Whistle blower reveals secret U.S. program to recruit, train, and provide visas to ‘terrorists’
IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW how sausages are made, don’t start reading Visas forAl Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked the Worldby Michael Springmann. The sausages in this case: the string of too-easily-swallowed accounts of bloody events in the “global war on terror,” served up daily with relish by the mainstream media. In reality these sausages are filled with tainted meat that’s making everyone sick.
Springmann is a brave whistle blower living in Washington, D.C. He’s written an accessible book, safe to digest, highlighting details of the corruption of the American Empire (and its accomplices, including Canada) as he experienced them from the inside during his years with the U.S. State Department.
While he served as a visa officer in the U.S. consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for instance, he was obliged under threat of dismissal to issuevisas to persons hired clandestinely by the CIA to become trained-in-the-USA terrorists. Most of these psychopathic thugs were clearly and legally unqualified to be issued visas. There is every reason to believe the “Visas for Terrorists” program remains fully operative today.It takes a lot of expendable terrorists to run a global terrorism op.
Springmann places his experiences both within the context of the historical roots of the U.S. Empire and within its current ongoing global destabilization project.
“This tale,” the author states near the beginning, “is a sordid sketch of backstabbing, disloyalty, double crosses, faithlessness, falsity, perfidy, sellouts, treachery, and betrayal.”
And that only covers the bureaucratic aspect. Even more sobering is his sketch of human rights violations: torture, assassinations, massacres including bombings of markets, invasions and occupations of countries, destabilization of nations and regions.
Then there’s the financial side: widespread criminality, resource theft, bribery, diversion of funds, illicit drug dealing and more.
Not to mention the flouting of international laws. This dimension includes gross infringements on national sovereignty, the casual violation of treaties and ho-hum everyday general lawlessness, risking even the threat of nuclear annihilation.
All this before taking into account the moral dimension, in which trashing the Ten Commandments is just an opening trifle.
“My story shows how things really work,” Springmann writes, correctly. In the book’s 250 pages he names names, dates, times and places – presumably opening himself up to lawsuits, should there be anything here that the individuals named deem libelous. They might think twice, however, since Springmann is a lawyer by profession and knows his way around the Empire’s capital – as well as some of its outlying ramparts such as Stuttgart, New Delhi and especially Jeddah.
Stinging in itself, Springmann’s book also can be read as an authenticating companion to Michel Chossudovsky’s Towards a World War III Scenario (2012) and The Globalization of War: America’s “Long War” Against Humanity (2015). Along the way, both authors deal, to one extent or another, with the ideological, hubristic and increasingly bellicose role of the Harper government as handmaiden to the American Empire, including military involvements in Libya, Serbia and the Ukraine. Springmann necessarily refers very little to Canada, but to read his account of the cowardly and unnecessary rain of death inflicted on Libya, for instance, is to be obliged as a Canadian to think of Harper’s enthusiasm and pride in having this country share in the slaughter and destabilization carried out under the Orwellian “responsibility to protect” notion.
Springmann quotes Maximilian C. Forte who notes that before the attack Libya enjoyed the highest Human Development Index (a UN measurement of well-being) in all Africa. “After Western military forces destroyed the country the Index only records the steep collapse of all indicators of well-being. More Libyans were killed with intervention than without. It was about control, about militarizing Africa,” Forte argues.
What Springmann brings uniquely to the table is his firsthand knowledge of precisely how the USA recruits terrorists (no quotation marks needed), sends them to the USA for training and then deploys them to carry out murders, torture, bombings and more. The bloody mayhem carried out by these thousands of paid mercenaries – ostensibly beheading-habituated “jihadists” fighting against democracy, decency and the USA and its “allies – is planned, organized and funded by none other than the same USA and its allies. It’s a global false flag operation – the largest by far in history.
As Springmann on page 65 writes of the “Visas for Terrorists Program:”
This was not an ad hoc operation, conceived and carried out in response to a specific foreign policy issue. Rather, it was another of too many CIA efforts to destroy governments, countries, and politicians disfavored by the American “establishment” in its “bipartisan” approach to matters abroad. Whether it was opposing the imaginary evils of communism, the fictitious malevolence of Islam, or the invented wickedness of Iran, America and its intelligence services, brave defenders of “The City Upon A Hill,” sought out and created fear and loathing of peoples and countries essentially engaged in efforts to better their lives and improve their political world. Along the way, Agency-sponsored murders, war crimes, and human rights violations proved to be good business. Jobs for the Clandestine Service (people who recruit and run spies), sales of weapons and aircraft, as well as the myriad items needed to control banks, countries and peoples all provided incomefor and benefits to American companies.
That the American Empire has been able to carry out such a massive illegal program for so long is the saddest of commentaries on how deep the rot is, how effective the secrecy, how complicit the media.
As to the span of dangerous widespread deception, Springmann notes that Rahul Bedi wrote in Jane’s Defence Weekly on September 14, 2001 that beginning in 1980 “thousands [of mujahideen] were … brought to America and made competent in terrorism by Green Berets and SEALS at US government East Coast facilities, trained in guerilla warfare and armed with sophisticated weapons.”
The point is made repeatedly that Al Qaeda and now ISIS/ISIL/the Islamic State are essentially “Made in USA” entities, brought into being and organized for the Empire’s purposes. Among the elements that make possible such a vast fraud are deception, compartmentalization and secrecy. Springmann quotes attorney Pat Frascogna, “a man with FOIA expertise,” about secrecy and its purpose:
Thus whether it be learning the dirty and unethical business practices of a company or the secrets of our government, the same deployment of denials and feigning ignorance about what is really going on are the all-too-common methods used to keep the truth from the light of day.
Langley recruited the Arab-Afghans so clandestinely that the terrorists didn’t know they had been recruited. They thought that they had found a battlefield on their own, or through the Internet or through Twitter or through television…
Frascogna’s observation intersects with Springmann’s on-the-job experiences as a visa officer in Jeddah starting in 1987. Springmann was repeatedly overruled when he turned down disqualified applicants for U.S. visas. He writes:
As I later learned to my dismay, the visa applicants were recruits for the war in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union’s armed forces. Further, as time went by, the fighters, trained in the United States, went on to other battlefields: Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. They worked with the American intelligence services and the State Department to destabilize governments the United States opposed. While it’s no secret, most knowledgeable people still refuse to talk about this agenda.
As Springmann learned, “the average percentage of intelligence officers to real diplomats at a given Foreign Service post is about one in three. My experience in Jeddah, Stuttgart, and New Delhi might place it higher—at least 50 percent, if not more.” According to the Anti-CIA Club of Diplomats: Spooks in U.S. Foreign Service [sic], a twelve-page, 1983 Canadian publication (see namebase.org), the percentage is 60 percent.
“At Jeddah,” Springmann writes, “to the best of my knowledge, out of some twenty US citizens assigned to the consulate, only three people, including myself, worked for the Department of State.The rest were CIA or NSA officials or their spouses.” Elsewhere Springmann suggests that essentially the CIA runs the State Department, and that this is true of many other U.S. government departments and agenciesas well. It seems that it’s almost impossible to over-estimate the reach of the CIA’s tentacles or the overweening treason of its nonstop black ops and unconstitutional operations domestically.
Springmann toward the end of the book refers to the beginnings of the CIA. It’s interesting for this reviewer to think that he was 13 years of age in 1947 when U.S. president Harry Truman agreed with the National Security Council (NSC) to secretly create the CIA and NSA. I remember that in my teenage years a few of my peers said there “was something” called “the CIA.” This was around the time a few people also said there “was something” called “the Mafia.” The consensus was that both ideas were very far-fetched.
