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Iran: CIA Collaborating with Terrorist Groups in Region

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast on Saturday lashed out at the US for its baseless claims about war on terror, and said Tehran has proofs and documents substantiating the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been aiding terrorist groups in the region.

“Americans entered Afghanistan with the promise of war on terror, but today there are documents indicating that terrorist groups are collaborating with the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA),” Mehman-Parast told a press conference in Karachi on Saturday.

He reiterated that presence of “foreign forces” in the region is the “root cause of all problems” in the Middle East, and added, “They should leave the regional countries alone and deal with their own problems if they are really in pursuit of stability and security.”

Mehman-Parast further noted that the US forces’ pullout from Afghanistan is the best way to restore “Afghan security”, and reiterated, “Americans are after securing the interests of the Zionist regime (Israel) and they intend to stir tension among Islamic and regional countries to the very same end.”

Iranian officials have frequently blasted the US and NATO forces for occupation of Afghanistan for more than a decade under the pretext of war on terror.

Tehran stresses that the responsibility for the establishment of security and stability in Afghanistan should be in hands of the country’s government and security forces, but not foreigners.

Afghanistan has long been a focus of imperial rivalry and scene of foreign intervention, most recently since the 2001 US-led invasion but also in the 1980s uprising against Russian troops that ultimately helped bring down the Soviet Union.

Washington denies it is seeking to establish permanent military bases in Afghanistan, but American military sources say they envisage around 15,000 forces remaining in Afghanistan after the 2014 withdrawal.

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July 16th, 2012

Whether Paraguay’s infamously right-wing local oligarchy and its parties that seized an opportunity to bring left-leaning President Fernando Lugo down by itself, or whether the push came from the United States government, is yet to be confirmed.

The US was involved in the overthrow of many governments in Latin America in 20th century in a bid to sure up its domination of the region.

See also
Paraguay: Coup at heart of struggle over Latin America

The US also supported a 2009 coup that overthrew elected Honduran president Manuel Zelaya, who had raised the minimum wage paid by US corporations in the textile industry and blocked privatisations. In the past decade, it has also been implicated in failed coup attempts against elected governments in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador.

However, whether the key movers were the Paraguayan oligarchs or US forces is a secondary consideration. The US state and US corporations operate through local intermediaries — the Paraguayan oligarchy — and have made no effort to conceal their intentions to use the recent coup to advance their agenda.

The coup has provided the US with a golden opportunity to work to reverse its declining influence in the region — and send a clear message to those willing to challenge its interests.

Paraguay is nestled between South America’s two largest economies — Argentina and Brazil — and its membership of regional integration bodies such as the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) and the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) gives it strategic importance for US interests.

By removing Lugo via an illegitimate coup only nine months out from elections, the US and its allies sent a message that, having lost the ability to keep control through formal democratic means, they are willing to use others.

The coup also gave the US an opportunity to escalate its military presence in the region.

The same day Lugo was impeached by Congress, a delegation of Paraguayan politicians, led by the head of the parliamentary defence committee and opposition member Jose Lopez Chavez, met with US military chiefs to negotiate the establishment of a US military base in the Chaco region.

Lopez Chavez said another topic of discussions was restarting US military “humanitarian assistance” programs in Paraguay, which had been halted by Lugo in 2009.

The Paraguayan oligarchy has made clear its intentions of allowing the US to turn the country into a base for military operations, with its sights set on Latin America’s radical governments.

As Lopez Chavez explained after a meeting in August last year with 21 US generals, the hope was that a US base would help Paraguay “liberate itself from the pressures, the threats from Bolivia, and even more so the threats that are constantly emerging from the Bolivarianism of Hugo Chavez.”

In June, US General Douglas M Fraser, head of the US Southern Command, also singled out Venezuela and Bolivia as potential hotspots for “geopolitical turbulence” that could affect US interests in the region.

Those that have been campaigning in support of Latin America’s turbulent process of transition face the urgent task of exposing the role of US imperialism, its corporations and its allies in Paraguay’s, and their bid to stop the process of regional integration across Latin America.

