ThereAreNoSunglasses

American Resistance To Empire

The Taliban Story Hole–(updated)

[Things are getting complicated in the Taliban narrative. 

https://therearenosunglasses.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/mullah-abdul-manan-niazi.jpg?w=869The subject of the following article, Mullah Abdul Manan, is the brother of original Taliban Supremo, Mullah Omar .   He was recently honored with a seat on the Rahbari Shura (leadership council), along with his nephew, Omar’s eldest son, Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, and Sirajuddin Haqqani.  They are named as deputies to new Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada, who recently replaced the violently contested replacement for Mullah Omar, Akhtar Mansour, who was murdered in Balochistan by an American drone.  Omar’s brother and his son both opposed Mansour for Taliban king, because he attacked his own men (who contested the election) and because the succession was mishandled.

Does the arrest of Abdul Manan represent a crackdown upon the Mansour faction, or upon the rejectionists, who follow Mullah Rasoul?  Which side fights against the Afghan Govt, which side bombs civilian targets, primarily Shia mosques and gatherings?  The Taliban are a living, evolving sculpture, shaped by the hands of competing spy agencies, telling us the story of decades of the international intelligence agency wars.]

Taliban commander involved in robbery arrested from Charikar city

Khaama

taliban arrest

A commander of the Taliban group involved in robbery, extortion and other criminal activities was arrested from the northern Parwan province of Afghanistan.

The National Directorate of Security (NDS) said Abdul Manan who is also famous as Wazir was arrested from the vicinity of Charikar district.

According to a statement by NDS, another companion of Manan was also arrested by the intelligence operatives.

The statement further added that Manan was involved in robbery, roadside bombings and harassment of the local residents and a Ak-47 rifle along with a pistol were also confiscated from him.

NDS said the detained militants were long involved in terrorist activities and Manan spent three years in prison who rejoined the Taliban group after he was released.

According to NDS, Manan was operating under the command of Hashmatullah together with his other companions.

The anti-government armed militant groups including the Taliban insurgents have not commented regarding the report so far.

Parwan is among the relatively volatile provinces in northern Afghanistan where anti-government armed militant groups are actively operating in a number of its remote districts and often carry out insurgency activities.

Iraq (NOT US) Air Force Destroys 200 ISIS Vehicles, Kills 200+ Terrorists

[SEE: U.S.-led strikes pound Islamic State in Iraq, kill 250 fighters  REUTERS]

Iraq Fallujah Islamic State militants
Iraqi security forces inspect vehicles belonging to escaping Islamic State militants outside Fallujah, Iraq.
(Photo: Associated Press)

Iraq Destroys 200 Vehicles in Airstrike on Alleged ISIS Convoy

NBC News.svg

Video Purports to Show Airstrike on ISIS Convoy in Iraq

Iraqi airstrikes destroyed around 200 vehicles believed to be carrying ISIS fighters fleeing one of their former strongholds — killing an unknown number of people, a senior official told NBC News on Thursday.

Brig. Yahya Rasool, a spokesman for Iraq’s Joint Operation Command, said Iraqi helicopters and warplanes attacked the convoy on a road about 12 miles south of Fallujah on Wednesday.

“All ISIS militants traveling in these vehicles were killed,” he said without providing a number of people who died.

The Iraqi military released video of the airstrikes. The Pentagon said Wednesday that it did not have details about the incident.

It was unclear how the Iraqi military identified that the convoy was made up entirely of vehicles beloning to ISIS militants.

NBC News could not independently confirm either the Iraqi military’s account or the Reuters report.

However, civilians are known to have been displaced in the area where the attack occurred.

The alleged fighters were trying to escape the previously ISIS-held Fallujah area, Iraqi officials said.

A senior Iraqi commander declared Sunday that Fallujah was “fully liberated” from ISIS militants after a more than month-long military operation.

The Fallujah liberation has fueled an exodus of thousands of families, overwhelming camps for the displaced run by the government and aid groups.

ISIS Loses Control of Fallujah

In a separate incident on Wednesday, Iraqi helicopter strikes killed some 150 alleged ISIS militants as they tried to reach neighboring Syria, Rasool said.

“They were trying to escape in order to reach Syria then the Iraqi helicopters found a place ISIS were hiding,” he added.

That attack occurred around 2 miles west of Amiriyah Fallujah, according to Rasool.

Reality dawns on Erdogan

Reality dawns on Erdogan and the AKP

hurriyet

The attack at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport is only the latest terrorist atrocity to be committed in Turkey. Our hearts go out to the injured and the families of those killed.

It is also hard to say that this will be the last such attack in our country.

We have already had a string of terrorist atrocities committed over the past six months by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). As citizens we have to be vigilant and alert, and unfortunately brace ourselves for more.

We are reminded once again that it will take unity and perseverance to combat this modern-day scourge. We have underlined here before that Turkey cannot fight this fight alone. There are things it can do but this is an international problem requiring close international cooperation and coordination.

This is why the government’s realization, belated as it is, that international isolation has been detrimental to Turkey’s interests is very timely. There is no point in complaining about why the country was allowed to paint itself into a corner. Tomes have already been written about the foreign policy mistakes committed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

It is all too easy at this stage to hit at President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the government for having pursued policies that have left Turkey with fewer friends and more enemies or rivals in the world. Correct as our arguments may be, we have to look forward.

As matters stand, Erdoğan is going to have quite a bit of explaining to do to his Islamist grassroots supporters as to why he has been forced to go against the grain of his Islamism and normalize ties with Israel.

Commentary in the pro-government media shows that there is discomfort over this development.

The Islamist Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), on the other hand, has rejected the rapprochement with Israel. It was this group – supported so avidly at the time by the government – that caused all the trouble in the first place, after it chartered the Mavi Marmara aid ship and tried to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza in 2010.

That effort resulted in the deaths of nine pro-Palestinian Turkish activists, killed by Israeli commandoes in the high seas. It is inevitable that the IHH should be accusing the government of caving in to Israel under U.S. pressure, saying it too has blood on its hands now.

Pro-government opinion-framers are nevertheless trying to given the impression that Turkey came out the winner in the normalization deal with Israel. The fact that there are ultra-right-wing Israel deputies and papers that agree with this is making their task a little easier.

Eyes are currently also focused on Ankara’s attempts to resolve its differences with Moscow. It appears that Turkey is even prepared to pay compensation to the family of the Russian jet fighter killed by Turkmen fighters in northern Syria last November after the Turkish air force downed his plane.

The government will have to explain not only to its supporters but also to nationalist quarters why it is apologizing (in so many words) to Russia, and is prepared to pay compensation after insisting that it was legally correct in downing the Russian jet because it had strayed into Turkish airspace.

All of this aside though, it is a good for Turkey that this normalization process in foreign policy – which will no doubt also include ties with Egypt and perhaps involve a more realistic take on Syria – has started. This is the only way Turkey can regain the international influence, let alone prestige, it lost.

This represents a “foreign policy reality check” for Erdogan and the AKP. They have to backpedal on many issues now despite their previous bombastic remarks about Turkey’s great role in world affairs. The hope is that they will have finally understood that the world is far too complex to accommodate their Islamist vision for Turkey and its region.

Afghan Security Busts Taliban Driving 3 Tons of Explosives In 2 Dump Trucks

160628-kabul-explosives-02-mdl_7b5d712282cebc21b2cc3e805daafd13.nbcnews-ux-2880-1000The Afghan intelligence service NDS operatives captured two trucks loaded with over 3 tons of explosives destined for Kabul on Tuesday. De Lima, Melanie (206479643) / NDS Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan – Two trucks loaded with more than 3 tons of explosives were intercepted Tuesday on a highway heading to the Afghan capital Kabul, security officials said.

The agency did not specify what kind of the explosives were hidden in the trucks.

Four Taliban members were captured transporting the material, the statement added.

The attackers were plotting a strike on the capital in the week leading to Eid, one of the biggest Muslim holidays that marks the end of a month of fasting, the NDS said without elaborating.

Insurgent attacks against both security forces and civilians have escalated across the country as part of the Taliban’s warm-weather offensive.

The Pentagon’s Conundrum

[(SEE: Pentagon’s Perpetual Inability To Train Foreign Proxy ArmiesPentagon’s Next Batch of Syrian Terrorists Might Take Forever To Incubate)  Pentagon geniuses should be asking themselves “Why are US-trained armies so rebellious?”   Why does the terror war produce more new terrorists than it kills?

The record is showing a consistent trend of Pentagon trainers leaving trainees with a bitter taste in their mouths, turning US-trained fighters into ideal targets for anti-American recruiters.  This is the primary reason that the Pentagon’s “war on terror” has consistently served to motivate more new terrorists than terrorists killed.  Everybody resents for what we do, but even more, they hate us for forcing acceptance of the lie of “American exceptionalism” that is rammed down their throats, in exchange for a pittance in wages.]

US has trained less than 100 in Syria to fight Islamic State

stars and stripes

WASHINGTON — Less than 100 additional Syrian leaders have been trained under a revamped U.S. program to fight the Islamic State group, U.S. officials said Monday.

In October, the United States halted another train-and-equip program in Syria, which transported whole units of fighters out of the country to train at facilities in Turkey, Jordan and other locations. The fighters were given U.S. equipment, trained and transported back to Syria. But the vast majority of the Syrian units left the program or turned over their U.S.-provided equipment to other groups.

The United States had planned to train about 5,000 fighters each year in the first program, which cost $346.8 million in fiscal year 2015. But in September, Gen. Lloyd Austin, who led U.S. Central Command at the time, informed Congress that only “four or five” U.S.-trained fighters were in Syria.

On Monday, three U.S. officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity described the new train-and-equip program, which was started in March. The revamped program does not try to train entire units. Instead, it identifies key Syrian leaders and trains them in skills such as spotting potential targets for United States and coalition airstrikes.

“We’re not necessarily training large units to maneuver in fire,” said one of the three U.S. officials who briefed reporters on the status of the new Syria train-and-equip program.

“Rather than training 10 people to use a rifle, if you can train a smaller number of people to accurately describe their own position relative to the position of enemy forces, it enables them to better coordinate resupply and describe enemy positions,” one of the officials said.

The program returns those leaders to their units to push that training down the ranks and provides equipment to the forces that they lead. The new program to train the leaders has $416 million budgeted for it in fiscal year 2016, the U.S. officials said, and includes the equipment the United States is providing.

The newly trained leaders are returning to their units with communications equipment, small arms and ammunition to distribute, the officials said. The units are also getting vehicles and some artillery.

Over the weekend, the New York Times reported another U.S. program to train and equip Syrian forces had lost equipment to Jordanian intelligence operatives who were siphoning off and selling that supply as they moved through the country on their way to Syria.

The officials would not comment Monday on the CIA program but said the Defense Department’s equipping program was enforcing accountability by only distributing limited amounts of ammunition and guns, and by keeping “eyes on” the units using the larger equipment.

The officials estimated between earlier efforts to train and equip forces and this new program, the United States has reached approximately 10,000 Sunni Arab forces.

All of the units getting training and equipment through the new program are Sunni, the officials said.

“Those numbers don’t include our Kurdish partners,” one official said.

Kurdish forces are also getting assistance and working with U.S. advisers in Syria, but that effort is separate from this program, one of the officials said.

copp.tara@stripes.com

36 killed, 147 injured in Istanbul Atatürk Airport Bombing

36 killed, 147 injured in Brussels-style Istanbul Atatürk Airport terror attacks

daily sabah

At least 36 people were killed, 147 injured Tuesday in a triple suicide bombing and gun attack at Istanbul’s main Atatürk airport, in the latest deadly strike to rock Turkey’s most-populated city, which had many similarities with the deadly attacks carried out in Brussels in March.

Flights partially resumed in the airport on Wednesday morning, while many of the schedule flights were cancelled or delayed.

Reports have said that one Ukrainian and one Iranian national was among those who were killed by the terrorist attack in the airport.

The assessments show that three suicide bombers carried out the attacks in three different spots at the airport, Istanbul Governor Vasip Şahin said in a statement released after the attack.

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said that initial indications suggest the Daesh terror group was behind the attack but the investigation is still underway.

A health official, speaking on condition of anonymity due to restrictions, said to the media that six injured were in a critical condition.

The blasts occurred at the entrance of international flights terminal, domestic flights terminal, and the parking lot.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said that one of the terrorists opened fire on people with an AK-47 automatic rifle and then blew himself up.

PM Yıldırım said the air traffic has returned to normal after the attack.

The President met with Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and Chief of Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar at the presidential complex upon receiving news of the explosion in Istanbul. Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, Deputy PM Numan Kurtulmuş, Transportation Minister Ahmet Arslan and Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Betül Sayan will travel to Istanbul.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan urged an international “joint fight” against terror after the attack, the fourth deadly bombing in Istanbul this year alone.

According to a Turkish official who spoke to Daily Sabah on the condition of anonymity, security forces fired shots at suspects at the international terminal’s entry in an effort to neutralize them.

Eyewitnesses said that they saw some 30 ambulances enter the airport. The wounded, among them police officers, were being transferred to Bakırköy State Hospital.

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım was briefed by Interior Minister Efkan Ala and Istanbul Governor Vasip Şahin and has ordered the formation of a crisis desk. Yıldırım also arrived at the airport to follow up with the investigation.

The Turkish airport attack also follows coordinated suicide bombings at Brussels airport and a city metro station in March that left 32 people dead.

Security experts have said that there are striking similarities between Istanbul airport attack and the recent attacks in Brussels airport.

Brussels airport tweeted its condolences, saying: “Our thoughts are with the victims of the attacks at @istanbulairport.

“We wish them, their relatives & all airport staff strength & courage.”

Meanwhile, United States Ambassador to Ankara John Bass has sent a tweet condemning the attack. “Horrified by tonight’s attack at Atatürk airport. We mourn with the families of those lost, and pray for speedy recovery for those wounded,” he said. Meanwhile, the U.S. President Barack Obama was also briefed on the attack.

There have been no claims for the responsibility of the attacks.

11 people were killed in an attack at Istanbul’s city center three weeks ago. The attack, claimed by the PKK-affiliated Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), followed two suicide bombings that hit tourist-heavy areas of Istanbul this year, which were blamed on Daesh.

Located just outside Turkey’s biggest city, Atatürk airport served more than 60 million passengers in 2015, making it one of the busiest in the world.

FULL REPORT of the Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi

Below is the full report with links to PDF files of each section.

select comm on benghazi

Report of the Select Committee on
the Events Surrounding the 2012
Terrorist Attack in Benghazi

 

Illustrations

 

  1. Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Facilities in Benghazi

 

  1. Internal and Public Government Communications about the Terrorist

Attacks in Benghazi

 

III. Events Leading to the Terrorist Attacks in Benghazi

 

  1. Compliance with Congressional Investigations

 

  1. Recommendations

 

Appendix A: Resolution Establishing the Select Committee on the

Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi

 

Appendix B: Significant Persons and Organizations

 

Appendix C: Questions for the President

 

Appendix D: Significant Events in Libya Prior to the Attacks

 

Appendix E: Security Incidents in Libya

 

Appendix F: Deterioration of Benghazi Mission Compound Security

 

Appendix G: Timelines of the Attacks

 

Appendix H: The September 12 Situation Report and the President’s

Daily Brief

 

Appendix I: Witness Interview Summaries

 

Appendix J: Requests and Subpoenas for Documents

 

Appendix K: Analysis of Accountability Review Board, House Armed

Services Committee and House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee

Reports

 

Appendix L: Glen A. Doherty, Sean P. Smith, J. Christopher Stevens,

and Tyrone S. Woods

 

Additional Views by Rep. Jordan and Rep. Pompeo

Afghan MoD Charges Pakistani Madrasas Foster the Terrorists Who Wage War Against Afghanistan

madrassa-story-june26

Up to 45,000 Madrasas in Pakistan continue to train, fund and send terrorists to fight against Afghanistan, the The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said on Sunday.

According to the MoD, terrorists currently fighting the Afghan security forces are fostered in the Pakistani Madrasas. The terrorists are educated and equipped and then dispatched to Afghanistan to attack the Afghan government forces.

Afghan officials have consistently stated that there is a link between certain Madrasas in Pakistan and the hardline militant groups sent to fight Afghanistan and its international partners. The majority of the terrorists captured by Afghan forces in battles have confessed that they were trained and equipped in Pakistani Madrasas and then sent in Afghanistan to fight.

“There are around 45,000 Madrasas in Pakistan along the border regions and Khyber Pakhtunkhaw. If each of the involved Madrasas recruited only one person, it amounted to around 45,000 recruits a month,” a defense ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said.

Political commentators have cautiously reacted to the MoD claims, saying not all Madrasas should be blamed for involvement in terrorist activities and militancy.

“It is difficult to confirm that all 45,000 Madrasas are involved in training terrorists and extremists, however, some of these Madrasas are involved in such activities,” political analyst Rahmatullah Bezhanpor said.

The MOD statement comes at a time when critics have frequently blamed the Afghan government for not defining a coherent war strategy and ensuring better leadership on the battlefields.

“There is no need for large number of soldiers in a war. The war effort rather requires strong leadership and management to boost morale among existing troops,” political analyst Haroon Mir said.

The Pakistani Madrasas remain a potent threat to Afghanistan’s security.

Why do Afghans detest Pakistan?

Why do Afghans detest Pakistan?

Pajhwok2 Pajhwok

Bilal Nikyar

A few days ago, I was watching an interview of Hina Rabbani Khar, the former Foreign Minister of Pakistan with the leading Pakistani journalist Saleem Safi. She was plainly and curiously asked a question about the negative attitude of Afghans towards Pakistan and why they hate the country so much (after all the good things that Pakistan has done for Afghans like hosting over 3 million refugees for nearly 3 decades)? Miss. Khar gave a somewhat broken and unsatisfactory answer.  It made me wonder if the Pakistani establishment is really searching for an answer to that question, which would be very astonishing. But let’s suppose that’s the case. I wanted to take this opportunity to explain and tell the reasons why Pakistan is the least favorite and most unpopular country in Afghanistan?

Ever since the agreement of Chabahar dam, Pakistan has spared no time in sullying, bashing and scapegoating Afghan refugees for all the bad things that’s going on in their country. At the same time, they have also hold it as a prime example of Pakistan’s goodwill towards Afghanistan. It seems like that’s the only card left with them to use it as leverage against Afghanistan. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that how grateful are Afghans for all those refugees that Pakistan has hosted when the Soviet Union attacked Afghanistan decades ago. Our leaders including common people have repeated this gratification whenever they had the opportunity.

I was myself one of the millions refugees growing in Pakistan’s Peshawar city. My family migrated to Pakistan soon after the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. We will forever remain grateful for Pakistan’s generosity towards Afghan refugees. That’s a fact. But its also a fact that Pakistan has received millions of dollars over the years as a aid and bounty because of these refugees, and it’s also a fact that the Pakistani establishment has constantly used and abused these poor refuges over the years. They have been perpetual victims (both physical and psychological) of Pakistan’s Police abuse.

They blame them for terrorism, drug trafficking and all other sorts of crimes when the reality is that those refugees have nothing to do with it. They have always remained peaceful and respected the domestic necessities of the host country. Afghan refugees have contributed a significant amount to the growth of Pakistan’s economy, especially the provincial ones. Most of these refugees are hard-working people who are out all day to earn a living for their family and loved ones. They also live in the most deprived areas of Pakistani cities. I have seen all this on my own eyes when I was growing up as a refugee child in Pakistan, and those stories are true to this day. But despite all that, we have overwhelmingly appreciated the generosity of Pakistan that they have extended to Afghan refuges, most of which came from the common people.

The real reason why Pakistan is the least favorite country of every Afghan lays in the fact that Pakistan has been trying to subjugate and suppress Afghanistan through its proxies for decades. It’s summarized in the following three main reasons:

First: When the Soviets left, Pakistan started arming and supporting different parties and factions against each other to burn Kabul – which resulted in civil war.

Second: When the brutal Taliban regime came into being, Pakistan supported, influenced and indoctrinated them for their own benefits and goals of using Afghanistan as their 5th province and strategic depth.

Third: Pakistan’s support for terrorists and terrorism (which includes Taliban as well) after 9/11 against Afghanistan, which is going on actively to this day. Pakistan is condemning terrorism on the one hand and supporting it on the other hand. That’s been their policy since the arrival of US-lead allied forces to Afghanistan after 9/11. We all know the locations and sanctuaries of Taliban; they are not just in the tribal areas of Pakistan, but also in the main cities of that country.

During all those three different periods in history, Pakistan’s goal has been the same and that’s to keep Afghanistan debilitated, divided and needy to their resources so they can control the country against the supposed influence and involvement of their arch-rival, India. The best way to do that (according to Pakistan) is to support proxy terrorist forces in the region. That policy has nonetheless resulted many unintended blowbacks – their support for terrorism and extremism has had an adverse impact on their own country as well. Stories of intolerance and violence are a common theme in Pakistan nowadays.

I hope Pakistan by now has realized the symptoms of Afghans’ agitation and frustration with their country’s establishment. What bothers Afghans the most is Pakistan’s hypocrisy and duplicity in war against terror, not to mention the fatwas of jihad by their leaders in Afghanistan. The point is that Taliban kill us and Pakistan supports them. That’s the reason we detest Pakistan. And the fact is that Pakistan’s support for terrorist groups outweighs all the good the do. So for as long as they continue with that policy, Afghans will harbor the feelings of distaste for them.

(By Pakistan, I mean Pakistan’s civil and military establishment)

View expressed in this article are of the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Pajhwok’s editorial policy.

Afghan “Insider Attackers” Revenge for Pedophilia?–Haqqani Network Turns “Bacha Bazi” Boys Into Assassins

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Boy Trained by Haqqani Claims He Was RapedTOLO NEWS
[Suicide Bombers Trained Using Trauma of Homosexual Rape]
December 31, 2013

Samiullah, now 16 years old and a resident of Seyah Gerd District of Parwan province, was supposed to kill the Khost Governor in a suicide attack, but was arrested by security forces alive.
Sami used to work in one of the hotels of Khost city, where he was taken from by a Haqqani Network recruiter to Miramsha, Pakistan.

“I was raped four nights in women’s clothes and was beaten too,” Samiullah said. “A friend of mine named Muhammad was also raped.”

 

The sexual abuse of children by police in Afghanistan has been exploited by the Taliban to mount a series of Trojan Horse attacks over two years that have ki...

Kabul to investigate child sex slavery fuelling insider attacks

daily mail

Afghanistan’s president has ordered a “thorough investigation” into institutionalised sexual abuse of children by police, after AFP revealed the Taliban are using child sex slaves to launch deadly insider attacks.

There has been international condemnation of paedophilic “bacha bazi” — literally “boy play” — which AFP found has been exploited by the Taliban to mount a series of Trojan Horse attacks over two years that have killed hundreds of policemen in the remote southern province of Uruzgan.

“The president has ordered a thorough investigation (in Uruzgan) and immediate action based on findings of the investigation,” the presidential palace said of Ashraf Ghani in a statement.

“Anyone, regardless of rank within the forces, found guilty will be prosecuted and punished in accordance and in full compliance of the Afghan laws and our international obligations,” the English language statement said.

The ancient custom of bacha bazi, one of the country’s worst human rights violations, sees young boys — sometimes dressed as women — recruited to police outposts for sexual companionship and to bear arms.

It is deeply entrenched in Uruzgan, where police commanders, judges, government officials and survivors of such attacks told AFP that the Taliban are recruiting bacha bazi victims to attack their abusers.

The claims — strongly denied by the Taliban — expose child abuse by both parties in Afghanistan’s worsening conflict.

The presidential statement said there was “no place” in the Afghan establishment for abusers, adding it will do “whatever it takes” to punish them.

– ‘Horrific’ –

The announcement follows a flurry of international reaction to AFP’s report.

“We strongly condemn any abuses of the horrific nature described in the article,” the US embassy in Kabul said.

“We urge the Afghan government… to protect and support victims and their families, while also strongly encouraging justice and accountability under Afghan law for offenders.”

In a letter last week to US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, Congressman Duncan Hunter demanded a proactive American role to end bacha bazi in Afghan forces.

“I remain concerned… that the Taliban is increasing its use of children to access security positions and mount insider attacks against… Afghan police,” Hunter said in the letter seen by AFP.

“It is my belief that we can begin taking immediate steps to stop child rape from occurring in the presence of US forces and reduce any risk of coinciding insider attacks. This includes imposing a zero-tolerance policy.”

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said bacha bazi is of “high concern” for the international community.

“UNAMA continues to receive anecdotal reports of bachi bazi, including within Afghan security forces, and continues its engagement with government to ensure the criminalisation and prevention of all forms of exploitation and abuse of children,” Mark Bowden, the UN deputy special representative for Afghanistan, told AFP.

The Afghan government announcement, which did not specify a timeframe for the investigation, comes ahead of two crucial donor conferences on Afghanistan in Warsaw and Brussels this year.

The war-battered country remains heavily dependent on international financial and military assistance, which helps sustain security forces — including police.

– ‘Morally reprehensible’ –

Any perception of apathy about bacha bazi risks jeopardising that assistance, said Michael Kugelman, an analyst at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington.

“No donor in good conscience can justify funding police forces that engage in such reprehensible practices,” Kugelman told AFP.

“There’s already much talk of donor fatigue, but as donors hear more about bacha bazi, there’s bound to be donor fear as well — fear of bankrolling institutions that do morally reprehensible things.”

The Afghan interior ministry has said it is committed to institutional reforms, while acknowledging that bacha bazi within police ranks is a “serious crime”.

The government last year launched a probe into sexual abuse and the illegal recruitment of child conscripts around Afghanistan.

But the country has yet to pass legislation criminalising bacha bazi and no initiatives have been publicly announced to rescue any children enslaved by police.

“The absence of any initiatives to release and recover children from their abusers is a serious failure on the part of Afghan authorities,” Charu Lata Hogg, an associate fellow at London-based Chatham House think tank, told AFP, adding that donors must pressure Kabul for change.

