Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #910 The ISIS File, Part 2: The Belgian Muslim Brotherhood and The Brussels Bombings (The Killer B’s)

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. The new dri­ve is a 32-giga­byte dri­ve that is cur­rent as of the pro­grams and arti­cles post­ed by ear­ly win­ter of 2016. The new dri­ve (avail­able for a tax-deductible con­tri­bu­tion of $65.00 or more.)  (The pre­vi­ous flash dri­ve was cur­rent through the end of May of 2012.)

WFMU-FM is pod­cast­ing For The Record–You can sub­scribe to the pod­cast HERE.

You can sub­scribe to e‑mail alerts from Spitfirelist.com HERE

You can sub­scribe to RSS feed from Spitfirelist.com HERE.

You can sub­scribe to the com­ments made on pro­grams and posts–an excel­lent source of infor­ma­tion in, and of, itself HERE.

This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

ISISEthiopia

ISIS followers pledging allegiance to the group.

ISIS fol­low­ers pledg­ing alle­giance to the group.

 Intro­duc­tion: The jiha­di attacks in Brus­sels reminds us of a poem by Robin­son Jef­fers–“Be Angry at the Sun.”

That pub­lic men pub­lish false­hoods
Is noth­ing new. That Amer­i­ca must accept
Like the his­tor­i­cal republics cor­rup­tion and empire
Has been known for years.

Be angry at the sun for set­ting
If these things anger you. Watch the wheel slope and turn,
They are all bound on the wheel, these peo­ple, those war­riors.
This repub­lic, Europe, Asia.

Observe them ges­tic­u­lat­ing,
Observe them going down. The gang serves lies, the pas­sion­ate
Man plays his part; the cold pas­sion for truth
Hunts in no pack.

You are not Cat­ul­lus, you know,
To lam­poon these crude sketch­es of Cae­sar. You are far
From Dan­te’s feet, but even far­ther from his dirty
Polit­i­cal hatreds.

Let boys want plea­sure, and men
Strug­gle for pow­er, and women per­haps for fame,
And the servile to serve a Leader and the dupes to be duped.
Yours is not theirs.

In many recent pro­grams, we have high­light­ed the use of Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Islam­ic fas­cists as proxy war­riors and sol­diers for cor­po­ratist eco­nom­ics in var­i­ous parts of The Earth Island. (Among those are: FTR #‘s 862863878879880884885886.) We also pre­sented a series of pro­grams detail­ing Fara Man­soor’s land­mark research about the George H.W. Bush fac­tion’s instal­la­tion of the Shi­ite Islam­ic fun­da­men­tal­ist gov­ern­ment in Iran.)

Once again, the world was “shocked, shocked” at the Brus­sels attacks, when–once again–the ongo­ing strate­gic use of Islam­ic fas­cists blows back on the West.  The frus­tra­tion of Oper­a­tion Green Quest, which revealed the pro­found links between the Bush/Grover Norquist/Karl Rove milieu and the fund­ing of Mus­lim Broth­er­hood-linked ter­ror­ists involved in the 9/11 attacks set the stage for oth­er lethal blow­back inci­dents from the use of Broth­er­hood prox­ies.  The down­ing of Malaysian Air­lines Flight 370 and the Boston Marathon Bomb­ing appear to be among those blow­back inci­dents.

The Syr­i­an blood­bath stems from the use of the Syr­i­an Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and al-Qae­da-linked com­bat­ants backed by Turkey, Sau­di Ara­bia and Qatar by ele­ments of CIA to remove the Assad regime in Syr­ia. ISIS is a direct out­growth of the so-called Arab Spring and the Syr­i­an covert “op.”

An exam­i­na­tion of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in Bel­gium high­lights the pro­found pres­ence of that orga­ni­za­tion there, its infil­tra­tion of gov­ern­ment and civ­il soci­ety and links between its lead­er­ship and the milieu of the Bank al-Taqwa and Youssef Nada. Al-Taqwa cements the Nazi/Islamist rela­tion­ship that is at the heart of the pow­er group we have ana­lyzed.

Do not fail to note that the milieu of the Brus­sels bombers may have been tar­get­ing nuclear pow­er plants in that coun­try and that ISIS may be look­ing to go nuclear. ” . . . On Fri­day, the author­i­ties stripped secu­rity badges from sev­eral work­ers at one of two plants where all nonessen­tial employ­ees had been sent home hours after the attacks at the Brus­sels air­port and one of the city’s busiest sub­way sta­tions three days ear­lier. Video footage of a top offi­cial at anoth­er Bel­gian nuclear facil­ity was dis­cov­ered last year in the apart­ment of a sus­pected mil­i­tant linked to the extrem­ists who unleashed the hor­ror in Paris in Novem­ber. . . .”

Again, many lis­ten­ers may be con­fused by the dual­is­tic com­mit­ment on the part of the U.S. and the West. In addi­tion to the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood’s cor­po­ratist eco­nom­ic phi­los­o­phy, jihadis are use­ful as proxy war­riors. Sev­er­al arti­cles from Con­sor­tium News pro­vide depth and clar­i­fi­ca­tion to this dynam­ic.

An insight­ful arti­cle by Daniel Lazare on the Con­sor­tium News web­site notes a sig­nif­i­cant fea­ture of the U.S. bomb­ing in Syr­ia: ” . . . As the Times put it at the time: ‘Any airstrikes against Islam­ic State mil­i­tants in and around Palmyra would prob­a­bly ben­e­fit the forces of Pres­i­dent Bashar al-Assad. So far, Unit­ed States-led airstrikes in Syr­ia have large­ly focused on areas far out­side gov­ern­ment con­trol, to avoid the per­cep­tion of aid­ing a leader whose ouster Pres­i­dent Oba­ma has called for.’ The upshot was a clear mes­sage to ISIS to the effect that it had noth­ing to wor­ry about from U.S. jet bombers as long as it engaged Assad’s troops in close com­bat. The U.S. thus incen­tivized ISIS to press for­ward with the assault [on Palmyra]. Although res­i­dents lat­er won­dered why the U.S. had not bombed ISIS forces “while they were tra­vers­ing miles of open desert roads,” the answer, sim­ply, is that Wash­ing­ton had oth­er things on its mind. Rather than defeat­ing ISIS, it pre­ferred to use it to accom­plish its pri­ma­ry goal, which was dri­ving out Assad. . . .”

Lazare makes an impor­tant sum­ma­ry point: ” . . . Sim­ply that America’s fun­da­men­tal ambiva­lence toward ISIS, Al Qae­da, and sim­i­lar groups — its pol­i­cy of bat­tling them on one hand and seek­ing to make use of them on the oth­er — is what allows Sun­ni ter­ror­ism to fes­ter and grow. . . .”