In 1948 Truman approved yet another NSC initiative, providing for “propaganda, economic warfare;preventive direct action, including sabotage, antisabotage, demolition and evacuationmeasures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance movements, guerillas, and refugee liberation groups, and support of indigenous anti-Communist elements in threatened countries of the free world.” That’s a tabula rasa if there ever was one: a license for lawlessness.
The CIA’s twisted hits have just kept coming. It’s worth noting that Truman didn’t single-handedly initiate this monstrosity. The dark recesses of the Deep State, as Peter Dale Scott calls it, are where the demonic entity was spawned. Ever since, Frankenstein’s monster has been a harmless schoolboy by comparison.
To read of the rape of Libya with active Canadian military complicity makes for difficult reading. The lies are piled as high as the bodies, and these two categories are insuperably paired.
Equally sordid, especially in light of Stephen Harper’s enthusiasm for expanding the war on Russia (the economic sanctions and the diplomatic exclusion of Russia from the G8 are forms of warfare, not to mention decades of covert* military incursion by the West onto the territory of the former USSR and now the Russian Federation, as described in Visas forAl Qaeda) is to read some of the history of the Ukraine. “The West’s” meddling in the Ukraine has a long illicit pedigree. As Springmann writes:
It seems that the CIA had problems [in the immediate post World War II period] distinguishing between underground groups and above-ground armies. Langley used Marshall Plan money to support a guerrilla force in the Ukraine, called “Nightingale.” Originally established in 1941 by Nazi Germany’s occupation forces, and working on their behalf, “Nightingale” and its terrorist arm (made up of ultranationalist Ukrainians as well as Nazi collaborators)murdered thousands of Jews, Soviet Union supporters, and Poles.
Even relatively recently, since the so-called Orange revolution in the Ukraine made events there eminently newsworthy, I can’t remember seeing in the mainstream media a single substantial article dealing with the historical relationships between the Ukraine and Russia going back to World War II, nor such an article laying out the history of the involvement –overt or covert – of “the West” in the Ukraine.
Instead, we see the surreal ahistorical likes of the top headline in The New York Times International Weekly for June 13-14, “Russia is Sowing Disunity,” by Peter Baker and Steven Erlanger. They report breathlessly in the lead paragraph: “Moscow is leveraging its economic power, financing European political parties and movements, and spreading alternative accounts of the Ukraine conflict, according the American and European officials.
True to the narrative of “the West” as a pitiful giant facing a powerful and expansionist Russia, the writers posit that the “consensus against Russian aggression” is “fragile.
The drift of this NYT yarn, typical of Western propaganda across the board, is that there remains in effect a behemoth “Soviet empire” surreptitiously shipping “Moscow gold” to dupes in “green movements” and so on. Even a former American national intelligence officer on Russia, Fiona Hill, now at the Brookings Institution, told the writers: “The question is how much hard evidence does anyone have?
Maybe this NYT propaganda, like its clones across the mainstream media, is not ahistorical after all. The story comes across rather as an historical relic of the Cold War – found in a time capsule in a fallout shelter – that the NYT editors decided to publish as a prank. A sausage.
* Military action by “the West” has not always been covert. Springmann notes that American and Japanese soldiers were dispatched to Russia in 1917 to squelch the fledgling Russian revolution. The soldiers were part of what was called the Allied Expeditionary Force. Winston Churchill for his part said: “We must strangle the Bolshevik baby in its crib.” Springmann might have noted that Canadian soldiers were part of the AEF.
Libyan Daash consists of three thousand fighters from 31 countries
(Reuters) –A report by theAlgeriandailysunriseWednesday,thatDaashin Libya, based onthe currentsuccess, toadoptthe Iraqiscenarioinits smallest details, taking advantage of theretreat of the state, in an attemptto repeat the experiencein Libyaand its environsafterIraqand Syria.
The newspaper said, citing identicalreports, that the organizationin Libyaincludes aboutthreethousandgunmendescended from31different countries.
OccupiesTunisiansandEgyptiansin the ranks ofthe forefront ofthe multinationalorganizationaboutequallythousand fighters, in front ofSudanandMoroccowith 300each, Algeriaand Saudi Arabia,with 200by 100and between80 and 100Frenchgunmen.
According tonewspaperreportsmonitored thepresenceofArab and Gulf nationalities, JordanandYemen and AfricafromNiger and Mali as well asfromItaly, Greece, Germany Europeannationalities, and Asiathrough theChinesepresence.
The newspaper said theorganization, based in the city of Dernamajorstrongholdin the eastis, under the authorityordersof a formerIraqi officer, was sent byal-Baghdadito Libyato organizethe military side. ****(Reuters is wrong its a Yemeni and not Iraqi… just to show you that you can not trust Reuters)
Eshrouk Algerian a Libyanexpert quoted, as saying thatthe rapidexpansion of theorganizationin Libya, mainly due toexhaustionsuffered bymilitiasdawn of Libyaon the one hand, andthe fatigue thatgrippedthe legitimateLibyan armyafter years ofwars andfightingsince the fall ofthe state, and in the light ofthe banon theweaponization,rather thanbecause ofenrollmentLibyanmilitaryleadersearlierDaash.
So my question to UN, F.UK.US. and EU how did they miss them???? Or they didn’t???? I think it’s the second they did not miss them actually they INSTALLED them and they are still giving them a free passage… as they want to DISMANTLE the whole of Africa, starting from the richest country Libya and moving along to all neighboring countries. Already there are rumors about an unrest in Algeria which is next to be brought down as the French will not forgive them for taking their own country back…. When will you civilians in the West wake up???? Are you so comfortable and so involved in your own little world that you do not care what’s going on with your neighbor????? Have you lost every inch of HUMANITY?
The Arab press is abuzz over a list of the major private donors to terrorist organizations in Syria and Iraq. It was reportedly gleaned from an internal U.S. Department of State document.
