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#Investigation How #IslamicState #oil flows to #israel -Al Araby - #EI #IS #Daesch #Daech #Turkey #Syria #Irak

#Investigation How #IslamicState #oil flows to #israel -Al Araby -  #EI #IS #Daesch #Daech #Turkey #Syria #Irak | News in english | Scoop.it

#Investigation How #IslamicState #oil flows to #israel -Al Araby -  #EI #IS #Daesch #Daech #Turkey #Syria #Irak


"IS sells Iraqi and Syrian oil for a very low price to Kurdish and Turkish smuggling networks and mafias, who label it and sell it on as barrels from the Kurdistan Regional Government. It is then most frequently transported from Turkey to Israel, via knowing or unknowing middlemen, according to al-Araby's investigation."

( take a look to *The Angry Arab*, an excellent blog, for more news like this http://angryarab.blogspot.ch/)

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How Many Fighters Does the #IslamicState Really Have? - War on the Rocks #IS #ISIL #ISIS #EI #Daech #Daesh

How Many Fighters Does the #IslamicState Really Have? - War on the Rocks #IS #ISIL #ISIS #EI #Daech #Daesh | News in english | Scoop.it

How Many Fighters Does the #IslamicState Really Have? - War on the Rocks #IS #ISIL #ISIS #EI #Daech #Daesh


Estimates of the number of fighters in the ranks of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) are extraordinarily wide-ranging. On the low end of thi
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#ISIS Recruitment Thrives in Brutal Prisons Run By #US -Backed #Egypt - #EI #Daech #Daesh #IS #Terrorism - The Intercept

#ISIS Recruitment Thrives in Brutal Prisons Run By #US -Backed #Egypt - #EI #Daech #Daesh #IS #Terrorism - The Intercept | News in english | Scoop.it

#ISIS Recruitment Thrives in Brutal Prisons Run By #US -Backed #Egypt - #EI #Daech #Daesh #IS #Terrorism - The Intercept


Mohamed Soltan, an American recently released from two years in Egyptian custody, saw the effectiveness of Islamic State prison recruiting firsthand.
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Le #terrorisme c'est aussi ça : "CNN Punished Its Own Journalist for Fulfilling a Core Duty of Journalism" #Syria #media

Le #terrorisme c'est aussi ça : "CNN Punished Its Own Journalist for Fulfilling a Core Duty of Journalism" #Syria #media | News in english | Scoop.it

Le #terrorisme c'est aussi ça : "CNN Punished Its Own Journalist for Fulfilling a Core Duty of Journalism" #Syria #media

par Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept, Nov. 20 2015, 6:23 p.m.

The journalistic climate created by CNN neuters journalists, rendering them impotent and their function largely irrelevant, writes Glenn Greenwald.


"...

This all happened after the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple complained that her original tweet showed “bias.” The claim that CNN journalists must be “objective” and are not permitted to express opinions is an absolute joke. CNN journalists constantly express opinions without being sanctioned.

Labott’s crime wasn’t that she expressed an opinion. It’s that she expressed the wrong opinion: After Paris, defending Muslims, even refugees, is strictly forbidden. I’ve spoken with friends who work at every cable network and they say the post-Paris climate is indescribably repressive in terms of what they can say and who they can put on air. When it comes to the Paris attacks, CNN has basically become state TV (to see just how subservient CNN is about everything relating to terrorism, watch this unbelievable “interview” of ex-CIA chief Jim Woolsey by CNN’s Brooke Baldwin; or consider that neither CNN nor MSNBC has put a single person on air to dispute the CIA’s blatant falsehoods about Paris despite how many journalists have documented those falsehoods).

Labott’s punishment comes just five days after two CNN anchors spent six straight minutes lecturing French Muslim civ..."


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Outside Powers Must End Their #ProxyWars in #Syria - The Intercept

Outside Powers Must End Their #ProxyWars in #Syria - The Intercept | News in english | Scoop.it

Outside Powers Must End Their #ProxyWars in #Syria - The Intercept


Nov. 19 2015, 6:19 p.m.


The bombing campaign in Syria will not defeat the Islamic State. Yet nothing would turn Iraqis and Syrians to the jihadis more quickly than a Western invasion.
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#Venezuela president orders investigation after report on #US spying #Oil #Snowden #Leaks - Reuters

#Venezuela president orders investigation after report on #US spying #Oil #Snowden #Leaks - Reuters | News in english | Scoop.it

#Venezuela president orders investigation after report on #US spying #Oil #Snowden #Leaks - Reuters

Source: Reuters - Thu, 19 Nov 2015 04:03 GMT

CARACAS, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Wednesday he had ordered an investigation into allegations that the U.S. government had spied on state oil company workers for a decade.

The Intercept website, citing documents it said came from whistleblower Edward Snowden, published an article on Wednesday saying that the National Security Agency had spied on top officials at state oil company PDVSA. (https://goo.gl/SXsaV7)

"The oil industry is the backbone of the Venezuelan economy," Maduro said on state television.

