October 30, 2019
(updated December 14, 2019)
Published by Lee Floyd
Leaked footage purports to show weapons, including a US-made vehicle, being transferred to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen amid reports of gear falling into the hands of extremist militias in defiance of US arms agreements.
Filmed secretly in Yemen at the Saudi-controlled port of Aden, the footage claims to show the unloading of a fresh arms shipment for the coalition in late October, including the familiar outline of an American-made Oshkosh armored vehicle, also known as an MRAP. Yemeni authorities backed by the Saudi coalition have reportedly made a number of arrests in a bid to identify the leaker.
While American lawmakers have called on the Trump administration to halt assistance to the Saudi coalition, efforts in both houses have failed to translate into policy, including a congressional War Powers Resolution which was vetoed in April.
In February, a CNN investigation revealed that US weapons delivered to the coalition were consistently landing with local militia groups, including hardline jihadist factions linked to Al-Qaeda. The new footage, obtained by CNN, might be the latest sign that little has changed on the ground, despite the evidence of illicit transfers.
More recently, US arms supplied to the United Arab Emirates – a major partner in the coalition – were traced to separatist factions fighting in Yemen’s south, which intermittently clash with pro-Saudi forces in the country. While the southern separatists are not on the US terrorism list, the arms only complicate a bloody years-long conflict marked by shifting alliances and a disregard for the laws of war on all sides.
US weapons sales to both the Saudis and Emiratis are subject to end-use agreements prohibiting distribution of the arms to third parties without authorization, which the Pentagon insists has not been granted to either country.
The Saudi vessel carrying the new arms shipment stopped outside of Sudan in mid-September, tracking data shows, but turned off its GPS locator soon after departing the port, only to reappear in Aden in late October, when the leaked footage was captured.
The Pentagon declined to confirm whether the footage is genuine.
“We cannot comment on any potential or ongoing investigations of claims of end-use violations of defense articles and services transferred to our allies and partners,” a Pentagon spokesperson said in a statement.
The Saudi-led coalition launched a bombing campaign in March 2015 to restore Yemeni President Mansour Hadi to power, after the rebel Houthi movement ousted him from the capital city months prior. The United States has provided the coalition with vital support in its operation – including arms sales, vehicle maintenance, logistics, targeting assistance and support before international bodies – despite repeated accusations of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and even genocide levied at the Saudi coalition.
So far, over 100,000 civilians and combatants have died in the fighting, according to the ACLED project, and the conflict has produced what many have called the world’s worst human crisis, with millions dependent on some form of international aid.
October 26, 2019
(updated December 14, 2019)
Published by Lee Floyd
The United States military conducted a special operations raid targeting one of its most high-value targets, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), Newsweek reported. President Donald Trump approved the mission nearly a week before it took place.
Amid reports Saturday of U.S. military helicopters over the Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, a senior Pentagon official familiar with the operation and Army official briefed on the matter told Newsweek that Baghdadi was the target of the top-secret operation in the last bastion of the country’s Islamist-dominated opposition, a faction that has clashed with ISIS in recent years.
The following morning, President Trump shared with the American people details of the U.S. military operation in a nearly 50-minute live press conference in which he described the operation, Baghdadi’s purported last moments, and answered journalists’ questions about the raid and his strategy.
It was a contrast to the statement from former President Obama when he announced the operation that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, which was about nine minutes and contained few details about the operation. He took no questions from the media. In fact, he described the operation in five sentences:
Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.
In contrast, Trump gave a detailed description of the raid, what he purportedly saw and heard while watching the operation from the Situation Room, details of al-Baghdadi’s death, and answered numerous questions.
“He died after running into a dead-end tunnel, whimpering, crying, and screaming all the way. The compound had been cleared by this time with people either surrendering or being shot and killed. Eleven young children were moved out of the house and are uninjured. The only ones remaining were Baghdadi in the tunnel,” he said.
