Pentagon Mercenaries: Blackwater, Al-Qaeda… what’s in a name?


Pentagon Mercenaries:
Blackwater, Al-Qaeda… what’s in a name?

By Finian Cunningham

CIA-linked private “security” companies are fighting in Yemen for the US-backed Saudi military campaign. Al-Qaeda-affiliated mercenaries are also being deployed. Melding private firms with terror outfits should not surprise. It’s all part of illegal war making.
Western news media scarcely report on the conflict in Yemen, let alone the heavy deployment of Western mercenaries in the fighting there. In the occasional Western report on Al-Qaeda and related terror groups in Yemen, it is usually in the context of intermittent drone strikes carried out by the US, or with the narrative that these militants are “taking advantage” of the chaos “to expand” their presence in the Arabian Peninsula, as reported here by the Washington Post.

This bifurcated Western media view of Yemen belies a more accurate and meaningful perspective, which is that the US-backed Saudi bombing campaign is actually coordinated with an on-the-ground military force that comprises regular troops, private security firms and Al-Qaeda type mercenaries redeployed from Syria.

There can be little doubt in Syria – despite Western denials – that the so-called Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL)) jihadists and related Al-Qaeda brigades in Jabhat al-Nusra, Jaish al-Fateh, Ahrar ash-Sham and so on, have been infiltrated, weaponized and deployed for the objective of regime-change by the US and its allies. If that is true for Syria, then it is also true for Yemen. Indeed, the covert connection becomes even more apparent in Yemen.

Last November, the New York Times confirmed what many Yemeni sources had long been saying. That the US-backed Saudi military coalition trying to defeat a popular uprising was relying on mercenaries supplied by private security firms tightly associated with the Pentagon and the CIA.

The mercenaries were recruited by companies linked to Erik Prince, the former US Special Forces commando-turned businessman, who set up Blackwater Worldwide. The latter and its re-branded incarnations, Xe Services and Academi, remain a top private security contractor for the Pentagon, despite employees being convicted for massacring civilians while on duty in Iraq in 2007. In 2010, for example, the Obama administration awarded the contractor more than $200 million in security and CIA work.

Erik Prince, who is based primarily in Virginia where he runs other military training centers, set up a mercenary hub in the United Arab Emirates five years ago with full support from the royal rulers of the oil-rich state. The UAE Company took the name Reflex Responses or R2. The NY Times reported that some 400 mercenaries were dispatched from the Emirates’ training camps to take up assignment in Yemen. Hundreds more are being trained up back in the UAE for the same deployment.

This is just one stream of several “soldiers of fortune” going into Yemen to fight against the uprising led by Houthi rebels, who are in alliance with remnants of the national army. That insurgency succeeded in kicking out the US and Saudi-backed president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in early 2015. Hadi has been described as a foreign puppet, who presided over a corrupt regime of cronyism and vicious repression.

Since last March, the Saudis and other Persian Gulf Arab states have been bombing Yemen on a daily basis in order to overthrow the Houthi-led rebellion and reinstall the exiled Hadi.

Washington and Britain have supplied warplanes and missiles, as well as logistics, in the Saudi-led campaign, which has resulted in thousands of civilian deaths. The involvement of Blackwater-type mercenaries – closely associated with the Pentagon – can also be seen as another form of American contribution to the Saudi-led campaign.

The mercenaries sent from the UAE to Yemen are fighting alongside other mercenaries that the Saudis have reportedly enlisted from Sudan, Eritrea and Morocco. Most are former soldiers, who are paid up to $1,000 a week while serving in Yemen. Many of the Blackwater-connected fighters from the UAE are recruited from Latin America: El Salvador, Panama and primarily Colombia, which is considered to have good experience in counter-insurgency combat.

Also among the mercenaries are American, British, French and Australian nationals. They are reportedly deployed in formations along with regular troops from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE.

