Mujahedeen

Osama and Al-Qaeda II: The “War on Drugs”

“Drug networks are important factors in the politics of every continent. The United States returns repeatedly to the posture of fighting wars in areas of petroleum reserves with the aid of drug-trafficking allies – drug proxies – with which it has a penchant to become involved.”

– Peter Dale Scott, writer, political analyst


US and NATO presence in Afghanistan had long been viewed as an increasing financial burden notwithstanding the rise in suicides and deaths, with many questioning why it is that the respective armies were even there. (50% more US soldiers committed suicide in Afghanistan in 2012 than were killed in the country). [1] As Islamic militants and various strains of Al-Qaeda rebels are currently fighting alongside US, Israeli and NATO backed forces in Syria, the irony has not been lost on many members of the public who are beginning to see that they’ve been had.

A March 2013 Harvard Kennedy School Faculty Research study by Linda J. Bilmes and Daniel Patrick Moynihan placed the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in their proper financial perspective by calculating the cost for US taxpayers at $4 trillion to $6 trillion. That is an almost unimaginable number. The so-called war on terror and the fight against Al-Qaeda is slowly losing credibility even amongst the most staunchly nationalistic. Since the US military used 1.8 billion rounds of ammunition a year and imported bullets from Israel, the most militarised country on earth, then we can get some idea of how important this region is. For every rebel killed, it costs around a quarter of a million dollars which means that it could not continue forever – at least not at the same level of expenditure.[2] Controlling the regional drug-trafficking in the country plays a huge role in covert operations as it provides enormous income for black ops away from Congressional oversight. Nonetheless, US/NATO forces were desperate to secure their drug fortunes before pulling out and leaving a skeleton force to watch over them.

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“An Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier provides security during a satellite patrol along a poppy field in Marjah, Afghanistan, April 17, 2012.” (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. David A. Perez/Released, Source: Public Intelligence )

As we know from early posts in this series, after oil and the arms trade, drug trafficking is the third biggest global commodity with human trafficking following closely behind. Entry into Afghanistan wasn’t just a geo-political move but had multiple purposes, one of which was to allow Anglo-America to hark back to the British East India’s monopoly of Indochina opium by controlling the drug routes, with the CIA as one of the main suppliers. Drug smuggling and terrorism have a tried and tested symbiotic relationship. It is probable that one could not exist without the other. With the recent fines of imposed on HSBC bank for acting as chosen money launderer for drug cartels the world over it is not an exaggeration that underworld propped up the global economic architecture as toxic assets did their work. In 2015, it won’t be so easy.

The global narcotics market is estimated to be worth between $400-500 billion a year in profits with a more realistic figure being around $100 billion. [3] (Estimates focusing on profits, turnover and trade are routinely confused.) Heroin is the No.1 drug of choice for global addicts and organised crime, the intelligence community, commerce and banking which has effectively blurred to the point that there is no real distinction. International banking is saturated in drug money as a normal part of its financial architecture with IMF estimates at $590 billion and 1.5 trillion dollars in laundered money flowing through sequestered channels each year, representing 2-5 percent of global GDP. [4] That means competition for strategic control over these heroin routes.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimates that in 2003, opium production in Afghanistan generated “an income of one billion US dollars for farmers and US $1.3 billion for traffickers, equivalent to over half of its national income.”  [5] Almost a decade later, profits had increased by 18 percent alone between 2011 and 2012 according to the United Nations’ 2012 opium survey, which was undertaken with the Afghan Ministry of Counter-narcotics. This is one reason why Obama has reneged on yet another promise to withdraw US troops from the region. Secretary of State John Kerry announced a bilateral security agreement in November 2013 between the United States and Afghanistan that would allow for a lasting American troop presence through 2024. Billions of dollars of international assistance will be given to the government in Kabul, and by default, allow dominance in the drug trade to continue.

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U.S. Marine Corp in Opium field 2012. (Source: Public Intelligence )

Afghanistan is the largest grower and exporter of opium on the planet with a 92 percent market share of the global opium trade. [6] It is therefore no coincidence that the US military still guards the poppy fields in order to protect their multi-billion dollar trade from the Taliban who know exactly why it is so important to US interests. It was only after the September 11th attacks and the rise of the Mujahedeen that the drugs trade began to really take off. After the Bush Administration gave the go ahead for the US military and NATO allies to invade Afghanistan in October 2001 under the ridiculous label of “Operation Enduring Freedom” opium cultivation increased by 657 percent. [7] Today, the CIA’s dominance in the Golden Crescent drug trafficking region was only made possible with help from the US proxy Afghan government members such as Ahmed Wali Karzai, brother of President Hamid Karzai who had been on the CIA payroll just after the 9/11 attacks. [8] As well as weapons and training, drugs were a central part of the funding of the Afghan war and the role of the Mujahedeen with BCCI acting as launderer. International narcotics traffickers were crawling all over Afghanistan many of whom were on the payroll of the George H. W Bush’s CIA. The Pakistani government and the ISI were known to be a major facilitator of the drug trade. Even before the Soviets had invaded Afghanistan, the CIA had been funding Mujahideen guerrilla groups in the region as a part ISI alliance building.