“He had dragged three of his young children with him. They were led to certain death. He reached the end of the tunnel, as our dogs chased them down. He ignited his vest, killing himself and the three children. His body was mutilated by the blast, the tunnel had caved in on it in addition. Test results gave certain, immediate, and totally positive identification. It was him,” he continued.
“The thug who tried so hard to intimidate others spent his last moments in utter fear, and total panic and dread, terrified of the American forces bearing down on him. We were in the compound for approximately two hours, and after the mission was accomplished we took highly sensitive material and information from the raid. Much having to do with ISIS origins, future plans, things that we very much want,” he said.
Trump also talked about the details leading up to the raid, telling reporters al-Baghdadi was under surveillance for a couple of weeks before, shedding insight into U.S. intelligence capabilities.
“We knew about where he was going, where he was heading. We had very good information that he was going to another location. He did not go,” he said. “Two or three efforts were canceled because he decided to change his mind, constantly changing his mind.”
He said finally they saw he was held up in a compound — which U.S. intelligence knew a lot about.
“We knew it had tunnels. The tunnels were dead ends for the most part. There was one we think wasn’t, and we had that covered just in case,” he said.
He described the breach of the compound.
“When we landed with eight helicopters, a large crew of brilliant fighters ran out of those helicopters and blew holes into the side of the building, not wanting to go through the main door because that was booby-trapped,” he said.
“They blasted their way through the house in a very heavy wall. It took them literally seconds. By the time those things went off they had a beautiful big hole and they got everyone by surprise.” He said 11 children were taken into custody. He also said that a number of adults died, and some were taken into custody. He said the number of those killed would be announced soon.
Trump said the flight to the compound took about an hour and 10 minutes, including travel over dangerous territory. He said the aircraft took gunfire coming in, which was “immediately terminated.”
“Meaning, they were shot from the airships,” he said.
He described al-Baghdadi’s last moments.
“He died like a dog, he died like a coward. He was whimpering, screaming, and crying,” he said.
Trump also revealed that a canine was involved in the operation, and was hurt in the tunnel, but was evacuated. “A beautiful dog, a talented dog, was injured and brought back.”
He said the raid began at 5 p.m. ET on Saturday. “The liftoff started moments after that.”
Trump also described efforts to identify al-Baghdad after his death.
“They went in with lab technicians,” he said. “They brought body parts back with them. There was not much left. The vest blew up. They did an on-site test and it was a very quick call that took place about 15 minutes after he was killed and it was positive.”
Trump also revealed there were two wives with Baghdadi who were killed. He said they were wearing vests that did not detonate, making it difficult for U.S. forces.
He also revealed there was a robot that went into the tunnel. “We had a robot just in case because we were afraid he had a suicide vest on and if you get close to him and he blows it up, he’s going to die. He had a very powerful suicide vest.”
He said back in the situation room, he and the team were getting full reports literally on a minute-by-minute basis.
“They gave us a report: ‘Sir, there’s only one person in the building. We are sure he’s in the tunnel. Trying to escape. But it’s a dead-end tunnel’…when he blew himself up the tunnel collapsed on top of everything and his children. So he led his three children to death.”
He talked about the uncertainty of the situation as it was unfolding.
We weren’t 100 percent sure about the tunnel being dead-ended. It’s possible there could have been an escape hatch somewhere along we didn’t know about. So we moved very, very quickly. These people, they were moving — they were chasing.”
Like Osama bin Laden, Al-Baghdadi was no longer the functional leader of his Islamic terror group by the time we hunted him down, but there is an important difference. While Al-Baghdadi had handed down operational control, he remained the Caliph.
As such, the entire basis for the Islamic State and its alliances depended on him. Now he’s dead and the Caliphate may be gone with him. Abdullah Qardash, the man Baghdadi had appointed to replace him while heading ISIS, is now, in theory, in charge. And, like his boss, we had him in custody and let him go.
Like Baghdadi, Abdullah Qardash had been in Camp Bucca. The two apparently met and bonded there.
