a prosecutor and court testimony of Turkish military police officers, who confirmed that Turkish intelligence was delivering arms to Syrian jihadists from 2013 to 2014.

Documents leaked in September 2014 showed that Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan had financed weapons shipments to ISIS through Turkey. A clandestine plane from Germany delivered arms in the Etimesgut airport in Turkey and split into three containers, two of which were dispatched to ISIS.

A report by the Turkish Statistics Institute confirmed that the government had provided at least $1 million in arms to Syrian rebels within that period, contradicting official denials. Weapons included grenades, heavy artillery, anti-aircraft guns, firearms, ammunition, hunting rifles and other weapons — but the Institute declined to identify the specific groups receiving the shipments.

Information of that nature emerged separately. Just two months ago, Turkish police raided a news outlet that published revelations on how the local customs director had approved weapons shipments from Turkey to ISIS.

Turkey has also played a key role in facilitating the life-blood of ISIS’ expansion: black market oil sales. Senior political and intelligence sources in Turkey and Iraq confirm that Turkish authorities have actively facilitated ISIS oil sales through the country.

Last summer, Mehmet Ali Ediboglu, an MP from the main opposition, the Republican People’s Party, estimated the quantity of ISIS oil sales in Turkey at about $800 million — that was over a year ago.

By now, this implies that Turkey has facilitated over $1 billion worth of black market ISIS oil sales to date.

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Brussels, seat of NATO headquarters, held hostage by the Islamic State

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said the decision to keep Brussels on lockdown was based on 'quite precise information about the risk of an attack like the one that happened in Paris' Read more:

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said the decision to keep Brussels on lockdown was based on ‘quite precise information about the risk of an attack like the one that happened in Paris’
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Center for Security Policy, by John Cordero, Nov. 23, 2015:

After uncovering the Islamic State cell that planned and executed the Paris attacks, Belgian authorities have increased the manhunt for Salah Abdeslam, who is suspected of being one of the gunmen in Paris and whose brother blew himself up in a suicide operation there.  Brussels, the location of NATO and EU headquarters, is now a city under military lockdown.  Subways and schools remained closed on Monday, as the threat of a “Paris-style attack” keeps residents and police on edge.

Hiding in plain sight within the large Muslim community centered in the Molenbeek neighborhood, the IS cell that executed the Paris atrocity may have prepared for another wave targeting Brussels,  according to Belgian authorities.

In response, they have urged the closing of popular bars and clubs, while hotels locked their doors, as a large number of travelers cancelled their stays.

The military personnel and armored personnel carriers now patrolling the streets evoke images of a city under occupation, and although 16 arrests have been made in connection with the attacks, Abdeslam and his accomplices remain at large.

As previously noted, IS has increased its operational capabilities beyond the borders of its self-declared caliphate and affiliated “provinces.”  Whereas, historically terrorist organizations executed operations in order to draw media attention for the announcement of clear political objectives, IS transcends traditional western concepts of terrorism. Instead, it is a global jihadist organization, seeking to goad Western powers into an apocalyptic conflict.

In the 1980’s and 1990’s, organizations such as Hezbollah held hostages for years and carried out operations at the behest of Iran, a clear case of state-sponsored terrorism.  Nowadays, a self-declared religious state, with no international recognition and a self-sufficient financial structure, is able to hold entire cities hostage; cities that serve as headquarters for international military and political bodies are now at the mercy of jihadists who reject the Western concept of the nation-state.

In a propaganda masterstroke, the Islamic State has succeeded in achieving one of its key goals: “striking fear in the heart of the enemy.”

Paris is Burning…Again

France Newspaper AttackTerror Trends Bulletin, by Christopher Holton, Nov. 14,2015:

Paris has become the top Western target for Jihad.

It can no longer be denied that France is in the throes of the global Islamic insurgency. Today, a coordinated, multifaceted attack eerily reminiscent of the 2008 Mumbai, India attack by Lashkar e Taiba, resulted in the deaths of at least 160 people.

The attack involved small arms and grenades and nearly simultaneous attacks in 7 different locations around Paris.

What most people do not realize is that these attacks are but the latest in a string of attacks going back to the infamous Charlie Hebdo attack 10 months ago. Everyone remembers Charlie Hebdo, but few in America realize that there have been several small-scale Jihadi incidents across France both before and after Charlie Hebdo, all of which are indicative of a revolutionary Jihadist atmosphere developing in the country.

France has been targeted because it has been the most active nation fighting Jihad in recent years, effectively decimating Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in Mali and carrying out air strikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

It is absolutely imperative that the West stand with France with more than just symbolism. Now is not the time for candlelight vigils and peace rallies. Now is the time when NATO must take the threat from the Islamic State seriously. France is a NATO nation and has been attacked by a foreign power. That means that the North Atlantic Treaty must be invoked and activated.

It is time for the full weight and force and the North Atlantic Alliance be brought to bear to end the caliphate once and for all–no matter what it takes to do so.

Vladimir Putin’s real target: The world’s oil supply

The Washington Times – October 14, 2015:

It’s the oil, stupid.

That’s what Russian President Vladimir Putin is really up to in Syria.