“Abuse of children cannot be passed off as cultural practice.”

An Afghan security checkpoint on the outskirts of Tarin Kot, the capital of Uruzgan province, where boys recruited to police outposts for sexual companionshi...

An Afghan security checkpoint on the outskirts of Tarin Kot, the capital of Uruzgan province, where boys recruited to police outposts for sexual companionship are being used by the Taliban to attack their abusers ©Rateb Noori (AFP/File)

Afghanistan's president has ordered a "thorough investigation" into institutionalised sexual abuse of children by police

Afghanistan’s president has ordered a “thorough investigation” into institutionalised sexual abuse of children by police ©Rateb Noori (AFP/File)

Davutoglu’s resignation gave Ankara ‘golden opportunity’ to mend ties with Moscow

[What the…? Erdogan Apologizes for the Shooting-Down of the Russian Jet Fighter]

PM Davutoglu’s resignation gave Ankara ‘golden opportunity’ to mend ties with Moscow – ex-Turkish FM

Russia-Today

 

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan (L) and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. © Rasit Aydogan
The resignation of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has provided Turkey with a “golden opportunity” to mend relations with Russia and other states, former Turkish FM Yashar Yakish told RT after Ankara apologized to Moscow for the downed plane.

“The change in the post of the Prime Minister (Davutoglu was replaced by Binali Yildirim) – this was a golden opportunity to launch new initiatives in the foreign policy,” Yakish, who was Turkey’s foreign minister in 2002-03, said.

Davutoglu resigned in early May after two years in office due to a sharp deterioration of relations with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

He became the PM after serving as the foreign minister and “it was difficult for (Davutoglu) to change the foreign policies because he was the one who initiated them,” Yakish said.

“Whereas, when there’s a new prime minister, it’s a golden opportunity for Turkey to adjust [its] foreign policy to the realities in the field. And that’s what Turkey is doing now. Both with Russia and with Israel,” he said.

The diplomat backed the decision by the Turkish leadership to finally apologize for the Russian warplane downed by Turkey’s Air Force in Syria last November.

“Better late than never,” he said, adding: “I wish this could’ve been done at the very beginning of the incident and then we wouldn’t have gone through these difficulties.”

Yakish said that Ankara’s initiative was “going to be responded to positively by Russia and we will go out slowly from this crisis where we found ourselves for several months.”

Mending ties will be in the interest of both Ankara and Moscow, he stressed, expressing hope that the countries will be able to “compartmentalize” their relations like it was before, “that’s to say if something goes wrong in one area it shouldn’t have a negative effect on another field.”

On November 24, 2015, a Russian Su-24 bomber taking part in an anti-terrorist mission in Syria was brought down by the Turkish Air Force.
The plane crashed in rebel-held territory in Syria near the Turkish border. The pilots ejected, but one – Lieutenant Colonel Oleg Peshkov – was killed by machine gun fire from militants on the ground.
Ankara claimed that it attacked the Russian bomber for violating its airspace, but was never able to provide proof that any incursion took place.
Moscow vigorously denied the Turkish claims and reacted to the incident by imposing a wave of painful sanctions against Turkey, which affected trade, tourism, joint energy projects and other areas.

From the start, the Kremlin made it clear that the restoration of normal relations with Turkey would be impossible without Ankara apologizing, paying compensation to the pilot’s family and prosecuting those responsible for his death.

What the…? Erdogan Apologizes for the Shooting-Down of the Russian Jet Fighter

[Trial of Suspected Murderer of Russian Su-24 Pilot Begins in Turkey]

Turkish President Apologizes for Downing of Russian Jet

abcnews_logo_v2

Turkey’s president has apologized for the downing of a Russian military jet at the Syrian border, the Kremlin said Monday, an unexpected move that could open the way for easing a bitter strain in Russia-Turkey ties.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin comes seven months after the incident, which has triggered a slew of Russian sanctions that have dealt a severe blow to the Turkish economy. The formal apology, which the Kremlin had requested, came hours after Turkey and Israel announced details of an agreement to repair their strained relations.

The Kremlin quoted the Turkish leader as offering his condolences to the killed pilot’s family and saying: “I’m sorry.”

“I share their pain with all my heart,” Erdogan said in the letter, according to the Kremlin. “We are ready to take any incentive to help ease the pain and the burden of inflicted damage.”

Erdogan’s office was keen to describe the letter as an expression of regret, not an apology.

“In the letter, the president stated that he would like to inform the family of the deceased Russian pilot that I share their pain and to offer my condolences to them. May they excuse us,” spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said.

In a speech delivered during a Ramadan fast-breaking dinner in Ankara, Erdogan said he had written to Putin expressing his “regrets” over the incident and reminding the Russian leader of the “potential for regional cooperation.”

“I believe that we will leave behind this current situation which is to the detriment of both countries and rapidly normalize our relations,” Erdogan said.

Putin had denounced the downing of the Russian warplane at the Syrian border on Nov. 24 as a “treacherous stab in the back.” Russia rejected the Turkish claim that the plane had violated its airspace, and responded by deploying long-range air defense missiles to its base in Syria, warning that they would destroy any target posing a threat to Russian aircraft.

The plane’s downing came amid a rift between Moscow and Ankara over Syria, where they backed the opposing sides in the conflict.

Moscow moved swiftly to ban the sales of package tours to Turkey, which had depended heavily on the Russian tourist flow; banned most of Turkey’s food exports; and introduced restrictions against Turkish construction companies, which had won a sizable niche of the Russian market.

Erdogan, who often has been compared to Putin because of both leaders’ intolerance to dissent and biting criticism of the West, had apparently miscalculated the plane incident’s fallout for the Turkish economy.

The letter comes at a moment when Ankara’s relations with the EU and the U.S. have also been strained over the migrant crisis, human rights issues and other disputes.

Turkey’s new prime minister, Binali Yildirim, said recently that Turkey wants to increase the number of its friends and decrease the number of its enemies, and the letter came on the same day that Turkey and Israel released details of a deal to reappoint ambassadors and end six years of acrimony over Israel’s 2010 deadly raid on a Gaza-bound Turkish aid ship.

Lifting the Russian economic penalties was essential for Erdogan, who has found himself under pressure both at home and abroad. Since the incident, Erdogan and his ministers have continuously spoken in favor of normalizing ties with Moscow, but Putin made it clear that he expects a formal apology and compensation.

Erdogan has now offered both, according to his letter, excerpts of which were released by the Kremlin.

Erdogan’s office also said that the Turkish leader called on Putin to restore traditional friendly relations between Turkey and Russia and work together to address regional crises and jointly combat terrorism.

The Kremlin said that the letter added that the Turkish authorities were conducting a probe against a Turkish ultranationalist militant, Alparslan Celik, who allegedly shot and killed the plane’s pilot as he was descending by parachute. The plane’s co-pilot survived and was rescued, but a Russian marine was killed by militants during the rescue mission near the border.

On Friday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is set to visit a ministerial meeting of a grouping of the Black Sea nations hosted by Russia in Sochi, a trip that offers a chance to negotiate a rapprochement.

“We are pleased to announce that Turkey and Russia have agreed to take necessary steps without delay to improve bilateral relations,” Erdogan spokesman Kalin said.

————

Fraser reported from Ankara, Turkey. Nataliya Vasilyeva in Moscow contributed to this report.

Jordanian Intelligence Stole US and Saudi Arms On Regular Basis

Jordanian Intelligence Stole US and Saudi Arms On Regular Basis: Report

DEFENSE WORLD

Jordanian Intelligence Stole US and Saudi Arms On Regular Basis: Report

Jordanian intelligence operatives allegedly stole the weapons shipped into Jordan by the Central Intelligence Agency and Saudi Arabia for Syrian rebels’ use and sold to arms merchants on the black market, the New York Times reported.

According to a joint investigation by the New York Times and Al Jazeera, an arms theft scheme revealed that Jordanian intelligence service (the General Intelligence Directorate/GID) officers used to smuggle weapons provided by the US and Saudi Arabia for Syrian rebels trained on Jordanian soil.

Some of the stolen weapons were used in a shooting in November that killed two Americans and three others at a police training facility in Amman, according to the report. The FBI investigation into the shooting included weapon numbers tracking, which led to the revelation of the whole scheme.

The weapons used in the shooting had originally arrived in Jordan for the Syrian rebel training program, the paper reported, citing American and Jordanian officials.

CIA had set up the training facility on the outskirts of the capital, Amman, after the 2003 US invasion of Iraq to help rebuild the shattered country’s postwar security forces and to train Palestinian Authority police officers.

Theft of the weapons, which ended months ago after complaints by the American and Saudi governments, has led to a flood of new weapons available on the arms black market, the New York Times said.

Jordanian officers who were part of the plan “reaped a windfall” from sale of weapons, using the money to buy iPhones, SUVs and other luxury items, according to the paper, which cited Jordanian officials.

Neo-Nazis didn’t start the violence at state Capitol—LA TIMES

Joseph Serna

 

A series of violent clashes this weekend involving neo-Nazis permitted to rally at the state Capitol was initiated not by the white nationalist group but by counter-protesters, a law enforcement official said Monday.

“If I had to say who started it and who didn’t, I’d say the permitted group didn’t start it,” said California Highway Patrol officer George Granada, a spokesman for its Protective Services division. “They came onto the grounds and were met almost instantly with a group of protesters there not to talk.”

The Traditionalist Worker Party had a permit to hold a rally on the Capitol grounds at noon, Granada said.

Waiting for them were counter-protesters, including members of the anti-fascist organization Antifa Sacramento, which had promoted a “Shut Down Nazi Rally” event on its website leading up to Sunday.

A similar melee broke out in Anaheim earlier this year when members of the Ku Klux Klan announced they were holding a rally at a park. Counter-protesters showed up early and waited. When the first Klansmen arrived, they were set upon by the group.

Three people were stabbed at the Anaheim rally. At the Sacramento rally Sunday, seven people were stabbed and nine were hospitalized.

Granada said more than 100 CHP and Sacramento police officers were at the park to keep the peace, but the ground spans five city blocks and violence broke out intermittently. Sacramento police found a loaded gun but the CHP didn’t recover any knives or other weapons, Granada said.

“It’s not like all that stuff is visible up until it’s about to be used… a lot of that stuff comes out of wherever,” he said. “We were prepared… it could’ve been much worse. Luckily there were no injuries to officers, tourists or people of the general public.”

All the injuries were sustained by white nationalists or counter-protesters though specific totals weren’t available, Granada said.

The Traditionalist Worker Party said on its website that it had planned a Sunday rally in conjunction with the Golden State Skinheads “to make a statement about the precarious situation our race is in” after “brutal assaults” at Donald Trump events in California.

When the groups met Sunday on the Capitol grounds, news media were on hand to bear witness and law enforcement was out to maintain control.

The violence erupted around 11:45 a.m., when word spread that roughly 30 people had shown up. Counter-protesters swarmed them and a fight immediately broke out, Granada said.

Robert Bautista, 65, said he saw a handful of white supremacists and skinheads arrive two or three at a time only to be immediately mobbed and chased away by the counter-protesters, who hurled water bottles and the wooden stakes that bore their signs.

“They beat the heck out of a couple guys,” said Bautista, a retired construction worker who was among the counter-protesters. “You could see their adrenaline was running high.”

Bautista also said he saw one counter-protester, a black man who appeared to be in his late 20s, convulsing on the ground with stab wounds to his chest and abdomen.

“He was a bloody mess,” he said.

Dozens of counter-protesters remained after the injured had been taken away, watching over the Capitol steps in sweltering heat. On the grounds, a lone white nationalist supporter approached with a cellphone and shouted about his constitutional right to be on site and shoot video. After exchanging heated words with the protesters, people erupted into a chorus of “Nazi, go home.”

For much of the afternoon, the historic domed Capitol was locked down, with staffers and tourists inside. Police swarmed the park-like grounds, but by Monday there had still been no arrests.

Police are scanning websites, social media accounts and videos online to find people involved in the violence, Granada said. Many of the counter-protesters wore masks, making them difficult to identify on video by law enforcement.

Counter-protester Yvette Felarca, 46, said the marchers had been driven away and had not been able to recruit members.

“The Nazis are the violent ones — we are acting in self-defense,” said Felarca, who sustained a bloody blow to the head. “We need to take them head on, confront them, but with as many people as possible.”

The Traditionalist Worker Party vice chairman, Matt Parrott, blamed “leftist radicals” for instigating the violence. Videos and photos of the rally posted on social media showed the white nationalists vastly outnumbered by protesters from anti-fascist groups.

“We stood our ground. We will be back,” Traditionalist Worker Party Chairman Matthew Heimbach, who was not at the rally, said in a phone interview.

Both sides declared victory on their respective websites Monday morning.

Staff writers Jazmine Ulloa, John Myers, Emily Alpert Reyes and Victoria Kim contributed to this report.

Obama’s NGO War For “Color Revolution” Inundates Armenia

Armenia is Swarmed by Western NGOs

neo new eastern outlook

https://i1.wp.com/journal-neo.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/St-Savior-church-Ani-western-armenia-turkey.jpgSurp Amenap’rkitch, or the Church of the Holy Redeemer, is one of the few structures still standing at Ani from the prosperous Armenian Bagratid period in the tenth and eleventh centuries AD.—World Monuments Fund and the U.S. State Department

The tactics of employing non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for the preparation of so-called “color revolutions” in North Africa, the Middle East and a number of former Soviet states has been the modus operandi of the US and its satellites, which have been thoroughly discussed in various NEO articles.

It’s curious that these NGOs who are heavily sponsored by Washington choose to act precisely in those moments when a specific state begins resisting pressure applied on it by the so-called Western World. This resistance often is manifested as a reluctance to support certain projects that were put forward by Washington.

If we are to talk about post-Soviet regions, all Western NGOs, and American ones in particular, have been particularly active in Central Asian and Caucasus states over recent years in a bid to launch “color revolutions” across the majority of them.

Western NGOs have been particularly active in Armenia recently, which remains Russia’s most faithful ally in the Caucasus region. In an effort to repeat a Ukrainian-style scenario in Armenia and to force this country away from Russia, these Western-backed organizations have been trying to use any minor concern among the civilian population to provoke demonstrations and unrest, taking advantage of the huge funds they have been receiving.

For example, over the past 5 years, a research center of the US-Armenian University has been carrying a wide variety of different programs. The absolute majority of its employees are foreigners (immigrants from the United States and Europe), or Armenian citizens who graduated from this very university or received part of their education in the United States. The better part of the above mentioned programs are aimed at reducing the usage of the Russian language in Armenia and the deconstruction of Soviet history and heritage. Washington is convinced that those measures that have already been tested in Ukraine could allow it to strike a note of discord between Russia and Armenia as well.

According to various reports, including a report prepared by the UN, the number of NGOs that are constantly operating in Armenia in such fields as “social equality,” “freedom of speech,” and “human rights protection” exceeds two hundred. At the same time, the US Embassy is actively supporting local media sources, including the well-known “Voice of Armenia.” It’s estimated that the US Embassy is providing financial support to over 60% of all media outlets in Armenia, in hopes that this would allow it to keep a firm grip on public perception withing the country, and limiting Russia’s and Iran’s involvement in Transcaucasia.

But US think tanks seek to take all of this one step further by systematically undermining the traditional values of Armenians, such as morality and family traditions. This goal is being pursued through the creation of an unprecedented number of religious sects that are appearing in Armenia each week. For some “strange reason” the headquarters of those sects are always based in the United States, no matter whether the sect is following Baha’i, Hare Krishnas, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Mormons, Scientologists, or other beliefs.

It’s curious that, conversely, in a truly democratic France, the Jehovah’s Witnesses sect is officially prohibited by law as a “cult.”

The Mormon sect which was the first to appear in Armenia in the early 90s was founded by the representatives of US secret services and military contractors. It’s hardly a secret that CIA creates such sects in states where the US is planning a coup d’etat to prepare a faithful proxy government beforehand.

The so-called “Church of Scientology” has also been pursuing similar goals, since it’s run by professional American agents. It is only logical that in most states the activities of Scientology sects are prohibited by law and regarded as a breach of national security. But in the US this sect enjoys complete freedom and even the tacit support of Washington. There’s a very good reason for this paradox, since back in 1959 the then CIA Director Allen Dulles struck a deal with the founder of the sect, Ron Hubbard, according to which the CIA would allow the “Church of Scientology” to operate freely in the US, it would get in return assistance in overseas operations and unconditional access to the the information this church accumulates in foreign states.

The above stated facts may explain why Armenia hosts one of the largest US embassies in the whole world, in spite of the fact that this country is relatively small in comparison to other nations. Nevertheless, the US still needs over five thousand NGOs under its control in Armenia, while spending up to 250 million dollars annually to keep them running.

Vladimir Platov, expert specialized on the Middle East region, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.“ 

Afghan Peace Jirga Rejects Pakistani Interference In Afghan Affairs

peace jirga‘Peace Jirga’ Reject Pakistan’s Stance on Kabul-Delhi Ties

TOLO NEWS

Members of the Peace Jirga on Thursday rejected Pakistan’s position on the bilateral relations between Afghanistan and India.

Peace Jirga accused Islamabad of using the peace process as a tool to put pressure on Kabul to explain its ties with New Delhi and to entrench Pakistan’s demand that the Durand Line be established as the border with Afghanistan.

Pakistan cooperates with Kabul for peace, but for this Pakistan insists that Kabul outlines the nature of its ties with India, said former minister of interior Mohammad Omar Dawoudzai. He adding that Pakistan’s intention was also to have the Durand Line recognized as international border between the two countires.

Dawoudzai who also serves as the executive member of the Council for the Protection and Stability in Afghanistan and Peace Jirga, reiterated that searching for peace in Afghanistan through Pakistan was a big mistake.

At a gathering on Thursday, members of the Peace Jirga stressed the need for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process, pledging their full support to nurturing the peace process with the Taliban.

“Taking into consideration the current situation, I am not optimistic about Pakistan’s support of the process, but I am optimistic that we can negotiate with the Taliban directly as two Afghan nationals should,” Dawoudzai said.

Participants at the gathering insisted that the Taliban’s ongoing war in Afghanistan was unnecessary and unlawful.

“Pakistan says that we must tone down our relations with India according to will of Islamabad. Secondly, Pakistan wants us to recognize the Durand Line as the border between or two countries,” he added.

“In my view the government has the will to strive for peace with the Taliban. The international community also wants peace in Afghanistan,” head of Jabha-e-Naween Milli party Anwarul Haq Ahadi said.

While the HPC casts doubts over Pakistan’s intensions, still it believes that Pakistan has an influence on the peace process in Afghanistan.

“Pakistan has influence. Taliban’s hideouts exist there and Taliban take decisions in Pakistan, these things have given Pakistan an opportunity to play role in the peace process in Afghanistan,” Salim said.

 

Meanwhile, the US Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Olson has expressed fresh hope over the resumption of peace talks and said that India and Iran will also join the Afghan peace effort.

Olson has noted that both India and Iran had stakes in Afghanistan’s future and said that’s why they would be included in the quest for peace at a later stage.

In tweets sent out after he spoke at a Washington think tank on Tuesday, Ambassador Richard Olson said: “Pakistan does remain committed to the process of reconciliation and talks in Afghanistan.”

In addition the Afghan Chief Executive Officer, Abdullah Abdullah, has said that Russia and Iran were ready to help Afghanistan in restoring peace and stability.

“Both the Islamic Republic of Iran and Russian Federation believe that peace and stability in Afghanistan is in the interest of the whole region, all are ready and willing to cooperate with us in this respect,” Abdullah said.

Ambassador Olson said the US decision to eliminate Taliban leader Mullah Mansour and give combat powers to American troops in Afghanistan should not be seen as indication of a lack of interest in the peace process.

“The Taliban’s repeated refusal to join talks with the Afghan government contributed to the US decision to take action against Mullah Mansur on May 21,” he said.

The US diplomat said that despite Mansour’s killing, the US will continue to encourage an Afghan-led and Afghan owned peace process in which the Afghan government and the Taliban are able to give an end to the ongoing conflict.

“We will also continue to encourage an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace process in which the Afghan government and the Afghan Taliban can bring this conflict to an end.”

“Mullah Mansur was an obstacle to peace an posed a continued threat to US persons through his support for operations against US forces. He was perpetuating a war without end.” Olson said.

“We welcome any regional country that cooperates with us for peace. The issue of attaining peace in Afghanistan is not limited to Afghanistan itself, but it is in the interests of the regional as a whole,” deputy presidential spokesman Dawa Khan Menapal said.

On June 9, U.S President Barack Obama gave the US military the authority to assist the Afghan military in combat missions against the Taliban.

TAPI/Caspian Dreams Dashed–China Destined To Get ALL Turkmenistan’s Gas?

24 June 2016, 15:18 (GMT+04:00)

By Nigar Abbasova

Turkmenistan and China have confirmed their readiness to further enhance economic partnership in view of its enormous potential, national interests and a common vision for the future of the Asian region, the Turkmen government reported on June 24.

The remark was made during a meeting of Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov with China’s President Xi Jinping held within a framework of the Council of Heads of States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Berdimuhamedov proposed to develop a special program to expand the partnership within the Turkmen-Chinese Cooperation Committee and attach special attention to cooperation in the spheres of energy, transportation and high technologies.

Turkmenistan considers China as an important partner in the Asian-Pacific region given the fact that the two countries have big possibilities for the beneficial cooperation in the sphere of transport.

Turkmenistan is currently engaged in the creation of large scale, combined transit-transport systems and logistic infrastructure which is aimed to link Asia and Europe. In the future the system is expected to include transit corridors which connect the regions of the Caspian Sea, Black Sea and Baltic States.

“Consequently, we will form a route from the Asian –Pacific region through the territory of Central Asia to the markets of Europe and Middle East,” the report of the Turkmen side reads.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, in his turn, said China is Turkmenistan’s main partner in energy sector and praised the long-term cooperation in the gas industry.

He also underlined that the countries have a big potential for the cooperation in the sphere of transport, mentioning Turkmenistan-Kazakhstan-China railway route.

The route is expected to greatly enhance the trade between the two countries. The main advantage of the route is speed of deliverance of goods.

China is the largest foreign trade partner of Turkmenistan. The China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) buys gas from the Central Asia region since 2009. Beijing expects to increase annual purchases of Turkmen gas up to 65 billion cubic meters.

China and Turkmenistan established strategic partnership in 2013.

Nigar Abbasova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @nigyar_abbasova

Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz

Bill and Hillary Laughing At Rape

China Blocks India’s US-Sponsored Admission To Nuclear Supply Group (NSG)

Anti-India or pro-Pakistan? Behind China’s NSG veto?

hindustan

Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Hindu Sena activists protest against Chinese opposition of Indian Membership to NSG in New Delhi on Saturday. (HT Photo)

Despite overwhelming support in favour of India’s joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group, China chose to cast its veto against even a discussion about Indian entry at the Seoul plenary on Friday. One question is whether Beijing was motivated by a desire to placate its closest ally, Pakistan, or a desire to contain India’s global standing.

Most analysts believe China was willing to ignore its diplomatic isolation and damage relations with India as, ultimately, it does not want to share major global podiums with New Delhi.

Jayadev Ranade, director of the Centre for China Analysis and Strategy in New Delhi, believes “the larger picture is China wants to keep us out so that they remain the dominant player in Asia. If we get into the NSG, this strengthens India’s candidature for a permanent UN Security Council seat.”

The argument is that with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and concerns about Islamist terrorism, while Pakistan is even more crucial to China’s strategic interests than before, Islamabad can hardly afford to severe its ties with Beijing.

“I am more inclined to believe China’s main goal is to keep India out without appearing to do so,” says Pakistan expert Dan Markey of the Council for Foreign Relations.

“Pakistan is more than just a fig-leaf, but China would also have found a way to manage Pakistan’s discontent if that’s all there was to the story.”

In his view, China’s willingness to openly block India’s entry into the NSG has proven that Beijing’s main driver was keeping India in its place.

“If China had folded – and let India in – and worked hard to placate Pakistan, then we have known that the main issue for Beijing was trying to keep Pakistan happy.”

As it was China put up a stiff fight and made demands that ensured neither India nor Pakistan could get in. “Then we know Beijing’s main goal is to keep India out.”

But not everyone rules out a Pakistan First motivation.

Andrew Small of the German Marshall Fund and author of The China-Pakistan Axis, in a blog written before the NSG plenary that “Pakistan has been the surprising pace-setter in Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road initiative, and over the last year Chinese intellectuals have taken to describing the country as China’s ‘one real ally’, with the relationship a ‘model to follow’…Standing up for Pakistan now is not only about the bilateral relationship but also about China’s reliability as a partner.”

Ultimately, keeping New Delhi down and holding Islamabad up are two sides of the same coin in Beijing’s strategic calculus. “China wants to keep India out; it also wants to make Pakistan happy,” says Teresita Schaffer of the Brookings Institute. “Two for the price of one.”

US Drone Strike Kills 16 Taliban Terrorists In Kunduz, Saturday Night

US drone kills 16 Taliban fighters
BRICS Post

Afghanistan military forces have been engaged in bitter fighting with the Taliban in Kunduz province in recent months [Xinhua]

Afghanistan military forces have been engaged in bitter fighting with the Taliban in Kunduz province in recent months [Xinhua]

The Afghanistan military on Sunday confirmed that a US drone air strike killed at least 16 Taliban fighters in the country’s northern Kunduz province.

“A senior Taliban leader named Mullah Jannat Gul along with 15 of his men were killed after a pilotless plane of international forces struck two vehicles running along a road in Quash Tipa, Chahar Dara district Saturday night,” a military communique from Kabul said.

The strike comes soon after US President Barack Obama extended the mandate of US military powers in Afghanistan to a more aggressive, pro-active initiative.

