Propaganda + Bribe Money= ISIS’ Primary Weapon

[The inflated threat of ISIS is far greater than the actual danger coming from the highly-funded militant group itself.  The strategy of raising new Islamist armies through bribery has enabled ISIS propagandists to create the illusion of little ISIS armies springing-up everywhere, all of them convinced into splitting off from local al-Qaeda related groups, bought-off with great stacks of weapons and money.  Expectant reporters (especially from the alJazeera-led Arab press) drool in fevered anticipation over the next bit of pro-ISIS propaganda, eagerly waiting to spread this gossip of new ISIL affiliates, without ever mentioning that most of them are just Taliban or al-Qaeda, who are switching sides.  The great ISIS “victory” over Mosul, Iraq was mostly a merger between ISIS and remaining Baathist loyalists, led by Iraqi Gen. Izzat al-Douri.  ISIS attacks in Paris and elsewhere were commissioned mercenary attacks, paid-for with the same Sunni money used to bribe the new ISIS affiliates, i.e., the same money that bought ISIS Toyota-gunship convoys,  Sunni money continues to finance the perceived “advance” of the ISIS machine.  Western and Arab media create a phantom image of a rapidly expanding ISIS, as a proven method for justifying the spread of NATO forces.  Taking these phantom reports seriously is vital to Western plans for global expansion.  Taking such phantom reports seriously is dangerous to human kind. 

Supporting the raising of coalitions to counter this phantom threat is tantamount to investing in the American global aggression.]

If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try Deception: The Islamic State’s Expansion Efforts in Algeria


IS Algeria province logo

How has the so-called Islamic State attempted to overcome its failure to gain a significant foothold in Algeria? Nathaniel Barr’s answer points to the adoption of a familiar strategy – the use of misleading propaganda to exaggerate its influence inside the North African state.

By Nathaniel Barr for The Jamestown Foundation

This article was originally published by The Jamestown Foundation on 13 November 2015. Republished with permission.

Since announcing the establishment of the caliphate in June 2014, the Islamic State has broadcast its successes in expanding into new territories outside of Syria and Iraq, aiming to create the perception that it is growing rapidly throughout the Muslim world, and steadily chipping away at al-Qaeda’s position as the preeminent global jihadist organization. But contrary to the former’s claims, the group’s expansion efforts have often been fraught with setbacks. In some theaters, the Islamic State has confronted more powerful jihadist organizations, many of them al-Qaeda affiliates, who have resisted efforts to sow internal discord and inspire defections. The Islamic State has also run up against state security forces who have sought to eliminate affiliated groups before they can gain a foothold. To date, however, the Islamic State’s expansion struggles have often gone relatively unnoticed, as the group has effectively masked its weaknesses and projected an image of strength through its propaganda.

Nowhere have the organization’s struggles been more pronounced than in Algeria. While Algeria was one of the first countries outside of Syria and Iraq where the Islamic State established a physical presence, two factors have prevented the group from solidifying its gains and making further inroads. First, a superior jihadist organization in al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has pushed back against the Islamic State’s encroachment in Algeria. AQIM has waged a propaganda battle against its jihadist rival, and has mounted a military campaign aimed at demonstrating to rank-and-file militants in Algeria that it is more powerful than the Islamic State. Second, Islamic State factions in Algeria have been unable to evade Algeria’s security forces, who have aggressively and proactively cracked down on them. With both AQIM and Algerian security forces pressuring the Islamic State, the group has resorted to a familiar propaganda strategy of deception and exaggeration to preserve its influence in Algeria. The article will examine the Islamic State’s struggles in Algeria in the context of the group’s broader international expansion efforts.

Islamic State’s Initial Advance into Algeria

The Islamic State’s expansion into Algeria came without warning, when members of AQIM’s “center zone,” led by Abdelmalek Gouri, announced in September 2014 that they were joining the rival jihadist group. In his statement, Gouri said that AQIM had “deviat[ed] from the true path,” and he proclaimed that his group would henceforth be known as Jund al-Khilafah, or Soldiers of the Caliphate (al-Jazeera, September 14, 2014). Less than two weeks after Gouri’s pledge of allegiance, Jund al-Khilafah announced its arrival on the world stage by kidnapping and beheading Herve Gourdel, a French citizen who had been hiking in the mountains of the Kabylie region, a longtime hotbed of jihadist activity (al-Jazeera , September 25, 2014). Jund al-Khilafah filmed Gourdel’s beheading and presented the execution as an act of retaliation against France for its involvement in the anti-Islamic State military campaign in Iraq. the group’s decision to carry out a high-profile beheading as its first act of violence was emblematic of the Islamic State’s global messaging strategy; in theaters outside of Iraq and Syria, the organization has repeatedly conducted spectacular attacks as a means of drawing attention to new Islamic State affiliates.