In the early 1970s, President Richard Nixon succeeded in pushing the Russians out of the Middle East. Today they’re back with a vengeance, thanks to President Obama’s policy of precipitous withdrawal from the region and overall neutering of American power.

Since Mr. Putin began his significant military deployment to Syria, observers have tried to get a handle on his motives — from propping up his ally, Syrian President Bashar Assad, to using the intervention as a distraction from his Ukrainian intervention, to weakening NATO to satisfying the goals of the Russian Orthodox Church, to re-establishing a long-term strategic foothold in the Middle East.

All of these motives may be true. But they miss his far bigger gambit: seizing control of the majority of the world’s oil.

Some, including Mr. Obama, have dismissed Mr. Putin’s moves as ill-conceived and a sign of weakness. But Mr. Putin has never been naive or aimless. He coldly pursues Russia’s national interests, and right now, its overriding interest is in reviving the Russian economy, which has been gutted by economic sanctions and cheap oil, and positioning Russia to be the globe’s oil overlord.

Cheap oil has most irritated Mr. Putin, which is why his Syrian adventure is really about directly threatening the nation doing Moscow the most harm — Saudi Arabia — by encircling it with the new Russian-led alliance of Iran, Iraq and Syria, and gaining control over the natural gas pipeline that originates in Iran and runs through all three countries.

This explains Mr. Putin’s new “intelligence-sharing” alliance with Tehran, Baghdad and Damascus, ostensibly to track the Islamic State, or ISIS, but really directed against Riyadh and the competing Saudi-Qatar-Turkey pipeline. Mr. Putin has long held the European gas market hostage to Russia’s reserves. Rather than permit the Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline to threaten that control, he intends to grab effective control over it, thereby suffocating Saudi oil interests and seizing an even fiercer stranglehold over the European energy market.

He is going to decimate the Mother of all Oil Producers.

In the face of a glut a year ago, the Saudis raised output by 1 million barrels a day, well above their quota, to create an even bigger surfeit — partly to undermine U.S. shale producers.

The subsequent low oil prices have sent the Russian economy into a death spiral. The oil and gas sector accounts for 70 percent of total Russian exports, 52 percent of federal budget revenues and 16 percent of its gross national product. The Russian economy contracted by 2.2 percent in the first quarter of 2015, and by a devastating 4.6 percent in the second quarter. The value of the ruble has dropped by a staggering 50 percent.

As energy investor Gary Siegler puts it, “The Russians experience this as an economic war” — which to Mr. Putin is indistinct from a military one, so he has now joined both battles.

Under the pretext of defeating ISIS, Mr. Putin has sent Russian special forces into Syria and Iraq and is preparing to introduce up to 150,000 ground troops. The elite troops are not there to simply provide security but to call in airstrikes and carry out covert missions against the western-backed, anti-Assad rebels, so that eventually Mr. Putin can argue accurately that the choice in Syria is between Mr. Assad and ISIS. Pick one.

The Russian campaign against ISIS also puts the lie to Mr. Obama’s fairytale claim that he’s fighting the terrorists aggressively; Moscow is accomplishing in a few weeks what Mr. Obama hasn’t been willing to accomplish in over a year.

Further, Russia’s air defense missiles are in Syria for a purpose other than the mere protection of the Assad regime. When Washington was given less than an hour’s warning that the Kremlin was imposing, in effect, a no-fly zone in Syriaand Mr. Obama had no response, Mr. Putin pressed on, ordering Russian warships in the Caspian Sea to fire long-range cruise missiles. These are warning shots to his deeper target, Riyadh.

Russia is surrounding Saudi Arabia with weapons, combat troops and alliances, including with Egypt and Israel, designed to make Riyadh an offer it can’t refuse: cut production so prices rise or else.

After all, once those 150,000 Russian combat troops are on the ground inSyria and northern Iraq, they’ll be there to stay. They’ll secure the Iraqi oil fields — which produce 4 million barrels a day — and the pipeline territory for Russia, thereby gaining even greater leverage over oil production and prices.

(Incidentally: Donald Trump was derided for arguing that the United States should have seized Iraq’s oil as repayment for its liberation. How ironic if Russia ends up controlling that oil.)

The Saudis know they can’t count on Mr. Obama. They watched as he betrayed America’s longstanding ally, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and believes Mr. Obama has already betrayed them by legitimizing Iran as a threshold nuclear power.

The Saudis now see Russia on their doorstep, perhaps preparing to carve up Iraq with Iran, destabilize them and the oil supply, or even to join Tehran in prosecuting a hot war against Riyadh in order to allow the vast eastern Saudi oil fields to come under Iranian and Russian control.

Russia’s power play is working, as oil prices have ticked up recently. But Mr. Putin will not be satisfied with small victories. He’s in this for all the marbles.

Control the oil, control the global economy. And right now, Russia is poised to do both.

Monica Crowley is online opinion editor at The Washington Times.