"The U.S. empire for a long time ... has intended to sabotage the oil industry and defeat the (Venezuelan) government, in order to steal the oil."

Neither the U.S. embassy in Caracas nor the State Department in Washington immediately responded to requests for comment.

Maduro said he had ordered an investigation and the delivery of a letter of protest to the U.S. charge d'affaires.

"We cannot accept this," added Maduro. "It is offensive, a violation of international law."

The United States and Venezuela have had a troubled relationship since Maduro's predecessor Hugo Chavez came to power in 1999. They have not shared ambassadors since 2010.

Last week, a New York court indicted two nephews of Maduro's wife, Cilia Flores, who are suspected of importing cocaine.

Earlier this month, Venezuela said a U.S. Coast Guard plane violated its air space and that other such planes were circulating close to the South American country.

Government critics say the anti-U.S. rhetoric is intended to cloak domestic problems - inflation thought to be in triple digits, shortages of basic goods and soaring crime rates - ahead of Dec. 6 legislative elections.

The oil industry, which accounts for 96 percent of Venezuela's foreign income, has been hit by falling prices. This week the price of the country's oil basket fell to its lowest in 2015, at $34.55 per barrel. (Reporting by Eyanir Chinea and Girish Gupta; Writing by Girish Gupta; Editing by Edmund Klamann)

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Why Is The #DailyBeast’s #Russia Critic Silent About So Many Hideous Abuses? #DoubleStandards #Media #Russophobia

Why Is The #DailyBeast’s #Russia Critic Silent About So Many Hideous Abuses?  #DoubleStandards #Media #Russophobia | News in english | Scoop.it


Why Is The #DailyBeast’s #Russia Critic Silent About So Many Hideous Abuses?  #DoubleStandards #Media #Russophobia

The Intercept - Glenn Greewald

Western writers like Sam Charles Hamad demand that their citizens focus on the crimes of other governments rather than their own.

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Day Before Deadly #Kunduz Bombing, #US Official Asked if Any Taliban Were “Holed Up” At #MSF Hospital - #USWarCrimes #US

Day Before Deadly #Kunduz Bombing, #US Official Asked if Any Taliban Were “Holed Up” At #MSF Hospital - #USWarCrimes #US | News in english | Scoop.it

Day Before Deadly #Kunduz Bombing, #US Official Asked if Any Taliban Were “Holed Up” At #MSF Hospital - #USWarCrimes #US


A report released today by the medical aid group Doctors Without Borders says a U.S. gunship killed doctors and medical staff as they fled from a burning hospital.


extract :


(..)

As the attack continued, despite increasingly frantic communications by MSF to the U.S. military informing them that the hospital was under bombardment, desperate staff were forced to operate on their own grievously injured co-workers. During the attack “an MSF doctor suffered a traumatic amputation to the leg in one of the blasts,” the report notes, explaining that “he was later operated on by the MSF team on a make-shift operating table on an office desk, where he died.”(..)

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Interview with #CharlieSavage (Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter with the New York Time) on #Obama’s #WarOnTerror Legacy

Interview with #CharlieSavage  (Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter with the New York Time) on #Obama’s #WarOnTerror Legacy | News in english | Scoop.it

Interview with #CharlieSavage  (Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter with the New York Time) on #Obama’s #WarOnTerror Legacy

The Intercept


Savage has become one of the most knowledgeable reporters chronicling the civil liberties and other controversies under the Obama administration.
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#US and #ArabiaSaudi Bombs Target #Yemen’s Ancient Heritage #Saada #Art - The Intercept #Barbarie #DoubleStandard

#US and #ArabiaSaudi Bombs Target #Yemen’s Ancient Heritage #Saada #Art - The Intercept #Barbarie #DoubleStandard | News in english | Scoop.it

#US and #ArabiaSaudi Bombs Target #Yemen’s Ancient Heritage #Saada #Art - The Intercept #Barbarie #DoubleStandard


Saudi airstrikes and American bombs are killing thousands of civilians and pulverizing Yemen's architectural history.
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Strikes on Raqqa in #Syria Lead to More Questions Than Results -New York Times

Strikes on Raqqa in #Syria Lead to More Questions Than Results -New York Times | News in english | Scoop.it

Strikes on Raqqa in #Syria Lead to More Questions Than Results -New York Times - 17th of November 2015


The strategy is renewing a debate about how effective such attacks can be in defeating the Islamic State, without measures like drying up its financial support or conducting a ground assault.

(..)

Several people in Lebanon, Syria and Turkey who have been able to make contact with relatives in Raqqa say the recent French airstrikes — a barrage of about 30 on Sunday night and seven more on Monday — did not kill any civilians. But neither did they inflict serious military damage, those people said, instead hitting empty areas or buildings, or parts of the territory of factory complexes or military bases used by the Islamic State.