In recent months, the Houthi rebels (also known as Ansarullah) and their allies from the Yemeni army – who formed a united front called the Popular Committees – have inflicted heavy casualties on the US-Saudi coalition. Hundreds of troops have been reportedly killed in gun battles in the Yemeni provinces of Marib, in the east, and Taiz, to the west. The rebels’ use of Tochka ballistic missiles has had particularly devastating results.

So much so that it is reported that the Blackwater-affiliated mercenaries have “abandoned the Taiz front” after suffering heavy casualties over the last two months. “Most of the Blackwater operatives killed in Yemen were believed to be from Colombia and Argentina; however, there were also casualties from the United States, Australia and France,” Masdar News reports.

Into this murky mix are added extremist Sunni militants who have been dispatched to Yemen from Syria. They can be said to be closely related, if not fully integrated, with Al-Qaeda or IS in that they profess allegiance to a “caliphate” based on a fundamentalist Wahhabi, or Takfiri, ideology.

These militants began arriving in Yemen in large numbers within weeks of Russia’s military intervention in Syria beginning at the end of September, according to Yemeni Army spokesman Brigadier General Sharaf Luqman. Russian air power immediately began inflicting severe losses on the extremists there. Senior Yemeni military sources said that hundreds of IS-affiliated fighters were flown into Yemen’s southern port city of Aden onboard commercial aircraft belonging to Turkey, Qatar and the UAE.

Soon after the militants arrived, Aden residents said the city had descended into a reign of terror. The integrated relationship with the US-Saudi coalition can be deduced from the fact that Aden has served as a key forwarding military base for the coalition. Indeed, it was claimed by Yemen military sources that the newly arrived Takfiri militants were thence dispatched to the front lines in Taiz and Marib, where the Pentagon-affiliated mercenaries and Saudi troops were also assigned.

It is true that the Pentagon at times wages war on Al-Qaeda-related terrorists. The US airstrike in Libya on Friday, which killed some 40 IS operatives at an alleged training camp, is being trumpeted by Washington as a major blow against terrorism. And in Yemen since 2011, the CIA and Pentagon have killed many Al-Qaeda cadres in drone strikes, with the group’s leader being reportedly assassinated last June in a US operation.

Nevertheless, as the broader US-Saudi campaign in Yemen illustrates, the outsourcing of military services to private mercenaries in conjunction with terrorist militia is evidently an arm of covert force for Washington.

This is consistent with how the same groups have been deployed in Syria for the purpose of regime change there.

The blurring of lines between regular military, private security contractors with plush offices in Virginia and Abu Dhabi, and out-and-out terror groups is also appropriate. Given the nature of the illegal wars being waged, it all boils down to state-sponsored terrorism in the end.

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US denies visa to nun set to testify about ISIS atrocities


US denies visa to nun set to testify about ISIS atrocities

 

Sister Diana Momeka (Image from adriandominicans.org)

Sister Diana Momeka (Image from adriandominicans.org)

 

Conservative commentators are up in arms over the State Department’s decision to deny a visa to a Catholic nun who was part of an Iraqi delegation supposed to testify before Congress about Islamic State (ISIS) atrocities.

The US consulate in Erbil rejected the visitor visa application of Sister Diana Momeka earlier this week, saying she was “not able to demonstrate that [her] intended activities in the United States would be consistent with the classification of the visa.”

However, visas were given to all the other members of the delegation scheduled to speak in Washington about the Islamic State’s persecution of minorities of the region, including Shia Muslims and Yazidis. Meetings have been arranged for the group before the House and Senate foreign relations committees, with State Department and USAID officials, and with various NGOs.

Sister Diana is a member of the Dominican Sisterhood of Saint Catherine of Siena, an order that dates its presence in Iraq back to the 13th century and has been an outspoken advocate for the Christians who have been killed and deported by the group calling itself the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS/ISIL).

In an op-ed in National Review Online, Nina Shea of the conservative Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom questioned the State Department’s motives for denying Sister Diana a visa. According to Shea, the consular officials denied the application because Sister Diana was an internally displaced person (IDP), and therefore could try seeking asylum in the US.

