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FTR #1026 The So-Called “Arab Spring” Revisited, Part 2

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This broad­cast was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment [5].

[6]Intro­duc­tion: In FTR #‘s 733 [7] through 739 [8], we pre­sent­ed our view that the so-called Arab Spring was a U.S. intel­li­gence oper­a­tion, aimed at plac­ing the Broth­er­hood in pow­er in Mus­lim coun­tries dom­i­nat­ed either by a sec­u­lar dic­ta­tor or absolute monar­chy.

Con­tin­u­ing analy­sis from our pre­vi­ous pro­gram, this broad­cast delves fur­ther into the net­work­ing between the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and Al-Qae­da. Against the back­ground of the occu­pa­tion of Idlib Province in Syr­ia by Al-Qae­da, we high­light the appar­ent role of Mor­si’s gov­ern­ment and the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in the events sur­round­ing the 2012 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Beng­hazi, Libya.

The over­throw of Khadafy in Libya was an out­growth of the so-called Arab Spring, as was the pre­cip­i­ta­tion of the civ­il war in Syr­ia. Of par­tic­u­lar sig­nif­i­cance is the fact that the GOP-led inves­ti­ga­tions of the Beng­hazi attack led direct­ly to both the inves­ti­ga­tion of Hillary Clin­ton’s e‑mails and the deci­sive­ly sig­nif­i­cant FBI tam­per­ing with the 2016 elec­tion, as well as the alleged “hack” of Hillary’s e‑mails!

[9]An Egypt­ian news­pa­per pub­lished what were said to be inter­cept­ed record­ings of Mor­si com­mu­ni­cat­ing con­spir­a­to­ri­al­ly with Muham­mad al-Zawahiri, the the broth­er of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the head of Al-Qae­da. Much of this checks out with infor­ma­tion that is already on the pub­lic record.

Note the net­work­ing of GOP Sen­a­tors John McCain and Lind­say Gra­ham with Khairat El-Shater of the Egypt­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood while he was in prison, as well as the alleged links between the Egypt­ian Broth­er­hood and the cells involved in attack­ing the U.S. Embassy in Libya.

What we may well be look­ing at is a gam­bit along the lines of what has become known as the Octo­ber Surprise–collusion between the Iran­ian Islamists and George H.W. Bush/CIA/GOP to (among oth­er things) desta­bi­lize the Carter admin­is­tra­tion and 1980 re-elec­tion cam­paign.

In addi­tion, we won­der about a deal hav­ing been struck to have Al-Qae­da fight against Bashar Assad in Syr­ia, while avoid­ing attacks inside the U.S.?

Of pri­ma­ry focus in the mate­r­i­al below is Khairat El-Shater (translit­er­at­ed spellings of his name dif­fer.) We empha­size key points which are repeat­ed in the fol­low­ing analy­sis. El-Shater:

  1. Was the num­ber two man in the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, though not for­mer­ly a mem­ber of Mor­si’s gov­ern­ment.
  2. Net­worked with U.S. Ambas­sador Anne Pat­ter­son and GOP Sen­a­tors John McCain and Lind­say Gra­ham and Khairat El-Shater (alter­na­tive­ly translit­er­at­ed with two “t’s”), short­ly after Mor­si was deposed. ” . . . . It is inter­est­ing to note here that, pri­or to these rev­e­la­tions, U.S. ambas­sador Anne Pat­ter­son was seen vis­it­ing with Khairat El-Shater [10]—even though he held no posi­tion in the Mor­si government—and after the oust­ing and impris­on­ment of Mor­si and lead­ing Broth­er­hood mem­bers, Sens. John McCain and Lind­say Gra­ham made it a point to vis­it the civil­ian Shater [11] in his prison cell and urged the Egypt­ian gov­ern­ment to release him. . . .”
  3. Was deeply involved in mobi­liz­ing Al-Qae­da on behalf of Mor­si and the Broth­er­hood: ” . . . . Also on that same first day of the rev­o­lu­tion, Khairat al-Shater, Deputy Leader of the Broth­er­hood, had a meet­ing with a del­e­gate of jiha­di fight­ers and reit­er­at­ed Morsi’s request that all jihadis come to the aid of the pres­i­den­cy and the Broth­er­hood. . . . ”
  4. Was the appar­ent source of a $50 mil­lion con­tri­bu­tion by the Broth­er­hood to Al Qae­da: ” . . . . That the Mus­lim Brotherhood’s inter­na­tion­al wing, includ­ing through the agency of Khairat al-Shater, had pro­vid­ed $50 mil­lion to al-Qae­da in part to sup­port the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in Egypt. . . .”
  5. Had the pass­port of the alleged leader of the Beng­hazi attack in his home when he was arrest­ed: ” . . . . Most recent­ly, on July 29, 2013, Ahmed Musa, a promi­nent Egypt­ian polit­i­cal insid­er and ana­lyst made sev­er­al asser­tions on Tahrir TV [12] that fur­ther con­nect­ed the dots. . . . Musa insist­ed that he had absolute knowl­edge that the mur­der­er of Chris Stevens was Mohsin al-‘Azzazi, whose pass­port was found in Broth­er­hood leader Khairat El-Shater’s home, when the lat­ter was arrest­ed. . . .”
  6. Epit­o­mized the GOP-beloved, cor­po­ratist eco­nom­ic ide­ol­o­gy and lifestyle: ” . . . . Arguably the most pow­er­ful man in the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood is Khairat El-Shater, a mul­ti­mil­lion­aire tycoon whose finan­cial inter­ests extend into elec­tron­ics, man­u­fac­tur­ing and retail. A strong advo­cate of pri­va­ti­za­tion, Al-Shater is one of a cadre of Mus­lim Broth­er­hood busi­ness­men who helped finance the Brotherhood’s Free­dom and Jus­tice Party’s impres­sive elec­toral vic­to­ry this win­ter and is now craft­ing the FJP’s eco­nom­ic agen­da. . . . . . . . the Brotherhood’s ide­ol­o­gy actu­al­ly has more in com­mon with America’s Repub­li­can Par­ty than with al-Qai­da. Few Amer­i­cans know it but the Broth­er­hood is a free-mar­ket par­ty led by wealthy busi­ness­men whose eco­nom­ic agen­da embraces pri­va­ti­za­tion and for­eign invest­ment while spurn­ing labor unions and the redis­tri­b­u­tion of wealth. Like the Repub­li­cans in the U.S., the finan­cial inter­ests of the party’s lead­er­ship of busi­ness­men and pro­fes­sion­als diverge sharply from those of its poor, social­ly con­ser­v­a­tive fol­low­ers. . . .”