The CIA’s military-intelligence operation in Afghanistan, and the “Islamic brigades” it created was originally formulated as the usual tactic of triggering civil wars in order to capture resources, be it minerals, opium or oil. In 1973 Afghan Prince Muhammad Daoud deposed the Afghan king with a little help from the Soviet Union, and an Afghan Republic was established. Which is where the CIA jumped in with their plan to fund Islamist extremists, including Gulbuddin Hekmatyar who would go on to be not only the leader in the resistance movement opposing the Soviets, but the most powerful Mujahedeen drug lord in Afghanistan. [9]

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Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (Source: AP/BBC News)

In April, 1985 President Ronald Reagan signed a secret order called the “National Security Decision Directive 166,” which gave the CIA official directives to expel the Russians ‘by all means available.’ Over the next decade the U.S. spent $10 billion to arm and train the Mujahideen. By 1986, while the Iran-Contra scandal was about to loom over the horizon an “overwhelming arsenal of guns and missiles” descended upon Mujahideen from the Reagan administration. Along with these weapons was a massive propaganda push targeting the Afghan schools with “$43 million just for the school textbooks.” This was achieved with the help of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the CIA working together “providing education behind enemy lines,” and: “… military support against enemies lines.” Afghan war chiefs “…were allowed to decide the school curriculum and the content of the textbooks,” where the content included violence and images of war designed to breed new fighters and condition children resistance towards the Russian invasion. [10] The purposeful stimulation and creation of Islamic fundamentalism was predicated on the CIA’s drug money beginning with Hekmatyar and with a little help from Saudi Arabia, received more than $1 billion.  [11]

Located at the crossroads of Central, South, and Western Asia, overlapping Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan, are multi-billion dollar drug routes protected by the US-sponsored government in Kabul. Michel Chossudovsky explains how the narcotics trade is determined by: “A hierarchy of prices” as a farming price in Afghanistan translated to retail price in fashionable cities in the West worth billions of dollars, “… sustained and supported by the US ‘War on Terrorism’.”


hsbcHSBC bank was fined over billion pounds for acting as money launderer for a variety of global drug cartels. Since it was only fined and not closed down it is free to continue its activities. HSBC and Barclays Bank are among many others in the banking industry who were also fined for rigging the market. Since these two banking corporations are the two main pillars of our present financial architecture closing them down wasn’t an option, as it would mean a total collapse. This was a deflection of objective reality that the core of global banking is both the purveyor, and completely dependent on, what is normalised fraud and corruption.


The proceeds of this vast drug trade is handled by the banks in the following fashion:

Drug money is laundered in the numerous offshore banking havens in Switzerland, Luxembourg, the British Channel Islands, the Cayman Islands and some 50 other locations around the globe. It is here that criminal syndicates involved in the drug trade and the representatives of the world’s largest commercial banks interact. Dirty money is deposited in these offshore havens, which are controlled by major Western banks and financial institutions. The latter, therefore, have a vested interest in maintaining and sustaining the drug trade.

… Once the money has been laundered, it can be recycled into bona fide investments not only in real estate, hotels, etc., but also in other areas such as the services economy and manufacturing. Dirty and covert money is also funneled into various financial instruments including speculative stock exchange transactions (derivatives), primary commodities, stocks and government bonds.  [12]

The repercussions of the CIA-Afghan drug lords and the domination of the opium fields meant heroin found an even greater supply from young Americans.  [13] In the 1980s drug related deaths shot through the roof as a result. Independent journalist Andrew Gavin Marshall summarises the impact: “… drug-related deaths in New York City rose 77 percent since 1979” and: “By 1981, the drug lords in Pakistan and Afghanistan supplied 60 percent of America’s heroin. Trucks going into Afghanistan with CIA arms from Pakistan would return with heroin ‘protected by ISI papers from police search.’ ”  [14]

By 1994, in a religious and economic vacuum Afghanistan saw the rise of the Taliban and its attempts to eradicate drugs and opium field production from the Afghan social landscape. The success in significantly reducing opium production, an economic livelihood for the CIA and Pakistani drug lords, was in large part the reason for the appearance of the Northern Alliance, a military-political umbrella organization created by the Islamic State of Afghanistan in late 1996 under the leadership of Defence Minister and CIA asset Ahmad Shah Massoud. The Afghan Taliban had a war on their hands which comprised of the Pakistan’s military, Al-Qaeda and most of the ethnic groups of Afghanistan including Tajiks, Pashtuns, Hazaras, Uzbeks, Turkmen and others.

In 2002, a campaign against genuine human rights abuses was highlighted as a pretext for removing the Taliban from power even though US/NATO forces had created its original power base in order to help fight the Soviet invasion. Now, presiding over a vast increase in military spending for NATO and the US and despite increasing economic problems at home, opium production went through the roof and straight into the pockets of various interested parties, including Afghan drug lords, Al-Qaeda, the CIA, Pakistani ISI and various Northern Alliance parties. It was carnival time.

What is also conveniently forgotten in so much media commentary is the nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits, identified by the US Pentagon officials which is another reason why the Ghazni Province has become such a jewel in the crown of imperial aspirations. Included in the deposits of iron, copper, cobalt and even gold is possibly the largest source of lithium which is crucial in the production of all electronic devices from lap-tops, to mobile phones, weapons to aircraft consoles, which is why the Pentagon has described it as the “Saudi Arabia of Lithium.”  [15]

As New York Times reporter John Risen explains in his 2010 article: “Instead of bringing peace, the newfound mineral wealth could lead the Taliban to battle even more fiercely to regain control of the country. The corruption that is already rampant in the Karzai government could also be amplified by the new wealth, particularly if a handful of well-connected oligarchs, some with personal ties to the president, gain control of the resources.”  [16]