There is also a need to support the Paraguayan resistance to the coup and redoubling our solidarity with the anti-imperialist Bolivarian Alliance of the People’s of Our America (ALBA) led by Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador.

 

US President Barack Obama’s renewed warning against Syria this week, that any use of chemical weapons by Syrian government forces is a red line triggering direct military assault on the country, can be seen as the Western powers moving towards their endgame of “regime change.”

After 21 months of international conspiracy, the American-led propaganda war on Syria seems to be moving towards the endgame of providing the political cover for direct Western military attack on that unfortunate country.
This is, of course, outrageously criminal. But it is entirely predictable from the bigger picture strategic agenda of Washington and its allies: to roll over the anti-imperialist Syrian enemy, install a pliable pro-Western regime, and then pave the way for the next round of war in the region – against Iran.

Washington first raised the specter of Syrian chemical weapons several months ago and warned then that it would be forced to act militarily in order to “secure” such alleged stockpiles.

Now the American president and his officials are rekindling fears of this contingency, with the added alleged development that the Syrian government of President Bashar Al Assad has become so desperate to survive that it is preparing to mobilize chemical warheads.

Speaking in Washington, Obama upbraided the Syria government that “the world is watching” and that there would be “consequences” for any such deployment.

US secretary of state Hillary Clinton echoed the warning and described the use of these weapons as “a red line.” Tellingly, she added that if there is “any evidence” that the Syrian military had begun to use chemical warheads then “we are certainly planning to take action.”

Various Western media reported that American officials have over the past week stepped up contact with counterparts in other Western states to formulate a military response. This is said to include limited air strikes and the dispatch of thousands of ground forces.

Previously, the US and other Western governments had declined to commit military forces to Syria, as they had done in Libya last year, preferring the covert option of proxy forces, including Persian Gulf Arab weapon suppliers and mercenary fighters. That calculus seems to be now changing.

The first point to note from above is that the allegations of Syria mobilizing chemical weapons are stemming from unnamed and unverifiable American military intelligence sources, who have been busily briefing, anonymously, the major news media organizations, including CNN and the New York Times. These “reports” are then amplified by other Western media outlets, such as the Washington Post, BBC, Financial Times and Britain’s Guardian newspaper.

This is the same process of disinformation that set Iraq up for an illegal nine-year war of aggression, beginning in 2003 – with over one million people killed – over that country’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction.

It is the same scurrilous, criminal process that has set up Iran up for crippling – and illegal – economic sanctions over unfounded allegations of nuclear weapons, which are in turn fuelling tensions towards a possible all-out war on the Islamic Republic.

That’s why Obama and Clinton’s latest warning words to Syria are ominous. “The world is watching… for any evidence of chemical weapons.” In other words, the world is being prepared for a “shocking revelation” by American and Western spy agencies and ventriloquist media, who are about as trustworthy as a nest of scorpions and rattlesnakes.

The second point to note is that the Syrian government has repeatedly denied possession of chemical weapons and that if it had such munitions it would not deploy them against its own citizens.

Apart from the CIA and other anonymous secret service agents doing their best through trusty media outlets to whip up hysteria about sarin, VX, mustard gas and other horrors, the other tactic by Western forces is to portray the Damascus government as increasingly panicky and therefore sufficiently under duress that it would resort to such weapons.

White House spokesman Jay Carney told media, “We believe that with the regime’s grip on power loosening, with its failure to put down the opposition through conventional means, we have an increased concern about the possibility of the regime taking the desperate act of using its [alleged] chemical weapons.”

Well, a big part of the reason unmentioned by the White House for why the Syrian military is failing to put down the opposition is because of the criminal, massive flow of weapons, funds, logistics, mercenaries and covert personnel that the American government and its Western allies and regional proxies have been funneling into Syria.

There is no doubting that after 21 months of unrelenting violence, the Western-backed insurgents and foreign mercenaries are taking a heavy toll on Syrian society and the Damascus government’s control.