Putin’s Challenge – Russia’s not on defense

Also see:

The US Vacuum in the Middle East


The Gorka Briefing, by Sebastian Gorka, Oct 12, 2015:

The Obama administration created a vacuum in the Middle East and then ISIS moved in and now Russia is establishing a beachhead. I discuss this and more on the Sam Sorbo radio show. (17 min)

audio snip 2

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Expeditionary Warfare  Is the Russian venture in Syria a “Force Protection” or  Expeditionary War at quite a significant scale? NATO countries seem to be missing a common threat assessment over what Moscow is undertaking. I discuss these issues and more on the John Batchelor radio show. (9 min)

Obama Admin Backs NATO Ally Turkey’s Double Game with Islamic State After Turks Bomb Anti-ISIS Kurdish Groups

1436985867gory-23PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, July 26, 2015:

A bizarre situation unfolded this past week, one that could possibly drag the U.S. into a new war in the Middle East.

On Monday, a suicide bomber attacked a rally in Suruc, Turkey, targeting a news conference of the Kurdish Federation of Socialist Youth Associations, killing 32. The suicide bomber was identified by Turkish authorities as an Islamic State supporter who had returned from Syria.

NYT tweet

In response the Islamist government in Ankara, led by Obama’s pal Recep Erdogan (one of Obama’s top five international friends), launched airstrikes targeting not the Islamic State, but Kurdish groups in Iraq.

CNN Turk

CNN Turk m2

This comes as more evidence emerges that Turkey has been playing a double game with the Islamic State. The evidence was obtained in a U.S. special forces raid of a senior ISIS leader in Iraq.

The Guardian reports today:

When US special forces raided the compound of an Islamic State leader in eastern Syria in May, they made sure not to tell the neighbours.

The target of that raid, the first of its kind since US jets returned to the skies over Iraq last August, was an Isis official responsible for oil smuggling, named Abu Sayyaf. He was almost unheard of outside the upper echelons of the terror group, but he was well known to Turkey. From mid-2013, the Tunisian fighter had been responsible for smuggling oil from Syria’s eastern fields, which the group had by then commandeered. Black market oil quickly became the main driver of Isis revenues – and Turkish buyers were its main clients.

As a result, the oil trade between the jihadis and the Turks was held up as evidence of an alliance between the two. It led to protests from Washington and Europe – both already wary of Turkey’s 900-mile border with Syria being used as a gateway by would-be jihadis from around the world.

This comes as more evidence emerges that Turkey has been playing a double game with the Islamic State. The evidence was obtained in a U.S. special forces raid of a senior ISIS leader in Iraq.

The Guardian reports today:

When US special forces raided the compound of an Islamic State leader in eastern Syria in May, they made sure not to tell the neighbours.

The target of that raid, the first of its kind since US jets returned to the skies over Iraq last August, was an Isis official responsible for oil smuggling, named Abu Sayyaf. He was almost unheard of outside the upper echelons of the terror group, but he was well known to Turkey. From mid-2013, the Tunisian fighter had been responsible for smuggling oil from Syria’s eastern fields, which the group had by then commandeered. Black market oil quickly became the main driver of Isis revenues – and Turkish buyers were its main clients.

As a result, the oil trade between the jihadis and the Turks was held up as evidence of an alliance between the two. It led to protests from Washington and Europe – both already wary of Turkey’s 900-mile border with Syria being used as a gateway by would-be jihadis from around the world.

Turkey oil link t0 ISIS


This is not the first time that Turkey has been caught double-dealing against their U.S. NATO ally. There was the “gas for gold” scheme with Iran that allowed the Islamic Republic to skirt international sanctions, and Erdogan and the Turkish intelligence chief had a photographed meeting with U.S. designated Al-Qaeda global terror financier Yasin al-Qadi.

Curiously, shortly after those reports showing photographs of Erdogan meeting with al-Qadi appeared in the Turkish media, the Treasury Department under Obama removed al-Qadi’s terror designation.

The preferred route of thousands of foreign fighters now in the ranks of ISIS appears to have been mostly coming from Turkey and crossing the border into Syria, bringing complaints that Turkey was not doing enough to combat the group’s growth and that the border was becoming “a two-way jihadist highway.”

But a series of published reports going back to last year seem to show direct and indirect Turkish support for the Islamic State.

  • In April 2014, Turkish media reports showed photographs of ISIS commander Abu Muhammad being treated at the Hatay State Hospital after being injured fighting in Syria. Opposition politicians also claimed that fighters with Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria, were allowed to stay at the guesthouses of the government’s Religious Affairs Directorate.
  • Last November, Newsweek published an interview with a former ISIS fighter who said that ISIS fighters faced no obstructions entering from Turkey. Meanwhile, ISIS commanders bragged about the “full cooperation with the Turks,” while anti-ISIS Kurdish fighters were blocked by Turkish authorities.
  • This account seems to be confirmed by a report from Aydınlık Daily, which reported in July 2014 that the Turkish intelligence service, the MIT, had transported members of Syrian terrorist groups and their weapons across the border.
  • Two weeks after that report, at an event site approved by Erdogan’s ruling AKP Party and sponsored by a publication known for its ISIS sympathiesa rally was held in Istanbul where video showed speakers openly calling for jihad. There were also reports that recruiting for ISIS fighters took place.
  • In January, Turkish military documents from the Gendarmerie General Command leaked online showed that Turkish intelligence were transporting missiles, mortars and anti-aircraft ammunition for Al-Qaeda and actively obstructed the military from documenting the transfers.
  • The New York Times reported in May that massive amounts of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer used for making bombs, were being prepared in a Turkish town near Syria and transported across the border. The report quoted an opposition politician who admitted that the fertilizing was not for farms, but for bombs.
  • Reuters reported exclusively in late May that court documents and prosecutor testimony revealed that Turkish intelligence had transported weapons across the border in 2013 and early 2014, aiding the offensive push by ISIS into Iraq in June 2014. Erdogan himself had said that the shipments were aid.

