Frankenstein the CIA created–17 January 1999

Frankenstein the CIA created

guardian

 

Mujahideen trained and funded by the US are among its deadliest foes, reports in Peshawar

17 January 1999

When Clement Rodney Hampton-el, a hospital technician from Brooklyn, New Jersey, returned home from the war in Afghanistan in 1989, he told friends his only desire was to return. Though he had been wounded in the arm and leg by a Russian shell, he said he had failed. He had not achieved martyrdom in the name of Islam.So he found a different theatre for his holy war and achieved a different sort of martyrdom. Three years ago, he was convicted of planning a series of massive explosions in Manhattan and sentenced to 35 years in prison.

Hampton-el was described by prosecutors as a skilled bomb-maker. It was hardly surprising. In Afghanistan he fought with the Hezb-i-Islami group of mujahideen, whose training and weaponry were mainly supplied by the CIA.

He was not alone. American officials estimate that, from 1985 to 1992, 12,500 foreigners were trained in bomb-making, sabotage and urban guerrilla warfare in Afghan camps the CIA helped to set up.

Since the fall of the Soviet puppet government in 1992, another 2,500 are believed to have passed through the camps. They are now run by an assortment of Islamic extremists, including Osama bin Laden, the world’s most wanted terrorist.

Bin Laden arrived in Afghanistan from Saudi Arabia in 1979, aged 22. Though he saw a considerable amount of combat – around the eastern city of Jalalabad in March 1989 and, earlier, around the border town of Khost – his speciality was logistics.

From his base in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, he used his experience of the construction trade, and his money, to build a series of bases where the mujahideen could be trained by their Pakistani, American and, if some recent press reports are to be believed, British advisers.

One of the camps bin Laden built, known as Al-Badr, was the target of the American missile strikes against him last summer. Now it is used by Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, a Pakistan-based organisation that trains volunteers to fight in Kashmir.

Some of their recruits kidnapped and almost certainly killed a group of Western hostages a few years ago. The bases are still full of new volunteers, many

Pakistanis. Most of those who were killed in last August’s

strikes were Pakistani.

A Harkut-ul-Mujahideen official said last week that it had Germans and Britons fighting for the cause, as well as Egyptians, Palestinians and Saudis. Muslims from the West as well as from the Middle East and North Africa are regularly stopped by Pakistani police on the road up the Khyber Pass heading for the camps. Hundreds get through. Afghan veterans have now joined bin Laden’s al-Qaeda group.

Some have returned to former battlegrounds, like the university-educated Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri, a key figure in the Egyptian al-Jihad terrorist group. Al-Zawahiri ran his own operation during the Afghan war, bringing in and training volunteers from the Middle East. Some of the $500 million the CIA poured into Afghanistan reached his group. Al-Zawahiri has become a close aide of bin Laden and has now returned to Afghanistan to work with him. His al-Jihad group has been linked to the Yemeni kidnappers.

One Saudi journalist who interviewed bin Laden in 1989 remembers three of his close associates going under the names of Abu Mohammed, Abu Hafz and Abu Ahmed. All three fought with bin Laden in the early Eighties, travelled with him to the Sudan and have come back to Afghanistan. Afghan veterans, believed to include men who fought the Americans in Somalia, have also returned.

Other members of al-Quaeda remain overseas. Afghan veterans now linked to bin Laden have been traced by investigators to Pakistan, East Africa, Albania, Chechnya, Algeria, France, the US and Britain.

At least one of the kidnappers in Yemen was reported to have fought in Afghanistan and to be linked to al-Quaeda. Despite reports that bin Laden was effectively funded by the Americans, it is impossible to gauge how much American aid he received. He was not a major figure in the Afghan war. Most American weapons, including Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, were channelled by the Pakistanis to the Hezb-i-Islami faction of the mujahideen led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

Bin Laden was only loosely connected with the group, serving under another Hezb-i-Islami commander known as Engineer Machmud. However, bin Laden’s Office of Services, set up to recruit overseas for the war, received some US cash.

But according to one American official, concentrating on bin Laden is a mistake. ‘The point is not the individuals,’ he said last week. ‘The point is that we created a whole cadre of trained and motivated people who turned against us. It’s a classic Frankenstein’s monster situation.’