Abdullah, a Syrian concierge in Beirut who reached his sister in Raqqa on Tuesday, said that in the case of the seven French airstrikes on Monday, “all these strikes are targeting abandoned empty locations.” The day before, he said, the 30 French airstrikes hit mainly the outskirts of the city. “Thank God, no civilians died,” he said.

(..)More French airstrikes, reaching 25 to 30, struck Raqqa late Tuesday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group in Britain that has a network of contacts in Syria. Many of the strikes hit deserted areas that had already been struck, but casualties were reported in addition to property damage, the group said.(...)

A Syrian government supporter from Raqqa who now lives in Beirut, Lebanon, and describes himself as a kind of freelance informant for government forces, said there had long been airstrikes in or around Raqqa nearly every day. Sometimes they are executed by Syrian warplanes, other times by the American-led coalition and more recently by Russia, the informant said, using only a nickname, Shadi, to protect family members still in Raqqa. But he added: “They don’t have too much impact on ISIS’s military situation.”

Earlier Russian airstrikes in Syria, including a few on Raqqa but also in other parts, had not proved much better than the government ones, because, he said, Russians lacked “people on the ground.”

Also complicating the international effort is the disagreement between Russia and the United States over whom and what to target. Russia insists that there is little distinction between the Islamic State and other insurgent groups, like the Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front and some American-backed factions. The United States insists that the focus should be on the Islamic State, and that some other insurgent groups are legitimate opposition forces.(..)


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SEND THIS VIRAL: JOURNALIST SPEAKS THE TRUTH ABOUT #PARISATTACK, & MUCH MORE


SEND THIS VIRAL: JOURNALIST SPEAKS THE TRUTH ABOUT #PARISATTACK, & MUCH MORE

Please do all you can to circulate this interview far and wide. RT is MSM, but it does allow some truths that CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, ABC, Fox would never allow.

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Exploiting Emotions About #ParisAttacks to Blame #Snowden, Distract from Actual Culprits Who Empowered #ISIS

Exploiting Emotions About #ParisAttacks to Blame #Snowden, Distract from Actual Culprits Who Empowered #ISIS | News in english | Scoop.it

Exploiting Emotions About #ParisAttacks to Blame #Snowden, Distract from Actual Culprits Who Empowered #ISIS

The Intercept

Nov. 15 2015, 1:23 p.m.

by Glenn Greenwald

Whistleblowers are always accused of helping America’s enemies (top Nixon aides accused Daniel Ellsberg of being a Soviet spy and causing the deaths of Americans with his leak); it’s just the tactical playbook that’s automatically used. So it’s of course unsurprising that ever since Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing enabled newspapers around the world to report on secretly implemented programs of mass surveillance, he has been accused by “officials” and their various media allies of Helping The Terrorists™.

Still, I was a bit surprised just by how quickly and blatantly — how shamelessly — some of them jumped to exploit the emotions prompted by the carnage in France to blame Snowden: doing so literally as the bodies still lay on the streets of Paris. At first, the tawdry exploiters were the likes of crazed ex-intelligence officials (former CIA chief James Woolsey, who once said Snowden “should be hanged by his neck until he is dead” and now has deep ties to private NSA contractors, along with Iranobsessed Robert Baer); former Bush/Cheney apparatchiks (ex-White House spokesperson and current Fox personality Dana Perino); right-wing polemicists fired from BuzzFeed for plagiarism; and obscure Fox News comedians (Perino’s co-host). So it was worth ignoring save for the occasional Twitter retort.

But now we’ve entered the inevitable “U.S. Officials Say” stage of the “reporting” on the Paris attack — i.e., journalists mindlessly and uncritically repeat whatever U.S. officials whisper in their ear about what happened. So now credible news sites are regurgitating the claim that the Paris Terrorists were enabled by Snowden leaks — based on no evidence or specific proof of any kind, needless to say, but just the unverified, obviously self-serving assertions of government officials. But much of the U.S. media loves to repeat rather than scrutinize what government officials tell them to say. So now this accusation has become widespread and is thus worth examining with just some of the actual evidence.

One key premise here seems to be that prior to the Snowden reporting, The Terrorists helpfully and stupidly used telephones and unencrypted emails to plot, so Western governments were able to track their plotting and disrupt at least large-scale attacks. That would come as a massive surprise to the victims of the attacks of 2002 in Bali, 2004 in Madrid, 2005 in London, 2008 in Mumbai, and April 2013 at the Boston Marathon. How did the multiple perpetrators of those well-(..)