Reports of recent significant military gains by the foreign-backed militants have indeed intensified efforts by the government to maintain its authority over the ravaged country.

In particular, American-made surface-to-air missiles, reportedly supplied by Qatar and also possibly Saudi Arabia, appear to have lately given the anti-government militants crucial extra firepower and important tactical and territorial advantages.

Western military sources are reportedly of the view that the Syrian national army and air force retain the upper-hand and are too strong to be seriously threatened with defeat.

Nevertheless, with the Western-fomented havoc wreaking Syria – up to 700,000 refugees, five million displaced, 30-50,000 dead out of a population of 20 million – it is all too easy to portray and perceive an atmosphere of doom and desperation, which is then cited by the White House and its anonymous media agents as a “tipping point” for the imminent deployment of alleged chemical weapons of mass destruction.

To this end, there seems to be a concerted effort in the past few days to convey the image of a country falling apart.

Turkish officials have disclosed that it was fears that Syria may use chemical weapons against opposition militants on its border areas that prompted Ankara to request the supply of Patriot anti-missile systems in the coming weeks.

Both the UN and the European Union are reported as closing down activities in Syria on grounds of “security concerns” and both organizations are said to be preparing for the imminent evacuation of all staff from the country.

Regional airlines, including Egypt Air and Dubai’s Emirates Airline, have this week cancelled regular services to Syria on the basis of “safety concerns”. Both countries, it should be noted, are firmly in the Western geopolitical camp of demanding Assad’s overthrow.

Last weekend, the Syrian population was cut off from telecommunications in a three-day blackout that was blamed on sabotage. That too is serving to heighten an atmosphere of duress that the Western powers can cite as “evidence” that the Syrian authorities are “preparing to use chemical weapons”.

November 6, 2012

After 20 months from the outset of the Syrian crisis, the US eventually decided to dismiss the main opposition leader and replace him with its own selected council.

The reactions by some of the leaders of the so-called Syrian National Council (SNC) indicate that they have not been aware of the decision before the news was announced.

Syria

Syria

For the past few months, there have been reports of US efforts to unite the opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and holding a broad meeting for them in the Qatari capital, Doha. But no one expected the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to suddenly announce just a few days ahead of the meeting that the SNC does not represent the Syrian nation and to sarcastically say that many of them have “not been in Syria for 20, 30, or 40 years.”

Has Clinton just noticed that former Chairman of the SNC Burhan Ghalioun and the faction’s incumbent leader, Abdulbaset Sieda, have been teaching at French and Swedish universities for decades? Or has something new come up to prompt the US secretary of state to evict the SNC?

The killing of the US ambassador to Libya has probably had a major impact on the change in Washington’s view. The North African country has not formed a comprehensive ruling system yet and Tripoli has become the scene of confrontations among rival militant groups on a daily basis. Moreover, the fall of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi has prepared the ground for the rise of al-Qaeda and Wahhabis in Libya, Morocco and their southern neighbors. The chaos in Mali and the seizure of its northern regions by pro-al-Qaeda groups is a clear instance of that trend. Meanwhile, Algeria and Morocco feel a greater danger in this regard.

The so-called Free Syrian Army does not exist in Syria and the name is an umbrella for all the disparate groups conducting operations in the country. The US is concerned that if the Syrian ruling system collapses, and those separate groups become rival factions, a Libya-like situation will be created in Syria. Moreover, Washington has overtly expressed concern over the growth of extremist Salafis in Syria’s armed conflicts.

Former US ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, and prominent Syrian dissident Riad Seif have devised the plan for the new formation of the opposition groups and their unity. A 50-member council is also scheduled to form another committee to serve as an interim government or a transitional council for Syria. Riad Seif expects the new so-called government to be recognized by more than 100 countries.

The formation of the new opposition council is scheduled to be announced after the US presidential election. In other words, any US administration will continue Washington’s policy of interference in Syria, and will recognize the new opposition council.

