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Mostafa Mahamed AKA Abu Sulayman, Australian Terrorist Mercenary in Aleppo

The rebranding of JFS (Jabhat Fateh al-Sham)/Nusra/AQ is purely cosmetic and strategic, enabling opportunistic calls for “unity” in East Aleppo, occupied by these AQ largely foreign mercenaries in a “death before surrender” stand at the expense of around 300,000 civilians who remain there.

On the propagandist Facebook wall of Australian number one terrorist Shaykh Mostafa Mahamed aka Abu Sulayman, his current slick spiel is delivered by his student acolytes. He/they can also be found at present slogannising on multiple twitter accounts* in his name and for the JFS in several languages for “unity”. Significantly, main leader of the “rebel” Aleppo team is Sheikh Muhaysini, who “is ready to announce all factions must unite.” ‘I’ve described him as “pro-Al Qaeda” since 2014.says analyst Thomas Joscelyn.

On a US kill list, Sulayman, AQ/JFS/Nusra’s head propagandist in Aleppo, announced the fake split of the rebranded Nusra under the banner of JFS from AQ about 3 weeks ago on CNN and Skynews. Notably Sulayman broadcast Zenki promoter Rslan’s recent rebel propaganda which went mainstream before the Syria Campaign. Bin Laden was never so fortunate to have the mainstream global media whitewashing his agitprop and facilitating the viralisation of toxic AQ ideology.

This JFS split from AQ is fictitious. AQ is a franchise.

‘The split between Al-Qaeda and Jabhat al-Nusra is part of the competition between Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri on the future and the leadership of the global jihad. It reflects a decentralized strategy of AQ’s central leadership.’

As Joscelyn observes:

‘Al Qaeda’s branches technically owe their loyalty to Mullah Haibatullah as well.

In al Qaeda’s hierarchy, the regional branches — AQAP, AQIM, al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), Shabaab in Somalia and Al Nusrah Front — swear allegiance to Zawahiri. These groups are then responsible for waging jihad in their designated regions on behalf of al Qaeda. (Al Nusrah Front recently rebranded itself as Jabhat Fateh al Sham, or the “Conquest of the Levant Front.” The move was directed by al Qaeda’s senior leadership.)

Therefore, al Qaeda’s regional branches are loyal to the Taliban’s emir by virtue of their bay’ah (allegiance) to Zawahiri.’

Who is Sulayman?

Born in 1984, Mostafa Farag aka Mostafa Mahamed aka Abu Sulayman arrived in Australia with his family from Egypt in 1985, gaining Australian citizenship. He is said to have a Masters in education from Sydney University and was founder and director of Bankstown Arabic school Knowledge House.

In 2012, Sulayman was the founder of the Sydney childcare network which has defrauded the Australian taxpayer of $27 million. Yet ASIO knew he had extremist connections since around 2003? this staggers belief.

2012 was also the year Sulayman decamped from Australia to Syria where he was quickly shuffled up the Nusra/AQ food chain to his present position of lead propagandist. Initially he was responsible for an attempt to reconcile Nusra with ISIS, which failed.

‘As a result of ISIS’ effective online attacks, Al Nusrah has been forced to expose the identities of some of its most seasoned personnel, some of whom were dispatched to Syria by al Qaeda’s senior leadership. While previous reports identified Abu Sulayman as an Al Nusrah Front official in Raqqah province who was expelled by ISIS, little was known about his role in al Qaeda’s mediation efforts.

Abu Sulayman does not hide his allegiance to al Qaeda. On his own Twitter feed, which currently has nearly 7,000 followers, Abu Sulayman decribes himself as a member of “Al Qaeda in the Levant.”’

In 2015, the Murdoch press amplified and sanitised Sulayman’s rhetoric, indulging in another bout of promotion on July 15 this year.

“(The) terms of the Joint Implementation Group state that the areas which US and Russia will target are basically everywhere Assad isn’t,” Mahamed said in a Twitter post yesterday.

“Destroying JN (al-Nusra) would mean carpet bombs, genocide and wiping out whole communities.

“JN has become an inseparable part of Syria.

“JN are too deeply rooted into society to be exterminated as per US/Russian plans.”

At present Sulayman uses @LiveUpdateSyria war porn to bignote JFS revenge actions.

Why is all this information important? because there is a lack of understanding about the constituency and goals of “rebel” forces in Syria and their role in destabilisation serving long-standing US policy tilting at Syria, along with paid and unpaid “rebel supporter” pressure for US intervention via no fly zones in Syria. From the US State Department 18/8/16 daily briefing:

QUESTION: Just a quick follow-up on Afghanistan. People of Afghanistan, the last 93 years, they have gone ups and downs from one regime to another. Now in the last 30 years, they were freed by the U.S. from the Soviet occupation, and now they are under the occupation of Taliban and al-Qaida. And what they’re asking is if and when are they going to be free from these terrorists.

QUESTION: That’s my second question.