There’s been some debate as to when exactly Baghdadi had been released from Bucca. The most famous account pegged it as being in 2009.
The Islamist extremist some are now calling the most dangerous man in the world had a few parting words to his captors as he was released from the biggest U.S. detention camp in Iraq in 2009.
“He said, ‘I’ll see you guys in New York,’” recalls Army Col. Kenneth King, then the commanding officer of Camp Bucca.
It seems likely that the new ISIS leader would have been released around the same time.
According to Sunni jurisprudence, the caliph must be able to trace his lineage directly back to the Quraysh clan of Mecca, to which the Prophet belonged. Shiite Muslims claim that being a Mecca notable by ancestry is not enough to become caliph, saying that potential contenders need to hail strictly from Ahl al-Bayt, the family of the Prophet. This explains why Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi insists on using two important additional last names whenever making a public statement or appearance. One is al-Qurashi, hailing from Quraysh and another is al-Hassani, the descendant of the Prophet’s grandson. Western journalists and non-Muslims tend to drop both titles for practicality, but ISIS media never refers to him without both affiliations. Al-Baghdadi wants to draw as much historical, religious and popular legitimacy as he could; yet this should not be seen as an attempt to placate either the Shiites nor the Sunnis who oppose him. Interestingly, Abdullah Qardash also hails from Quraysh and from Ahl al-Bayt, makes him an eligible future caliph, should Baghdadi decide to bequeath power to him, or should he assume it himself, with or without Baghdadi’s consent. Apart from lineage, conditions for becoming a caliph are fairly straightforward and also apply to Qardash. The caliph must be a Muslim male, is required to lead the masses during prayer and prove knowledgeable in Islamic jurisprudence and history, two traits that also apply to Qardash, a former Iraqi officer under Saddam schooled at the College of Imam Al-Adham Abu Hanifa al-Noueimi in Mosul.
That’s not a coincidence.
The legitimacy of ISIS is theological. Without a Caliph, it would have no future. So its next best is on a guy we once had in custody.
September 17, 2019
(updated December 27, 2019)
Published by Lee Floyd
On Thursday, September 12, one day after the 18th anniversary of the attacks on New York and Washington that killed nearly 3,000 people, a federal court filing revealed that Attorney General William Barr has asserted the “state secrets” privilege to block the release of an FBI report detailing extensive relations between some of the 19 hijackers and Saudi government officials. Victims of the attacks and their families are pushing for access to the 2007 report as part of a lawsuit against the Saudi government launched in 2003 charging the despotic monarchy with coordinating the mass killings.
Barr declared there was a “reasonable danger” that releasing the report would “risk significant harm to national security.”
The court filing also revealed that the FBI has agreed to turn over to the families’ lawyers the name of a Saudi individual that is redacted in a four-page summary of the FBI report released in 2012. The summary lays out evidence concerning three Saudis who provided money and otherwise assisted two of the hijackers in California in finding housing, obtaining driver’s licenses and other matters.
Government investigations have established that the two people who are named in the FBI summary, Fahad al-Thumairy, a former Saudi consulate official, and Omar al-Bayoumi, suspected by the FBI of being a Saudi intelligence officer, were working in coordination with the Saudi regime. The third person, whose name is redacted, is described in the FBI summary as having assigned the other two to assist the hijackers.
Lawyers for the families last year subpoenaed the FBI for an unredacted copy of the summary based on the contention that the third person was a senior Saudi official. But as part of the court filing, citing the “exceptional nature of the case,” the FBI issued a protective seal to prevent the name of the third Saudi from becoming public. The agency also refused to provide any of the other information requested by the families.
An FBI official said the agency was shielding the name to protect classified information related to “ongoing investigations” and to protect its “sources and methods.”
In fact, the extraordinary measures taken to conceal the role of the Saudi regime in the 9/11 attacks are driven by the need of US imperialism to maintain its reactionary alliance with the Saudi sheiks and continue the false cover story on 9/11 that has served as an ideological pillar for aggression in the Middle East and the buildup of a police-state infrastructure within the US, carried out in the name of fighting a “war on terror.”