1. Awad Ibrahim Bin Hamad, former university professor and businessman/Saudi Arabia
2. Sheikh Ibrahim Bin Abdul Rahman Ibrahim, head of the charity society Balouikilih/Saudi Arabia
3. Sheikh Ibrahim Bin Mohammad Al-Jarallah, university professor and businessman/Saudi Arabia
4. Dr. Ibrahim Bin Nasser Nasser, islamic preacher/Saudi Arabia
5. Dr. Ibrahim, director of studies at the university of Dakar/Senegal
6. Dr. Ahmad Abu Halabiya, president of the Association of islamic studies/Gaza-Palestine
7. Dr. Ahmed Raissouni, head of the unification and reform movement/Morocco
8. Sheikh Ahmed, islamist preacher/Mauritania
9. Dr. Ahmed bin Rashid bin Saeed, professor/Saudi Arabia
10. Dr. Ahmed Hussein Daddash, islamic preacher/Iraq
11. Mr. Ahmed Rateb, director of publishing house/Lebanon
12. Sheikh Adam, Noah, Adam, islamic preacher/Ghana
13. Sheikh Ejaz Afzal Khan, emir of the islamic community in Kashmir/Pakistan
14. Sheikh Amin khudair al-Janabi, islamic preacher/Iraq
15. Dr. Djillali Bozoinh, university professor/Algeria
16. Dr. Habib Adami, professor/Algeria
17. Sheikh Sadeq Abdallah Abdel Majid, islamic preacher/Sudan
18. Sheik Qazi Hussain Ahmed, emir of Jamaat-e-Islami/Pakistan
19. Prof. Boudjemaa Ayad, businessman/Algeria
20. Mr. Tawfiq, businessman/Lebanon
21. Dr. Jassem bin Mohammed bin Muslim Al-Yassin/Kuwait
22. Dr. Gamal Sultan, editor-in-Chief of Al-Manar news/Egypt
23. Mr. Jameel Mohammed Ali, businessman/Saudi Arabia
24. Dr. Harith Al-Dhari, islamic preacher, Solomon/Iraq
25. Sheikh Hafiz Abdul Rahman Makki, islamic preacher/Pakistan
26. Shaykh Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, emir of Jama’at-ud-Da’wah/Pakistan
27. Mr. Nader, Secretary General of the Salafi movement/Kuwait
28. Sheikh Hamed Al-Ali, university professor/Kuwait
29. Sheik Hijazi Al Wadia, islamic activist/Palestine
30. Sheikh Hassan Moussa, head of the Swedish Council of imams/Sweden
31. Mr. Hussein Rawashdeh, writer and journalist/Jordan
32. Dr. Hussein Bin Mohammad Machhour Al-Hazmi, university professor/Saudi Arabia
33. Sheikh Hussein Omar Mahfouz bin Shuaib, editor-in-Chief of Forum/Yemen
34. Sheikh Hussein Mousa Hussein, islamic preacher/Eritrea
35. Sheikh Hamdi Arslan, teacher at Fatih Mosque/Turkey
36. Sheikh Hamoud bin Abdul Aziz Al-tuwaijri, islamic preacher/Saudi Arabia
37. Dr. Khalid Bin Ibrahim Al-Daweesh, professor/Saudi Arabia
38. Sheikh Khader Habib, islamic preacher, Palestine
39. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Mohammad, islamic preacher/Qatar
40. Mr. Abdel Wahab, member of Derbal Renaissance movement/Algeria
41. Mr. Rabah, businessman/Algeria
42. Mr. Rashid Misfer Al Zahrani, islamic preacher/Saudi Arabia
43. Sheikh Rashid Haj, emir JI/Sri Lanka
44. Shaykh Reda Ahmed Hamdy, islamic preacher/Thailand
45. Sheik Ramadan Mohammed Nur, islamic preacher/Eritrea
46. Sheikh Zakaria Cisse, preacher and lecturer/Senegal
47. Mr. Zaki Saleh Al Nahdi, islamic preacher/Indonesia
48. Sheikh Sajid Ali, leader of the Islamic movement/Pakistan
49. Dr. Salem Al-Sagaf jiffri, head of the Indonesian Commission for the defence of the Afghan people – Director of the Advisory Board of Sharia/Indonesia
50. Sheikh Salim Abdel Rahim al-Barhian, islamic preacher/Kenya
51. Dr. Sami Rashid al-Janabi, islamic preacher/Iraq
52. Dr. Saud bin Hassan Mukhtar, university professor/Saudi Arabia
53. Mr. Saeed Morsi/Algeria
54. Dr. Saeed, president of the College of Imam Shafi’i/Comoros
55. Dr. bin Abdul Rahman Al-Hawali, islamic preacher/Saudi Arabia
56. Shaikh Salman Bin Fahd, islamic preacher/Saudi Arabia
57. Dr. Sulaiman bin Saleh Al-Rashudi, businessman/Saudi Arabia
58. Mr. Sulaiman bin Abdullah Al-Issa, businessman/Saudi Arabia
59. Sheikh Aurally, leader of Jui (Special)/Pakistan
60. Mr. Boutros-Ghali, islamic preacher/Senegal
61. Shaykh Shah Ahmed Noorani, leader of the Jamiat Ulema Pakistan, Senator/Pakistan
62. Mr. Shaher bin Abdul Raof Batterjee, businessman/Saudi Arabia
63. Sheikh Sharif Hussein, imam and preacher of the mosque of Omar Ibn Al-Khattab/Australia
64. Sheikh Imran bin Abdul Rahman Manai, islamic preacher/Bahrain
65. Dr. Sheikh Ahmed Limo, chairman of the Coordinating Council of Muslim organizations/Nigeria
66. Prof. Sheikh, islamic activist, PMP/Senegal
67. Sheikh Saleh bin Othman Al-Ghamdi, businessman/Saudi Arabia
68. Mr. Saleh Ali Saleh, islamic preacher/Eritrea
69. Dr. Tarek Saleh Jamal, professor/Saudi Arabia
70. Dr. Tarek Abdel Halim, director of Dar Al-Arqam/Canada
71. Dr. Taher Ahmed Loulou, islamic preacher, Palestine
72. Sheikh Taher Mahmoud Guelleh, director of radio Koran/Somalia
73. Sheikh Adel Al-Sheikh, islamic preacher/Bahrain
74. Dr. Adel Junaidi, islamic preacher, Hebron, Palestine
75. Dr. Ayesh Al-Kubaisi, islamic preacher/Iraq
76. Sheikh Abd El bare Zamzami, islamic preacher/Morocco
77. Sheikh Abdel Hay Amor, islamic preacher/Morocco
78. Mr. Azzedine, businessmen/Algeria
79. Dr. Ali, professor/Yemen
80. Sheikh, Chairman of the Council of Ulama Indonesia/Indonesia
81. Mr. Solomon Abu Mustafa, islamic preacher, Palestine
82. Dr. Awad al-Qarni, former university professor and attorney/Saudi Arabia
83. Shaikh Salahuddin Akendili, islamic preacher/Nigeria
84. Mr. Issa, islamic preacher/Senegal
85. Dr. Ghulam Azam, emir of Jamaat-e-Islami/Bangladesh
86. Sheikh Ghulam Rasool Dani, president of the islamic organization/Nepal
87. Sheikh Fatih, islamic preacher/pinyin
88. Dr. Fatima Barash, professor/Algeria
89. Dr. Fatma Al-Kunaifis, professor/Saudi Arabia
90. Mr. Fayez Saleh Jamal, writer and businessman/Saudi Arabia
91. Sheikh Freih bin Ali bin Turki, islamic activist and editor, attorney/Saudi Arabia
92. Sheikh Farid Al-Habib, islamic preacher/Saudi Arabia
93. Shaykh Fazlur Rahman, leader of the Jamiat Ulema Islam/Pakistan
94. Sheikh Fahad Ahmed Mubarak Al-Thani, islamic preacher/Qatar
95. Mr. Muhammad Muslim/Indonesia
96. Dr. Mohamed Habib Altgkani, university professor/Morocco
97. Mr. Mohammad Rasheed Al Rasheed, businessman/Saudi Arabia
98. Sheikh Mohammed, professor/Morocco
99. Judge Mohamed Sadiq Maglis, university professor and judge/Yemen
100. Sheikh Mohammed Al-Awadi, islamic preacher/Kuwait
101. Dr. Mohammad bin Syamsuddin, chairman of Muhammadiyah/Indonesia
102. Sheikh Mohammed, president of the Association for islamic unity/Indonesia
103. Dr. Mohammed Sajid Mir Abdul Gayoom Mir, leader of Assembly of Ahl al-hadeeth/Pakistan
104. Sheikh Mohammed Saeed Abdullah, islamic preacher, Pavel/Saudi Arabia
105. Mohammad Suleiman, thinker, writer/United Kingdom
106. Sheikh Mohammed Abdou Ibrahim Ali, Al-Azhar scholars/Egypt
107. Dr. Mohammed Ayash Al-Kubaisi, islamic preacher/Iraq
108. Mr. Mohammad Kazem Al-Sawalha, president of the Muslim Association/United Kingdom
109. Dr. Mohammed Kurd, president of the League of Europe/Netherlands
110. Mr. Mohammed Mbeki Alejandro/Senegal
111. Sheikh Mohammed, islamist writer/Morocco
112. Sheikh Mahmud Idris, islamic preacher/Eritrea
113. Sheikh Murad Yasha, islamic preacher/Turkey
114. Dr. Musa bin Mohammed Al-Qarni, university professor and attorney/Saudi Arabia
115. Dr. Nasser Al-sane, islamist preacher/Kuwait
116. Dr. Nasser Bin Suleiman, islamic preacher/Saudi Arabia
117. Shaykh Nizamuddin/Pakistan
118. Sheikh Noor bin Yildiz, islamic preacher/Turkey
119. Dr. Hashem Ali al-Ahdal, university professor/Saudi Arabia
Cheikh Youssouf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s star preacher and tele-Coranist on al-Jazeera. He blesses the jihadists in Syria and Iraq, and affirms, deadpan, that if Mohammed was alive today, he would be a NATO ally.