However, although the Islamic State had announced its presence in Algeria with a bang, Jund al-Khilafah’s prospects thereafter declined rapidly. In December 2014—a month after Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Islamic State’s amir, accepted Jund al-Khilafah’s pledge of allegiance and announced the creation of Wilayat al-Jazair (Algeria province)—the Algerian Army killed Gouri, who was Jund al-Khilafah’s top commander, and two other militants in a raid in northern Algeria (al-Arabiya , December 23, 2014). A crippling blow was delivered to Jund al-Khilafah in May 2015, when Algerian security forces killed approximately 25 Islamic State militants in two days of military operations in the mountains of Bouira Province (Reuters, May 20). At the time of the first raid, which resulted in the death of 22 fighters, Jund al-Khilafah’s top commanders had reportedly been meeting to plan major attacks, possibly in Algiers or against Algerian military facilities, and Algerian troops recovered a sizable weapons arsenal during the operation (El Watan [Algiers], May 22).

The May raid devastated Jund al-Khilafah. International media reports placed the size of the group at only 30 fighters, meaning that the raid in May had wiped out almost all of the group’s manpower (New York Times , December 23, 2014). The raid also decimated Jund al-Khilafah’s leadership ranks: five of the group’s six commanders were killed in the operation, including Abdullah Othman al-Asimi (a.k.a. Bachir Kherza), who had been appointed to lead Jund al-Khilafah after Gouri’s death (El Watan [Algiers], May 24).

Jund al-Khilafah’s precipitous collapse revealed the fragility of the Islamic State’s foothold in Algeria. Its rapid and highly public rise to prominence may have been to its detriment, as the group was not strong enough in its nascent stages to withstand the crackdown that inevitably followed the release of the beheading video. Indeed, though Jund al-Khilafah claimed responsibility for three minor attacks against security forces in February and March of 2015, the group has not mustered enough force to carry out another high-profile attack since the kidnapping and beheading of Gourdel (Jihadology, March 19). And while Jund al-Khilafah had reportedly been in the process of wooing AQIM fighters based in southern Algeria and northern Mali, the near obliteration of the group in May likely curtailed these recruitment operations and reduced the Islamic State’s influence in the region (El Khabar [Algiers], July 21).

Jund al-Khilafah, or what remains of the group, is now a strategically irrelevant player in Algeria. Though remnants of the group may continue to operate in the Kabylie region, the group does not presently possess the manpower or resources to significantly threaten Algeria’s security or AQIM’s Algerian network.

Smoke and Mirrors: Islamic State’s Propaganda Strategy in Algeria

With its physical network in Algeria decimated, the Islamic State has turned to its propaganda machine to help reestablish itself in the country. In particular, the group has exploited social media and other platforms to create the illusion that militants in Algeria are defecting from AQIM and flocking to the Islamic State in droves. According to their logic, if the Islamic State can foster the perception that it is ascendant and AQIM is internally factious, it can persuade Algerian jihadists to defect from AQIM. Thus, the Islamic State’s strategy is designed to turn the myth of momentum into a reality. This is an approach that the organization has also implemented in other areas where it is seeking to expand, including Afghanistan and Somalia.

The primary means by which the Islamic State has sought to cultivate momentum in Algeria is by publicizing pledges of allegiance that Algerian jihadists have made. Four jihadist groups have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State since Jund al-Khilafah did so, with some of the pledges timed to maximize the attention they receive. The first pledge of allegiance that the Islamic State received in 2015 came in May from a group of fighters in Skikda Province, in eastern Algeria.[1] The pledge, which was issued via audio statement, provided little information on the members of the Skikda faction, aside from the fact that they had previously been aligned with AQIM. The next pledge of allegiance came in late July, when militants claiming to be part of AQIM’s al-Ghuraba Brigade, which operates in the vicinity of the eastern Algerian city of Constantine, announced their defection to the Islamic State in an audio statement and called upon other AQIM members to join the other group as well. [2] In early August, Islamic State militants from Iraq’s Saladin Province released a video praising the al-Ghuraba militants, thereby drawing further attention to the defection.[3]