And then there’s this, though it’s unlikely that it’s much of a secret…

Turkey recruting IS

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EMET Phone Seminar: Dr. Jonathan Schanzer – Turkey and its Dubious Performance as an ‘Ally’


EMET is proud to host Dr. Jonathan Schanzer on a phone seminar to discuss Turkey.

Turkey is a supposed “ally” of the United States and NATO, yet many officials in Washington are doubting the loyalty of Ankara, which failed to join the U.S.-led air bombing campaign against the Islamic State. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan labeled the U.S. allied Kurds in Syria fighting the Islamic State as terrorists.One U.S. official reportedly said Turkey is secretly offering support to ISIS, and that many in Washington believe Turkey is partnering with Qatar to support Islamist groups in Libya. Moreover, Turkey has allowed weapons to be transported into Syria through its borders, as well as ISIS fighters to move freely between the two countries. There are ISIS cells operating throughout Turkey, and Ankara has turned a blind eye to ISIS selling smuggled oil. Turkey also has a track record of supporting Islamists, serving as a safe haven for senior Hamas officials and Muslim Brotherhood members.
In light of the above, can Turkey be relied upon at all in the fight against ISIS? And is it time for the West to end its alliance with Turkey? Please join us to hear answers to these questions and more with expert Dr. Jonathan Schanzer, the Vice President of Research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD).
Dr. Jonathan Schanzer joined FDD in February 2010, bringing solid scholarship and public policy credentials to his job of overseeing FDD’s research. He worked as a terrorism finance analyst at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where he played an integral role in the designation of numerous terrorist financiers. A former research fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Dr. Schanzer has studied Middle East history in four countries. He earned his Ph.D. from Kings College London, where he wrote his dissertation on the U.S. Congress and its efforts to combat terrorism in the 20th century.

Dr. Schanzer’s books have made unique contributions to the field. He most recently published State of Failure: Yasser Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas, and the Unmaking of the Palestinian State (Palgrave Macmillan), which argues the main roadblock to Palestinian statehood is not necessarily Israel’s intransigence, but the Palestinian Authority’s political dysfunction and mismanagement.
Dr. Schanzer has testified before Congress and publishes widely in the American and international media. He has appeared on American television channels such as Fox News and CNN, and Arabic language television channels such as al-Arabiyya and al-Jazeera. Dr. Schanzer has traveled widely throughout the Middle East, including Iraq, Yemen, Egypt, Morocco, Kuwait, Qatar, Turkey, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories. He speaks Arabic and Hebrew.

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Turkish President Declares Lawrence of Arabia a Bigger Enemy than ISIS

1413221153467.cachedBy Jamie Dettmer:

In a stunning speech, Erdogan railed against Western “spies” and journalists and seemed to endorse the ISIS plan to redraw the region’s borders.
GAZIANTEP, Turkey — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took on the iconic Lawrence of Arabia Monday in a furious anti-Western diatribe.  The Turkish president compared the outside meddling in the region now to the role the renowned British army officer played during the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans during World War I. And Western diplomats here say the tirade bears a rather striking resemblance to some of the propaganda that has come out of the so-called Islamic State, widely known by the acronym ISIS or ISIL.

Last week, stung by Western criticism of Turkey’s conspicuous absence from the U.S.-led air combat against the terror organization, and the refusal of the Turkish government to rescue the besieged town of Kobani, just across the Syrian border, Erdoğan insisted he had no sympathy for the jihadists.

But on one very important point of history and geography it now appears there’s a serious convergence of views between ISIS and Erdoğan. In his speech Monday at a university in Istanbul, the Turkish president blasted the Sykes-Picot Agreement, a secret understanding (signed behind Lawrence’s back) that divided up the Middle East after World War I between British and French spheres of influence. That deal opened the way for a British vow to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine and led to borders drawn by the European powers that created modern Syrian and Iraq. Historian David Fromkin summed up the mess that resulted in the title of his book The Peace to End All Peace.

“Each conflict in this region has been designed a century ago,” said Erdoğan. “It is our duty to stop this.”

In point of fact, T. E. Lawrence was opposed to the secret Anglo-French agreement, because it reneged on promises given the Arabs by London in a bid to persuade them to revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule. He tried mightily to sabotage the deal. But Erdoğan is either unaware of that or sought to simplify history.

ISIS, meanwhile, has done some simplifying of its own, and on similar lines. Its militants say explicitly they are out to erase the borders that Sykes-Picot established across most of the modern Middle East. In the summer, after sweeping in from Syria to seize Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, they produced a video called, yes,  ”The End of Sykes Pico,” in which they blew up a border outpost and leveled part of the earthen barrier on the Iraqi-Syrian border. They declared triumphantly they would bulldoze other Western-imposed borders as well.