The Saudi monarchy has been a key ally of the United States in the Middle East for 70 years, and since 9/11 it has become, alongside Israel, Washington’s most important partner in the region. It has played a central role in the bloody wars for regime change in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, which have killed more than a million people and destroyed entire societies. It is also the world’s biggest purchaser of US arms.
Its intelligence agencies have long worked in the closest collaboration with the CIA and the FBI. The exposure of Saudi complicity in 9/11 immediately implicates sections of the US intelligence establishment in facilitating, it not actively aiding, the terror attacks, and sheds light on the multiple unanswered questions about how 19 men, 15 of whom were Saudi nationals, could carry out such a complex operation.
The 9/11 attacks were eagerly seized upon by the George W. Bush administration, with the support of the Democratic Party and media allies such as the New York Times, to implement longstanding plans to wage aggressive war in the Middle East.
The cover-up of Saudi involvement has been carried out over three administrations, Democratic and Republican alike. It began within hours of the attacks themselves. Eight days after the attacks, at least 13 relatives of Osama bin Laden, accompanied by bodyguards and associates, were allowed to secretly leave the US on a chartered flight. One of the passengers, a nephew of the supposed number one on Washington’s “most wanted” list, had been linked by the FBI to a suspected terrorist organization.
The US association with bin Laden went back decades. Under the CIA’s Operation Cyclone, conducted between 1979 and 1989, the US and Saudi Arabia provided $40 billion worth of financial aid and weapons to the mujahedeen “freedom fighters” waging war against Soviet forces in Afghanistan, an operation in which then-US ally bin Laden played a key role. The proxy war in Afghanistan was pivotal in the later creation of Al Qaeda.
In July of 2016, the US government released to the public a 28-page section, suppressed for 14 years, of a joint congressional inquiry into 9/11. The 28-page chapter dealt with the role of the Saudi government and contained abundant and damning evidence of extensive Saudi support for the 9/11 hijackers in the period leading up to the attacks.
Among its revelations were:
Two of the Saudi hijackers, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, lived for a time in Los Angeles and San Diego in 2000, where they obtained pilot training. They were given money and lodgings by Omar al-Bayoumi, who worked closely with an emir at the Saudi Defense Ministry. Both were under CIA surveillance while attending an Al Qaeda planning meeting in 2000 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and placed on a “watch list” for FBI monitoring if they came to the United States. Nonetheless they were allowed to enter the US on January 15, 2000.
Al-Bayoumi “received support from a Saudi company affiliated with the Saudi Ministry of Defense,” drawing a paycheck for a no-show job. The company also had ties to Osama bin Laden. His allowances jumped almost tenfold after the arrival of al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar. Al-Bayoumi had found an apartment for the two, which they shared with an informant for the San Diego FBI, advancing them a deposit on the first month’s rent.
Al-Bayoumi’s wife received a $1,200 a month stipend from the wife of Prince Bandar, then the Saudi ambassador to the US and later head of Saudi intelligence. The wife of his associate, Osama Bassnan, identified by the FBI as a supporter of bin Laden, received $2,000 a month from Bandar’s wife.
Three of the hijackers stayed at the same Virginia hotel as Saleh al-Hussayen, a Saudi Interior Ministry official, the night before the attacks.
Despite such evidence, and much more, the bipartisan 9/11 Commission appointed by George W. Bush concluded that there was no conclusive evidence that “senior” Saudi officials played a role in the 9/11 attacks. When the 28-page section of the congressional report was released in 2016, Obama’s CIA director, John Brennan, denounced all suggestions of Saudi involvement as baseless.
However, former Secretary of the Navy John Lehman, a member of the 9/11 Commission, said, “There was an awful lot of participation by Saudi individuals in supporting the hijackers, and some of those people worked in the Saudi government.”