Others point out that the military contribution of the ‘Arabs’, as the overseas volunteers were known, was relatively small. ‘The fighting was done by the Afghans and most of them went back to their fields when Kabul fell to the mujahideen,’ said Kamaal Khan, a Pakistani defence analyst. ‘Ironically, the bulk of American aid went to the least effective fighters, who turned most strongly to bite the hand that fed them.’

6th Georgian Sacrifices Self on the Altar of US Imperialism

[The hypocrisy knows no bounds (SEE: Interior Ministry: Law on mercenaries won’t apply to Georgians fighting for Kyiv).]

One Georgian killed, three wounded in eastern Ukraine

agenda.ge

  • Georgian supporters of Ukraine from Tbilisi demonstration in January 2014; Photo by N. Alavidze / Agenda.ge


Agenda.ge,19 Jan 2015 – 11:43, Tbilisi,Georgia

One Georgian fighter has been killed and three others have been wounded following shelling between the Ukrainian Army and pro-Russian separatists near Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, say Georgian soldiers who voluntarily fight alongside the Ukrainian troops.

The deceased man has been named as Tamaz Sukhiashvili, 36, from the Georgian town of Khashuri.

Georgia’s Consulate in Ukraine said it was currently trying to find out additional details about the deceased and wounded Georgians.

It is believed the Georgians served in one of the battalions deployed near Donetsk Airport. The wounded men were taken to hospital for treatment.

Foreign Minister Tamar Beruchashvili offered her condolences to the soldier’s family and said the Georgian Government was actively working on returning the body to Georgia.

“He was a faithful representative of Georgia’s Armed Forces,” Minister Beruchashvili said.

“He played a serious, professional role in Georgia’s peace missions to foreign countries.”

Sukhiashvili served in the Georgian Armed Forces until 2012. He had fought for Georgia in the 2008 Russia-Georgia war and had participated in peace missions to Iraq and Afghanistan. Another Georgian soldier in Ukraine Mamuka Mamulashvili said Sukhiashvili was survived by his wife and two children.

This was the sixth reported death of a Georgian citizen resulting from unrest in Ukraine, although an official number has not been released by authorities.

Previously, five people were reported to have been killed following armed confrontations or during Euromaidan events, including the most recent accident involving former Georgian soldier Aleksandre Grigolashvili.

Marine Le Pen says French govt afraid to use word ‘Islamist’

Le Pen says French govt afraid to use word ‘Islamist’

France 24

© AFP | Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s far-right National Front party

Text by Joseph BAMAT 

The debate in France over how to refer to terrorists who kill others in the name of Islam is heating up after the country’s leading far-right figure took the government to task for shying away from the word “Islamist”.

Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front (FN) party, has accused the French government of failing to tackle Islamic fundamentalists, in part by its reluctance to call them just that. The controversy over using of the word “Islamist” in tandem with “extremists” or “militants” is not new, but it has moved to the front burner in the wake of France’s recent terrorist attacks – its deadliest in over 50 years.

In an opinion piece for the New York Times, Le Pen specifically targeted Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, but blamed the entire political establishment for allegedly not “looking the enemy in the eye” and for its lack of vigilance.

“It does our Muslim compatriots no favors to fuel suspicions and leave things unspoken. Islamist terrorism is a cancer on Islam, and Muslims themselves must fight it at our side,” she wrote in the op-ed published on Sunday.

Le Pen, in typical fashion, then used the platform to rail against Europe’s system of open internal borders, and “massive waves of immigration, both legal and clandestine”.

Fabius has made no secret of his dislike of the word “Islamic” or “Islamist” when speaking about home-grown or foreign jihadists.

Speaking on Europe 1 radio on January 11, two days after the French-born Kouachi brothers yelled “Allahou Akbar”, or God is great in Arabic, as they gunned down 12 people at the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, Fabius explained:

“I don’t want to play the role of censor, but I think the word Islamist … is not the right one to use. I call them terrorists. Because as soon as you use the word Islam, you are promoting an idea of continuity between a Muslim – who practises his religion, which is a religion of peace – and something which is an interpretation of the Muslim religion.”

Eye on elections

Contacted by FRANCE 24, the New York Times confirmed that Sunday’s op-ed was Le Pen’s first for the newspaper, but would not say if it considered the far-right figure someone who expressed the views of large segments of French society. Last year represented a milestone for Le Pen’s party, with unprecedented victories in mayoral, EU parliament and senate ballots.