The SNC has had such a disappointing performance for the US and West that Washington itself was compelled to take the initiative directly and, as Clinton said, it has selected the members of the new council beforehand. Such an authoritarian and coup like attitude from the US was Washington’s last resort to unite the Syrian opposition. The EU has no independent initiative either, and — like the Palestine crisis — it is waiting for the US scenarios to follow suit. Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia are in a far worse predicament, compared with Europe. Ankara has realized that all its efforts to bring the SNC to power have been in vain.

The reason behind the confusion is that neither the US nor its allies in the so-called Friends of Syria group had a clear understanding of the Syrian crisis at the outset and thought that, like the former Tunisian and Egyptian regimes, the Syrian government will be toppled within a few weeks or, like the former Libyan government, it will collapse with foreign military intervention. The resistance of Assad and the Syrian army, continuation of the crisis, weakness of the opposition, emergence of allegedly unwanted elements (al-Qaeda) and likelihood of the spillover of the crisis into the neighboring countries were the realities that Washington gradually accepted.

While, a quick scan of the Middle Eastern newspapers unmasked the wrong policy of the US and the West, it’s not clear what the West’s colossal research centers, CIA, the US Department of State, and US National Security Council had been busy doing.

Despite the fact that Washington dismissed the SNC with such a disrespectful manner, the opposition group has no option but to participate at the Doha meeting, hoping to gain control over at least one-third of the new council. The new council will be very docile as it will vanish overnight in the absence of the US and its allies. The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood will hold control over the next council, as it was the case in the previous one. The movement does not scruple to forge ties with anyone in an attempt to come to power.

The major characteristic of this new phase in Syria will consist a more serious and blatant interference in the country. Military, financial, and political assistance will rise. Efforts will be made to stop Qatar and Saudi Arabia to strengthen Wahhabis, and to make sure that the sent weapons do not reach al-Qaeda.

Another characteristic of the US’s plan will be focusing on the two main sustaining pillars of the Syria’s administration, the Syrian army and the General Security Directorate, in order for the challenges of the post-Saddam Iraq not to recur. France has also reacted to this and agreed to upholding the Syrian Army.

After all, some of the opposition wings inside Syria are not ready to attend the Doha meeting. Abdulbaset Sieda says the SNC has been pressured to negotiate with the Syrian government. Objecting to US’s disrespectful manner, some of the members of the council also say that the Doha meeting aims to pave the way for negotiations with Assad.

During the next days, more news will be published about the insurgents’ military attacks, their seizure of an oilfield, or crash of a fighter aircraft belonging to the Syrian army. However, the idea that Syrian army retreats from some regions to create the space for rival groups to clash, emerges gradually.

Obama's War on Democracy in Latin America

The ejection of USAID from Russia was a long-awaited and welcome development. Moscow has repeatedly warned its US partners via an array of channels of communication that the tendency of USAID to interfere with Russia’s domestic affairs was unacceptable and, particularly, that the radicalism of its pet NGOs in the Caucasus would not be tolerated. When, on October 1, the decision made by the Russian leadership takes effect, the Moscow-based USAID staff which has been stubbornly ignoring the signals will have to pack and relocate to other countries facing allegations of authoritarian rule…In Latin America, USAID has long earned a reputation of an organization whose offices are, in fact, intelligence centers scheming to undermine legitimate governments in a number of the continent’s countries. The truth that USAID hosts CIA and US Defense Intelligence Agency operatives is not deeply hidden, as those seem to have played a role in every Latin American coup, providing financial, technical, and ideological support to respective oppositions. USAID also typically seeks engagement with the local armed forces and law-enforcement agencies, recruiting within them agents ready to lend a hand to the opposition when the opportunity arises.