Since 2015, US troops had been advising the Afghanistan military and not directly engaging the Taliban except in a defensive stance. Around 10,000 US troops remain in Afghanistan since foreign troops began leaving the country in 2015 and handing the security reins over to the government in the capital Kabul.

That figure is set to halve by the end of the year.

In the first reaction from the Islamic militant group, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid promised a swift and “harsh” response to the drone attacks.

There has been heavy fighting in the Kunduz province since the Taliban launched a renewed offensive last year. In September, it seized Kunduz city in what was considered the most significant setback for the government in Kabul and its international allies since the Islamist group was routed in 2001.

French Nationalists Call For “Frexit”–Countdown To EU Implosion?

Hollande rejects Le Pen’s calls for Frexit referendum

Russia-Today

French President Francois Hollande (L), Prime Minister Manuel Valls (2ndL) and Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault (3rdL) meet with France's far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen (R) after Britain's vote to leave the European Union, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, 25, 2016. © Christophe Saidi
President Francois Hollande has firmly rejected calls for a referendum on leaving the EU, said French right-wing leader Marine Le Pen. Disappointed with the talks and disregard for public opinion, she was left with the “feeling of coming for nothing.”

“We have called for the implementation of a referendum to ask the French if they wish to remain in the European Union,” Le Pen said according to French media. “He responded ‘no’.”

Post-Brexit world: Financial downturn, political turmoil & protests

The National Front leader, who has been gaining popularity in opinion polls and hoping to replace the president in next year’s elections, lashed out at Hollande, saying: “This is just outrageous… as if the people [of France] are a fifth wheel.”

Le Pen said she regretted meeting with Hollande and was sorry to hear he “will take no notice of all the signals” the French and Europeans in general have been showing for several years.

Commenting on the consequences of Brexit, Le Pen said the EU would try to make the whole process of the UK’s exit as “painful as possible,” so that other countries would not want to follow suit. Le Pen maintained it would only lead to an “even greater gap between the EU nations.”

On Saturday, President Hollande held a series of meetings with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and a number of party leaders, including his own Socialist Party, former President Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservative opposition party and the right-wing National Front.

“Of course we discussed the British vote despite the fact that it has no effect on the place of the United Kingdom in the United Nations system. The UK is a permanent member of the Security Council,” Hollande said.

Hollande acknowledged he “deeply regretted” the referendum result and called on the EU to respect all treaties when organizing Britain’s departure from the bloc.

“I deeply regret the British vote. I respect it because that is democracy, but at the same time we have to draw all the conclusions and [consider] all the consequences.”

“We must now organize this separation and we must do it in good order, with the rules provided by the treaties, which must be implemented,” the president added.

He stressed France will seek to “maintain relations with the UK” including discussions on the migrant and refugee crisis.

The comment echoed the UN Secretary General’s, who said the UN would continue working with both the UK and European Union, which he described as “two important partners.”

After meeting Hollande, Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy said: “Europe is now facing a crisis of a great magnitude.” He called on the international community to turn the current EU “historic crisis” into an “opportunity for a new start.”

READ MORE: Calais mayor wants French migrant camps moved to UK after Brexit vote

France is far from being the only one affected by Brexit contagion. In Finland over 10,000 people have already signed a freshly launched petition to hold a ‘Fixit’ referendum. Dutch anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders said the Netherlands had a right for a ‘Nexit’, while across the Atlantic the US state of Texas said it would push for a ‘Texit’.

Photo published for RT International
RT International
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says the Scottish government will immediately engage in talks with the EU to protect Scotland’s

Following the referendum, the UK has been deeply “fractured.” The Scottish government agreed to introduce legislation for a second independence vote to protect its position in the EU. Northern Ireland also expressed a strong desire to remain in the bloc. Exasperated by the outcome of the vote, many Londoners say they would prefer to secede from the UK and stay with the EU.

READ MORE: Petition calling for UK to hold 2nd EU referendum soars past 2mn signatures

Over 2.5 million UK citizens signed a petition urging the government to conduct a second referendum, to give people a chance to reconsider their decision to exit the EU.

JUST IN: Petition calling to hold second referendum soars past 2mn signatures http://on.rt.com/7gth 

Putin Stops Obama’s Boys From Grabbing Primary Syrian Oil Town

[Syrian rebels capture key oilfields]

Pentagon voices ‘strong concerns’ to Russia over strikes on US-backed Syria rebels

An unusual Russian attack on U.S. allies

daily star LEB

U.S. officials repeatedly say that the United States and Russia share the goal of defeating Daesh (ISIS). Why then has Russia apparently attacked the New Syrian Army – a U.S.-armed and trained force whose sole purpose is fighting Daesh? And how can the United States salvage its ability to recruit local partners against the extremist group?The NSA is a small but relatively well-equipped force of several hundred in eastern Syria, largely drawn from and fighting in Homs and Deir al-Zor provinces. U.S. covert and special operations personnel equipped and trained the unit, and it is tasked with fighting Daesh (not Russia’s ally, the regime). Thus, while it is an army of local fighters, it is also essentially a U.S. proxy force. Similar to the Kurdish PYD and its local Arab partners, the NSA shares the U.S. priority of fighting Daesh rather than the regime.

Through the lens of U.S. policy, which sees the war on Daesh as separate from the broader civil war in Syria, Russia has no obvious reason to attack the NSA since it does not fight the regime. Yet according to an unnamed senior U.S. defense official, on June 16, Russia launched an airstrike on a New Syrian Army position in the strategic Al-Tanf border area, which was recently seized from Daesh. By one account that strikes killed two NSA fighters and wounded four others, in addition to damaging NSA vehicles. Other sources confirmed the attacks (though not the perpetrators).

Russia may have mistaken NSA fighters for Daesh ones. However, a U.S. military source claims Russia ignored warnings to stop the strikes, indicating the operation was planned and deliberate. It is therefore likely that Russia deliberately attacked and killed fighters that the U.S. trained, equipped, and deployed in service of a major national security interest and U.S. military campaign.

A deliberate Russian attack may have been aimed at disrupting the NSA’s intended northeast offensive toward the Daesh-held border town of Al-Bukamal. If the NSA takes Al-Bukamal, it would probably keep moving north to sever Daesh supply lines from Iraq, and in the process flank the Daesh-held city of Deir al-Zor. The regime is already fighting to preserve its foothold in Deir al-Zor, and likely intends to expand it after that.

A NSA thrust northward would force the regime and Russia to cede strategic (and oil-rich) territory to a U.S. proxy.

Worse, these NSA fighters are both native to the areas and a projection of U.S. power. Alternatively, Russia may have wanted to avoid a precedent of U.S.-backed local forces retaking important terrain from Daesh.

Russian motives may never be known, but the fact remains that Russia felt confident enough to bomb a U.S. proxy group in Syria and kill U.S.-backed fighters that posed no immediate threat, had not come into conflict with Russia or the regime, and espoused an agenda to which Russia was nominally subscribed. The United States already has a poor record of protecting local groups that it supports in the insurgency in Syria, but those groups are not full-fledged partners since they fight both Daesh and the regime while the United States is focused on the former. The NSA, however, is an arm of a critical U.S. counterterrorism campaign – a campaign built on having local forces do the bulk of the fighting.

Would-be U.S. allies against Daesh are closely watching how the United States treats its local partners, especially whether it can protect them from unprovoked attacks by enemies they are not supposed to have. Yet in the wake of Al-Tanf airstrikes, a senior U.S. defense official responded, “We will seek an explanation from Russia on why it took this action and assurances this will not happen again.” At this point, an explanation and promise are unlikely to inspire local confidence in the United States. It seems that embedded U.S. personnel are the only way to protect groups against attacks by Russia and its partners. U.S. groups already operate with Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces fighting Daesh in northern Syria. Arab anti-Daesh forces like the NSA are just as important given that they are indigenous to Daesh-controlled territory. They are also no less deserving of full protection by the U.S., without which only an irrational fighter would join any U.S. effort against Daesh.

Faysal Itani is a senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. This commentary is published by permission from the Atlantic Council and can be accessed at: http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/syriasource/a-possible-and-unusual-russian-attack-on-us-allies.

Iraqi commander–Fallujah ‘fully liberated’ from IS

AFP 553339627 I CFG IRQ
Smoke rises from buildings in Fallujah as members of the Iraqi government forces clear the streets of roadside bombs and booby traps June 23, 2016.
(Photo: Haidar Mohammed Ali, AFP/Getty Images)

Iraqi commander: Fallujah ‘fully liberated’ from IS

usa_today_long

BAGHDAD – A senior Iraqi commander declared that the city of Fallujah was “fully liberated” from Islamic State group militants on Sunday, after a more than monthlong military operation.

Iraqi troops have entered the northwestern al-Julan neighborhood, the last area of Fallujah to remain under IS control, the head of the counterterrorism forces in the operation, Lt. Gen. Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi, told The Associated Press.

Al-Saadi said the operation, which began late May, “is done and the city is fully liberated.” The Iraqi army was backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes and paramilitary troops, mostly Shiite militias.

“From the center of al-Julan neighborhood, we congratulate the Iraqi people and the commander in chief…and declare that the Fallujah fight is over,” he told Iraqi state TV, flanked by military officers and soldiers. Some of the soldiers were shooting in the air, chanting and waving the Iraqi flag.

Fallujah has been under the control of Islamic State militants since January 2014.

Fallujah, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Baghdad, was the first city to fall to IS in January 2014. During an insurgency waged by IS group’s militant predecessor, al-Qaida in Iraq, Fallujah was the scene of some of the bloodiest urban combat with American forces. In 2004, more than 100 U.S. troops died and another 1,000 were wounded fighting insurgents in house-to-house battles.

IS extremists still control significant areas in northern and western Iraq, including the country’s second-largest city of Mosul. The group declared an Islamic caliphate on the territory it holds in Iraq and Syria and at the height of its power was estimated to hold nearly a third of each country.

 

Nicaragua Expels US Diplomats On Search For US Property Owners To Defend Against New Canal

[Nicaragua Begins Construction of New Canal, When Will SOUTHCOM Intervene?]

[Panama Canal opens $5B locks, bullish despite shipping woes ;
Sink or swim: Hong Kong company defies the doomsayers on Nicaragua Canal project ; US concerns grow over possible Nicaragua Canal land expropriation, ambassador says ]

Government expels a US analyst

confidencial 20 anos

War College professor and expert on relations between China and Latin America

Dr. Evan Ellis

Dr. Evan Ellis came to do interviews on the canal and less than 24 hours later deported

The commander Daniel Ortega government expelled the American political scientist Evan Ellis, an expert on relations between China and Latin America, saying it “did not have official permission to conduct research in Nicaragua on the canal.”

Professor and researcher at the War College Department of Defense, and therefore civilian employee of the US government, Dr. Ellis arrived in the country last Monday with an agenda that included interviews and meetings with various sectors related to the canal project interoceanic: including government officials, businessmen, diplomats, academics, journalists and activists of social movements.

However, before completing 24 hours of their stay in the country, it was deported through an expedited procedure.

Ironically, yesterday an extensive interview was reported in the Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post, in which company officials HKND extolled the “transparency” of the government of Nicaragua and the company headed by Chinese tycoon Wang Jing to provide information the world about the canal project.

– “At 11:15 pm uniformed persons, posing as immigration officers, arrived at the hotel Hilton Princess and called me, told Ellis to Confidential via an email sent in the early morning.

– I called down to the lobby and I reported that the government of Nicaragua has not authorized my research on the Grand Canal, and was given until 5 am (Tuesday) to pack my stuff he said.

I-will you bring to the airport to kick me out of the country, “he said, before turning to the force, a commercial plane that took him to Miami.

In Managua, the US embassy failed to comment on the expulsion. Neither the Foreign Ministry or the Department of Immigration explained the reasons for deportation.

Expert in China

Ellis is a professor of American studies American and Caribbean Institute for Strategic Studies War College US Army, an academic institution Defense Department study in which senior military. In that condition, he explained, it is a civil academic traveling with official passports of the US government.

Dr. Ellis is the author of over 120 academic papers, including three books: China on the Ground in LatinAmerica (2014), The Strategic Dimension of Chinese Engagement in Latin America (2013) and China in Latin America: The Whats and wherefores ( 2009, as well as articles in technical publications, financial and national security)

In early June 2013, Ellis gave an interview to Confidential in which he said that even though the advisers Wang Jing have claimed that China is behind the project of the Grand Canal, in the long term the project could be of interest to that power as an alternative to expand their trade. However, that does not seem feasible warned that both the projected Nicaragua Canal, such as operating in Panama, generate profits in its eventual coexistence.

“The costs of the new channel could hardly compete with that of Panama without major long-term benefits,” he observed then.

Later that same month, Confidencial published an article by Ellis titled “The Truth Behind Canal project” , which claimed that “HK Nicaragua Canal Development (the concessionaire) has no financial ties, contacts or building capacity management necessary to perform the project. “

Later, in December 2014, Confidential play another article by Ellis, originally published in Latin Trade, entitled “The business behind the channel” , which showed how the canal project would represent “a highly lucrative opportunity for those who operate, those who build and those who own the land on which will be built “.

Ejected in less than 24 hours

According to the account he provided to Confidential via Skype from the United States after deportation, Ellis planned his visit for more than two months ago through private contacts, but also had extensive exchanges with official sources as the ambassador of Nicaragua in Washington, Francisco Campbell, the chief of staff Paul Oquist, and the president of the Interoceanic Canal Authority, Manuel Coronel Kautz, with whom he had arranged an interview. Nicaragua’s government was fully informed of his visit, which was also notified by the embassy through diplomatic channels.

Ellis arrived at Augusto C. Sandino Airport on Monday at 11:45 am and presented his official passport to the immigration control. “They asked me the purpose of my visit, and I said I’m a research professor at the Institute of Strategic Studies War College,” explaining that came to conduct interviews on the Grand Canal project. “I admitted with full knowledge of what I came to do,” Ellis said, but hours later was rejected by officials who identified themselves as members of the leadership of Immigration.

At 6:30 pm, Ellis attended the photo exhibition “by thousands” organized by the “National Council in Defense of the Land, Lake and Sovereignty,” in Pablo Antonio Cuadra Cultural Centre Hispamer, during the three years of the adoption of the canal concession, but he denied that it had anything to do with his expulsion. “I did not attended a protest, I went to a photographic exhibition which was attended by leaders of groups opposed to the channel, but my goal as an academic was to know the different views, without advocating any project,” he said.

When they rested in his room, after eleven o’clock at night, three uniformed officers allegedly direction of migration, cited the lobby of his hotel. “I reported that the government had not authorized me to enter the country to conduct interviews on the channel, and that it would need an official authorization,” said Ellis, adding that “I was invited to leave the country at 5:00 am and he had to go with them to the airport, “he added. “I offered them go by taxi, they said no,” he explained, and said that a government official remained standing guard at the door of his room.

According to Ellis, although she asked them to identify themselves, none of the officers who deported him showed any credential or cited articles of the law on the basis of which they proceeded against.

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, Ellis was accompanied by officials of the embassy, to ensure that immigration officers being transferred to the airport. “I will thank my colleagues embassy” he said.

Reflecting on his expulsion from Nicaragua, the academic said on the canal project, “the attraction of international capital depends on transparency and lack of fear for investors. I wish the best to Nicaragua, and I go with the concept that there are factors that can lead to uncertainty and even fear among investors. I’m going to continue research on China and the channel, because it is an important issue, “he said.

Cenidh “institutionalized espionage”

The Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (Cenidh) condemned the expulsion of Ellis. The director of the agency, Vilma Nunez, noted that it “strange” thing is that the academic entered the country and registered at the hotel, but believes that somehow the forum assistance on the canal project was reported. “This will reveal that there is an institutionalized espionage in Nicaragua,” praised Nunez.

The human rights defender lamented that the expulsion of academics, researchers and even human rights defenders, “is already an established practice of government.”

“For us this is part of a desperate effort by the government to not know what’s going on. That is a characteristic of undemocratic governments and dark and has the same logic of denial of election observation, “said the director of Cenidh.

Nicaraguan academics and scientists Confidential assured that Nicaragua to conduct research in any specific permission is not required and therefore not explained the reason why Ellis was sent off.

The doctor in molecular and director of the Academy of Sciences of Nicaragua biology, Jorge Huete said that the only limit he knows are the requirements for entry into protected areas, “which are in fact universal recommendations, but in general there is no condition and no permission is needed as well as Nicaraguans can also go to another country to perform work or research, “compared.

Huete expressed solidarity and Academy with the American expert.

The scientist and environmentalist Jaime Incer Nicaragua also said that “hundreds of researchers come” and that no permission is needed. “I imagine how the issue (the channel) is very sensitive, someone could be bothered by that, I do not know,” said Incer, who for his part has warned of the damage to the works of the canal can cause on Lake Cocibolca.

16 foreigners expelled

With the expulsion of Ellis, add at least 16 foreigners expelled from Nicaragua by the government of Ortega. The first was the Italian – born missionary Alberto Boschi, who in June 2010 he canceled his Nicaraguan nationality.

Then in November 2012, was the Swedish journalist and filmmaker, Peter Torbiörnsson, who made the documentary Good Bye Nicaragua, in which he recounted the terrorist operation Penca and questioned the former minister of the interior, Tomas Borge.

Four months later, in March 2013, he was deported Matthew Cardella Costa, son of Francesco Cardella, appointed ambassador of Nicaragua in Saudi Arabia. The young man said Nestor Moncada Lau of wanting to meet with a property he wanted as his inheritance after the death of his father.

Two months later, in May, a similar fate Chilean photojournalist for Agence France-Presse (AFP), Hector Retamal, on charges that it violated immigration law. A Retamal was arrested near the presidential residence while heading to provide cover for a meeting between Ortega and Foreign Minister of Palestine.

In May of that year, also the Venezuelan former governor of Carabobo state, Henrique Fernando Salas Feo, and the deputy Carlos Berrizbeitia, reported that in Nicaragua him his passport at the Nicaraguan airport where they had traveled during a tour along with other Latin American parliamentarians and Europeans. Salas said that after three hours held at the airport, the authorities asked them to leave the country.

That year was also deported Ariñez Carlos Castel, Zoilamérica couple Narvaez, daughter of the first lady Rosario Murillo. On June 25, Murillo told his daughter the decision of expulsion. Bolivian Migration said he overcame his legal period.

Another deportation was Belgian citizen and journalist Michèle Sennesael in December 2014, who was reporting on the canal and the effects it would have on your route.

In February 2015, the government also allowed the entry of American Jason Glaser, director of the Island Foundation has denounced the working conditions in which they work thousands of cane cutters and the case of patients with chronic renal failure (CRF).

Luis Carlos Buob, member of the Center for Justice and International Law, was also returned to Costa Rica in May of that year, “sovereign decision” of the country. Migration told him that they were investigating drug trafficking, threw him to the ground, seized their mobile phones. This lawyer Cenidh accompanied at the hearing in March that was held at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to address the issue of the canal. Similar happened with Marta González, a member of Cejil.

Also that year he was prevented from entering the French caricaturist Jules Berjeaut, known as Jun, who was scheduled to participate in the Humor Front panel Barbarism in Central America has event, organized by writer Sergio Ramirez. A July was not given any explanation.

More recently, in January this year, the artists of the Bolivian collective TransformARTE, Liz Morales and Irumaki Cardenas complained that authorities of Migration and Alien Airport prevented their income without providing an official reason and claimed that officers tried to charge more money set by Nicaraguan law.

In February, expelled was the regional director of the human rights organization Freedom House and democracy, Carlos Ponce, who came to Nicaragua to meet with staff of the US Embassy, human rights organizations and civil society.

Kazakh Militants Takeover 2 Gun Shops, Hijack Bus and Attack Military Base

The suspects. These people are:
Tanatarov Dmitry, born in 1989, native of Aktobe;
Tanatarov Arsen, born in 1990, native of Aktobe;
Zhubanov Aidos, born in 1985, native of Aktobe region;
Kuanyshbayev Bakhit, born in 1983, native of Kyzylorda region, Syrdarya region;
Seilov Nurlan, born in 1985, native of Akmola oblast, Esil district;
Akpanbetov Alibek, born in 1989, native of Aktobe region;
Bashimov Aydar, born in 1988, native of Aktobe region, shalkar district.

[Terrorists in Aktobe instructed from Syria — Kazakh interior minister]

Aktobe, Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan mourns over victims of terror attack

kazakhstan 2050

The shooting spree which occurred in several districts of the city of Aktobe on June 5 shocked the entire country. Four civilians and three servicemen were killed in this shootout. The law-enforcement authorities named the tragedy an act of terrorism. June 9 was declared the Day of National Mourning over the Victims of the Aktobe Terrorist Attack.
Astana city09 June , 08:32

“As a result of the terror attack, unfortunately, there are dead and wounded among the military and civilians. They have families, children. I express my deepest condolences to all the bereaved families and relatives. I declare Thursday, June 9, a day of the national mourning for the victims”, the Head of State said in a statement to the people of Kazakhstan in connection with the terrorist act in Aktobe.

According to the regional administration, the victims are as follows:

Andrei Maksimenko (born 1978) was a clerk at Pallada gun shop. His family lives in Aktobe.

Nikolay Onishchenko (born 1947) was a pensioner. He was walking past the Pallada gun shop when the shootout started. N. Onishchenko is a native of Sagarchik village of Russia’s Orenburg region. His family lives in Aktobe.

Merkhan Tazhibayev (born 1983) was an officer at Kuzet Security Service, father of two children. His family resides in Aktobe too.

Mikhail Matrossov (born 1981) – Pantera gun shop customer. His family also lives in Aktobe. His son is 13 years old.

Sapar Dosbol (born 1997) was a native of the South Kazakhstan region. He was a contract soldier at the National Guard. Buried in Koksu village of Shardara district.

Daniel Mailybayev (born 1975) served as a senior investigator at the Military Counterintelligence Department of the National Security Committee. Father of four children. Buried in Almaty region.

Berik Kaliyev (born 1978) – Junior Sergeant of the National Guard, father of four children. B.Kaliyev was buried in Zhaksybay village of West Kazakhstan’s Zhanibek district.

According to the report, the terrorist act was organized by the followers of radical pseudo-religious movements.

“Extremism and terrorism pose a threat both to our country and to the entire world. Kazakhstanis realized the importance of enhanced anti-terrorist measures taken by our law-enforcement authorities countrywide. There is no issue for concern now. Meanwhile, I am calling all Kazakhstanis to be cautious and firmly suppress any appeals to violent illegal actions and provide all-round support to law-enforcement bodies”, the Head of State stated.

Pak Press Paints False Image of Inter-Taliban Warfare, Denying Reports of TTP-Turned-ISIS

Geo-TV
Seven killed in clash between Pak, Afghan Taliban in Kunar

PESHAWAR: Seven militants were killed during a clash between the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban in the eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan, police said on Friday.

Abdul Habib Saidkhel, the police chief of Kunar, told the Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) that the clash took place in the Pashad area of Sarkano district. He said six Afghans and a fighter of the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan were killed in the clash. He said that three Afghans and two Pakistani Taliban were also injured in the skirmish.

Meanwhile, local people said that four of the six Afghan Taliban killed in the clash were the residents of Pashad. They said the other two hailed from Badeel Darra in Naurang district. The AIP, while quoting sources, said that differences between the Pakistani Taliban and a shadow Afghan Taliban governor led to the clash.

Our Khar correspondent adds: Militants based in Kunar attacked the Pakistani security check posts in the Nawagai Tehsil in Bajaur Agency with rockets and heavy weaponry on Friday. However, no casualty was reported in the pre-dawn attack. The sources said unidentified militants fired a barrage of rockets on the check posts in the Nawagai Tehsil early in the day. Pakistani security forces, the sources said, retaliated in a forceful manner, forcing the attackers to flee across the border to Afghanistan.

Official sources said that one of the terrorists was injured in the retaliatory fire by the Pakistani soldiers.Pakistani Taliban militants escaped to Afghanistan’s Kunar province some years ago after the military operations in Bajaur and were able to set up sanctuaries in the bordering area.

—Originally published in The News

14 Taliban militants killed in an infighting in eastern Kunar province

Khaama

At least 14 Taliban insurgents were killed in infighting in the eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan, the security authorities said Friday.

The incident took place in the early hours of Thursday morning in Sarkano district after clashes erupted among Tehrik-e-Taliban and militants operating under the Islamic Emirate.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) confirmed that clashes took place around 5:00 am local time in Gula Pari area of Sarkano.

MoD further added that 8 militants of Tehrik-e-Taliban and 6 militants of Islamic Emirate were killed during the clash and 5 others were wounded from the two sides.

The anti-government armed militant groups have not commented regarding the report so far.

Infighting the among the Taliban groups has intensified during the past one year and since the announcement of Taliban founder Mullah Mohammad Omar’s death last year.

The Taliban group has divided into different factions since Mullah Omar’s death was confirmed and was succeeded by Mullah Akhtar Mansoor.

One of the main dissident Taliban group leader is Mullah Rasool who opposed with the appointment of Mullah Akhtar Mansoor as well as Mawlavi Haibatullah Akhundzada as new Taliban supreme leaders.

Akhundzada succeeded Mullah Mansoor who was killed in an airstrike by the US forces in Balochistan province of Pakistan last month.