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The United States presence in Afghanistan intended to drive a wedge between those oligarchs and encroaching Chinese interests so that it can corner the market in rare minerals as well as oil and narcotics. However, as the mid-1990s approached, the legacy of US interference in the region and the end of the Soviet-Afghan war had produced a maelstrom of militant Islamic training camps drawing in fighters from all over the world. Osama bin Laden returned from the Sudan in 1996 in order to command his own camps alongside warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar who took the lion’s share of control as the civil war raged about them. Afghanistan has become another narco-state of US induced chaos or, as one warlord exclaims:

“… essentially a lawless country. There is no civil law, no government, no economy—only guns and drugs and anger. … “For us, Afghanistan is destroyed. It is turning to poison, and not only for us but for all others in the world. If you are a terrorist, you can have shelter here, no matter who you are. Day by day, there is the increase of drugs. Maybe one day [the US] will have to send hundreds of thousands of troops to deal with that. And if they step in, they will be stuck. We have a British grave in Afghanistan. We have a Soviet grave. And then we will have an American grave.”  [17]

Since 1982 – 1991 Afghan opium production rose from 250 tons to 2,000 tons thanks largely to CIA support and their funding of the Mujahideen. However, bin Laden suffered heavy financial losses in 1991 with the closure of BCCI by US officials and could no longer rely on funding from his CIA superiors. This turn of affairs forced him to launder money from the drug trade to recoup his losses which gradually grew into a financial network, fully merging Islamic militancy with the global drug trade.  [18] According to author Roland Jacquard, “… Some of the money was handed back to organizations such as the FIS [a political party in Algeria]. Another portion was transferred by Ayman al-Zawahiri to Switzerland, the Netherlands, London, Antwerp, and Malaysia.” Money was also “… transferred from BCCI to banks in Dubai, Jordan, and Sudan controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood.”  [19]

Author Adam Robinson stated in his investigation into bin Laden: “During the summer of 1991 he discreetly made contact with many of the wealthiest of these individuals, especially those with an international network of companies … Within months, Osama unveiled before an astonished al-Turabi what he called ‘the Brotherhood Group.’”

The Muslim Brotherhood and their vast wealth replaced the BCCI as the main source of funding for Islamic militants and allowed a fascist form of Islamism and the growth of Al-Qaeda to flourish, sometimes straining at the leash of the Anglo-American intelligence apparatus.  [20]

 


Notes

[1] ‘Suicides at 10-year high in US military’ Associated Press, guardian.co.uk, June 8, 2012. “In the first 155 days of 2012 there was 154 suicides among active troops, around 50% more than the number killed in action in Afghanistan, according to Pentagon statistics obtained by Associated Press. This is the highest number in 10 years. Combat exposure, post-traumatic stress, misuse of drugs and debt problems blamed for increase.”
[2] ‘US Forced to Import Bullets from Israel as troops use 250,000 for every Rebel killed’ By Andrew Buncombe, The Belfast Telegraph, January 10, 2011. http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/
[3] United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (1997) – ‘World Drugs Report’ | ‘Size of the drug market’ Transfrom Drug policy Foundation http://www.tdpf.org.uk | “In the 2005 World Drugs Report the UNODC put the value at US$13bn at production level, $94bn at wholesale level and US$332bn based upon retail prices. It also acknowledged that the US$400bn figure had been criticised by some experts as being too high.”
[4] ‘HSBC money-laundering scandal almost puts Barclays in shade’ – “Being accused by Senate of operating money-laundering conduit for ‘drug kingpins and rogue nations’ is as bad as it gets” by Nils Pratley, The Guardian, 17 July 2012. | ‘Libor or Money-Laundering? Focus on Arcane Rate Rigging Reveals Deeper Media Prejudice’ By Martin Baccardax, International Business Times, July 17, 2012. | ‘Global banks are the financial services wing of the drug cartels’ By Ed Vulliamy, The Observer, July 21, 2012.
[5] The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) http://www.unodc.org/
[6] UNODC World Drug Report 2011: http://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/WDR2011/World_Drug_Report_2011_ebook.pdf (p.20)
[7] ‘War on drugs revealed as total hoax – US military admits to guarding, assisting lucrative opium trade in Afghanistan’ by Ethan A. Huff, Natural News, November 16, 2011.www.naturalnews.com/
[8] ‘Brother of Afghan Leader Said to Be Paid by C.I.A.’By Dexter Filkins, Mark Mazzetti and James Risen. The New York Times, October 27, 2009.
[9] op. cit. Dreyfuss (pp.260-263)
[10] ‘Back to school in Afghanistan’ CBC News Online, January 27, 2004. | The National, Airdate: May 6, 2002 Reporter: Carol Off, Producer: Heather Abbott ,Editor: Catherine McIsaac. | “American interests were well served. But after the defeat of the Soviet empire, the U.S. abandoned Afghanistan. The country descended into civil war. The U.S. gave almost no money to help rebuild after the war against the Soviets and no money to rewrite the school textbooks.”
[11] ‘Sources Claim CIA aid Fuelled Trade Center Blast’ by Colin Milner, Boston Herald, 1994.
[12] pp.232-233; America’s “War on Terrorism” by Michel Chossudovsky, Published by Global Research, 2005.
[13] The CIA has unquestionably been the agency at the forefront of the drugs and turning much of US society into a drug-dependent culture. On the CIA’s website wwwcia.gov/ we read “Helping Them Say No to Drugs” as the title on their “parents and teachers” page. They go on to say: “The CIA is proud to be at the forefront of the War on Drugs, but we only win this war with everyone’s help.” They even have a “kids page”. Rather like a serial killer giving advice on how to counsel his victims with the knife still at their throats.
[14] ‘The Imperial Anatomy of Al-Qaeda:The CIA’s Drug-Running Terrorists and the “Arc of Crisis” Part I By Andrew Gavin Marshall, Global Research, September 05, 2010.
[15]’‘U.S. Identifies Vast Mineral Riches in Afghanistan’By James Risen, The New York Times, June 13, 2010.
[16] Ibid.
[17] ‘Blow-back from the Afghan Battlefield’ By Tim Weiner, The New York Times, 1994.
[18] ‘Drug trade filled coffers of Taliban, Bin Laden Group,’ By James Rosen The Star Tribune, September 30,2001 | ‘Collapse of BCCI shorts Bin Laden’ By Richard Sale, United Press International, March 1, 2001.
[19] In the Name of Osama Bin Laden: Global Terrorism and the Bin Laden Brotherhood by Roland Jacquard, Samia Serageldin (Editor) Published by Diane Pub. Co. 2002. | ISBN-10: 0756767113 (p. 129)
[20] pp.138-139; Bin Laden: Behind the Mask of the Terrorist by Adam Morrison. Published by Arcade Publishing, 2002. | ISBN-10: 1559706406.