MR KIRBY: (Laughter.) I mean, Goyal, I can’t possibly put a date certain on the elimination of the terrorist threat in Afghanistan. And Afghanistan, as we talked about at the opening, isn’t – I mentioned Turkey – isn’t the only country that continues to face a very real threat from terrorism, and we know that groups like Daesh are trying to expand their influence there. And we know that not every member of the Taliban has and is willing to embrace the political process moving forward. That’s why it’s important that the United States continue to make clear our intention and our support of a strong, sovereign, secure, stable Afghanistan.

From Vietnam, to Honduras, Grenada, Columbia, Chile, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and countless more US interventions, we need to remember and learn from history when the US targets countries in the name of “democracy” and “humanitarianism” it’s out of the frying pan and into the fire.

UPDATE

The Intercept provides yet another platform for Sulayman’s JFS sanitisation, erasure of his initial task in Syria to resolve differences with ISIS and concealment of the falsity of the “split” with AQ. Shame they didn’t ask him about the disappeared $27 million of Australian taxpayer money.

UPDATE 20/8/16

Preceding 2011 there were long term US plans for destabilisation and regime change, from placing Syria on the cartoonish “axis of evul” after 9/11 to tough sanctions to IMF debt and pressure to “neoliberalise”.

Recap back to 2006:

The US tilted at the Syrian government years before Clinton’s email where she said she wanted to dismember Syria “for Israel”.

For example, US cables in 2006 are clear:

‘A December 13, 2006 cable, “Influencing the SARG [Syrian government] in the End of 2006,”1 indicates that, as far back as 2006 – five years before “Arab Spring” protests in Syria – destabilizing the Syrian government was a central motivation of US policy. The author of the cable was William Roebuck, at the time chargé d’affaires at the US embassy in Damascus. The cable outlines strategies for destabilizing the Syrian government.’

At the bottom of my post last year, there’s more links and info about pre-2011 US dodginess in Syria, and particularly interesting are those involving Jim (James) Prince and the “Democracy Council” in Syria, Prince was also involved in similar schemes in the Palestinian OPT with “Best Plans” and “Free Muslims Coalition” Kamal Nawash. Worth a very close look indeed.

For more on Nawash and his astroturfing of the Palestinians, see here.

More on the Jim Prince “Democracy Council” astroturfing of Syria 2006 – 2009 here.

And more on US astroturfing of Syria here

‘Edgar Vasquez, a State Department spokesman, said the Middle East Partnership Initiative has allocated $7.5 million for Syrian programs since 2005. A cable from the embassy in Damascus, however, pegged a much higher total — about $12 million — between 2005 and 2010.

The cables report persistent fears among U.S. diplomats that Syrian state security agents had uncovered the money trail from Washington.

A September 2009 cable reported that Syrian agents had interrogated a number of people about “MEPI operations in particular,” a reference to the Middle East Partnership Initiative.

“It is unclear to what extent [Syrian] intelligence services understand how USG money enters Syria and through which proxy organizations,” the cable stated, referring to funding from the U.S. government. “What is clear, however, is that security agents are increasingly focused on this issue.”

U.S. diplomats also warned that Syrian agents may have “penetrated” the Movement for Justice and Development by intercepting its communications.

A June 2009 cable listed the concerns under the heading “MJD: A Leaky Boat?” It reported that the group was “seeking to expand its base in Syria” but had been “initially lax in its security, often speaking about highly sensitive material on open lines.”

The cable cited evidence that the Syrian intelligence service was aware of the connection between the London exile group and the Democracy Council in Los Angeles. As a result, embassy officials fretted that the entire Syria assistance program had been compromised.’

James Prince mixes with prime zionist evangelists including Rob Eshman at a Syria fundraiser last December in California

What this information indicates is that having committed to regime change early on, the US used its usual methods tried and tested throughout South America, Africa and elsewhere, working through its “humanitarian”, “democracy” fronts.

More on the DC and other astroturfing initiatives funding here.


UPDATE 6/9/16

The National Democratic Institute, chaired bythe price – we think the price is worth it” Madeleine Albright has worked/works over Syria.

‘Working with a local partner, the Syrian Civil Administration Development Center (SYCAC), NDI provides ongoing skills-building and training to local and provincial councils inside of Syria through a network of NDI-trained embedded governance advisors. Beginning in August 2014, activists identified in partnership with SYCAC have been taking part in a comprehensive training-of-trainers (ToT) program, which aims to equip them with knowledge, training skills, and a firm understanding of administrative and organizational facets of local governance so that they can begin to address local council needs and encourage community engagement.

NDI’s support to SYCAC dates back to 2012, when opposition activists responded to local governance needs by forming administrative councils in communities throughout the country. In December 2012, NDI assisted SYCAC to organize the first significant gathering of local council representatives in Ankara, Turkey. The meeting brought together more than 200 local council representatives from all parts of Syria to discuss, revise, and approve a set of bylaws to govern their practices and relationships between councils.

