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Many Iraqis believe ’suicide’ bombings done by US to start a civil war

Friday 16 September 2005

Ali Ghazi, also a Shia from the Iraqi deep south. "I believe it is the Americans who are doing this, pretending it is the Sunni, so there will be a civil war and they can control our wealth." Many survivors lying mangled by this morning’s bombs subscribed to a conspiracy theory according to which the US wants to rule Iraq by fomenting differences between Shia and Sunni.... many of those wounded denied there would be a war between Shia and Sunni. Mohammed Abdul Karim, an injured Shia at Noman hospital, pointed out that he was in a Sunni district and the Sunni doctors were doing everything to help him.

by Patrick Cockburn

A suicide bomber sparked Baghdad’s worst day of slaughter since the fall of Saddam 30 months ago when he lured labourers desperate for work towards his van by offering them jobs and then detonated explosives that killed 114 and injured 156 of them.

On a day when more than a dozen co-ordinated attacks thundered across Baghdad from dawn into the late afternoon - claiming 152 lives and wounding 542 - al-Qa’ida in Iraq said it was retaliating against a US-Iraqi operation directed at the insurgents’ northern stronghold of Tal Afar. And as the hours passed with car and roadside bombs shattering the relative calm of the past few days, fears of civil war intensified.

A posting on the internet by al-Qa’ida in Iraq said: "To the nation of Islam, we give you the good news that the battles of revenge for the Sunni people of Tal Afar began yesterday."

Today the carnage continued when 16 policemen and five civilians were killed and about 20 injured when a suicide bomber drove his car into a convoy of police vehicles in Baghdad’s southern Dora district, police said. Together with three other bombings, today’s death toll in Baghdad rose to more than 30.

Just 24 hours eariler, in Aruba Square in the Shia district of Qadimiyah, the crowd cried: "Why? Why? Why," as the dead and dying were carried out. Severed heads and limbs were stacked beside burnt bodies inside the gates of the local hospital, its floor slippery with blood.

"We gathered and suddenly a car blew up and turned the area into fire and dust and darkness," said Hadi, a worker who survived the blast. Along with some 1,500 others he had gone at dawn to the square where labourers traditionally wait to be hired. Most of those who died were impoverished Shia workers from Iraq’s deep south who have come to Baghdad for jobs and sleep rough or in squalid hotels around Aruba.

Oily black smoke rose into the blue sky over Baghdad as more than a dozen bombs exploded across the city throughout the morning. Terror mounted as we heard the detonations. People stayed at home to avoid being caught by the blasts.

Fearing another suicide bomb, police and soldiers stopped vehicles entering Qadimiyah, at the centre of which are the golden domes of a much venerated Shia shrine. But angry and distraught people raced on foot to the nearest hospital to see if friends or relatives were alive or dead.

"Allahu akbar! Allahu akbar! God is Great! God is Great! This is a terrible disaster," chanted Sayef Ali Abed as he walked with a nervous gait as if frightened of what he would find at the hospital. "I heard what happened on the radio and came directly because I know my brother was looking for work there. I did not even tell our parents where I was going." In the hospital, Abbas Rada Mohammed, a distraught middle-aged man, was vainly studying a list of the names of 162 injured. "I am looking for my brother. Maybe he is dead or in another hospital."

The people torn apart were not the only ones to die in Iraq yesterday. In a Sunni village 10 miles north of Baghdad near Taji, men dressed as soldiers - and who possibly were soldiers - moved in just before first light and took away 17 men whom they handcuffed, blindfolded and shot. The dead included one policeman and several men who worked as drivers and construction workers at a US base.

One of the many reasons why Iraqis are becoming more terrified by the day is that they do not know if the policemen or soldiers who wake them in the middle of the night truly work for the government or are a death squad.

Another suicide bomb in northern Baghdad killed 11 people as they queued to refill gas cylinders. The attack in Qadimiyah was clearly aimed at killing as many Shia as possible since few Kurds or Sunni would have been present. Along with the other bombings, it was later claimed by al-Qa’ida in Iraq, led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Zarqawi also declared war on Shias, Iraqi troops and the country’s government in an audio message on the internet last night. The speaker, whose identity was not immediately authenticated, also said his militant forces would attack any Iraqi they believe had co-operated with the US-led offensive on Tal Afar. "This battle was timed to cover up the scandal of God’s enemy, Bush, in failing to deal with [Hurricane] Katrina," it said.

Tal Afar, a city of 200,000, is an ethnic and sectarian mosaic. About 70 per cent of its people are Sunni Turkmans, sympathetic to the insurgents, and 30 per cent Shia Turkmans supportive of the Shia-Kurdish government in Baghdad. The Iraqi soldiers that stormed the city along with US troops were mostly Kurdish and Shia. The attacks came only hours after Iraq’s President, Jalal Talabani, had stood beside President George Bush at a press conference in Washington.