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#UK could be prosecuted for #WarCrimes in #Yemen over #Saudi arms sales-The Independent #USA #StateTerrorism

#UK could be prosecuted for #WarCrimes in #Yemen over #Saudi arms sales-The Independent #USA #StateTerrorism | News in english | Scoop.it

#UK could be prosecuted for #WarCrimes in #Yemen over #Saudi arms sales-The Independent #USA #StateTerrorism

"Britain is at risk of being prosecuted for war crimes because of growing evidence that missiles sold to Saudi Arabia have been used against civilian targets in Yemen’s brutal civil war, Foreign Office lawyers and diplomats have warned." "Most of Saudi’s weapons are supplied by the United States. With help from the UK, the US is also offering logistical support, airborne refuelling, with a specialist Pentagon-approved team providing intelligence on targeting." ( take a look to *The Angry Arab*, an excellent blog, for more news like this http://angryarab.blogspot.ch/)



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#israel to Open Diplomatic Office in #UnitedArabEmirates - NY Times - #UAE #EAU

#israel to Open Diplomatic Office in #UnitedArabEmirates - NY Times - #UAE #EAU | News in english | Scoop.it

israel officialise de plus en plus son alliance objective avec les pays du Golfe qui sont soupçonnés de financer le #terrorisme djihadiste


#israel to Open Diplomatic Office in #UnitedArabEmirates - NY Times - #UAE #EAU

The mission at the International Renewable Energy Agency will be the first time in more than a decade that there will be an official Israeli presence in the Persian Gulf.

(...) The new mission represents a “very concerted effort” by the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel “to push for greater normalization with Sunni Arab states (...)


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#Emirates Secretly Sends 450 Latin Americans Mercenaries to Fight in #Yemen - NYTimes - #EAU #UAE

#Emirates Secretly Sends 450 Latin Americans Mercenaries to Fight in #Yemen - NYTimes - #EAU #UAE | News in english | Scoop.it

Vous êtes un psychopathe et  désirez gagner 2 à 3000 Dollars US par mois, blanchis et nourris ?

Engagez-vous comme mercernaire pour un pays de Golfe pour aller tuer les ressortissants d'un des pays les plus pauvres du monde : le Yemen

L'Occident ne s'indignera pas ..

Voilà.. le New York Times nous apprend aujourd'hui que les Emirats Arabes Unis ont envoyé secrètement une force de 450 mercenaires latino-américains (colombiens, salvadoriens, chiliens et panaméens) combattre au Yémen contre les rebelles

Un expert nous apprend que cela va devenir de plus en plus courant depuis que les USA ont légitimisé l'utilisation d'armées privées en Afghaniistan et en Irak et que les pays riches vont y recourir de plus en plus pour ne pas envoyer ses citoyens.

Il n'est pas fabuleux ce monde mondialisé ?


l'article du New York Times : http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/26/world/middleeast/emirates-secretly-sends-colombian-mercenaries-to-fight-in-yemen.html?mwrsm=Email&_r=0

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#CreatingTerrorists .. Former #Drone Operators Say They Were “Horrified” By Cruelty of #USA Assassination Program

#CreatingTerrorists .. Former #Drone Operators Say They Were “Horrified” By Cruelty of #USA Assassination Program | News in english | Scoop.it

#CreatingTerrorists .. Former #Drone Operators Say They Were “Horrified” By Cruelty of #USA Assassination Program

The Intercept


Nov. 19 2015, 8:31 p.m.


Four ex-pilots say the program and its many abuses contribute to the spread of terrorism.
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#Spain issues arrest warrant for #israel PM #Netanyahu over deadly 2010 flotilla raid #Wanted #Palestine #Gaza

#Spain issues arrest warrant for #israel PM #Netanyahu over deadly 2010 flotilla raid #Wanted #Palestine #Gaza | News in english | Scoop.it

#Spain issues arrest warrant for #israel PM #Netanyahu over deadly 2010 flotilla raid #Wanted #Palestine #Gaza


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top government officials could be detained if they step foot in Spain after a judge there issued an arrest warrant stemming from a deadly 2010 Gaza flotilla raid, but Israel is dismissing the move as a “provocation.”
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Anti-#israel Activism Criminalized in the Land of #JeSuisCharlie #CharlieHebdo & “Free Speech”-#BDS #Zionism #France

Anti-#israel Activism Criminalized in the Land of #JeSuisCharlie #CharlieHebdo & “Free Speech”-#BDS #Zionism #France | News in english | Scoop.it

Anti-#israel Activism Criminalized in the Land of #JeSuisCharlie #CharlieHebdo & “Free Speech”-#BDS #Zionism #France

The Intercept

Glenn Greenwald


Many who wrapped themselves in the 'free speech' banner earlier this year have no genuine belief in that right, writes Glenn Greenwald.


The post-Charlie Hebdo “free speech” march in Paris was a fraud for multiple reasons, as I wrote at the time. It was led by dozens of world leaders, many of whom imprison or even kill people for expressing prohibited views. It was cheered by many Westerners who feign upset only when free speech abridgments are perpetrated by Muslims, but not — as is far more common — by their own governments against Muslims.

Worst of all, the march took place in a country that is one of the most hostile to free speech rights in the West, as France quickly demonstrated in the days after the march by rounding up and prosecuting Muslims and other anti-Israel activists for the political views they expressed. A great, best-selling book by French philosopher Emmanuel Todd released this year argues that these “free speech” marches were a “sham,” driven by many political sentiments — nativism(..)