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Osama and Al-Qaeda I

By M.K. Styllinski

“The idea which is critical to the FBI¹s prosecution that bin Laden ran a coherent organisation with operatives and cells all around the world of which you could be a member is a myth. There is no Al Qaeda organisation. There is no international network with a leader, with cadres who will unquestioningly obey orders, with tentacles that stretch out to sleeper cells in America, in Africa, in Europe. That idea of a coherent, structured terrorist network with an organised capability simply does not exist.”

Jason Burke, author, quoted in The Power of Nightmares, documentary


The key to understanding some of the key reasons for the September 11th attacks lies in the history of bin Laden and the creation of Al-Qaeda. The problem is still perpetuated by a common public misconception that there is still a case of “us and them” between government forces and Al-Qaeda terrorism. The American public and some within the 911 Truth Movement and MSM are pressing for culpability for members of the Bush Administration and their part in allowing Al-Qaeda to launch attacks on the United States. So called politicians turned whistleblowers are largely criticising failure of intelligence or incompetence without seeing the root causes which lies at the heart the War on Terror as a piece of large-scale propaganda of which Edward Bernays would have been proud. As author and economist Professor Michel Chossudovsky mentions: “… in a bitter irony, the very process of revealing these lies and expressing public outrage has contributed to reinforcing the 9/11 cover-up. ‘Revealing the lies’ serves to present Al-Qaeda as the genuine threat, as an ‘outside enemy’, which threatens the security of America, when in fact Al-Qaeda is a creation of the US intelligence apparatus.” [1]

Al-Qaeda is more of a mercenary tool of global intelligence than a real terrorist threat. Regime change and resource exploitation are some of its goals. This necessarily incorporates radicalised individuals who serve as patsies and agents furthering the overall geo-strategy. They are a common form of collateral and cannon fodder. There is a wealth of evidence  for the interested researcher confirming the myth of Al-Qaeda from the mouths of whistleblowers, ex-Intel operatives, politicians, statesmen, authors and academics.

Leonid Shebarshin ex-chief of the Soviet Foreign Intelligence Service, who heads the Russian National Economic Security Service consulting company, said in an interview for the Vremya Novostei newspaper, that Al-Qaeda was an “all-mighty ubiquitous myth deliberately linked to Islam” in order to target “… the oil-rich Muslim regions.” He further commented: “The U.S. has usurped the right to attack any part of the globe on the pretext of fighting the terrorist threat…” and with military bases in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, Shebarshin said, “the United States has already established control over the Caspian region — one of the world’s largest oil reservoirs.” [2]

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The Shahada – the Flag of Jihad often seen flying with Al-Qaeda, Taliban and ISIL (Source: wikipedia)

It is here that the Three Establishment Model (3EM) interests converge. They do so from the seemingly innocuous beginnings of the Safari Club which had its relatively humble beginnings in homage to the colonial hunters of the British Elite, Cecil Rhodes and the Round Table.

Russell E. Train (cousin of John Train, the Pilgrims Society member and former financial advisor to CIA-ally John Hay Whitney) was a co-founder of the African Wildlife Foundation set up since 1961. According to Train’s biography his foundation had drifted away from the Safari Club which was in existence before 1958 and coyly described by him as “a newly formed organization set up by a local group of businessmen who had gone on a hunt together in Mozambique.” [3] Although certainly a white man’s big-game hunting troupe for Pan-European and Anglo-American big-wigs, one of these businessmen and founders was Kermit Roosevelt Jr. who had set up the club as an anti-communist outpost, the evolution of which was given the seal of approval by Henry Kissinger several years later. Among other states, Saudi Arabia had a large hand in financing operations in Morocco, Egypt and Iran, with a view to countering Soviet operations in the Middle East and Africa. [4]

The other important founder was Count Alexandre de Marenches, the director of French intelligence services representing Pan-European Synarchism in the region. It would thus represent the next phase in Anglo-American dominance in Africa. The WWF and the 1001 club were involved in its formation via Train, Arthur Windsor Arundel and Sue Erpf van de Bovenkamp [5]

With Nixon booted out over the Watergate Scandal 1974, this saw the arrival of a new breed of psychopaths in power who would preside over criminal rule just as they did on 9/11: Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld; Chief of Staff, Dick Cheney; Vice president Nelson Rockefeller (brother of David) and George H.W. Bush as CIA Director, who joined the Ford Administration and the Kissinger cabal. Under this motley crew, 1976 would see the consolidation of a coalition of intelligence agencies that would begin the comprehensive carving up of Africa. The Safari Club would become the central hub for American intelligence financing; the organisation of an international network of terrorists; the CIA’s role in the global drug trade; the emergence of the Taliban and the origins of Al-Qaeda.

The Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) formerly a small Pakistani merchant bank was transformed into an ISI/CIA front for the biggest world-wide money laundering enterprise in history. Its job was to accrue a network of banks to finance intelligence in Africa and other nations. Under Bush, the intelligence groups in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iran worked closely with the CIA who found could out-source their Intel operations through these nations which otherwise have been logistically difficult not least because French intelligence was still at the helm of the Safari Club.

1977 was the year that the Trilateral Commission were able to exercise their power more actively through Jimmy Carter’s administration, though in truth, the real power was sourced from Zbigniew Brzezinski as National Security Advisor, just one of many Trilaterals which infested the government at that time. Foreign policy would be steered towards Trilateral objectives which saw the colonisation of Eurasia as vital in eroding the power of the Soviet Union, seen as a continuing threat to US supremacy and resource scarcity. Iran would become the fulcrum of revolution which would lead to the destabilisation of Russia and her interests. “There was this idea that the Islamic forces could be used against the Soviet Union. The theory was, [that] there was an arc of crisis, and so an arc of Islam could be mobilized to contain the Soviets. It was a Brzezinski concept.” [6] The same old patterns of interference ensued.

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Zibigniew Brzezinski 1977 (wikipedia)

In 1953, the United States’ CIA initiated a coup in Iran under the codename of Operation AJAX, which sought to remove the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh. Almost thirty years later the Royal Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the dictator of Iran was suddenly no longer useful and Anglo-American allegiances now supported the fundamentalist Islamic opposition of Ayatollah Khomeini in favour of containment regarding Russia and access to oil. The media propaganda went into full swing for Revolution as preparations for a military coup inside Iran. In 1979, a coup proved unnecessary and Ayatollah Khomeini was smoothly installed as the Ayatollah of an Islamic Republic of Iran.

Much like the kinds of US-NATO-led incursions we saw in Libya and Syria in the last few years, human rights abuses, real and imagined, were floated excessively in the media. As social tensions rose in Iran the Shah’s secret police the notorious SAVAK were encouraged by US diplomats to embark on a campaign: “of ever more brutal repression, in a manner calculated to maximize popular antipathy to the Shah.”

True to form, the Shah fell into the trap laid by Zbigniew Brzezinski who had advised him: “… to be firm” in the face of demonstrations. [7]

After assisting the installation of fundamentalist Islam and just prior to the Iran-Iraq war Brzezinski met with Saddam Hussein and gave his support for the war ensuring that arms would be secured with the support of Arab oil-producing nations such as Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. [8] Though this war provided a bonanza for weapons manufacturers in the US, Britain and Russia it also served the American interests in fermenting continuing radicalism in the region so that pockets of conflict and the background of war would serve as cover for securing economic interests.

Meanwhile, as Islamic fundamentalism had been seeded and watered in Iran, Osama bin Laden had left Saudi Arabia to train the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan which the US government were training, arming, and funding to the tune of $3 billion thanks again to Brzezinski transplanting the Islamic foreign policy over to the “holy War.” Very soon, as the late Robert I. Freidman describes in The CIA’s Jihad: “… young Muslim men from across the Arab world, as well as from the U.S., flocked to Mujahedeen base camps outside Peshawar, Pakistan, where they were instructed in everything from making car bombs to shooting down Russian MiGs with U.S.-made Stinger missiles. Most of these recruits were fanatical Islamic fundamentalists who despised America just as much as they hated the Communist occupiers, but the CIA was willing to overlook that.” [9]

Osama bin Laden’s leadership in Afghanistan was vital in driving out Russia. The pretext used on this occasion was that the incumbent Afghan government was communist, which it wasn’t. The enormous investment handled by the CIA meant the creation and consolidation of bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda terrorist network with the blessing of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan – and American tax-payers’ money. [10]  Brzezinski’s strategy to lay a trap for Russia whereby the Mujahedeen’s guerrilla war would embroil the Soviet Union in their own Vietnam was supremely successful, leading to its withdrawal and eventual collapse. [11]

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Afghan Mujahedeen,October 1987. By Erwin Lux (Wikipedia)

Now that the Safari Club had managed to send out word through its extensive network of intelligence, numerous new recruits were harvested for the glorious jihad and holy war taking place in Afghanistan. Ahmed Rashid writing in Foreign Affairs explained: “With the active encouragement of the CIA and Pakistan’s ISI, who wanted to turn the Afghan Jihad into a global war waged by all Muslim states against the Soviet Union, some 35,000 Muslim radicals from 40 Islamic countries joined Afghanistan’s fight between 1982 and 1992. Tens of thousands more came to study in Pakistani madrasahs. Eventually, more than 100,000 foreign Muslim radicals were directly influenced by the Afghan jihad.” [12] Islamic fundamentalism provided ample opportunity for martyrdom with a fantasy paradise of umpteen virgins waiting for their courageous warriors should they take up arms against the Russian infidels.