Sa’af Jabber Ajmi, a Shia labourer from Nasiriyah, lying in the Noman hospital in the Adhamiya district, with shrapnel in his leg, shoulder and back, said: "I thought what happened was a reaction to the Iraqi President’s visit to the US." In another bed was Ali Ghazi, also a Shia from the Iraqi deep south. "I believe it is the Americans who are doing this, pretending it is the Sunni, so there will be a civil war and they can control our wealth." Many survivors lying mangled by this morning’s bombs subscribed to a conspiracy theory according to which the US wants to rule Iraq by fomenting differences between Shia and Sunni.

Near Noman hospital, gunmen killed a police general and other senior officers. When peoplewent to help them there was a second attack by a suicide bomber, which killed three soldiers and three policemen. These secondary attacks, now frequent, make it very dangerous to approach understandably jittery policemen and soldiers after an explosion because they may shoot at any vehicle approaching them.

At least three of the bombs were aimed at US patrols, with one Humvee being destroyed on the airport road, said witnesses. At least two soldiers were badly wounded. One US convoy was attacked just north of the Green Zone and the bomb injured 14 policemen. For 10 minutes afterwards there was the sound of heavy machine-gun fire.

Sectarian strife is increasing. In the mainly Sunni but hitherto mixed districts of Daura and Amariyah in south and west Baghdad, Shia residents have been shot and others intimidated into leaving. But at the same time many of those wounded denied there would be a war between Shia and Sunni. Mohammed Abdul Karim, an injured Shia at Noman hospital, pointed out that he was in a Sunni district and the Sunni doctors were doing everything to help him.

In the midst of this mayhem, Iraq finally agreed a constitution to be voted on in a referendum on 15 October. But it seemed hardly relevant yesterday.

Forum posts

  • At least Americas support of former Bathists groups raises questions. Nevertheless also questionable is the availability of explosives and the way it can slip through the tough American controls.
    As Amerian companies get their lion part of Iraqs reconstruction money and reconstruction became deconstruction it is in Americas favour to cover this crime by "Sunni" bomb attacks.
    The American backed crooks are sitting also in the so called interims government and the Iraqi oil minister favours American companies on ongoing exploitations in the oil fields.

    The WMD owners of United States have no morals! They are the real terrorists.

  • I haven not read today’s papers, however, they are all very quick to print that Zakhawi (or however the US spells the name of the man they made) call for a Sunni war on the Shi-ites, I bet they do not print the Resistance or the Muslim Scholars of Iraq edict that puts down Zakhawi’s shout.

    The MSM prints and wishes sectarian strife, Bush and Blair do all they can to smash Iraq into little pieces, Congress votes to send money to Iraq so that their unemployed can find a job, Parliament polishes their hypocrisy using nice and genteel words that mask murderous policies, the Knesset does not worry because their kith and kin have hijacked the most powerful governments in the world.

    The rapacious attitude of the north is being confronted by the South in the Star Chamber known as the UN.


    DOWN WITH THE babylonian MINDSET.

    • it is done by mossad and Iran and americans which are control by zionists! That simple.

      It is done by Mossad and Iran using some stupids arabs claim they are moslems and brain washed to die and kill innocent Iraqis. Iraqis shiatt or Sunni ...they are Iraqis before anything else....But the evil Iran which is control by Jewish disguise as persians which the the zioints planted them like Khomanei and Sistani and current Iraqi government are all an a gents of mossad! May hell will raise on them one day people shall expose them and let the whole world see them and their evil plans......they have done it theroughout civil war in war I, and war II...and korean, Vitnam...etc...and the installed revlution of Iran the most faked one in history of mankind.......Iran is Isarel.......

      FREE IRAQ from Opperssions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Iran is Israel??? What are you an Israeli shill?

      It is ISRAEL that wants attack of Iran. I suspect anyone rallying for that end.

      Iraqis are not at all concerned about Iran.
      But with Israel herself & her patsy murders, tortures of the USA & the colition of the cowards willing to sell out to the NWO elite. Al-Qaeda is a MOssad/CIA group. "Al-Kay Dees" as Bush so fondly refers to them, serves only Israeli interests. Just like every other front group Israel trys to decieve the world with. WHO DOES IT SERVE? FOLLOW THAT & YOU CAN ACERTAIN THE TRUTH.

      Free Iraq from US/Mossad. To try to pin Iraq on Iran is a DESPERATE Attempt to lay blame where it does not belong.We the seeing do not buy cloaked B.S. under Israeli lies for Israeli wars by proxy. So do NOT expect we the living to fall for your BS bait.