According to French far-right expert Jean-Yves Camus, Le Pen’s opinion piece is the New York Times is part of her election strategy for 2015.

“The only way she can make further gains in local elections in March and regional ones in December is by winning over more conservative voters. She has to show she is more conservative than the right-wing Union for a Popular Movement Party (UMP), so it is no surprise she is attacking the government as well as the previous administration of Nicolas Sarkozy.”

Despite Le Pen’s professed concern for France’s Muslims, whom she said “need the distinction between Islamist terrorism and their faith to be made clearly”, Camus said she was in fact addressing her core constituents.

“The National Front has tried to connect with parts of the so-called Muslim community in France in the past, but so far it has been unsuccessful,” Camus said. “It is a very fragmented group. There is no single spiritual leader and there is no central organisation like the Jewish community in France has had historically.”

“Most Muslim voters in France eventually vote independently, and even if some are very conservative, they eventually realise that the FN is also a xenophobic party.”

Camus said that historically the FN opposed immigration regardless of the country of origin, but in recent years has turned its attention to Islam as a religion and an ideology that it sees as incompatible with European culture.

Daesh vs Islamic State

France’s reluctance to use the words “Islamic” or “Islamist” in connection to terrorism first became a subject of debate last year, when Fabius refused to call the Islamic State militant group by the name they chose for themselves. The armed Sunni-Muslim movement that has taken control over large parts of Syria and Iraq – and made international headlines by beheading Western captives – has been referred to as “Daesh” by France’s foreign ministry since September. Many French media have followed suit.

The word Daesh originates from an acronym for the group in Arabic, but it is by no means neutral. Considered an insult by IS members, the term was invented by the group’s political opponents in Iran and Syria specifically to undermine the notion it has any claim over Islam as a religion or an autonomous state, their self-styled “caliphate”. The word also has negative connotations in Arabic, a fact not lost on Fabius.

Paris is now engaged in a comparable semantic struggle, but on its home turf. The French government has repeatedly urged citizens not to conflate the Charlie Hebdo attackers, who are part of extremist minority, with millions of ordinary French Muslims. It has brandished the gunmen terrorists and called for a clear distinction between them and France’s second largest faith.

“France is not at war against a religion,” Prime Minister Manuel Valls declared in a rousing speech at the National Assembly on January 13. “France is not at war against Islam and Muslims. France will protect … as it has always done, all its citizens. Those who are believers, like those who are not.”

The government’s concern is proving legitimate. France’s National Observatory Against Islamophobia has recorded an unprecedented rise in anti-Muslim acts across the country in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks. They have ranged from threats and harassment of women wearing Muslim veils, to shots fired against mosques.

The Paris police prefecture has already banned two protests “against the Islamisation of Europe”, organised by a fringe far-right group and inspired by Germany’s anti-Islamic PEGIDA movement.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde Gives Veiled Threat of Retaliation for Electoral Win By Greek Left

"Collective endeavours are welcome but at the same time a debt is a debt and it is a contract," Lagarde told the Irish Times during a visit to Dublin.
“Collective endeavours are welcome but at the same time a debt is a debt and it is a contract,” Lagarde told the Irish Times during a visit to Dublin.

DUBLIN: International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde on Monday warned of “consequences” if European countries try to renegotiate their debts, ahead of Greek elections which an anti-austerity party is favoured to win.

“Collective endeavours are welcome but at the same time a debt is a debt and it is a contract,” Lagarde told the Irish Times during a visit to Dublin.

“Defaulting, restructuring, changing the terms has consequences on the signature and the confidence in th ..

Russian Defense Minister flies to Iran for signing military cooperation agreement

Russian Defense Minister flies to Iran for signing military cooperation agreement

tass russian news

Crucial issues of global and regional security and measures to step up military and technical cooperation will be discussed at the meeting of the two countries’ defense ministers

russ def min Sergey Shoigu
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu 
© Mikhail Japaridze/TASS

MOSCOW, January 19. /TASS/. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has left for Iran on an official visit for signing a military cooperation agreement.

“While in Tehran Shoigu will hold talks with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Dehgan,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.