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Leaked Emails from Pro-#Clinton Think Tank Reveal Censorship and Pandering to #israel - The Intercept

Leaked Emails from Pro-#Clinton Think Tank Reveal Censorship and Pandering to #israel - The Intercept | News in english | Scoop.it


Leaked Emails from Pro-#Clinton Think Tank Reveal Censorship and Pandering to #israel - The Intercept

The Center for American Progress censored its own writers to placate anger from AIPAC and embraced some shockingly extreme policies of militarism.

(..)

The emails, provided to The Intercept by a source authorized to receive them, are particularly illuminating about the actions of Tanden (right), a stalwart Clinton loyalist as well as a former Obama White House official. They show Tanden and key aides engaging in extensive efforts of accommodation in response to AIPAC’s and Lewis’ vehement complaints that CAP is allowing its writers to be “anti-Israel.” Other emails show Tanden arguing that Libyans should be forced to turn over large portions of their oil revenues to repay the U.S. for the costs incurred in bombing Libya, on the grounds that Americans will support future wars only if they see that the countries attacked by the U.S. pay for the invasions.(..)

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Journalists who instantly exonerated the #US of #MSF #Kundiz hospital attack, calling it an "accident" - #USWarCrimes

Journalists who instantly exonerated the #US of #MSF #Kundiz hospital attack, calling it an "accident" - #USWarCrimes | News in english | Scoop.it


Journalists who instantly exonerated the #US of #MSF #Kundiz hospital attack, calling it an "accident" - #USWarCrimes

Many American journalists authoritatively declared this to have been an “accident” or a “mistake” despite not having the slightest idea whether that was true.

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The #Drone Papers #Obama #USA #USWarCrimes - The Intercept

The #Drone Papers #Obama #USA #USWarCrimes - The Intercept | News in english | Scoop.it

The #Drone Papers #Obama #USA #USWarCrimes - The Intercept


The Intercept has obtained a cache of secret documents detailing the inner workings of the U.S. military’s assassination program in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia. The documents, provided by a whistleblower, offer an unprecedented glimpse into Obama’s drone wars.
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Film Shows Chilling Climate for Muslims in Post-Charlie Hebdo #France #JeSuisCharlie .. #racism - The Intercept

Film Shows Chilling Climate for Muslims in Post-Charlie Hebdo #France #JeSuisCharlie .. #racism - The Intercept | News in english | Scoop.it

Film Shows Chilling Climate for Muslims in Post-Charlie Hebdo #France #JeSuisCharlie .. #racism - The Intercept


Reacting to an ISIS attack with increased hostility and persecution toward western Muslims plays perfectly into ISIS' hands.

Glenn GreenwaldNov. 17 2015, 4:07 p.m.

Yesterday, the New York Times published an article that was deeply alarming from the headline to the last line: “After Paris Attacks, a Darker Mood Toward Islam Emerges in France.” It describes how the relationship between France and “its Muslim community” is now “tipping toward outright distrust, even hostility” in the aftermath of last Friday’s violence. It highlights the fear experienced by French Muslims as they endure government vows of radical domestic crackdowns, a growing far-right anti-Muslim party, and waves of violently bigoted sentiments spreading on social media.

The NYT suggests this is a new phenomenon by contrasting it with the reaction to the Charlie Hebdo murders, which prominently included “grand public appeals for solidarity with Muslims.” But now, says the NYT, there is “a palpable fear, even anger” toward Muslims.

But over the summer, Max Blumenthal and James Kleinfeld traveled to Paris to examine the post-Hebdo climate for French Muslims. They interviewed numerous Paris residents whose voices are rarely heard in these debates — French Muslims, immigrants, French Jewish leftists — as well as other French citizens expressing the more conventional anti-Muslim views (including Christian Estrosi, the mayor of Nice (one of France’s largest cities) who warns of national television of a “Fifth Column” composed of French Muslims and calls the battle against it “the Third World War”).

Those interviews form the backbone of a new documentary Blumenthal and Kleinfeld produced, titled Je ne s)..)

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#ParisAttacks — who profits?: Escobar - #Essential #ToRead

#ParisAttacks — who profits?: Escobar - #Essential #ToRead | News in english | Scoop.it


#ParisAttacks — who profits?: Escobar - #Essential #ToRead


By Pepe Escobar on November 16, 2015 in AT Top Writers, Empire of Chaos, Pepe Escobar

Up to the very gloomy day when the “soldiers of the Caliphate” hit “the capital of abomination and perversions” – as ISIS/ISIL/Daesh framed its attack on Paris – French President Francois Hollande and his insufferable poseur of a Prime Minister Laurent Fabius were adamant: Assad must go.

For the Elysée palace, Assad equaled Daesh.

A measure of the incongruence of Hollande’s administration is that none of his ENA-formed advisors told him he was becoming even more irrelevant than usual.