Pakistan and India Both Accepted Into SCO Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

[Pakistan signs Memorandum of Obligations for SCO’s full membership]

India’s accession to SCO begins

KSG

India signed Memorandum of Obligations — a key document — kick starting the process of its accession to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, a powerful security

grouping increasingly seen as a counterweight to NATO. The document was signed by Secretary (East) Ministry of External Affairs Sujata Mehta at the SCO summit which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

What
  1. India will have to sign around 30 other documents in the course of the year to complete the process for membership. Pakistan is also being inducted into SCO as a full member.
  2. SCO’s membership is expected to help India have a greater say in issues relating to security and defence besides combating terrorism.
  3. India, one of the largest energy consuming countries in the world, is expected to get greater access to major gas and oil exploration projects in Central Asia once it becomes a member of the SCO. Many of the SCO countries have huge reserves of oil and natural gas.
  4. The SCO had set the ball rolling to make India a member of the bloc during its summit in Ufa in July last year when administrative hurdles were cleared to grant membership to India, Pakistan and Iran.
Flashback
  1. SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the Presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
  2. India, Iran and Pakistan were admitted as observers at the 2005 Astana Summit.
  3. The Tashkent SCO Summit in June 2010 had lifted the moratorium on new membership, paving the way for expansion of the grouping.
  4. India feels as SCO member, it will be able to play a major role in addressing the threat of terrorism in the region.
  5. India is also keen on deepening its security-related cooperation with the SCO and its Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS) which specifically deals with issues relating to security and defence.
  6. India has been an observer at the SCO since 2005 and has generally participated in the ministerial-level meetings of the grouping which focus mainly on security and economic cooperation in the Eurasian region.
  7. Russia has been favouring permanent SCO membership for India while China pushed for induction of Pakistan.

Is the Brexit Vote the First Domino Leading To Global Depression?

Ylan Q. MuiThe Washington Post

The risk of another global recession escalated Friday after Britain’s stunning decision to leave the European Union plunged financial markets into freefall and tested the strength of the safeguards put in place since the last downturn seven years ago.

Wall Street was slammed from the moment trading opened, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping more than 500 points within minutes. Though it pared those losses over the morning, it was back down 600 points, nearly 3.5 percent, by mid-afternoon. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index and the tech-heavy Nasdaq suffered declines of more than 3 percent.

The gut-wrenching moves were the latest sign of panic that began when the results of Britain’s Thursday referendum began to trickle in overnight. Japan’s Nikkei index temporarily halted futures trading amid the sweeping global selloff and closed down 8 percent. The turmoil then hit European stock markets, with France’s major index also dropping 8 percent while Germany’s fell nearly 7 percent. The London-based FTSE 100 initially plummeted nearly 9 percent but ended the day with a 3 percent decline.

International policymakers have long warned that the sluggish recovery from the Great Recession has left the world economy more vulnerable to another downturn. Recurring crisis over government debt in Europe, the bumpy slowdown China and the collapse in oil prices have already battered prospects for global growth. Britain’s exit from the EU – popularly known as “Brexit” – could prove to be the final straw, experts said.

The Afghan Government Is Unified in Name Alone

Forecast

  • The Afghan national unity government between President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah will fail to implement electoral reforms, thereby delaying parliamentary elections scheduled for October.
  • Disagreements over Pakistan’s plans to build a fence along the Durand Line will weaken ties between Islamabad and Kabul in the near term.
  • NATO will pledge to invest $5 billion annually through 2020 to support the Afghan National Army.

Analysis

For much of Afghanistan’s history, its combination of competing ethnic groups, illogical boundaries and impotent central government have weakened its status as both a nation and a state. Today, these problems persist, and Afghanistan finds itself burdened with four interrelated challenges: a political system unable to advance reform, a military unable to monopolize the use of force, an anemic economy overreliant on foreign aid, and a perennially strained relationship with neighboring Pakistan.
Without a concerted effort to address these issues, Afghanistan will be unable to quash the Taliban insurgency and achieve political and economic stability. Consequently, the current government, led by President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, will not fulfill one of the key requirements of its assumption of power — implementing the electoral reforms necessary to hold parliamentary and district council elections.
Of course, the Afghan government will still have help from abroad: NATO will renew its annual commitment to support the Afghan National Army through 2020. But ultimately, Afghanistan’s challenges have roots in its geopolitical fault lines, and the security alliance can, at best, help only to manage the country’s problems instead of solving them.

Afghan Ethnic Politics

Afghanistan is home to several ethnic groups that have historically been hostile toward one another, and their people are not always bounded by borders. For instance, Afghanistan’s largest and most dominant ethnic group, the Pashtun, constitutes 42 percent of its population, with many of them living in neighboring areas of Pakistan. The 2,200-kilometer (1,370-mile) Durand Line, drawn in 1893 to demarcate the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, was meant to divide the fiercely autonomous Pashtun and define the western edge of the British Empire.

Predictably, the Durand Line has been contentious. After the creation of Pakistan, Afghanistan rejected the line, claiming that it should be pushed southeast to absorb Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas and the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, both dominated by the Pashtun. In the 1970s, Afghan President Mohammad Daud Khan challenged the legitimacy of the porous Afghanistan-Pakistan boundary by resurrecting the idea of uniting the Pashtun nation into a single territory, preferably in Afghanistan. More recently, Pakistan has pushed to build a fence along the Durand Line to cut off militant attackers crossing from Afghanistan. The plan met resistance from Afghans who think a fence would legitimize a border they still contest. Pakistan’s new plan to build checkpoints will likely further strain ties between the countries in the near future, compounding the difficulties of negotiating an end to the 14-year war in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan’s rulers have long practiced a policy of internal colonialism, whereby the majority-Pashtun rulers suppress members of other minority ethnic groups to sustain power. Even the Taliban, though they are waging an ideological war, are also in some sense promoting a parallel Pashtun nationalist movement, as almost all of their fighters hail from that ethnic group. This has exacerbated mistrust between the Pashtun and the country’s other major ethnic groups. These include the Tajiks, who make up a quarter of the Afghan population and whose ethnic grouping straddles the Afghanistan-Tajikistan border; the Hazaras, who make up 10 percent of the population; and the Uzbeks, who also constitute about 10 percent of the population and whose ancestry can be traced to neighboring Uzbekistan. In one instance of pent-up ethnic tensions coming to a head, tens of thousands of Hazaras took to the the streets in Kabul on May 16 after the government altered the proposed route of a major electricity transmission corridor away from Bamiyan province, a Hazara stronghold.

The State, Violence and Politics

In Afghanistan, the country’s tenuous boundaries and diverse, divided population have made the central government weak. Outside powers drew all the nation’s borders, which do not correspond with geographic or ethnic boundaries. Moreover, the various tribes and ethnic groups living in its mountainous terrain have a deeply ingrained sense of autonomy. As a result, the Afghan government struggles to project its authority and faces challenges — most prominently from the Taliban — in its attempts to enforce laws and ward off internal and external threats.

Afghanistan’s disunity is embodied in the current political arrangement between Ghani, a Pashtun, and Abdullah, an ethnic Tajik. The two competed in the April 2014 election and a June 2014 runoff, but widespread allegations of fraud prompted the Afghan Independent Election Commission to conduct an audit of the 8 million votes cast. When the commission declared Ghani the winner in September 2014, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry helped broker a national unity government with an agreement giving Abdullah a role in governance. By presidential decree, Ghani created the post of chief executive for Abdullah, granting him shared powers in selecting Cabinet members and chairing ministerial meetings.

Now, Abdullah is set to step into an even more prominent position. Under the unity agreement, the country will convene a grand assembly of elders in September to propose a constitutional amendment creating the post of prime minister, formalizing Abdullah’s role and expanding his power. Of course, ethnic politics are at play: The Tajik, recognizing that the more numerous Pashtun will always dominate presidential elections, want to create a check on the president’s powers by creating the post of prime minister, to be elected by parliament. As for Ghani, he is willing to accept the amendment — though it will inevitably curb his power — so long as it keeps his administration alive.

A number of political developments are making Ghani feel vulnerable. During a visit to Afghanistan on April 9, Kerry announced that the unity government’s tenure should extend to five years instead of two, as originally envisioned. Apparently, Washington’s confidence in the electoral reform process is waning, and those elections will likely be delayed. Adding to Ghani’s woes, the lower house of parliament during the week of June 13 unanimously rejected his proposal to hold the parliamentary and district council elections scheduled for Oct. 15.

Reforms required to hold those elections — including redrawing the boundaries of the country’s 407 districts — are necessary to avoid repeating the pitfalls of the 2014 elections. But there has been considerable resistance to reforms in parliament because redistricting would likely divide ethnic groups. Meanwhile, political rivals are pointing to the lack of reforms and questioning the legitimacy of the unity government. The term of the Afghan lower parliament had expired in June 2015, but the lack of electoral reforms prompted Ghani to extend its tenure by presidential decree.

The Perils of Foreign Dependence

According to a report released by the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, the United States since 2001 has invested $113 billion in development funding in Afghanistan. Although the country has made gains in expanding education and health care, endemic corruption sustained through entrenched patronage networks has meant that much of the aid has been squandered. Yet an even deeper problem exists. A consistent pipeline of foreign aid means that Kabul does not have a strong incentive to expand its tax base, which in a democracy helps form the social contract between the rulers and the ruled. Taxpayers can demand that the government meet their needs and vote their leaders out of office if the government is unresponsive. Since only 37 percent of Afghan government expenditures is covered by tax revenue, the country will continue to rely on foreign aid to bridge the gap for years to come.

Moreover, security is a prerequisite to development. If Afghanistan is to avoid slipping into the same violently fractious political landscape that gave rise to the Taliban, it will need money to bolster the Afghan National Army, which continues to struggle with defections and poor leadership. Afghanistan’s gross domestic product growth will slow this year to 1.9 percent. Adding to the country’s insecurity is the illicit opium trade. Despite a concerted effort to eradicate opium growing, in 2014 the Afghan black market sold $2.7 billion worth of the crop, making it the country’s largest export.

The deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan pushed 180,000 Afghans to migrate to Europe in 2015 — only Syria had more migrants flee to Europe. The demographic pressure on Europe from the Afghan migration adds another incentive for NATO to continue its mission to train and advise the Afghan National Army. To fulfill that aim, NATO, which announced June 15 that it will maintain its six bases in the country through at least next year, is likely to renew a $5 billion annual investment in Afghanistan through 2020 during its Warsaw Summit in July.

The problems facing Afghanistan are deep and varied: a divided ethnic landscape, weak political institutions and a faltering economy requiring a constant stream of foreign aid. So long as the Afghan polity does not work to address these challenges in a sustained and meaningful way, the plight of Afghanistan will long overshadow its promise.

David Cameron resigns after UK shocks the world by voting for Brexit

David Cameron has resigned as Prime Minister after Britain voted to leave the European Union.

It followed a turbulent night with Remain campaigners quietly confident until the early hours when results from Newcastle and Sunderland showed better than expected returns for the Brexit camp.

A surprise victory for a Brexit in Swansea, which was expected to vote to Remain, did little to dampen concerns despite Scotland overwhelmingly backing staying in the Union.

Other votes in Wales began to show a trend towards a surprise Leave vote, particularly in deprived communities.

Cameron’s voice breaks during emotional resignation speech Play! 04:42

Big wins for David Cameron’s campaign in London and Oxford did little to allay fears that early predictions had been wrong, as the pound began to tank – down by 6% by around 1pm.

Leave passed the finishing post just after 6am, as it became clear that nothing could swing the vote back in favour of the Remain campaign.

With the Leave campaign securing 52 per cent of the vote, Mr Cameron addressed the nation in an emotional speech outside 10 Downing Street to announce that he would be stepping down.

Statements are expected to be made by Sinn Fein and the SNP later today calling for a breakaway from the Union. London backed Remain but the turnout was lower than expected because of bad weather.

Meanwhile on the market, the FTSE 250 index has plunged a whopping 11.7pc. The index of so-called mid-cap companies had dropped an astonishing 2,017 points to 15,309 in the first few minutes of trading.

If the World Really “Abandoned Pakistan,” Is the Taliban Pakistan’s Revenge?

[Do we measure Pakistan’s “contributions” to the war on terror by its continuing sponsorship of the Afghan Taliban, or by its flushing-out of the TTP from its Tribal Region into Afghanistan?]

World abandoned Pakistan to face the terrorists alone: army

daily times pak

ISPR chief says ‘do more’ demand from Pakistan on terrorism was unjustifiable and discriminatory * If India is awarded NSG membership, so should Pakistan be
World abandoned Pakistan to  face the terrorists alone: army

 

BERLIN: Asim Bajwa, director-general of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), said on Wednesday the narrative that Pakistan had not done enough to fight terrorism was “unfair” because it did not recognise Pakistan’s contribution to the war against terror.

In an interview with DW Urdu’s Kishwar Mustafa, Bajwa said, “The world had abandoned Pakistan to handle and face terrorists in the region alone, and Pakistan has completed the task.”

About the narrative in the West that Pakistan has not done enough in the war on error, Bajwa said, “I take it [the narrative] as quite an injustice to Pakistan. I take it as discrimination against Pakistan. Pakistan has done a lot in the war against terrorism and for peace in the world. Pakistan has played an unparalleled role against the Al Qaeda and other terrorists that morphed over time, be it after Russian aggression in Afghanistan or the post-9/11 scenario. I would like to say that it is injustice against Pakistan by the global community and that they did not do enough for Pakistan. They presented a flawed narrative, and they should recognise Pakistan’s perspective and morally support Pakistan.”

About the view that 62 per cent of the banned terrorist organisations were flourishing in southern Punjab, but the Pakistan Army was operating in other areas, Bajwa said when Operation Zarb-e-Azb was launched, the immediate problem was in the FATA, particularly in North Waziristan. So an operation was started there.

In response to a question about the tension between Pakistan and India, Bajwa said, “There is only one major cause of tension between the two countries, and that is the long-standing issue of Kashmir. As you know, developments are being made on diplomatic and political forums to engage India, but as a military spokesperson, I would like to say that India poses a threat to Pakistan and so our entire defence mechanism is India-specific. I would like to add that it would be a cause of disturbance of the strategic stability in the region, besides being a step towards discrimination if only India is inducted in the NSG.”

The Pentagon’s Demented View of the World

Phantom dangers, imperial networks: How Pentagon sees the world

Russia-Today

U.S. Defence Secretary Ashton Carter © Jonathan Brady
The world is threatened by Russia, China, Iran, North Korea – and oh yes, Islamic State – and its only hope is America, backed by loyal allies all over the globe. That is the vision the Pentagon chief has painted, with President Hillary Clinton in mind.

US Defense Secretary Ashton “Ash” Carter outlined his view of America’s strategic challenges at a conference hosted by the Center for New American Security (CNAS) on Monday in Washington, DC. While the Pentagon chief said he would be “extremely careful not to comment on the election,” the content of his presentation very clearly favored the establishment line that has been embraced by Clinton and threatened by Donald Trump’s calls to put “America first.”

While Trump has been critical of US involvement around the globe, Carter argued that America is the “underwriter of global security” thanks to its “long-time network of allies and partners in every corner of the world.”

That is no exaggeration. As of Monday, the US had 187,000 troops deployed in 140 countries, according to Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley. Note, also, that the US Department of Defense has carved up the world into six “combat commands.” So busy is the Pentagon occupying the world, the US government had to set up a separate Department of Homeland Security after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

© Wikipedia

The “network” part is the buzzword around which the entire presentation was built, from the headline to the punchline. The words “network” or “networking” appear no less than 60 times in Carter’s speech.

As the “quintessential example of nations working together, and networking together, to respond to security challenges,” Carter named NATO, the US-dominated military alliance established in 1948. Not only did the US not dissolve this alliance at the end of the Cold War, it is currently trying to establish something like it in East Asia, judging by Carter’s presentation.

NATO and other “networks” of US allies around the globe are based on principles, standards and ideals, the Pentagon chief argued, citing as examples “resolving disputes peacefully” and “ensuring countries can make their own security and economic choices free from coercion and intimidation.” One ought to ask the people of Serbia or Libya, or Turkey’s Kurdish subjects about NATO’s proclivity for peaceful resolution of disputes.

As for the security and economic choices, look what happens to countries that choose differently from Washington’s desires – from Yugoslavia (now former), Libya (now chaos), and Syria (now a ruin) to Ukraine, where the government that chose good relations with Russia was overthrown in a coup and replaced by Nazis who sent tanks to crush dissent. But no, those are democratic reformers, and the resistance to their “anti-terrorist operation” is really “Russian aggression,” as Carter keeps repeating in hopes of precluding rational thought.

You see, when NATO masses an armada off the Russian coast or along the Russian border, that’s “deterrence” and defense and “underwriting security,” but when Russian planes fly over those ships or hover a hundred miles off the coast of California, that’s “unprofessional behavior” and “aggression.”

NATO has spent the past 25 years marching East, gobbling up “states” carved out of the corpses of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union so that it is now literally sitting on Russia’s doorstep – yet in Carter’s upside-down universe, NATO is the one being threatened by “Russian aggression.”

Welcome to Pentagon logic, folks, the looking-glass world in which NATO destroying countries on a whim whenever US “non-governmental organizations” fail to overthrow their governments in color coups is considered upholding the “principled international order” while any resistance to such schemes is “aggression” or “malignant behavior.”

Lest you think I’m projecting the way Carter does, Russia was actually the first of the five “challenges” listed by the Pentagon boss in the CNAS address, followed by China, North Korea, Iran – and only then, as an afterthought, the so-called Islamic State (IS formerly ISIS/ISIL). Even when he got around to talking about the Middle East, Carter brought up Iran first. To him, IS is a cancer, with a “parent tumor” to be defeated in Iraq and Syria and “metastases” elsewhere, meaning that Washington sees the struggle against the faux-caliphate as never-ending. That’s bad news for victims of IS, but great news for the US “defense contractors” and their place at the taxpayer trough.

In September 2015, after a year of bombing by the US-led coalition – another one of Carter’s “networks” – IS was showing no sign of being even mildly inconvenienced. Russia’s modest expeditionary force was deployed to Syria in October, and had the head-choppers on the run within a month. But to hear Washington say it, Russia was actually ‘helping’ jihadists and bombing the ‘good democrats’ of the US-backed “opposition.”

Though many Americans – including Trump – said they were happy to see Russia decimated the terrorists, but US officials insisted on their fantasy that Russian strikes were either counterproductive, targeting civilians, or nonexistent. That’s because, according to the Pentagon, each regional network (there’s that word again) needs “a nation and a military to enable it” – meaning, obviously, the United States and definitely not Russia, China, or anyone else, ever.

It is no accident that Carter gave this particular speech at CNAS. The think-tank created in 2007 has been the go-to source of foreign policy and security advice for the Obama administration – all of it in service of US global hegemony. Most recently, in March this year, CNAS published a pamphlet titled “Extending American Power: Strategies to Expand US Engagement in a Competitive World Order,” advocating pretty much what it says on the tin. One of its lead authors is Robert Kagan, co-author of the notorious 1996 “benevolent global hegemony” doctrine – and husband of Victoria Nuland, of Kiev cookies fame.

Nebojsa Malic for RT

China Warns The US That It Is “The Wrong Opponent To Play Games With”

China Warns The US That It Is “The Wrong Opponent To Play Games With”

zero hedge

Two US aircraft carriers, the John C. Stennis and Ronald Reagan, began joint operations in the seas just east of the Philippines over the weekend the US Navy announced on Monday. The operations come during a tense time in the region, as China recently announced that it would not adhere to any unfavorable ruling that may come from The Hague regarding the Philippines formal challenge of territorial claims in the South China Sea.

China has been very clear in its position that the US should stay out of the maritime disputes in the region, however the US has already made it clear that it intends to be the policeman in the region for decades to come, so the move comes as no surprise. Admiral John Richardson, the chief of US Naval Operations said that it was not often the US had two carrier strike groups in the same waters and it was a sign of US commitment to regional security.

According to Reuters, Richardson made a correlation between the Asian deployment and the deployment the US recently sent to the Mediterranean Sea in order to send a message to Russia.

“Both here and in the Mediterranean, it’s a signal to everyone in the region that we’re committed, we’re going to be there for our allies, to reassure them and for anyone who wants to destabilize that region. And we hope there’s a deterrent message there as well.”

A US Pacific Command (PACOM) statement quoted Rear Admiral John D. Alexander, commander of the Ronald Reagan carrier group, as saying it was an opportunity to practice techniques needed to prevail in modern naval operations.

The US Navy has flown, sailed and operated throughout the Western Pacific in accordance with international law for decades, and will continue to do so.

One additional piece to this story is that as Reuters points out, the People’s Daily (the official newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party, which is often used to express foreign policy views), had the following to say about the US decision to send carriers in.

Via Google Translate

Conveying a so-called message about security through the exhibition of military might, and furthermore describing the events as an act of deterrence is something that the U.S. has done far too many times. Regardless of how many times it may have gone smoothly in other parts of the world the U.S. has chosen the wrong opponent by selecting China for this type of game. Behind all of this is lack of patience and brassy moves and it also reveals a nature of hegemony beneath the surface.

* * *

It is obvious that China is getting tired of the games that the US is playing in the region, and no matter how many times China has warned that the US should stay out of its affairs, the US remains steadfast in its effort to police the region. It is only a matter of time before a confrontation takes place, intentional or otherwise, and then the world will be undoubtedly pushed to the brink of war – which would be bullish for stocks of course.

NATO Says It Might Now Have Grounds to Attack Russia

NATO Says It Might Now Have Grounds to Attack Russia

russia insider

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

On Tuesday, June 14th, NATO announced that if a NATO member country becomes the victim of a cyber attack by persons in a non-NATO country such as Russia or China, then NATO’s Article V “collective defense” provision requires each NATO member country to join that NATO member country if it decides to strike back against the attacking country. The preliminary decision for this was made two years ago after Crimea abandoned Ukraine and rejoined Russia, of which it had been a part until involuntarily transferred to Ukraine by the Soviet dictator Nikita Khrushchev in 1954. That NATO decision was made in anticipation of Ukraine’s ultimately becoming a NATO member country, which still hasn’t happened. However, only now is NATO declaring cyber war itself to be included as real “war” under the NATO Treaty’s “collective defense” provision.

NATO is now alleging that because Russian hackers had copied the emails on Hillary Clinton’s home computer, this action of someone in Russia taking advantage of her having privatized her U.S. State Department communications to her unsecured home computer and of such a Russian’s then snooping into the U.S. State Department business that was stored on it, might constitute a Russian attack against the United States of America, and would, if the U.S. President declares it to be a Russian invasion of the U.S., trigger NATO’s mutual-defense clause and so require all NATO nations to join with the U.S. government in going to war against Russia, if the U.S. government so decides.

NATO had produced in 2013 (prior to the take-over of Ukraine) an informational propaganda video alleging that “cyberattacks” by people in Russia or in China that can compromise U.S. national security, could spark an invasion by NATO, if the U.S. President decides that the cyberattack was a hostile act by the Russian or Chinese government. In the video, a British national-security expert notes that this would be an “eminently political decison” for the U.S. President to make, which can be made only by the U.S. President, and which only that person possesses the legal authority to make. NATO, by producing this video, made clear that any NATO-member nation’s leader who can claim that his or her nation has been ‘attacked’ by Russia, possesses the power to initiate a NATO war against Russia. In the current instance, it would be U.S. President Barack Obama. However, this video also said that NATO could not automatically accept such a head-of-state’s allegation calling the cyber-attack an invasion, but instead the country that’s being alleged to have perpetrated the attack would have to have claimed, or else been proven, to have carried it out. With the new NATO policy, which was announced on June 14th, in which a cyber-attack qualifies automatically as constituting “war” just like any traditional attack, such a claim or proof of the target-nation’s guilt might no longer be necessary. But this has been left vague in the published news reports about it.

In the context of the June 14th NATO announcement that cyberwar is on the same status as physical war, Obama might declare the U.S. to have been invaded by Russia when former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s State Department emails were copied by someone in Russia.

It’s a hot issue now between Russia and the United States, and so, for example, on the same day, June 14th, Reuters headlined “Moscow denies Russian involvement in U.S. DNC hacking”, and reported that, “Russia on Tuesday denied involvement in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee database that U.S. sources said gained access to all opposition research on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.”

In previous times, espionage was treated as being part of warfare, and, after revelations became public that the U.S. was listening in on the phone conversations of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, espionage has become recognized as being simply a part of routine diplomacy (at least for the United States); but, now, under the new NATO policy, it might be treated as being equivalent to a physical invasion by an enemy nation.

At the upcoming July 8th-9th NATO Summit meeting, which will be happening in the context of NATO’s biggest-ever military exercises on and near the borders of Russia, called “Atlantic Resolve”, prospective NATO plans to invade Russia might be discussed in order to arrive at a consensus plan for the entire alliance. However, even if that happens, it wouldn’t be made public, because war-plans never are.

The origin of this stand-off between the U.S. and Russia goes back to promises that the West had made in 1990 to the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, not to expand NATO up to the borders of Russia, and the West’s subsequent violations of those repeatedly made promises. Gorbachev disbanded the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact, on the basis of those false assurances from Western leaders. Thus, Russia is surrounded now by enemies, including former Warsaw Pact nations and even some former regions of the Soviet Union itself, such as Ukraine and the Baltic republics, which now host NATO forces. NATO is interpreting Russia’s acceptance of the Crimeans’ desire to abandon Ukraine and rejoin Russia following the 2014 Ukrainian coup, as constituting a showing of an intent by Russia to invade NATO nations that had formerly been part of the Soviet Union and of the Warsaw Pact, such as Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia; and this is the alleged reason for America’s Operation Atlantic Resolve, and the steep increase in U.S. troops and weapons in those nations that border on Russia.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

NATO Declares Cyberattack As An Article 5 Trigger For War

Air, land, sea, cyber: NATO adds cyber to operation areas

ap

FILE – In this June 13, 2016 file photo, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO agreed Tuesday to make cyber operations part of its war domain, along with air, sea and land operations, and to beef up the defense of its computer networks.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the decision to formally consider cyber operations a military domain is not aimed at any one country. He says the allies need to be able to better defend themselves and respond to attacks on their computer networks.

The decision has been long in coming, particularly amid rising tensions with Russia, which has proven its willingness to launch computer-based attacks against other nations.

Russian hackers have been blamed for a breach into an unclassified Pentagon computer network and for a breach of NATO’s computer network two years ago.

About a year ago, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter told NATO that it must improve its ability to protect itself before it builds its cyberwar capabilities. And he pledged that the U.S. would use its expertise to help allies assess their vulnerabilities and reduce the risk to their critical infrastructure.