Using the same model of embedded advisory assistance, in early 2016 NDI launched a program in partnership with Creative Associates International to build the legitimacy of local councils inside Syria by improving governance, service delivery, and citizen outreach capacity.

NDI’s Citizen Syria civic education program, which has been ongoing since October 2013, aims to empower Syrian citizens to become active participants in political decision-making process at the local level.

NDI has worked with a number of established political parties and emerging movements on party development and organizational structure. The Institute’s partners have included: the Damascus Declaration; the People’s Party; Building the Syrian State; the Kurdish Youth Tanseekiyat Union; the Ahrar Party; the Muslim Brotherhood; the Democratic Platform; the National Change Trend; the Syrian Democratic Coalition; and the Yekiti party, as well as many others.’

The Ahrar Party and Muslim Brotherhood, eh.

Creative Associates Top Programs feature MEPI programs over several years.

Related Links

Who pays for ‘rebel’ propaganda?

The British government is picking up the Western-backed opposition’s $1.4 million annual tab influencing policymakers in Washington and at the American United Nations mission in New York, Justice Department records reveal. And Saudi Arabia helps get the rebel point of view in the media via the kingdom’s $8 million contract with PR giant MSL Group (formerly Qorvis).

Ruby Hamad shares the stories of Syrian refugees driven out by extremist violence and patriarchal oppression:

‘Three years ago, it had taken 29-year-old Hajar, a part-time beautician, all her powers of persuasion to convince her husband Majid to leave Aleppo after he had fallen under spell of the then-al-Qaeda affiliated group Jabhat al-Nusra (now called Jabhat Fateh al-Sham).

“The radical clerics brainwashed him,” she recalls. “His mentality totally changed. He just became so angry, so argumentative; it was impossible to discuss anything with him,” her voice drops. “He was always hitting me.”

The birth of their son brought a reprieve. Majid agreed to quit fighting and the family fled to Beirut. But Hajar’s relief proved short-lived and months later, Majid again turned on her and the children, blaming them for “taking him away from (his) jihad.”

“One time he drew a knife, as if to slaughter me. But my son saw it and fainted. That stopped him.”

When he announced that he was returning to Syria with their children, she hatched a plan. As his involvement with a terror group placed him on the Syrian government’s wanted list, his only option was to fly to Turkey alone and cross into Syria from there. She told him she would meet him in Aleppo with the children.

“We had sold everything. I had nothing left here, so he assumed I had no choice but to go back,” she replies, when I ask why he believed her. “But I didn’t go. There was no way I was going to follow him.” ‘

Storified US policy directions, present, past and future re Syria

More on the JFS rebranding and use of propaganda to sanitise, along with US and British PR funding.

In his terrific book on ISIS, leading academic specialist Fawaz Gerges explained that “Al Nusra has a Salafi-jihadist worldview that is similar to that of ISIS, with the two only differing tactically and operationally.”

Gerges observed that Turkey and Qatar have lobbied for JAN to split from al Qaeda central, in the hope that this could unite the anti-Assad opposition, and increase its chances of garnering Western recognition and support. Abu Mohammed al-Maqdisi, a Jordanian theoretician of Al Qaeda, reportedly said that Zawahiri was fine with JAN splitting from Al Qaeda, other than his concern that ISIS would be the primary beneficiary.

JAN took the plunge in July, renaming itself Jabhat Fatah al-Sham. Earlier that day, “Zawahri, gave the Nusra Front his blessing to break away. In his message, Golani thanked Zawahri for putting the interests of Syrians ahead of organizational concerns.”

Despite the obvious coordination involved, and the fact that the new organisation has not claimed any kind of ideological change, Joulani said the change was made “to remove the excuse used by the international community – spearheaded by America and Russia – to bombard and displace Muslims in the Levant: that they are targeting the Nusra Front which is associated with al Qaeda”

On the potential results of safe/no fly zones pushed by imperialist neocon pundits

So what do these outraged observers want “us” to do to ameliorate Syrian suffering? For prominent pundits and leading editorial boards, the answer is usually bombing the Syrian government. More often than not, they use humanitarian euphemisms like “safe zones” or “no-fly zones.” Rarely mentioned is the fact that establishing these zones would require US bombing of Syria’s air capacity, including infrastructure, planes, buildings, possibly troops. That would, in effect, be a declaration of war. How Russia would respond is anyone’s guess, but it would certainly heighten tensions between Washington and Syria’s longtime ally (which also happens to have the world’s largest nuclear arsenal). One 2012 Pentagon estimate found that enforcing a no-fly zone would involve at least “70,000 American servicemen”; another estimate insisted such an effort would involve “hundreds of aircraft, ships, submarines and other enablers.” These messy details are hardly ever mentioned when the do-something crowd calls for “action” in Syria.

Foul boofhead Efraim Inbar from an Israeli stink tank which consults for NATO and the zionist government advises long-term war in Syria, as if that’s not what the US has been and is facilitating with its contras. Norton, who appears to have rebranded himself on Syria recently, recycles the story here). Inbar previously recommended that Israel “mow the grass” permanently in Gaza every now and then. Inbar was in Australia in February, minimising ISIS fears and advising a credulous audience to focus on Iran if anywhere in the region.

