Tony Cartalucci, Global research, April 14 2016:… MEK, it should be noted, is guilty of killing American civilians and military personnel, as well as continuing a campaign of terrorism against civilian and political targets in Iran. Brookings in fact, admits this while proposing the US’ use of the terrorist organization to carry out US foreign policy objectives. If MEK is a suitable candidate for Western sponsorship, why not ISIS? Considering this, and the “coincidental” …
The West’s Terrorist “Catch and Release” Program
Virtually every suspect involved in recent Brussels bombing had been tracked, arrested, in custody – either by European security agencies or the agencies of their allies – but inexplicably released and allowed to carry out both the Brussels attack as well as the Paris attack that preceded it.
So obvious is this fact, that the Western media itself admits it, but simply dismisses the obvious and deeper implications such facts pose by claiming it is merely systemic incompetence.
The Wall Street Journal would admit that the recently arrested “man in the hat” also known as Mohamed Abrini, was also arrested for suspected terrorist activity – allegedly scoping out potential targets in the UK – but also – like his collaborators – inexplicably released. His brother had been to Syria where he fought and died alongside the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS), and Abrini himself too appears to have been in Syria.
The Wall Street Journal’s article, “Brussels Suspect Mohamed Abrini: What We Know,” reports that:
After the U.K., Mr. Abrini traveled to Paris and then Brussels, where he was arrested but then released, according to the two people. But Belgian authorities passed the information about his U.K. trip, including images found on his phone, to the British, the sources said.
Abrini’s case of “catch and release” before carrying out a successful string of deadly attacks across Europe, is just the latest.
West’s ISIS Catch & Release Program
Germany’s largest press agency, Deutsche Presse-Agentur, reported in their article, “Reports: Brothers known to police were among Brussels suicide bombers,” that:
Two Brussels brothers who were known to police are among the suicide bombers who carried out deadly terrorist attacks on the international airport and subway in the Belgian capital, local media reported Wednesday.
[Khalid El Bakraoui] had been sentenced in early 2011 to five years in prison for carjackings, after having been arrested in possession of Kalashnikov rifles, according to the Belga news agency.
His brother, 30-year-old Brahim, had been sentenced in 2010 to nine years in prison for having shot at police with a Kalashnikov rifle during a hold-up, Belga said.
The New York Times, in their article, “Brussels Attack Lapses Acknowledged by Belgian Officials,” would report regarding another Brussels bombing suspect, Brahim El Bakraoui, and his arrest and deportation from Turkey that:
The Belgian justice and interior ministers acknowledged that their departments should have acted on a Turkish alert about a convicted Belgian criminal briefly arrested in Turkey last year on suspicion of terrorist activity, who turned out to be one of the suicide bombers. And the Belgian prosecutor’s office said that person’s brother — another suicide bomber — had been wanted since December in connection with the Paris attacks.
That makes 4 suspects who were known to European security agencies for violent crimes and/or terrorism, with each and every one of them in custody before the attacks unfolded.
For fisheries around the world, the concept of “catch and release” allows anglers to enjoy the fishing experience while preserving the numbers and health of fish populations. The concept of “catch and release” for Western security and intelligence agencies appears very similar – to maintain the illusion of counterterrorism operations, while maintaining the numbers and health of terrorist organizations around the world.
Answering “to what end” the West is allowing terrorists to successfully carry out attacks against Western targets, the answer is quite simple. It allows for the expansion of power and control at home while justifying endless and profitable wars abroad.
The creation and perpetuation of terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda and ISIS by the West and its allies serve another, admitted purpose. In the 1980′s it was admitted that Al Qaeda was created to wage proxy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. In 2011, the US and its NATO and Persian Gulf allies used terrorists linked to Al Qaeda in Libya and Syria in an attempt to overthrow their respective governments.
Today, ISIS serves both as an armed proxy waging full-scale war on the governments of Syria, Iraq, and more indirectly Iran and Russia, as well as a means to threaten and coerce nations around the world.
Political impasses in Southeast Asia revolving around America’s waning influence in the region have been met with the sudden and otherwise inexplicable appearance of ISIS. In one case, Indonesia signed a large rail deal while pursuing other economic and military partnerships with Beijing, before suffering its fist ISIS attack in its capital, Jakarta.
Thailand was likewise threatened by the US of an imminent ISIS attack, amid attempts by Bangkok to uproot the political networks of US-backed political proxy, Thaksin Shinawatra. Bangkok has also shown hesitation to sign the unpopular US-sponsored Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement.
Bangkok was already hit by terrorism last year after returning suspected terrorists to China to face justice against America’s repeated protests. Just months later, groups tied to NATO terrorist front, the Turkish Grey Wolves, carried out a bombing in the center of Bangkok.
ISIS, its counterparts, and peripheral groups like NATO’s Grey Wolves, serve multiple roles for the West. They are a pretext to invade and occupy foreign nations, a proxy army to wage war against its enemies with, and a means of maintaining fear and obedience at home under the auspices of an increasing police state. It is difficult to believe the West could maintain its current foreign and domestic policy without this menace – it has become an integral part of Western geopolitical strategy.