Western governments no longer hide the fact that they’re using jihadists – NATO overthrew Mouamar el-Kadhafi by using al-Qaïda as its only ground forces;Israël displaced the UN Forces to Golan, and replaced them with al-Nosra; the international anti-Daesh Coalition allowed Palmyra to fall in order to cause more problems for Syria. But while we can understand Western interests, we fail to grasp why and how the jihadists can serve Uncle Sam in the name of the Quran.
We often ask ourselves how the Pentagon and the CIA manage to manipulate millions of Muslims and send them off to fight for Uncle Sam’s interests. Of course, it’s true that certain leaders are paid agents, but all jihadists believe that they’re fighting and dying in order to gain access to Paradise. The answer is childishly simple – using the rhetoric of the Muslim Brotherhood as a start, it’s possible to evade human reality and send them to kill anyone you like as long as you wave a red flag at them.
Officially, the Islamic Emirate no longer recognises the authority of Ayman al-Zawahiri,and has therefore left al-Qaïda. Nonetheless, in many places, like the Qalamun mountains, it is still impossible to distinguish between them, since the same jihadists claim allegiance to both flags at once.
Of course, one could argue that this is only a personal quarrel – Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi simply wants to replace the current leader. But while the two organisations have exactly the same practices, they develop very different dialogues.
They share the slogans of the Muslim Brotherhood – « The Quran is our Constitution », « Islam is the solution ». A life of holiness is therefore very simple. It doesn’t really matter if the Creator has made us all intelligent, we must, in all cases, apply the Word of God like a machine.And when the situation is not dealt with in the Book, we should just smash it to pieces. The result is obviously catastrophic, and nowhere have these organisations been able to set up even the beginnings of the perfect society that they hope for.
History demonstrates their differences. From 1979 to 1995, in other words, from the CIA operation in Afghanistan to the Popular Arab and Islamic Congress in Khartoum, Oussama Ben Laden’s mercenaries fought the Soviet Union with public aid from the United States. From 1995 to 2011, in other words, from the Congress in Khartoum to operation « Neptune’s Spear », al-Qaïda took position against « Jews and Crusaders » while continuing its struggle against Russia in Yugoslavia and Chechnya. And since 2011, in other words, since the « Arab Spring », it has supported NATO in Libya and Israël at the Golan frontier.Generally speaking, Western public opinion has not kept up with this evolution. It remains convinced of the danger of a mythical Russian expansionism, persists in blaming the jihadists for the attacks of September 11th, has not realised what happened in Libya and at the Israeli frontier, and maintains the false idea that al-Qaïda is an anti-imperialist terrorist organisation. As for the Arabs, they do not base themselves on facts, but choose, according to the situation, between reality and Western propaganda so as to invent a romantic narrative for themselves.
From its side, the Islamic Emirate is moving away from the Quran and closer to the neo-conservatives.It claims that the main enemies are other Muslims – the Chiites and their allies. It has clearly forgotten the Bosnian episode during which Ben Laden’s Arab Legion were supported both by the United States, Saudi Arabia and Iran. But who are the allies of the Chiites? The Syrian Arab Republic (secular) and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (Sunnite). In other words, the Islamic Emirate is fighting in priority against the Axis of Resistance to imperialism. De facto, it confirms that it is an objective ally of the United States and Israël in the « Greater Middle East », even though, theoretically, they are the enemy.
The malleability of these two organisations resides in their basic ideology, that of the Muslim Brotherhood. It is therefore logical that almost all of the jihadist leaders, at one time or another, have been members of one branch or another of the Brotherhood. By the same token, it is logical that the CIA has not only supported the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, since their reception at the White House by President Eisenhower in 1955, but also all its foreign branches and all the dissident groups. Finally, the califat that Hassan el-Bana dreamed about and that Ayman al-Zawahiri and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi pretended to want, is not the reproduction of the Golden Age of Islam, but the reign of obscurantism.
This was confirmed by Laurent Fabius in 2012, in other words, before the split between al-Qaïda and Daesh, when he declared: « On the ground, they’re doing a good job! »
Put Britain on the List of States Sponsoring Terrorism
The following memorandum, dated Jan. 11, 2000, was prepared for delivery to U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. It is a request to launch an investigation, pursuant to placing Great Britain on the list of states sponsoring terrorism.
To: Hon. Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State From: The Editors, Executive Intelligence Review C.C.: Hon. William Cohen,
Secretary of Defense Hon. Janet Reno,
Attorney General Hon. George Tenet,
Director of Central Intelligence Hon. Louis Freeh,
Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation Hon. Jesse Helms,
Chairman, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hon. Joseph Biden,
Ranking Democrat, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hon. Benjamin Gilman,
Chairman, House International Relations Committee Hon. Sam Gejdenson,
Ranking Democrat, House International Relations Committee
This is a formal request for you to initiate a review of the role of the government of Great Britain in supporting international terrorism, to determine whether Britain should be added to the list of nations sanctioned by the United States government for lending support to international terrorist organizations.
This issue has been recently highlighted, as the result of the December 1999 Indian Airlines hijacking, and the response of the British government to the request of one of the freed Kashmiri terrorists, Ahmed Omar Sheikh, to be given safe passage to England. Mr. Sheikh, a British national, was tried and convicted in India, for his role in the kidnapping of four British nationals and an American in 1995. He was sentenced to five years in prison in November 1998. Initially, the British government announced that it would provide Mr. Sheikh with safe passage to Britain, and would not prosecute himor make any effort to extradite him back to India.
However, long before the Sheikh case, Executive Intelligence Reviewhas documented a pattern of British involvement in harboring international terrorists, dating back to 1995. As of this writing, no fewer than a dozen governments—many of them leading allies of the United States—have filed formal diplomatic protests with the British Foreign Office, over specific instances of British official support for terrorist groups, targetting those nations.
Criteria for evaluating whether Britain should be sanctioned
U.S. Government policy on sanctions against states sponsoring terrorism has been set by a series of Congressional acts, including, but not limited to: the Export Administration Act of 1979 (EAAA), the Anti-Terrorism and Arms Export Amendments Act of 1989 (ATAEAA), the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2780), the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 1996, and the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) of 1996.