      Iran has NOTHING to do with lack of freedom in Iraq. Neither does Iraq have anything to do with 911. Rather ISRAEL is right in the center of both issues. Israel is a fetid little pariah state & Israel is THE ONLY REAL PROBLEM IN THE WHOLE MIDDLE EAST. Thank God it is prohecied Israel will fall. So too will the west. We are watching it happen before our very eyes.

      "I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan." Rev 2:9-19, 3:9

    • you are a fool to think this. Americans do not kill themselves like this. only stupid people

  • The theories of American Army-or privately hired killers by the US government- being in reality behind the bombings is indeed true in all the attacks not directed at the American forces. The way it normaly occurs is at a check point a stopped Iraqi vehicle is planted with the bomb. The driver never even notices and is likely thanking god the psychotic soldiers didn’t decide to turn their 50cal’s on him. Depending on where the vehicle is going the timer is set and then boom.
    All one needs to ask is who does this benefit?Does it make any sense at all that these Iraqis, a fairly secular bunch, would be randomly bombing each other over sunni shiite religious differences? Or does it make more sense that the pentegon stratagists are seeking to Balkanize Iraq, keep down Arab unity and nationalism and most of all muslim unity so that they never face a strong enemy like the Russians did in Afghanistan? Israel has been doing this sort of thing for all it’s history and surely gave a lot of pointers.
    The give away however is when the name alQ is said. It does not exist outside of the conveniances of the CIA’s criminal gangster element.

    • This should have been obvious since the very beginning;it is amazing that the unfolding of this element should be just starting now, after so many months.This having been said, let’s not rush into identifying all Americans with the US, the so-called US-Government.Of course, this was not explicitly mentioned, nor even implicitly or tacitly referred to in the article,but given that this temptationcannot but lurk or surface at any moment, if not at every moment, it were well something were said about it.

    • Just because you don’t like the war dosn’t mean you have to believe crap like this.
      And what was that guy saying about their kith and kin in the most powerfull countries in the world
      that was a bit racist I think

  • Yeah, I think thst’s about right. Funny that’s what I’ve been thinking for some time.

  • The iraqi Kurds are Wahabi Jews, just like the Saudi royals, the Taliban and Usama Bin Laden. USA never bombed the Iraqi Kurds for 15 years. Afghan opium production is up 10,000% thanks to the Afghan president who is a Knight of the British Empire. The Israli Mossad Jews work for their commie Jewish masters at MI6 in London, just like CIA. That’s who is bombing London and USA too, including New Orleans’ levees, that wiped out a whole city. Its the Jew World Odor. This is the problem we all have to figure out how to solve, since Isael has over 400 nukes, including suitcase tactical nukes - that can nuke US cities and blame Arab terrorists... Jew Donald Rumsfeld Sir Knight of the British Empire put Jewish General Tommy Franks in charge of invading iraq. Jewish chairman of joint chiefs LL Limnitzer wrote Operation Northwoods treason, to terror-bomb USA and blame Cuba, which included Israel attacking USS Liberty to blame Egypt. Hitler, Stalin, Lenin and Marx were Jews, along with Sir Churchill and FDR. Do you see the pattern here?

    • You sir,the antisemitic comment before, are degrading any discussion by using offensive racist ignorant language. Shameful.

      As to the article, it is possible from analyst point of view that some ruthless groups want anarchy/civilwar and will harm with falseflag attacks to attain it.It’s been done before.Who benefits gives a list of possible perpetrators should this be the case. I too am highly skeptical Al Zakarwi is still alive. Was it not he in the false video of the imitation Isama praising the 911 event? If so,then he must be a stooge of those who wish to blame OBL. Was it he? The reports of his death may be wrong,chemical Ali was also reported dead and is now in prison apparently. strange that his mentor in Jordan (a Stooge country) is not persecuted and in fact has been just released and called for attacking US and USsupporters rather than the general people of Iraq,ie not to foment a civil war. I think the Kurds are going to have a bad payback for all this.None would be necessary if such games of power were not played with them all by those safely far away.

      By the way,the much described "car bomb" that killed over a hundred and maimed likewise,how could anyone know what the man allegedly said and then survive to tell the tale.Sounds more like a planted huge bomb or dronehit and a reporter making the story up to inflame and damage the resistance in the western eyes,as neocon stooge trolls have been using this non stop to criticise the resistence. what was the source of the description that there was aman in the car offering a job? Who survived to tell that one?

      Does anyone have a source point to the story?

      How can one bomb in a car/van kill and harm so many? This is more than the ratheon missile in the crowded market during the iraq invasion. Did they die from the burn or the cutting? Was it an incendiary device or a fletchette device? This type of forensic helps identify the perpetrators. With the crator in the road it is suspicious that it was under the vehicle or an airborne source , but the latter would have been seen.