In the wake of over­throw of Mor­si, the Egypt­ian gov­ern­ment sen­tenced more than 500 mem­bers of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, to the resound­ing con­dem­na­tion of West­ern coun­tries, includ­ing the U.S. What we were not told was why. THIS appears to be why.

This broad­cast begins with con­clu­sion of read­ing of a key arti­cle [13] that was fea­tured in our last pro­gram.

Key points of analy­sis in dis­cus­sion of the Morsi/Zawahiri/Brotherhood con­nec­tion include:

  1. Muhamed Zawahir­i’s promise to bol­ster Mor­si’s gov­ern­ment with mil­i­tary sup­port, in exchange for Mor­si steer­ing Egypt in the direc­tion of Sharia law. ” . . . . The call end­ed in agree­ment that al-Qae­da would sup­port the Broth­er­hood, includ­ing its inter­na­tion­al branch­es, under the under­stand­ing that Mor­si would soon imple­ment full Sharia in Egypt.  After this, Muham­mad Zawahiri and Khairat al-Shater, the num­ber-two man of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood orga­ni­za­tion, report­ed­ly met reg­u­lar­ly. . . .”
  2. Mor­si’s agree­ment with Zawahir­i’s pro­pos­al. ” . . . . Zawahiri fur­ther request­ed that Mor­si allow them to devel­op train­ing camps in Sinai in order to sup­port the Broth­er­hood through trained mil­i­tants. Along with say­ing that the Broth­er­hood intend­ed to form a ‘rev­o­lu­tion­ary guard’ to pro­tect him against any coup, Mor­si added that, in return for al-Qaeda’s and its affil­i­ates’ sup­port, not only would he allow them to have such train­ing camps, but he would facil­i­tate their devel­op­ment in Sinai and give them four facil­i­ties to use along the Egypt­ian-Libyan bor­der. . . .”
  3. The net­work­ing between U.S. Ambas­sador Anne Pat­ter­son and GOP Sen­a­tors John McCain and Lind­say Gra­ham and Khairat El-Shater (alter­na­tive­ly translit­er­at­ed with two “t’s”), short­ly after Mor­si was deposed. ” . . . . It is inter­est­ing to note here that, pri­or to these rev­e­la­tions, U.S. ambas­sador Anne Pat­ter­son was seen vis­it­ing with Khairat El-Shater [10]—even though he held no posi­tion in the Mor­si government—and after the oust­ing and impris­on­ment of Mor­si and lead­ing Broth­er­hood mem­bers, Sens. John McCain and Lind­say Gra­ham made it a point to vis­it the civil­ian Shater [11] in his prison cell and urged the Egypt­ian gov­ern­ment to release him. . . .”
  4. Note that Mor­si sanc­tioned and Broth­er­hood-aid­ed Al-Qae­da mil­i­tants were appar­ent­ly involved in the Behg­hazi attacks that led to the Beng­hazi inves­ti­ga­tion, the Hillary e‑mails non-scan­dal and all that fol­lowed: ” . . . . Accord­ing to a Libyan Ara­bic report [14] I trans­lat­ed back in June 2013, those who attacked the U.S. con­sulate in Beng­hazi, killing Amer­i­cans, includ­ing Ambas­sador Chris Stevens, were from jiha­di cells that had been formed in Libya through Egypt­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood sup­port.  Those inter­ro­gat­ed named Mor­si and oth­er top Broth­er­hood lead­er­ship as accom­plices. . . . ”
  5. Khairat El-Shater was deeply involved in mobi­liz­ing Al-Qae­da on behalf of Mor­si and the Broth­er­hood: ” . . . . Also on that same first day of the rev­o­lu­tion, Khairat al-Shater, Deputy Leader of the Broth­er­hood, had a meet­ing with a del­e­gate of jiha­di fight­ers and reit­er­at­ed Morsi’s request that all jihadis come to the aid of the pres­i­den­cy and the Broth­er­hood. . . . ”
  6. Khairat El-Shater was the appar­ent source of a $50 mil­lion con­tri­bu­tion by the Broth­er­hood to Al Qae­da: ” . . . . That the Mus­lim Brotherhood’s inter­na­tion­al wing, includ­ing through the agency of Khairat al-Shater, had pro­vid­ed $50 mil­lion to al-Qae­da in part to sup­port the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in Egypt. . . .”

Next, we high­light anoth­er impor­tant arti­cle [15] from Ray­mond Ibrahim about the Mor­si/Al-Qae­da con­nec­tion to the Beng­hazi attack. Sup­ple­ment­ing the infor­ma­tion about net­work­ing between U.S. Ambas­sador to Egypt Anne Pat­ter­son, John McCain, Lind­say Gra­ham and Khairat al-Shater, we note that:

  1. The Beng­hazi attack­ers were appar­ent­ly linked to Mor­si and the Broth­er­hood: ” . . . . days after the Beng­hazi attack back in Sep­tem­ber 2012, Mus­lim Broth­er­hood con­nec­tions appeared.  A video made dur­ing the con­sulate attack records peo­ple approach­ing the belea­guered U.S. com­pound; one of them yells to the besiegers in an Egypt­ian dialect, ‘Don’t shoot—Dr. Mor­si sent us!’ appar­ent­ly a ref­er­ence to the for­mer Islamist pres­i­dent. . . .”
  2. The pass­port of the alleged leader of the Beng­hazi attack was found in the home of McCain/Graham con­tact Kharat al-Shater’s home when he was arrest­ed: ” . . . . Most recent­ly, on July 29, 2013, Ahmed Musa, a promi­nent Egypt­ian polit­i­cal insid­er and ana­lyst made sev­er­al asser­tions on Tahrir TV [12] that fur­ther con­nect­ed the dots. . . . Musa insist­ed that he had absolute knowl­edge that the mur­der­er of Chris Stevens was Mohsin al-‘Azzazi, whose pass­port was found in Broth­er­hood leader Khairat El-Shater’s home, when the lat­ter was arrest­ed. . . .”
  3. The attack on the U.S. Embassy may well have been intend­ed to take Chris Stevens hostage, in order to use him as poten­tial barter for the Blind Sheikh: ” . . . . The day before the embassy attacks, based on lit­tle known but legit­i­mate Ara­bic reports, I wrote [16] an arti­cle titled ‘Jihadis Threat­en to Burn U.S. Embassy in Cairo [17],’ explain­ing how Islamists—including al-Qaeda—were threat­en­ing to attack the U.S. embassy in Cairo unless the noto­ri­ous Blind Sheikh—an Islamist hero held in prison in the U.S. in con­nec­tion to the first World Trade Cen­ter bombing—was released.  The date Sep­tem­ber 11 was also delib­er­ate­ly cho­sen to attack the embassy to com­mem­o­rate the ‘hero­ic’ Sep­tem­ber 11, 2001 al-Qae­da strikes on Amer­i­ca. . . .”
  4. The Unit­ed States: ” . . . . first with Anne Pat­ter­son, and now with Sen­a­tors John McCain and Lind­say Gra­ham [18], keep pres­sur­ing Egypt to release Broth­er­hood lead­ers; McCain per­son­al­ly even vis­it­ed the civil­ian El-Shater, whose raid­ed home revealed the pass­port of Azzazi, whom Musa claims is the mur­der­er of Stevens. . . .”