The Erdoğan speech was suffused with an angry anti-Western narrative—he also tilted at Western journalists, accusing them of being spies—and will no doubt thrill some of Erdoğan’s supporters. In southern Turkey, some local officials in his Justice and Development Party (AKP) express sympathy for ISIS. But it will ring alarm bells in Western capitals at a time coalition officials are redoubling their efforts to try to persuade a reluctant Turkish government to play a forward-leaning part in the American-led war on the jihadists.

Turkey is considered crucial if President Barack Obama’s war aim to “degrade and defeat” ISIS is to be accomplished. The country has been the main logistical base for the Islamic militants, the main transit country for foreign fighters to enter neighboring Syria and a key source of it’s revenue from the smuggling of oil tapped in captured oil fields. In his determination to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad, Erdoğan has been accused of at best turning a blind eye to the rise of ISIS and at worst actively encouraging it.

Read more at The Daily Beast

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Time to Part Ways with Erdogan

erdoganby Ari Lieberman:

There is no question that Turkey, because of its size and geo-strategic location maintains a pivotal role in NATO. Its armed forces are NATO’s second largest and its troops had acquitted themselves well during the Korean War. Turkey had also played a constructive role in bridging relations between Israel and the Muslim world acting as an effective interlocutor. But with the ascent of the Islamist Justice and Development party in 2002 and the rise of Recep Tayyip Erdogan as party boss, things have taken a stark turn for the worse.

Under the stewardship of an increasingly unbalanced Erdogan, Turkey has renounced secularism in favor of Islamist dogma and creeping sharia. Turkey’s new president elect has, through intimidation and strong-arm tactics, usurped control of Turkey’s judiciary and press. Indeed, Turkey holds the dubious distinction of being the world’s largest incarcerator of journalists followed only by Iran and China.

An increasingly paranoid Erdogan has also declared war on social media and in March threatened to ban Facebook and YouTube, accusing the sites of “every kind of immorality and espionage for their own ends.” Erdogan had already banned YouTube for two years though the restriction was lifted in 2010.

Erdogan’s disloyalty to the United States and NATO began early in his term of office as prime minister but his betrayals have only increased in recent years.

In March 2003, during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Turkey refused to allow the deployment of US troops on Turkish soil which would have enabled the US to open a second front against Saddam Hussein. Turkey also refused to allow the US to utilize Turkish airspace and airbases to launch strikes against Iraqi forces.

In 2010, Turkey was one of only two nations in the UN Security Council (the other being Brazil) that voted against imposing sanctions against Iran in connection with its nuclear proliferation activities. Turkey (along with China) is currently taking a lead role in helping the Islamic Republic circumvent sanctions, often fronting for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and instituting various other schemes to bypass legal obstacles.  Turkey’s stance on Iran has even drawn praise from mullah’s official propaganda outlet, Press TV.

It is clear that Turkey, acting as Iran’s conduit to Europe has become the Islamic Republic’s premier enabler. Turkey’s outreach to Iran represents a disturbing pattern by Erdogan to curry favor with nations and entities whose interests substantially diverge from Washington’s. Turkey has established itself as the world’s foremost supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah, both of which are listed as terrorist organizations by the United States.  Turkey has also opted to purchase air defense platforms from a Chinese firm already on a designated sanctions list for violating embargoes against Iran and North Korea. Moreover, the Chinese systems are incompatible with NATO platforms but to Erdogan, NATO’s defense needs play second fiddle to his disconcerting policy of thumbing his nose at the West.

Central to any defense pact and cooperation between allies is trust. But Erdogan has proven that he is anything but trustworthy. In fact, he has established himself as the premier betrayer of trust when, in violation of all norms and protocol within the intelligence community, he betrayed a network of spies working to compile data on Iran’s proliferation activities.

Read more at Front Page

ISRAEL-Cornerstone of the West

The United West, Published on May 16, 2014

In this micro-classroom video, The United West presents Mark Langfan’s amazing geopolitical analysis of Israel’s strategic security value to all Western countries! If you OBJECTIVELY view this demographic, geographic and cultural presentation you MUST conclude that Israel is not (as many try to make you think) the cause of INSTABILITY in the world, but indeed Israel is the cause of STABILITY in the world. The facts speak for themselves. Now, only if our American leaders would understand this information and develop policy based upon FACTS and not FANTASY.

Erdogan Bans Twitter, Vows to Show “Power of Turkish Republic”

protest of Erdogan's ban on twitter

Turkey’s membership in NATO should be on the table. The NATO website says, “NATO promotes democratic values and encourages consultation and cooperation on defense and security issues to build trust and, in the long run, prevent conflict.”


The so-called “moderate” Islamist government of Turkey, led by Prime Minister Erdogan, exhibited its undemocratic tendencies again, this time by blocking Twitter. The move came after Erdogan vowed to “wipe out” the social media network that is used by 10 million Turks.

The restriction on free speech and flow of information fulfilled a pledge Erdogan made a day earlier. Twitter refused Erdogan’s demands to censor certain links, so the Turkish government got permission from a court to stop the population from using the website.

“We now have a court order. We’ll eradicate Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic,” he declared.

He also recently threatened to ban Facebook and YouTube.