The Islamic State’s next moves in Algeria further showed how the group manipulates social media to inflate its presence and create the perception of discord within rival jihadist organizations. On September 3, Islamic State Twitter supporters released a video of the al-Ghuraba cell’s pledge of allegiance (only an audio statement had been released when the group initially pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in July). The next day, militants claiming to be from AQIM’s al-Ansar Brigade, which operates in central Algeria, released an audio statement announcing their defection. [4] The re-release of the al-Ghuraba militants’ pledge of allegiance appears to have been strategically timed to coincide with the pledge from the al-Ansar Brigade, creating the illusion that AQIM militants were defecting to the Islamic State en masse. Approximately two weeks after the pledge of allegiance from the al-Ansar militants, Humat al-Da’wah al-Salafiyah, a low profile Algerian jihadist group that had joined AQIM in 2013, announced that it too was pledging allegiance to the Islamic State ( SITE, September 22). The organization’s social media operatives immediately sought to publicize the defections; one prolific pro-Islamic State Twitter account remarked that a new group was defecting from AQIM to the Islamic State every day, while another Twitter supporter claimed that AQIM was fracturing as a result of Islamic State pressure.[5] [6]

Despite the Islamic State’s efforts to foment unrest within AQIM, the group has been unsuccessful in turning the impression of strength into a reality. None of the four groups that have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in Algeria in 2015 have carried out an attack since joining. Indeed, there is reason to believe that some of these groups comprise fewer than a dozen militants; one news report claimed that the al-Ghuraba and Skikda cells had been inactive for several years, and also noted that the al-Ghuraba cell consisted of no more than ten fighters (al-Arabi al-Jadeed [London], July 27). The situation has become so grim for the Islamic State in Algeria that the group itself has acknowledged its struggles. On October 21, the Islamic State’s Wilayat al-Jazair released an audio statement in which a militant reassured jihadists that the group’s presence in Algeria was sustainable, and urged Islamic State fighters in Algeria not to risk their lives unnecessarily, fearing a repeat of Jund al-Khilafah’s collapse. [7] That the Islamic State, a group that endlessly parades its victories and conceals its defeats, felt the need to reassure its supporters in Algeria that it was still relevant reveals the organization’s bleak prospects in the country.

AQIM’s Response to the Islamic State Threat

One explanation for Islamic State’s struggles in Algeria is the strong front that AQIM has presented against encroachment. AQIM has implemented a two-pronged strategy to counter the Islamic State’s influence in Algeria. On the propaganda front, AQIM has sought to discredit the other group. For instance, in July 2015, AQIM released a statement via Twitter accusing the Islamic State of sowing discord within the jihadist community and blaming the group for inciting a jihadist civil war in the Libyan city of Derna.[8] AQIM has also directly undercut the Islamic State’s propaganda operations in Algeria; following the al-Ansar Brigade’s pledge of allegiance to the Islamic State, AQIM released a statement claiming that the al-Ansar Brigade remained loyal to al-Qaeda, and said that no more than ten men from the brigade had defected. [9]

In addition, AQIM has intensified its military operations in Algeria to demonstrate to militants that it remains the most potent jihadist force in the country and that defections from AQIM to the Islamic State have not diminished AQIM’s military capabilities. In July 2015, AQIM carried out an attack that amounted to a show of force, killing at least nine Algerian soldiers in the Ain Defla region southwest of Algiers (Reuters, July 19). In a statement, AQIM noted that it had carried out the attack, the bloodiest jihadist operation in Algeria in over a year, in response to Algerian military claims that the militant group had been “eradicated and destroyed.”[10] However, the attack also sent a clear message to the Islamic State, and to AQIM’s own fighters, that AQIM was still a force to be reckoned with in Algeria. Since the Ain Defla incident, AQIM, which had been largely inactive militarily in 2014, has carried out several more attacks inside Algeria, suggesting that AQIM has made a strategic decision to ramp up its operational tempo in Algeria to ward off a challenge from the Islamic State.

Implications for Algeria

AQIM’s escalation in response to the challenge from the Islamic State comes at a fraught time for Algeria, whose policymakers and security officials are preoccupied with resolving the conflicts in Libya and Mali and preventing spillover into the country. These security challenges also come as tensions between Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and the DRS, Algeria’s powerful intelligence service, are mounting. In addition, in the background is the potential succession crisis when Bouteflika, whose health has deteriorated following a stroke in 2013, eventually passes away. These concerns are compounded by persistent economic and social discontent among the Algerian population; in early 2015, thousands of Algerians took to the streets of Algiers and other cities to protest against corruption, political and economic stagnation and the government’s decision to begin fracking for shale gas in southern Algeria.