Fol­low­ing the Beng­hazi dis­cus­sion, we recap an arti­cle [19] about the Broth­er­hood and appar­ent Al-Qaeda/Beng­hazi col­lab­o­ra­tor Khairat El-Shater, not­ing the pow­er­ful res­o­nance between his and the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood’s val­ues and those of the GOP and the cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ty:

  1. ” . . . . the Brotherhood’s ide­ol­o­gy actu­al­ly has more in com­mon with America’s Repub­li­can Par­ty than with al-Qai­da. Few Amer­i­cans know it but the Broth­er­hood is a free-mar­ket par­ty led by wealthy busi­ness­men whose eco­nom­ic agen­da embraces pri­va­ti­za­tion and for­eign invest­ment while spurn­ing labor unions and the redis­tri­b­u­tion of wealth. Like the Repub­li­cans in the U.S., the finan­cial inter­ests of the party’s lead­er­ship of busi­ness­men and pro­fes­sion­als diverge sharply from those of its poor, social­ly con­ser­v­a­tive fol­low­ers. . . .”
  2. ” . . . . Arguably the most pow­er­ful man in the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood is Khairat El-Shater, a mul­ti­mil­lion­aire tycoon whose finan­cial inter­ests extend into elec­tron­ics, man­u­fac­tur­ing and retail. A strong advo­cate of pri­va­ti­za­tion, Al-Shater is one of a cadre of Mus­lim Broth­er­hood busi­ness­men who helped finance the Brotherhood’s Free­dom and Jus­tice Party’s impres­sive elec­toral vic­to­ry this win­ter and is now craft­ing the FJP’s eco­nom­ic agen­da. . . .”

We con­clude with infor­ma­tion [20] about the train­ing of activists in high-tech and social media in order to launch the Arab Spring.

In a remark­able and very impor­tant new book, Yasha Levine has high­light­ed the role of U.S. tech per­son­nel in train­ing and prep­ping the Arab Spring online activists.

Note while read­ing the fol­low­ing excerpts of this remark­able and impor­tant book, that:

  1. The Tor net­work was devel­oped by, and used and com­pro­mised by, ele­ments of U.S. intel­li­gence.
  2. One of the pri­ma­ry advo­cates and spon­sors of the Tor net­work is the Broad­cast­ing Board of Gov­er­nors. As we saw in FTR #‘s 891 [21], 895 [22], is an exten­sion of the CIA.
  3. Jacob Appel­baum has been financed by the Broad­cast­ing Board of Gov­er­nors, advo­cates use of the Tor net­work, has helped Wik­iLeaks with its exten­sive use of the Tor net­work, and is a the­o­ret­i­cal accolyte of Ayn Rand.

1. An Egypt­ian news­pa­per pub­lished what were said to be inter­cept­ed record­ings of Mor­si com­mu­ni­cat­ing con­spir­a­to­ri­al­ly with Muham­mad al-Zawahiri, the the broth­er of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the head of Al-Qae­da. Much of this checks out with infor­ma­tion that is already on the pub­lic record. Note the net­work­ing of GOP Sen­a­tors John McCain and Lind­say Gra­ham with Khairat El-Shater of the Egypt­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood while he was in prison, as well as the alleged links between the Egypt­ian Broth­er­hood and the cells involved in attack­ing the U.S. Embassy in Libya.

In the wake of over­throw of Mor­si, the Egypt­ian gov­ern­ment sen­tenced more than 500 mem­bers of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, to the resound­ing con­dem­na­tion of West­ern coun­tries, includ­ing the U.S. What we were not told was why. THIS appears to be why.

Note the pro­found con­nec­tion between the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood gov­ern­ment of Mor­si and Al Qae­da.

“Exposed: The Mus­lim Brotherhood/Al Qae­da Con­nec­tion” by Ray­mond Ibrahim; Ray­mond Ibrahim: Islam Trans­lat­ed; 2/4/2014. [13]

. . . . Con­cern­ing some of the more severe alle­ga­tions, one of Egypt’s most wide­ly dis­trib­uted and read news­pa­pers, Al Watan, recent­ly  [23]pub­lished [24] what it said were record­ed con­ver­sa­tions between Mor­si and Muham­mad Zawahiri, al-Qae­da leader Ayman Zawahiri’s broth­er.

In these reports, Watan repeat­ed­ly asserts that Egypt­ian secu­ri­ty and intel­li­gence agen­cies con­firmed (or per­haps leaked out) the record­ings.

Much of the sub­stance of the alleged con­ver­sa­tions is fur­ther cor­rob­o­rat­ed by events that occurred dur­ing Morsi’s one-year-rule, most of which were report­ed by a vari­ety of Ara­bic media out­lets, though not by West­ern media.

In what fol­lows, I relay, sum­ma­rize, and trans­late some of the more sig­nif­i­cant por­tions of the Watan reports (ver­ba­tim state­ments are in quo­ta­tion marks).  In between, I com­ment on var­i­ous anec­dotes and events—many of which were first bro­ken [25] on my web­site [26]—that now, in light of these phone con­ver­sa­tions, make per­fect sense and inde­pen­dent­ly help con­firm the authen­tic­i­ty of the record­ings.

The first record­ed call  between Muham­mad Mor­si  and  Muham­mad Zawahiri last­ed for 59 sec­onds. Mor­si con­grat­u­lat­ed Zawahiri on his release from prison, where he had been incar­cer­at­ed for jihadi/terrorist activ­i­ties against Egypt, and assured him that he would not be fol­lowed or observed by any Egypt­ian author­i­ties, and that he, Mor­si, was plan­ning on meet­ing with him soon.  Pri­or to this first call, Refa’ al-Tahtawy, then Chief of Staff, medi­at­ed and arranged mat­ters.