      I pity the US, they are obviously led by fools or traitors to be repeatedly using excess force in a country occupied that they want to have settled and quiet to do business. Only those who want anarchy and division would promote this military action.There are a few options here and they may b allied, to a point. There are traitors,clearly, in the high ranks.They are traitors the the official values of the US people ,which I admire, and traitors to humanity by their warcrimes they are ordering to be done.
      No? Skeptical? Then try the logic.How can they really expect to win hearts and minds by using thirdgeneration napalm and carpet bombing of civilian targets that the Australian pilots refused to bomb?then shoot up protests,villages,towns and imprison and torture so many and then publish the damning evidence.(Notice the UK did not publish their own and tried them overseas in Germany-too canny for words)The US have paid in reputation,money and blood and as such are dramatically weakened. They have been cleverly set up for failure and those paying the price are the gittery soldiers in hell and the civlians suffering untold misery and harm. God have mercy.This is such a crime.

      Are JINSA military leaders making tactical decisions for the US? Fitzgerald should look at this too if he survives his plane flights/crazed random assasins/unbeknownst heartattack/unmeditated suicide on a walk in the forest.

      Those who benefit from a divided Iraq are the UK,Iran,Saudi,israel,maybe Syria and Turkey but I don’t think really a net benefit .Russia and China and the EU benefit from the weakening of the US power. Military industry benefit adinfinitum.

      cheers Bandikoot

    • Churchill and Lenin were not jews neither was Stalin, don’t confuse anti-jewish racist sentiment and a genuine rejection of zionist imperialism. Israel is an expanisionist, apartheid, racist state that was instrumental in helping the racist South African regime, it invaded Lebanon and killed 18,000 civilians, it practises genocide on the Palestinians and its supporters are instrumental in maintaining the genocidal global economic system that condemns entire continents like Africa to a slow and silent demise. Although they are only 2.5 % of the US population, jews represent 33% of that countries billionaires. Its cronies, the neo-cons, dominate the current US regime, Richard Perle, William Kristol, Wolfovitz and the like, and yes they happen to be jews. How do we know all this because many brave, anti-zionist jewish peolpe have brought it to light, literally risking life and limb to do so. How do we know about Israel’s adquisition of nuclear weapons, because of a very brave jewish scientist who was later kidnapped.tortured and imprisioned for 18 years revealed it to the world. As in every country, there is another Israel, an Israel that seeks a peaceful and just settlement to the Arab/Isaeli conflict. Don’t fall for the simple racist ploy of condemning people because of what they are, thats what Bush, Sharon, Blair and the rest of them do, you become just lke them. I suggest you read peolple like Normen Finklestein, Israel Shamir and others to discover that many Jewish people are as outraged and defiant about these crimes as any other group of decent people. People of goodwill who stand against the abomination of what we see in the world today must be blind to racism of any knd , we must work together to extirpate this disease from our midst, or maybe you have forgotten, neither Bush, Blair nor Cheney are jews, yet no-one is condemning the entire anglo-saxon race because of their evil. And by the way to answer your niggling doubt, no I am not jewish, in fact I’m of African origin.

    • Churchill not a Jew?...The dog wagged like one...Churchill was a big part of the 1929 stockmarket crash...and depression in ameriKa. He came to ameriKa, took a little train ride from Califonia with Jew Charles Schwab to NY where he stayed with another Jew cohort Bernard Beruch (sp?) for about two weeks I believe..."SIR" Churchill addressed the NY Stock Exchange..."THE NEXT DAY THE STOCK EXCHANGE COLLAPSED"!!! Poor ole foolish the "story" goes, lost every dime he had invested in the ameriKan stock hoo hoo...but wait...Mr. Baruch claims that he and others tried to get "SIR" Winston Churchill to not envest in the "unstable stock market" (radio just coming out on the market, farm tractors plowing and planting like never before, movie theatres attracting thousands, etc, know...that type of instablility)...never the less, the "anti-Jew" Churchill invested anyway...end of the story...not!!!

      Seems as though "SIR" Winston Churchill’s Jew friends felt soooo bad about him loosing all his investments...that they decided to...what do you think??? You guessed it...his Jew friends decided to give him his money back...what sweet fellas eh? Do you suppose that his Jew friends told him..."good job Churchill, everyone was fool again by the false opposition, here’s your money"

      If "SIR" Winston Churchill was not a Jew...he missed a great opportunity...

      The stupid britons call Churchill a prophet...check out his website for his misadventures in ameriKa in 1929...they are in his "journals".

      P.S. Lenin was most deffinantly a Jewboy.

      P.S. Even Jew Rabbis have stated that "communism IS Judaism"...go figure...