“Crucial issues of global and regional security and measures to step up military and technical cooperation will be discussed at the meeting,” he said.

A military cooperation agreement is to be signed.

Previously, Shoigu and Dehgan met on the sidelines of the third Moscow conference on international security in May 2014. They noted the need for tighter defense cooperation, which, Shoigu said, “has always been of importance” to bilateral relations.

For his part Dehgan said Iran was interested in “propelling cooperation with Russia to a new level.”

Last autumn Shoigu paid his first-ever visit to Pakistan and signed a military cooperation agreement with that country. The Russian defense minister and his Pakistani counterpart, Khawaja Asif, discussed “a range of measures of specific interest.”

Houthi militants surround prime minister’s palace in Sanaa

Houthi militants surround prime minister’s palace in Sanaa

albawaba news

A Houthi militant mans a checkpoint in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, January 18, 2015. (AFP/File)A Houthi militant mans a checkpoint in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, January 18, 2015. (AFP/File)

Yemen’s powerful Houthi movement surrounded the prime minister’s residence after firing on his convoy during deadly clashes with the Yemeni army on Monday, the most intense clashes since the Houthis, took control of the capital in September.

Houthi fighters were in control of all three entrances to the Republican Palace, a building Prime Minister Khalid Bahah has lived in since taking office in October, a government spokesman told AFP, while Houthi representatives negotiated with President Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

“Houthis meet with president to agree on terms for releasing chief of staff in return for changes in constitution and national authority,” Information Minister Nadia Sakkaf said on her Twitter account.

Earlier on Monday, Sakkaf said Houthi fighters had fired on Bahah’s motorcade after he left a meeting with Hadi and a Houthi adviser that had been called to try to resolve bitter disagreements over a draft constitution.

A Yemeni government spokesman slammed the shooting at Bahah’s armored convoy as an assassination attempt.

“The gunmen have surrounded the palace and the prime minister is inside,” government spokesman Rajeh Badi said. Two eyewitnesses confirmed the siege.

Sakkaf earlier told Reuters the presidential palace had come under “direct attack” in what she described as an attempted coup. Hadi was believed to have been at home in another district at the time. “Of course it is an attempted coup,” she said.

Witnesses said the fighting erupted early Monday after Houthis deployed reinforcements near the presidential palace.

The military presidential guard sent troops onto the streets surrounding the palace and outside Hadi’s residence.

A security official said the army intervened when the Houthis allegedly began to set up a new checkpoint near the presidential palace.

But a prominent Houthi chief, Ali al-Imad, accused the presidential guard of provoking the clashes.

“Hadi’s guard is trying to blow up the situation on the security front to create confusion on the political front,” he said on Facebook.

A ceasefire that came into effect after several hours appeared to be holding.

At least nine people were killed, including fighters from both sides, and more than 60 wounded, in an updated toll of Monday’s clashes.

The Houthis’ September takeover made them the country’s de facto top power, and tensions between them and Hadi had been growing since Saturday when they were accused of allegedly abducting his chief of staff, Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak.

Mubarak is the secretary general of the national dialogue on a political transition following the 2012 resignation of veteran President Ali Abdullah Saleh after a bloody year-long uprising.

The senior politician was “driven away to an unknown location,” an official from the national dialogue secretariat told AFP on Saturday, adding that the abductors “are suspected of being Houthi militiamen.”

Mubarak’s kidnapping came just before a meeting of the national dialogue secretariat to present a draft constitution dividing Yemen into a six-region federation, which the Houthis oppose.

Houthis, who hail from Yemen’s remote north and fought a decade-long war against the government, rejected the decentralization plan last year, claiming it divides the country into rich and poor regions.

The street battles on Monday marked a new low in the fortunes of the Arabian Peninsula state, plagued by tribal divisions, a separatist challenge in the south and a threat from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which claimed a series of deadly attacks in and outside Yemen, including the January 7 attack in Paris on a French satirical journal.

AQAP, reacting to the loss of its strongholds to Houthi fighters, has accused its opponents of acting as a proxy for both the United States and Iran, threatening renewed violence against them.

The instability in Yemen has raised fears that the country, next to oil-rich Saudi Arabia and key shipping routes from the Suez Canal to the Gulf, could become a failed state along the lines of Somalia
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