To varying extents, all of the Latin American populist leaders felt the USAID pressure. No doubt, Venezuela’s H. Chavez is the number one target on the USAID enemies list. Support for the regime’s opponents in the country shrank considerably since the massive 2002-2004 protests as the nation saw the government refocus on socioeconomic issues, health care, housing construction, and youth policies. The opposition had to start relying more on campaigns in the media, around 80% of which are run by the anti-Chavez camp. Panic-provoking rumors about imminent food supply disruptions, overstated reports about the crime level in Venezuela (where, actually, there is less crime than in most countries friendly to the US), and allegations of government incompetence in response to technological disasters which became suspiciously frequent as the elections drew closer are bestowed on the audiences as a part of the subversive scenario involving a network of Venezuelan NGOs. In some cases, the membership of the latter can be limited to 3-4 people, but, coupled to strong media support, the opposition can prove to be an ominous force. Pro-Chavez commentators are worried that USAID agents will contest the outcome of the vote and, synchronously, paramilitary groups will plunge Venezuelan cities into chaos to give the US a pretext for a military intervention.

USAID is known to have contributed to the recent failed coup in Ecuador, during which president R. Correa narrowly escaped an assassination attempt. Elite police forces heavily sponsored by the US and the media which made use of the liberal free speech legislation to smear Correa were the key actors in the outbreak. Subsequently, it took Correa serious efforts to get a revised media code approved in the parliament contrary to the USAID-lobbied resistance.

Several bids to displace the government of Evo Morales clearly employed the USAID operative potential in Bolivia. According to journalist and author Eva Golinger, USAID poured at least $85m into destabilizing the regime in the country. Initially, the US hoped to achieve the desired result by entraining the separatists from the predominantly white Santa Cruz district. When the plan collapsed, USAID switched to courting the Indian communities with which the ecology-oriented NGOs started to get in touch a few years before. Disorienting accounts were fed to the Indians that the construction of an expressway across their region would leave the communities landless, and the Indian protest marches to the capital that followed ate away at the public standing of Morales. It transpired shortly that many of the marches including those staged by the TIPNIS group, had been coordinated by the US embassy. The job was done by embassy official Eliseo Abelo, a USAID curator for the Bolivian indigenous population. His phone conversations with the march leaders were intercepted by the Bolivian counter-espionage agency and made public, so that he had to escape from the country while the US diplomatic envoy to Bolivia complained about the phone tapping.

In June 2012, foreign ministers of the ALBA bloc countries passed a resolution on USAID. It read: «Citing foreign aid planning and coordination as a pretext, USAID openly meddles in sovereign countries’ domestic affairs, sponsoring NGOs and protest activities intended to destabilize legitimate governments which are unfavorable from Washington’s perspective. Documents released from the US Department of State archives carry evidence that financial support had been provided to parties and groups oppositional to the governments of ALBA countries, a practice tantamount to undisguised and audacious interference on the US behalf. In most ALBA countries, USAID operates via its extensive NGO networks, which it runs outside of the due legal framework, and also illicitly funds media and political groups. We are convinced that our countries have no need for external financial support to maintain the democracy established by Latin American and Caribbean nations, or for externally guided organizations which try to weaken or sideline our government institutions». The ministers called the ALBA leaderships to immediately deport USAID representatives who threaten the sovereignty and political stability of the countries where they work. The resolution was signed by Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.

Paul J. Bonicelli was confirmed by the US Senate as the USAID Assistant Administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean last May. Former USAID chief Mark Feuerstein gained such notoriety in Latin America as the brain behind the ousters of the legitimate leaders of Honduras and Paraguay that the continent’s politicians simply had to learn to avoid him. The USAID credibility is increasingly drying up, and it is unlikely that Bonicelli, a PhD and a conservative, will be able to reverse the tendency. His record includes heading various USAID divisions and «promoting democracy» in concert with the US National Security Council.

Bonicelli’s views are reflected in his papers in the Foreign Policy journal. To Bonicelli, Chavez is not a democrat but a leader eager to get rid of all of his opponents. The new USAID boss holds that, apart from the drug threat, Chavez – having inspired populist followers in Ecuador, Bolivia, and Nicaragua – poses the biggest challenge to the US interests in Latin America. Bonicelli therefore urges the US to prop up the Venezuelan opposition in every way possible, providing material support and training, so that it can maximally take part in elections and civilian activities.