In 2014, after years of debate, NATO finally agreed that a cyberattack could rise to the level of a military assault and could trigger the Article 5 protections, which allow the alliance to go to the collective defense of another member that has been attacked.

On Tuesday, Stoltenberg said that cyber must be a war domain, much like air, land and sea. He said the decision means that NATO will coordinate and organize efforts to protect against cyberattacks in a more efficient way.

And he noted that any hybrid military attack would include cyber operations as a key dimension.

The Looming US War on Russia

Polish troops land with parachutes at the military compound near Torun, central Poland, on June 7, 2016, as part of the NATO Anaconda-16 military exerciseThe Looming US War on Russia

sputnik

© AFP 2016/ JANEK SKARZYNSKI
Finian Cunningham
 

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s comparison of increasing US-led NATO aggression towards Russia to the attack by Nazi Germany on the Soviet Union is advisedly apt.

Putin was addressing the Russian State Duma this week on the occasion 75 years ago when the Nazi Third Reich launched Operation Barbarossa on June 22, 1941.Nazi Germany’s aggression, which led to the Great Patriotic War in which up to 30 million Soviet citizens lost their lives in order to gain victory against that fascist power, was at bottom an attack by Western imperialism. As Putin reminded, this fundamental fact is often omitted in Western commentary.

In that way, the significance of NATO’s current military buildup – what else is that but aggression? – on Russian territory is all too often absent in Western media. And, by extension, Western public appreciation is lacking on how sinister the unfolding situation is.

Russia’s history over centuries is replete with examples of where Western imperialist powers have tried – and failed – to subjugate Russia with military attack from its Western flank.

It is consistent with historical precedent that Putin should describe “increasing aggression” by the American-led NATO military alliance in the same context as the repugnant Nazi assault on Russia.The burgeoning US-led aggression towards Russia – in the form of provocative political campaigns to demonize and vilify with false accusations, economic sanctions and the spurning of diplomacy and dialogue, as well as the expansion of military forces, including the deployment of missile systems – is in a long, reprehensible tradition of Western belligerence towards Russia, going back to, among others, French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and German Fuhrer Adolf Hitler.

This congenital aggression towards Russia stems from the dynamic of the Western economic system of capitalism, which in turns begets imperialism as its necessary tool for expropriating natural resources and subjugating foreign nations.Russia is not the only target of Western aggression, of course. But the largest nation by land mass on Earth is and always has been a prime target.

The little-known historical record – at least in Western media – is that Nazi Germany was fomented by American and British capitalism as a proxy with which to vanquish the Soviet Union. The subsequent Western alliance with Soviet Russia to defeat Nazi Germany was merely a cynical damage-control move by the Western powers who were witnessing their Nazi attack dog being muzzled and liquidated.

How could anyone who has a sound understanding of history – as opposed to the anesthetizing non-history common in the West – be not perplexed by the current US-led military menace on Russia’s Western flank?

It should be a matter of deep concern that even Germany’s foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier last week denounced the largest-ever NATO war exercises being conducted in Poland as “warmongering”.

What underscores the alarm is that Washington and certain NATO allies are pushing this confrontational agenda without the slightest discussion in Western media or among the Western public. As President Putin pointed out, people in the West are oblivious to the dangers of potential global war because the Western media is committing a huge disservice by not informing accurately on developments.There are any number of flash-points where NATO’s military could combust into all-out war with Russia. The Baltic region, Eastern Europe, Ukraine, the Southern Caucus region, or the Black Sea where US warships continue to penetrate in violation of international treaties. Certainly, historical precedent strongly suggests this geographical swathe.

As the US presidential election swings towards Democrat contender Hillary Clinton, that portends ominously for relations with Russia. It was Clinton who as Secretary of State in the first Obama administration in 2009-2013 plunged bilateral relations into the freezer and who set the course for the present geopolitical tensions.

Of further concern is Clinton’s likely selection to head the Pentagon. It is hotly tipped that Clinton will appoint Michele Flournoy as the first female Secretary of Defense. Flournoy (56) is a prominent Pentagon insider, with close links to the military and CIA. We can be sure that this duo will keenly push a bellicose agenda towards Russia.Only last week, Flournoy made strident calls for increased US military intervention in Syria. She wants to deploy large numbers of American troops and openly use military force to topple the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad.
Under Obama, regime change has been a covert enterprise through proxies such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey and a menagerie of terrorist militia. Under Clinton, the signs are that regime change in Syria will be made an overt military objective.

Flournoy is calling for the use of cruise missiles to hit Assad targets, including those of allied Russian forces in Syria.

“If you bomb the folks we support, we will retaliate using standoff means to destroy [Russian] proxy forces, or, in this case, Syrian assets,” she told the military publication Defense One.

Flournoy said the US should jettison the pretense of fighting terror groups, and instead direct its efforts to remove Assad from power in Syria.

In blatant contravention of international law and UN resolutions on Syria, the probable next White House administration is declaring war on Syria. Such a move is an unabashed aggression towards Russian strategic interests and calculated explicitly with military strikes on Russian forces in Syria. In short, a wider war with Russia.Whether the Middle East proves to be the flash-point of American aggression towards Russia remains to be seen over the coming months. But one thing seems irrefutably clear by now. Washington is already on the path of war.

An American war on Russia is looming. Maybe the people of the US and Europe can stop that outcome by threatening political ad social revolt, on the streets if necessary since the electoral process seems to be stacked against the democratic will.

On the solemn anniversary of Nazi Germany’s ill-fated invasion of the Soviet Union 75 years ago, it is astounding that such horror seems largely forgotten in the West. The criminal, reckless aggression by US-led NATO forces towards Russia is a sign of the dangerous ignorance and apathy in the West.

Russia is once again facing a recurring historical pattern of Western aggression. President Putin is correct in his contextualization of NATO’s actions and attitude alongside the historic Nazi war on Soviet Russia. Only those who have been brainwashed by banal Western disinformation would consider such a warning as “alarmist”.

The beast that is Western capitalist imperialism is salivating for war again. The positions of war are aligning, and certainly Syria is among the most volatile, especially if Hillary Clinton takes over as Commander-in-Chief.

Russia will stand strong, as Putin firmly stated in his address to the State Duma.But this time around any war would involve a global arsenal of nuclear weapons that has no precedent. This really would be war to end all wars – and the planet too, as we know it.

In the name of peace and humanity, the onus is on the Western public to bring the warmongering system to an end – once and for all – by slaying the beast that is capitalism and its monstrous twin imperialism.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

Forget Becoming Middle Class, 15% of All Americans Would Settle For Just Becoming “Working Poor”

IMF warns United States about high poverty rates

Russia-Today

 

A woman who claims to be five months pregnant and homeless begs for money as people walk past on 7th Avenue in New York © Carlo Allegri
While US economy is generally in good health, the International Monetary Fund has found many Americans are staying out of the workforce or living in poverty.
Read more

© Gary Cameron

The IMF praised Washington for creating 2.4 million jobs in the last year and said the unemployment rate has fallen to 4.7 percent, the lowest level since the global crisis of 2008-2009.

However, the Fund warned about “falling labor force participation, an increasingly polarized income distribution, high levels of poverty, and weak productivity.”

To improve things, the IMF has recommended Washington “increase state and federal infrastructure investment, adopt comprehensive skills-based immigration reform, expand the Earned Income Tax Credit combined with an increase in the federal minimum wage, and upgrade social programs for the nonworking poor.”

The Fund cited US census data that 46.7 million people or 15 percent of Americans now live below the poverty line, including 1 in 3 households headed by women.

READ MORE: America, we have a problem: Homelessness is out of control 

The IMF also urged the US to ratify the Trans Pacific Partnership, sign a trade and investment agreement with Europe and tackle protectionism.

The report also slashed the US growth forecast for 2016 to 2.2 percent from 2.4 percent previously, but maintained its growth outlook at 2.5 percent in 2017.

“Our assessment is that, if left unchecked, these four forces – participation, productivity, polarization and poverty – will corrode the underpinnings of growth and hold back gains in US living standards,” said IMF Chief Christine Lagarde.

United States Supreme Court Blocks Another Illegal Obama Executive Order—On Open Immigration

[US Supreme Court Blocks Obama’s Anti-Coal Dictatorship  ]

Supreme Court blocks Obama immigration plan

foxnews

The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked President Obama’s immigration executive actions, in a tie decision that delivers a win to states challenging his plan to give a deportation reprieve to millions of illegal immigrants.

The justices’ one-sentence opinion on Thursday marks a major setback for the administration, effectively killing the plan for the duration of Obama’s presidency.

The judgment could have significant political and legal consequences in a presidential election year highlighted by competing rhetoric over immigration. As the ruling was announced, pro-immigration activists filled the sidewalk in front of the court, some crying as the ruling became public. Critics of the policy touted the decision as a strong statement against “executive abuses.”

“The Constitution is clear: The president is not permitted to write laws—only Congress is. This is another major victory in our fight to restore the separation of powers,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement, adding that the ruling rendered Obama’s actions “null and void.”

Obama, though, said the decision “takes us further from the country that we aspire to be.”

He stressed that earlier changes his administration made to immigration policy are not affected, but acknowledged his most recent 2014 changes cannot go forward and additional executive actions are unlikely.

While Obama accepted the ruling, he also made his own full-court press, saying the split decision underscores the importance of the current court vacancy and the appointment of a successor to the late Justice Antonin Scalia, to “break this tie.” So far, Senate Republicans have not considered Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland.

“The court’s inability to reach a decision in this case is a very clear reminder of why it’s so important for the Supreme Court to have a full bench,” he said Thursday at the White House.

The 4-4 tie vote sets no national precedent but leaves in place the ruling by the lower court. In this case, the federal appeals court in New Orleans said the Obama administration lacked the authority to shield up to 4 million immigrants from deportation and make them eligible for work permits without approval from Congress.

Texas led 26 Republican-dominated states in challenging the program Obama announced in November 2014. Congressional Republicans also backed the states’ lawsuit.

The decision lands in the middle of a heated election season in which immigration is a central issue. Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, won the primaries while railing against Obama administration immigration policies as dangerous.

Democrats have, in turn, called his rhetoric racially divisive while defending the administration’s move to expand existing programs that would effectively give temporary legal status to some undocumented residents.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton countered Ryan’s statement saying the decision was “purely procedural” and leaves “no doubt” the programs were within the president’s authority. Referencing the 4-4 split on the court, she again urged the Senate to give Obama’s nominee to fill the remaining court vacancy a vote.

“Today’s deadlocked decision from the Supreme Court is unacceptable, and show us all just how high the stakes are in this election,” Clinton said in a statement.

The immigration case dealt with two separate Obama programs. One would allow undocumented immigrants who are parents of either U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents to live and work in the U.S. without the threat of deportation. The other would expand an existing program to protect from deportation a larger population of immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

Obama decided to move forward after Republicans won control of the Senate in the 2014 midterm elections, and the chances for an immigration overhaul, already remote, were further diminished.

The Senate had passed a broad immigration bill with Democratic and Republican support in 2013, but the measure went nowhere in the GOP-controlled House of Representatives.

The states quickly went to court to block the Obama initiatives.

Their lawsuit was heard initially by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, Texas. Hanen previously had criticized the administration for lax immigration enforcement. Hanen sided with the states, blocking the programs from taking effect. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also ruled for the states, and the Justice Department rushed an appeal to the high court so that it could be heard this term.

Texas officials hailed the decision Thursday.

“The action taken by the President was an unauthorized abuse of presidential power that trampled the Constitution, and the Supreme Court rightly denied the President the ability to grant amnesty contrary to immigration laws,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement. “Today’s ruling is also a victory for all law-abiding Americans—including the millions of immigrants who came to America following the rule of law.”

Fox News’ Bill Mears and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Editing of shooter’s transcripts evidence of Obama/Democrat deception

Editing of shooter’s transcripts evidence of deception

jackson sun

“I pledge allegiance to (omitted) may God protect him (Arabic), on behalf of (omitted),” said the man who killed 49 innocent people in an Orlando gay bar on June 12. Or so reported a redacted transcript of phone conversations between the shooter and police.

The transcript airbrushed all reference to Islam and the Islamic State. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch told ABC’s “This Week” that her department was releasing a partial transcript “because we’re not going to be, for example, broadcasting his pledges of allegiance. We are trying not to re-victimize those who went through that horror.”

After House Speaker Paul Ryan chided the administration for its “preposterous” selective editing, the Department of Justice realized its error and released a transcript that included the words “Islamic State.” It was no surprise. The shooter had paid homage to the Islamic State and Allah when he posted on Facebook during his killing spree. Did “Allah” make an appearance in the less edited transcript? Not quite. I got no answer when I asked the Justice Department if the killer said “Allah” in what the 2.0 version transcript recorded as “God [Arabic].”

I can see why the feds chose not to release audio of the calls – why feed other would-be Islamic terrorists’ dreams of jihad fame and glory?

But I don’t believe the attorney general’s rationale for editing the partial transcripts for a New York minute. President Obama frequently chides political opponents for seeing any correlation between Islam and radical Islamist extremism. The president is not content to note that the overwhelming majority of Muslims are not jihadis; he takes the extra step of pronouncing any link between Islam and terrorism as specious.

The administration’s editing bespeaks a pattern of willful deception. This isn’t the first time the administration has tried to steer public outrage away from radical Islamic terrorism. Weeks before the 2012 presidential election, as the administration wanted to shift blame from its Libya policy. National Security Adviser Susan Rice disingenuously credited an American-made video for sparking the Benghazi attack that left four Americans dead.

In May, Fox News correspondent James Rosen noticed the State Department had removed from its official website a video of a 2013 exchange between Rosen and spokeswoman Jen Psaki. At a news conference, Rosen asked Psaki if it was State Department policy to lie to achieve its goals. Psaki answered, “I think there are times when diplomacy needs privacy in order to progress.” (The administration’s animus toward Fox News is hardly secret. Lynch’s predecessor, Eric Holder, approved a search warrant on Rosen, whom he called a possible criminal co-conspirator in a leak investigation.)

The Obama administration seeks to blame lax gun laws for an Islamic State-inspired attack. That is, this administration would rather target supporters of gun rights than the allure of the Islamic State. Lynch actually went on the Sunday shows to tout the release of partial transcripts – as proof of transparency. The administration planned this. Methinks the administration expected the media to play along.

Email Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@sfchronicle.com.

Pakistan Learning From Turkey—Militarize Your Refugees and You Can Ask For Anything

[Pakistan, Pissed At US, Threatens To Evict Millions of Afghan Refugees]

afghan refThere are 1.5 million registered and about as many undocumented Afghan refugees in Pakistan, with growing insecurity in Afghanistan impeding voluntary return programmes AFP/Aamir Qureshi

 

CHANNEL NEWSASIA

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan, home for decades to millions of Afghan refugees, called for the support of the international community as it warned that without help, the flow of those fleeing Afghanistan’s decades-long war to Europe could increase.

After the Soviet invasion in 1979, “five million Afghan refugees came to Pakistan,” then with the support of the international community, said minister for border areas Abdul Qadir Baloch at a meeting devoted to Afghan refugees in the capital Islamabad Wednesday.

Thirty-seven years later, there are 1.5 million registered and about as many undocumented refugees, with growing insecurity in Afghanistan impeding voluntary return programmes.

Over the last decade, international support has vanished, the minister said.

Pakistan receives just US$5.20 per refugee per year in international aid to provide the displaced with healthcare and education – and that is only for those who are registered.

He denounced the meagreness of this aid compared to that provided to Turkey, which officially hosts 2.5 million refugees, including many Syrians.

However Western countries are now beginning to recognise the problem, he said, “because refugees are pouring into Europe and 30 percent of them are Afghans”.

“This percentage could increase,” he warned, stressing that there was a limit to Pakistani tolerance for the problem.

“The issue of Afghan displacement has been overlooked,” agreed high UN commissioner for refugees Filippo Grandi at the same event. “We must strengthen the support to host countries.”

The refugee crisis in Europe, which is struggling to cope as millions try to reach its shores while fleeing war and poverty, “is a tragedy but also an eye opener: if you don’t solve problems which appear to be far away from you, these problems will come to you,” he warned.

Afghan refugees living mainly in camps in the poorest rural areas of Pakistan exist in administrative uncertainty because of the short duration of residence permits issued by the Pakistani authorities, who regularly threaten to deport them.

Afghanistan Lets It Fly At the UN, Charging Pakistan Sponsors Taliban

An Afghan newspaper on May 25, 2016 headlines pictures of the former leader of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike on May 21, 2016 in Kabul. Afghanistan’s Permanent Representative to the U.N. Mahmoud Saikal said the very fact that Mansour was “tracked” and killed in Pakistan’s Balochistan in an American drone strike revealed that Mansour had a Pakistani passport in a fake name that he had used to fly numerous times from Pakistani airports.  AP

Says Islamabad “needs political will” and not “nuclear deals or F-16s” to take action against terrorists.

In a scathing attack, Afghanistan has accused “elements within the state structure of Pakistan” of facilitating most of the terrorist groups active in the region and said the country “needs political will” and not “nuclear deals or F-16s” to take action against terrorists.

In his statement to the powerful United Nations Security Council on the debate on U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) here on Tuesday, Afghanistan’s Permanent Representative to the U.N. Mahmoud Saikal said Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour was “tracked” and killed in Pakistan’s Balochistan in an American drone strike. The incident “exposed” that Mansour had a Pakistani passport in a fake name that he had used to fly numerous times from Pakistani airports.

‘Duplicity, blame game’

“Despite this, the charade of plausible deniability, duplicity, and blame of Afghan weaknesses continues, which must come to an end if we are to succeed in counter-terrorism,” he said.

Mr. Saikal accused “elements within the state structure of Pakistan” of facilitating most of the terrorist groups active in the region and warned that a country using “good and bad terrorists” against each other is “playing with fire.” He further pointed out that in the past 15 years, numerous leading figures of terrorism, including bin Laden and Taliban leaders Mullah Omar and Mansour have lived and died in Pakistan.

‘Terrorists killed in their safe havens’

“The fact that notorious terrorist leaders were found and killed in their safe havens there is a clear proof that the country has violated the sovereignty of other nations,”” he said adding that this constituted a flagrant violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions on the Sanctions Regime against the Taliban.

“We believe that there is an urgent need for proper implementation of the existing counter-terrorism resolutions of the U.N. Security Council,” he said.

Ghani’s address quoted

Mr. Saikal quoted President Ashraf Ghani’s address to joint sitting of the National Assembly where the Afghan leader had called on Pakistan to respect the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) agreements and take action against terrorists who have their bases and leaders in the neighbouring country.

“We believe that there is a need for political will and honest police action — rather than nuclear deals or F-16s — to fulfil the task,” of taking action against the terrorists.

‘Afghanistan as a terror launch pad’

Apart from the Taliban, the “constantly morphing” global and regional terrorist groups seek to turn Afghanistan into a “launching pad” against Central Asia, South Asia, West Asia and the Far East, Mr. Saikal said.

“The Al-Qaeda has gone dark and deep. Other regional terrorist networks, with links to Central Asian republics, Chechnya and China are highly active in our region. Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, in coordination with other terror groups, remains a long-term threat to the security and stability of our region,” he said.

“Pak elements’ active support”

“What is more important, most of these terrorist groups and networks enjoy the facilitation and orchestration services of elements within the state structure of Pakistan who believe in the use of violence in pursuit of political objectives.

“Any country contemplating the use of good and bad terrorists against each other and against others is playing with fire which will catch itself. It is imperative that the international community undertake an initiative to establish objective criteria to identify and confront state sponsorship of terrorism in our neighbourhood,” he said.

‘Afghanistan committed to peace’

However, despite the challenges, Mr. Saikal has said Afghanistan remains committed to the peace process with reconcilable Afghan elements in parallel to strengthening its defence and security capabilities.

“It is important that we remain vigilant against the instrumentalisation and misuse of the peace process to buy time and refuel the war machine of the Taliban by their supporters,” he said.

‘Taliban irreconcilable to peaceful objectives’

Mr. Saikal said last winter, the QCG comprising Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the U.S. had finalised a roadmap for the peace process with the expectation that the Taliban would use the opportunity and join the process.

However, in April this year the Taliban responded with their spring offensive simultaneously across 42 different locations in Afghanistan causing heavy civilian suffering, and “proving once again that they are irreconcilable to peaceful political initiatives.”

Slamming the “unforthcoming attitude” of Pakistan, he said other QCG members have remained committed or even given effect to their words for the peace process.

He said that “provocative actions” along the de-facto separation line including illegal construction of military installations, abuse of Afghan nationals and restrictions on trade and transit have been escalated “by our neighbour.”

Torkham Pass provocation

“Most recently, and in contravention of bilaterally agreed consultation mechanisms, our neighbour attempted to build new infrastructure at Torkham Pass, thereby provoking a needless military clash with casualties on both sides. The situation, a threat to international peace and security, remains tense with devastating impact on trade and transit,” he said in a clear reference to Pakistan.

He said an Afghan delegation is currently in Islamabad, exploring a diplomatic breakthrough for a diplomatic solution to the illegal construction at Torkham Pass.

“We hope the voice of reason will prevail but our message is very clear: make no mistake, the proud government and people of Afghanistan have not, do not and will not surrender to intimidation, violence, and aggression. Our history is a testimony to this,” he said

Jordan Declares Syrian and Iraqi Borders “Sealed Military Zones”, After Latest Car Bomb Attack

jordan times

AMMAN — Jordan on Tuesday told envoys of world powers and representatives of international organisations that the Kingdom has to seal off the part of the border where a terrorist attack killed six army and security personnel.

“Jordan has always warned from the increase in Syrians’ numbers at the borders, especially since it has amounted to 100,000 people, most of whom are from northern and northeastern Syria where Daesh members are located, ” said Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh.

He made the remarks to the ambassadors of the Permanent Five (P5) of the UN Security Council and the European Union, in addition to representatives of the UNHCR and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Interior Minister Salameh Hammad and Minister of State for Media Affairs Mohammad Momani also attended the meeting.

Judeh said the terrorist attack is a solid proof of the existence of terrorist elements among the crowds at the borders.

In light of the incident, and to protect Jordan’s security, this particular border area must be closed, especially for individuals and vehicles, considering it a sealed military zone.

Thus, an agreement with international organisations must be made to find alternative means to deliver humanitarian aid to the displaced, Judeh said.

“Jordan has borne a heavy burden that no country in the world has experienced in relation to the waves of refugees. The world must shoulder its responsibilities and respect Jordan’s decisions, especially the ones related to its security,” Judeh stressed.

For his part, Hammad said that the security of Jordan and its residents is a top priority, noting that the area that witnessed the attack has members of Daesh, smugglers and other dangerous elements that are a threat not only to Jordanians but to aid organisations working in the area as well. 

Momani said that Jordanians stand in unity against such attacks, stressing the government’s measures to preserve Jordan’s security and safety. 

For their part, the ambassadors of the P5 of the UN Security Council, the EU and UN organisations working in Jordan, condemned the attack, stressing their solidarity with the Kingdom as it rises to face terrorism. 

Pak Govt Gives Haqqania Mosque $2.8 Million, To Fund “University of Holy War”

Jameah_Darul_Uloom_DeobandPakistan Gives 2.8 Million USD To Afghan Taliban’s Madrassa In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

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A number of political analysts have said Haqqania Madrassa is one of the main centers spreading extremism in the region

 

By Anisa Shaheed

Reports from Pakistan indicate that the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa federal government in Pakistan has allocated Rs300 million Pakistani rupees (over $2.8 million USD) to a madrassa known as the University of Jihad.

The madrassa has top Afghan Taliban leaders among its graduates, including the group’s supreme leader Mullah Omar, who was announced dead in July last year.

“I am proudly announcing that Darul Uloom Haqqania Nowshera will get Rs300 million to meet its annual expenditure,” Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Minister Shah Farman said in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly this week.

He was quoted by Pakistani news agencies as saying that the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa was not raiding or targeting religious institutions, but has rather been cooperating and providing financial assistance to them.

A number of political analysts have said Haqqania Madrassa is one of the main centers spreading extremism in the region. They say the move to finance the Madrassa proves that Pakistan officially supports terrorism.

“There are more dangerous madrassas in Pakistan than Haqqania providing military training and recruiting the youth to become terrorists. The branches of the madrassa are in border areas, particularly in Para Chinar, Sadda, Miranshah and in central parts of Waziristan,” said Sayed Ishaq Gailani, MP and chairman of the National Solidarity Movement of Afghanistan.

According to Afghan security agencies, nearly 6,000 madrassas in border areas close to Afghan soil are promoting extremism and training people for suicide attacks.

The Defense Ministry said they will use all their forces to combat those groups or individuals who try to support terrorism.

“The Ministry of Defense is ready to use all its facilities and capacity against terrorists and is committed to ensuring peace and stability in the country,” said deputy spokesman for Defense Ministry, Mohammad Radmanish.

The madrassa in Akora Khattak of the Nowshera district in the province is known for having several top Afghan Taliban leaders among its graduates, including Mullah Omar who received an honorary doctorate from the seminary.

Brits Force Over 1,000 Muslim Children Through “Deradicalization” Mind-Scrubbing Process

500 school children needlessly sent for ‘deradicalization’ by government, teaching union claims

Russia-Today

 

© Olivia Harris
More than 1,000 children have been referred by teachers to a deradicalization program in the space of a year to prevent them becoming terrorists – but leading teaching unions insist some minors are being reported unnecessarily.

Authorities were also alerted to hundreds of patients and higher education students who were reportedly vulnerable to extremism, according to the Times.

Roughly half of those referred were assessed but did not require any further intervention.

Teachers are required by the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act “to have due regard to the need to prevent individuals from being drawn into terrorism.”