Bcci_logoBy the time the Reagan Administration took over Vice President George H.W. Bush made sure the BCCI banking funds were on hand for an expansion of operations in Afghanistan and other regions primed for divide and conquer tactics. Journalist Seymour Hersh termed the Safari Club a “private intelligence group [which was] one of George H. W. Bush’s many end-runs around congressional oversight of the American intelligence establishment and the locus of many of the worst features of the mammoth BCCI scandal.” [13]

Australian journalist John Pilger also placed the onus firmly on the Anglo-American intelligence structure: “More than 100,000 Islamic militants were trained in Pakistan between 1986 and 1992, in camps overseen by CIA and MI6, with the SAS [British Special Forces] training future al-Qaida and Taliban fighters in bomb-making and other black arts. Their leaders were trained at a CIA camp in Virginia. This was called Operation Cyclone and continued long after the Soviets had withdrawn in 1989.” [14]

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Taliban fighters

In the early 1980’s Osama bin Laden already had firmly established ties between Saudi intelligence agency (GIP) their favourite Afghan warlord Abdul Rasul Sayyaf and the Intel chief, and possible middle man for the Mujahedeen groups – Prince Turki al-Faisal, bin Laden’s friend. Though bin Laden “… did have a substantial relationship with Saudi intelligence,” as journalist Steve Coll stated, he was likely not an agent. The CIA and the Safari Club were both working through al-Faisal and “ISI stooge and creation” war-lord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar in Afghanistan as well as the Pakistani ISI which had now become a powerful adjunct to the CIA thanks to General (later President) Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq’s military coup of 1977 who assumed the presidency in 1978. [15] It was no coincidence that Haq passed pro-Islamic legislation, created Islamic banking systems, and Islamic courts and introduced a new religious tax for the creation of tens of thousands of madrassas, or religious boarding schools. This was an offshoot of US policy to build radical Islam, via education that would indoctrinate generations of future Islamic militants for decades to come. This extended to the Pakistani military where “Radical Islamist ideology began to permeate the military and the influence of the most extreme groups crept into the army…” [16]

In 1984, bin Laden moved to Peshawar, a Pakistani town on the border of Afghanistan, so that he could help set up and run Maktab al-Khidamat (MAK) (meaning “Services Office” in English). This was a front organisation for the Mujahideen which funnelled weapons, money, and willing Jihad fighters from all over the burgeoning militant Islamic network straight into the increasingly ferocious Afghan war. [17] Meantime, Pakistan’s General Akhtar Abdul-Rahman met bin Laden on a regular basis in the city for Intel and financial dealings related to drug profits from the opium fields which by then were totalling around $100 million. By 1985, bin Laden and the ISI – effectively the CIA – were splitting the proceeds. [18]

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George H. W. Bush and BCCI

Rahman was a close friend of Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, who by now, was a CIA asset and recognised as an international drug trafficker at Interpol. A top US official said that Haq “was our man … everybody knew that Haq was also running the drug trade” and that “BCCI was completely involved.” [19] Then CIA Director William Casey and Vice President George H. W. Bush were fully aware of the connection and while meeting Haq in Pakistan allowed him to move his drug money through the BCCI in return for his role in the program which was to provide Intel, keep the radical Islamic factions at fever pitch and finance the war on terror network. On one such secret visit to training camps near the Afghan border in 1984, the CIA director spoke of a strategy to “… take the Afghan war into enemy territory—into the Soviet Union itself. Casey wanted to ship subversive propaganda through Afghanistan to the Soviet Union’s predominantly Muslim southern republics.” [20] It proved easy to do so. However, it would only be 3 years later that the two Generals Rahman and Haq would both be killed in a plane crash in 1988, widely believed to have been sabotage conducted by the MOSSAD who were concerned about Pakistan’s nuclear proliferation instigated by Haq. [21]

Zia_ul-Haq

Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq circa 1977

In 1990, the blind Egyptian cleric, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman was travelling to the United States in style – and on a CIA-supported, one-year visa as a reward for his propagandizing lectures in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Much to the confusion and consternation of many intelligence agents he was also on a State Department terrorism watch list that should have barred him from the country. Hand-picked as a spellbinder in order to whip up disaffected Arab immigrants for the required Holy War and in turn, to stir the support for Muslim rebels needed to topple the Soviet-backed government in Afghanistan, Rahman was proving an extremely useful part of a burgeoning Islamist network of agents. There were “Jihad offices” in Atlanta, Jersey City, and Dallas, the most important being the “Al-Kedah” (meaning “struggle”) set up in Brooklyn, New York, as the Al-Kedah Refugee Centre which served as fertile ground for Rahman and others’ spellbinding skills.

However, the winds of “blowback” were beginning to whistle through the ranks of Arab-CIA assets, most of whom gave lectures at Al-Kedah which would eventually be implicated in the World Trade Centre Bombings in 1993. Over $600 million was funnelled to this precursor organisation to Al-Qaeda and from several smaller outfits benefiting from CIA funds along with rich Pakistani and Saudi Arabian donors. [22] It would continue to be the main financial hub for CIA chaperoned, Al-Qaeda terrorists so that they could form the so-called network of cells within the United States, heavily monitored and managed by the FBI and CIA. In the words of private Washington attorney and former investigative counsel for the Senate Foreign Relation, Jack Blum: “We steered and encouraged these people. Then we dropped them. Now we’ve got a disposal problem. When you motivate people to fight for a cause – jihad – the problem is, how do you shut them off?” [23]

wtc1993

World Trade Centre Bombings 1993 – Another FBI entrapment set up?

But it was much more than simply forgetting to switch off a tap. This was adapted to a much larger, long-term objective where Al-Qaeda would come home to roost and serve as the bogeyman for a highly ambitious attack on American soil. The object of the CIA exercise was to keep other US agencies and even certain team members from looking too closely into the various issues related to assassinations and terrorist attacks on the homeland. As a growing number of FBI and CIA whistleblowers have proven – not always an easy thing to accomplish.