Russia and Iran were proving their point with the “4+1” (Russia, Syria, Iran, Iraq plus Hezbollah) actions on the ground and skies in Syria fighting all shades of Salafi-jihadism, “moderate” or otherwise.

And even the Obama administration – after multiple meetings between Secretary Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov – was correcting its course. That culminated in those pregnant with meaning 35 minutes of Obama and Putin face to face in a side table at the G-20 in Antalya on Sunday.

Guess who remained aligned with Hollande up to the last, tragic minute: the ideological matrix of all strands of Salafi-jihadism, Wahhabi Saudi Arabia, and the GCC minions. The French government “reward”: plenty of juicy weapons deals. Here is just a partial list, coupled with hardcore French weaponizing of “moderate rebels.”

So this is how “socialist” – the dirtiest of words in the Beltway – France fights its own GWOT (Global War on Terror): showering Rafales over “moderate rebel” enabler Doha, and with Salafi-jihadi weaponizer Riyadh as best client. Business, unsurprisingly, is booming.

It took an unprecedented carnage in Paris for Hollande, Fabius and Prime Minister Valls to wake up from their torpor and see which way the – lethal – wind was blowing. Now it’s “war”. It’s “merciless.” And it’s against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.

Already in Vienna on Saturday, Lavrov and Kerry — seconded by the usual minions, some of them reluctantly — finally agreed to designate Jabhat al-Nusra, aka al-Qaeda in Syria, as terrorists, not “moderate rebels.”

And yet few in the West will remember poseur Fabius praising al-Nusra just a few weeks ago; they “do a good job” in Syria (“Ils font un bon boulot.”)

Hollande, immediately after unveiling France’s remix of the 2001 Bush-declared “war on terra”, bombed Raqqa, the fake “Caliphate” capital. Fabius, in Antalya, defended the decision as “political”; France had to be “present and active” following the Paris massacre.

“Active” should be interpreted as “previously noncommittal,” at best. But “political”? Not really; rather borderline unlawful. ISIS/ISIL/Daesh is not a state – as much as they bill themselves as a “Caliphate.” Assuming international law still applies, France’s invoked right of “self-defense” is illegal. Not to mention Paris was not invited by Damascus to strike inside Syrian territory, unlike the Russian Air Force.

Finally displaced from its splendid slumber, the French government had to strike Raqqa because after all the whole world is watching. Coordinated raids irrupted all across France, from Toulouse and Grenoble to Calais. France’s only nuclear-powered aircraft carrier – and Europe’s top (naval) dog – the Charles de Gaulle, leaves Toulon on Thursday for the Persian Gulf. Hollande proudly extolled the mission; it “bolsters Paris’ firepower.”

From torpor to resolve. But why only now?

It’s the oil, stupid

Jihad in Paris hit a calibrated conceptual spectrum – carefully mapped out by French insiders (disclosure: my own neighborhood, the 10ème, was targeted). My initial instinct, as I published on my Facebook page, was “Syraq” returnees. And not your usual al-Zawahiri-faithful underwear bomber, but white, ultra-pro, black-clad head to toe, AK-47-toting, very well trained, precision killers, as described by eyewitnesses.

French intel, after the (gruesome) fact, swore they were monitoring at least 200 French passport holders who came back from “Syraq.” Yet from the beginning evidence – or lack thereof — seemed to be pointing towards a monumental fail by French intel and the Ministry of Interior.

Of course there were so many accumulated reasons for blowback; resentment by swathes of young Muslims, who feel they are treated as third-rate citizens; France’s coddling of “moderate rebels”; Sarko The First and General Hollande’s wars on Libya and Mali; France as NATO enforcers; the meek bombing raids in Syria; and of course 3,000 ultra-radicalized “born again” French Muslims fighting in Syria for the fake “Caliphate.”

French intel did know, at least since August, that Daesh was planning a major hit. There were recent alerts by Baghdad intelligence and even rumblings of an imminent “French 9/11”. France was occasionally hitting Daesh; mostly the odd training camp, but also targeting Syria’s oil infrastructure at random.

Daesh is virtually a state oil major; Deir Ezzor province produces up to 40,000 barrels of oil a day, and other wells produce up to an extra 17,000 barrels. Daesh sells them to “independent traders”, aka smugglers, for up to $45 a barrel. As much as pumping oil is a key source of Daesh’s budget, still, technically, the fake “Caliphate” is profiting from an (aging) state infrastructure that ultimately belongs to the Syrian nation. To really hit Daesh where it hurts France — and the US and Britain — would need to rely on what they don’t have; top intel on the ground, not mere air strikes.

Which brings us back to Raqqa. The fake “Caliphate” capital is a key hub for all that oil smuggling. It also happens to be a potential hub for a future Pipelineistan gambit – be it the Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline or its competitor from Qatar.