“Sister Diana had multiple documents vouching for her and the temporary nature of her visit,” wrote Shea, from a letter to her prioress attesting “that the nun has been gainfully employed since last February with the Babel College of Philosophy and Theology in Erbil.” There are also letters from her sponsors, the Institute for Global Engagement and former Congressman Frank Wolf’s (R-Va.) 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative.

“For good measure, she also had a letter of endorsement for her visit from Representative Anna Eshoo” (D-Calif.), who co-chairs the congressional Caucus on Religious Minorities in the Middle East, Shea added.

Yet the consular officials “either thought that they were all in on a scheme by the nun or that Sister Diana was plotting to deceive her well-placed friends and supporters, as well as the US government,” Shea wrote.

“We were shocked and disappointed when we found out,” Elyse Anderson of the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative told the Washington Times.

Other conservative outlets, such as Breitbart and WND, have picked up on the plight of Sister Diana, pointing out she was the only Christian in the delegation and the only member to be denied a visa. They have questioned the official reasoning of the US consular officials, noting that she was not the only internally displaced person in the delegation and that people who have been displaced by the Islamic State’s terror – such as Yazidis – have been allowed to visit the US before.

“It is beyond ironic,” said Anderson, “that Sister Diana, who we had hoped would come to Washington to speak about the worsening plight of Iraq’s displaced Christians and other beleaguered religious minorities, was apparently prevented from doing so precisely because she is herself a displaced person.”

 

 

Media Blackout after US ally becomes leader of ISIS in Libya


Media Blackout after US ally becomes leader of ISIS in Libya

by Kyle Rogers

belhaj_mccain_libya_terrorists_John McCain and Lindsey Graham with the leader of the Libyan branch of isis.

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Abdelhakim Belhadj is an ex-Taliban commander, who trained Arab volunteers to fight Americans, that became a US sponsored Jihadist leader during America’s 2011 war against Libya. Despite his background, John McCain and Lindsey Graham publicly endorsed him.

After the fall of Gaddafi, he became the leader of the Tripoli Military Council. With US support he was slated to be the head of the future Libyan military.

By 2013, he was leader an coalition of Jihadist fighters in seizing control of urban areas and imposing sharia law. His coalition includes the group that publicly lynched the former US ambassador to Libya in Benghazi.

Now, credible sources in the intelligence community say Abdelhakim Belhadj has been formerly made the leader of isis in Libya.

The Washington Times ran a story on it. Fox News and Glen Beck’s The Blaze has run little blurbs. RT is the only media outlet I have seen that actually reported on it and showed the photo of McCain and Graham with Belhadj.

In the Arab world it is a major news story.

There is a media blackout. The United States played a direct and pivotal role in the creation of isis in Libya.

Libya under Gaddafi before US sponsored Jihad:

1) Number one economy in the entire continent of Africa
2) Highest average standard of living in the entire continent of Africa
3) Growing job market across multiple sectors
4) Recently normalized relations with many European countries
5) Italy was subsidizing new interstates in exchange for Libyan support in curbing illegal immigration into Europe
6) Libya was actively providing foreign aid to several of the poorest countries in Africa.
7) Government actively at war with Sunni Jihadists since September 2001.

Libya after US sponsored Jihad:

1) Failed states with a half dozen factions actively at war with each other
2) Tribal, ethnic, and racial warfare
3) Collapse of the economy
4) Massive arsenal of looted weaponry used to jump-start Jihad in Mali and Nigeria.
5) Thousand of US sponsored fighters now members of ISIS
6) Major cities now occupied by radical Jihadists and under harsh sharia law.

FINALLY NATO ADMITS:NATO to overthrow regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was a mistake


FINALLY NATO ADMITS:NATO to overthrow regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was a mistake

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RT Arabic writes:

Said a senior official at NATO, Wednesday, March 4 / March, the NATO military intervention in Libya to topple Colonel Muammar Qaddafi’s regime in 2011 was a mistake.

***(Better late than never to recognize the big mistake NATO and its allies did. Does that mean they are going to pay back the damages? Restore everything as it was? Bring Qaddafi back from the dead? Get rid of the terrorists? Or by admitting their mistake they are preparing for a new attack?)