Another CIA asset rubbing shoulders with bin Laden was Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, a Palestinian preacher/spellbinder recruited from a small village Jenin, ostensibly as a diplomatic tool for uniting squabbling rebel factions in Pakistan. He became bin-Laden’s mentor persuading him to join the Jihad against the Soviets in Afghanistan. Azzam was asset gold due to his connections the Muslim Brotherhood, Saudi intelligence, and the Muslim World League and the Islamic Coordination Council in Peshawar, which supervised the military activities of the Arab Mujahedeen. Meantime, he could sip martinis and chat with the air stewardesses as he travelled for his frequent lectures in New York, at Al-Kifah and the Al-Farooq Mosque in Brooklyn and the Al-Salam Mosque in Jersey City calling for the “spark” of revolution “… that may one day burn Western interests all over the world.” As Freidman wryly mentions, a fact which drew so many of the CIA assets: “Azzam then asked his audience for donations, made out to his personal account at the Independent Savings Bank.” [24]

Having got too big for his Keffiyeh, Azzam was eventually murdered in a car bomb after accruing many enemies, including Osama bin Laden. No one really knew who had pressed the button but most were glad someone had. As with all allegations of foreknowledge and duplicity the CIA always plays dumb. As a New York investigator observed: “Left with the choice between pleading stupidity or else admitting deceit, the CIA went with stupidity.” [25]

From 1984 onwards, the CIA’s ability to twist itself into a spaghetti junction of lies became tragi-comic. As covert importation of Al-Qaeda terrorist and Islamic militants continued via MAK, one Ali Mohammed came to the attention of the media. A  major in the Egyptian army and a US operative he was tasked with training Islamic militants within the US. As yet another visitor to the Al-Kifah Centre and part of the army unit that was responsible for the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat he was involved in a special training program for foreign officers at the US Army Special Forces School at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, as far back as 1981. Mohammed was apparently purged from the Egyptian Army after the assassination and joined the Green Berets, reportedly travelling to Afghanistan in 1992 to aid the Mujahedeen.

In 1984, US officials told the media that they were forced to remove Mohammed due to his religious beliefs which were considered too extreme. Mohamed found his way to the CIA in Egypt and asked to join as a spy. (It’s as easy as that). CIA subsequently decided that he couldn’t be trusted on account of his associations with Hezbollah. He found himself on a terrorist watch list order to prevent him from coming to the US. However, Mohamed turned up with a brand new visa and moved to America sailing through customs without any problems, with the US State Department choosing not to explain to a thoroughly confused media. [26] Like so many of these stories, they are quickly forgotten.

In 1995, it was revealed at the trial of terrorist Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman, that Mohammed had been admitted to the US under a special visa program controlled by the CIA’s clandestine service. A subsequent search of his New Jersey home turned up forty boxes of evidence which had the D.A.’s office and the FBI looked at it more carefully, would have revealed an active terrorist conspiracy about to boil over in New York. In addition to discovering thousands of rounds of ammunition and hit lists with the names of New York judges and prosecutors, investigators found amongst the evidence classified U.S. military-training manuals. They also found a video made at Fort Bragg featuring the Green Beret Ali Mohammed lecturing U.S. officers and officials on the politics of Jihad. On the video, Ali Mohammed sounds oddly like a radical fundamentalist himself, declaring that the Muslim world will never accept the existence of Israel.

The CIA was lying again and not quite getting away with it. Nonetheless, no action was taken and before long, Mohammed had found himself a wife and had settled into the American dream.

***

cook_robinRobin Cook

The late Robin Cook as UK Foreign Secretary, was outspoken in his resistance to the Iraq war and the lies of the then Prime Minister Tony Blair. Cook was one of the very few who resigned over the issue to become an ordinary back-bencher, stating: “I can’t accept collective responsibility for the decision to commit Britain now to military action in Iraq without international agreement or domestic support.” Cook also wanted to stop the export of aerospace jet fighters to General Suharto’s repressive regime in Indonesia. As he told the Guardian: “we will not permit the sale of arms to regimes that might use them for internal repression or international aggression. We shall spread the values of human rights, civil liberties and democracy which we demand for ourselves”. He was to be a vehement opponent and thorn in the side of the Blair government before his untimely death.

Many insiders believed that Cook was destined for a senior Cabinet post under the Brown premiership but this would have been problematic for the British Establishment who was set on Middle Eastern conquest. As Foreign Secretary, Cook would have had plenty of access to intelligence reports and related operations abroad. He is known to have considerably ruffled some feathers by breaking the official secrets act and discussing policy and future proposals. He was to do this in spectacular fashion by courageously speaking the truth regarding the War on Terror and the nature of Al-Qaeda which was “literally ‘the database’, and in Cook’s words: “… originally the computer file of the thousands of Mujahedeen who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians.” [27] The Guardian article appeared just after the 7/7 bombings and the incendiary speeches by Cook. Whatever ball the respected politician had started to roll it was not to last.