  • There is only one place in the world, that I know of, where there is a group proclaiming themselves to be Muslim (and "Black" Muslim at that) refer to term "Nation of Islam", and that is in the United States of America. No Muslim/Moslem would proclaim such a thing.

    • I think the real way to look at this is: Is it at least POSSIBLE that these bombings were orchestrated by a 3rd force?? We’ll never know for sure, but with the right list of possibilities, motive will tip the scales. With the history of conflict in the world, the chance has got to be a big YES. I grew up in apartheid South Africa and after it fell we had a Truth and reconcilliation commission (ppl got amnesty for telling verifiable truth) - much so-called black on black violence emerged as govt sponsored 3rd force. In the climate of lawlessness in Iraq, it would be pretty easy to perpetrate. The thing I can’t figure out is how do they get ppl to sacrifice their lives - ok MKULTRA - but the economics of that wouldn’t work, unless it now takes days to ’turn someone’ - so tell me: how do u trick someone into blowing themselves and others up, especially their own ppl? i dunno

    • From a recent news report:

      Monday’s clashes stemmed from the arrest by Iraqi police on Sunday of two British soldiers, whom Iraqi police accused of planting bombs. Iraqi officials described the two as undercover soldiers dressed in civilian clothes and said a shooting incident broke out when police stopped their civilian vehicle.

      This would appear to be the first confirmed incident which links the occuping forces to the terror bombings against Shias.

      A Black Operation

    • How do they convince "Suicide Bombers" to do it - here are some pointers:

      1. The Invaders don’t need an actual live person in the car to drive it - remote piloted drone vehicles are a cinch to rig up with the technology at the disposal of US/Brit/Israeli forces - these can be loaded up with a half-tonne of explosives and the propped-up corpse of a tortured-to-death resistance suspect. Then steered to a Shia Mosque and BOOM!

      2. The Invaders regularly arrest people at roadblocks and take them in for interrogation - while the victim is being softened up by the heavies, his car is prepped with C4 lining for the door-panels and a radio detonator. He is then released and told to pick up his drivers licence at a named police station, where it has supposedly been sent to be checked for authenticity. The victim cannot believe his ’good fortune’ to escape alive and uncrippled from the hands of the Invaders, he drives to the police station, followed at a discreet distance by a US helicopter or spy-drone - soon as he pulls up to the cop shop BOOM!

      By such methods, and with the 100% compliance of the press the US/Brit terroists are trying to stoke the flames of civil war in Iraq. They hope the Iraqis will oblige by killing each other, rather than focussing in on the Invaders. But the Resistance is smart and united, with great support among the people - it will not fail in its objective to expel the Invaders with extreme prejudice

      Victory to the Resistance - Iraqi Homeland Defenders

  • this is what was shown, i mean unwilling...and what hidding is worse

    BAGHDAD, Sept. 19 (Xinhuanet) — Iraqi police detained two British soldiers in civilian clothes in the southern city Basra for firing on a police station on Monday, police said.
    "Two persons wearing Arab uniforms opened fire at a police station in Basra. A police patrol followed the attackers and captured them to discover they were two British soldiers," an Interior Ministry source told Xinhua.
    The two soldiers were using a civilian car packed with explosives, the source said.
    He added that the two were being interrogated in the police headquarters of Basra.
    The British forces informed the Iraqi authorities that the two soldiers were performing an official duty, the source said.

    • The arrest of the two british soldiers has finally revealed what many already knew intuitivley, that the occupiers are behind the spate of so-called `suicide bombings´, as we suspect they were behind most of the kidnapping of foreigners. It wll be of no avail as the Iraqis know full well what is going on, although many more will lose their lives before the invaders realise the futility of their operations and turn to other tactics.

    • How our governments use terrorism to control us

      By Tim Howells

      Online Journal Contributing Writer

      Nov 28, 2005, 13:55

      The sponsorship of terrorism by western governments, targeting their own populations, has been a taboo subject.

      Although major scandals have received cursory coverage in the media, the subject has been allowed to immediately disappear without discussion or investigation. Therefore the appearance this year of two major studies of this subject is a welcome breakthrough, and provides essential reading for anyone struggling to understand the events of September 11, 2001 and the post September 11 world.

      The studies are complementary. NATO’s Secret Armies, Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe by Daniele Ganser concerns terrorism sponsored by American and British intelligence in Western Europe and Turkey between the end of World War II and 1985. The War on Truth, 9/11, Disinformation, and the Anatomy of Terrorism by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed chronicles the cultivation and sponsorship of militant Islamic terrorism by the intelligence services of the United States, Britain and Russia from 1979 to the present. Both studies are models of scholarship — meticulously documented and carefully reasoned — but the world they reveal will boggle the mind of the most wild-eyed conspiracy theorist.