READ MORE: Anti-radicalization ‘Prevent’ program a ‘toxic brand,’ says Muslim ex-police officer

The measures also require local authorities, the health sector, prisons and police to comply with the rules.

Within the schools in England and Wales, 1,041 children were referred to deradicalization program ‘Channel’ in 2015, compared to nine children from 2012 when it was extended nationally.

In further education facilities such as colleges, there were 180 referrals from last year compared to five in 2012. Universities reported 76 students while the health service had 228 referrals in 2015.

The figures were released under the Freedom of Information Act by the National Police Chiefs Council.

Kevin Courtney, from the National Union of Teachers said the figures suggested the tendency of over-referring pupils.

READ MORE: National Union of Students challenges ‘racist’ counter-radicalization strategy

‘Channel’ is part of the British government’s wider ‘Prevent’ strategy to tackle extremism and stop people from becoming terrorists.

In March, teachers voted overwhelmingly to reject the strategy, with concerns that it causes “suspicion in the classroom and confusion in the staffroom,” and disproportionately targets Muslim students.

The program has been considered a failure by teaching unions, largely due to some 90 percent of referrals ending without action being taken, according to the Guardian.

A spokesperson for the Home Office said the program was designed to “safeguard” children.

“Like safeguarding mechanisms for other risks such as child exploitation, vulnerable children deserve to have the support they need,” he told the Times. “Protecting those who are vulnerable and at risk of radicalization is a job for all of us.”

Syrian Ceasefire In Danger Because of US Refusal To Clarify Terrorist From “Moderate”

‘Never mind the US, Russia’s the one losing patience over Syria ceasefire chaos’ – Chief of Staff

Russia-Today

 

Army General Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the Armed Forces Staff and First Deputy Defense Minister © Sergey Guneev
The Russian military says Washington still won’t provide a list of groups it considers terrorist, allowing jihadists to regroup and escape Russian-led air raids on their positions, the head of the Russian General Staff said.

Valery Gerasimov’s statement comes in response to one from US Secretary of State John Kerry last week, in which he said Washington is running out of patience regarding truce violations in Syria. The ceasefire brokered by Russia and the United States in February doesn’t include Al-Nusra Front and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) positions, as well as other formations considered to be terrorists by the United Nations Security Council.

Read more

©  Cory W. Bush

“Russia needs to understand that our patience is not infinite. In fact, it is very limited with whether or not Assad is going to be held accountable,” Kerry said last Wednesday. “It is very clear that the cessation of hostilities is frayed and at risk, and that it is critical for a genuine cessation to be put in place.”

In response to Kerry’s statement, the head of the Russian General Staff warned it is, in fact, Russia that is growing impatient with the US over Washington’s refusal to cooperate.

“If anyone’s patience on Syria is waning, it is ours, not the United States. We are in full compliance with our obligations to maintain the ceasefire and ensure national reconciliation in Syria. The American side always has problems with the ‘opposition under its control’,” Gerasimov said.

“Our US partners are still undecided where there are opposition forces and where there are ‘turncoats’ from international terrorist organizations.”

READ MORE: Washington won’t map areas of Syria controlled by US-backed opposition – Russian MoD

Russia has for months been urging Washington to produce a shared map of the positions of fighting forces to avoid incidents and prevent targeting those groups fighting IS and Jibhat Al Nusra in Syria. The US hasn’t shared those coordinates.

“As a result, terrorists in Syria are actively regrouping and tensions are soaring again. It cannot continue this way indefinitely,” Grasimov said, adding that the Russian Defense Ministry has supplied the US with a list of its terrorist targets for three months.

Gerasimov went on to blame the US for double standards concerning what constitutes ceasefire violations.

“In their opinion missile bombardments of Syrian government troops and communities by militants should be considered by all as ‘insignificant violations’ of the ceasefire. But any proportionate response to the militants by the Syrian military are at once declared as disproportionate strikes on the opposition,” Gerasimov said.

Pakistan Finishes Digging 1,100km Trench Along Entire Baluchistan Border

Security-trench-along-Pakistan-Afghanistan-borde5Security-trench-along-Pakistan-Afghanistan-border3

1,100km trench built alongside Pak-Afghan border in Balochistan

express tribune

A file photo of Chaman border crossing. PHOTO: APP

A file photo of Chaman border crossing. PHOTO: APP

ISLAMABAD: After about three years of constant efforts, Pakistan has ultimately completed the construction of a massive trench in Balochistan alongside its porous border with Afghanistan to keep separatists, smugglers and militants from sneaking into the country.

“Excavation work on several-hundred-kilometre-long trench on Chaman-Kandhar border has been completed,” Deputy Commissioner Chaman Khuda-e-Dad Aga told The Express Tribune.

The strategic project of 1,100-kilometre-long trench with the cost of Rs14 billion was initiated along Pak-Afghan border in Balochistan by Frontier Corps in 2013.

The 11-foot-deep and 14-foot-wide ditch on the entire stretch of the border is contributing in efforts by the security forces to have a proper border management, an official of the provincial Home Department said.

Six TTP commanders, including Hakimullah Mehsud’s brother and uncle, surrender in Kurram Agency

In the next phase, the project will be extended to the entire over 2,400-kilometre-long border and after its completion, travel between the two countries will only be allowed through officially-designated crossing points.

The FC, at the beginning of the project, had maintained that the trench would “not only help in effectively controlling the movement of drugs, arms and ammunition smugglers but will also help in stopping the intrusion of terrorists and illegal immigrants”.

“Proper management on all of our international borders is an essential need for a peaceful Pakistan,” Balochistan government’s spokesperson Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar said. “In accordance with our laws, we are making our efforts to discipline cross-border travelling with Afghanistan and other countries.”

He went on to say, “No one has the right of objection if Pakistan is enforcing a proper management on its border regions.”

The spokesperson is of the view that the proper border management on the Pakistani borders is also in the interest of the neighbouring countries.

Two charred bodies found in Balochistan near Pak-Afghan border

“The border management will contribute to strengthen our system to check the intrusion of Indian-sponsored Baloch insurgents and Indian spies in Balochistan,” he added.

“It is an undeniable fact that a loose control on the porous borders in the past had allowed several hundred illegal immigrants to enter into Balochistan and now same elements are threatening the law and order situation in the province,” Kakar said.

Commenting on the construction of deep ditch last year, former ambassador to Afghanistan Rustam Shah Mohmand had said the project might have blessings of the United States.

In November 2012, a senior diplomat said that the US recognised the Durand Line as an international border. “If the government in Kabul has other interpretation, that’s certainly their business,” Richard E Hoagland, US deputy chief of mission in Pakistan, had said at a media discussion.

Pakistan for the first time announced in 2005 that it had plans to build a 2,400-kilometre fence along its border with Afghanistan to check armed militants and drug smugglers slipping between the two countries.

Huge weapon consignment seized on Afghan border

Former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf had subsequently offered to mine the border as well but the idea could not materialise till 2009 due to an objection by Afghanistan. The opposition by Kabul was based on an argument that the plan would undermine its stand on the Durand Line.

However, Pakistan along with US and Afghanistan jointly executed the project of fencing the 35-kliometre of border area when during 2010-11 the incursion by militants was on its peak.

The project was discontinued as both Washington and Kabul backed out of it due to unknown reasons.

border trenchSecurity-trench-along-Pakistan-Afghanistan-border2Security-trench-along-Pakistan-Afghanistan-border-nearly-completeSecurity-trench-along-Pakistan-Afghanistan-border4

 

Pakistan’s Idea of Counter-Terrorism

 

[American and World Bank funding for Pak Army development schemes indicates that Obama is in apparent acceptance of Pakistan’s “GOOD/BAD TALIBAN” formula in S. Waziristan, but, since the North Waziristan operation (Zarb-e-Azb), the White House no longer thinks that Failure to fight the Pak Army is grounds for an American death by drone.

The Pak Army basically leveled, or emptied all of the buildings in the Mehsud territory, in order to expel the trouble-making Mehsud tribe, with the intent of turning the vacated areas into development projects, which require “rehabilitation” of any returning Mehsuds, who are willing to give-up their arms.  This is the primary reason that the Army is seeing such IDP (internally displaced persons) resistance to returning.]

Pakistani Army Removes Roofs Off Houses So That Taliban Can’t Hide, And It’s Surprisingly Effective!

indiatimes

An aerial view of South Waziristan, a former Pakistani Taliban stronghold gives you an interesting view – house after house with no roof. Roofs have been removed by the army to allow an “aerial view” of militants who may take refuge there.

How To Spot A Militant: Pakistan Army Removes Roofs In Waziristan

AFP

“Military has removed the roofs of the houses to have a better aerial view and stop militants taking refuge in these abundant, fort-like mud houses,” an official revealed.

The local military says that the Taliban has been erased from the the region in the country’s mountainous northwest, and is is welcoming thousands of displaced families back to their home.

How To Spot A Militant: Pakistan Army Removes Roofs In Waziristan

AFP

The Rah-e-Nijat operation was launched by the military against the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its then-leader Baitullah Mehsud in 2009, displacing more than 72,000 families, according to the military.

How To Spot A Militant: Pakistan Army Removes Roofs In Waziristan

AFP

Seven years later, some 42,000 families have been sent back, head of development Colonel Muhammad Imran told journalists during a briefing earlier this month in Shakai town, with another 30,000 expected by the end of 2016.

How To Spot A Militant: Pakistan Army Removes Roofs In Waziristan

AFP

Traditionally roofs in South Waziristan are built of wood and iron sheets to hold off heavy winter snows, but from the helicopter hundreds could be seen with their wooden skeletons bared and interiors exposed.

The government says it is providing up to 400,000 rupees ($4,000) to families for the rebuilding of their homes.

A senior military official told AFP some $285 million is needed to tackle reconstruction in FATA, but the government has so far released only $48 million, with $12.5 million of that distributed to displaced families.

Agency inputs

‘Star Trek’ actor Anton Yelchin dead in suspicious, “freak” accident

‘Star Trek’ actor Anton Yelchin dead in freak accident

foxnews

“Late-model Jeep vehicles have a feature known as ‘Auto Lock.’ This feature automatically locks your Jeep’s doors when the gearshift moves from “Park” to “Drive.” When the gearshift is returned to ‘Park,’ the doors automatically unlock.”–How to Turn Off Automatic Door Locks on a Jeep When It is Put in Gear

[PRIMARY UNASKED QUESTION:  How could driver of 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee exit vehicle without first putting car into park?]

3577401A00000578-3649368-image-a-48_1466372023490 anton death

image.vam.synacor.com.edgesuite.netunnamed

[PHOTOS from Yelchin’s death (CRIME?) scene Studio City ]

Anton Yelchin died early Sunday morning. He was 27.

Anton Yelchin died early Sunday morning. He was 27. (AP)

Anton Yelchin, best known for playing Chekov in the recent “Star Trek” movies, was found dead early Sunday morning after apparently being pinned between his car and a brick mailbox on his property, TMZ reported. He was 27.

Yelchin’s publicist, Jennifer Allen confirmed the actor’s death.

He was found around 1 a.m. by friends who had been alarmed when Yelchin did not show up for a rehearsal, TMZ reported. The car’s engine was running and the car was in neutral, law enforcement sources told TMZ. Yelchin’s driveway was on a steep incline.

Officials do not suspect foul play, TMZ reported.

Yelchin began acting as a child, taking small roles in independent films and various television shows, such as “ER,” ”The Practice,” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” His breakout big-screen role came opposite Anthony Hopkins in 2001’s “Hearts in Atlantis.”

He transitioned into teenage roles in films such as the crime thriller “Alpha Dog” and the teen comedy “Charlie Bartlett.” He also played a young Kyle Reese in 2009’s “Terminator Salvation.”

Yelchin, an only child, was born in Russia. His parents were professional figure skaters who moved the family to the United States when Yelchin was a baby. He briefly flirted with skating lessons, too, before discovering that he wasn’t very skilled on the ice. That led him to acting class.

“I loved the improvisation part of it the most, because it was a lot like just playing around with stuff. There was something about it that I just felt completely comfortable doing and happy doing,” Yelchin told The Associated Press in 2011 while promoting the romantic drama “Like Crazy.” He starred opposite Felicity Jones.

“(My father) still wanted me to apply to college and stuff, and I did,” Yelchin said. “But this is what I wanted.”

His biggest role to date has been in the rebooted “Star Trek” films as the heavily accented navigator Chekov, for which he was able to draw on his Russian roots. The third film in the series, “Star Trek Beyond,” comes out in July.

“What’s great about him is he can do anything. He’s a chameleon. He can do bigger movies or smaller, more intimate ones,” ”Like Crazy” director Drake Doremus told the AP in 2011. “There are a lot of people who can’t, who can only do one or the other. … That’s what blows my mind.”

Yelchin transitioned between the big sci-fi franchise and voicing a part for “The Smurfs.” He also appeared in more eccentric and artier fare, like Jim Jarmusch’s vampire film “Only Lovers Left Alive” and Jeremy Saulnier’s horror thriller “Green Room,” a cult favorite that came out earlier this year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

Orlando Gunman’s Alleged Inspiration—Former CIA Covert Operator, Marcus Robertson

Orlando Imam Marcus Robertson Bad Ass Covert Operator For the CIA Who’da Thunk It

Youtube Video: Accused Imam Marcus Robertson: I’m a victim of terrorism I am not a terrorist: Imam Marcus Robertson speaks with Fox News Greta Van Susteren. Freed former Marine-turned-gang leader-turned-Muslim imam speaks on allegations of being a radical terrorist leader. Marcus Robertson served in the marines for six years, and also during this time became a member of Forty Thieves, a robbery gang he was the head of that was comprised of Muslim security guards. Marcus Robertson was arrested in 1991, and as part of his deal with prosecutors served just four years in prison and agreed to go undercover for the FBI in New York City.
 
Who is the real Marcus Robertson, is this the real Confessions of a Dangerous Mind that depicted the life of popular game show host and producer Chuck Barris, who claimed to have also been an assassin for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Abu Taubah aka Marcus Robertson is an all around bad ass guy, an Ex-Marine 2nd Force Recon, Bank Robber and Gang Leader with the 40 Thieves in New York City, Ex-Con and links going right to the top of Islamic Terrorism with “Blind Sheik Rahman” whose Muslim extremist group is blamed for the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 and Marcus Robertson is also the perfect guy to flip and work as a covert operator for the FBI and CIA around the world killing terrorists, no one would ever guess.

BACKGROUND 2nd Force Recon: Ex-Marine Marcus Dwayne Robertson aka Abu Taubah claims to have served in the elite counter-terrorism unit Joint Special Operations Command before leaving the military as a conscientious objector. A spokeswoman for the National Archives confirmed his service from May 16, 1986 to May 1994, in the U.S. Marine Corps 2nd Force Reconnaissance Company as a field radio operator, discharged in the rank of corporal. Records show he was trained in radio telegraph, scuba diving, marksmanship, parachuting, terrorism counteraction, surveillance, infantry patrolling and finance.
 
I first told you about US Marine Marcus Dwayne Robertson and how he was an FBI and CIA Covert Agent working undercover in West Africa, Egypt and in New York City. Back on April 18th, 2015 I wrote, Orlando Imam Abu Taubah aka Marcus Robertson Claims in Federal Lawsuit He Was a Covert Operator For CIA and FBI Terrorist Task Force For 3 Years Prior to His Arrest. Orlando Imam Abu Taubah aka Marcus Robertson claims he was a double agent for the FBI and CIA. While he was in jail on 11/13/2012, Orlando Imam Abu Taubah filed a Federal Lawsuit against 8 FBI agents, FBI boss at the time Eric Holder and Roger Hnadberg III the Asst United States Attorney in the Middle District of Florida, Marcus Robertson claims he was a covert operator for the CIA and the FBI Terrorist Task Force From 2004 to 2007. The 8 FBI agents in the “Robertson Lawsuit” were, Adam Topping, Kevin Thuman, Bryce Essary, Kevin Coleman, Robert Manson, Kevin Corlew, Christopher J. Savard, and NYC FBI Supervisor Anthony “Tony” Bivona. Orlando Fl Imam Abu Taubah aka Marcus Dwayne Robertson was arrested on August 23rd, 2011 by FBI special agent Kevin Corlew who is a specialist in counter-terrorism matters in the United States.

Ex-Marine Marcus Robertson aka Imam Abu Taubah claims he had a contract with the United States Government in which he was asked to carry out covert operations with and against suspected and known terrorists organizations/groups. During said operations, in the USA and Internationally, the US Government, the FBI and the CIA authorized and assisted Marcus Robertson aka Imam Abu Taubah in the use of firearms, weapons, training of terror suspects by providing various forms of logistics, informations and Monies. 

Furthermore Abu Taubah aka Marcus Robertson claims he was given a Letter of Immunity” assured that no criminal charges would ever be derived due to Abu Taubah aka Marcus Robertson’s “sanctioned actions” and promised that the US government would duly note Abu Taubah aka Marcus Robertson’s patriotic service. Abu Taubah also claims in the Federal Lawsuit that the defendants (FBI et al) full well knew that his only links to terrorism were those that occurred during Abu Taubah aka Marcus Robertson’s employment as a covert operator for the US Government and the FBI Terrorist Task Force.

Bill Warner Private Investigator Sarasota to Panama City Fl, SEX, CRIME, CHEATERS & TERRORISM at http://www.wbipi.com

The Other Planned Gay Massacre Avoided The Same Day For California Gay Pride Parade

Howell and Four Other Suspects Involved in Planned Sunday Massacres

get off the bs

howell patsy

Sources within the Santa Monica police department claim that James Wesley Howell, an Indiana man who was caught with explosives and weapons on Sunday Morning, told the Santa Monica police that as many as five people were involved in planned attacks on gay communities in both Florida and California.

According to the LA Times, Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks initially said on Twitter that the 20-year-old Indiana man (James Howell) told one of her officers after he was arrested that he wanted “to harm the Gay Pride event.”

However, after the FBI quickly took over the case, a Santa Monica police spokesman Saul Rodriguez indicated that Seabrooks was mistaken and offered that the Santa Monica detectives who were working the case are “not aware of what the suspect’s intentions were at this point.”

The official version of this story released by the LA Times falsely claims that on early Sunday, Santa Monica police received a call about a suspected prowler who was knocking on a resident’s door and window about 5 a.m. in the 1700 block of 11th Street, Santa Monica police said.

Patrol officers responded and encountered Howell, who was sitting in a car registered in Indiana, police said. Officers inspected the car and found three assault rifles, high-capacity ammunition and a 5-gallon bucket containing “chemicals capable of forming an improvised explosive device,” police said.

A law enforcement source who spoke on condition of anonymity said the contents of the bucket included Tannerite, an ingredient that could be used to create pipe bombs.

The source, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the ongoing investigation, said authorities also found camouflage clothing in the car.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said the suspect told police he was going to the Pride parade to look for a friend. Authorities were looking for that individual.

get off bs

Do police chiefs make these kind of errors everyday? Get off the Bullshit 

The real truth of the story was released to a former Los Angeles County prosecutor who works for Get Off the BS by two Santa Monica police officers that have been issued gag orders under threat of Federal prosecution for talking further talking about the incident.

According to two department sources, Howell called the Santa Monica police on Sunday morning claiming that he needed protection from the CIA. Howell further elaborated to the dispatcher stating that he “had been set up by the CIA – they are going to kill me.”

According to Howell, he was in LA to meet with another person in a collaborated attack on the gay communities in both Florida and Los Angeles.

Howell additionally stated that, “everything has gone south. Dan was gone when I got here. They killed the leader of the Florida attack this morning. They are going to kill me. I need protection.”

According to sources within the police department’s investigation Howell indicated to officers who first made contact with him that Howell claimed he was one of five people involved in a planned Sunday attack on both the east and west coasts.

Howell stated that he was suppose to “hook up” late Saturday night with his contact in LA who was suppose to have more weapons and chemicals to mix with the Tannerite he was in possession of.

“When I got here, Dan was gone. I went to his apartment and he had cleared out….I tried calling him but he never answered me,” said Howell.

When questioned about the other four people involved in the plot, Howell was only familiar with the first names of three of the alleged suspects, naming his contact in LA – Dan and two of the three contacts in Florida, Omar and Brandy

Speaking of the suspect killed in the Pulse Bar massacre in Florida, Howell stated, “Omar was not suppose to be killed. They lied to us – Omar and Brandy were suppose to get away.”

When Howell was questioned about how he and his conspirators knew each other, he said that,

“We were all familiar with each other through an online fundamental Islamic knowledge seminary course[1] – we were recruited through the course and trained together at a camp in Virginia – we were taught how to shoot and make bombs – everyone knew their part – something went wrong….”

Before the officers could further question Howell, agents working for the Los Angeles office of the FBI quickly swept in and took over the case. Santa Monica detectives were never allowed to talk with Howell.

In summary, it appears that Howell was on his way to “hook up” with another conspirator (Dan) to set off explosives and shoot people at the gay pride parade in Hollywood California on Sunday.

Finding his contact missing when he got to LA and having heard that Omar Matteen had been killed by a FBI SWAT teem in Orlando, Howell determined he had been double crossed by the CIA and feared for his own life.

Howell was taken in to custody by the FBI before Santa Monica police officers could further question him about the motives behind killing gay people on both coasts of the US on Sunday.

However, in absence of further information and or anyone who will officially go on the record, there is no doubt that the America public is not being told the truth about the Orlando Florida shooting and the arrest of Howell on Sunday.

It is a shame that the Fed’s got to the Santa Monica police chief on Sunday before she was silenced, however we are very thankful that at least two officers have risked their jobs and freedom to reveal what she would of most likely Tweeted had the Fed’s not got to her.

This is Brenda Corpian reporting live from Beverly Hills, CA. for Get Off The BS.


 

Authors Comments:

The official story released by the LA Times would not have held up for long with most people. It will most likely either disappear or be amended by the Times.

The mainstream medias version of the police showing up to a Santa Monica apartment because someone in the neighborhood allegedly claimed that a person was “knocking on a neighbors door and windows” is almost comical.

When they added the police found the suspect at the scene and discovered weapons and explosives in his car, I almost peed myself laughing.

I use to live in Santa Monica. The likelihood of the police showing up to the apartment over a suspected prowler call within 2 hours, is about one in ten million.

However, for argument sakes let us assume that the police hurried right over to the apartment and found Howell there. (LMAO)

The likelihood that Howell drove all the way from Indiana to California to be found by the Santa Monica police with explosives, ammunition, and assault rifles in plain view in his car is about one in ten trillion.

Would you like to make odds that it was just a “coincidence” as the mainstream media reports, that Howell armed to the teeth with assault rifles and explosives, was on his way to a gay pride parade the same day as the massacre in Florida?

Folks, for those who know me, you know that I don’t make up stories. Everything I have written is true. However, for those of you who don’t know me, please use your common sense in this matter – the mainstream media and the fed’s are lying in this matter – there is no way that Howell’s arrest and the shooting in Orlando Florida is a coincidence.

Everyone would be well advised to hide your weapons before the Fed’s come knocking at your door to take them.
Story updates:

Shortly after the posting of this story, USA News shed light on the Online Islamic Fundamental course Howell spoke of.

Omar Mateen Did Not Act Alone! Proof of False Flag Conspiracy

The Father of the Orlando Shooter Recently Visited Congress, State Department, Writes Open Letters To President Obama

He laughed as he shot us‘: Sole survivor of 30 hiding in gay club bathroom reveals how he was hit four times but escaped by climbing over friends’ bodies

Links between Shooting events. All CIA patsies.

Omar Mateen: Orlando gunman was familiar face at club, performer says

Trump Right Again Omar Matteens’ Wife Had Prior Knowledge Of Orlando Massacre

FBI Introduced Florida Shooter to “Informants”

3-Days Prior To Orlando Massacre, ISIS Releases Palm Beach-Specific “Kill List” of 8000 Plus Names

ISIS 1111.png
FILE – ISIS ‘Kill List’ Targets Palm Beach, Treasure Coast Residents according to an ex-FBI agent Wednesday, June 8, 2016. (MGN Online)
A pro-Isis group has released a hit list with the names of more than 8,000 peoplemostly Americans.

More than 600-people live in Florida, and one security expert believes that many of those targeted live in Palm Beach County and on the Treasure Coast.

The “United Cyber Caliphate” that hacked U.S. Central Command, 54,000 Twitter accounts and threatened President Barack Obama is the same pro-Isis group that’s reportedly created a “kill list” with the names, addresses and emails of thousands of civilian Americans.

Reports of the list came to light online when Vocativ reported the list was shared via the encrypted app, Telegram, and called on supporters to kill.

Former FBI agent-turned lawyer Stuart Kaplan says the threat is especially alarming, because the people on this list are civilians who don’t have the security necessary to protect themselves.

“It’s going to create some hysteria,” he said.

Kaplan believes civilians from our community are on the list.

“I would suspect a head of a hospital or, perhaps, a local community leader. Those are the individuals that may appear on the list–or just a local banker or local school teacher–someone who, for some reason, was in the public eye.”

Kaplan is concerned the list will inspire “lone wolf” style attacks.

“If in fact a sympathizer gets ahold of this list and is readily able to identify you as being his neighbor and, then, decides (because they’re a sympathizer) to go out and do something horrific to you, there is no way to calculate the potential or to prevent that.”

The list has not yet been made public.

We reached out to the FBI, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and Martin County Sheriff’s Office to see how credible they view the threat and what action they might be taking.

We are awaiting their response.

According to the Martin County Sheriffs office,the FBI is aware of this and the agency will work closely with the Joint-Terrorism Task Force to keep citizens safe.

The big mistake and the great pain called neoliberalism

The big mistake and the great pain caused by neoliberalism

carta maior

The best way to stimulate the economy is to spin 180 degrees, ending the counter-reforms that were imposed on the population.


