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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Will the real Al Qaeda please step forward?

Strange brewings and strange bedfellows in Iraq and Iran these days. If it was ever clear what the hell Al Qaeda really is and whether they actually have an independent existence apart from the CIA,MI6 and the ISI, it sure gets murkier every day with regard to Iran.

From ABC News (Australia): Al Qaeda threatens to 'annihilate' Iran
The self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq has given Iran a two-month ultimatum to stop meddling in Iraqi affairs or face all-out war, according to an audio tape posted on the Internet.

"We give... the leaders of Iran a period of two months to stop all forms of support to the rejectionists of Iraq, and stop direct and indirect interference in the affairs of the Islamic state," a voice attributed to the group's leader, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, said.

The term 'rejectionists' is used by Sunni militant groups to refer to Shiites, who dominate the Iraqi Government and are in a majority in both Iraq and neighbouring Iran.

"Otherwise, expect a fierce war that will annihilate you, which we have been preparing for over the past four years and just waiting to issue the orders to wage the campaign," the voice said.
Aside from this timeline syncing up quite nicely with reported US and Israeli plans to attack Iran before the end of the summer, what makes this even more interesting is that the CIA is now supporting, amongst others, a Sunni radical group against Iran called Jundallah ('God's Brigade'). This group is based in the border area of Baluchistan, Iran and southwestern Pakistan. According to the Christian Science Monitor:
The group, known as Jundallah... is made up of members of the predominantly Sunni Muslim Baluchi tribe which inhabits Pakistan's gas-rich province of Baluchestan, as well as neighboring regions in Iran and Afghanistan. In their exclusive report, which aired on Tuesday evening and was posted online on Wednesday morning, ABC News reporters Brian Ross and Christopher Isham said that while the US provides no direct funding, the group has been "secretly encouraged and advised" by the American government since 2005.
Jundallah had at least one particularly important member: Khalid Sheikh Mohammad's nephew, Abu Musab. Readers may remember that KSM, whose parents also hail from Baluchistan, was not long ago trotted out by American intelligence after having confessed in custody to a long laundry list of terrorist plots, including the murder of Daniel Pearl, the planning of the 9/11 attacks and the 1993 World Trade Center bombings, the latter of which he is alleged to have carried out with his other nephew, Ramzi Ahmed Yousef.

ABC News (US) reports that the Americans claim they are not providing direct funding to Jundallah (although they admit its leadership has met regularly with US officials), but that they find the alliance convenient for various reasons:
A senior U.S. government official said groups such as Jundullah have been helpful in tracking al Qaeda figures and that it was appropriate for the U.S. to deal with such groups in that context.

Some former CIA officers say the arrangement is reminiscent of how the U.S. government used proxy armies, funded by other countries including Saudi Arabia, to destabilize the government of Nicaragua in the 1980s.
In the world of international intelligence, it's often difficult to know where co-operation or infiltration leaves off and manipulation or a front group begins. Consider that NBC News reported in March that KSM was betrayed by a CIA asset that had infiltrated his group. So, when the media report, as the Times of India did, that British police have been infiltrated by radical Muslims, we have to ask ourselves which way that relationship really goes: who is really infiltrating who?

Answering it would seem to be a simple matter if we didn't already know the history of MI6 and MI5 manipulations and participation in terrorist plots in Britain, such as the Omagh bombing that killed 29 people, and the regularity with which British police reveal their infiltration or surveillance of local bomb plots, such as the liquid bombers of last year or the fertilizer bombers of 2004. In that last case, police admitted that the provider of the fertilizer was known to them and in the Guardian praised the convenient timing of the bust and the "close working relationships between the Metropolitan police's anti-terrorist branch, MI5 and local police forces. Sources said MI6, which operates abroad, was also involved."

While there are certainly both real (independent) and manipulated terror attacks - and not every bust is a secret plot of the police services - the Daily Mail's report that the second carbomb in London's recent set of 'failed' attacks was placed at an official evacuation point further raises questions about just what and how the alleged bombers knew and the true relationship between the two sides of the supposed war on terror.

And, knowing that the elite have placed their bets on terrorism as the defining excuse for their exploitation and violence at home and abroad, we can be forgiven for being both skeptical and concerned when the MI5 chief admits to knowlege of 30 ongoing plots and surveillance of 1600 suspects in Britain not long before America's own head of Homeland Security claims his 'gut feeling' is that we are headed into a summer of terrorism here in the US.

And, as if perfectly timed, Al Qaeda has issued new threats against Britain and American intelligence sources report AQ has sent or is in the process of sending new cells to threaten the US, just like it is against Iran. So, it's no surprise when we hear from Lt.-Col. Doug Delaney, chair of the Royal Military College in Kingston's war studies program, say in the Toronto Star that
It may well be that the key to bolstering Western resolve is another terrorist attack like 9/11 or the London transit bombings of two years ago, he says.

"If nothing happens, it will be harder still to say this is necessary."
No conspiracy, that comment. Merely a reflection of reality. When the ruling class needs terrorism, you can bet, one way or another, it will get it. If Al Qaeda or an affiliate doesn't deliver it independently, the security services have the resources and connections to make it happen. And, most of all, they have a self-interest in doing it.

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