The pres­i­den­tial palace con­tin­ued to com­mu­ni­cate reg­u­lar­ly with Muham­mad Zawahiri, and sources con­firm that he was the link between the Egypt­ian pres­i­den­cy and his broth­er, Ayman Zawahiri, the Egypt­ian-born leader of al-Qae­da [27].

It should be not­ed that, once released, the pre­vi­ous­ly lit­tle-known Muham­mad Zawahiri did become very vis­i­ble and vocal in Egypt [28], at times spear­head­ing the Islamist move­ment.

The next record­ing between Mor­si and Zawahiri last­ed for 2 min­utes and 56 sec­onds and took place one month after Mor­si became pres­i­dent.  Mor­si informed Zawahiri that the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood sup­ports the mujahidin (jihadis) and that the mujahidin should sup­port the Broth­er­hood in order for them both, and the Islamist agen­da, to pre­vail in Egypt.

This makes sense in the con­text that, soon after Mor­si came to pow­er, the gen­er­al pub­lic did become increas­ing­ly crit­i­cal of him and his poli­cies, includ­ing the fact that he was plac­ing only Broth­er­hood mem­bers in Egypt’s most impor­tant posts, try­ing quick­ly to push through a pro-Islamist con­sti­tu­tion, and, as Egyp­tians called it, try­ing in gen­er­al to “Broth­er­hood­ize” Egypt [29].

This sec­ond phone call being longer than the first, Zawahiri took it as an oppor­tu­ni­ty to con­grat­u­late Mor­si on his recent pres­i­den­tial victory—which, inci­den­tal­ly, from the start, was por­trayed by some as fraud­u­lent [30]—and expressed his joy that Morsi’s pres­i­den­cy could only mean that “all sec­u­lar infi­dels would be removed from Egypt.”

Then Zawahiri told Mor­si: “Rule accord­ing to the Sharia of Allah [or “Islam­ic law”], and we will stand next to you.  Know that, from the start, there is no so-called democ­ra­cy, so get rid of your oppo­si­tion.”

This asser­tion com­ports extreme­ly well with his broth­er Ayman Zawahiri’s views.  A for­mer Mus­lim Broth­er­hood mem­ber him­self, some thir­ty years ago, the al-Qae­da leader wrote Al Hissad Al Murr (“The Bit­ter Har­vest”), a scathing book con­demn­ing the Broth­er­hood for “tak­ing advan­tage of the Mus­lim youths’ fer­vor by … steer[ing] their one­time pas­sion­ate, Islam­ic zeal for jihad to con­fer­ences and elec­tions.” An entire sec­tion ded­i­cat­ed to show­ing that Islam­ic Sharia can­not coex­ist with democ­ra­cy even appears in Ayman Zawahiri’s book (see “Sharia and Democ­ra­cy,” The Al Qae­da Read­er [31], pgs. 116–136).

The call end­ed in agree­ment that al-Qae­da would sup­port the Broth­er­hood, includ­ing its inter­na­tion­al branch­es, under the under­stand­ing that Mor­si would soon imple­ment full Sharia in Egypt.  After this, Muham­mad Zawahiri and Khairat al-Shater, the num­ber-two man of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood orga­ni­za­tion, report­ed­ly met reg­u­lar­ly.

It is inter­est­ing to note here that, pri­or to these rev­e­la­tions, U.S. ambas­sador Anne Pat­ter­son was seen vis­it­ing with Khairat al-Shater [10]—even though he held no posi­tion in the Mor­si government—and after the oust­ing and impris­on­ment of Mor­si and lead­ing Broth­er­hood mem­bers, Sens. John McCain and Lind­say Gra­ham made it a point to vis­it the civil­ian Shater [11] in his prison cell and urged the Egypt­ian gov­ern­ment to release him.

The next call, record­ed rough­ly six weeks after this last one, again revolved around the theme of solid­i­fy­ing com­mon coop­er­a­tion between the Egypt­ian pres­i­den­cy and the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood on the one hand, and al-Qae­da and its jiha­di off­shoots on the oth­er, specif­i­cal­ly in the con­text of cre­at­ing jiha­di cells inside Egypt devot­ed to pro­tect­ing the increas­ing­ly unpop­u­lar Broth­er­hood-dom­i­nat­ed gov­ern­ment.

As I report­ed back in Decem­ber 2012 [32], Egypt­ian media were say­ing that for­eign jiha­di fight­ers were appear­ing in large numbers—one said 3,000 fighters—especially in Sinai.  And, since the over­throw of the Broth­er­hood and the mil­i­tary crack­down on its sup­port­ers, many of those detained have been exposed speak­ing non-Egypt­ian dialects of Ara­bic.

Dur­ing this same call, Zawahiri was also crit­i­cal of the Mor­si gov­ern­ment for still not apply­ing Islam­ic Sharia through­out Egypt, which, as men­tioned, was one of the pre­req­ui­sites for al-Qae­da sup­port.

Mor­si respond­ed by say­ing “We are cur­rent­ly in the stage of con­sol­i­dat­ing pow­er and need the help of all parties—and we can­not at this time apply the Iran­ian mod­el or Tal­iban rule in Egypt; it is impos­si­ble to do so now.”

In fact, while the Broth­er­hood has repeat­ed­ly declared its aspi­ra­tions [33] for world dom­i­na­tion, from its ori­gins, it has always relied on a “grad­ual” approach, mov­ing only in stages [34], with the idea of cul­mi­nat­ing its full vision only when enough pow­er has been con­sol­i­dat­ed.

In response, Zawahiri told Mor­si that, as a show of good will, he must “at least release the mujahidin who were impris­oned dur­ing the Mubarak era as well as all Islamists, as an assur­ance and pact of coop­er­a­tion and proof that the old page has turned to a new one.”

After that call, and as con­firmed by a gov­ern­men­tal source, Mor­si received a list from Zawahiri con­tain­ing the names of the most dan­ger­ous ter­ror­ists in Egypt­ian jails, some of whom were on death row due to the enor­mi­ty of their crimes.

In fact, as I report­ed back in August 2012 [35], many impris­oned ter­ror­ists, includ­ing from Egypt’s noto­ri­ous Islam­ic Jihad organization—which was once led by Ayman Zawahiri—were released under Mor­si.

One year lat­er, in August 2013 [36], soon after the removal of Mor­si, Egypt’s Inte­ri­or Min­istry announced that Egypt was “prepar­ing to can­cel any pres­i­den­tial par­dons issued dur­ing Morsi’s era to ter­ror­ists or crim­i­nals.”