Nau­mann Sadiq makes anoth­er impor­tant point–that the ISIS attacks in Europe began after the West began bomb­ing ISIS, an act that con­sti­tut­ed a “betray­al” of the orga­ni­za­tion by the pow­ers that had pre­vi­ous­ly sup­port­ed it. ” . . . . If we look at the chain of events, the tim­ing of Paris and Brus­sels attacks is crit­i­cal: Islam­ic State over­ran Mosul in June 2014; the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion start­ed bomb­ing Islam­ic State’s tar­gets in Iraq and Syr­ia in August 2014; and the first Islam­ic State inci­dent of ter­ror­ism on West­ern soil took place at the offices of Char­lie Heb­do in Jan­u­ary 2015, fol­lowed by the Novem­ber 2015 Paris attacks and the March 2016 Brus­sels bomb­ings. . . .”

Anoth­er Daniel Lazare arti­cle from Con­sor­tium News notes the use of oth­er Sun­ni jihadist groups as proxy war­riors in Syr­ia: ” . . . But it oth­er­wise tilt­ed toward Al Nus­ra Front, as Al Qae­da is local­ly known, which it now regard­ed as less dan­ger­ous, or toward groups with which Al Nus­ra is close­ly aligned. . . Sim­i­lar­ly, the U.S. resist­ed clas­si­fy­ing a Salafist army known as Ahrar al-Sham as ter­ror­ist even though it col­lab­o­rates close­ly with Al Nus­ra and its ide­ol­o­gy is vir­tu­al­ly iden­ti­cal, as Stephen Gowans recent­ly not­ed at the Glob­al Research web­site. . . . The same goes for a Free Syr­i­an Army unit known as the 13th Divi­sion, which the US has long backed even though it main­tains “a tac­it col­lab­o­ra­tion with Nus­ra” accord­ing to The Wall Street Jour­nal “and even shared with the group some of its ammu­ni­tion sup­plies. . . . Moham­mad Alloush, who enjoys strong US back­ing as the chief rebel nego­tia­tor at the Gene­va peace talks, is a leader of yet anoth­er Salafist group called Jaysh al-Islam, which issued a blood-cur­dling call to exter­mi­nate Syria’s Alaw­ite com­mu­ni­ty in July 2013. . . . But while one might think this would place Jaysh al-Islam beyond the pale, for­mer Ambas­sador to Syr­ia Robert S. Ford praised it a year lat­er as one of the “mod­er­ate” rebel forces that were mak­ing life “par­tic­u­lar­ly painful” for the Dam­as­cus gov­ern­ment. . . . Sec­re­tary of State John Ker­ry assailed Assad for bomb­ing rebel posi­tions in Alep­po even though it is clear that so-called “mod­er­ates” have inter­min­gled with Al Nus­ra fight­ers to the degree that it is impos­si­ble to attack one with­out affect­ing the oth­er. . . . Colonel Steve War­ren, spokesman for US mil­i­tary forces in Iraq, con­ced­ed in a press brief­ing that “it’s pri­mar­i­ly al-Nus­ra who holds Alep­po . . . .”

Adding yet anoth­er lay­er of intrigue to the sce­nario we are delin­eat­ing, King Abdul­lah of Jor­dan has charged that Turkey is delib­er­ate­ly send­ing ISIS ter­ror­ists to Europe. We note that the EU has made a sweet­heart deal with Turkey, over­look­ing its bur­geon­ing Islam­ic fas­cism and bla­tant tram­pling of civ­il lib­er­ties and free­dom of the press in order to win Erdo­gan’s coop­er­a­tion in lim­it­ing Islam­ic migra­tion to the con­ti­nent.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: 

  • Review of the sup­port voiced for ISIS by Haikan Fidan, the chief of Turk­ish intel­li­gence.
  • Review of the per­son­nel involved with al-Taqwa.
  • Jor­dan­ian King Abdul­lah’s charge that Turkey is send­ing Islamist fight­ers to Libya and Soma­lia.

1. The pro­gram begins with dis­cus­sion of the Bel­gian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood’s links with the milieu of Youssef Nada and the Bank al-Taqwa. Bassem Hata­het is one of the prin­ci­pal fig­ures in this con­stel­la­tion. ” . . . . Secu­ri­ty sources in Bel­gium describe Mr. Hata­het as the most impor­tant Mus­lim Broth­er­hood fig­ure in Bel­gium, and a Bassem Hata­het was list­ed in a 1999 phone­book belong­ing to Youssef Nada, a self-described leader of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood who was des­ig­nat­ed by the U.S. in 2002 as a ter­ror­ism financier. . . .”

“The Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in Bel­gium” by Steve Mer­ley; Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Dai­ly Watch; 4/14/2008.

… A 2002 report by the Intel­li­gence Com­mit­tee of the Bel­gian Par­lia­ment explained how the Broth­er­hood oper­ates in Bel­gium:

“The State Secu­ri­ty Ser­vice has been fol­low­ing the activ­i­ties of the Inter­na­tion­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in Bel­gium since 1982. The Inter­na­tion­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood has had a clan­des­tine struc­ture for near­ly 20 years. The iden­ti­ty of the mem­bers is secret; they oper­ate in the great­est dis­cre­tion. They seek to spread their ide­ol­o­gy with­in the Islam­ic com­mu­ni­ty of Bel­gium and they aim in par­tic­u­lar at the young peo­ple of the sec­ond and third gen­er­a­tion of immi­grants. In Bel­gium as in oth­er Euro­pean coun­tries, they try to take con­trol of the reli­gious, social, and sports asso­ci­a­tions and estab­lish them­selves as priv­i­leged inter­locu­tors of the nation­al author­i­ties in order to man­age Islam­ic affairs. The Mus­lim Broth­er­hood assumes that the nation­al author­i­ties will be pressed more and more to select Mus­lim lead­ers for such man­age­ment and, in this con­text, they try to insert with­in the rep­re­sen­ta­tive bod­ies, indi­vid­u­als influ­enced by their ide­ol­o­gy. With this pur­pose, they were very active­ly involved in the elec­toral process to car­ry out the elec­tion of the mem­bers of the chief body for the man­age­ment of Islam in Bel­gium. Anoth­er aspect of this strat­e­gy is to cause or main­tain ten­sions by posit­ing that a Mus­lim or Islam­ic asso­ci­a­tion is a vic­tim of West­ern val­ues, hence the affair over the Mus­lim head­scarf in pub­lic schools. . . . .”

…. A Jan­u­ary 2007 arti­cle post­ed on the Inter­net describes a Bassem Hata­het as a mem­ber of the FIOE [a Broth­er­hood affil­i­ate in Bel­gium]. He is 43-years old and was born in Dam­as­cus, Syr­ia, where he like­ly still has rel­a­tives. Var­i­ous sources list a res­i­den­tial address for Mr. Hata­het in north­west cen­tral Brus­sels.

Secu­ri­ty sources in Bel­gium describe Mr. Hata­het as the most impor­tant Mus­lim Broth­er­hood fig­ure in Bel­gium, and a Bassem Hata­het was list­ed in a 1999 phone­book belong­ing to Youssef Nada, a self-described leader of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood who was des­ig­nat­ed by the U.S. in 2002 as a ter­ror­ism financier. . . .