Recalling Carl Bernstein’s expose of the CIA’s use of journalists back in 1977.

US training “rebels” then minimising the US role aided by the western media.

A four-year-long deliberate strategy of backing anti-Assad forces–which has helped fuel the bloody civil war and paved the way for the rise of ISIS–is reduced to a cheesy “bumbling bureaucrat” narrative.

French government supporting “Syrian journalism” in Gaziantep.

In April2014, CFI will open a media centre, the Syrian Media Incubator, in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, 60km from the Syrian border, to the north of Aleppo. This collective workspace aims to provide modern telecommunication tools and support Syrian journalists who are determined to continue relaying news from their country, whatever the cost.

As a reminder, CFI already works in partnership with International Media Support (IMS) and Reporters sans frontières (RSF), and, in particular, helped in2013 to set up an independent Syrian radio station called Radio Rozana, which broadcasts from Paris and relies on a network of 30correspondents based in Syria. CFI provided several training sessions for these correspondents in2013.

Max Blumenthal on the Syria Campaign and White Helmets vested capitalist, imperialist connections.

* Sulayman english twitter https://twitter.com/AbuSulaymanMM (last tweet Sept 26/16)
Sulayman arabic twitter https://twitter.com/AbuSulaymanUr (last tweet Sept 27/16)
Sulayman german twitter https://twitter.com/AbuSulaymanDE (last tweet Sept 27/16)
Sulayman syrian twitter https://twitter.com/AbuSulaymanPsh (now deleted ~ Oct 3/16)

JFS twitter https://twitter.com/JFS_Eng
JFS arabic https://twitter.com/J_FSham (a/c suspended ~ Oct 3/16) and https://twitter.com/J_F_Sham (still active)

Your Daily Al Qaeda

How the western media and twitter is assisting Sulayman to deploy AQ/Nusra/JFS propaganda. Here’s some screenshots from Sulayman’s English twitter feed.

National Security Legislation Amendment Bill 2010

Anti-terrorism laws have now been altered in Australia with some expansions of police powers and conditions that limit free speech. There has been little attention paid to these changes within the Australian media – the equal rights for gay marriage parliamentary debate has taken precedence.

“The National Security Legislation Amendment Bill 2010 seeks to achieve an appropriate balance between the Government’s responsibility to protect Australia, its people and its interests and instilling confidence that our national security and counter-terrorism laws will be exercised in a just and accountable way,” Mr McClelland said.

The legislation has been the subject of extensive public consultation and contains significant amendments, including:

* new powers for police to enter a premises without a warrant in emergency circumstances relating to a terrorism offence where there is material that may pose a risk to the health or safety of the public;
* extending the time available for police to re-enter a premises under a search warrant from one hour to 12 hours in emergency circumstances;
* establishing a maximum seven day limit on the detention period that may be disregarded when a person has been arrested for a terrorism offence;
* including a specific right of appeal for both the prosecution and the defendant against a bail decision relating to terrorism and serious national security offences;
* expanding the ‘urging violence’ offence so that it applies to individuals as well as groups who incite violence on the basis of race, religion, nationality, national or ethnic origin or political opinion;
* extending the expiration period of regulations proscribing a terrorist organisation from two to three years;
* amending the National Security Information (Criminal and Civil Proceedings) Act 2004 so that national security and counter-terrorism court proceedings may be expedited;
* establishing a Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement to extend parliamentary oversight to both the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Crime Commission; and
* extending the role of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS) to inquire into an intelligence or security matter relating to any Commonwealth Department or agency.

There is still no independent National Security Monitor established.

The Australian Council for Civil Liberties president, Terry O’Gorman, says Australia should have followed Britain’s lead five years ago in appointing someone to oversee the application of counter-terrorism laws.

Unleashed Cricket Venom at the ABC

There’s an offside article at ABC Unleashed today by Dileep Premachandran which disingenuously insinuates that it was Pakistani extremist elements who were responsible for the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team.

Here’s an expanded version of my comment at ABC Unleashed.

“Try telling that to those indoctrinated into a more poisonous faith, those infected with the virus of extremism.”

That’d be RAW, the Indian Intelligence Force, who appear to have been the perpetrators of the attack on the Sri Lankan cricketers. Payback for the Sri Lankan government’s pursuit of the LTTE and/or the Mumbai terrorism?

From the UK Telegraph:

“A leaked report from Punjab’s Crime Investigation Department (CID), passed to Pakistani papers reveals that authorities were warned almost six weeks ago, of a plot and urged the all security agencies in the state and federal governments to take special precautions to protect the visitors.

The report identifies the Indian intelligence service, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), as the force behind the plot – an accusation regularly traded between India and Pakistan – but specifically identified the drive between their hotel and the stadium as the scene of the attack.