Another paper by Bonicelli portrays Russia’s present-day evolution as grim regress and a slide towards «neo-Tsarism». Based on the perception, Bonicelli argues that the West should hold Russia and its leaders accountable in whatever concerns freedom and democracy – even if freedom in the country is important to just a handful of people – and cites the case of Poland where the US used to stand by Lech Wałęsa.

Chances are slim that a reform of USAID would restore the agency’s credibility in Latin America. Sticking to a trimmed list of priorities, USAID axed a few minor programs and shut down its offices in Chile, Argentine, Uruguay, Costa Rica, and Panama, with Brazil next in line. USAID believes that the above countries are already in reasonable shape and no longer need assistance, so that the agency can throw its might against its main foes – the populists and Cuba, and do its best to have the politicians unfriendly to Washington removed across the Western Hemisphere. The stated USAID budget for Latin America is $750m, but estimates show that the secret part of the funding, which is leveraged by the CIA, may total twice the amount.

November 24, 2012

  • Allegations that the White House and CIA ordered the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to cease investigating Afghanistan president Ahmed Karzai’s brother for drug trafficking that funded terrorism. The email reads in part: “For political reasons, DEA has been told to backoff [sic] by the White House and CIA. DEA is seeing a direct nexus between terrorism and narcotics in Afghanistan with narcotics sales being used to fund jihadist operations.”
  • References to the Obama war on whistleblowers. One email, dated September 2010, reads in full: “Brennan is behind the witch hunts of investigative journalists learning information from inside the beltway sources. Note — There is specific tasker from the WH to go after anyone printing materials negative to the Obama agenda (oh my.) Even the FBI is shocked. The Wonder Boys must be in meltdown mode…”
  • A breakdown of the FBI’s major “Going Dark” concerns, as laid out by the Albany field office. The FBI has been publicly hinting at what it says are major impediments to its “legal electronic surveillance” operations. (For an interrogation of the supposed “legality” of the FBI’s surveillance, read this.) In a document prepared for law enforcement, the Albany field office of the FBI listed the Tor network, encryption and anonymous remailers as technologies that impede total information awareness. Take a look at the document here.
  • Possible Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) attacks on Mexican drug cartel leaders. A May 2011 email reads: “Have been told by a very good contact that JSOC is looking at unilateral actions in MX targeting cartel HVT’s.”
  • An assessment that DHS fusion centers amount to “freaking amature [sic] hour.”
  • Problems with the TSA and its reliance on contractors. One email claims a “senior agent at DHS” said: “Another issue is that DHS in general has too many contractors whose first interest is furthering their company’s interests, and many of these folks couldn’t find their bottoms with both hands and a mirror. Unfortunately, the few direct hire staff end up overwhelmed by their contractor majority staffs….Contractor footnote: have observed that the contractors are extremely adept at showing up at meetings in large numbers, eating the donuts and drinking the beverages without contributing anything more than body count.”
  • DHS’ assessment of the Occupy Wall Street movements. One Stratfor email contains a link to a DHS bulletin for law enforcement and the intelligence community on OWS. The last sentence of that bulletin reads: “Due to the location of the protests in major metropolitan areas, heightened and continuous situational awareness for security personnel across all CI sectors is encouraged.”

On Monday February 27th, 2012, WikiLeaks began publishing The Global Intelligence Files, over five million e-mails from the Texas headquartered “global intelligence” company Stratfor. The e-mails date between July 2004 and late December 2011. They reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal’s Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defence Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor’s web of informers, pay-off structure, payment laundering techniques and psychological methods.

Re: [alpha] read this one – INSIGHT – EGYPT/ISRAEL -Eilatattackswas joint PRC-Sinai Salafist operation?