. . . . Far more suc­cess­ful have been the Bel­gian-based com­po­nents of the Fed­er­a­tion of Islam­ic Orga­ni­za­tions in Europe (FIOE), par­tic­u­lar­ly the Forum of Euro­pean Mus­lim Youth and Stu­dent Orga­ni­za­tions (FEMYSO), which have man­aged to achieve offi­cial sta­tus at the UN, as well as with the Coun­cil of Europe and the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion. In addi­tion, the loca­tion of the FIOE nation­al office in Brus­sels has result­ed in ele­vat­ing the sta­tus of the Bel­gian branch that recent­ly report­ed becom­ing “very active.” Lead­ing the FIOE office in Brus­sels is Bassem Hata­het, whose name appears on vir­tu­al­ly all of the paper­work asso­ci­at­ed with the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood orga­ni­za­tions in Bel­gium.

This would appear to con­firm Mr. Hatahet’s role as the most impor­tant fig­ure in the Bel­gian Broth­er­hood as report­ed by the Bel­gian secu­ri­ty ser­vices. . . .

. . . . 4. The Forum of Euro­pean Mus­lim Youth and Stu­dent Orga­ni­za­tions (FEMYSO)

Found­ed in 1996 and head­quar­tered in Brus­sels, FEMYSO is the youth and stu­dent divi­sion of FIOE and will be dis­cussed lat­er in this report. . . . .

  • Hadia Him­mat is the for­mer FEMYSO Vice Pres­i­dent and like­ly the daugh­ter of Ali Ghaleb Him­mat, long-time head of the IGD and Mr. El- Zayat’s pre­de­ces­sor and close asso­ciate of Youssef Nada, the “for­eign min­is­ter” for the Inter­na­tion­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and also a for­mer mem­ber of the IGD. . . .

2. Embody­ing the dynam­ic we have cov­ered in con­nec­tion with the devel­op­ment of ISIS, the Syr­i­an-born Hata­het has been serv­ing with the anti-Assad jiha­di forces in Syr­ia. Those forces, of course, have received the sup­port of ele­ments of West­ern and Amer­i­can intel­li­gence.

“Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Affil­i­a­tion of Bel­gian Broth­er­hood Leader Con­firmed;” Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Dai­ly Watch; 9/18/2012. 

…The web­site of the Syr­i­an Nation­al Coun­cil, the umbrel­la group rep­re­sent­ing the oppo­si­tion to the regime of Syr­i­an Pres­i­dent Assad, con­firms the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood affil­i­a­tion of one of its mem­bers as first report­ed by the GMBDW in 2008. The SNC web­site  iden­ti­fies Bassem Hata­het as a mem­ber if its “Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Alliance.” Mr. Hata­het was iden­ti­fied as a leader of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in Bel­gium by a 2008 NEFA Foun­da­tion report . . . .

3. Just imag­ine if ISIS, a sui­ci­dal “state”, had hack­ing capa­bil­i­ties and not just for crit­i­cal infra­struc­ture like dams but the kind that can lit­er­ally go “crit­i­cal”: nuclear plants. And beyond hack­ing, just imag­ine if ISIS had the abil­ity to infil­trate nuclear facil­i­ties and either steal radioac­tive mate­r­ial or cause a melt­down. Would fear of a mas­sive, over­whelm­ing retal­ia­tory attack real­ly dis­suade ISIS from attempt­ing to a nuclear facil­i­ties into giant dirty bombs?

The attacks in Brus­sels were basi­cally the rushed Plan B for the ter­ror-net­work. Plan A was some sort of nuclear attack, and with a secu­rity guard for the nation­al radioac­tive ele­ments insti­tute at Fleu­rus mur­dered after the Brus­sels attack, it’s rather unclear just how aban­doned Plan A real­ly is at this point. It seems ongo­ing. As we see in the first arti­cle, it’s the nuclear research facil­i­ties that hold the high­ly-enriched ura­nium that could be used to build an actu­al prim­i­tive nuclear bomb.

“Bel­gium Fears Nuclear Plants Are Vul­ner­a­ble” by Alis­sa J. Rubin and Milan Schreuer; The New York Times; 3/25/2016.

As a drag­net aimed at Islam­ic State oper­a­tives spi­raled across Brus­sels and into at least five Euro­pean coun­tries on Fri­day, the author­i­ties were also focus­ing on a nar­rower but increas­ingly alarm­ing threat: the vul­ner­a­bil­ity of Belgium’s nuclear instal­la­tions.

The inves­ti­ga­tion into this week’s dead­ly attacks in Brus­sels has prompt­ed wor­ries that the Islam­ic State is seek­ing to attack, infil­trate or sab­o­tage nuclear instal­la­tions or obtain nuclear or radioac­tive mate­r­ial. This is espe­cially wor­ry­ing in a coun­try with a his­tory of secu­rity laps­es at its nuclear facil­i­ties, a weak intel­li­gence appa­ra­tus and a deeply root­ed ter­ror­ist net­work.

On Fri­day, the author­i­ties stripped secu­rity badges from sev­eral work­ers at one of two plants where all nonessen­tial employ­ees had been sent home hours after the attacks at the Brus­sels air­port and one of the city’s busiest sub­way sta­tions three days ear­lier. Video footage of a top offi­cial at anoth­er Bel­gian nuclear facil­ity was dis­cov­ered last year in the apart­ment of a sus­pected mil­i­tant linked to the extrem­ists who unleashed the hor­ror in Paris in Novem­ber.

Asked on Thurs­day at a Lon­don think tank whether there was a dan­ger of the Islam­ic State’s obtain­ing a nuclear weapon, the British defense sec­re­tary, Michael Fal­lon, said that “was a new and emerg­ing threat.”

While the prospect that ter­ror­ists can obtain enough high­ly enriched ura­nium and then turn it into a nuclear fis­sion bomb seems far-fetched to many experts, they say the fab­ri­ca­tion of some kind of dirty bomb from radioac­tive waste or byprod­ucts is more con­ceiv­able. There are a vari­ety of oth­er risks involv­ing Belgium’s facil­i­ties, includ­ing that ter­ror­ists some­how shut down the pri­vately oper­ated plants, which pro­vide near­ly half of Belgium’s pow­er.

The fears at the nuclear pow­er plants are of “an acci­dent in which some­one explodes a bomb inside the plant,” said Sébastien Berg, the spokesman for Belgium’s fed­eral agency for nuclear con­trol. “The oth­er dan­ger is that they fly some­thing into the plant from out­side.” That could stop the cool­ing process of the used fuel, Mr. Berg explained, and in turn shut down the plant.

The rev­e­la­tion of the video sur­veil­lance footage was the first evi­dence that the Islam­ic State has a focused inter­est in nuclear mate­r­ial. But Belgium’s nuclear facil­i­ties have long had a wor­ry­ing track record of breach­es, prompt­ing warn­ings from Wash­ing­ton and oth­er for­eign cap­i­tals.