Dur­ing this same call, and in the con­text of par­dons, Mor­si said he would do his best to facil­i­tate the return of Muhammad’s infa­mous broth­er and al-Qae­da leader, Ayman Zawahiri, back to Egypt—“with his head held high,” in accor­dance with Islamist wishes—as well as urge the U.S. to release the “Blind Sheikh” and ter­ror­ist mas­ter­mind, Omar Abdul Rah­man.

In March 2013 [37], I wrote about how Mor­si, dur­ing his Pak­istan vis­it, had report­ed­ly met with Ayman Zawahiri  and made arrange­ments to smug­gle him back to Sinai.  Accord­ing to a Pak­istan source, the meet­ing was “facil­i­tat­ed by ele­ments of Pak­istani intel­li­gence [ISI] and influ­en­tial mem­bers of the Inter­na­tion­al Orga­ni­za­tion, the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood.”

The gist of the next two calls between Mor­si and Muham­mad Zawahiri was that, so long as the for­mer is pres­i­dent, he would see to it that all released jihadis and al-Qae­da oper­a­tives are allowed to move freely through­out Egypt and the Sinai, and that the pres­i­den­tial palace would remain in con­stant con­tact with Zawahiri, to make sure every­thing is mov­ing to the sat­is­fac­tion of both par­ties.

Zawahiri fur­ther request­ed that Mor­si allow them to devel­op train­ing camps in Sinai in order to sup­port the Broth­er­hood through trained mil­i­tants. Along with say­ing that the Broth­er­hood intend­ed to form a “rev­o­lu­tion­ary guard” to pro­tect him against any coup, Mor­si added that, in return for al-Qaeda’s and its affil­i­ates’ sup­port, not only would he allow them to have such train­ing camps, but he would facil­i­tate their devel­op­ment in Sinai and give them four facil­i­ties to use along the Egypt­ian-Libyan bor­der.

That Libya is men­tioned is inter­est­ing.  Accord­ing to a Libyan Ara­bic report [14] I trans­lat­ed back in June 2013, those who attacked the U.S. con­sulate in Beng­hazi, killing Amer­i­cans, includ­ing Ambas­sador Chris Stevens, were from jiha­di cells that had been formed in Libya through Egypt­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood sup­port.  Those inter­ro­gat­ed named Mor­si and oth­er top Broth­er­hood lead­er­ship as accom­plices.

More evi­dence [38]—includ­ing some that impli­cates the U.S. administration—has mount­ed since then.

Next, Watan makes sev­er­al more asser­tions, all of which are pre­ced­ed by “accord­ing to security/intelligence agen­cies.”  They are:

  • That Mor­si did indeed as he promised, and that he facil­i­tat­ed the estab­lish­ment of four jiha­di train­ing camps.  Mor­si was then Chief in Com­mand of Egypt’s Armed Forces, and through his pow­er of author­i­ty, stopped the mil­i­tary from launch­ing any oper­a­tions includ­ing in the by now al-Qae­da over­run Sinai.
  • That, after Mor­si reached Pak­istan, he had a one-and-a-half hour meet­ing with an asso­ciate of Ayman Zawahiri in a hotel and pos­si­bly spoke with him.
  • That, after Mor­si returned to Egypt from his trip to Pak­istan, he issued anoth­er  list con­tain­ing the names of 20 more con­vict­ed ter­ror­ists con­sid­ered dan­ger­ous to the nation­al secu­ri­ty of Egypt, giv­ing them all pres­i­den­tial pardons—despite the fact that nation­al secu­ri­ty and intel­li­gence strong­ly rec­om­mend­ed that they not be released on grounds of the threat they posed.
  • That the Mus­lim Brotherhood’s inter­na­tion­al wing, includ­ing through the agency of Khairat al-Shater, had pro­vid­ed $50 mil­lion to al-Qae­da in part to sup­port the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in Egypt.

One of the longer con­ver­sa­tions between Mor­si and Zawahiri report­ed by Watan is espe­cial­ly telling of al-Qaeda’s enmi­ty for sec­u­lar­ist Mus­lims and Cop­tic Christians—whose church­es, some 80 [39], were attacked, burned, and destroyed, some with the al-Qae­da flag furled above them [40], soon after the oust­ing of Mor­si.  I trans­late por­tions below:

Zawahiri: “The teach­ings of Allah need to be applied and enforced; the sec­u­lar­ists have stopped the Islam­ic Sharia, and the response must be a stop to the build­ing of church­es.” (An odd asser­tion con­sid­er­ing how dif­fi­cult it already is for Copts to acquire a repair per­mit for their church­es in Egypt.)

Zawahiri also added that “All those who reject the Sharia must be exe­cut­ed, and all those belong­ing to the sec­u­lar media which work to dis­sem­i­nate debauch­ery and help deviants and Chris­tians to vio­late the Sharia, must be exe­cut­ed.”

Mor­si report­ed­ly replied: “We have tak­en deter­rent mea­sures to com­bat those few, and new leg­isla­tive mea­sures to lim­it their media, and in the near future, we will shut down these media sta­tions and launch large Islam­ic media out­lets.  We are even plan­ning a big bud­get from the [Broth­er­hood] Inter­na­tion­al Group  to launch Islam­ic and jiha­di satel­lite sta­tions  to urge on the jihad. There will be a chan­nel for you and the men of al-Qae­da, and it can be broad­cast from Afghanistan.”

Unde­terred, Zawahiri respond­ed by say­ing, “This [is a] Chris­t­ian media—and some of the media per­son­nel are paid by the [Cop­tic] Church and they work with those who oppose the Sharia… sec­u­lar­ist forces are allied with Chris­t­ian forces, among them Naguib Sawiris, the Chris­t­ian-Jew [41].”

Mor­si: “Soon we will uphold our promis­es to you.”

In fact, there was a peri­od of time when the sec­u­lar media in Egypt—which was con­stant­ly expos­ing Broth­er­hood machinations—were under severe attack by the Broth­er­hood and Islamists of all stripes (come­di­an Bassem Youssef was the tip of the ice­berg).  In one instance, which I not­ed back in August 2012 [42], six major media sta­tions were attacked by Broth­er­hood sup­port­ers, their employ­ees severe­ly beat.