AQIM’s resurgence and the lingering threat of Islamic State expansion therefore poses yet another challenge for Algerian policymakers. Even though the Islamic State has proven incapable of gaining a foothold in Algeria thus far, the group’s expansion efforts have still had a negative impact on Algeria’s security, as AQIM increases its operations against Algerian security forces in response to the Islamic State challenge. In addition, AQIM’s attempts to out-compete the Islamic State through conducting attacks will almost certainly intensify if the latter manages to solidify its presence in Algeria. As such, the competition between the Islamic State and AQIM can be expected to have an outsize impact on Algeria’s security and stability in the coming months.



[1] For the audio clip of “Statement from the Mujahidin: Bay’ah To the Caliph of the Muslims Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” see

[2] For the audio clip of “Bay’ah of the Mujahidin in the City of Qusantinah (Constantine) To the Caliph of the Muslims Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Joining The Islamic State’s Wilayat al-Jaza’ir,” see .

[3] For the video clip of “One Body #2: Congratulations To Our Brothers In Algeria – Wilayat Salah al-Din,” see .

[4] For the audio clip of “Statement from the Mujahidin: Bay’ah To the Caliph of the Muslims Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Joining The Islamic State’s Wilayat al-Jaza’ir,” see .

[5] Tweets from Twitter account of M. Gharib al-Ikhwan (@bhbhbhbh131), September 21, 2015.

[6] Tweets from Twitter account of Uyun al-Ummah (@Oyoon_is), September 21, 2015.

[7] For the audio clip of “One Body – Wilayat al-Jaza’ir”, see

[8] Tweets from Twitter account of @AI_Andalus, July 7, 2015.

[9] For the statement from AQIM, titled “About the Rumor of the Allegiance of Katibat al-Ansar to the ‘State Organization,’” see .

[10] For the statement from AQIM, titled “The Raid of Jebel al-Luh: The Destruction of 14 Soldiers and Spoils of Their Weapons,” see

For more information on issues and events that shape our world, please visit the ISN Blog and browse our resources.

Nathaniel Barr is a threat analyst at Valens Global, a D.C. based consulting firm that focuses on the threat posed by violent non-state actors.

Taliban Shootout Perhaps Claims Life of CIA/ISI Strawman Taliban Leader Akhtar Mansour

Faizy says there was an argument, followed by shooting that wounded Mansoor and killed six Taliban figures, including Sarhadi. “He was rushed to hospital and we are not sure if he survived his wounds”, Sultan Faizi, the spokesman for the Afghan first vice president, told AFP.

Mansour assumed leadership of the Taliban on July 31 – despite the objections of some group members – following the announcement of the death of group founder Mullah Mohamed Omar.

The development comes amid a renewed regional push to jumpstart peace talks with the Taliban, which stalled after the militants belatedly confirmed longtime leader Mullah Omar’s death in late July.

Some senior Taliban leaders had been suspicious of Mullah Mansour’s support for peace talks hosted by neighbouring Pakistan, and accused pro-Pakistani circles of installing him as the new leader.

Faizi said the incident took place in Kechlaqh, a locality on the outskirts of Quetta city of Pakistan.

However all the sources agreed the meeting was at the home of Abdullah Sarhadi, a commander in Mansour’s group.

A number of senior Taliban commanders refused to pledge allegiance to him and a faction opposed to him was set up last month under Mullah Mohammad Rasool.

“During the discussion, some senior people developed differences and they opened fire at each other”, a senior Taliban commander said. “This is totally baseless”, Zabihullah Mujahid said.

His account was confirmed by another Afghan Taliban source.


Why ISIS Exists: The Double Game

Why ISIS Exists: The Double Game

Pete SouzaPete Souza

The western press laments the near impossibility of defeating an organization that didn’t even exist a couple of short years ago. Brand ISIS, the unconquerable, may actually become a truism if the people of the western nations continue to listen to the lies and propaganda of their own governments.