Some of these are rel­a­tively minor: The Bel­gian nuclear agency’s com­puter sys­tem was hacked this year and shut down briefly. In 2013, two indi­vid­u­als man­aged to scale the fence at Belgium’s research reac­tor in the city of Mol, break into a lab­o­ra­tory and steal equip­ment.

Oth­ers are far more dis­con­cert­ing. In 2012, two employ­ees at the nuclear plant in Doel quit to join jihadists in Syr­ia, and even­tu­ally trans­ferred their alle­giances to the Islam­ic State. Both men fought in a brigade that includ­ed dozens of Bel­gians, includ­ing Abdel­hamid Abaaoud, con­sid­ered the on-the-ground leader of the Paris attacks.

One of these men is believed to have died fight­ing in Syr­ia, but the oth­er was con­victed of ter­ror-relat­ed offens­es in Bel­gium in 2014, and released from prison last year, accord­ing to Pieter Van Oes­taeyen, a researcher who tracks Belgium’s jihadist net­works. It is not known whether they com­mu­ni­cated infor­ma­tion about their for­mer work­place to their Islam­ic State com­rades.

At the same plant where these jihadists once worked, an indi­vid­ual who has yet to be iden­ti­fied walked into the reac­tor No. 4 in 2014, turned a valve and drained 65,000 liters of oil used to lubri­cate the tur­bines. The ensu­ing fric­tion near­ly over­heated the machin­ery, forc­ing it to be shut down. The dam­age was so severe that the reac­tor was out of com­mis­sion for five months.

Inves­ti­ga­tors are now look­ing into pos­si­ble links between that case and ter­ror­ist groups, although they cau­tion that it could also have been the work of an insid­er with a work­place grudge. What is clear is that the act was meant to sow dan­ger­ous hav­oc — and that the plant’s secu­rity sys­tems can be breached.

“This was a delib­er­ate act to take down the nuclear reac­tor, and a very good way to do it,” Mr. Berg, the nuclear agency spokesman, said of the episode in a recent inter­view.

These inci­dents are now all being seen in a new light, as infor­ma­tion is mount­ing from inves­ti­ga­tors that the ter­ror­ist net­work that hit Paris and Brus­sels may have been in the plan­ning stages of some kind of oper­a­tion at a Bel­gian nuclear facil­i­ty.

Three men linked to the sur­veil­lance video were involved in either the Paris or the Brus­sels attacks.

Ibrahim and Khalid el-Bakraoui, the broth­ers who the author­i­ties say were sui­cide bombers at the Brus­sels air­port and sub­way sta­tion, are believed to have dri­ven to the sur­veilled scientist’s home and removed a cam­era that was hid­den in near­by bush­es. The author­i­ties believe they then took it to a house con­nected to Mohammed Bakkali, who was arrest­ed by the Bel­gian police after the Paris attacks and is accused of help­ing with logis­tics and plan­ning. The police found the video­cam­era dur­ing a raid on the house.

Bel­gium has both low-enriched ura­nium, which fuels its two pow­er plants, and high­ly enriched ura­nium, which is used in its research reac­tor pri­mar­ily to make med­ical iso­topes, plus the byprod­ucts of that process. The Unit­ed States pro­vides Bel­gium with high­ly enriched ura­nium — mak­ing it par­tic­u­larly con­cerned about radioac­tive mate­ri­als land­ing in ter­ror­ist hands — and then buys iso­topes.

Experts say the most remote of the poten­tial nuclear-relat­ed risks is that Islam­ic State oper­a­tives would be able to obtain high­ly enriched ura­nium. Even the dan­ger of a dirty bomb is lim­ited, they said, because much radioac­tive waste is so tox­ic it would like­ly sick­en or kill the peo­ple try­ing to steal it.

Cheryl Rofer, a retired nuclear sci­en­tist at the Los Alam­os Nation­al Lab­o­ra­tory and edi­tor of the blog Nuclear Din­er, said Belgium’s Tihange nuclear plant has pres­sur­ized water reac­tors, inside a heavy steel ves­sel, reduc­ing the dan­ger that nuclear fuel could leak or spread. She said that the Brus­sels bombers’ explo­sive of choice, TATP, might be able to dam­age parts of the plant but that the dam­age would shut down the reac­tor, lim­it­ing the radi­a­tion dam­age.

And if ter­ror­ists did man­age to shut down the reac­tor and reach the fuel rods, they would have to remove them with a crane to get the fuel out of them, Ms. Rofer said. And then the fuel would still be “too radioac­tive to go near — it would kill you quick­ly.”

While experts are doubt­ful that ter­ror­ists could steal the high­ly enriched ura­nium at the Mol reac­tor with­out alert­ing law enforce­ment, some nuclear sci­en­tists do believe that if they could obtain it, they could recruit peo­ple who know how to fash­ion a prim­i­tive nuclear device.

Matthew Bunn, a spe­cial­ist in nuclear secu­rity at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Gov­ern­ment, said anoth­er wor­ry was the byprod­ucts of the iso­topes made at Mol, such as Cesium-137.

“It’s like tal­cum pow­der,” he said. “If you made a dirty bomb out of it, it’s going to pro­voke fear, you would have to evac­u­ate and you have to spend a lot of mon­ey clean­ing it up; the eco­nomic destruc­tion cost could be very high.”

The dis­cov­ery of the sur­veil­lance video in Novem­ber set off alarm bells across the small nuclear-secu­ri­ty com­mu­nity, with fresh wor­ries that ter­ror groups could kid­nap, extort or oth­er­wise coerce a nuclear sci­en­tist into help­ing them. The offi­cial whose fam­ily was watched works at Mol, one of five research reac­tors world­wide that pro­duce 90 per­cent of the radio iso­topes used for med­ical diag­no­sis and treat­ment.

Pro­fes­sor Bunn of Har­vard not­ed that the Islam­ic State “has an apoc­a­lyp­tic ide­ol­ogy and believes there is going to be a final war with the Unit­ed States,” expects to win that war and “would need very pow­er­ful weapons to do so.”

“And if they ever did turn to nuclear weapons,” he added, “they have more peo­ple, more mon­ey and more ter­ri­tory under their con­trol and more abil­ity to recruit experts glob­ally than Al Qae­da at its best ever had.”

...
Oth­ers are far more dis­con­cert­ing. In 2012, two employ­ees at the nuclear plant in Doel quit to join jihadists in Syr­ia, and even­tu­ally trans­ferred their alle­giances to the Islam­ic State. Both men fought in a brigade that includ­ed dozens of Bel­gians, includ­ing Abdel­hamid Abaaoud, con­sid­ered the on-the-ground leader of the Paris attacks.

One of these men is believed to have died fight­ing in Syr­ia, but the oth­er was con­victed of ter­ror-relat­ed offens­es in Bel­gium in 2014, and released from prison last year, accord­ing to Pieter Van Oes­taeyen, a researcher who tracks Belgium’s jihadist net­works. It is not known whether they com­mu­ni­cated infor­ma­tion about their for­mer work­place to their Islam­ic State com­rades.