Would a Signed Confession Convince You?
Many are quick to dismiss evidence of Western special interests’ use of terrorists and terrorism to project geopolitical power abroad and maintain control at home. This is despite the admitted nature of the West’s role in the creation and utilization of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan during the 1980s, and signed and dated policy papers like the Brookings Institution’s 2009 “Which Path to Persia?” document which openly advocated using listed-terrorist organization, Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), to wage a proxy campaign of violence against the Iranian people and their government.
MEK, it should be noted, is guilty of killing American civilians and military personnel, as well as continuing a campaign of terrorism against civilian and political targets in Iran. Brookings in fact, admits this while proposing the US’ use of the terrorist organization to carry out US foreign policy objectives. If MEK is a suitable candidate for Western sponsorship, why not ISIS?
Considering this, and the “coincidental” arming and funding of “rebels” in Libya by the US and its allies in 2011 who are now verifiably members of listed terrorist organizations, revelations of US involvement behind the rise of ISIS should come as little surprise.
And beyond mere speculation, a 2012 US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report leaked to the public, admits that the US and its allies sought the creation of a “Salafist” (Islamic) “principality” (State) in eastern Syria, precisely where ISIS now resides.
If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).
The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime.
All that’s left is for the Pentagon to perhaps, disclose payslips for ISIS leaders or logistical documents regarding US-NATO resupply operations for ISIS along the Turkish-Syrian border – and perhaps even such a disclosure would still not be enough to convince some in the West that the special interests posing as their leaders are complicit in creating not only ISIS, but organizing and ensuring the chaos they cause unfolding at home and abroad wherever and whenever needed.The fact that literally ever Brussels and Paris attack suspect was known to and in many cases detained by Western security agencies before the attacks, yet were released before being allowed to carry out their attacks successfully, proves that the West is enjoying the “experience” of maintaining a war on terror, but like good fishery conservationists, is ensuring the populations of their quarry remain healthy and numerous.
Mojahedin Khalq (MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult) Our Men in Iran?
(Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker, April 2012)
… Five Iranian nuclear scientists have been assassinated since 2007. M.E.K. spokesmen have denied any involvement in the killings, but early last month NBC News quoted two senior Obama Administration officials as confirming that the attacks were carried out by M.E.K. units that were financed and trained by Mossad, the Israeli secret service. NBC further quoted the Administration officials as denying any American involvement in the M.E.K. activities. The former senior intelligence official I spoke with seconded the NBC report that the Israelis were working with the M.E.K., adding …
Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker, April 6 2012
From the air, the terrain of the Department of Energy’s Nevada National Security Site, with its arid high plains and remote mountain peaks, has the look of northwest Iran. The site, some sixty-five miles northwest of Las Vegas, was once used for nuclear testing, and now includes a counterintelligence training facility and a private airport capable of handling Boeing 737 aircraft. It’s a restricted area, and inhospitable—in certain sections, the curious are warned that the site’s security personnel are authorized to use deadly force, if necessary, against intruders.
It was here that the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) conducted training, beginning in 2005, for members of the Mujahideen-e-Khalq, a dissident Iranian opposition group known in the West as the M.E.K. The M.E.K. had its beginnings as a Marxist-Islamist student-led group and, in the nineteen-seventies, it was linked to the assassination of six American citizens. It was initially part of the broad-based revolution that led to the 1979 overthrow of the Shah of Iran. But, within a few years, the group was waging a bloody internal war with the ruling clerics, and, in 1997, it was listed as a foreign terrorist organization by the State Department. In 2002, the M.E.K. earned some international credibility by publicly revealing—accurately—that Iran had begun enriching uranium at a secret underground location. Mohamed ElBaradei, who at the time was the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations’ nuclear monitoring agency, told me later that he had been informed that the information was supplied by the Mossad. The M.E.K.’s ties with Western intelligence deepened after the fall of the Iraqi regime in 2003, and JSOC began operating inside Iran in an effort to substantiate the Bush Administration’s fears that Iran was building the bomb at one or more secret underground locations. Funds were covertly passed to a number of dissident organizations, for intelligence collection and, ultimately, for anti-regime terrorist activities. Directly, or indirectly, the M.E.K. ended up with resources like arms and intelligence. Some American-supported covert operations continue in Iran today, according to past and present intelligence officials and military consultants.
Despite the growing ties, and a much-intensified lobbying effort organized by its advocates, M.E.K. has remained on the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations—which meant that secrecy was essential in the Nevada training. “We did train them here, and washed them through the Energy Department because the D.O.E. owns all this land in southern Nevada,” a former senior American intelligence official told me. “We were deploying them over long distances in the desert and mountains, and building their capacity in communications—coördinating commo is a big deal.” (A spokesman for J.S.O.C. said that “U.S. Special Operations Forces were neither aware of nor involved in the training of M.E.K. members.”)