You’ve been told a lot of things about the war in Syria, and clearly most of it is finely crafted war propaganda, which seeks to obscure the forest by showing you an endless series of trees. The trees are gunshots, explosions, and dead bodies. The forest is elusive, vast, covers several continents, and we are only ever given small samples of the terrain. The section of the forest that receives some of the latest scrutiny is not necessarily the crucial part of the story. Beneath the entire forest lies an aquifer, a vast ocean of water that feeds the trees invisibly, silently, yet persistently. Without this water supply there would be no forest to speak of.

But here is where the metaphor breaks. Unlike an underground reservoir, which is impossible to eradicate, the money and weapons transfers to fundamentalist militants can be stopped. The problem is that western so-called “leaders” have done absolutely nothing to stop them. In fact they rarely mention these sources of terrorist arms, training and funding at all, in public anyway. When acknowledged these become theater, hand wringing, vague excuses rather than concrete action. At other times intelligence services themselves willingly hand over sophisticated weapons to terrorists, such as TOW anti-tank missiles and surface to air “MANPADS” capable of bringing down commercial airliners. The nations most responsible for creating the extremist armies on the ground—Turkey and the Persian Gulf tyrannies—are close allies and even “friends” to US and European political masters.

Establishing the Grand Fraud

So what in the hell is really going on? Well, war of course. This is what modern war looks like. In particular this latest proxy war targets the multi-cultural, yet authoritarian regime of Syria’s Bashar Al Assad. NATO dislikes Assad because he is an ally of Iran, Russia and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Oil and gas pipeline routes also factor in. Western powers and Gulf States that don’t like Assad have, like a pack of wild jackals, been ripping at Syria since 2011. The primary supporter of ISIS and the Al Nusrah Front is Turkey, which by any objective measure should be considered a state sponsor of international terrorism and isolated immediately.

Sometimes we are even provided short glimpses of the reality, by our own so-called leaders. Vice President of the United States Joe Biden said: “[Erdogan…the Saudis, the Emiratis, etc.]…poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad, except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra, and al Qaeda, and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.”

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said: “Still, donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.”

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey said: “I know major Arab allies who fund them [ISIS].”

Former Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said: “It’s unbelievable and unacceptable that more than 60 nations comprising this coalition that have the most modern aircraft and weapons at their disposal have been conducting their campaign in Iraq for 14 months and IS still remains in the country.”

Former Defense Intelligence Agency head Michael Flynn said: “I think it was a decision, a willful decision.”

The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) said: “The Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [Al Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria…The West, the Gulf Countries, and Turkey support the opposition.”

Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan said: “The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the [Olympic] games are controlled by us, and they will not move in the Syrian territory’s direction without coordinating with us.”

The U.S. State Department said, “Riyadh has taken only limited action to disrupt fundraising for the UN 1267-listed Taliban and LeT-groups that are also aligned with al-Qa’ida and focused on undermining stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan…Al-Qa’ida and other groups continue to exploit Kuwait both as a source of funds and as a key transit point…UAE’s role as a growing global financial center, coupled with weak regulatory oversight, makes it vulnerable to abuse by terrorist financiers and facilitation networks…[Qatar has] been hesitant to act against known terrorists out of concern for appearing to be aligned with the U.S. and provoking reprisals.”

No concrete steps are taken against these state supporters of terrorism. Far from it, they are intimate partners with the United States and form a coalition of the willing to use proxy terrorists to destroy Syria. ISIS has been a main component of this effort for years. It was not until they attacked targets in Europe (Paris), that Western leaders finally decided that they needed to appear to do things differently.

What this coalition does and what it clearly does not do are the telltale signs for understanding these current events. These will require more scrutiny.

The US has manufactured terrorist armies before, notably in Afghanistan, beginning in 1979. And when their Mujahadeen brigades defeated the Soviets, in the late 1980s, many champagne bottles were popped over at the Langley CIA headquarters. Such a wonderful victory for them, Zbigniew Brzezinski was quite proud of his handiwork. Coincidentally, Brzezinski emerged recently to shriek at the Russians, “to convey to Moscow the demand that it cease and desist from military actions that directly affect American assets.” Those “assets” have been the subject of much obfuscation and deceit over these past four years, despite seas of bloodshed. In Syria today, just who is an “American asset,” and who is not?