Released on 2012-11-17 02:00 GMT

Email-ID 110906
Date 2011-08-22 02:15:53
From bayless.parsley@stratfor.com
To alpha@stratfor.com
List-Name alpha@stratfor.com
also jibes with the fact that Hamas has agreed to a ceasefire starting tonight (so long as isr agrees to stop its attacks), whereas PRC refused (as did PIJ) On 2011 Ago 21, at 18:29, “Kamran Bokhari” <bokhari@stratfor.com

> wrote:

This jives with what we have heard from Hamas and the Egyptian foreign ministry.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

———————————————————————-

From: “George Friedman” <friedman@att.blackberry.net

> Sender: alpha-bounces@stratfor.com

Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2011 18:25:19 -0500 (CDT) To: Alpha List<alpha@stratfor.com

> ReplyTo: Alpha List <alpha@stratfor.com

> Subject: Re: [alpha] read this one – INSIGHT – EGYPT/ISRAEL -Eilat attackswas joint PRC-Sinai Salafist operation? So this means that hamas intelligebce failed to monitor prc, a group that was threatening the cease fire that hamas wanted to preserve. Hamas that has baffled mossad over and over simply couldn’t keep track of prc.

Ok.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

———————————————————————-

From: Fred Burton <burton@stratfor.com

> Sender: alpha-bounces@stratfor.com

Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2011 18:22:54 -0500 (CDT) To: <alpha@stratfor.com

> ReplyTo: Alpha List <alpha@stratfor.com

> Subject: Re: [alpha] read this one – INSIGHT – EGYPT/ISRAEL -Eilat attacks was joint PRC-Sinai Salafist operation? Great intel Reva. Pls pass along our thanks to ME1 for a job well done.

On 8/21/2011 6:15 PM, Reva Bhalla wrote:

———————————————————————-

From: “Reva Bhalla” <bhalla@stratfor.com

> To: “Alpha List” <alpha@stratfor.com

> Sent: Sunday, August 21, 2011 6:14:38 PM Subject: [alpha] NSIGHT – EGYPT/ISRAEL -Eilat attacks was joint PRC-Sinai Salafist operation?

SOURCE: sub-source via ME1 ATTRIBUTION: STRATFOR source SOURCE DESCRIPTION: Egyptian ambassador to Lebanon via ME1 PUBLICATION: Yes SOURCE RELIABILITY: C ITEM CREDIBILITY: B SPECIAL HANDLING: Alpha SOURCE HANDLER: Reva

** below is a back and forth I had with ME1 and his Egyptian diplomat source. note the shift in his assessment

The source exonerates Hamas from any involvement in the attack that targeted Eilat and he puts the entire blame on the PRC and their military wing an-Nasser Salah el Din. He says Hamas is doing all it could to be on Egypt’s good side and they would simply not commit themselves to such a rash and counterproductive raid. The second source (Hamas representative in Lebanon) says Hamas would respond in Lebanon, and not in Sinai or Eilat, against Ali Abbas’s intention to go to NY to seek recognition for the Palestinian state. Inviting another Israeli offensive against Gaza is Hamas’s worst nightmare since they have not been allowed to recover from the disastrous consequences of the Cast Lead Operation. He says the anti-Fateh Islamic forces are mobilizing their forces in Ain al-Hilwa Palestinian refugee camp near Sidon. He also claims the PRC an-Nasser Salah el Din’s militants came to the attack site near Eilat from Rafah after crossing a tunnel.

MY QUESTION – ————— What happened to the claim that the Eilat attack was committed by Salafist-jihadist types that have been active in the Sinai recently? The Egyptian diplomat seems to have shifted his opinion on this. Why?