      Creating "Communist" Terrorism to Fuel the Cold War

      NATO’s Secret Armies describes how following World War II the US and Britain, fearing a Soviet invasion of Europe, established "stay-behind" paramilitary units throughout Western Europe and in Turkey. Had the anticipated Soviet invasion occurred these units would have constituted ready made resistance groups, trained and armed, with secure communications with each other and with their allies in Britain and the US. In some counties, for example Norway and Sweden, these stay-behind units were true to their original charters, remaining inactive until they disbanded at the end of the Cold War. In other countries, however, the paramilitary units were activated by their handlers in the United States as part of a hellish "Strategy of Tension" designed to convince left-leaning populations in Italy, Germany, Belgium, Greece, Turkey and other countries that their very lives were at risk from communist terrorists. The arms and bombs originally intended for the Soviets were turned instead on their own compatriots with the aim of placing the blame for the waves of terrorist attacks on communists.

      In Italy the stay-behind operation was referred to as Gladio (Latin for "Sword"). The Piazza Fontana bombings that killed 16 and wounded 80 shortly before Christmas in 1969 initiated a wave of terrorist bombings in Italy by Gladio operatives that continued throughout the 1970s. The worst single bombing occurred in the Bologna train station in 1980, killing 85 and wounding 200. Another Gladio bombing in Brescia in 1974 killed eight and wounded 102, and the same year a train was bombed in Rome, killing 12 and wounding 48. The case that led to the discovery of the Gladio plots by the Italian courts was a 1972 bombing that killed three policemen.

      The Gladio operations in Italy are relatively well known and well understood because of several high level judicial investigations that received coverage in the European press and have been the subject of a few books. One contribution of Ganser’s book is to bring this material together in a concise and well organised format. Further, Ganser extends his study beyond Italy to examine the effects of stay-behind operations throughout Western Europe and in Turkey.

      I was quite surprised to learn that by far the most extensive and destructive stay-behind operations were those carried out in Turkey under the code name Counter-Guerrilla. Among other crimes, a long series of bombings, random killings and assassinations, covertly perpetrated by CIA-controlled Counter-Guerrilla operatives in the late 1970s, were used as a pretext for the military coup in 1980 that led to the installation of a pro-American and pro-Israeli government there. I was also shocked to learn that stay-behind operatives were responsible for a series of horrific terrorist attacks in Belgium as late in the Cold War as 1985, although this is still the subject of unconvincing official denials.

      One limitation of Ganser’s study, which he frequently laments, is the unavailability of official documentation because all materials relating to the stay-behind operations remain highly classified. All Freedom of Information Act requests to date have been denied by American authorities. One might have hoped that at least with the end of the Cold War such atrocious strategies would be renounced, and that the implicated governments would make every effort to come clean and ensure that this history would not be repeated. Unfortunately, as The War on Truth by Nafeez Ahmed makes clear, the Strategy of Tension has proved to be so useful a tool both in terms of global and domestic politics that, far from being abandoned, these despicable operations have become increasingly accepted and commonplace.

      Creating "Islamic" Terrorism for the Post-Cold War Era

      Ahmed’s study centres on the attacks of September 11, 2001, but the story begins in Afghanistan prior to the Soviet invasion in 1979. Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security advisor to President Jimmy Carter at the time, has described in an interview how, even prior to the invasion, the US had taken steps to fund the Mujahedeen warlords and to inflame militant Islam in the region. The aim was to destabilise the region and to force the Soviets to invade — to draw them into their own Vietnam-style quagmire.

      According to Brzezinski, "We did not push the Russians into invading, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would. That secret operation was an excellent idea. The effect was to draw the Russians into the Afghan trap." After the Soviets’ inglorious retreat from Afghanistan, and even more so after the collapse of the Soviet Union several years later, the policy of inflaming and exploiting militant Islam was credited by many in the US national security establishment for these historic developments. Ahmed has compiled irrefutable evidence that the United States did not abandon the militant Islamists after the end of the Cold War. In fact, American leadership at the very highest levels has continued to covertly protect, assist and guide militant Islam in general and al-Qaeda in particular in geopolitically important areas around the world, including Central Asia, North Africa, the Balkans, and the Philippines.

      It is impossible to do justice to Ahmed’s densely packed 390-page presentation here, but I will give some representative examples.

      Sergeant Ali Mohamed Joins al-Qaeda

      Ali Mohamed, an Egyptian intelligence officer, was fired in 1984 because of his religious extremism. In spite of this and in spite of the fact that his name was on the State Department’s terrorist watch list, he was granted a visa to enter the US and became a US citizen. By 1986 he was a sergeant in the US Army and an instructor at the elite Special Warfare School at Fort Bragg. While in this position Mohamed travelled to Afghanistan to meet with bin Laden, and he assisted with the training of al-Qaeda operatives both in Afghanistan and in the US. His immediate supervisors at Fort Bragg
      were duly alarmed by these illegal activities, and reported them up the chain of command. When their reports failed to produce any action, not even an official debriefing of Mohamed upon his return from Afghanistan, at least one of his supervisors, Lt. Col. Robert Anderson, concluded that Mohamed had been acting as part of an operation sanctioned by an American intelligence agency, "probably the CIA."