In its official blog, the U.S. State Department called the censorship “21st Century book-burning.” Chiding Erdogan, the blog argued, “[Censorship] doesn’t make anyone stronger. This brand of suppression affects all of us: In an era in which the Internet serves as the world’s community forum, censorship anywhere is a threat to freedom of speech everywhere.”

Yet in an indication of the soft-balled response we can expect from the U.S., the blog continued in a conciliatory tone, saying, “Sometimes even our friends make this mistake,” and confessed that, “The United States’ history on freedom of expression has …slipped at times.”

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, tweeted: “The freedom to speak out and to connect is a fundamental right. The people of Turkey deserve that right restored.”  Britain, Germany, Canada and a number of other nations all voiced their objections to the censorship.

Since the court order went into effect, when Turks try to access Twitter, a message pops up from the Turkish official that oversees telecommunication.

The ban coincides with the release of a hyper-nationalistic video encouraging Turks to rise to defeat some kind of enemy assault.


When Turkey joined the alliance in 1952, it was a different country. Now, it is run by an Islamist government that is supportive of Hamas, Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood. It clamps down on the democratic values that NATO says it exists to promote.

Turkey came to this point incrementally, in accordance with the Islamist doctrine of gradualism. At first, the 2002 election victory of Erdogan’s party was hailed as a potential move towards democracy. As Turkey became increasingly hostile to the West’s interests, the West dismissed these hostilities as manageable differences between like-minded allies.

The change Turkey underwent from 2002 to 2014 isn’t only a lesson about Erdogan and his supporters. This is the gradualist doctrine in action.

Read more at Clarion Project

A NATO Member on the Edge

2013-06-03-basbakan_erdoganby :

Reeling from a series of embarrassing public disclosures involving embezzlement, bribery, undue influence and strong-arm tactics, Turkey’s neo-Ottoman, Islamist Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, threatened to ban the popular social media sites of Facebook and YouTube, accusing them of encouraging “every kind of immorality and espionage for their own ends.” Erdoğan has recently resorted to a series of desperate measures, including sacking hundreds of police officers, prosecutors and judges, in a frantic effort to keep a growing corruption scandal centered on him and his cronies from spiraling out of control.

Erdoğan’s AKP government, once touted by President Obama as a shining example of Islam’s compatibility with democracy, has turned out to be as, if not more xenophobic than the autocracies currently governing the Arab and Islamic worlds. As for Erdoğan, he has proven himself to be nothing more than a petty, paranoid thug, full of hubris and delusions of grandeur.

Under Erdoğan, Turkey has become the world’s leading incarcerator of journalists followed by those democracy stalwarts of Iran and China. He has successfully usurped control from the once independent Turkish judiciary and has imposed creeping sharia on secular Turks.  But it is Erdoğan’s rhetoric concerning Jews and Israel where his penchant for the bizarre truly comes to fore.

It began in December 2009 when Erdoğan made a spectacle of himself at the World Economic Forum in Davos after moderator David Ignatius noted that Erdoğan had gone over his allotted time to speak. Erdoğan then turned to Israel’s president Shimon Peres and bellowed, “When it comes to killing, you know well how to kill.” Then he stormed off the stage like a spoiled child. His theatrics played well in the Arab world but left most westerners scratching their heads.

In September 2011 Erdoğan outrageously claimed that Israel had killed “hundreds of thousands” of Palestinians in Gaza and in classic anti-Semitic fashion boorishly stated that Israel used the Holocaust as a tool to gain world sympathy.

In February 2013 Erdoğan compared Zionism to fascism and further declared Zionism to be a “crime against humanity.”

Read more at Front Page

See also:

Qatar funding Islamist rebels in Mali

mali-rebelsMoney Jihad:

A French military intelligence source has divulged that Al Qaeda-linked rebels in Mali have received financing from Qatar.  This disturbing but predictable news comes as France attempts to pacify the Malian countryside while receiving logistical and political backing from the U.S.

There have been earlier allegations of financing Malian jihadists by Saudi Arabia as well.  This would be consistent with the flow of money from Saudi Arabia and Qatar to dissidents and rebels in countries undergoing “Arab Spring” uprisings.  The difference this time is that Western officials are on the opposite side.  Saudi and Qatari state sponsorship of enemy fighters united against France suggests a burgeoning proxy war between Nato and the Gulf Cooperation Council.

From France 24:

Is Qatar fuelling the crisis in north Mali?

Oil-rich gulf state Qatar has a vested interest in the outcome of the north Mali crisis, according to various reports that have been picked up by French MPs, amid suspicion that Doha may be siding with the rebels to extend its regional influence.

Since Islamist groups exploited a military coup in the Malian capital of Bamako in early 2012 to take control of the entire north of the country, accusations of Qatari involvement in a crisis that has seen France deploy troops have been growing.

Last week two French politicians explicitly accused Qatar of giving material support to separatists and Islamists in north Mali, adding fuel to speculation that the Emirate is playing a behind-the-scenes role in spreading Islamic fundamentalism in Africa.

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen and Communist Party Senator Michelle Demessine both said that that Qatar had questions to answer.

“If Qatar is objecting to France’s engagement in Mali it’s because intervention risks destroying Doha’s most fundamentalist allies,” Le Pen said in a statement on her party website, in response to a call by Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani for dialogue with the Islamists. ‘Cash from Doha’

The first accusations of Qatari involvement with Tuareg separatists and Islamist groups came in a June 2012 article in respected French weekly the Canard Enchainé.