At the same plant where these jihadists once worked, an indi­vid­ual who has yet to be iden­ti­fied walked into the reac­tor No. 4 in 2014, turned a valve and drained 65,000 liters of oil used to lubri­cate the tur­bines. The ensu­ing fric­tion near­ly over­heated the machin­ery, forc­ing it to be shut down. The dam­age was so severe that the reac­tor was out of com­mis­sion for five months.
...

4. Didi­er Pros­pero, a secu­ri­ty guard with G4S secu­ri­ty, was assigned to a Bel­gian nuclear pow­er plant. Whether or not it is rel­e­vant, that is the same com­pa­ny for which Omar Mateen–the Orlan­do killer–worked.

Pros­pero was shot to death (as was his dog) and his secu­ri­ty pass was miss­ing. This inci­dent height­ened fears of a ter­ror­ist attack on a nuclear plant.

“Secu­rity Guard’s Mur­der Fuels Fears That Nuclear Plants in Bel­gium Could Be Attacked” by Tess Owen; Vice News; 3/26/2016.

With Brus­sels still reel­ing in the after­math of the dead­ly bomb­ings this week, the mur­der of a nuclear pow­er plant secu­rity guard and the theft of his badge has com­pounded fears that Belgium’s two sprawl­ing nuclear plants could be vul­ner­a­ble to attacks.

The secu­rity guard was found dead in his home in Charleroi, a post-indus­tri­al region known for its derelict fac­to­ries and slag heaps. Didi­er Pros­pero, who worked for U.S.–owned secu­ri­ty com­pa­ny G4S [owned by Wackenhut–D.E.], was dis­cov­ered shot dead in his bath­room on Thurs­day night. Bel­gian dai­ly Derniere Heure (DH) report­ed that Prospero’s chil­dren found him, and that his dog had also been shot. His secu­rity pass was miss­ing but deac­ti­vated after his body was found, DH said.

A police spokesper­son was unable to pro­vide VICE News with fur­ther infor­ma­tion about the case due to the ongo­ing inves­ti­ga­tion. Bel­gian pros­e­cu­tors told DH that they had not found any cor­re­la­tion between the guard’s mur­der and ter­ror­ism. Nev­er­the­less, the tim­ing of his death days after the bomb­ings in Brus­sels fueled con­cerns that mil­i­tants could be try­ing to get their hands on mate­ri­als to build a radioac­tive dirty bomb. . . .

Hours after sui­cide bomb­ings rocked Brus­sels trans­port hubs on Tues­day, killing 31 peo­ple and injur­ing hun­dreds, Belgium’s Tihange nuclear plant was par­tially evac­u­ated, and all work­ers who were not strict­ly nec­es­sary were sent home ear­ly. The head of Belgium’s nuclear reg­u­la­tory agency said on Tues­day that, while there were no direct threats to the plant, the move to par­tial-evac­u­a­tion was “based on new infor­ma­tion and the events of [Tues­day]. Extra secu­rity mea­sures were tak­en.”

How­ever, the claim that there hadn’t been a direct threat mount­ed against Belgium’s nuclear infra­struc­ture isn’t entire­ly accu­rate. In Feb­ru­ary, Bel­gian author­i­ties dis­cov­ered 10-hours worth of secret­ly record­ed video footage show­ing one of the country’s top nuclear sci­en­tists com­ing and going from his home. The mate­r­ial was dis­cov­ered dur­ing a counter-ter­ror­ism raid on the home of Mohamed Bakkali, who was arrest­ed and charged with ter­ror­ism and mur­der asso­ci­ated with the Novem­ber 13 Paris attacks. Ibrahim and Khalid el-Bakraoui — broth­ers who author­i­ties believe were the alleged sui­cide bombers at Brus­sels’ air­port and sub­way — are sus­pected to have plant­ed the cam­era, which was hid­den in bush­es near the scientist’s house.

Experts and offi­cials have con­tended that sur­veilling the nuclear offi­cial, who had access to secure areas of a nuclear research facil­ity in Mol, was part of a grander scheme to take him hostage and force him to hand over radioac­tive mate­r­i­al.

DH report­ed on Thurs­day that the sui­cide bombers who self-det­o­nat­ed on Tues­day were orig­i­nally plan­ning an attack on nuclear facil­i­ties. How­ever, as Bel­gian police start­ed clos­ing in on their extrem­ist net­work and arrest­ed sus­pected ter­ror­ists such as Salah Abdeslam, DH said, mil­i­tants were under pres­sure to car­ry out an attack as soon as pos­si­ble, and aban­doned the grander plan of tar­get­ing Belgium’s nuclear infra­struc­ture.

Sébastien Berg, the spokesman for Belgium’s fed­eral agency for nuclear con­trol said a poten­tial attack pos­es a num­ber of risks. First, that ter­ror­ists infil­trate the plant and shut down their oper­a­tions, which would send about half the coun­try into a black­out.

Anoth­er fear, Berg said, was of “an acci­dent in which some­one explodes a bomb inside the plant.” Last­ly, Berg said, “the oth­er dan­ger is that they fly some­thing into the plant from out­side,” which would stop the cool­ing process of the fuel and force the plant to shut down.

Until two years ago, secu­rity around the plants was fair­ly lax. In 2014, Bel­gian offi­cials installed secu­rity cam­eras and devel­oped a plan to com­bat cyber­at­tacks. They also man­dated that all employ­ees move in groups to avoid sab­o­tage by a lone wolf.

Just 11 days before the attacks shook Brus­sels, Belgium’s two nuclear facil­i­ties — which con­tain sev­en reac­tors — were guard­ed by unarmed secu­rity per­son­nel. On March 11, the Bel­gian gov­ern­ment deployed 140 troops to beef up secu­rity at the nuclear facil­i­ties, a tem­po­rary solu­tion until a new armed police force is trained to take over. . . .

5. Reports of leaked com­ments made by Jordan’s King Abdul­lah to US Con­gress mem­bers back in Jan­u­ary are going to be par­tic­u­larly con­tro­ver­sial in the wake of Brus­sels attacks: Not only does Turkey have a pol­icy of pro­mot­ing ISIS in Syr­ia, but the flow of ISIS mem­bers into Europe is also part of Turkey’s pol­icy. So says the King.  Yikes:

“Turkey Is Delib­er­ately ‘Unleash­ing’ ISIS Ter­ror­ists into Europe, Says Jordan’s King Abdul­lah” by Matt Broom­field; The Inde­pen­dent; 3/27/2016.

Turkey is export­ing ISIS-linked ter­ror­ists to Europe, accord­ing to King Abdul­lah of Jor­dan.

The monarch’s remarks came in a meet­ing with mem­bers of the US Con­gress, in which he said that Islamist mil­i­tants were being “man­u­fac­tured in Turkey” and “unleashed” into Europe. 