The official said during talks with members of the Algerian delegation from the National Assembly will visit NATO Beruksl Treaty Organization, the international military intervention in Libya in 2011 was a grave mistake committed by the international community and the Libyans, ruling out a new intervention in Libya.

According to the agency APS, the official has confirmed the absence of follow-up, after the military intervention, in order to stabilize the situation in Libya, stressing that any new intervention will be more difficult than it has been in 2011.

Through the administrator in the context of talking about the NATO is ready to provide support in order to improve the security situation in the Libyan territory. ****(Here NATO is lying because NATO’s bosses which are (F.UK.US) vetoed the lifting of the ban for arming the Libyan military they will only lift it if the government of Tobruk unites with the Muslim Brotherhood/ Daesh/ AlQaeda/HMS which holds captive the Capital of Libya Tripoli. NATO AND THEIR BOSSES know this will never happen as the international recognized government in Tobruk will never accept to sit with TERRORISTS KNOWN WORLDWIDE…. so how will NATO provide support? From my informants in and out of NATO they say the will provide support to Hassi’s illegal government who belongs to ISLAMIC ARMED MOVEMENT(HMS) and Muslim brotherhood which they hold captive Tripoli… so in the long run although they admit their mistake they keep doing the same mistake. They do not want to see Libya independent EVER AGAIN.)

Algerian Minister Delegate in charge of the affairs of the Arab Maghreb and Africa, Abdelkader Messahel, said that the West bears the full responsibility for the outcome of the Libya shambles, stressing that Algeria had repeatedly warned of a military intervention.

Experiencing Libya since the fall of the late Colonel Muammar Gaddafi regime, in 2011, deterioration in the security situation due to the armed conflict between several parties, in addition to the control of armed militias on different areas of the country, and the Libyan scene grew complicated after the emergence of the organization of the Islamic State “Daash” and his quest for control at several places.

Source: RT + “APS”

 

 

Castro calls out Obama for genocide in Libya


Castro calls out Obama for genocide in Libya

Published time: September 26, 2011

Fidel Castro (AFP Photo / Adalberto Rooue)

Fidel Castro (AFP Photo / Adalberto Rooue)

 

Fidel Castro is calling out US President Barack Obama for his words before world leaders last week at the United Nations in New York City.

According to Castro, Obama misrepresented the wars America has involved itself in, calling his speech before the United Nations last week gibberish and blaming the US and NATO for the mass murders of the Libyan people.

“In spite of the shameful monopoly of the mass information media and the fascist methods of the United States and its allies to confuse and deceive world opinion, the resistance of the people grows, and that can be appreciated in the debates being produced in the United Nations,” Castro wrote over the weekend on the cubadebate.cu website.

Speaking before the UN’s General Assembly last week, President Obama called the dictatorship of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi a “mass atrocity” that went unchallenged throughout his rule, but said that the United Nation was able to bring to help bring it to a halt.

“The Security Council authorized all necessary measures to prevent a massacre,” said Obama. “The Arab League called for this effort; Arab nations joined a NATO-led coalition that halted Qaddafi’s forces in their tracks.”

Castro, however, believes that Obama and NATO orchestrated an assault on the Libyan that is being skewed through the commander-in-chief’s own explanation. “Who understands this gibberish of the President of the United States in front of the General Assembly?” the former Cuban leader asks in an editorial published to the governmental website. “What position to adopt about the genocide of NATO in Libya? Does anyone wish it recorded that under their direction, the government of their country supported the monstrous crimes by the United States and its NATO allies?”

Castro isn’t the only one to question America’s intentions, too. The United State Congress has previously attacked Obama over his insistence on going to Libya. Earlier this summer, lawmaker Dennis Kucinich called out the president for heading overseas without congressional approval. “Since when does NATO trump the Constitution of the United States?” asked Kucinich. Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York similarly proposed “Shall the president, like the King of England, be a dictator on foreign policy?”