Pakistani newspapers quoted the report, dated January 22nd 2009, warning:”It has reliably been learnt that RAW (Indian intelligence agency) has assigned its agents the task to target Sri Lankan cricket team during its current visit to Lahore, especially while travelling between the hotel and stadium or at hotel during their stay.

“It is evident that RAW intends to show Pakistan a security risk state for sports events, particularly when the European and the Indian teams have already postponed their proposed visits considering it a high security risk to visit Pakistan .Extreme vigilance and heightened security arrangements indicated.” A further letter from Punjab’s then chief minister Shahbaz Sharif’s office to Lahore’s Inspector-General of Police and security ministers, requested extra security protection for the tourists. “The chief minister has seen the enclosed source report and has desired that every effort may be made for the security of the Sri Lankan cricket team during its current visit to Lahore. He has further desired that extreme vigilance and heightened security arrangement may be made to avert any untoward incident,” his officials wrote.

More pertinent evidence is presented at Grande Strategy:

“Bags of ammunition was left in front of Al-Fatah store in neighborhood of Gulberg. Weapons left behind included 84mm Carl Gustav recoiless rifles, controversially a standard issue weapon to the Indian Army, a weapon not typically found with the Taliban.

Carl Gustavs are of Swedish origin and exported to the Indian army and never exported to the Mujahideen. RPG-22 rocket propelled anti-tank grenades, another standard issue for the Indian special forces (and another weapon less typical for the Taliban who more typically prefer RPG-7s) was also used. A senior defense correspondent, while remaining anonymous, states that the choice of weapons as well as other evidence, clearly indicates India’s hand in the present attack and is being seen as a “response” to the Mumbai attacks.

Terrorist attacks perpetrated by RAW have many previous precedents but given the present sensitivities and the Indian reaction to the Mumbai attacks, they could prove to be a catalyst for heightened tensions between the two beleaguered neighbors.”

Further, a coverup is afoot in the Punjab.

The Punjab governor on Thursday claimed that the CID report on RAW’s plan to attack the Sri Lankan cricket team was not provided to him or to his key official by the outgoing chief minister and his chief secretary. However, the facts show that following the imposition of governor’s rule, Taseer removed six key officials, who were in possession of the CID report, including the then-chief secretary Javed Mehmud, the then-IGP Shaukat Javed, the then-CCOP Pervez Rathore, the then-secretary to the chief minister Dr Tauqir, the then-secretary (coordination) to the chief minister Dr Ajmal and SSP (operations) Lahore Chaudhry Shafiq.

These officers were replaced by Taseer’s trusted men, including Khalid Farooq, appointed as Punjab IGP; Najibullah Malik, who was made chief secretary; Haji Habibur Rehman came as CCOP Lahore; Ahmad Nawaz Sukhaira, the principal secretary to the governor is now the secretary to the provincial chief executive; Tariq Najib Najmi is the new secretary coordination while Amjad Saleemi has been brought in as DIG (operations) Lahore. From amongst the top concerned officers only home secretary Nadeem Asif remained unchanged.

Analysis from the Frontier Post includes:

The overwhelming body of evidences is available that the Lahore carnage is being supported by the RAW agency and there are equally several veiled accusations that India’s involvement cannot ruled out because India was unhappy with Sri Lanka’s cricket tour to Pakistan.

..

In this regard, Indian establishment always disliked growing Pakistan and Sri Lanka’s diplomatic and strategic relationship and feeling threat for their hegemonic designs. India’s security establishment does not like Pak-Sri Lanka defence cooperation and they also have reservation about Sri Lanka’s tilt towards Pakistan. It is interesting to note that India has already refused to meet Colombo’s needs with regard to lethal weapons and at the same time, they want to disturb cordial relations between Pakistan and Sri Lanka with regard to the charting strategy against the country’s territorial integrity. In reality, diplomatic and strategic relations between Sri Lanka and Pakistan are not a new phenomenon because both countries have long-time understanding and close association. However, presently Islamabad is one of the Colombo’s largest suppliers of military equipment and it has no problem to supply lethal weapons to Sri Lanka for its counter-insurgency operations.

So, India wants to prevent Pakistan from gaining more ground in the region and for this purpose, in the recent past RAW arranged blast through LTTE on August 14, 2007 and targeted Bashir Wali Mohammed, Pakistan’s outgoing High Commissioner to Sri Lanka because of the defence cooperation between Sri Lanka and Pakistan. In this context, RAW has a long history of subversive activities in South Asian countries, including Pakistan and Sri Lanka. They are sponsoring sabotage and separatists movements to Balkanize the countries and for this purpose they are creating instability, political anarchy, and terrorism and always exploiting racial, cultural, sectarian, religious differences for further deteriorating the conditions to other countries.