Make no mistake: both the US and France are very much focused on Raqqa. This “war” could be over in a few days if all those smugglers – who are in fact financing Daesh – were spotted and arrested (ground intel, again). Daesh’s money flow would be easily intercepted.

And guess who’s preventing this solution; Turkish intel, because for Ankara the prime obsession is “Assad must go”, not Daesh. There’s absolutely no way to defeat Daesh from above – as long as the usual suspects, especially Gulf petrodollar interests and Erdogan’s Ottomanism, continue to “support” it on the ground, directly, via endless subterfuges, or simply ignoring their operations.

The good news, as it stands, is that The Syrian Arab Army (SAA), covered by Russian air strikes, liberated Kuweyris airbase, not far from Aleppo, while Kurdish peshmerga, covered by US air strikes, liberated Sinjar in Iraq, west of Mosul. So Daesh will face a lot of trouble moving in and out between Mosul and Raqqa. That may signal the way towards Daesh start losing oilfields in northeast Syria.

For now, what’s certain is that when Daesh went on overdrive, no intel service seems to have seen it coming.

They attacked Russia via a Sinai spin-off, bringing down the Metrojet.

They attacked Lebanon, Shi’ites as a whole, Hezbollah – and indirectly, Iran – via the bombing in the Burj el-Barajneh Shi’ite neighborhood of Beirut. Symbolically, that was an attack against the “4+1” (Russia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, plus Hezbollah).

And they attacked NATO in the heart of Paris (Hollande’s “act of war” crucially implies an attack against all NATO members. Incredible as it may seem, “moderate rebel” facilitator Turkey included.)

The strategic benefit of opening a war on three fronts – and attacking both Russia and NATO virtually at the same time – is more than dubious. As much as Daesh is flush; profits extensively from extortion, widespread pillaging and oil smuggling; and is showered with cash by generous GCC-based “donors”, that’s a little bit over the top.

The Belgian connection

Back in Paris, my initial working hypothesis was immediately confirmed: French intel started focusing on a single cell of Syria returnees as the perpetrators, before the investigation expanded – by accident – towards the Belgian connection, and “three coordinated teams of gunmen”, according to the Paris prosecutor.

That happened courtesy of a parking ticket found in a VW Polo; it led French intel to Molenbeek, aka “Little Morocco” northwest of downtown Brussels, a notorious Syrian returnee hub, crammed with shady, clandestine Salafi and Salafi-jihadi cells. As it stands, at least seven people in the European-wide investigation dragnet have been arrested in Molenbeek, and that’s where the Polo was rented. In the years after 9/11, I used to joke with local friends and sources, when I was back from the Gulf and walked the area, that I felt like “home”.

Belgian intel knows all there is to know about this state of affairs. The problem is essentially they can’t do anything about it – even as Belgium exhibits the largest per capita ratio of jihadis from “Syraq”; according to official numbers, 494 jihadis have been identified, 272 are still in “Syraq”, 75 are presumed dead, 134 are back, and 13 are on their way to the Levant.

So imagine the French investigation juggernaut arriving in Belgium by accident. Talk about a major intra-European security/intel failure. What they had was at best a hunch about homegrown – returnee – jihadis up to something, including, alarmingly, munitions specialists able to come up with made in Europe suicide vests and foot soldiers able to smuggle Kalashnikovs bought in the Balkans for 300 euros, as Europol well knows.

These are Caliph Ibrahim’s European “army.” Young. Born and bred in the EU. Usually double nationality. Statistically “invisible.” Totally integrated locally; what first struck me in Paris is how the targets in the 10ème and 11ème were carefully chosen.

Their loyalty is to a virtual de-territorialized nation (if only Deleuze and Guattari were alive to conceptualize it); and in a remixed 21st version of Etienne de la Boétie’s 1576 classic Discourse on Voluntary Servitude, they are “born-again” Muslims, born and bred in the developed West, deranged by Wahhabi Salafi-jihadism, and choosing to become slaves of a hazy “command and control” entity that is the embodiment of barbarism.

They learn to use weapons, technology, camouflage, and communication techniques just to become slave “soldiers”– voluntarily submitted to servitude. The infernal mechanism is simple; once you’ve graduated as a Syrian returnee, you got your homegrown diploma, and you’re free to attack the – secular republic – that issued your passport.

As for the notion that this small invisible army is supported by millions, that’s nonsense. The majority of France’s near 5 million Muslims is actually secular, galaxies away from Salafi-jihadism.

Meet the social network jihadi

Spare a thought for the French BRI (Brigade of Research and Intervention), trying like mad to profile this invisible army espousing a warped Born to Kill ideology. But BRI just intervenes at the last minute, like when they stormed the Bataclan music venue and killed the killing team of three.

It’s the DGSI – French internal services – which is in the dock, as we learned that at least one of the identified French killers was under surveillance since 2010 and had a ‘radical” file. France badly needs streamlining – what with competition between the DGSI, the anti-terrorist section of the police prefecture and the so-called Sdat (anti-terrorist sub-direction).