Former Democratic Senator Robert Graham, cochair of the Joint Congressional Inquiry into the 9/11 attacks, said that there was “a pervasive pattern of covering up the role of Saudi Arabia in 9/11 by all of the agencies of the federal government, which have access to information that might illuminate Saudi Arabia’s role in 9/11.”
In the lawsuit filed by the families of the victims, he filed an affidavit that stated, “I am convinced that there was a direct line between at least some of the terrorists who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia.”
It is significant, but not surprising, that the corporate media has given only the most perfunctory and muted coverage to the moves by the Trump administration to once again suppress the role of the Saudi regime in 9/11, and the Democrats have been completely silent.
One should compare this response to damning evidence of Saudi culpability and US cover-up in relation to an event that took nearly 3,000 lives to the hysteria of the anti-Russia witch hunt led by the Democratic Party, the New York Times and the bulk of the media, based on completely unsubstantiated charges.
September 15, 2019
(updated May 30, 2020)
Published by Lee Floyd
Leaked documents including scanned passports of US, Saudi and UAE arms dealers and government officials expose for the first time an international weapons shipment network for arming militants in Yemen, including Islamic State terrorists in Yemen.
Recently I anonymously received explosive documents from the Serbian state-owned arms manufacturer Krusik, including e-mails, internal memos, contracts, photos, delivery schedules, and packing lists with lot numbers of weapons and their buyers. Among the leaked documents I also received scanned passports of arms dealers and government officials from the US, Saudi Arabia and UAE. They visited the Serbian arms factory to purchase weapons (mortar shells and rockets) on behalf of the US Government, Saudi Defence Ministry and UAE Army. Some of these weapons, however, have ended up with terrorists in Yemen.
Tracing Islamic State weapons in Yemen back to their suppliers
Serbian mortar shells manufactured by the Serbian state-owned arms factory Krusik can often be seen in the hands of Islamic State terrorists in their propaganda videos in Yemen.
This still image taken from an Islamic State video in Yemen shows mortar shells 82 mm M74 HE lot 04/18 from the Serbian arms factory Krusik along with mortar shells from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The two letters KV mean that those mortar shells were manufactured by the Serbian arms factory Krusik (K stands for Krusik and V – for Valjevo, the town where the factory is located). The following digits 04/18 mean that the mortar shells are lot 04, produced in 2018.
The packing list of 10,500 pcs. of 82 mm M74 HE mortar shells KV lot 04/18. The consignor is Jugoimport SDPR, Serbia and the consignee is the American company Alliant Techsystems LLC.
According to the documents, such 82 mm M74HE mortar shells KV lot 04/18 which appear in the Islamic State video in Yemen were purchased by the American company Alliant Techsystems LLC (a wholly owned subsidiary of ATK Orbital, USA) on behalf of the US Government. The end user indicated is the Afghan Army. However, weapons from this particular lot appear with Islamic State terrorists in Yemen.
These mortar shells 81 mm M72 HE KV Lot 01/18 were purchased by the Saudi Ministry of Defence, according to documents from the manufacturer Krusik. The exporter was the Serbian private company GIM, represented by the Serbian interior minister Nebojsa Stefanivic’s father – Branko Stefanovic. Besides being interior minister, his son Nebojsa Stefanivic is also the vice prime minister of Serbia.
As of 1 June 2018 Krusik manufactured a total of 11,880 pcs. of 81 mm M72 HE mortar shells Lot 01/18, as those in the Islamic State photo in Yemen. The exporter was the Serbian arms company GIM.
A total of 15,000 pcs. of 81 mm M72 HE mortar shells which GIM purchased from Krusik were exported to Saudi Arabia in 2018.
GIM signed four contracts with Saudi Arabia for the delivery of 517,000 pcs. of mortar shells from Krusik (one contract – in 2016, and three contracts – in 2018 respectively). The exporter from Serbia was GIM and the importers in Saudi Arabia were two private companies: Rinad Al Jazira, Saudi Arabia and Larkmont Holdings LTD, an offshore company registered in the British Virgin Islands. The end user was the Ministry of Defence of Saudi Arabia.