Copies of the original CID documents are available at Teeth Maestro. The document’s main points are:

1. It has reliably been learnt that “RAW” (Indian Intelligence Agency) has assigned its agents the task to target Sri Lankan Cricket Team during its current visit to Lahore, especially while traveling between the hotel and stadium or at the hotel during their stay
2. It is evident that RAW intends to show Pakistan as a security risk state for sports events particularly when European and India teams have already postponed their proposed visits considering it a high security risk to visit Pakistan.
3. RAW has also collected photographs of leaders of Jamaat-ud-Daawa (Proscribed) and its establishment to target them
4. Extreme vigilance and heightened security arrangements indicated

The ABC owes the honourable sport of cricket a more complete coverage of the Lahore attack.

Conflating Terror with Arson – An Incendiary Trail

The Age recycled and then withdrew an unsourced story “Islam group urges forest fire jihad” which it previously published on 7 September, 2008, quoting those ubiquitous, unnamed US intelligence sources.

The 5 Pillar blog named the story at the time as propaganda.

The Age journalist, Josh Gordon, apparently scavenged his material from an outfit called World Tribune, who published the story on January 15, 2008. The World Tribune in turn sourced it from their brother operation, a subscription site called Geostrategic.com.

Since this site is subscription only I won’t follow that trail further, but note that their mainstay reporter is Bill Gertz, who is also an adviser on the World Tribune and writes for those bastions of journalistic excellence, the Washington Times, owned by the World Unification Church, and Murdoch’s Foxnews. Gertz has never completed a degree in journalism.

The Geostrategic teaser headlines give one an idea of the sensational thrills which lie in store for the intrepid subscriber – “Commission: Iran nuke program could be replicated throughout region”, “Rape case spotlights U.S., Algerian counter-insurgency ties” and the Backgrounder “Iran opening ‘offices and a lot of fronts’ throughout Latin America”, wherein we find those canny unnamed US intelligence officials quoted once again.

“U.S. intelligence officials believe the Iranian subversive activity is aimed at preparing to create a network of terrorists and other groups that could be called on to attack the United States and U.S. interests in the Western Hemisphere in response to any future U.S. strike on Iranian nuclear facilities.”

Perhaps these unnamed ‘intelligence officials’ feel it’s time for another Venezuelan coup attempt?

Here’s some unconscious irony – Robert Gates says ““They’re [Iran] opening a lot of offices and a lot of fronts, behind which they interfere in what is going on in some of these countries.”

According to Ben McGrath at The New Yorker, The World Tribune is associated, like the Washington Times with the World Unification Church.

Its editor and publisher, Robert Morton, is an assistant managing editor at the Washington Times and a former “corporate editor” for News World Communications, the Times’ owner and the publishing arm of the Unification Church, led by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon. (Morton and his wife, Choon Boon, are themselves followers of the Reverend Moon.)

Among the World Tribune’s other recent half-ignored scoops are that Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for last month’s blackout and that a North Korean defector stressed, during a meeting in July with White House officials, the need for a preëmptive military strike against Kim Jong Il.

Morton said last week via e-mail that he founded the site as an experiment, back in 1998, while serving as a media fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, a conservative think tank.

World Tribune.com more fairly qualifies as something between a newspaper and a rumor-mongering blog. Call it “blews.” In this sense, it is part of a loose network of mostly conservative sites—WorldNetDaily, Dr. Koontz’s National Security Message Board, debka File (produced by a pair of Jerusalem-based journalists thought to have moles in Israeli intelligence)—whose dispatches sometimes serve as the journalistic equivalent of trial balloons: a story may not be based on knowable facts, but it nevertheless may occasionally turn out to be right. (Much of the time, of course, it more closely resembles a Bat Boy update in the Weekly World News.)

The Age reports that US intelligence channels identified the jihad website earlier in 2008, whereas the World Tribune says the information was posted on the net in November 07.

A terrorist website was discovered recently that carried a posting that called for “Forest Jihad.” The posting was listed on the Internet on Nov. 26 and reported in U.S. intelligence channels last week.

According to both Age and World Tribune stories Abu Mus’ab al-Suri, who has vanished after apparently being rendered by the US to Syria since his capture in Quetta sometime between October and December 2005, said sulphuric acid and petrol should be used to start forest fires.

He is wanted in Spain for the 1985 El Descanso bombing and (as a witness)[2][4] in connection with the 2004 Madrid train bombings, and wanted in Syria[4].

Nasar [al-Suri] was initially mentioned by British media as a possible suspected planner in the 2005 transport bombings in London. Subsequent investigations have not revealed any evidence of his role in the terrorist attacks.

Al-Suri published his 1604 page masterwork on jihadist theory and strategy “The Call for a Global Islamic Resistance” in December 2004. In it he “strongly cautions against operations in which many ordinary Muslims, or non-hostile non-muslims, are killed”.

According to Spencer Ackerman, (whose article is flawed in that he seems not to have noticed Al Suri’s ideological falling out with Al Qaeda in 1998), Al Qaeda [or for al-Suri, Islamic Resistance] would go viral.

“I was searching for a method which the enemy has no way of aborting,” al-Suri explains in “The Call,” “even when he understands the method and its procedures, and arrests two-thirds of his operators.”