      Mohamed’s activities in support of al-Qaeda throughout the 1990s were of the highest significance to that organisation. In 1991, he handled security for bin Laden’s move from Saudi Arabia to the Sudan. In 1993, Mohamed accompanied bin Laden’s second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, on a fund raising tour of the United States, again handling security arrangements. The funds raised helped support Zawahiri in a Pentagon supported mission in the Balkans, which will be discussed in the next section.

      The al-Qaeda members trained by Mohamed in the United States included several who were later convicted in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Top secret US Army training manuals supplied by Mohamed to the defendants were produced as evidence at their trial. Mohamed himself did the initial surveillance for the al-Qaeda bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. At the time Mohamed was on active reserve with the Special Forces and was a paid FBI informant. Mohamed was at long last charged with crimes in connection with the 1998 embassy bombings. In October 2000, he was convicted of five counts of conspiracy to murder nationals of the United States. However, the nature of Mohamed’s plea agreement, the sentence handed down, if any, and Mohamed’s present whereabouts remain secret.

      The Pentagon Brings al-Qaeda to the Balkans

      The US national security establishment did not miss a beat in seeking to replicate the triumph in Afghanistan in other geopolitically critical areas. The Soviet puppet regime fell in Afghanistan in February 1992. That same year, the Pentagon started importing Afghan jihadists organised by bin Laden into Bosnia to wreak chaos and fuel the civil wars between Muslims and Serbs that devastated the former Yugoslavia in the following years. Bin Laden’s second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, served as commander of the Mujahedeen forces in the Balkans.

      The role of the Pentagon in airlifting the Mujahedeen terrorists into Bosnia and Kosovo between 1992 to 1995 has been well documented and widely reported in the European and Canadian media, but almost completely ignored in the United States. However, the geopolitical advantages of breaking the former sovereign nation of Yugoslavia into a patchwork of NATO protectorates, under the firm control of the United States, did not go unnoted. New Republic editors Jacob Heilbrunn and Michael Lind celebrated the event in a New York Times article titled "The Third American Empire" published on January 2, 1996:

      "Instead of seeing Bosnia as the eastern frontier of NATO, we should view the Balkans as the western frontier of America’s rapidly expanding sphere of influence in the Middle East . . . The regions once ruled by the Ottoman Turks show signs of becoming the heart of a third American empire . . . The main purpose of NATO countries, for the foreseeable future, will be to serve as staging areas for American wars in the Balkans, the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf."

      The CIA Brings al-Qaeda to the Philippines

      In 1991, with the Afghan War winding down, the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group was formed in the Philippines around a core of radical Afghan veterans. They conducted their first kidnapping operation in 1992, and were responsible for a series of bombings and kidnappings throughout the 1990s that were highly destabilising for the Philippine government. Several high level al-Qaeda operatives, including Ramzi Yousef and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed were involved. Funding was provided by one of bin Laden’s brothers in law, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, an important figure in the funding of al-Qaeda operations worldwide.

      Ahmed cites many authoritative sources, including Philippine intelligence officer Rene Jarque, Lt. Col. Ricardo Morales, and Senator Aquilino Q. Pimentel, to show that the Abu-Sayyaf group has received special assistance and protection both from the Philippine military and from the United States. Pimentel in a speech before the Philippine Senate in July of 2000 accused the CIA of creating the terrorist organisation with the help of their contacts in the Philippine military and intelligence communities.

      Two incidents in particular have exposed the connivance of the United States in the Abu Sayyaf reign of terror beyond a reasonable doubt. In December of 1994, Khalifa was arrested during a visit to San Francisco on immigration violations.

      The FBI was aware of his ties to the Abu Sayyaf group and to al-Qaeda, and began a criminal investigation. Khalifa’s lawyers tried to stall the investigation and manoeuvre for extradition to Jordan. Incredibly, help came to Khalifa from on high. Secretary of State Warren Christopher personally wrote a three-page letter to Attorney General Janet Reno asking that the request for extradition be granted. Accordingly, the FBI investigation was cancelled and Khalifa was sent to Jordan per his own request, where he was soon a free man.

      The second incident is even more extraordinary and revealing. Michael Meiring, an American citizen, arrived in the Philippines in 1992 and promptly formed close working relationships both with high government officials and with rebel leaders in the Abu Sayyaf group. In 2002, in the midst of a wave of Abu Sayyaf bombings, Meiring accidentally detonated a bomb in his own hotel room in Mindao causing grave injury to himself, requiring emergency hospitalisation.