The Government of Saudi Arabia declares that the weapons which Rinad Al Jazira purchased from GIM are for the use of the Saudi Ministry of Defence and will not be re-exported without the consent of the Serbian Government. However, the same 81 mm HE mortar shells appear in Islamic State photos in Yemen.
The Serbian vice prime minister’s father Branko Stefanovic mediated the arms deals with Saudi Arabia.
A GIM letter dated 27 April 2017 to Krusik lists the names of three GIM representatives and three Raniad Al Jazira employees who visited the arms factory in order to inspect and accept the ordered weapons. Among the GIM representatives was Branko Stefanovic.
The Serbian vice prime minister’s father Branko Stefanovic mediated the deal between Krusik and Saudi Arabia as representative of the Serbian private company GIM.
July 19, 2019
(updated December 27, 2019)
Published by Lee Floyd
Police in India have foiled a plot to “establish Islamic rule” in India. 16 suspects were arrested and taken into custody; they were plotting a jihad attack in the country. They were reported to adhere to the “ideologies of Al Qaeda, Islamic State and Students Islamic Movement of India.”
In a statement by the National Investigation Agency:
Accused persons have been actively recruiting individuals to strike terror in India and have also been routinely posting videos and other jihadi propaganda material exhorting their supporters to conduct terrorist attacks using various methods including the use of explosives, poison, knives and vehicles, as means of attack.
There is a problem with Islam worldwide; “terror” is being struck into the hearts of disbelievers (Qur’an 8:60) — either the terror of jihad violence and attacks or the terror of being afraid to speak truth about the atrocities that are being committed in the name of Islam and being branded “Islamophobic.”
Leaders in India have been on alert. At the end of May, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “right hand man” Amit Shah, President of the Bharatiya Janata Party, “called Muslim migrants from Bangladesh ‘infiltrators’ and ‘termites’ and promised to ‘remove every single infiltrator from the country, except Buddha, Hindus and Sikhs.’”
The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS is rare in educating about “the jihad against India, where Muslim warriors and conquerors wrought unparalleled and unfathomable devastation in the name of their religion.”
The threat against India and almost everywhere else did not begin with “colonialism” and “Zionism,” as jihadists and their enablers contend.
“16 Tamil Nadu men were planning terror attacks, through knives, vehicles and poison: NIA,” by Deeptiman Tiwary, Indian Express (thanks to The Religion of Peace), July 19, 2019:
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) Friday identified the 14 terror suspects, who were deported this week from UAE and alleged that they were associated with varied ideologies of Al Qaeda, Islamic State and Students Islamic Movement of India. Along with the 14 suspects, two others were arrested and have been remanded in NIA custody for eight days. All 16 suspects hail from Tamil Nadu.
The NIA alleged that they had come together to form a terror group called Ansarulla and the accused had also collected funds and made preparations to carry out terrorist attacks in India, “with the intention of establishing Islamic rule in India.” It further alleged that the group members were exhorting others to carry out lone-wolf attacks using knives, vehicles or even poison.
In a statement, NIA said, “Accused persons have been actively recruiting individuals to strike terror in India and have also been routinely posting videos and other jihadi propaganda material exhorting their supporters to conduct terrorist attacks using various methods including the use of explosives, poison, knives and vehicles, as means of attack.”
NIA further claimed that it has booked the 16 in a case registered on July 9, “based on credible information received that the accused persons, owing allegiance to the proscribed terrorist organizations ISIS/ Daish, Al Qaida and SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India), while being within and beyond India, had conspired and conducted preparations to wage war against the Government of India by forming a terrorist gang Ansarulla.”
Security establishment sources said the suspects were deported from UAE in two batches of seven with the first who arrived on July 13 and the second on July 15. The apprehended individuals were taken to Chennai in a special flight where they were produced in a court….
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