So Who’s Really Sponsoring ISIS? Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Other U.S. “Allies”

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Mass surveillance at home and endless military projection abroad are the twin sides of the same coin of national security, which must simply be maximized as much as possible. 

Conspicuously missing from President Hollande’s decisive declaration of war however, was any mention of the biggest elephant in the room: state-sponsorship.

A senior Western official familiar with a large cache of intelligence obtained this summer told the Guardian that “direct dealings between Turkish officials and ranking ISIS members was now ‘undeniable.’”

ISIS, in other words, is state-sponsored — indeed, sponsored by purportedly Western-friendly regimes in the Muslim world, who are integral to the anti-ISIS coalition. Which then begs the question as to why Hollande and other Western leaders expressing their determination to “destroy” ISIS using all means necessary, would prefer to avoid the most significant factor of all: the material infrastructure of ISIS’ emergence in the context of ongoing Gulf and Turkish state support for Islamist militancy in the region.

There are many explanations, but one perhaps stands out: the West’s abject dependence on terror-toting Muslim regimes, largely to maintain access to Middle East, Mediterranean and Central Asian oil and gas resources.

– From the excellent Nafeez Ahmed article: NATO is Harbouring the Islamic State

With the way the French government’s cracking down on the civil liberties of its own citizens, you’d think the general public was supporting and funding ISIS as opposed to the French government allies who actually are.

As an example, we learn the following from ArsTechica:

In the wake of last Friday’s attacks in Paris, France is bringing in new legislation extending the country’s temporary state of emergency to three months. The new laws also grant the authorities new powers to carry out searches of seized devices and to block websites.

Under the legislation, police searches of digital equipment are no longer limited to the device itself. Instead, they may also extend to include any data that is “accessible from the initial system or available for the initial system,” as the French digital rights site La Quadrature du Net explains. In practice this means police may use seized devices in order to search for “any type of information on any type of electronic device of any French resident and especially any information available via usernames, passwords collected during a police search, any content stored online.”

Finally, La Quadrature du Net points out a worrying vagueness in a section of the new law dealing with powers to dissolve groups or associations that “take part in committing acts that seriously endanger the public order or whose activities facilitate or encourage committing such acts.” For example, this could include “many associations promoting the use of encryption technologies, which are indeed used by criminals but also mainly by many innocent citizens.”

The fear is that by rushing through this legislation while emotions are understandably running high, the French government will pass measures with unforeseen and harmful consequences.

Well of course, but that’s the point isn’t it?

The reality is, Turkey and the West’s “Gulf allies” are the real players behind ISIS, not that you’d ever hear a word about it on the nightly news. So if you want to know the real story, the person I turn to time and time again is Dr. Nafeez Ahmed. Here are some excerpts from his latest, must read piece:

President Hollande wants European Union leaders to suspend the Schengen Agreement on open borders to allow dramatic restrictions on freedom of movement across Europe. He also demands the EU-wide adoption of the Passenger Name Records (PNR) system allowing intelligence services to meticulously track the travel patterns of Europeans, along with an extension of the state of emergency to at least three months.

Under the extension, French police can now block any website, put people under house arrest without trial, search homes without a warrant, and prevent suspects from meeting others deemed a threat.

Mass surveillance at home and endless military projection abroad are the twin sides of the same coin of national security, which must simply be maximized as much as possible.

Conspicuously missing from President Hollande’s decisive declaration of war however, was any mention of the biggest elephant in the room: state-sponsorship.

Syrian passports discovered near the bodies of two of the suspected Paris attackers, according to police sources, were fake, and likely forged in Turkey.

Earlier this year, the Turkish daily Today’s Zaman reported that “more than 100,000 fake Turkish passports” had been given to ISIS. Erdogan’s government, the newspaper added, “has been accused of supporting the terrorist organization by turning a blind eye to its militants crossing the border and even buying its oil… Based on a 2014 report, Sezgin Tanrıkulu, deputy chairman of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) said that ISIL terrorists fighting in Syria have also been claimed to have been treated in hospitals in Turkey.”

This barely scratches the surface. A senior Western official familiar with a large cache of intelligence obtained this summer told the Guardian that “direct dealings between Turkish officials and ranking ISIS members was now ‘undeniable.’”

The same official confirmed that Turkey, a longstanding member of NATO, is not just supporting ISIS, but also other jihadist groups, including Ahrar al-Sham and Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria. “The distinctions they draw [with other opposition groups] are thin indeed,” said the official. “There is no doubt at all that they militarily cooperate with both.”

In a rare insight into this brazen state-sponsorship of ISIS, a year ago Newsweek reported the testimony of a former ISIS communications technician, who had travelled to Syria to fight the regime of Bashir al-Assad.

The former ISIS fighter told Newsweek that Turkey was allowing ISIS trucks from Raqqa to cross the “border, through Turkey and then back across the border to attack Syrian Kurds in the city of Serekaniye in northern Syria in February.” ISIS militants would freely travel “through Turkey in a convoy of trucks,” and stop “at safehouses along the way.”