Vicenç Navarro * – Público.es

reprodução

If you read the business press or the economic pages of the press in general banking practices must have seen that in many countries are being introduced through which financial institutions rather than pay interest for the money that citizens deposit in the bank, charge the even to save that money. It’s what they call negative interest. You ask, why do? And the answer to that question varies according to the economist says. The so-called “economic science” are not as scientific as most people believe.

A very common response is that in the world today most money. In fact, there is so much money that you do not know what to do with it. And for the rich, it is safer to have the money deposited in the bank under the pillow of your home. The answer has a certain logic. But what do you do if you had a lot of money would be, instead of putting the money under the pillow or in a bank? I try to use it well, investing, buying properties that would generate income now or in the future in the medium or long term, increasing consumption. This is precisely what most economists also say. Since the biggest problem of the developed economies is the limited demand, it seems logical to take steps to increase consumption. Public authorities try to make, instead of saving money, people use these resources buying. It is important, therefore, that the banks, instead of pushing it with the interest on deposits, increasing savings.

This explanation seems logical, but there is a big problem: assume that it is unable to increase consumption in the country – either because there is not enough money in circulation, which is not true, but it’s hard to explain. In fact, central banks, including the ECB (European Central Bank) is printing more and more money (billions of new circulating euro. However, the economy remains stagnant. In fact, banks have reached deliver loans with negative interest rates for a long time. If the interest on the money you deposit in the bank are lower than inflation (which is what happened for a long time), you are losing money in bank deposit.

Why monetary policy is dramatically insufficient?

The big mistake of neoliberal Taliban is there. Believe that the economy can become the basis of the amount of money that is in the market (which depends, among other factors, the amount of money that the central bank prints, which is what is called monetary policy) is to be profoundly mistaken. That does not mean it’s completely wrong. There is an element of truth, but only one element, and is now a very minor component. This is not to say that the banks could not help stimulate the economy. But, today, private banks do not. The Central Bank should give (very low interest) money to states (an amount that can be regulated) so that they can, with these resources directly support families and small and medium enterprises. But they do not, because they prefer to do it through the private banking, which uses most of that money for speculative purposes.

Do not, and not because the bankers are bad people (though many think so, because they are greedy and not always honest with their customers), but because the return on investment is much higher on speculation that the so-called investment production (in the production of goods and services). Also, do not rely on small and medium enterprises, as sees it as unsafe. In other words, the problem is not lack of money but the channels through which they are distributed such money. In fact, big companies never had much money, but also face a big problem: there is no where to deposit it. So banks charge to save it.

What is the problem then?

Believe me, although you do not see it in the press, the biggest problem of the economy today is the lack of demand for goods and services, because the population has no money to buy them. And the fact that no money is because most get their income on the basis of labor, ie wages or other forms of compensation related to the work. Here is the turning point. The derived income from work (as a percentage of all incomes) are falling, while capital incomes are growing. This is a very serious problem, but silenced and hidden by the media. If you think this theory is paranoid, try to show where you read about it in articles or materials on television. There may be one or two exceptions, but they will only confirm the rule.

This absence does not mean that journalists know the truth and hide. This usually happens, but it is not the most frequent. In fact, what predominates is more ignorance, not manipulation, even in the said means specialized in economy – though there really those that run by the other rule.

It is very easy to see what is happening. The cuts in social policies decreased demand in a substantive way. Today, the lack of demand is the biggest problem in the Eurozone (especially in southern Europe), and is responsible for economic stagnation and very low economic growth. This stagnation was caused, in turn, by the fall in productive investments (in the European Union, the low was 8.4% in investments in 2000 to 6.8% in 2014, while in Spain, even worse, 7, 5.7% to 5% during the same period). The decline in support in areas such as research and development is also quite remarkable. In fact, labor reform policies impulsadas by different governments – both the PP (People ‘s Party, right-wing force which is part of the president Mariano Rajoy) and the PSOE) (Socialist Parties Workers of Spain, center-left), and including the new front center-right called Citizen applauded these measures, which resulted in the fall in the real value of wages and increased job insecurity, and austerity policies, made cuts and applauded by such parties, which had an impact very negative first causing the great recession, and then delaying economic recovery.

The conventional wisdom is changing?

The most notable examples of delay occur because of the huge domain of the media by conservative and neo-liberal forces. Both the direction of the IMF and even the President of the ECB indicated that monetary policies are inadequate, and that what appears to be the solution is a package of fiscal measures to stimulate the economy through fiscal measures.

What is meant by tax measures is to reduce taxes, with what is considered to stimulate the economy, which is true, but only up to a point, since the tax reductions, as a rule, the more benefit the higher income that the majority of the population, and the first already have so much money that they receive as exemption or lowering of taxes becomes accumulation, not more consumption, contrary to what the majority of the population that does not have many possessions and spends almost all the extra help you receive.

Therefore, the best way to stimulate the economy is to spin 180 degrees, ending the counterreforms that were imposed on the population. In fact, US President Franklin Roosevelt took his country from the Great Depression thanks to a huge increase in public spending, through public investments much needed in the country, the establishment of Social Security and the encouragement of union membership, so that if they increased wages . Today, this is what Spain needs, for example. Unfortunately, neither the PP nor the PSOE, the front center-right Citizens propose something similar to that. The proposals of the PSOE not distance themselves enough public policies pursued by his predecessors, and that’s part of the problem. Today, the main need is to stimulate the economy through a marked increase in public investment in social, energy and industrial areas, creating quality jobs. An important increase in wages, reversing labor reforms to strengthen the unions, rather than weaken them. If Spain does not do this, follow the same path faced by Greece, which ended up accepting the continuity of neoliberal reforms. And such a change of policy against what is stated in the economic and political circles, where it reproduces the conventional wisdom. Portugal is an example of where the leftist ruling coalition tried such policies. Spain could be another. In fact, the days of austerity are numbered, because today there is a rebellion of the eurozone countries (see what happens in France). Faced with such policies, which greatly affect the working classes. The victory in the next elections and internal can cause, on 26 June, a coalition of anti-austerity progressive parties, would be a very important step to reverse this austericídio. Think, therefore, your vote may determine to continue with these disastrous policies or someone to be able to confront all.

* Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the University Pompeu Fabra, Professor of Public Policy at The Johns Hopkins University, former professor of economics at the University of Barcelona.

Translation: Victor Farinelli

Pakistan, Pissed At US, Threatens To Evict Millions of Afghan Refugees

Kamran Haider, (c) 2016, Bloomberg(c) 2016, Bloomberg

More than three decades after fleeing Afghanistan, refugee Noor Said struggles to feed his family of eight on less than the $3 per day he earns weaving fabric in northwest Pakistan. Now he’s got an even bigger worry: Being forced back amid the worst border tensions in years.

“I can’t take my small children to a place where their lives are tougher and in danger, even if that is our motherland,” he said this week in his three-room home in Utmanzai, a dusty refugee camp with more than 300 mud-brick houses near the border with Afghanistan. He initially fled when the Soviet Union invaded in 1980.

Said is among at least 1.5 million documented refugees who are caught in the middle of a wider spat involving Afghanistan, Pakistan and the U.S. that escalated after an American drone killed Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour last month. Pakistan is threatening to deport all of the refugees by the end of June, a move that risks leading to a humanitarian disaster in what would be one of the biggest forced repatriations in decades.

Many analysts see the threat as merely rhetorical, given that Pakistan has failed to enforce previous deportation deadlines. Yet after Mansour’s death on Pakistani soil — as well as a U.S. move to withhold subsidies for F-16 fighter jets — the warning sends a message to American policymakers who see Islamabad’s leaders as a hindrance to peace: Pakistan is essential to any deal.

“Both sides are playing their cards,” said Mansur Khan Mahsud, director of the FATA Research Centre in Islamabad. The mentality in Pakistan, he said, is that “if you are building pressure, I’ll do the same to counter you.”

At face value, Pakistan’s moves reflect concerns over Islamic militants crossing the porous border that has been disputed ever since Sir Mortimer Durand helped draw it up in 1893, when Britain ruled much of South Asia. Many Afghan refugees have been in Pakistan for decades, and international funding for them has fallen as crises erupted in Syria and Iraq.

Besides the 1.5 million documented refugees, Pakistan says another 1.5 million Afghans are in the country with no legal status. Only about a third of all documented Afghans in Pakistan live in 54 United Nations-monitored refugee villages.

“The return of Afghan refugees is part of the border management program,” Asim Bajwa, Pakistan’s military spokesman, told reporters on Wednesday in Rawalpindi, near the capital Islamabad. “They have been here for 36 years and most of them are living outside camps in an unregulated manner. We want them to go back.”

About a week after Mansour’s death, Pakistan tightened security at Torkham, the busiest border crossing with Afghanistan. Tensions have escalated since, with sporadic fighting breaking out as Afghan soldiers look to prevent Pakistan from erecting a gate along the so-called “Durand Line.” One soldier has been killed and another 19 injured.

Stuck in the middle are refugees like Said who are scared to move back to Afghanistan. The fight against the Taliban and other insurgent groups killed or wounded a record 11,000 civilians last year. At the same time, Afghanistan’s economy is strained. Per capita incomes have fallen since 2012, and the International Monetary Fund expects that trend to continue this year.

In Utmanzai, children filled plastic buckets and bottles with water from hand-pumps as elders rested from the scorching heat under shades made of straw. While the village lacks many amenities, the refugees can use Pakistan hospitals, ensure their kids get an education and are more or less safe.

Not so in Afghanistan. “There are no schools, no health facilities and no peace,” Morad, a 53-year-old former soldier who goes by one name, said of his homeland. He has lived as a refugee in Pakistan since the 1980s.

Any attempt to repatriate the Afghan refugees will prompt them to flee beyond South Asia, Indrika Ratwatte, Pakistan representative at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said in an interview in Islamabad. Afghans already comprise the third-highest migrant population in Europe.

Still, it’s becoming harder for the UN to raise cash to help Pakistan support them. The refugee agency in the nation cut its budget by 15 percent last year as donors could only fund 40 percent of the $230 million it needed, Ratwatte said.

“Funding for Syria and Iraq shouldn’t be at the cost of the protracted refugee situations like with the Afghans,” he said.

Afghanistan’s government is already struggling to improve conditions for at least 1.2 million Afghans internally displaced by conflict, more than double the number three years ago, according to Amnesty International.

“Afghanistan isn’t now prepared to embrace a large influx of Afghan immigrants from neighboring nations given the security problems and lack of resources,” Hafiz Ahmad Miakhel, an adviser to Afghanistan’s Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation, said in an interview. The nation is working with Pakistan and Iran to resolve migrant-related issues, he said.

Ultimately any refugee crisis would be a problem for the U.S., which currently pays for about 75 percent of Afghanistan’s military budget. A humanitarian disaster would distract vital resources from fighting the Taliban, whose resurgence has forced President Barack Obama to delay a planned troop withdrawal.

The United States has repeatedly called on Pakistan to do more to root out terrorism, while Islamabad’s leaders say contacts with the Taliban are essential to securing a political solution to the 15-year war. Peace talks so far have gone nowhere.

The current tensions may yet be defused. Pakistan’s government has said it will consider a request to allow Afghan refugees to remain in the country until December 2017. On Thursday, Pakistan foreign ministry spokesman Nafees Zakaria told reporters that the refugees should be returned “in a dignified manner.”

“I would not ask them to send them back,” Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan’s former president, said of the refugees at a conference in London on Friday. Instead, Pakistan should give them support and jobs so they can “send money back to Afghanistan,” he said, adding that 99.9 percent of people crossing the borders aren’t extremists.

Nevertheless, hostilities between the two neighbors are lingering. Afghans living in Pakistan face regular discrimination and harassment, said Sami-ul-Haq, a 38-year-old Afghan who runs a small grocery shop in Utmanzai.

“All Afghans aren’t militants or terrorists,” he said. “I’m confident they could find a suspect in a huge crowd if they want, so there’s no point in harassing us.”

Eltaf Najafizada and Chris Kay contributed.

Ban Ki Moon Praises Russian Efforts To End Ukrainian Conflict—Ukr. Amb. Grumbles

“Volodymyr Yelchenko said Ban’s prepared comments for the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia show he has lost ‘any moral right’ to say anything about the conflict in Ukraine.

He said he doesn’t understand how the U.N. chief ‘can say such things which sort of praise the role of Russia in settling the conflict in Ukraine when the Russian Federation is the main player in aggressing Ukraine and in keeping this conflict boiling.'” Ukraine ‘Outraged’ by UN Chief’s Remarks on Russia

Ukraine takes offense at UN chief’s view of Russian role peace talks

dw

Ukraine has reacted strongly to remarks by the UN secretary-general that appeared to praise Russia in settling the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The Kyiv envoy said Ban Ki-moon could not be a “provider of good offices.”

Ukrainian Ambassador to the United Nations Volodymyr Yelchenko has said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “cannot be a provider of good offices” in the Ukraine conflict. His comments follow remarks Ban made at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Thursday which appeared to praise Russia.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

Ban said Moscow had “a very important role to play and I really count heavily on the leadership of the Russian Federation.”

The UN chief’s spoken comments were slightly different from the text in his prepared speech which said Russia “has a critical role to play … in addressing other pressing global issues, from ending the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, to safeguarding human rights and controlling the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.”

The government in Kyiv has accused Russia of supporting separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine. “I’m completely outraged by such a statement,” Yelchenko said. “I don’t understand how the head of the United Nations can say such things.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin Russian President Vladimir Putin

The ambassador added that Ban’s remarks appeared “to praise the role of the Russian Federation in settling the conflict in Ukraine, when the Russian Federation is the main player [being aggressive towards] Ukraine.”

Yelchenko said he would be writing an official protest letter to the UN chief and added: “I don’t think that he has any moral right anymore to say anything about the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.”

European guests at the summit

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker also attended the forum in St. Petersburg. He said the European Union needed to engage with Russia, despite the sanctions of the last two years.

“I take the view that we must talk with Russia, the leadership, its people: for some it must be a radical idea; for me it’s common sense,” he said.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker

Juncker became the highest-ranked European Union official to visit Russia since Moscow forces annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in March 2014. The move triggered sanctions from the United States and the European Union. Russia retaliated by banning imports of meat, vegetables and dairy products from the EU.

Juncker said the relationship between Russia and the EU was “not broken beyond repair. We need to mend it, and I believe we can.” He also conceded that “some in Europe weren’t pleased” with him meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin. But he said it was an opportunity to “exchange opinions.”

Juncker called for the terms of the Minsk peace accord for eastern Ukraine to be implemented: “The next step is clear: the full implementation of the agreement, no more, not less. This is the only way to lift the economic sanctions.”

Italy’s prime minister, Matteo Renzi, was due to attend the forum on Friday. The three-day conference in Russia’s second city is being held just weeks before EU sanctions are due to expire.

Business links

Delegates from international companies with projects in Russia including BP, Total and ExxonMobil have attended the St. Petersburg forum. A panel discussion brought praise for the Russian energy sector and their business partners.

US authorities had advised businesses against attending the forum.

“We’ve been very clear on our engagements with US companies that we believe there are clear risks, both economic and reputational, associated with top-level engagement with a government that is flouting the most fundamental principles of international rule of law by intervening military in a neighboring country,” US State Department spokesman John Kirby said on Wednesday.

Rosneft gas station in Moscow Rosneft gas station in Moscow

On Thursday, Russia’s state-owned Rosneft and London-based BP announced they would invest $300 million (266 million euros) in prospecting and geological data analysis.

Putin met Royal Dutch Shell chief Ben van Beurden before the energy giant signed a memorandum of understanding with Russian gas giant Gazprom on the potential construction of a major liquefied gas plant in the country.

The CEOs of France’s Total, Societe Generale and JCDecaux and European multi-national Schneider Electric are participating in the forum.

In May, Putin sealed a number of economic deals during a visit to Greece aimed at reinforcing Russia’s relationship with Athens.

jm/sms (Reuters, AFP)

Russia Excoriated For Bombing Cannabalistic Al Nusra Front In al-Tanf, US Calls Them “New Syrian Army”?

New Syrian Army

New U.S.-backed offensive in northern Syria advances on ISIS outposts

November 17, 2015

“A sheikh from the conservative Salafist strain of Islam, Khaled al Hammad, who resides in Saudi Arabia, leads the front.”

[ Syrian fighter filmed eating organ of dead man is shot dead by militants  6 April 2016 ]

Russia bombs U.S.-backed Syrian rebels near Jordan border

cnn

Washington (CNN)Russian warplanes bombed U.S. backed Syrian rebels near the Jordanian border, Pentagon officials say, causing the U.S. to divert armed aircraft to the scene of the strike.

The strikes, which the U.S. says killed some New Syrian Army troops, occurred about six miles from the Jordanian border, according to a U.S. defense official. The U.S. diverted armed FA-18s to the area after the first round of two strikes, and the pilots then tried to call the Russians on a previously agreed-upon pilot-to-pilot communications channel but did not receive an answer.
As soon as the U.S. jets left the area to refuel, the Russians came back for another round of bombing, the defense official said.
“Russian aircraft conducted a series of airstrikes near al-Tanf against Syrian counter-ISIL forces that included individuals who have received U.S. support. Russian aircraft have not been active in this area of Southern Syria for some time, and there were no Syrian regime or Russian ground forces in the vicinity,” a senior defense official said. “Russia’s latest actions raise serious concern about Russian intentions. We will seek an explanation from Russia on why it took this action and assurances this will not happen again.”
The first two bombing runs by the Russians were carried out by two SU-24 Russian jets coming out of their base near Latakia. The jets dropped what is believed to be the equivalent of U.S. 500-pound bombs and possibly cluster munitions, according to the U.S. defense official.
Asked about the strikes Friday, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said it raised questions about whether the Russians were actually in Syria to fight Islamic extremists.
“Here’s a case where they actually attacked forces that were fighting ISIL. And if that was their intention, that’s the opposite of what they said they were going to do,” Carter said. “If not, then it says something about the quality of the information upon which they make airstrikes.”
U.S. and Russian forces in Syria have had tense relations since the country devolved into civil war. The U.S. has backed rebel groups while the Russians have supported Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

The Orlando “Rabbit Hole” Comes Out Somewhere In Afghanistan

[SEE:  http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-06-12/orlando-shooter-worked-security-company-which-tranports-illegal-immigrants-deep-insi?page=1 ; ORLANDO SHOOTING DAD A LONGTIME CIA ASSET ]

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(Seddique Mateen far left)

Unity and Freedom Movement of Afghanistan

This website refers the readers to a defunct website for THE PERSONAL SITE OF PROF.DR.ABDUL SATTAR SIRAT.

“Dr Abdul Satar Sirat: Royalist Promotes Unity

Dr Abdul Satar Sirat, a former adviser to King Zahir Shar and an Islamic scholar, is campaigning as a symbol of national unity.

Sirat, an ethnic Uzbek, who had served as an advisor to the king for three decades, had the support of both the royalist faction and the Northern Alliance commanders who had fought with the United States-led Coalition against the Taleban….

Despite having spent 26 years in Saudi Arabia, he maintained his strong relationship with the king of Afghanistan. From 1975 to 1999, he was a lecturer in Islamic studies in Um-al-Qura University in Riyadh and was special advisor to the king.”

How America’s Afghan crusade came home to Orlando

insurge intel

Orlando ISIS gunman was embedded in expatriate US-backed Afghan jihad network

by Nafeez Ahmed

This exclusive is published by INSURGE INTELLIGENCE, a crowd-funded investigative journalism project for the global commons

The US-Afghan military industrial complex surrounding Orlando terrorist Omar Mateen’s father stretches from Blackwater to Donald Trump.


There are many threads to this tragic, horrifying story of a gay American son of an Afghan mujahid.

There’s the question of blowback: the deep politics of short-sighted military interventions and the self-defeating profiteering of the military industrial complex. There’s the escalating clash of cultures and the crisis of multiple identities that is becoming evermore fractious as Western wars have brought unresolved chaos to foreign shores, and invited foreign refugees from theatres of war to the homeland. And ultimately, there’s the destructive force of repressed sexuality.

This investigation throws light on the complex political, cultural, religious and personal forces that likely nurtured the Orlando terrorist into a man capable of tremendous violence.

The story opens up from an exclusive analysis of the network of companies surrounding Omar Mateen’s father.

Company records obtained by INSURGE intelligence reveal that Mateen’s father has longstanding ties to a network of powerful Afghan expatriates connected to the US government, private American defense contractors, and pro-Taliban warlords.

Mateen massacred 49 people and injured 53 at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in what has been widely recognized as an unprecedented homophobic attack — and the worst mass shooting in modern American history since the wanton massacre of Native Americans.

Omar Mateen had also worked as an armed security officer for G4S — the world’s largest government security contractor by revenues — for the last 9 years.

G4S in Florida has been contracted by the US State Department and British Foreign Office for security operations in Afghanistan.

In 2010, a US Senate investigation heavily criticized the State Department for hiring G4S subsidiary ArmorGroup, which had been sub-contracting Afghan warlords tied to the Taliban and al-Qaeda to outsource certain security functions.

But G4S is not by any means the main connection between the ISIS-inspired Orlando homophobe, and the murky politics of Afghanistan.

A soldier’s son

Omar Mateen’s father, Mir Seddique Mateen, is part of a network of influential Afghan expatriates working closely with a vast range of US government departments and agencies. The expatriates also have direct connections to the US-backed government in Afghanistan, as well as with warlords opposed to the Afghan regime and sympathetic to the Taliban.

Some of these expatriates were close to the late Mohammed Zahir Shah, the last King of Afghanistan, who was deposed in a 1973 coup covertly backed by the Soviet Union. As such, they were at first particularly close to the Hamid Karzai regime in Kabul, which had appointed many of Shah’s relatives to government posts.

According to Ahmad Saeedi, a political analyst in Kabul, Omar Mateen’s father, Mir Seddique Mateen, fought in the Afghan jihad to expel the Soviet invasion, before emigrating to the US thirty-one years ago:

“A fierce anti-communist, Mateen was a captain in the ranks of the mujahedeen who fought the Soviet occupation, Saeedi said. Once in the US, he promoted himself to the rank of general.”

Successive US administrations at the time poured billions of dollars into the Afghan war against the Soviets. Among the mujahideen who benefited from the US policy were Osama bin Laden, who used the networks built-up during the Cold War to create his al-Qaeda terrorist network.

Omar Mateen was, in other words, the son of an ex-mujahid who fought to repel the Soviet Army from Afghanistan.

Mir Seddique Mateen is now a founding director of a number of seemingly innocuous US nonprofit companies relating to Afghanistan. Yet these companies provide a surprising window into Mir Seddique’s connections to a powerful network of Afghan expatriates.

Those Afghan figures, in turn, have links to both the US-backed Afghan jihad during the Cold War, as well as to senior figures involved in the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.

Some of these details have been reported sporadically by journalists, but none have grasped their alarming significance.

Hail to the King

Among Mir Seddique’s companies, the most relevant is The Durand Jirga Inc., which was incorporated on 30th November 2010. The company’s Articles of Incorporation say that The Durand Jirga Inc. is “organized for exclusively religious, charitable, educational and scientific purposes… Specifically, the organization will mediate and attempt to resolve social and territorial disputes.”

The company name is a reference to the historic ‘Durand Line’, the disputed boundary between Afghanistan and Pakistan established by the British in 1893 that stretches between ethnic Pashtuns, Baloch, Uzbek, and other ethnic groups residing on both sides.

The late King Shah, who died in 2007, had at various times questioned and even renounced the Durand Line as an invalid colonial boundary that had permitted Pakistan to occupy Afghan territory. During his reign until 1973, he frequently delivered pro-Pashtunistan speeches extolling a nationalist Afghan vision rejecting the Durand Line.

This is precisely the position adopted by Omar Mateen’s father, Mir Seddique, in his occasional TV show broadcast via ‘Payam-e-Afghan’, a satellite television network based in Los Angeles, California, aimed at Afghan expatriates.

In 2010, one of Mir Seddique’s directors at Durand Jirga Inc. was Qasim Tarin. In the aftermath of the Orlando killings, Tarin was sought out by some journalists, and insisted that the gunman’s father was “obviously against Taliban and ISIS and all that.”

“I’ve known him for a long time,” said Tarin, who also appeared on Mir Seddique’s TV show. “To his Facebook and all, he is absolutely against ISIS and Pakistanis and, of course, ISI intelligence.”

Mir Seddique has frequently criticized the Taliban, but has also occasionally praised the group when he saw it as potentially undermining Pakistan.

“Our brothers in Waziristan, our warrior brothers in [the] Taliban movement and national Afghan Taliban are rising up,” he said in one broadcast. “Inshallah, the Durand Line issue will be solved soon.”

Mir Seddique’s ‘old friend’ and the US-Afghan military industrial complex

But Qasim Tarin is far more than just an old friend of the Orlando terrorist’s father. During his stint on the board of Mir Siddique’s Durand Jirga Inc., he was simultaneously on the Board of Directors at the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce. In 2011, he became Interim President of the AACC’s Northern California Chapter, then became permanent president in 2012.

Tarin resigned from his directorship at The Durand Jirga that year to focus on the new role, but remained close friends with Mir Siddique.

The Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce was founded in 2002, months after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan. It is basically a key forum for the US-Afghan military industrial complex.

Sponsored by the US State Department, Commerce Department, and USAID, the AACC’s board includes Col. James L. Bullion, former Director of the Pentagon’s Task Force for Business and Stability Operations; Marine Corps Major General (ret.) Arnold Fields, the former US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR); Jeffrey Grieco, former Chief of Communications and Government Affairs (2009–14) for International Relief & Development (IRD), an NGO “implementer” for the Department of State and US Agency for International Development (USAID); Ambassador Said Tayeb Jawad who served as President Karzai’s Press Secretary, Chief of Staff and Director of the Office of International Relations; former Congressman Don Ritter, who as the Chairman of the Congressional Task Force on Afghanistan was one of the main architects of the US strategy to support the Afghan mujahideen during the Soviet invasion and occupation.