The most jaw-dropping and damning revelation of the entire Syria fiasco to date is hosted right on the website. It’s received zero mention by the “free” US corporate press, and here it is: “President Obama spoke by phone today from California with Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey, at the Prime Minister’s request, about developments in Syria and Egypt. The President and Prime Minister discussed the danger of foreign extremists in Syria and agreed on the importance of supporting a unified and inclusive Syrian opposition. The President and Prime Minister expressed concern about the situation in Egypt and a shared commitment to supporting a democratic and inclusive way forward. The two leaders agreed to have their teams continue to coordinate closely to promote our shared interests. The President gave his best wishes to the Prime Minister and the Turkish people on the beginning of their Ramazan holiday.”

That is exhibit A for the treason trial. I’m quite shocked that I’ve been nearly alone in referencing this outrageously criminal admission concerning US policy in Turkey and Syria. You now have been informed of whom the White House considers an “asset.” The Russians know it too, all too well.

Exhibit B for the prosecution would likely be Barack Obama’s tinkering with the Arms Export Control Act, reported on September 15th of 2013: “The president, citing his authority under the Arms Export Control Act, announced today that he would waive the prohibitions in sections 40 and 40A…The prohibitions contained in this section apply with respect to a country if the Secretary of State determines that the government of that country has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism.”

This action can only be described as Orwellian hypocrisy, as the weapons Obama ships to Syrian insurgents meet the stated criteria. The United States is clearly supporting “international terrorism,” with glee. US arms and ammunition have gone to Jihadists all over Syria and Iraq through many pathways. They have murdered many civilians there, and they continue to do so daily. Further, attacking the government of Syria by arming a proxy army is the “Supreme International Crime,” a Crime Against the Peace, a blatant breach of the UN Charter, but it’s happening.



The entire world knows that Syria’s radical terrorists are supported by outside states, and yet no sanctions are ever proposed by our “democratic” leaders against those states. When Russia did things in Ukraine that Washington disapproved of immediate trade sanctions attacked its economy and certain named individuals. No such actions are even entertained against Turkish, Saudi, Qatari, Kuwaiti, Jordanian or other supporters of the ISIS terror state. This is clearly because the US, and Barack Obama specifically, consider these terrorists “American assets.” It is the Brzezinski plan for regime change, and it has always been the Brzezinski plan.

They know exactly what they’re doing. Obama’s own Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) told them in 2012 that their actions would lead to an Islamic Caliphate. “ISI could also declare an Islamic State through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create a grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory.”

It’s not ignorance, and it’s not a mistake. It has been the deliberate policy of the United States and its partners to tolerate―and to even support―a terror Caliphate in Syria and Iraq.

Redirections, Red Lines & Rat Lines

The most important investigative article of the post 9/11 era is arguably Seymour Hersh’s March 2007 expose in The New Yorker: “The Redirection.” Just what was being redirected?

Short answer: everything. The so-called “war on terror” flipped 180 degrees as the US partnered with Sunni extremists to redirect the fight and target Shi’ite Muslims: specifically Assad’s Syria, Maliki’s Shi’ite Iraqi regime, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the big one: Iran. “[The Saudi] message to us was ‘We’ve created this movement, and we can control it.’ It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs; it’s who they throw them at―Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians, if they continue to work with Hezbollah and Iran.”

As Americans went back to sleep, the American empire partnered up with the sponsors of the 9/11 attacks: Saudis and their Wahabbi friends, who can always be counted on to supply money and fanatical fighters. The formula that brought down the Soviets in the 1980s was to be “New American Century” Plan A.

“This is all part of the campaign of provocative steps to increase the pressure on Iran. The idea is that at some point the Iranians will respond and then the Administration will have an open door to strike at them,” Seymour Hersh writes in “The Redirection.”

By the time Syria exploded into chaos in 2011, Obama was in charge, and the strategy had steadily evolved. So had the clampdown on dissenting voices. Seymour Hersh was exiled to the London Review of Books, where his damning revelations would not be broadcast to the American public. In “The Red Line and the Rat Line” Hersh helped expose what was going on in Syria: “A highly classified annex to the report, not made public, described a secret agreement reached in early 2012 between the Obama and Erdogan administrations. It pertained to the rat line. By the terms of the agreement, funding came from Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the CIA, with the support of MI6, was responsible for getting arms from Gaddafi’s arsenals into Syria.”

In 2011 Obama destroyed Libya by acting as “Al Qaeda’s Air Force” in violation of the Constitution and the UN Charter. He then set his dogs to work moving weapons and fighters from Libya across to the next target on the hit list: Syria.