In a piece title “Our friend Qatar is financing Mali’s Islamists”, the newspaper alleged that the oil-rich Gulf state was financing the separatists.

It quoted an unnamed source in French military intelligence saying: “The MNLA [secular Tuareg separatists], al Qaeda-linked Ansar Dine and MUJAO [movement for unity and Jihad in West Africa] have all received cash from Doha.”

A month later Sadou Diallo, the mayor of the north Malian city of Gao [which had fallen to the Islamists] told RTL radio: “The French government knows perfectly well who is supporting these terrorists. Qatar, for example, continues to send so-called aid and food every day to the airports of Gao and Timbuktu.”

The presence of Qatari NGOs in north Mali is no secret. Last summer, in the wake of the separatist takeover, the Qatari Red Crescent was the only humanitarian organisation granted access to the vast territory.

One member of the Qatari humanitarian team told AFP at the end of June that they had simply “come to Gao to evaluate the humanitarian needs of the region in terms of water and electricity access.”

Read more

See also:

Mali: analyst, Qatar is funding Islamists (

Obama’s Dangerous Fantasy of Al-Qaeda Defeated

warisover_6067-85x85By Robert Spencer

When he met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Washington last Friday, Barack Obama said this [1] about the war in Afghanistan: “We achieved our central goal … or have come very close to achieving our central goal, which is to de-capacitate al-Qaeda, to dismantle them, to make sure that they can’t attack us again.”

He said this four days after a Muslim imam who was a soldier in the Afghan National Army opened fire [2] on a group of his British “allies,” murdering one of them and wounding six. The Taliban, al-Qaeda’s partner in Afghanistan, claimed responsibility for the attack, which was yet another in an ever-lengthening string of “insider” attacks by Afghan forces against those who are putting themselves at risk to train and assist them. The BBC reports [3] that “in 2012, more than 60 Nato service personnel, and a quarter of the British troops who died in Helmand, were killed in such attacks.”

The Taliban is not al-Qaeda, although the distinction on the ground in Afghanistan may be exceedingly fine, too fine to be discerned by the average NATO soldier when the Afghan he is trying to teach how to be a military man turns the gun he has just given him on his benefactor. In any case, the appalling fact that “a quarter of the British troops who died in Helmand” perished in such attacks indicates that the enemy in Afghanistan is far from being either “de-capacitated” or dismantled, and still has the ability to attack us.

Nonetheless, Obama officials keep doing the victory dance over an al-Qaeda that they repeatedly imply is on the verge of extinction. Jeh Johnson, general counsel at the Defense Department, recently said that “military pursuit of al-Qaida” should end soon [4]. His reasoning was apparently that al-Qaeda is now so severely damaged that we will soon reach a “tipping point” after which military action against them will no longer be necessary, and local police can handle it.

This astounding manifestation of an overconfidence of Baghdad Bob proportions, or else of a capitulation attempting to disguise itself as a victory, is bitterly ironic coming at a time when al-Qaeda is anything but on the ropes: in fact, it is “carving out its own state [5]” in Mali, with so much success that last Friday the French launched airstrikes in hopes of stopping its advance and its consolidation of power in the vast areas it already controls.

Viewed alongside the Obama administration’s unstinting support for the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt and support for jihadist rebels elsewhere, along with its active work to further the agenda [6] of Islamic supremacist Muslim Brotherhood front groups in the U.S., this raises questions about whether Obama is preparing to abandon the last elements of any U.S. resistance to jihad in any form.

Read more at PJ Media

Benghazi: Behind the scenes (Part II)

By Doug Hagmann

Author’s note: This is part two of a multi-part interview with a government insider intimately familiar with the events that took place in Benghazi. It is important to note that the information contained in this series was developed from interviews that spanned over 100 hours. In this part, the insider provides information about the events of the attack and the continuation of the cover-up at the highest levels of our government. (For Part I, please click here).

We’ve heard different accounts and different timelines concerning the attack at Benghazi. What exactly happened?

First, people must understand that the compound that was attacked was situated in a somewhat rural area and was not a consulate, but a rented villa, or a residential structure. The residence was the primary building, and what has been referred to as the annex was located about 1800 feet away as the crow flies, but just over a mile to travel by road. And again, visible security was not present as the compound was the headquarters for a covert operation. No one wanted to draw attention to what was taking place at this location.

The first indications of problems there began at least twelve-(12) hours before the first shot was even fired. One of the men at the compound observed a policeman or Libyan security officer taking photographs outside of the villa. Keep in mind that Ambassador Stevens, the point man in this Obama-sanctioned weapons running operation, was hastily scheduled to meet with the Turkish consul general at this location. The meeting was deliberately planned for dinner time, toward evening, when the events that happened next could be performed under the cover of darkness.

It’s also important to consider the location of this meeting. Tripoli is the seat of power in Libya, and a genuine diplomatic meeting could more safely have been conducted there, at the embassy. Also, what most people don’t know is that Libya is split, much like East and West Germany before the wall. The eastern part is more closely aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood, the same group that controls Egypt. The Turkish consul general had to meet there, not just with Stevens but with other factions involved in this covert operation.