The last call record­ed between Muham­mad Mor­si and Muham­mad Zawahiri took place on the dawn of June 30, 2013 (the date of the June 30 Rev­o­lu­tion that oust­ed Mor­si and the Broth­er­hood).  Mor­si made the call to Zawahiri in the pres­ence of Asad al-Sheikha, Deputy Chief of Pres­i­den­tial Staff, Refa’ al-Tahtawy, Chief of Pres­i­den­tial Staff, and his per­son­al secu­ri­ty.

Dur­ing this last call, Mor­si incit­ed Zawahiri to rise against the Egypt­ian mil­i­tary in Sinai and asked Zawahiri to com­pel all jiha­di and loy­al­ist ele­ments every­where to come to the aid of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and neu­tral­ize its oppo­nents.

Zawahiri report­ed­ly respond­ed by say­ing “We will fight the mil­i­tary and the police, and we will set the Sinai aflame.

True enough, as I report­ed [43] on July 4, quot­ing from an Ara­bic report: “Al-Qae­da, under the lead­er­ship of Muham­mad Zawahiri, is cur­rent­ly plan­ning reprisal oper­a­tions by which to attack the army and the Mor­si-oppo­si­tion all around the Repub­lic [of Egypt].”  The report added that, right before the depos­ing of Mor­si, Zawahiri had been arrest­ed and was being interrogated—only to be ordered released by yet anoth­er pres­i­den­tial order, and that he  had since fled to the Sinai.

Also on that same first day of the rev­o­lu­tion, Khairat al-Shater, Deputy Leader of the Broth­er­hood, had a meet­ing with a del­e­gate of jiha­di fight­ers and reit­er­at­ed Morsi’s request that all jihadis come to the aid of the pres­i­den­cy and the Broth­er­hood.

As Morsi’s tri­al con­tin­ues, it’s only a mat­ter of time before the truth of these allegations—and their impli­ca­tions for the U.S.—is known.  But one thing is cer­tain: most of them com­port incred­i­bly well with inci­dents and events that took place under Morsi’s gov­ern­ment.

2. A fol­low-up arti­cle by Ibrahim dis­cuss­es the Beng­hazi attack in detail, impli­cat­ing the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and Khairet El-Shater.

“Behind Bengazi: The Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and the Oba­ma Admin­is­tra­tion” by Ray­mond Ibrahim; Ray­mond Ibrahim.com; 8/16/2013. [15]

Evi­dence that Egypt’s Mus­lim Broth­er­hood was direct­ly involved in the Sep­tem­ber 11, 2012 ter­ror­ist attack on the U.S. con­sulate in Beng­hazi, where Amer­i­cans includ­ing U.S. ambas­sador to Libya Chris Stevens were killed, con­tin­ues to mount.

First, on June 26, 2013, I pro­duced and par­tial­ly trans­lat­ed what pur­port­ed to be an inter­nal Libyan gov­ern­men­tal memo [44] which was leaked and picked up by many Ara­bic web­sites.  Accord­ing to this doc­u­ment, the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, includ­ing now oust­ed Pres­i­dent Mor­si, played a direct role in the Beng­hazi con­sulate attack. “Based on con­fes­sions derived from some of those arrest­ed at the scene,” assert­ed the report, six peo­ple, “all of them Egyp­tians” from the jihad group Ansar al-Sharia (Sup­port­ers of Islam­ic Law), were arrest­ed.  Dur­ing inter­ro­ga­tions, these Egypt­ian jiha­di cell mem­bers: con­fessed to very seri­ous and impor­tant infor­ma­tion con­cern­ing the finan­cial sources of the group and the plan­ners of the event and the storm­ing and burn­ing of the U.S. con­sulate in Beng­hazi…. And among the more promi­nent fig­ures whose names were men­tioned by cell mem­bers dur­ing con­fes­sions were: Egypt­ian Pres­i­dent Mohamed Mor­si; preach­er Safwat Hegazi; Sau­di busi­ness­man Man­sour Kadasa, own­er of the satel­lite sta­tion, Al-Nas; Egypt­ian Sheikh Muham­mad Has­san; for­mer pres­i­den­tial can­di­date, Haz­im Sal­ih Abu Isma’il…

Four days after this memo appeared, the mil­i­tary-backed June 30 Egypt­ian rev­o­lu­tion took place.  Many of the Islamists in the Libyan doc­u­ment have either been arrested—including Safwat Hegazi and Abu Isma’il [45]—or have arrest war­rants under ter­ror­ism charges.

Walid Shoe­bat fol­lowed up with some impor­tant inves­tiga­tive [46] work [47] con­cern­ing the Libyan doc­u­ment, includ­ing by doc­u­ment­ing that West­ern sources had final­ly acknowl­edged that there is a group called Ansar al-Sharia oper­at­ing in Egypt with a cell in Libya, and that, with the ouster of Muham­mad Mor­si, it (along with al-Qae­da) had declared jihad on Egypt’s mil­i­tary (not to men­tion reg­u­lar civil­ians in gen­er­al, and Cop­tic Chris­tians [48]in par­tic­u­lar [49]).

The fact is, days after the Beng­hazi attack back in Sep­tem­ber 2012, Mus­lim Broth­er­hood con­nec­tions appeared.  A video made dur­ing the con­sulate attack records peo­ple approach­ing the belea­guered U.S. com­pound; one of them yells to the besiegers in an Egypt­ian dialect, “Don’t shoot—Dr. Mor­si sent us!” appar­ent­ly a ref­er­ence to the for­mer Islamist pres­i­dent.

Most recent­ly, on July 29, 2013, Ahmed Musa, a promi­nent Egypt­ian polit­i­cal insid­er and ana­lyst made sev­er­al asser­tions on Tahrir TV [12] that fur­ther con­nect­ed the dots.  Dur­ing his pro­gram, while berat­ing U.S. ambas­sador Anne Pat­ter­son [50] for her many pro-Broth­er­hood policies—policies that have earned her the hate and con­tempt of mil­lions of Egyp­tians [51]—Musa insist­ed that he had absolute knowl­edge that the mur­der­er of Chris Stevens was Mohsin al-‘Azzazi, whose pass­port was found in Broth­er­hood leader Khairat El-Shater’s home, when the lat­ter was arrest­ed. Accord­ing to the firm assur­ances of polit­i­cal ana­lyst Musa, ‘Azzazi is cur­rent­ly present in Raba‘a al-Adawiya, where he, the sea­soned ter­ror­ist, is prepar­ing to do what he does best—terrorize Egypt, just as the Broth­er­hood have promised, in revenge for the oust­ing of Mor­si.