Rather than reestablish a loose network of terrorist cells with the remnants of a command-and-control structure, al-Suri urged aspiring terrorists to simply murder people in the organization’s name. One could become a member of Al Qaeda by “a system of action, not a centralized, secret organization for action.”

In a sense, by associating bushfires with Al Qaeda, the Age and World Tribune are assisting Al-Suri’s strategy.

Further, as Lawrence Wright says in The New Yorker on September 11, 2008:

The goal, he writes, is “to bring about the largest number of human and material casualties possible for America and its allies.” He specifically targets Jews, “Westerners in general,” the members of the NATO alliance, Russia, China, atheists, pagans, and hypocrites, as well as “any type of external enemy.”

Again, Al-Suri is quoted warning about targeting innocents:

Suri urges his readers to reject their own repressive governments and to rise up against Western occupation and Zionism. Although the leaders of Al Qaeda have long excused the slaughter of innocents, and many of its attacks have been directed at other Muslims, Suri specifically cautions against harming other Muslims, women and children who may be nonbelievers, and other noncombatants.

Not having read his book I am unable to confirm that al-Suri mentioned using sulphuric acid and petrol to start forest fires, as claimed in the World Tribune and Age, however none of the reviews I’ve come across of his book mention this, and such an act would seem to be in contradiction with his thoughts about innocents expressed above.

After searching several Google layers deep, I still have not found any sign of Abu Thar Al-Kuwaiti or the Al-Ikhlas Islamic Network which are mentioned in the Age and World Tribune – it would be appreciated if anyone reading this who can read Arabic can confirm the existence of these nefarious entities.

Why would such a badly sourced story which appeared in January 08 in the World Tribune about something allegedly posted on the net on November 07, 2007 be dredged up months later by the Age, then again in another 3 months?

Attorney-General Robert McClelland said the Federal Government remained “vigilant against such threats”, warning that anyone caught lighting a fire as a weapon of terror would feel the wrath of anti-terror laws.

Did McClelland base his comments on the September story in the Age?

Today in the Financial Times, McClelland seems to have toned down his rhetoric:

Kevin Rudd, prime minister, said he was outraged that many of the fires had been lit deliberately. “There’s no words to describe it, other than it’s mass murder,” he said.

Robert McClelland, Australia’s attorney-general, warned that arsonists could face murder charges if they were caught.

“Anyone who lights fires deliberately, with reckless disregard for the safety of their fellow Australians, in our view establishes the requisite criminal intent that would sustain a charge of murder,” he said.

Although arson is a factor in the bushfires that hit Australia in most years, evidence has been mounting that the proportion of those being lit deliberately has been increasing.

The Victorian Country Fire Authority said it believed a number had been deliberately relit by firebugs, as Australians call arsonists, after being -extinguished or made safe by firefighters.

According to the Australian Institute of Criminology, about half of all the country’s bushfires are started deliberately or prompt strong suspicions of arson.

UPDATE 6/9/16

According to WP, Al-Suri is still locked up in a Syrian prison.

AQ leader Zawahiri said in 2014 that Al-Suri was still in jail.

‘Zawahiri says he knew Abu Khalid al Suri “from the days of the jihad against the Russians” and he knew al Suri “until his capture in Pakistan” approximately a decade ago. Abu Khalid al Suri “was a colleague of the professor of the mujahideen, Sheikh Abu Musab al Suri, may Allah release him very soon, Allah willing.”

Abu Musab al Suri is a major jihadist ideologue whose teachings continue to influence al Qaeda’s thinking. The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, openly follows Abu Musab al Suri’s teachings. There are conflicting reports concerning his status in Syria, with some accounts saying he has been freed from Assad’s prisons.

However, Zawahiri’s message is the third instance in which senior al Qaeda leaders have used the phrase “may Allah release him” in reference to Abu Musab al Suri. This is a strong indication that he remains imprisoned.’

UPDATE 18/11/13

Was al-Suri released in Syria in February 2012? Did Assad release him and thousands of other jihadis as honeytraps or to function as propaganda “look at us, we’re killing terrorists”, or to annoy the Americans, or all of these?

Linking Al Suri to the Black Flags of Khorasan

This FP article says Al Suri was released in Feb 2012 too:

‘While not a household name like Osama bin Laden, Suri enjoys a burgeoning influence on the global jihadist movement, and particularly those based in the West. The veteran Syrian jihadist, whose real name is Mustafa bin Abd al-Qadir Sitt Maryam Nasar, is best known for his 1,600-page treatise Dawat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiyyah al-Alamiyyah (Call of Global Islamic Resistance), which articulates a strategy of decentralized jihad, rather than one that depends on clandestine organizations. If there is an architect of the jihadists’ post-9/11 line of attack, it’s Suri. ‘

Al Suri’s methodology used to bolster NSA power?