Now I’ll digress for a moment. It is reasonable to ask whether the Turkish consul general was setting Stevens up for a hit, like a classic mob-style hit. First, there is no dispute that there was surveillance done at 6:30 a.m. and intermittently throughout the day. Next, consider that three hours before the first shot was fired, about 6:30 p.m. local time, some strange things were observed taking place near the compound. Military type vehicles began closing of the streets with trucks that had 50 caliber guns mounted on them. Checkpoints on the streets and at intersections were being quietly closed off around the compound. Nearby residents began going inside their homes. Anyone walking in the area got off the streets, like a scene from a movie in the Godfather series. It was obvious that the stage was being set for a strike against the compound. This alone reveals preplanning and coordination.

It’s also noteworthy to point out that the Turkish counsel general most likely passed through one or more of these checkpoints, or at least would have noticed that things were not right in the area. You must remember that just as Stevens was previously CIA working under diplomatic cover, the Turkish counsel general was his counterpart. It’s typical spy versus spy stuff.

Also consider this. One of the men stationed at the compound, a British national, left the compound at about 9:20 p.m., reportedly to get more phone cards. That’s right, phone cards, like you would buy at Walmart. Why? Because the men at the compound ran out of minutes. Just who do you think they were talking to that day to burn through the minutes, and why do you think they needed them at that exact time?

They were using the phones as a last and perhaps only line of communications to provide assessments of the strange things going on earlier. They knew that something was being planned and they were conveying that information – their observations to those who could assist them, in Tripoli and DC.

Based on these activities, it is clear that the men at the compound suspected that they were in trouble long before the first shot was ever fired. They were calling anyone who would listen, or who should have listened. We knew trouble was brewing and no one responded in any meaningful way.

Could the man who left to buy more phone cards have known what was about to take place?

Well, it’s possible, but there is no indication of that.

Was the Turkish counsel general in on this, to set Stevens up?

Well, what have we heard from our government? Has anyone even bothered to interview him? What did he say? Don’t forget, this administration decided to handle this attack as a crime and not a terrorist attack. How long did it take for the FBI to be able to access the ‘crime scene’ after the attack? More importantly, what was left at the ‘crime scene’ to examine by the FBI due to this delay? Do you think the delay was accidental?

Do you know what was discussed, or the reason for the meeting between Stevens and the Turkish consul general?

Yes, I know some key points. First, keep in mind what this arms running operation was all about. It was to topple Assad and replace him with a Muslim Brotherhood leader. It was to destabilize Syria to advance the agenda of Saudi Arabia. They were using U.S. and NATO forces to do exactly that.

However, Assad is no Gaddafi, and there is no comparison between Assad’s army and the Libyan army. It would take much more than rebels inside Syria to topple Assad. There is no way on earth that the Syrian rebels, or Free Syrian Army, has the capability to accomplish this objective alone. It required U.S. assistance, arms and training.

Now, Turkey is a NATO ally. They were assisting the Obama-Clinton-Saudi plan to funnel weapons ultimately to Syria, but the primary staging areas for these weapons were in Turkey near the Syrian border. Visual surveillance by Russia, using satellites and other means amassed photographic documentation of the U.S. assisting the ‘anti-Assad rebels’ inside Turkey. They developed evidence of the U.S. training these rebels and assisting them into Syria to fight against Assad.

Think about this. What if surveillance images observed anti-Assad rebels being trained to handle and mount chemical weapons – gas shells – onto rockets? The process would be apparent and would obviously be detected by a number of visual indicators. Obviously, Syria wanted this to stop. By extension, so did Russia.

One aspect of the weapons plan was to set up a false flag operation to make it appear that Assad used chemical weapons against his own people. Imagine the outcry from the civilized world to the news that Assad ‘gassed’ his own people. That would be an invitation to NATO and the West to openly intervene. Don’t forget about the timing of all of this. Two months before the elections, and time was running out. The job of taking out Assad was not yet complete. Such an event would quickly advance this agenda. By this time, however, being caught and placed in a rather unenviable position between Russia and the U.S., the Turkish consul general was in a ‘CYA, clean-up’ mode, assuring that none of the chemical weapons that might have still been in Libya were headed for Turkey.

It is also important to understand that the covert weapons running operation was just about finished. An estimated 40 million pounds of weapons were already shipped from Libya, and things were winding down.

There was another issue as well, a very important and telling one. Seven members of the Iranian Red Crescent had been kidnapped or snatched from the streets of Benghazi on or about July 31, 2012. Again you must understand that virtually anyone walking on the streets of Benghazi not indigenous to the area are spies. Covert operatives, operating under various covers. From all nations.

Along with the message that the weapons running operation was compromised, the Iranians had good reason to suspect that the ‘Red Crescent workers’ were snatched by the CIA or with their assistance. Iran wanted them back. They were spies, and countries want their spies back! So part of the meeting was to address this, as there was pressure by Russia against a wavering Turkey to switch sides. Anyway, you’ll see how this ties in to the way the actual attack was executed.

Read more at CFP

Douglas Hagmann is founder & director  of the Northeast Intelligence Network, and a multi-state licensed private investigative agency. Doug began using his investigative skills and training to fight terrorism and increase public awareness through his website