He also used the debrief­ing, held after a can­celled ren­dezvous with US Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma, to remind the US politi­cians of Turkey’s alleged com­plic­ity in buy­ing ISIS oil. 

“The fact that ter­ror­ists are going to Europe is part of Turk­ish pol­icy,” said King Abdul­lah. “Turkey keeps on get­ting a slap on the hand, but they are let off the hook.”

Argu­ing that the auto­cratic Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Tayyip Erdo­gan believes in a “rad­i­cal Islam­ic solu­tion to the region”, King Abdul­lah said.

“Turkey sought a reli­gious solu­tion to Syr­ia, while we are look­ing at mod­er­ate ele­ments in the south and Jor­dan pushed for a third option that would not allow a reli­gious option.”

The meet­ing was held on 11 Jan­u­ary, but details of the King’s opin­ions have only just been leaked by Mid­dle East Eye.

Although Turkey and Jor­dan are offi­cially allies, the refugee cri­sis has height­ened ten­sions between the two nations. King Abdul­lah is under­stood to have been angered by the EU’s gen­er­ous offer of cash and diplo­matic ties in return for Turkey lim­it­ing the onward flow of refugees into the con­ti­nent.

At rough­ly 75 mil­lion, Turkey’s pop­u­la­tion is over ten times that of Jordan’s, mean­ing the Arab nation is host­ing a pro­por­tion­ately greater num­ber of refugees. . . .

6. Abdul­lah also accused Turkey of sup­port­ing Islamist mili­tias in Libya and Soma­lia.

“Jor­dan’s King Accus­es Turkey of Send­ing Ter­ror­ists to Europe” by David Hearst; Mid­dle East Eye; 3/25/2016.

. . . . Abdul­lah said that Erdo­gan believed in a “rad­i­cal Islam­ic solu­tion to the region”.

He repeat­ed: “Turkey sought a reli­gious solu­tion to Syr­ia, while we are look­ing at mod­er­ate ele­ments in the south and Jor­dan pushed for a third option that would not allow a reli­gious option.”

The king pre­sent­ed Turkey as part of a strate­gic chal­lenge to the world.

“We keep being forced to tack­le tac­ti­cal prob­lems against ISIL [the Islam­ic State group] but not the strate­gic issue. We for­get the issue [of] the Turks who are not with us on this strate­gi­cal­ly.”

He claimed that Turkey had not only sup­port­ed reli­gious groups in Syr­ia, and was let­ting for­eign fight­ers in, but had also been help­ing Islamist mili­tias in Libya and Soma­lia. . . . 

7. Dur­ing a Skype inter­view in Octo­ber of 2015, Hakan Fidan, the head of Turkey’s intel­i­gence ser­vice, railed against Rus­sia try­ing to sup­press Syria’s Islamist rev­o­lu­tion and assert­ed that “ISIS is a real­ity and we have to accept that we can­not erad­i­cate a well-orga­nized and pop­u­lar estab­lish­ment such as the Islam­ic State; there­fore I urge my west­ern col­leagues to revise their mind­set about Islam­ic polit­i­cal cur­rents, put aside their cyn­i­cal men­tal­ité and thwart Vladimir Putin’s plans to crush Syr­ian Islamist rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies.”

 “Turk­ish Intel­li­gence Chief: Putin’s Inter­ven­tion in Syr­ia Is Against Islam and Inter­na­tional Law, ISIS Is a Real­ity and We Are Opti­mistic about the Future”; AWD News; 10/18/2015.

Hakan Fidan, the head of Turkey’s Nation­al Intel­li­gence Orga­ni­za­tion, known by the MIT acronym, has drawn a lot of atten­tion and crit­i­cism for his con­tro­ver­sial com­ments about ISIS.

Mr. Hakan Fidan, Turk­ish President’s staunchest ally, con­demned Russ­ian mil­i­tary inter­ven­tion in Syr­ia, accus­ing Moscow of try­ing to ‘smoth­er’ Syria’s Islamist rev­o­lu­tion and seri­ous breach of Unit­ed Nations law.

“ISIS is a real­ity and we have to accept that we can­not erad­i­cate a well-orga­nized and pop­u­lar estab­lish­ment such as the Islam­ic State; there­fore I urge my west­ern col­leagues to revise their mind­set about Islam­ic polit­i­cal cur­rents, put aside their cyn­i­cal men­tal­ité and thwart Vladimir Putin’s plans to crush Syr­ian Islamist rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies,” Anadolu News Agency quot­ed Mr. Fidan as say­ing on Sun­day.

Fidan fur­ther added that in order to deal with the vast num­ber of for­eign Jihadists crav­ing to trav­el to Syr­ia, it is imper­a­tive that ISIS must set up a con­sulate or at least a polit­i­cal office in Istan­bul. He under­lined that it is Turkey’s firm belief to pro­vide med­ical care for all injured peo­ple flee­ing Russ­ian ruth­less airstrikes regard­less of their polit­i­cal or reli­gious affil­i­a­tion.

Recent­ly as the fierce clash­es between Russ­ian army and ISIS ter­ror­ists rag­ing across the war-torn Syr­ia, count­less num­ber of ISIS injured fight­ers enter the Turk­ish ter­ri­tory and are being admit­ted in the mil­i­tary hos­pi­tals name­ly those in Hatay Province. Over the last few days, the Syr­ian army with the sup­port of Russ­ian air cov­er could fend off ISIS forces in strate­gic provinces of Homs and Hama.

Emile Hokayem, a Wash­ing­ton-based Mid­dle East ana­lyst said that Turkey’s Erdo­gan and his oil-rich Arab allies have dual agen­das in the war on ter­ror and as a mat­ter of fact they are sup­ply­ing the Islamist mil­i­tants with weapons and mon­ey, thus Russ­ian inter­ven­tion is con­sid­ered a dev­as­tat­ing set­back for their efforts to over­throw Syr­ian sec­u­lar Pres­i­dent Assad.

Hokayem who was speak­ing via Skype from Wash­ing­ton, D.C. high­lighted the dan­ger of Turk­ish-backed ter­ror­ist groups and added that what is hap­pen­ing in Syr­ia can­not be cat­e­go­rized as a gen­uine and pop­u­lar rev­o­lu­tion against dic­ta­tor­ship but rather it is a chaos orches­trated by Erdo­gan who is dream­ing to revive this ancestor’s infa­mous Ottoman Empire.