The training ended sometime before President Obama took office, the former official said. In a separate interview, a retired four-star general, who has advised the Bush and Obama Administrations on national-security issues, said that he had been privately briefed in 2005 about the training of Iranians associated with the M.E.K. in Nevada by an American involved in the program. They got “the standard training,” he said, “in commo, crypto [cryptography], small-unit tactics, and weaponry—that went on for six months,” the retired general said. “They were kept in little pods.” He also was told, he said, that the men doing the training were from JSOC, which, by 2005, had become a major instrument in the Bush Administration’s global war on terror. “The JSOC trainers were not front-line guys who had been in the field, but second- and third-tier guys—trainers and the like—and they started going off the reservation. ‘If we’re going to teach you tactics, let me show you some really sexy stuff…’ ”
It was the ad-hoc training that provoked the worried telephone calls to him, the former general said. “I told one of the guys who called me that they were all in over their heads, and all of them could end up trouble unless they got something in writing. The Iranians are very, very good at counterintelligence, and stuff like this is just too hard to contain.” The site in Nevada was being utilized at the same time, he said, for advanced training of élite Iraqi combat units. (The retired general said he only knew of the one M.E.K.-affiliated group that went though the training course; the former senior intelligence official said that he was aware of training that went on through 2007.)
Allan Gerson, a Washington attorney for the M.E.K., notes that the M.E.K. has publicly and repeatedly renounced terror. Gerson said he would not comment on the alleged training in Nevada. But such training, if true, he said, would be “especially incongruent with the State Department’s decision to continue to maintain the M.E.K. on the terrorist list. How can the U.S. train those on State’s foreign terrorist list, when others face criminal penalties for providing a nickel to the same organization?”
Robert Baer, a retired C.I.A. agent who is fluent in Arabic and had worked under cover in Kurdistan and throughout the Middle East in his career, initially had told me in early 2004 of being recruited by a private American company—working, so he believed, on behalf of the Bush Administration—to return to Iraq. “They wanted me to help the M.E.K. collect intelligence on Iran’s nuclear program,” Baer recalled. “They thought I knew Farsi, which I did not. I said I’d get back to them, but never did.” Baer, now living in California, recalled that it was made clear to him at the time that the operation was “a long-term thing—not just a one-shot deal.”
Massoud Khodabandeh, an I.T. expert now living in England who consults for the Iraqi government, was an official with the M.E.K. before defecting in 1996. In a telephone interview, he acknowledged that he is an avowed enemy of the M.E.K., and has advocated against the group. Khodabandeh said that he had been with the group since before the fall of the Shah and, as a computer expert, was deeply involved in intelligence activities as well as providing security for the M.E.K. leadership. For the past decade, he and his English wife have run a support program for other defectors. Khodabandeh told me that he had heard from more recent defectors about the training in Nevada. He was told that the communications training in Nevada involved more than teaching how to keep in contact during attacks—it also involved communication intercepts. The United States, he said, at one point found a way to penetrate some major Iranian communications systems. At the time, he said, the U.S. provided M.E.K. operatives with the ability to intercept telephone calls and text messages inside Iran—which M.E.K. operatives translated and shared with American signals intelligence experts. He does not know whether this activity is ongoing.
Five Iranian nuclear scientists have been assassinated since 2007. M.E.K. spokesmen have denied any involvement in the killings, but early last month NBC News quoted two senior Obama Administration officials as confirming that the attacks were carried out by M.E.K. units that were financed and trained by Mossad, the Israeli secret service. NBC further quoted the Administration officials as denying any American involvement in the M.E.K. activities. The former senior intelligence official I spoke with seconded the NBC report that the Israelis were working with the M.E.K., adding that the operations benefitted from American intelligence. He said that the targets were not “Einsteins”; “The goal is to affect Iranian psychology and morale,” he said, and to “demoralize the whole system—nuclear delivery vehicles, nuclear enrichment facilities, power plants.” Attacks have also been carried out on pipelines. He added that the operations are “primarily being done by M.E.K. through liaison with the Israelis, but the United States is now providing the intelligence.” An adviser to the special-operations community told me that the links between the United States and M.E.K. activities inside Iran had been long-standing. “Everything being done inside Iran now is being done with surrogates,” he said.
The sources I spoke to were unable to say whether the people trained in Nevada were now involved in operations in Iran or elsewhere. But they pointed to the general benefit of American support. “The M.E.K. was a total joke,” the senior Pentagon consultant said, “and now it’s a real network inside Iran. How did the M.E.K. get so much more efficient?” he asked rhetorically. “Part of it is the training in Nevada. Part of it is logistical support in Kurdistan, and part of it is inside Iran. M.E.K. now has a capacity for efficient operations than it never had before.”
In mid-January, a few days after an assassination by car bomb of an Iranian nuclear scientist in Tehran, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, at a town-hall meeting of soldiers at Fort Bliss, Texas, acknowledged that the U.S. government has “some ideas as to who might be involved, but we don’t know exactly who was involved.” He added, “But I can tell you one thing: the United States was not involved in that kind of effort. That’s not what the United States does.”