By June 20, of 2013: “[Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)]…stated that al-Nusra maintained a sarin production cell: its programme, the paper said, was ‘the most advanced sarin plot since al-Qaida’s’ pre-9/11 effort.” (Hersh)

Meaning that the White House was lying throughout that period as to the Syrian rebels’ chemical weapons capabilities. When a staged sarin attack killed numerous civilians in Ghoutta, on August 21 of 2013, Obama was quick to jump at the chance for military action and a new war. That was the “red line” cassus belli that his own administration had floated the previous year. But the actual perpetrators turned out to be Al Nusrah Front working with chemical suppliers in Turkey, aided by Turkish intelligence.

That the Jihadis were the Ghoutta chemical attack perpetrators was confirmed in a Turkish indictment as well as by rebel fighters on the ground near Damascus.

The actions of the White House over this issue betray its hypocrisy, yet again. When Assad was the perpetrator, all the military might of the NATO bloc was to come down on Syria to punish it for its “red line” use of chemical weapons. When the actual perpetrators are Al Nusrah terrorists, working closely with Erdogan’s Turkey, as well as Pentagon and CIA trainees, and ISIS too, there is only a deafening silence. Inaction reveals much when it comes to this Syrian charade. The sarin issue was kicked from history, and the actual deaths of those 500 or so children and civilians remain as meaningless to those in Washington as do any other deaths in their ongoing Middle East blood frenzy.

As for the Benghazi-Gate fiasco, and the death of the US ambassador, the obvious reason for the White House cover-up was disclosed in Seymour Hersh’s piece: “The [Benghazi] consulate’s only mission was to provide cover for the moving of arms,’ the former intelligence official, who has read the annex, said. ‘It had no real political role.’”

Clearly the illegal foreign support to the insurgency in Syria is the reason ISIS exists. It did not spring from nowhere. It did not magically take over parts of two countries overnight. The fact that it is a genocidal, fanatical monstrosity is one of those distasteful qualities that western leaders tend to distance themselves from, but not enough to actually eradicate the quite useful proxy group.

The Fake “War” on ISIS

As we bob from fraud to fraud in this age of manufactured terror and covert everything, we must remain significantly more vigilant than our predecessors in order to comprehend the schizophrenic nature of US foreign policy today.

As for ISIS we bomb them occasionally but an excuse lingers that bombing is not sufficient. We are told that we will need to take over Syria, with large infantry armies that is if the Jihadists can’t do it successfully on their own. Unfortunately, for people like Zbigniew Brzezinski, John McCain, Bandar bin Sultan, and Barack Obama, the Russians saw the writing on the wall and stepped in to bomb back the terrorist militias. With a legitimate invitation from the government of Syria the Russian air campaign has been quite successful so far.

Back in September of 2014 the NY Times claimed that Barack Obama’s Administration was “Struggling to Starve ISIS of Oil Revenue.” Over a year later Obama had still not bombed the long lines of tanker trucks illegally selling the black market oil to the neighboring countries: that coalition again, with Turkey being the main recipient. Neither did the Times even bother mentioning the obvious US option of bombing the tanker trucks, oil wells and refineries under ISIS control.



Echoing what Nuri al-Maliki had said, Vladimir Putin wielded the big monkey wrench at this last G20 summit, on November 15th: “Channels of finance for terrorist activity must be cut off…This financing, as we found out, comes from 40 countries, including some in the G20.”

Gloves off, Russian President Putin had already accused Washington of backing terrorism across the Middle East. Not stopping there, Putin literally handed Obama Russian satellite photos of 1,000 ISIS oil tanker trucks stretching for “dozens of kilometers.”

The very next day, November 16, “U.S. Warplanes Strike ISIS Oil Trucks in Syria.” For some reason only 116 trucks out of the “1,000” were hit by the US mission. Then the effort mysteriously stopped as soon as the headlines had gone to print. With the policy firmly established in the media, the reality on the ground became irrelevant again.

Russia took up the slack on the 18th destroying “500 fuel tank trucks” controlled by ISIS and used to fund their insurgency. As Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov phrased it: “[T]he analysis of those [US-led] airstrikes during over a year lead to conclusion that they were hitting selectively, I would say, sparingly and on most occasions didn’t touch those IS units, which were capable of seriously challenging the Syrian army.”

In addition to avoiding the illegal oil trade occurring right beneath USAF fighter/bombers for over a year, there is also the matter of approximately 60 ISIS training camps. No training camps have been bombed to date, despite continually churning out “1,000” radical Islamic fighters per month. We can make some educated guesses as to why that is.