8. An insight­ful arti­cle by Daniel Lazare on the Con­sor­tium News web­site notes a sig­nif­i­cant fea­ture of the U.S. bomb­ing in Syr­ia: ” . . . As the Times put it at the time: ‘Any airstrikes against Islam­ic State mil­i­tants in and around Palmyra would prob­a­bly ben­e­fit the forces of Pres­i­dent Bashar al-Assad. So far, Unit­ed States-led airstrikes in Syr­ia have large­ly focused on areas far out­side gov­ern­ment con­trol, to avoid the per­cep­tion of aid­ing a leader whose ouster Pres­i­dent Oba­ma has called for.’ The upshot was a clear mes­sage to ISIS to the effect that it had noth­ing to wor­ry about from U.S. jet bombers as long as it engaged Assad’s troops in close com­bat. The U.S. thus incen­tivized ISIS to press for­ward with the assault [on Palmyra]. Although res­i­dents lat­er won­dered why the U.S. had not bombed ISIS forces “while they were tra­vers­ing miles of open desert roads,” the answer, sim­ply, is that Wash­ing­ton had oth­er things on its mind. Rather than defeat­ing ISIS, it pre­ferred to use it to accom­plish its pri­ma­ry goal, which was dri­ving out Assad. . . .”

Lazare makes an impor­tant sum­ma­ry point: ” . . . Sim­ply that America’s fun­da­men­tal ambiva­lence toward ISIS, Al Qae­da, and sim­i­lar groups — its pol­i­cy of bat­tling them on one hand and seek­ing to make use of them on the oth­er — is what allows Sun­ni ter­ror­ism to fes­ter and grow. . . .”

“How US-Backed War on Syr­ia Helped ISIS” by Daniel Lazare; Con­sor­tium News; 3/31/2016.

. . . . So the U.S. and its allies helped Islam­ic State by tying down Assad’s forces in the north so that it could punch through in the cen­ter. But that’s not all the U.S. did. It also helped by sus­pend­ing bomb­ing as the Islam­ic State neared Palmyra.

As the Times put it at the time: “Any airstrikes against Islam­ic State mil­i­tants in and around Palmyra would prob­a­bly ben­e­fit the forces of Pres­i­dent Bashar al-Assad. So far, Unit­ed States-led airstrikes in Syr­ia have large­ly focused on areas far out­side gov­ern­ment con­trol, to avoid the per­cep­tion of aid­ing a leader whose ouster Pres­i­dent Oba­ma has called for.”

The upshot was a clear mes­sage to ISIS to the effect that it had noth­ing to wor­ry about from U.S. jet bombers as long as it engaged Assad’s troops in close com­bat. The U.S. thus incen­tivized ISIS to press for­ward with the assault. Although res­i­dents lat­er won­dered why the U.S. had not bombed ISIS forces “while they were tra­vers­ing miles of open desert roads,” the answer, sim­ply, is that Wash­ing­ton had oth­er things on its mind. Rather than defeat­ing ISIS, it pre­ferred to use it to accom­plish its pri­ma­ry goal, which was dri­ving out Assad.

The Blow­back

But what does this have to do with Brus­sels and Lahore? Sim­ply that America’s fun­da­men­tal ambiva­lence toward ISIS, Al Qae­da, and sim­i­lar groups — its pol­i­cy of bat­tling them on one hand and seek­ing to make use of them on the oth­er — is what allows Sun­ni ter­ror­ism to fes­ter and grow. . . .

9. Nau­mann Sadiq makes anoth­er impor­tant point–that the ISIS attacks in Europe began after the West began bomb­ing ISIS, an act that con­sti­tut­ed a “betray­al” of the orga­ni­za­tion by the pow­ers that had pre­vi­ous­ly sup­port­ed it. ” . . . . If we look at the chain of events, the tim­ing of Paris and Brus­sels attacks is crit­i­cal: Islam­ic State over­ran Mosul in June 2014; the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion start­ed bomb­ing Islam­ic State’s tar­gets in Iraq and Syr­ia in August 2014; and the first Islam­ic State inci­dent of ter­ror­ism on West­ern soil took place at the offices of Char­lie Heb­do in Jan­u­ary 2015, fol­lowed by the Novem­ber 2015 Paris attacks and the March 2016 Brus­sels bomb­ings. . . .”

“Europe’s Ter­ror Blow­back” by Nau­man Sadiq; Con­sor­tium News; 4/3/2016.

. . . .This arrange­ment of an infor­mal pact between the West­ern pow­ers and the Sun­ni jihadists of the Mid­dle East against the Shi’a‑Iranian axis worked well – at least for the West­ern pow­ers and the Sun­ni jihadists – up to August 2014, when Oba­ma Admin­is­tra­tion made an about-face on its pre­vi­ous “regime change” pol­i­cy in Syr­ia and start­ed con­duct­ing air strikes against one group of Sun­ni jihadists bat­tling against the Assad regime, the Islam­ic State.

The Islam­ic State had trans­gressed the pre­scribed mis­sion of “regime change” in Syr­ia and over­ran Mosul and Anbar in Iraq. The Islam­ic State also threat­ened the cap­i­tal of anoth­er stead­fast Amer­i­can ally: Masoud Barzani’s Erbil in the oil-rich Iraqi Kur­dis­tan — and began decap­i­tat­ing West­ern hostages.

(How­ev­er, oth­er Sun­ni jihadist forces, such as Al Qaeda’s Nus­ra Front and its close ally, Ahrar al-Sham, con­tin­ued to focus on oust­ing Assad and thus con­tin­ued receiv­ing West­ern weapons, includ­ing U.S.-made TOW mis­siles that were cru­cial for last year’s suc­cess­ful offen­sive by the Sau­di-backed Army of Con­quest in Syria’s Idlib Province.)

After the West’s 2014 shift in the Syr­i­an strat­e­gy (bomb­ing Islam­ic State forces both in Iraq and Syr­ia) and the Russ­ian mil­i­tary inter­ven­tion in 2015 on the side of Syria’s Alawite-Shi’a regime, the momen­tum of Sun­ni jihadists’ expan­sion in Syr­ia stalled. Many now feel that their West­ern “allies” betrayed the Sun­ni jihadist cause, engen­der­ing bit­ter­ness and a desire for revenge.

If we look at the chain of events, the tim­ing of Paris and Brus­sels attacks is crit­i­cal: Islam­ic State over­ran Mosul in June 2014; the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion start­ed bomb­ing Islam­ic State’s tar­gets in Iraq and Syr­ia in August 2014; and the first Islam­ic State inci­dent of ter­ror­ism on West­ern soil took place at the offices of Char­lie Heb­do in Jan­u­ary 2015, fol­lowed by the Novem­ber 2015 Paris attacks and the March 2016 Brus­sels bomb­ings. . . .

10. Yet anoth­er use­ful arti­cle by Daniel Lazare from Con­sor­tium News notes that the Saud­is, with U.S. back­ing, are uti­liz­ing Al-Qae­da as mil­i­tary allies against the Houthis in Yemen. ” . . .By sub­ject­ing AQAP to peri­od­ic drone strikes, it not only winds up killing civil­ians – such as the 14 mem­bers of a wed­ding par­ty that the U.S. mis­tak­en­ly tar­get­ed in Decem­ber 2013 – but fair­ly encour­ages AQAP mem­bers to inter­min­gle with oth­er anti-Houthi forces by mak­ing it clear that is the one place it will not bomb. . . .”