      US authorities immediately intervened. FBI agents and "agents of the National Security Council" swept him away from his hospital room, first to a hospital in Manila where Meiring was kept incommunicado and was treated by a doctor handpicked by the US embassy. Then Meiring was rushed back to the United States. Like Ali Mohamed, his fate and current whereabouts are unknown. Numerous attempts to have him extradited back to the Philippines for prosecution have been stonewalled by US authorities.

      The motivations for American support of terrorism in the Philippines are not hard to guess. In 1991, the same year that Abu Sayyaf was formed, the Philippines Senate had voted to close all US military bases in their country, an action with profound implications for the military posture of the United States in South Asia. In 2002, due to the destabilising effects of the Abu Sayyaf operations, the US military were invited back into the country to participate in operation Balikatan ("shoulder to shoulder"), a joint US/Philippine military exercise purportedly aimed at eliminating terrorism. These
      operations required special exemptions from the Philippine Constitution, which forbids foreign armies from operating on Philippine soil. Once again, al-Qaeda, with the help of their American friends, had acted to advance the geostrategic interests of the United States.

      The Grand Design

      The above examples are by no means isolated anomalies. The bulk of Ahmed’s fine book is devoted to recording a pattern of evidence that is finally overwhelming. As he says in conclusion, "not only does the strategy employed in the new ’War on Terror’ seem to provoke terrorism, but an integral dimension of the strategy is the protection of key actors culpable in the financial, logistical, and military-intelligence support of international terrorism."

      And Then There Is September 11 Itself . . .

      But what about the September 11 attacks themselves? Were they "blowback," i.e., unintended domestic consequences of foreign covert operations, or were they an integral part of the Strategy of Tension? Based in part on an analysis of intelligence warnings of the attacks, and on the absence of any air defence response, Ahmed strongly endorses the latter view. He reviews the dozens of very specific foreign and domestic intelligence warnings of terrorist attacks in the United States using airliners that came in the months leading up to the attacks. These in turn led to warnings issued by American intelligence to Pentagon officials, and to others, including author Salman Rushdie and San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, to cancel all flight plans on the day of September 11, 2001. Meanwhile, no action whatsoever was taken to warn or to protect the American public.

      Ahmed points out that the responsible authorities at the Pentagon and the Federal Aviation Administration have produced several profoundly contradictory accounts of their own actions on that day — each subsequent story seemingly an attempt to remedy the shortcomings of a previous one. And still no remotely satisfactory account of the failure to intercept even one of the four hijacked airliners has been produced. Under ordinary circumstances, interception of wayward aircraft by military fighters would have been absolutely routine; such interceptions occurred at least 56 times in the calendar year prior to September 11, 2001. Ahmed points out that the attacks were allowed to proceed "entirely unhindered for over one and one half hours in the most restricted airspace in the world." He finds the idea that this was due to negligence beyond belief. Instead he argues that there must have been a deliberate stand-down of the air defence system managed by senior national security officials including the vice president and the secretary of defense. The Future of the Strategy of Tension The books reviewed herein document a continuous history over the last 40 years of the United States and other governments fostering and manipulating terrorism for their own ends. Terrorist organisations have been used to destabilise inconvenient regimes around the world, and to sow chaos, which can then serve as a pretext for military intervention.

      Even more importantly, terrorism is used to create a crisis atmosphere at home under cover of which the crimes and corruption of government officials go unpunished, civil liberties are easily abandoned, and major wars can be launched under false pretences. Although at present there appears to be no reason for the terror-masters in Washington to consider changing their tactics, the publication this year of these two illuminating books raises the hope that the Strategy of Tension, which can only thrive in darkness and confusion, will ultimately have to be abandoned.

      Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, The War on Truth, 9/11, Disinformation, and the Anatomy of Terrorism, Olive Branch Press, An imprint of Interlink Publishing, 2005, Northampton, MA

      Daniele Ganser, NATO’s Secret Armies, Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe, Frank Cass, 2005, London and New York

  • Secret Warfare: How our governments use terrorism to control us
    By Tim Howells

    Secret Warfare: Operation Gladio and NATO’s Stay-Behind Armies

    05.3374 - Interpellation. Nato-Geheimarmeen. "Strategie der Spannung" und die Schweiz

    Konferenz "Nato Geheimarmeen und P26": Die dunklen Seiten des Westens

  • i’m really sorry for all the muslim communitys loss of there loved ones, my heart goes out to you. and i pray to Jesus Christ that they will see that you dont have to kill yourself to get to heaven, the Lord Jesus has already died for us. please dont be decieved! God Bless!