But why would Mor­si and the Broth­er­hood attack the con­sulate in Libya in the first place?  The day before the embassy attacks, based on lit­tle known but legit­i­mate Ara­bic reports, I wrote [16] an arti­cle titled “Jihadis Threat­en to Burn U.S. Embassy in Cairo [17],” explain­ing how Islamists—including al-Qaeda—were threat­en­ing to attack the U.S. embassy in Cairo unless the noto­ri­ous Blind Sheikh—an Islamist hero held in prison in the U.S. in con­nec­tion to the first World Trade Cen­ter bombing—was released.  The date Sep­tem­ber 11 was also delib­er­ate­ly cho­sen to attack the embassy to com­mem­o­rate the “hero­ic” Sep­tem­ber 11, 2001 al-Qae­da strikes on Amer­i­ca.  (Regard­less, the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion, fol­lowed by the so-called main­stream media, por­trayed the embassy attacks as unplanned reac­tions to an offen­sive movie.)

The the­o­ry is this: in order to nego­ti­ate the release of the Blind Sheikh, the Islamists need­ed an impor­tant Amer­i­can offi­cial to barter in exchange.  And while the vio­lence on U.S. embassies began in Egypt [52], it seemed log­i­cal that kid­nap­ping an Amer­i­can offi­cial from neigh­bor­ing Libya would be less con­spic­u­ous than in Egypt, where Egyp­tians, includ­ing Mor­si, were call­ing for the release of the Egypt­ian Blind Sheikh.   Thus the U.S. con­sulate in Libya was attacked, Chris Stevens kid­napped, but in the botched attempt, instead of becom­ing a valu­able hostage, he wound up dead.

Add to all this the fact that, despite the very seri­ous charges filed against them—including incit­ing mur­der and ter­ror­ism, and grand treason—the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion, first with Anne Pat­ter­son, and now with Sen­a­tors John McCain and Lind­say Gra­ham [18], keep pres­sur­ing Egypt to release Broth­er­hood lead­ers; McCain per­son­al­ly even vis­it­ed the civil­ian El-Shater, whose raid­ed home revealed the pass­port of Azzazi, whom Musa claims is the mur­der­er of Stevens.

Need­less to say, at this point, tens of mil­lions of Egyp­tians are con­vinced that U.S. lead­er­ship is ful­ly aware of the Brotherhood’s con­nec­tion to Benghazi—and hence des­per­ate­ly push­ing for the release of Broth­er­hood lead­er­ship, lest, when they are tried in Egypt’s courts, all these scan­dals become com­mon knowl­edge.

Mean­while in the Unit­ed States, to a main­stream Amer­i­can public—conditioned as it is by a main­stream media—all of the above is just a “con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry,” since sure­ly the U.S. gov­ern­ment is trans­par­ent with the Amer­i­can people—except, that is, when it’s not [53].

3. More about the cor­po­ratist eco­nom­ic phi­los­o­phy of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood fol­lows. Note that Khairat el-Shater was alleged by Egypt­ian intel­li­gence to have been run­ning Mohamed Mor­si, in effect. (We cov­ered this in FTR #787 [54].) In turn, he was report­ed [13] to be serv­ing as a liai­son between Mor­si and Mohamed Zawahiri, the broth­er of Al-Qae­da leader Ayman Zawahiri. Shater was also net­worked with: Anne Pat­ter­son, U.S. ambas­sador to Egypt, GOP Sen­a­tor John McCain and GOP Sen­a­tor Lind­say Gra­ham. In turn, Shater was alleged to have trans­ferred $50 mil­lion from the Egypt­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood to Al-Qae­da at the time that he was net­work­ing with the Amer­i­cans and Mor­si. Hey, what’s $50 mil­lion between friends?

“The GOP Broth­er­hood of Egypt” by Avi Ash­er-Schapiro; Salon.com; 1/25/2012. [19]

While West­ern alarmists often depict Egypt’s Mus­lim Broth­er­hood as a shad­owy orga­ni­za­tion with ter­ror­ist ties, the Brotherhood’s ide­ol­o­gy actu­al­ly has more in com­mon with America’s Repub­li­can Par­ty than with al-Qai­da. Few Amer­i­cans know it but the Broth­er­hood is a free-mar­ket par­ty led by wealthy busi­ness­men whose eco­nom­ic agen­da embraces pri­va­ti­za­tion and for­eign invest­ment while spurn­ing labor unions and the redis­tri­b­u­tion of wealth. Like the Repub­li­cans in the U.S., the finan­cial inter­ests of the party’s lead­er­ship of busi­ness­men and pro­fes­sion­als diverge sharply from those of its poor, social­ly con­ser­v­a­tive fol­low­ers.

The Broth­er­hood, which did not ini­tial­ly sup­port the rev­o­lu­tion that began a year ago, reaped its ben­e­fits, cap­tur­ing near­ly half the seats in the new par­lia­ment, which was seat­ed this week, and vault­ing its top lead­ers into posi­tions of pow­er.

Arguably the most pow­er­ful man in the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood is Khairat El-Shater, a mul­ti­mil­lion­aire tycoon whose finan­cial inter­ests extend into elec­tron­ics, man­u­fac­tur­ing and retail. A strong advo­cate of pri­va­ti­za­tion, Al-Shater is one of a cadre of Mus­lim Broth­er­hood busi­ness­men who helped finance the Brotherhood’s Free­dom and Jus­tice Party’s impres­sive elec­toral vic­to­ry this win­ter and is now craft­ing the FJP’s eco­nom­ic agen­da.

At El-Shater’s lux­u­ry fur­ni­ture out­let Istak­bal, a new couch costs about 6,000 Egypt­ian pounds, about $1,000 in U.S. cur­ren­cy. In a coun­try where 40 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion lives on less than $2 a day, Istakbal’s clien­tele is large­ly lim­it­ed to Egypt’s upper class­es.

Although the Broth­ers do draw sig­nif­i­cant sup­port from Egypt’s poor and work­ing class, “the Broth­er­hood is a firm­ly upper-mid­dle-class orga­ni­za­tion in its lead­er­ship,” says Sha­di Hamid, a lead­ing Mus­lim Broth­er­hood expert at the Brook­ings Insti­tu­tion in Wash­ing­ton.

Not sur­pris­ing­ly, these well-to-do Egyp­tians are eager to safe­guard their eco­nom­ic posi­tion in the post-Mubarak Egypt. Despite ris­ing eco­nom­ic inequal­i­ty and pover­ty, the Broth­er­hood does not back rad­i­cal changes in Egypt’s econ­o­my.