It is our understanding that, while the Congress has given the Secretary of State broad discretion in designating a country as a state sponsor of terrorism, the legislative history of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has specified seven criteria which should guide the Secretary’s action.
These criteria are:
Does the state provide terrorists sanctuary from extradition or prosecution?
Does the state provide terrorists with weapons and other means of conducting violence?
Does the state provide logistical support to terrorists?
Does the state permit terrorists to maintain safehouses and headquarters on its territory?
Does the state provide training and other material assistance to terrorists?
Does the state provide financial backing to terrorist organizations?
Does the state provide diplomatic services, including travel documents, that could aid in the commission of terrorist acts?
As of this writing, the State Department currently designates seven countries as state sponsors of terrorism: Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Cuba, and North Korea. In the case of Syria, which is presently engaged in peace negotiations with Israel, the primary reason the regime remains on the list is that several designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) are headquartered in Damascus.
In the State Department Authorization Act of October 1991, specific procedures were spelled out for the President to remove a country from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. Congress has a 45-day period to pass a joint resolution overriding such a Presidential decision to remove a state from the list, which carries with it a number of significant sanctions.
The case against Great Britain
The following documentary time line is intended to provide an outline of the evidence that we wish the appropriate officials at the U.S. State Department to review, to make a determination whether Great Britain should be added to the list of states sponsoring terrorism, according to the criteria outlined above.
In July 1998, a former British MI5 officer, David Shayler, revealed that, in February 1996, British security services financed and supported a London-based Islamic terrorist group, in an attempted assassination against Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi. The action, Shayler charged, in an interview with the British Daily Mail, was sanctioned by then-Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind.The incident described by Shayler did, in fact, occur.Although Qaddafi escaped without injury, the bomb, planted along a road where the Libyan leader was travelling, killed several innocent bystanders.In an Aug. 5, 1998 interview with BBC, Shayler charged, “We paid £100,000 to carry out the murder of a foreign head of state. That is apart from the fact that the money was used to kill innocent people, because the bomb exploded at the wrong time. In fact, this is hideous funding of international terrorism.”According to Shayler’s BBC interview, MI6 provided the funds to an Arab agent inside Libya, with instructions to carry out the attack.In fact, in 1996, a previously unknown Libyan “Islamist” group appeared in London to claim responsibility for the attempted assassination of Qaddafi.
On June 25, 1996, a bomb blew up the U.S. military barracks in Dharan, Saudi Arabia, killing 19 American soldiers. The next day, Saudi expatriate Mohammed al-Massari, the head of the London-based Committee for the Defense of Legitimate Rights, was interviewed on BBC. He warned the United States to expect more terror attacks, which he described as “intellectually justified.” The U.S. military presence in Saudi Arabia “is obviously not welcomed by a substantial fraction of the population there,” he warned, “and they are ready to go to the execution stand for it.” He concluded, “There are so many underground parties—so many splinter groups, many of them made up of people who fought in Afghanistan. . . . I expect more of the same.”Despite the fact that al-Massari has repeatedly called for the overthrow of the House of Saud and the creation of an Islamic revolutionary state, he has been given “exceptional leave” to remain in Britain.In April 1996, the British Home Office granted al-Massari a four-year refugee permit to remain on British soil.
Al-Massari is allied with the well-known Saudi expatriate Osama bin Laden, who, to this day, maintains a residence in the wealthy London suburb of Wembly.And London is the headquarters of bin Laden’s Advise and Reform Commission, run by the London-based Khalid al-Fawwaz.
Bin Laden has been given regular access to BBC and a variety of major British newspapers, to spread his calls for jihad against the United States.Thus, in July 1996, bin Laden told the London Independent, “What happened in Khobar [the U.S. Army barracks that was bombed on June 25] is a clear proof of the enormous rage of the Saudi population against them. Resistance against America will spread in many places through Muslim lands.”
On Jan. 25, 1997, Tory Member of Parliament Nigel Waterson introduced legislation to ban foreign terrorists from operating on British soil. His “Conspiracy and Incitement Bill,” according to his press release, would have for the first time banned British residents from plotting and conducting terrorist operations overseas. Waterson proposed the bill in the aftermath of a scandal over Britain providing safe haven for Saudi terrorist Mohammed al-Massari, who claimed credit for the bombing of U.S. military sites in Saudi Arabia in June 1996. On Feb. 14, 1997, Labour MP George Galloway succeeded in blocking Waterson’s bill from getting out of committee. Galloway, in a speech before the committee that was printed in the House of Commons official proceedings, stated, “The Bill will change political asylum in this country in a profound and dangerous way. It will change a state of affairs that has existed since Napoleon’s time. . . . We are all in favor of controlling terrorism in Britain. Surely not a single honorable Member has any truck with terrorism here, but we are talking about terrorism in other countries. . . . The legislation is rushed in response to a specific, and, for the government, highly embarrassing refugee case—that of Professor al-Massari, who was a thorn in the side of the government of Saudi Arabia. . . . By definition, a tyranny can be removed only by extraordinary measures. Inevitably, in conditions of extreme repression, the leadership of such movements will gravitate to countries such as ours where freedom and liberty prevail. The bill will criminalize such people, even though they have not broken any law in Britain or caused any harm to the Queen’s peace in her realm. They will fall open to prosecution in this country under the Bill because they are inciting, supporting, or organizing events in distant tyrannies, which are clearly offenses under the laws of such tyrants.”
On Nov. 17, 1997, the Gamaa al-Islamiya (Islamic Group) carried out a massacre of tourists in Luxor, Egypt, in which 62 people were killed. Since 1992, terrorist attacks by the Islamic Group have claimed at least 92 lives.Yet, the leaders of the organization have been provided with political asylum in Britain, and repeated efforts by the Egyptian government to have them extradited back to Egypt have met with stern rebuffs by Tory and Labour governments alike.On Dec. 14, 1997, British Ambassador to Egypt David Baltherwick was summoned by Egypt’s Foreign Minister Amr Moussa and handed an official note, demanding that Britain “stop providing a safe haven to terrorists, and cooperate with Egypt to counter terrorism.” In an interview with the London Times the same day, the Foreign Minister “called on Britain to stop the flow of money from Islamic radicals in London to terrorist groups in Egypt, and to ban preachers in British mosques calling for the assassination of foreign leaders.” The Times added that Moussa “was outraged by reports that £2.5 million had come from exiles in Britain to the outlawed Gamaa al-Islamiya,”and noted that the Egyptian government “has blamed the Luxor massacre on terrorists funded and encouraged from abroad, and identified Britain as the main center for radicals plotting assassinations.”
To substantiate the charges against Britain, the Egyptian State Information Service posted a “Call to Combat Terrorism” on its official web site.The document read, in part, “Hereunder, is a list of some of the wanted masterminds of terrorism, who are currently enjoying secure and convenient asylum in some world capitals.” The “wanted list” consisted of photographs and biographical data on 14 men, linked to the Luxor massacre and other earlier incidents of terrorism.The first seven individuals listed were all, at the time, residing in London.They are:
Yasser al Sirri: “Sentenced to death in the assassination attempt on the life of former Prime Minister Dr. Atef Sidqi; founded the Media Observatory in London as mouthpiece for the New Vanguards of Conquest.”
Adel Abdel Bari: “At present, heads Egyptian Human Rights Defense Office, affiliated to Media Observatory in London, the mouthpiece for the outlawed Jihad Organization.”