The former ISIS communication technician also admitted that he would routinely “connect ISIS field captains and commanders from Syria with people in Turkey on innumerable occasions,” adding that “the people they talked to were Turkish officials… ISIS commanders told us to fear nothing at all because there was full cooperation with the Turks.”

In January, authenticated official documents of the Turkish military were leaked online, showing that Turkey’s intelligence services had been caught in Adana by military officers transporting missiles, mortars and anti-aircraft ammunition via truck “to the al-Qaeda terror organisation” in Syria.

There is no “self-sustaining economy” for ISIS, contrary to the fantasies of the Washington Post and Financial Times in their recent faux investigations, according to Martin Chulov of the Guardian. As a senior ISIS member recently revealed to him: “They need the Turks. I know of a lot of cooperation and it scares me. I don’t see how Turkey can attack the organization too hard. There are shared interests.”

Meanwhile, NATO leaders feign outrage and learned liberal pundits continue to scratch their heads in bewilderment as to ISIS’ extraordinary resilience and inexorable expansion.

Some officials have spoken up about the paradox, but to no avail. Last year, Claudia Roth, deputy speaker of the German parliament, expressed shock that NATO is allowing Turkey to harbour an ISIS camp in Istanbul, facilitate weapons transfers to Islamist militants through its borders, and tacitly support IS oil sales.

Nothing happened.

Instead, Turkey has been amply rewarded for its alliance with the very same terror-state that wrought the Paris massacre on 13th November 2015. Just a month earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel offered to fast-track Turkey’s bid to join the EU, permitting visa-free travel to Europe for Turks.

In his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee in September 2014, General Martin Dempsey, then chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked by Senator Lindsay Graham whether he knew of “any major Arab ally that embraces ISIL”?

General Dempsey replied:

“I know major Arab allies who fund them.”

In other words, the most senior US military official at the time had confirmed that ISIS was being funded by the very same “major Arab allies” that had just joined the US-led anti-ISIS coalition.

These allies include Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, and Kuwait in particular — which for the last four years at least have funneled billions of dollars largely to extremist rebels in Syria. No wonder that their anti-ISIS airstrikes, already miniscule, have now reduced almost to zero as they focus instead on bombing Shi’a Houthis in Yemen, which, incidentally, is paving the way for the rise of ISIS there.

ISIS, in other words, is state-sponsored — indeed, sponsored by purportedly Western-friendly regimes in the Muslim world, who are integral to the anti-ISIS coalition.

Which then begs the question as to why Hollande and other Western leaders expressing their determination to “destroy” ISIS using all means necessary, would prefer to avoid the most significant factor of all: the material infrastructure of ISIS’ emergence in the context of ongoing Gulf and Turkish state support for Islamist militancy in the region.

There are many explanations, but one perhaps stands out: the West’s abject dependence on terror-toting Muslim regimes, largely to maintain access to Middle East, Mediterranean and Central Asian oil and gas resources.

Much of the strategy currently at play was candidly described in a 2008 US Army-funded RAND report, Unfolding the Future of the Long War (pdf). The report noted that “the economies of the industrialized states will continue to rely heavily on oil, thus making it a strategically important resource.” As most oil will be produced in the Middle East, the US has “motive for maintaining stability in and good relations with Middle Eastern states.” It just so happens that those states support Islamist terrorism…

Assad’s brutality and illegitimacy is beyond question — but until he had demonstrated his unwillingness to break with Russia and Iran, especially over their proposed pipeline project, US policy toward Assad had been ambivalent.

We must not ask unpatriotic questions about Western foreign policy, or NATO for that matter.

We must not wonder about the pointless spectacle of airstrikes and Stazi-like police powers, given our shameless affair with Erdogan’s terror-regime, which funds and arms our very own enemy.

We must not question the motives of our elected leaders, who despite sitting on this information for years, still lie to us, flagrantly, even now, before the blood of 129 French citizens has even dried, pretending that they intend to “destroy” a band of psychopathic murdering scum, armed and funded from within the heart of NATO.

No, no, no. Life goes on. Business-as-usual must continue. Citizens must keep faith in the wisdom of The Security State.

Very well said.

For related articles on how Western governments are using lies to crack down on civil liberties in the wake of the Paris attacks, see:

The War on Encryption and Bitcoin – Nothing to Do with Terrorism, Everything to Do with State Control

Government is Lying – New Study Shows No Increase in Use of Encryption by Jihadists Since Snowden Revelations

Paris Police Held Mass Shooting Training Exercise Hours Before Actual Attack

U.S. Government Moves to Exploit Paris Terror Attacks to Ban Privacy

A Message to Europe – Prepare for Nationalism

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

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5 Comments

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  1. It appears one possible reason Russia has entered the war to help jack up the price of oil.

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