Robin Cook’s legacy in standing for truth was corroborated by a former French Intelligence agent Pierre-Henri Bunel, who wrote an article for the World Affairs journal based in New Dehli in 2004 where he repeated so many top level analysts’ conclusions: “The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al Qaida. And any informed intelligence officer knows this. But there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an identified entity representing the ‘devil’ only in order to drive the ‘TV watcher’ to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism. The country behind this propaganda is the US and the lobbyists for the US war on terrorism are only interested in making money.[28]

This is where global drugs market comes in …

 


Notes

[1] ‘“Revealing the Lies” on 9/11 Perpetuates the “Big Lie”’ by Michel Chossudovsky – Text of Michel Chossudovsky’s keynote presentation at the opening plenary session (27 May 2004) to The International Citizens Inquiry Into 9/11, Toronto, 25-30 May 2004. http://www.globalresearch.ca 27 May 2004.
[2] ‘Russian Intelligence Chief Says Al-Qaeda A Myth,’ MosNews| March 21, 2005.
[3] p.39; Politics, Pollution, and Pandas: An Environmental Memoir By Russell E. Train, Published by Island Press 2003.
[4] Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War and the roots of Terror by Mahmood Mamdani, Published by Three Leaves Publishing; Reprint edition, 2005. ISBN-10: 0385515375. (p.84)
[5] ‘World Wildlife Fund: The 1001 Club Mafia dons, intelligence agents, and raw materials executives striving for a sustainable future’ http://www.whale.to
[6] p.67; Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America by Peter Dale-Scott, Published by University of California Press, 2008. ISBN-10: 0520258711.
[7] Ibid. (p.81)
[8] The eight year Iran/Iraq war (1980-1988) is remembered as one of the most shockingly harrowing conflicts of the 20th century. It was reminiscent of the First World War in terms of sheer numbers of dead; territory shifting back and forth between the two sides like bone-dry seas, heavy with the burden of teenage corpses and the endless pain of grieving families. It was a lucrative time for the US, Russia, and various European nations eager to extend this barbarism in order to squeeze out the highest profits from a whole generation of beleaguered youths. Meanwhile, the rest of the Middle East looked on, until the final combined casualty list total reached one million. The combined profit from these arms deals however, is unknown, but we can guess at the obscene sums of money accrued. To further compound the misery and the arrogance of its leaders, nightmarish monuments were erected on the backs of an already broken people: the fountain of blood in Teheran, the soldier statuaries in Basrah and two giant crossed swords clasped by equally giant arms modelled on Hussein himself. They were also cast in a British foundry. It is testament to Zbigniew Brzezinski’s skill as a geo-political tactician and strategist as it is his cold absence of conscience.
[9] ‘The CIA’s Jihad’ By Robert I. Friedman, June 30, 2002. Current View Point -www.currentviewpoint.com
[10] ‘Who is Osama Bin Laden? BBC News, 18 September, 2001.
[11] ‘The Soviets’ Vietnam’. Richard Cohen Washington Post. April 22, 1988.
[12] ‘The Taliban: Exporting Extremism’, by Ahmed Rashid, Foreign Affairs, Issue November-December 1999.
[13] ‘Seymour Hersh and the men who want him committed’, Salon.com by Matthew Phelan, February 28 2011.
[14] ‘Why Good Friends left behind.” By John Pilger, The Guardian, September 20, 2003.
[15] ‘It ain’t over till it’s over’ By Marc Erikson Asia Times November 15 2001.
[16] I Is for Infidel: From Holy War to Holy Terror: 18 Years Inside Afghanistan by Kathy Gannon, Published by Public Affairs, 2005. |ISBN-10: 1586483129. | (pp.138-142)
[17] ‘The Real Bin Laden’ by Mary Jane Weaver, The New Yorker, 2000.
[18] p. 29; Why America Slept: The Failure to Prevent 9/11. By Gerald Posner, Published by Random House, 2003.| ISBN-10: 0375508791.
[19] op. cit. Dale-Scott, (pp. 73-75).
[20] ‘Anatomy of a Victory, the CIA’s Covert Afghan War’ by Steve Coll Washington Post, July 19 1992.
[21] ‘Editorial:Another clue into General Zia’s death’ Daily Times Pakistan, December 2005. […] “former US ambassador to India, John Gunther Dean, suspects that General Zia ul Haq was killed by the Israelis. This is interesting enough but perhaps would not have made it beyond the slew of conspiracy theories that have been cropping up since Zia was killed in a C-130 plane crash if the US State Department had not chosen to ignore Mr Dean and later cashier him on grounds of being mentally imbalanced.
According to Ms Crossette’s account under the title ‘Reflections — Who Killed Zia?’, Mr Dean suspects that General Zia, his top commanders, the US ambassador to Pakistan, Arnold Raphael, and a US brigadier-general were killed by the Israeli secret agency Mossad because Tel Aviv was concerned about Pakistan’s nuclear ambitions following a statement by General Zia in 1987 that Pakistan was a “screwdriver’s turn away from the bomb”.But when Mr Dean expressed his views to the State Department at the time and insisted that the US must thoroughly investigate the Israeli-Indian axis, the Department accused him of mental imbalance and relieved him of his duties; this, despite that fact that Mr Dean was a distinguished diplomat who had garnered more ambassadorships than most envoys. Ms Crossette says that Mr Dean, now 80, wants the stigma of mental imbalance removed and is collecting his papers and is ready to share his thoughts. He lost his medical and security clearance because of his views and was forced to seek retirement in 1988.”[…]
[22] pp. 279-280; Devil’s Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam by Robert Dreyfuss (American Empire Project) Published by Metropolitan Books; 2005 | ISBN-10: 0805076522.
[23] op. cit. Freidman.
[24] Ibid.
[25] Ibid.
[26] ‘The Masking of a Militant’ By Benjamin Weiser and James Risen – A Soldier’s Shadowy Trail In U.S. and in the Mideast The New York Times, December 1, 1998.
[27] ‘The struggle against terrorism cannot be won by military means – The G8 must seize the opportunity to address the wider issues at the root of such atrocities’ By Robin Cook, The Guardian, July 8, 2005.
[28] ‘Al Qaeda: The Database’ By Pierre-Henri Bunel, Global Research, May 12, 2011 | Wayne Madsen Report 20 November, 2005.