Mustafa Hamzah: “Commander of the military branch of the outlawed `Islamic Group.’ “
Tharwat Shehata: “Sentenced to death in the assassination attempt on Dr. Atef Sidqi, former Prime Minister; associated with, and in charge of financing extremist elements abroad; involved in reactivating the outlawed `Jihad Organization’ abroad.”
Osama Khalifa: “Accused no. 1 in the case involving domestic and foreign activities of the outlawed Islamic Group.”
Mohamed el Islambouli: “One of the principal leaders of the Islamic Group; sentenced to death in the case of the outlawed organization of `Returnees from Afghanistan.’ “
Groups banned by United States
are headquartered in London
Shortly before the Luxor massacre, on Oct. 8, 1997, the U.S. State Department, in compliance with the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1996, released a list of 30 Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs), banned from operating on U.S. soil.
Of the 30 groups named, six maintain headquarters in Britain. They are: the Islamic Group (Egypt), Al-Jihad(Egypt), Hamas(Israel, Palestinian Authority), Armed Islamic Group (Algeria, France), Kurdish Workers Party (Turkey), and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(Sri Lanka).
The Islamic Group, and its subsidiary arm, Islamic Jihad, are headquartered in London. In February 1997, the British government formally granted permission to Abel Abdel Majid and Adel Tawfiq al Sirri to establish Islamic Group fundraising and media offices in London, under the names International Bureau for the Defense of the Egyptian People and the Islamic Observatory. Abdel Majid was implicated in the October 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, and he subsequently masterminded the escape of two prisoners jailed for the assassination. In 1991, he fled to Britain and immediately was granted political asylum. He has coordinated the Islamic Group’s overseas operations ever since. In fact, he was sentenced to deathin absentia for the bombing of the Egyptian Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan in November 1995, in which 15 diplomats were killed.
Abdel Tawfiq al Sirri, the co-director of the movement, has also been granted political asylum in Britain, despite the fact that he was also sentenced to death in absentia for his part in the 1993 attempted assassination of Egyptian Prime Minister Atif Sidqi.
In September 1997, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, who is in jail in the United States for his role in the Feb. 28, 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York, issued an order, as the spiritual leader of the Islamic Group, calling for an immediate cease-fire. The six members of the ruling council of Islamic Group residing in Egypt endorsed the Sheikh’s order, but the remaining six council member, living in London, rejected the order. Two months later, the massacre at Luxor took place.
Similarly, the Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA), which was responsible for the assassination of Algerian President Mohamed Boudiaf on June 29, 1992, has its international headquarters in London.Sheikh Abu Qatabda and Abu Musab communicate military orders to GIA terrorists operating in Algeria and France via the London-based party organ,Al Ansar. Sheikh Abu Qatabda was granted political asylum in Britain in 1992, after spending years working in Peshawar, Pakistan with various Afghani mujahideen groups. A third London-based GIA leader, Abou Farres, oversees operations targetted against France. He was granted asylum in Britain in 1992, after he was condemned to death in Algeria for acknowledging responsibility for a bombing at Algiers airport, which killed nine people and wounded 125. Farres was believed responsible, from his base in London, for the July-September 1995 string of blind terrorist acts in France, including bombings of three Paris train and subway stations and an open-air market.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), known as the “Tamil Tigers,” have carried out a decade-long terror campaign against the government of Sri Lanka, in which they have killed an estimated 130,000 people. In addition, LTTE was responsible for the suicide-bomber murder of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on May 21, 1991, and the similar assassination of Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa on May 1, 1993.
Since 1984, the LTTE International Secretariat has been located in London. The official spokesman for the Secretariat is Anton Balsingham, an Oxford University graduate and former British Foreign Office employee.The group’s suicide-bomber division, the Black Tigers, which killed Rajiv Gandhi, is run by Pampan Ajith, out of LTTE London headquarters; another elite suicide-bomber cell, the Sky Tigers, which employs light aircraft, is coordinated by Dr. Maheswaran, also based in London.
Most of the marching orders for terrorist operations in the Indian subcontinent are delivered from London, via a string of LTTE publications, includingTamil Nation and Hot Spring,published in London,and Network and Kalathil, published in Surrey. The organization’s chief fundraiser and banker, Lawrence Tilagar, is also based in London.
Similarly, the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, maintains its publishing operations in London, including its monthly organ,Filisteen al-Muslima. In 1996, this publication issued a fatwa (religious ruling), calling for terrorist attacks against Israel. On Feb. 25 and March 3, shortly after the fatwa was published, Hamas suicide bombers blew up two Jerusalem buses and a Tel Aviv market, killing 55 people. Funding of these terrorists, who are part of the military wing, Izeddin al Kassam, comes from London, where Interpal is the chief money arm of the group.
In the case of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), the British government played an even more direct role in supporting the 17-year war against the Turkish government by the Kurdish separatists. An estimated 19,000 people have been killed in Southeast Turkey since the PKK launched its terror war in 1983.In May 1995, after the PKK was expelled from Germany, for seizing control of Turkish diplomatic buildings in 18 European cities, the British government licensed MED-TV in London, through which the PKK broadcasts four hours a day into its enclaves inside Turkey, and all over Europe. In a March 1996 broadcast, PKK leader Apo Ocalan called for the execution of German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and his Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel. And when the PKK held its founding “parliament in exile” in Belgium in 1995, three members of the British House of Lords either attended or sent personal telegrams of endorsement. The three were Lord Hylton, Lord Avebury, and Baroness Gould.
The same Lord Avebury has been an active backer of the Peru Support Group in London, which has served as a major international fundraising front for the Peruvian narco-terrorist group Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso). When Adolfo Héctor Olaechea was dispatched by Shining Path to London in July 1992, to establish the “foreign affairs bureau,” he received a letter of recognition from Buckingham Palace, which he circulated widely.The letter read in part, “The private secretary is commanded by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth to acknowledge receipt of the letter from Mr. Olaechea, and to say that it has been passed on to the Home Office.”
In addition to the six FTOs who have their headquarters in Britain, an additional 16 groups on the State Department’s 1997 list either receive funding from groups based in Britain, or receive military training and logistical support from groups operating freely from British soil. Those groups are: the Abu Nidal Organization (Palestinian Authority), Harkat ul-Ansar (India), Mujahideen e Khalq (Iran), Kach (Israel, Palestinian Authority), Kahane Chai (Israel, Palestinian Authority), Abu Sayyaf (Philippines), Hezbollah (Israel, Lebanon), Khmer Rouge (Cambodia), ELN (Colombia), FARC (Colombia), Shining Path (Peru), MRTA (Peru), Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (Israel, Palestinian Authority), Islamic Jihad-Shaqaqi (Israel, Palestinian Authority), Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (Israel, Palestinian Authority), PFLP-General Command (Israel, Palestinian Authority).
The `fatwa’ against American targets
On Feb. 10, 1998, a group of well-known London-based “Islamists” and Islamic organizations issued a fatwa, calling for terrorist attacks against American targets. It was signed by Saudi terrorist supporter Mohammed Al-Massari and Omar Bakri, head of the Al-Muhajiroon, and was endorsed by 60 organizations that are based in the United Kingdom. It instructed Muslims living in the United States: “You have first to renounce the residency or acquire citizenship, then start military activities if physically capable. You are then at liberty to fight them everywhere in the world or re-enter the realm clandestinely and wreak havoc, obviously facing charges as spy, terrorist, etc.”