ME1 response – The Egyptian diplomat revised his version on the basis of new information he received from the military attache. What I gathered from him was that the attacks near Eilat were a joint operation. PRC militants have better fighting experience and know how to set up ambushes to IDF troops. Sinai salafists provided transportation and and access to the Nejev desert to launch the attacks, but the actual attackers came from the Gaza Strip. I would not discount the possibility that the diplomat had received instructions from his government to modify his version. It makes more sense for the Egyptians to disseminate information about the attack being carried out by a group coming from an area outside their jurisdiction (Gaza). The Egyptians would not look good if they were to admit that their control over Sinai is loosening. I think the diplomat was convincing when he said it was a joint operation because Sinai’s salafis do not have the experience to launch carefully planned and well-timed attacks. I think it would make sense to argue that the PRC would have not been able to carry out the attacks without assistance from Sinai’s salafis. There were subsequent clashes inside Sinai between the salafis and government forces, including a suicide attack.

previous insight

———————————————————————-

From: “Benjamin Preisler” <ben.preisler@stratfor.com

> To: “Alpha List” <alpha@stratfor.com

> Sent: Thursday, August 18, 2011 8:56:58 AM Subject: [alpha] INSIGHT – EGYPT/ISRAEL – Egyptian take on Israel attacks – ME1*

SOURCE: sub-source via ME1 ATTRIBUTION: STRATFOR source SOURCE DESCRIPTION: Egyptian diplomat in Lebanon PUBLICATION: Yes SOURCE RELIABILITY: C ITEM CREDIBILITY: B-C SPECIAL HANDLING: Alpha SOURCE HANDLER: Reva

Re: the attack on an Israeli bus and other vehicles near Eilat that caused many casualties. He says the information available to the Egyptian authorities indicate that it was carried out by the newly founded al-Qaeda in Sinai. This group, which wants to create an Islamic emirate in Sinai, works closely with Gaza’s slafi-Jihadist group Jaysh al-Islam and Sinai bedouins. The attack comes as a response to the Egyptian army’s military campaign against armed groups there, who are blamed for attacking the gas pipeline to Israel. Eliminating terrorists from Sinai is impossible, but the Egyptian security forces have no option but to pursue them. He says the Egyptian government will send additional troops to Sinai and will expand its “al-Nisr” military operation

Syrian rebels are reportedly receiving British intelligence on regime troops’ whereabouts, as fighting in the country continues.

19 August 2012

Forces loyal to President Bashar al Assad have reportedly used helicopter gunfire and mortars in the battle for Aleppo, amid fresh claims British intelligence is helping rebel fighters to oust the Syrian leader.

According to an opposition official, information on Syrian troop movements is helping rebels launch successful attacks on regime forces in the second city, where both sides have been locked in fierce fighting for weeks.

“British intelligence is observing things closely from Cyprus,” the official told The Sunday Times.

“It’s very useful because they find out a great deal.

“The British are giving the information to the Turks and the Americans and we are getting it from the Turks.”

Protesters against the Assad regime in Idlib

Protesters against the Assad regime in Idlib

The newspaper quoted the official as saying British authorities “know about and approve 100%” intelligence from their Cyprus military bases being passed through Turkey to the rebel troops of the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

“The British monitor communications about movements of the government army and we got information about reinforcements being on their way to Aleppo,” the official continued.

“We hit at the government troops in Idlib and Saraqib (southwest of Aleppo), with success.”

It is the first indication that British intelligence is playing a covert role in the anti-regime revolt.

Aleppo – the country’s commercial centre – has become the focus of the 17-month conflict, partly because of its strategic location near the Turkish border.

President Assad at a mosque in Damascus (Pic: Syrian state TV)

President Assad at a mosque in Damascus (Pic: Syrian state TV)

Meanwhile, Christians in Damascus have been telling Sky Foreign Affairs Editor Tim Marshall of their fears for the future as bloodhshed threatens the country’s secular society.

The patriarch of a Greek Catholic church in the Syrian capital says some Christians fear they could be forced out of the country after a civil war, as has happened in other countries touched by Arab Spring unrest.

Syrian state TV has aired footage of President Assad at a mosque in Damascus.

In his first public appearance since the beginning of July, Mr Assad attended a prayer service to mark the start of Eid.

On Saturday, opposition fighters clashed with Syrian troops close to the city’s airport.

Also, Syria denied reports that Mr Assad’s deputy, vice-president Farouq al Shara, had defected.

More than 18,000 people have died in the bloodshed so far and around 170,000 have fled the country, according to the United Nations.