So this may be as much a major intel fail as French administrative impotence to act upon intel. Still a fail. Daesh de facto outwitted what’s regarded as one the best intel apparatuses in the West. Or did it?

The star of the show seems to be this smiling man, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, aka Abu Omar Al-Baljiki, which French intel is now floating as the possible mastermind of the Paris massacre.

Talk about a jihadi superstar; he delights in social media, gives interviews to jihadi outlets, organizes attacks (the previous one, last January, failed), humiliates Belgian security with his back-and-forth between Europe and Syria, and always manages to concoct a daring escape. As a piece of casting, he certainly beats Ben Whishaw as “Q”.

Further discrepancies are evident when the three teams at the Paris carnage are compared.

The Stade de France team featured absolute patsies trying to enter a high-visibility football match in a heavily policed stadium wearing a suicide vest. Just expendable “martyrs” – “Syrian passport” and all.

The Bataclan team featured calm, relatively proficient shooters, but still martyrs. They knew a hostage situation, in France, could only finish with their “martyrdom”. Less expendable, but still expendable.

The heart of the matter is the drive-by team. Or “teams”. The investigation seems to be clueless about them. The killers at La Belle Équipe arrived on a black Mercedes, according to witnesses. There is no mention of this Mercedes anywhere. The killers were ultra-pro, muscular, methodical – and white.

These are the non-expendables. The high-priced mercenaries. While the whole media circus spreads from Grenoble and Toulouse to Brussels and even Raqqa, they have simply vanished without a trace. No one knows who they are. No one knows who hired them. Hardly social network jihadi al-Baljiki.

Now take a close look at this meeting in D.C., which took place only a little over two weeks before the Paris tragedy. It features CIA’s John Brennan, the director of French DGSE (external security) Bernard Bajolet, former MI6 Chief John Sawers (call him the former “M”), and former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaacov Amidror.

Bajolet tells us that at least 500 French jihadis from “Syraq” might present a threat; compare it with 4,000 in respect to Russia (and that explains Putin’s determination to go after all shades of jihadism). Bajolet insists that cooperation between all the services has to be perfect, to “avoid any dead angle”; “dead angles” abounded in the Paris tragedy. And cooperation must be pan-Western. That would include the NSA capturing the whole planetary “chatter”.

Brennan predictably speaks CIAnese – “advance operational security”, etc. – but at least admits a staggering logistical problem to “process, store and disseminate” so much information.

Bajolet, significantly, pre-empts the Paris intel failure, saying the French “disrupted a number of attacks” in September, in cooperation with the CIA and the NSA. So how come the NSA did not capture any “chatter” previous to Paris 11/13? Bajolet once again pre-empts; these attacks are “difficult to detect” when they come “from your own territory”. Actually the investigation is leading towards Paris 11/13 being largely conceived in Brussels.

The strategy of fear

So what does Daesh want?

A case can be made whether it makes sense for Daesh to provoke a refugee backlash and have the gates of Fortress Europe hermetically closed. That seems to be the road map ahead. France’s borders are closed until further notice. Schengen is already dissolving. The rabid, right-wing anti-immigration political front across Europe cannot but rejoice. Yet at the same time it’s the EU establishment who’s pre-empting the anti-immigration platform. A “blame the refugees” narrative is insidiously being developed – personified by the (fake) Syrian passport found at the Stade de France.

Daesh is all about the strategy of fear and chaos. They want key Western capitals – Paris, London, New York – living in fear. And they want to lure Western boots on the ground to Syria. That would be a gift from heaven: the “crusaders” are invading us, again. One can imagine Jihad Inc. recruiting going through the roof.

The only feasible way to smash Daesh, slowly but surely, is via close collaboration between the “4+1” – the SAA and Iranian and Hezbollah fighters with Russian air cover – the Kurds (PKK, YPG, even Peshmerga) and, if they really mean it this time, responsible members of the US-led Coalition of the Dodgy Opportunists (CDO).

A “comprehensive international coalition” to fight Daesh is fine. But with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar at the table in the Vienna charade, that’s a bit rich, coupled with Paris subservient coddling of the Salafi-jihadi enablers, sponsors, financiers and weaponizers in Riyadh and Doha.

The fake “Caliphate” goons warned this is just the “beginning of a storm”. To be the riders on the storm against this very small, extremely mobile and “invisible” army, one would need another concept of federal Europe, with a radically different common defense and foreign policy. Not gonna happen, anytime soon.

What’s left is the mandatory fight against the “Caliphate” on the spot. Air strikes won’t do; only a true, wide-ranging political alliance (this is what Putin tried to impress to Obama in Antalya). How to get Sultan Erdogan and King Salman on board – there’s the rub.

So let’s see how long it takes for NATO boots on the ground. THIS is what Daesh is aiming at.

The opinions expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the view of Asia Times.

(Copyright 2015 Asia Times Holdings Limited, a duly registered Hong Kong company. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing.)

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