On Feb. 23, 1998, a second fatwa was issued, entitled “World Islamic Front’s Statement Urging Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders.” It called for killing Americans because of their “occupation of the holy Arab Peninsula and Jerusalem” and their “oppressing the Muslim nations,” and concluded, “in compliance with God’s order, we issue the following fatwa to all Muslims: The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies—civilian and military—is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy Mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of the lands of Islam, defeated, and unable to threaten any Muslims. We—with God’s help—call on every Muslim who believes in God and wishes to be rewarded to comply with God’s order to kill the Americans.”
The fatwa, which was widely reported in the London-based Arabic daily Al Quds al Arabi, was signed by Sheikh Osama bin Laden, who, despite his current residence in Afghanistan, continues to maintain a lavish mansion in London; Ayman al Zawahiri, head of the Islamic Group behind the November 1997 massacre at Luxor, Egypt; Abu Yasser Rifai Ahmad Taha, another leader of the Islamic Group, residing in London;and Sheikh Mir Hamza, secretary of the Jamiat ul Ulema e, of Pakistan.
The two fatwas were the subject of testimony by an official of the Central Intelligence Agency on Feb. 23, 1998, before the Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, chaired by Sen. John Kyl (R-Ariz.). At Senator Kyl’s request, the CIA Counterterrorism Center provided the subcommittee with a declassified memorandum, titled “Fatwas or Religious Rulings by Militant Islamic Groups Against the United States.” The memorandum stated that “a coalition of Islamic groups in London, and terrorist financier Osama bin Laden, have issued separate fatwas, or religious rulings, calling for attacks on U.S. persons and interests worldwide, and on those of U.S. allies. . . . Both fatwas call for attacks to continue until U.S. forces retreat from Saudi Arabia and Jerusalem. The fatwafrom the groups in London also calls for attacks until sanctions on Iraq are lifted. These fatwas are the first from these groups that explicitly justify attacks on American civilians anywhere in the world. Both groups have hinted in the past that civilians are legitimate targets, but this is the first religious ruling sanctifying such attacks.”
Two days before the Aug. 7, 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya, the Islamic Jihad issued a declaration, targetting American interests all over the world.The communiqué accused the CIA of cooperating with Egyptian officials to capture three members of the group in Albania, and extradite them to Egypt where they faced prosecution on capital offenses.
Within hours of the two bombings, a number of London-based groups issued endorsements of the bombings. Supporters of Sharia, headed by Abu Hamza Al-Misri, an Egyptian who was convicted of a capital offense in Egypt, but who enjoys political asylum in London, issued one of the most virulent “endorsements.” Omar Bakri, the head of Al-Muhajiroon, as well as the Islamic Observation Center, the Islamic Jihad organization’s official propaganda and fundraising organization in London, also endorsed the bombings. The Islamic Observation Center was officially licensed by the British government in 1996 to carry out activities in Britain.
Attacks on Yemen
In the third week of December 1998, a London-based terrorist group was planning to launch operations to destabilize the Republic of Yemen. Members of the Ansar Al-Sharia, directed from London by Mustafa Kamel (a.k.a. Abu Hamza Al-Masri, a British citizen and former Afghansi “mujahid,” who trains groups of young people for terrorist activities at his Finsbury Mosque in north London, were arrested on Dec. 23, 1998 in Yemen, as they were planning armed terrorist operations. These terrorists were in contact with the Islamic Army of Abeen-Aden (affiliated with the London-based Egyptian Islamic Jihad), which had kidnapped 16 British and Australian tourists a few days earlier.
A rescue operation on Dec. 29 by the Yemeni security forces resulted in the kidnappers killing three British hostages and one Australian; 12 tourists were freed. British press and, later, government officials, accused the Yemeni security forces of “provoking the murders,” because they refused to negotiate with the terrorists.
In response, the Yemeni authorities did not mince words. In one day, Yemen kicked out the British Scotland Yard officers who had been invited to observe the investigations, withdrew its application to join the British Commonwealth, and announced that a group of British citizens had been arrested while attempting a massive terror-bombing campaign in Aden.
On Jan. 25, Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh demanded from British Prime Minister Tony Blair that Abu Hamza Al-Masri be handed over for trial in Yemen on charges of carrying out terrorist acts in Yemen and several other Arab states. This was expressed in an official message Saleh sent to Blair, conveyed by the British Ambassador to Yemen, Victor Henderson. The London-based daily Al-Hayat reported that, according to government sources in Sanaa, Yemen’s capital, the message from President Saleh stressed that the Yemeni government has the right to demand that the British government hand over Abu Hamza, and evidence and documents which prove its description of Abu Hamza as a “terrorist” and “extremist.”
However, British law does not consider it a crime for individuals and groups based in Britain to plan, incite, or conduct terrorist operations outside Her Majesty’s domains.
Abu Hamza’s case is even more complicated, because he is not only an asylum seeker, but has British citizenship.The Yemeni request came in the context of investigations conducted by the Yemeni security authorities into the group whose members were arrested on Dec. 23, including five British citizens (one of them the son of Abu Hamza) and one French citizen, who were in possession of weapons and explosives and were said to be involved in carrying out “terrorist and destructive plans which undermine Yemen’s security and stability.”
The Yemeni investigations found that Abu Hamza has relations with this group, in addition to his “firm links to the Islamic Army of Aden,” led by Abu Hassan al-Muhdar, who is in custody. Al-Muhdar’s group carried out the kidnapping of the tourists in December 1998. The Yemeni government sources added that the message of the Yemeni President to the British Prime Minister expressed Yemen’s great regret over the “terrorist activities carried out by Abu Hamza al-Masri” and others from the British territories, acts which it said undermine Yemen’s security and stability, as well as similar terrorist acts in several Arab states.
Eight days earlier, Abu Hamza called for killing Yemeni officials if the Yemeni authorities sentenced the kidnappers to death. Replying to a question from the Qatari al-Jazira satellite TV network on Jan. 14, he said: “If Zein al-Abidin al-Muhdar were to be executed, there will be revenge acts and massacres.”
Abu Hamza stated in a televised debate on Jan. 18 that he had been contacted by the leader of the group that carried out the kidnapping before the rescue operation, “and asked me for advice.” Abu Hamza accordingly issued a communiqué and threatened the Yemeni authorities.
The target of these operations has been the government of the Republic of Yemen itself. Abu Hamza made this clear in the televised debate, in which he said that the ultimate goal is to overthrow the secular regime in Sanaa, and that there are supporters in Yemen who are ready to fight for establishing an Islamic state. Al-Muhdar, during his trial in Yemen, confirmed that the objective of his group is to overthrow every secular government in the region.
Formal diplomatic protests to London
This British harboring of international terrorist groups has not gone unnoticed by the nations that have been the targets of this brutality. To date, the British Foreign Office has received formal diplomatic protests from at least ten victimized countries. These include:
Egypt: British asylum for the Islamic Group and Islamic Jihad has been a persistent reason for Egyptian complaints to the British government. In April 1996, Egyptian Interior Minister Hasan al-Alfi told the British Arabic weekly Al-Wasat,“All terrorists come from London. They exist in other European countries, but they start from London.” On Aug. 29, the government daily Al-Ahram reported that the British chargé d’affaires in Cairo was summoned by the Deputy Foreign Minister, and given a letter for Foreign Minister Malcolm Rifkind, protesting Britain’s “double standard policy” and “support for international terrorism.” An official of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry was quoted in the paper, saying, “The asylum law in Britain has provided a safe-haven for terrorists.”