The AACC’s LinkedIn profile says that the Chamber:

“… advocates for a market economy in Afghanistan… and serves as a link between business and government to encourage economic policies that will result in increased business and investment between the US and Afghanistan.”

The AACC organizes regular ‘business matchmaking’ conferences to facilitate US private sector investment in Afghanistan. These conferences have been sponsored by major US defense contractors like DynCorp International, SOS International LLC (where former Bush administration deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz sits on the Board of Advisors), as well as other private sector firms.

While Mir Seddique is not a member of the AACC, the Chamber is co-directed by his friend Qasim Tarin. Both Tarin and Mir Seddique have also worked together as part of the Unity and Freedom Movement of Afghanistan (UFMOA), an expatriate Afghan lobbying group which has drawn extensively on Tarin’s connections to the US-Afghan military industrial complex to organize meetings with Washington insiders.

From Donald Trump to Zalmay Khalilzad

It is perhaps ironic that both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, who have issued predictably inflammatory remarks blaming American Muslims for the Orlando attack, find themselves plugged into the same US-Afghan military industrial complex surrounding Omar Mateen’s father.

In 2009, at the AACC’s fifth annual business matchmaking conference in Washington DC, one panel on ‘Cooperating with DoD [Department of Defense] on Economic Development’ was chaired by Joseph Schmitz, a former Pentagon Chief Inspector General who was now working with SIGAR in Afghanistan.

Joseph Schmitz went on to become a Senior Fellow at the neoconservative Center for Security Policy (CSP) run by former Reagan Pentagon official Frank Gaffney. Gaffney was most recently the National Security Advisor to Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz. As for Schmitz, he is now Foreign Policy Advisor to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Schmitz, along with AACC executive Arnold Fields, previously succeeded in dramatically failing to exert meaningful oversight over the US government’s dubious contracts with private defense firms.

It was not until the US Senate investigated, for instance, that it emerged that Omar Mateen’s employer G4S had sub-contracted security services to Afghan warlords linked “to murder, kidnapping, bribery, and anti-Coalition activities.”

Unlike the US government’s own inspector generals, the Senate report found that G4S was well-aware of their connections with the Taliban, but hired them anyway.

At the CSP, Schmitz made-up for his lack of concern about the US government sub-contracting to pro-Taliban extremists by co-authoring a bizarre report claiming that Shari’ah law was literally on the brink of taking over the United States.

Equally bizarre, Schmitz’s co-author was former CIA director R. James Woolsey, who was previously Senior Vice President at NSA-contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.

This May, the AACC’s 14th general annual meeting in Virginia hosted former Ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad as a keynote speaker. Khalilzad is a longtime senior Pentagon official who played a key role in US assistance to Islamist mujahideen networks in Afghanistan during the Cold War (and in the Balkans after the Cold War). He was also a major force in the Bush administration’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Khalilzad’s wife, Cheryl Benard, was until recently a direct colleague of Qasim Tarin as a board member of the AACC, where she led one of the Chamber’s working groups. She resigned from the AACC board after it emerged that both Khalilzad and Benard were being investigated that year by US and Austrian authorities as part of a multi-million dollar money-laundering probe.

From Blackwater to DynCorp

Qasim Tarin’s other connections could throw some light on the fraught political context in which Omar Mateen transitioned from a student into adulthood.

Tarin was also the director of a number of other nonprofit companies with interests in Afghan politics. Company records identify Qasim Tarin as the registered agent for the International Association for Afghans and Balochs, Inc., which is now defunct.

The company was registered to the same address as several other companies controlled by Tarin at one time or other: the Afghan Business Network, which Tarin founded and ran for nearly a year in 2010; the Unity and Freedom Movement of Afghanistan; the Afghan International Development Corp; and the Wahidullah Ahmed Zai (WAZ) Group.

The WAZ Group is an especially useful indicator of the nature of Tarin’s network of companies. A fuel supply and logistics company registered with Afghanistan’s trade ministry, the firm’s clients include the present government of Afghanistan, the US Department of Defense, several private US military contractors including the notorious Blackwater (now Academi) and DynCorp, as well as the US Army’s Special Forces.

As such, the WAZ Group is directly complicit in the Obama administration’s continuing stealth occupation of Afghanistan. In 2012, the firm formerly known as Blackwater won a no-bid $22 million 3-year contract to provide logistical support for the US Special Operations Joint Task Force compound in Kabul, Camp Integrity.

The uncle of jihad

Tarin is still a registered agent for all these companies, and his company Electro Imaging Systems Inc., is the registered address for all of them.

The Afghan Business Network is run by Tarin’s colleague, Homayoun Rahnoma, who is the Interim Vice President of the Afghan American Chamber of Commerce.

The Unity and Freedom Movement of Afghanistan (UFMOA) is another active nonprofit company incorporated in 2012, whose President is Dr. Abdul Sattar Sirat — the former Minister of Justice in Afghanistan under the late King Shah until the 1973 coup.

The UFMOA’s Facebook page describes itself as “the first Afghan Political Advocacy and Lobbyist group”, and confirms that the group has been politically active in Afghanistan, regularly sending delegations to Kabul led by Dr. Sirat.

In the wake of the US occupation of Afghanistan and the efforts to transition to a new government, Dr. Sirat was among several political candidates, including Hamid Karzai, who were considered to be potential viable national leaders.

The UFMOA’s fundamental agenda is consistent with the ‘Durand Line’ issue adopted by the late King Shah himself — namely to rollback perceived Pakistani influence in Afghanistan through the Taliban.

But while this might at first glance appear to be relatively harmless, Sirat’s various affiliations over time demonstrate that the movement’s overall concern is not the Taliban as such — but the role of Pakistan in using groups like the Taliban as forces for proxy influence.

Thus, when Sirat was the initial presidential candidate in the late king’s US-UN backed delegation to lead an interim Afghan administration, although he ran as an ‘independent,’ he did so in a joint alliance with Mohammad Amin Waqad — a former deputy of the terrorist faction Hezb-e-Islami Gulbeddin — who stood for the post of first vice-president under a prospective Sirat presidency.

Hezb-e-Islami Gulbeddin is an extremist Islamist mujahideen faction formed in Afghanistan in 1975 to fight the Soviet occupation. Its founder and leader, is Gulbeddin Hekmatyar, a US designated global terrorist. During the Cold War, Hekmatyar’s Hezb-e-Islami received extensive support from the CIA, Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), and Saudi intelligence, while he worked closely with Osama bin Laden.

Sirat’s willingness to work with Hezb-e-Islami — which was credited with slaughtering far more rival Afghan mujahideen than Soviet soldiers — comes from his personal history of having worked at a high level in Saudi Arabia to facilitate funding for the Afghan resistance.

From 1975 to 1999, Sirat was Professor of Islamic Studies at Um-al-Qura University in Riyadh. He was also a Special Advisor to the Saudi King. According to Alhaj Nasrullah Barekzai, the director of Wahdat-e-Milli-ye-Aqwam-e-Afghanistan (the National Union of Tribes of Afghanistan):

“Sirat was called the uncle of jihad because all [mujahideen] leaders were looking to his funds and the money he collected for them. This title was given [to him] by Mohammad Nabi Mohammadi.”

Maulana Mohammad Nabi Mohammadi was the leader of the Harakat-i-Inqilab-i-Islami (Islamic Revolution Movement), a major traditionalist Islamist movement backed by the US through the Saudis to expel the USSR from Afghanistan. He played a pivotal leadership role in the wider mujahideen movement, having served as Vice President of Afghanistan from 1992 to 1996 in the Mujahideen government.

Though Mohammadi was himself a relative “moderate” according to foreign affairs scholar Banafsheh Keynoush, author of Saudi Arabia and Iran: Friends or Foes?, he “helped train many would-be Taliban leaders.” (p. 111)

When the Taliban conquered the bulk of Afghanistan in 1996, Mohammadi maintained good relations with the movement. Most of the movement’s leaders, including Mullah Omar, had been Mohammadi’s students.

Sirat is also related by marriage to Yunus Qanuni, the spokesman for the Northern Alliance, the Afghan warlord network opposed to the Taliban. The initial US-UN vision was to bring in Sirat as leader of a transitional government that would unite the Northern Alliance and other tribal factions in opposition to the Taliban.

But according to the Revolutionary Association of Women in Afghanistan (RAWA), the oldest women’s humanitarian and political organization in the country, the sheen of legitimacy the US and UN had tried to grant to the new proposed Abdul Sattar Sirat regime was disingeous. The Northern Alliance, said Tahmeena Faryal of RAWA:

“… have the blood of our beloved people on their hands, as of course do the Taliban… From 1992 to 1996 in particular, these forces waged a brutal war against women, using rape, torture, abduction and forced marriage as their weapons.”

In the end, Sirat was pressured by the US to withdraw his candidacy during the 2001 US-brokered transition process — purportedly over concerns about the ethnic balance of the incoming government, and the unlikelihood of his victory. The move allowed the more charismatic (and corrupt) Hamid Karzai, the US preferred option, to step in.

Disillusioned uncle of jihad

While Sirat and his fellow royalists — including Omar Mateen’s father and his friend Qasim Tarin — had at first embraced Karzai’s interim government with enthusiasm, his rampant corruption amidst credible allegations of flawed or fraudulent elections fueled growing criticisms of the US-backed regime, and of US policy in Afghanistan generally.

In 2004, widespread evidence of fraud plagued Afghanistan’s first national elections. Sirat was among the 15 other presidential candidates who, in the middle of the voting, withdrew from the elections in outrage. “Today’s election is not a legitimate election. It should be stopped and we don’t recognise the results,” Sirat said at the time. “This vote is a fraud and any government formed from it is illegitimate.”

Karzai’s eventual replacement by the presidency of Ashraf Ghani was, therefore, at first cautiously welcomed as a potential positive step, but ongoing corruption allegations led to a resurgence of disillusionment in the expatriate Afghan community around Sirat.

Such context of growing disillusionment with US policy, perceived as a form of ceaseless, disastrous, counter-democratic interference, led Sirat to participate in Paris talks in 2012 hosted by French think-tank, the Foundation for Strategic Research. Sirat himself was present at the talks with delegates representing both the Taliban and Hekmatyar.

The view of Omar Mateen’s father Mir Seddique and other expatriates around Abdul Sattar Sirat is that due to the dysfunctional nature of the incumbent US-backed Ashraf Ghani regime in Afghanistan, a Loya Jirga — a traditional Afghan grand assembly of tribal leaders — should be convened to kick-start a new transitional process to a more ‘legitimate’ government.

‘Legitimate’ implies a government more focused on anti-Pakistan Afghan nationalism, and ready therefore to take a hardline on the Durand Line issue.

This appears to be the context of Mir Seddique’s stated political aspirations to stand as a presidential candidate.

Omar Mateen’s father met with senior US and British government officials

This investigation lends some clarity to the task of understanding the cultural context of Omar Mateen’s upbringing. His father, whom he had much respect for, was not just a former mujahid in Afghanistan, but an active member of Abdul ‘uncle of jihad’ Sirat’s UFMOA.

Photographs obtained from Mir Seddique’s Facebook profile, as well as from the UFMOA Facebook page, show that his connection with Qasim Tarin and Abdul Sirat provided him extensive access to senior political figures in the US. Several photos picture Mir Seddique as a member of UFMOA lobbying delegations to Washington.

The photographs show that in the last few years, Mir Seddique had been able to meet senior US government officials at events and lobbying meetings in Congress, the US State Department, and the British embassy in Washington DC — as late as April 2016.

Mir Seddique did not respond to request for clarification on which government officials he met in these meetings, and why.

The Daily Mail has posted some of these photos showing Mir Seddique with senior Congressional figures such as Dana Rohrabacher, the Republican stalwart who played a major role in the US government’s Cold War support for the Afghan mujahideen. Below are different photos from a UFMOA Congressional lobbying event made available here exclusively by INSURGE intelligence:

Abdul Sattar ‘uncle of jihad’ Sirat (left) speaks at UFMOA event in Congress with Republican representatives Dana Rohrabacher (middle) and Ed Royce (right)

In one photo that was posted with an earlier version of the Daily Mail article  — but which is no longer available — Mir Seddique can be seen posing next to Abdul Sattar Sirat as part of a UFMOA gathering.

Abdul Sattar Sirat, the ‘uncle of jihad’, is second from the left, alongside Omar Mateen’s father, Mir Seddique Mateen, who is on his right

Many other key photographs released here exclusively raise further questions about the extent of Mir Seddique’s access to Washington officialdom due to his work with Sirat and Tarin.

In the below photos (dated 15th January 2015), Mir Seddique can be seen attending a meeting at the British embassy in Washington DC. In the first, he is accompanied by two British military officers, one of whom is described as the UK Ministry of Defence’s ‘military attache’, along with his wife.

Mir Seddique Mateen (second from the right) at an event hosted by the British embassy in Washington DC, with two members of what he describes as the British Defense Staff

The current British Defence Attache is Major General Richard Cripwell who works with Minister (Defense Material) Steve McCarthy — neither of whom are the individuals in the photo alongside Seddique Mateen.

If Mir Seddique’s description is remotely accurate, the two unidentified individuals will be members of the British Defence Staff at the UK embassy, although this has not yet been independently verified. The British embassy in Washington DC has offered no comment on the photograph.

Another photo shows Mir Seddique next to another unnamed man described only as the Deputy Director of Central European Affairs at the US State Department.

Omar Mateen’s father (left) standing beside an unidentified US State Department official (right). INSURGE intelligence has obtained information indicating that the State Department official’s name is Henry Martin McDowell, though this has not yet been independently confirmed.

This appears to be a sensitive US government position as no official information is publicly available about the role.

INSURGE intelligence has, however, been able to confirm that the Deputy Director of the Office of Central European Affairs — an agency in the State Department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs headed up by Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland — is Henry Martin McDowell.

McDowell was previously (2013–14) Special Assistant to the Under-Secretary for Political Affairs at the State Department.

There is, however, no public information about McDowell’s role at the State Department.

The British embassy in Washington DC was asked to comment on Mir Seddique’s attendance at the 2015 event, where he met top UK defense and US State Department staff. Details about the event and its guest-list were requested, but the embassy has failed to respond.

In another photo on the UMFOA’s Facebook page dated 2013, Qasim Tarin and other UMFOA members are said to be at a gathering where they will meet Vice President Joe Biden.

Mir Seddique’s ‘old friend’ and colleague in the UFMOA, Qasim Tarin (middle) at an unidentified gathering. The original caption claims the UFMOA delegates will later meet Vice President Joe Biden. This has not been independently corroborated.

In short, Omar Mateen’s father was part of an extraordinarily well-connected network of Afghan expatriates, who were not just leftovers from the US-backed Afghan jihad during the Cold War, but were also key players in a post-9/11 US-Afghan military-industrial complex.

How, though — if at all — does this relate to the fact that Mir Seddique’s son became an extremist, homophobic terrorist?

Omar Mateen: gay son of a homophobic mujahid?

While Mir Seddique did condemn his son’s actions as “an act of terror”, in a widely reported video post after the attack he stated that homosexuality is a sin “only punishable by God.”

Omar Mateen had attended and drunk at the Pulse nightclub dozens of times for around 3 years while regularly using gay phone apps according to eyewitnesses and acquaintances.

Numerous sources and former friends described him as regularly attending LGBTQ bars and earnestly wanting to have a gay relationship as early as 2006. Mir Seddique’s son was, it seems, deeply conflicted about his own sexuality, especially in the context of his conservative upbringing.

In an interview with The Mirror, Mir Seddique vehemently denied that his son could be gay precisely due to that upbringing, describing him as a “normal” family man:

“There is no way he was homosexual, he was not brought up that way. I will not have it. He was not gay.”

Omar Mateen visited his parents regularly, including the day before his killing spree, and treated them with respect and deference. He was clearly aware of his father’s background and political activism, which was no secret in the expatriate community.

He therefore would have been somewhat familiar with Mir Seddique’s constant efforts to ingratiate himself with the US government, while selectively condemning Pakistan-backed terrorism and occasionally lauding the Taliban.

But overall, his relationship with his father was conflicted. Reported conversations with his gay friends suggest that Omar Mateen harboured a deep-seated resentment toward the beliefs and practices of his ex-mujahid father.

“Some of those people did a little more than (kiss) outside the bar,” said one Pulse regular Ty Smith. “He [Omar Mateen] was partying with the people who supposedly drove him to do this?”

Smith’s partner, Chris Callen, said of Mateen the son:

“(He’d get) really, really drunk. He couldn’t drink when he was at home — around his wife, or family. His father was really strict. He used to bitch about it.”

But Mateen still remained violently oversensitive about his religious faith. According to Callen, when one of their friends made a joke about religion:

“He ended up pulling a knife. He said if he ever messed with him again, you know how it’ll turn out.”

If Omar Mateen was indeed the gay son of a member of the Afghan mujahideen, it would make sense that he could not reconcile his father’s ultra-conservative religious views with his own sexual identity.

Was Mateen the son also conflicted over his father’s political views and activities?

In the words of his ex-wife, Sitora Yusifiy, who admitted that Omar Mateen used to drink regularly and visit nightclubs:

“He did have a different side to him that he could not open up to his father about.”

From 2007 onwards during his employment as an armed security officer at the institutionally homophobic G4S, Omar Mateen’s identity struggle repeatedly manifested in a double-life by which he repressed his conflicted sexual identity. In doing so, he increasingly used discriminatory violence as an outlet — violence against his ex-wife, casual homophobia, threats of violence against black people and Jews, and an exaggerated display of interest in women.

Such aggressively homophobic behaviour by a hidden homosexual would be consistent with the wealth of scientific evidence showing that hostility towards gays is usually a marker of holding same-sex desires — and can be exacerbated by having authoritarian parents who are homophobic.

What happens, though, if the parent is not just authoritarian, but an uncompromising, homophobic Cold Warrior veteran of the US-backed Afghan jihad, with arguably hypocritical aspirations of political ascendancy under US tutelage?

A common thread running through studies of the radicalization process amongst Western citizens who become Islamist extremists, is that they see the promise of martyrdom through jihad as a last resort to be saved from a life believed to be full of hopelessness, sin and depravity.

Extreme violent jihad is posited as a mechanism to resolve an acute internal identity crisis. Perhaps the most critical feature of that crisis is the hemorraghing of self-esteem against the belief that one is damned within Islam (interpreted in a narrow, reductionist fashion), but equally outcast from wider society.

The only light at the end of the tunnel, then, according to the simplistic fundamentalist theology of groups like ISIS, is to become a mujahid.

Did Omar Mateen see his last act in Orlando, in which he finally pledged allegiance to ISIS, as his brutal ticket to salvation? Was Omar Mateen following the footsteps of his father in the ultimate act of repressing his own homosexuality by becoming a mujahid who attained martydom in the act of massacring those he kept failing to resist? Was Omar Mateen’s last act, equally, an act of defiance against his father, a psychological one-up in which he became a better mujahid than his father could ever be?

While there may never be a clear answer to this question, what is clear is that the internal ideological conflict that partly drove Omar Mateen to his despicable actions was incubated in a very unique context.

Brought up by an ultra-conservative former Afghan mujahid, Omar Mateen was the product of a fatal collision between two forces: first, an expatriate Cold War Afghan jihad network growing increasingly disillusioned with US policy in Afghanistan, but paradoxically benefiting parastically from that very policy through a post-9/11 US-Afghan military-industrial complex; and second, the American liberal culture in which Omar Mateen grew up.

Into this collision, there can be little doubt that Mateen’s heritage as the son of an ex-mujahid, combined with what appears to be an increasingly fraught struggle with his own sexuality, made him uniquely susceptible to the reductionist ideological machinations of a group like ISIS.

Of one thing there can be no doubt: the Orlando massacre is yet another echo of both the Cold War and the post-9/11 ‘war on terror’, a horror reverberating from 37 years of US military intervention in Afghanistan.

Dr. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed is an award-winning 15-year investigative journalist, international security scholar, bestselling author, and film-maker.

He is International Editor at The Canary, ‘System Shift’ columnist at VICE, a weekly columnist at Middle East Eye, and the creator of INSURGEintelligence, a crowdfunded public interest investigative journalism project. Previously, Nafeez wrote The Guardian’s ‘Earth insight’ blog.

His work has been published in The Guardian, VICE, Independent on Sunday, The Independent, The Scotsman, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, Quartz, The New Statesman, Prospect, Le Monde diplomatique, Raw Story, New Internationalist, Huffington Post UK, Al-Arabiya English, AlterNet, The Ecologist, and Asia Times, among other places.

Exclusive stories broken by Nafeez via INSURGEintelligence have been covered by USA Today, Global Post, The Guardian, The Independent, Washington Post, The Metro, The Week, News Corp’s news.com.au, Discovery News, Channel 4 News, Forbes, Columbia Journalism Review, Gigaom, FutureZone, etc. etc.

In 2015, Nafeez won the Project Censored Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism for his Guardian story on the energy politics of the Ukraine crisis. The previous year he won another Project Censored Award, known popularly as the ‘Alternative Pulitzer’, for his Guardian article on climate-induced food crises and civil unrest.

In 2010, Nafeez won the Routledge-GCPS Essay Prize for his academic paper on the ‘Crisis of Civilisation’ published in the journal Global Change, Peace and Security. He also won the Premio Napoli (Naples Prize) in 2003, Italy’s most prestigious literary award created by decree of the President of the Republic.

Nafeez has twice been featured in the Evening Standard’s ‘Top 1,000’ list of most influential people in London, in 2014 and 2015.

Nafeez is the author of A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It (2010), and the scifi thriller novel ZERO POINT, among other books. His work on the root causes and covert operations linked to international terrorism officially contributed to the 9/11 Commission and the 7/7 Coroner’s Inquest.


This story is being released for free in the public interest, and was enabled by crowdfunding. I’d like to thank my amazing community of patrons for their support, which gave me the opportunity to work on this story. Please support independent, investigative journalism for the global commons via Patreon.com, where you can donate as much or as little as you like.

‘I’m the shooter. It’s me.’–Phone Call To Orlando News 13 Producer

Mateen to News 13 producer: ‘I’m the shooter. It’s me.’

13 news

By Scott Fais, Reporter

In the midst of the chaos early Sunday morning at Pulse nightclub, the team at News 13 in downtown Orlando was covering the story when a producer took an ominous phone call.

  • Overnight producer answered News 13 phone
  • Caller claimed to be Pulse nightclub shooter
  • Producer: ‘I will never forget the words he said to me’

“News 13, this is Matt,” is how Matthew Gentili, a producer at News 13, answered the phone.

Gentili knew something wasn’t right.

“I was receiving phone calls from viewers saying, ‘What’s going on? What’s happening? What’s happening in Orlando?” Gentili recalled Tuesday.

Sharing with viewers the horror taking place just a few blocks down the street became Gentili’s first priority — until a phone call made him pause.

“I will never forget the words he said to me,” Gentili said.

About 45 minutes after the shooting began, the phone rang inside the News 13 newsroom.

“It was at 2:45 a.m. when I had just received the phone call of someone claiming to be the Orlando shooter,” he said. “I answered the phone as I always do: ‘News 13, this is Matt.’ And on the other end, I heard, ‘Do you know about the shooting?’ ”

Gentili said he was aware of the shooting. “Yes, I’m getting calls. I am hearing reports of a shooting,” he replied to the caller, who then cut him off.

“I’m the shooter. It’s me. I am the shooter,” the person on the other end said.

Gentili said he didn’t know what to say. The caller then started to say he committed the shooting for the Islamic State (militant group).

“He did it for ISIS, and he started speaking Arabic,” Gentili said of the early morning phone call. “At the time, I didn’t know what he was saying. He was speaking so fast. But it was … he was speaking fluently. Whatever language he was speaking, he knew it. And he was speaking it very quickly. And that is when I said to him, ‘Sir. Please. Speak in English, please.'”

Gentili said the caller stopped and said: “I did it for ISIS. I did it for the Islamic State.”

Gentili said he asked where the caller was, but the caller said it was “none of my (expletive) business.”

Sitting at his desk in the newsroom, Gentili said there was a long pause before he asked one final question.

“It was silent for a while. I asked him: ‘Is there anything else you want to say?’ ” Gentili said. “He said no and hung up the phone.”

Gentili sat and replayed in his head what had just happened. He heard nothing in the background.

After completing a 12-hour shift, Gentili was interviewed at home by the FBI.

Agents won’t confirm whether Gentili spoke to the gunman, but News 13’s managing editor was able to research the phone number from which the call came, and it matched to Omar Mateen.

“I’m definitely changed,” Gentili said. “When you get a phone call like that, I’m never going to be able to answer the phone again without thinking this is the most serious call I’ll ever get in my life.”

THE LATEST KILLING OF AL-BAGHDADI

THE LAST TIME AN AIRSTRIKE KILLED AL-BAGHDADI

[SEE:  Saudis Report Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi “Critically Wounded” In Latest US Airstrike–How Is It Only They Know? ]

Baghdadi killed in U.S. air strike, say reports

The Hindu

IANS

The Islamic State (IS) ’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed in an air raid in Syria by the U.S.-led coalition, reports said on Monday.

Baghdadi died in an air strike on IS’s stronghold of Raqqa in northern Syria, Iranian state media and pro-government Turkish daily Yenis Safak said, citing IS-affiliated Arabic news agency al-Amaq. The statement published by Amaq said IS’s ‘Caliph’ Baghdadi had been killed on Sunday, according to the media reports. “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed by coalition air strikes on Raqqa on the fifth day of Ramadan,” said the statement.

The coalition did not immediately comment on the report. Earlier on Monday, Iraqi TV channel ‘Al-Sumaria’ said that Baghadi had been wounded on Sunday in a coalition air strike on a location 65 km west of IS-held Mosul. CNN on Monday cited U.S. defence officials as saying that they received credible intelligence that Baghdadi, who has a $25 million bounty on his head, has moved around within the past six months and had travelled to Mosul. — IANS