The U.S. con­tin­ues to back Al Qaeda’s Al Nus­ra Front in Syr­ia, as well as allied jihadist groups: ” . . . But it oth­er­wise tilt­ed toward Al Nus­ra Front, as Al Qae­da is local­ly known, which it now regard­ed as less dan­ger­ous, or toward groups with which Al Nus­ra is close­ly aligned. . . Sim­i­lar­ly, the U.S. resist­ed clas­si­fy­ing a Salafist army known as Ahrar al-Sham as ter­ror­ist even though it col­lab­o­rates close­ly with Al Nus­ra and its ide­ol­o­gy is vir­tu­al­ly iden­ti­cal, as Stephen Gowans recent­ly not­ed at the Glob­al Research web­site. . . . The same goes for a Free Syr­i­an Army unit known as the 13th Divi­sion, which the US has long backed even though it main­tains “a tac­it col­lab­o­ra­tion with Nus­ra” accord­ing to The Wall Street Jour­nal “and even shared with the group some of its ammu­ni­tion sup­plies. . . . Moham­mad Alloush, who enjoys strong US back­ing as the chief rebel nego­tia­tor at the Gene­va peace talks, is a leader of yet anoth­er Salafist group called Jaysh al-Islam, which issued a blood-cur­dling call to exter­mi­nate Syria’s Alaw­ite com­mu­ni­ty in July 2013. . . . But while one might think this would place Jaysh al-Islam beyond the pale, for­mer Ambas­sador to Syr­ia Robert S. Ford praised it a year lat­er as one of the “mod­er­ate” rebel forces that were mak­ing life “par­tic­u­lar­ly painful” for the Dam­as­cus gov­ern­ment. . . . Sec­re­tary of State John Ker­ry assailed Assad for bomb­ing rebel posi­tions in Alep­po even though it is clear that so-called “mod­er­ates” have inter­min­gled with Al Nus­ra fight­ers to the degree that it is impos­si­ble to attack one with­out affect­ing the oth­er. . . . Colonel Steve War­ren, spokesman for US mil­i­tary forces in Iraq, con­ced­ed in a press brief­ing that “it’s pri­mar­i­ly al-Nus­ra who holds Alep­po . . . .”

“The Secret Behind the Yemen War” by Daniel Lazare; Con­sor­tium News; 5/7/2016.

 . . . .  Rather than rolling Al Qae­da back, it makes clear that, what­ev­er their mis­giv­ings, pro-Sau­di forces have come to rely on it as a use­ful asset in the anti-Houthi strug­gle and that, con­se­quent­ly, they have encour­aged its growth. Since the Saud­is are back­ing the anti-Houthi forces, this makes them com­plic­it in AQAP’s expan­sion. And since the U.S. is back­ing the Saud­is, this makes Amer­i­ca com­plic­it, too.

Indeed, America’s role is even worse.  By sub­ject­ing AQAP to peri­od­ic drone strikes, it not only winds up killing civil­ians – such as the 14 mem­bers of a wed­ding par­ty that the U.S. mis­tak­en­ly tar­get­ed in Decem­ber 2013 – but fair­ly encour­ages AQAP mem­bers to inter­min­gle with oth­er anti-Houthi forces by mak­ing it clear that is the one place it will not bomb.

The result, in effect, is a high­ly effec­tive machine for fuel­ing apoc­a­lyp­tic fer­vor, spread­ing Islam­ic mil­i­tan­cy, and encour­ag­ing AQAP to extend its ten­ta­cles through­out the broad­er anti-Houthi move­ment. The only ones who are in the dark as to why AQAP can pros­per under such con­di­tions are the for­eign-pol­i­cy experts back in Wash­ing­ton. . . .

. . . . Wash­ing­ton still tilt­ed toward Islam­ic State when it came to com­bat­ting Syr­i­an gov­ern­ment forces, which is why it refrained from bomb­ing ISIS fight­ers as they con­verged on Palmyra in May 2015 even though they would have been per­fect tar­gets as they tra­versed miles of open desert.

But it oth­er­wise tilt­ed toward Al Nus­ra Front, as Al Qae­da is local­ly known, which it now regard­ed as less dan­ger­ous, or toward groups with which Al Nus­ra is close­ly aligned.

“Mod­er­ate these days is increas­ing­ly becom­ing any­one who’s not affil­i­at­ed with ISIL,” Direc­tor of Nation­al Intel­li­gence James R. Clap­per Jr. explained in March 2015 – and indeed the White House made no objec­tion a month lat­er when so-called mod­er­ates joined with Al Nus­ra to launch a major offen­sive in Syria’s north­ern Idlib province. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Climb­ing into Bed with Al-Qae­da.”]

Cov­er­ing for Salafists

Sim­i­lar­ly, the U.S. resist­ed clas­si­fy­ing a Salafist army known as Ahrar al-Sham as ter­ror­ist even though it col­lab­o­rates close­ly with Al Nus­ra and its ide­ol­o­gy is vir­tu­al­ly iden­ti­cal, as Stephen Gowans recent­ly not­ed at the Glob­al Research web­site.

The same goes for a Free Syr­i­an Army unit known as the 13th Divi­sion, which the US has long backed even though it main­tains “a tac­it col­lab­o­ra­tion with Nus­ra” accord­ing to The Wall Street Jour­nal “and even shared with the group some of its ammu­ni­tion sup­plies.”

Moham­mad Alloush, who enjoys strong US back­ing as the chief rebel nego­tia­tor at the Gene­va peace talks, is a leader of yet anoth­er Salafist group called Jaysh al-Islam, which issued a blood-cur­dling call to exter­mi­nate Syria’s Alaw­ite com­mu­ni­ty in July 2013.  Jaysh al-Islam, it informed the Alaw­ites, “will make you taste the worst tor­ture in life before Allah makes you taste the worst tor­ture on judg­ment day.”  But while one might think this would place Jaysh al-Islam beyond the pale, for­mer Ambas­sador to Syr­ia Robert S. Ford praised it a year lat­er as one of the “mod­er­ate” rebel forces that were mak­ing life “par­tic­u­lar­ly painful” for the Dam­as­cus gov­ern­ment.

Geno­cide is per­mis­si­ble, appar­ent­ly, as long as it’s not too extreme.  More recent­ly, Sec­re­tary of State John Ker­ry assailed Assad for bomb­ing rebel posi­tions in Alep­po even though it is clear that so-called “mod­er­ates” have inter­min­gled with Al Nus­ra fight­ers to the degree that it is impos­si­ble to attack one with­out affect­ing the oth­er.  After Colonel Steve War­ren, spokesman for US mil­i­tary forces in Iraq, con­ced­ed in a press brief­ing that “it’s pri­mar­i­ly al-Nus­ra who holds Alep­po,” . . .

 

 

Discussion

No comments for “FTR #910 The ISIS File, Part 2: The Belgian Muslim Brotherhood and The Brussels Bombings (The Killer B’s)”

Post a comment