Egypt has been particularly incensed that the British have allowed the Islamic Group/Islamic Jihad to use London as their home-base. Continual demands that Britain extradite Islamic Group leaders Adel Abdul Majid and Adel Tawfiq al Sirri back to Cairo, where they have been sentenced to death in absentia for terrorist crimes, have been rejected.
On Feb. 13, 1997, Egyptian officials told Al-Hayat, that the Egyptian government remains “troubled” and “astonished” by Britain’s decision to allow Abdul Majid to establish officially recognized centers in London, especially after the Egyptian Supreme Court released admissions from several members of the group, at the beginning of 1997, that they had received money and marching orders from Abdul Majid, to carry out bombings and assassinations throughout 1996.
These same officials told the paper that “this only further supports Egypt’s belief that London has become the most prominent center for anti-Egypt Islamic extremist groups,” and that there will continue to be talks on the highest levels “to know the reasons that made the British government allow the establishment of that [Islamic Group] office.”
Following the Luxor massacre, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak launched a personal international crusade to spotlight the role of the British government in harboring and sponsoring the terrorists who have targetted Egypt.
Israel: On March 3, 1996, after a Hamas bomb exploded in a Jerusalem market, killing a dozen people, and a second bomb exploded in Tel Aviv, Israel’s ambassador to London met with Foreign Minister Rifkind to demand that Britain stop protecting the group. In an account of that confrontation, the London Express reported the next day, “Israeli security sources say the fanatics behind the bombings are funded and controlled through secret cells operating here. Only days before the latest terror campaign began, military chiefs in Jerusalem detailed how Islamic groups raised £7 million in donations from British organizations. The ambassador, Moshe Raviv, yesterday shared Israel’s latest information about the Hamas operations. A source at the Israeli embassy said last night, `It is not the first time we have pointed out that Islamic terrorists are in Britain.’ “
The British Foreign Office officially responded to the Israeli ambassador: “We have seen no proof to support allegations that funds raised by the Hamas in the U.K. are used directly in support of terrorist acts elsewhere.”
In early September 1997, Shin Bet chief Ami Ayalon travelled to Britain, according to the Sunday Telegraph,after investigations determined that the two Hamas suicide bombers who killed 15 people in a Jerusalem market on July 30, arrived in Israel on British passports: “Israeli officials are said to have become increasingly frustrated by what they see as British foot-dragging in curbing the activities of Palestinian hard-liners. The Israeli government has made repeated calls for action to be taken against militants, said to be operating freely in the British capital.”
France: In late 1995, the GIA’s London headquarters ordered a terror war against France, leading France to loudly protest to the British government, according to the Nov. 6, 1995 London Daily Telegraph, in an article entitled “Britain Harbours Paris Bomber.”On Nov. 3, 1995, the French daily Le Figaro wrote, under the headline “The Providential Fog of London,” of the GIA’s bombing spree: “The trail of Boualem Bensaid, GIA leader in Paris, leads to Great Britain. The British capital has served as logistical and financial base for the terrorists.”
The next day, Le Parisien reported that the author of the GIA terror attack inside France was former Afghan mujahideen leader Abou Farres, who was given a residence visa in London, despite the fact that he was already wanted in connection with the bombing of the Algiers Airport. Farres’s London-based organization, according to Le Parisien, recruits Islamic youth from the poor suburbs of Paris, and sends them to Afghanistan, where they are trained as terrorists.
Algeria also filed strong protests to the British Foreign Office over the harboring of the GIA in London.
Peru: The Peruvian government has made repeated requests to the British government, since 1992, demanding the extradition of Adolfo Héctor Olaechea, the London-based head of overseas operations for Shining Path, as well as the shutdown of its fundraising and support operations there. Both requests have been refused to this day. Moreover, in 1992, during the worst of the Shining Path offensive in Peru, Channel 4, of the Independent Broadcasting Authority, a dependency of the British Home Office, coordinated with Olaechea to send two journalists to Peru, where they contacted Shining Path units, and filmed a highly favorable report. The film was broadcast throughout Britain by Channel 4 on July 10, 1992, despite an official protest from the Peruvian government.
Turkey: On Aug. 20, 1996, the Turkish government formally protested to the British government for allowing the Kurdish Workers Party to continue its London-based MED TV broadcasts into Turkey, despite documentation that the broadcasts were being used to convey marching orders to PKK terrorists there.
Germany: The Bonn government issued a diplomatic note to London, too, following a March 1996 MED TV broadcast in which PKK leader Apo Ocalan called for murdering German Chancellor Kohl and Foreign Minister Kinkel. According to the German press, the Interior Ministry stated concerning the London station: “We have requested our colleagues in neighboring countries in Europe to put measures into effect in order to not compromise internal security in our own country.”
Libya: On Feb. 7, 1997, the Libyan Foreign Ministry submitted an official protest to the British government, over Britain’s permitting of the Militant Islamic Group to operate on British soil.The letter cited the recent assassination attempt against Colonel Qaddafi by members of the London-headquartered group, and read, in part, “The decision by Britain, which is a permanent member state of the [UN] Security Council, to shelter elements of that terrorist group who are wanted to stand trial in Libya and to enable them to openly announce their destructive intentions against a UN member state, namely Libya, . . . contravenes international charges and treaties.”
Nigeria: On Feb. 28, 1997, the British government issued a denial that it had refused to extradite three Nigerians suspected of a series of bombings in the major city of Lagos in January 1997. The three men were leaders of the National Democratic Coalition (Nadeco).
Yemen:In January 1999, the government of Yemen filed formal diplomatic protests with Britain for the harboring of the terrorists who carried out bombings and kidnappings.
Russia: On Nov. 14, 1999, the Russian Foreign Ministry filed a formal protest to Andrew Wood, Britain’s Ambassador in Moscow, after two Russian television journalists were brutally beaten as they attempted to film a London conference, where bin Laden’s International Islamic Front, Ansar as-Shariah, Al-Muhajiroon, and other Islamist groups called for a jihad against Russia, in retaliation for the Russian military actions in Chechnya.
One of the victims of the beating, ORT cameraman Alexandr Panov, told Kommersant daily that he was “very surprised at the indifference of the British government. Some of the participants at the `charity’ event were people wanted by Interpol, but Scotland Yard, although evidently aware of their residence [in Britain], does not react.”
On Nov. 10, 1999, the Russian government had already filed a formal diplomatic démarche via the Russian Embassy in London, protesting the attacks on the Russian journalists, and also the admissions by Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed, the head of the “political wing” of the bin Laden organization, Al Muhajiroon, that the group was recruiting Muslims in England to go to Chechnya to fight the Russian Army. Bakri’s organization operates freely from offices in the London suburb of Lee Valley, where they occupy two rooms at a local computer center, and maintain their own Internet company. Bakri has admitted that “retired” British military officers are training new recruits in Lee Valley, before they are sent off to camps in Afghanistan or Pakistan, or are smuggled directly into Chechnya.
On Nov. 20, 1999, the Daily Telegraphadmitted, following the release of the U.S. State Department’s updated list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations, that “Britain is now an international center for Islamic militancy on a huge scale . . . and the capital is the home to a bewildering variety of radical Islamic fundamentalist movements, many of which make no secret of their commitment to violence and terrorism to achieve their goals.”
India: In December 1999, following the conclusion of the Indian Airlines hijacking, the Indian government protested the fact that British officials publicly stated that they would allow one of the freed Kashmiri terrorists, Ahmed Omar Sheikh, to return to London, because there “were no charges filed against him in Britain.” The British government, facing growing international pressure, apparently has backed down from this decision.