Foreign intelligence and special forces (British and Qatari), and potentially US personnel, have operated inside Syria since at least February of 2012. The CIA admits to spending $1Bn per year training Syrian insurgents and boasts that it has “trained and equipped nearly 10,000 fighters sent into Syria over the past several years.” If US personnel aren’t actually inside the territory of Syria, their pets surely are.

We know that ISIS, Al Nusrah, al Sham and Free Syrian Army (FSA) are all allies and work closely together. The FSA Colonel Abdel Jabbar al Olkaidi has plainly told us so. Olkaidi was the direct link to US Ambassador Robert Ford, and so there is no longer any plausible deniability on the subject. There is no legitimacy left for US claims of a “moderate” opposition that somehow exists separate from the genocidal terror armies of head-chopping extremists.


I would be remiss if I ignored mentioning the oil and gas supplies of the Middle East. The routes into Europe are hotly contested. With the Ukrainian gas pipelines coming from Russia, western leaders want alternatives in order to weaken the bear. Other proposed energy routes to the south include Syrian territory, that same territory ISIS now claims as its “Caliphate.”

It also needs to be mentioned that German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere has admitted: 760 German citizens have joined ISIS and 200 of them have returned home to Germany. Earlier this year it was reported that 100,000 fake Turkish passports had gone to ISIS fighters.

Turkey remains the headquarters and logistical center of ISIS. The west, NATO, and their Gulf tyranny partners, have opened Pandora’s Box. It still hangs wide open.

Counterfeit Peacemaking—wanting to end the war ON TERROR, but not enough to stop creating it

[Vladimir Putin says Turkey shot down a Russian plane so it could protect its oil trade with the Islamic State (SEE:  The Rhetoric Over a Downed Plane).]


An Attempt at Peacemaking

The Atlantic

“President Obama says Turkey and Russia should work together to defeat the Islamic State.”

President Obama is urging the leader of Turkey to work with Russia to lower tensions heightened by Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane last week.“The United States supports Turkey’s right to defend itself and its air space,” Obama said after a meeting with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president, on the sidelines of the climate summit in Paris. “We discussed how Turkey and Russia can work together to de-escalate tensions.“We all have a common enemy, and that is ISIL.”As my colleague Marina Koren reported on November 24, Turkey said it shot down the Russian plane after the aircraft violated Turkish airspace and ignored 10 warnings to leave. The aircraft was carrying out airstrikes against rebels opposed to Syrian President Bashar Assad, Moscow’s ally in the Syrian civil war. The pilot was killed by rebels as he parachuted to safety. The co-pilot was rescued in a Russian special-forces operation.

Russia denied the plane was in Syrian airspace, demanded an apology, and announced measures, including economic steps, against Turkey. On Monday, a U.S. State Department spokeswoman said the U.S. had independently verified the plane had crossed into Syrian airspace.

The dispute has led to acrimonious rhetoric from Turkish and Russian leaders. On Monday, Turkey refused to apologize for the incident, calling it a “defensive action.” Putin responded saying Turkey shot the plane down so it could protect its oil trade with the Islamic State. Erdogan strongly denied that accusation, calling it slanderous and saying he would resign if the claim could be proven.

On Tuesday, the Turkish leader sounded more conciliatory.

“Our concern is to not come out badly from this, but on the contrary to turn this into peace and contribute to the peace in the region,” he said.

The tensions are hobbling efforts to put together a global coalition against the Islamic State following the November 13 attacks in Paris. Russia and the West, including Turkey, are ostensibly both fighting the Islamic State, but that’s where their aims in Syria begin to diverge.

Putin is an ally of Assad, and its planes are bombing rebels, including those supported by the West and Turkey. The West is carrying out its own military strikes, directed mainly at the Islamic State, and French President Francois Hollande has been pushing for a more concerted effort after the Paris attacks that killed 130 people. But disputes such as the downed plane and what will happen to Assad after the Syrian civil war are hampering the diplomacy.

On Tuesday, Germany’s Cabinet approved sending 1,200 troops, a naval frigate, and reconnaissance flights to fight against the Islamic State. The move needs parliamentary approval, which is expected Wednesday. Britain’s Cabinet also approved its own efforts against the Islamic State on Wednesday. A parliamentary debate is scheduled for Wednesday.

Krishnadev Calamur is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees news coverage. He is a former editor and reporter at NPR and the author of Murder in Mumbai.