The FJP’s eco­nom­ic plat­form is a tame doc­u­ment, rife with promis­es to root out cor­rup­tion and tweak Egypt’s tax and sub­si­dies sys­tems, with occa­sion­al allu­sions to an unspe­cif­ic com­mit­ment to “social jus­tice.” The plat­form prais­es the mech­a­nisms of the free mar­ket and promis­es that the par­ty will work for “bal­anced, sus­tain­able and com­pre­hen­sive eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment.” It is a pro­gram that any Euro­pean con­ser­v­a­tive par­ty could get behind. . . .

4. In a remark­able and very impor­tant new book, Yasha Levine has high­light­ed the role of U.S. tech per­son­nel in train­ing and prep­ping the Arab Spring online activists.

Note while read­ing the fol­low­ing excerpts of this remark­able and impor­tant book, that:

  1. The Tor net­work was devel­oped by, and used and com­pro­mised by, ele­ments of U.S. intel­li­gence.
  2. One of the pri­ma­ry advo­cates and spon­sors of the Tor net­work is the Broad­cast­ing Board of Gov­er­nors. As we saw in FTR #‘s 891 [21], 895 [22], is an exten­sion of the CIA.
  3. Jacob Appel­baum has been financed by the Broad­cast­ing Board of Gov­er­nors, advo­cates use of the Tor net­work, has helped Wik­iLeaks with its exten­sive use of the Tor net­work, and is a the­o­ret­i­cal accolyte of Ayn Rand.

Sur­veil­lance Val­ley by Yasha Levine; Copy­right 2018 by Yasha Levine; Pub­lic Affairs Hatch­ette Book Group [HC]; ISBN 978–1‑61039–802‑2; pp. 248–250. [20]

. . . . With­in weeks, mas­sive antigov­ern­ment protests spread to Egypt, Alge­ria, Oman, Jor­dan, Libya, and Syr­ia. The Arab Spring had arrived.

In Tunisia and Egypt, these protest move­ments top­pled long-stand­ing dic­ta­tor­ships from with­in. In Libya, oppo­si­tion forces deposed and sav­age­ly killed Muam­mar Gaddafi, knif­ing him in the anus, after an exten­sive bomb­ing cam­paign from NATO forces. In Syr­ia, protests were met with a bru­tal crack­down from Bashar Assad’s gov­ern­ment, and led to a pro­tract­ed war that would claim hun­dreds of thou­sands of lives and trig­ger the worst refugee cri­sis in recent his­to­ry, pulling in Sau­di Ara­bia, Turkey, Israel, the CIA, the Russ­ian Air Force and spe­cial oper­a­tions teams, Al-Qae­da, and ISIL. Arab Spring turned into a long, bloody win­ter. . . .

. . . . The idea that social media could be weaponized against coun­tries and gov­ern­ments deemed hos­tile to US inter­ests was­n’t a sur­prise. For years, the State Depart­ment, in part­ner­ship with the Broad­cast­ing Board of Gov­er­nors and com­pa­nies like Face­book and Google, had worked to train activists from around the world on how to use Inter­net tools and social media to orga­nize oppo­si­tion polit­i­cal move­ments. Coun­tries in Asia, the Mid­dle East, and Latin Amer­i­ca as well as for­mer Sovi­et sites like the Ukraine and Belarus were all on the list. Indeed, the New York Times report­ed that many of the activists who played lead­ing roles in the Arab Spring–from Egypt to Syr­ia to Yemen–had tak­en part in these train­ing ses­sions.

“The mon­ey spent on these pro­grams was minute com­pared with efforts led by the Pen­ta­gon,” report­ed the New York Times in April of 2011. “But as Amer­i­can offi­cials and oth­ers look back at the upris­ings of the Arab Spring, they are see­ing that the Unit­ed States’ democ­ra­cy-build­ing cam­paigns played a big­ger role in foment­ing protests than was pre­vi­ous­ly known, with key lead­ers of the move­ments hav­ing been trained by the Amer­i­cans in Cam­paign­ing, orga­niz­ing through new media tools and mon­i­tor­ing elec­tions.” The train­ings were polit­i­cal­ly charged and were seen as a threat by Egypt, Yemen, and Bahrain–all of which lodged com­plaints with the State Depart­ment to stop med­dling in their domes­tic affairs, and even barred US offi­cials from enter­ing their coun­tries.

An Egypt­ian youth polit­i­cal leader who attend­ed State Depart­ment train­ing ses­sions and then went on to led protests in Cairo told the New York Times, “We learned how to orga­nize and build coali­tions. This cer­tain­ly helped dur­ing the rev­o­lu­tion.” A dif­fer­ent youth activist, who had par­tic­i­pat­ed in Yemen’s upris­ing, was equal­ly enthu­si­as­tic about the State Depart­ment social media train­ing: “It helped me very much because I used to think that change only takes place by force and by weapons.”

Staff from the Tor Project played a role in some of these train­ings, tak­ing part in a series of Arab Blog­ger ses­sions in Yemen, Tunisia, Jor­dan, Lebanon, and Bahrain, where Jacob Appel­baum taught oppo­si­tion activists how to use Tor to get around gov­ern­ment cen­sor­ship. “Today was fan­tas­tic . . . . real­ly a fan­tas­tic meet­ing of minds in the Arab world! It’s enlight­en­ing and hum­bling to have ben invit­ed. I real­ly have to rec­om­mend vis­it­ing Beirut. Lebanon is an amaz­ing place. . . . Appel­baum tweet­ed after an Arab Blog­gers train­ing event in 2009, adding“IF you’d like to help Tor please sign up and help trans­late Tor soft­ware in Ara­bic.”

Activists lat­er put the skills taught at these train­ing ses­sions to use dur­ing the Arab Spring, rout­ing around Inter­net blocks that their gov­ern­ments threw up to pre­vent them from using social media to orga­nize protests. “There would be no access to Twit­ter or Face­book in some of these places if you did­n’t have Tor. All of the sud­den, you had all these dis­si­dents explod­ing under their noses, and then down the road you had a rev­o­lu­tion,” Nass­er Wed­dady, a promi­nent Arab Spring activist from Mau­ri­ta­nia, lat­er told Rolling Stone. Wed­dady, who had tak­en part in the Tor Pro­jec­t’s train­ing ses­sions and who had trans­lat­ed a wide­ly cir­cu­lat­ed guide on how to use the tool into Ara­bic, cred­it­ed it with help­ing keep the Arab Spring upris­ings alive. “Tor ren­dered the gov­ern­men­t’s efforts com­plete­ly futile. They sim­ply did­n’t have the know-how to counter that move.” . . . .