Syrian Opposition and Al Qaeda’s Abu Musab Al Suri

What many have forgotten is that Syrian Al Suri was al-Qaeda’s operations chief in Europe and the alleged terrorist mastermind behind the July 7 London bombings and is currently unaccounted for.
He was freed from a Syrian jail by President Bashar Assad’s regime before the civil war along with his deputy, Abu Khalid, in late December 2011.Both are now on the loose.
Guess what his specialty is apart from strategy and command? He is a mechanical engineer expert in chemical warfare!

Abu Musab Al Suri: Architect of the New Al Qaeda

Suri himself insisted in his writings that he was primarily a theorist and thinker, not an executor of operations. Hoever, he is suspected of having had deep operational involvement in a variety of conflicts, and, since 2001, attacks or attempted attacks on Western states. He fought with Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, where his experiences during American air strikes contributed strongly to his reassment of proper resistance tactics. He was suspected of involvement in the March 2004 Madrid bombing attacks and has been linked in some reports to attacks in London in July 2004.British authorities reportedly suspect that he had some involvement in the 1995 Paris Metro bombings, and he has signicant ties with terrorist cells in both Europe and the Maghreb, as well as a record of support for the Algerian terrorist organization Armed Islamic Group (GIA). Some reports also link him with Abu Musab al-Zarquawi, as both men are associated with a virulent dislike of Shia Islam. However, Suri might have acquired this position because of the sectarian situation in Syria. At least one account notes that the intellectually sophisticated and articulate Suri must have had a strong ideological impact on the barely educated Zarqawi.

Suri also ran a major training camp called Al Ghuraba (“The Aliens”) in Afghanistan during 2000-2001 that trained foreign fighters for Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Also, he is reported to have assisted in Al Qaeda’s experiments with chemical weapons. Suri almost certainly trained Al Qaeda operatives who went back to Europe and created sleeper cells.

Charles Swannack, U.S. Army General

The Encyclopedia of MiddleEast Wars. The United States in the Persian Gulk, edited by Spencer C. Tucker. p 1188

Syria’s Assad accused of boosting al-Qaeda with secret oil deals

“The regime is paying al-Nusra to protect oil and gas pipelines under al-Nusra’s control in the north and east of the country, and is also allowing the transport of oil to regime-held areas,” the source said. “We are also now starting to see evidence of oil and gas facilities under ISIS control.”

The source accepted that the regime and the al-Qaeda affiliates were still hostile to each other and the relationship was opportunistic, but added that the deals confirmed that “despite Assad’s finger-pointing” his regime was to blame for the rise of al-Qaeda in Syria.

After September 11, he co-operated with the United States’ rendition programme for militant suspects; after the invasion of Iraq, he helped al-Qaeda to establish itself in Western Iraq as part of an axis of resistance to the West; then when the group turned violently against the Iraqi Shias who were backed by Assad’s key ally, Iran, he began to arrest them again.

As the uprising against his rule began, Assad switched again, releasing al-Qaeda prisoners. It happened as part of an amnesty, said one Syrian activist who was released from Sednaya prison near Damascus at the same time.

“There was no explanation for the release of the jihadis,” the activist, called Mazen, said. “I saw some of them being paraded on Syrian state television, accused of being Jabhat al-Nusra and planting car bombs. This was impossible, as they had been in prison with me at the time the regime said the bombs were planted. He was using them to promote his argument that the revolution was made of extremists.”

Other activists and former Sednaya inmates corroborated his account, and analysts have identified a number of former prisoners now at the head of militant groups, including Jabhat al-Nusra, ISIS and a third group, Ahrar al-Sham, which fought alongside Jabhat al-Nusra but has now turned against ISIS.

Zawahiri urges ‘immediate’ end to Syria Islamist fighting

New Rudd Thoughtcrimes Proposal

Santa Rudd

 

No Right Turn looks at Rudd’s plans to replace the existing Australian sedition laws

with new laws with worrisome wording:

There’s this bit:

“The new counter-terrorism laws – to be drafted in the first half of next year – will cover attacks that cause psychological as well as physical harm…”

This current internationally accepted definition of terrorism (as seen in e.g. New Zealand’s Terrorism Suppression Act) includes acts which are carried out for the purpose of “induc[ing] terror in a civilian population” – but it still requires that they cause death, injury, or serious destruction. So, in order to be “terrorism”, it has to involve killing people or blowing stuff up. Allowing psychological as well as physical harm runs the risk of substantially lowering that threshold, allowing the misclassification of other offences as “terrorism”, with all that that entails. Given that anti-terror laws are already overused, that would be a Very Bad Thing.

In view of the sinister scope creep which is becoming characteristic of the Rudd government, let’s consider what might fall under the new Act’s ambit – like the incessant terrifying media reports of recession / depression we’ve come to know and loathe and which proved a self-fulfilling prophecy over the past year or so. What about religious preaching that induces psychological terror in congregations through threats of eternal fire and brimstone for transgressions? then there’s Santa Claus – he knows when you’ve been good or bad, so be good for goodness sake!

More pertinently, what about when government attempts to manipulate its electors into accepting a nanny state by implying that those who don’t back net censorship are pedophiles?