By Tony Cartalucci
What Fares actually revealed however, was an invisible state within Syria,
also so happens to be directly affiliated
with Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood,
against the Syrian government.
The first report, "Al-Qa'ida's Foreign Fighters in Iraq," was extensively cited by historian and geopolitical analyst Dr. Webster Tarpley in March of 2011, exposing that NATO-backed "pro-democracy" rebels in Libya were in fact Al Qaeda's Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), listed by the US State Department, United Nations, and the UK Home Office (page 5, .pdf) as an international terrorist organization.
The West Point report exposed Libya as a global epicenter for Al Qaeda training and recruitment, producing more fighters per capita than even Saudi Arabia, and producing more foreign fighters than any other nation that sent militants to Iraq, except Saudi Arabia itself.
But Libya's foreign fighters weren't drawn equally from across the nation. They predominately emanated from the east (Cyrenaica), precisely where the so-called 2011 "pro-democracy revolution" also began, and where most of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi's attention had been focused over the course of at least three decades, fighting militant extremists. The cities of Darnah, Tobruk, and Benghazi in particular fielded the vast majority of foreign fighters sent to Iraq and also served as the very epicenter for the 2011 violent, NATO-backed uprising.
Clearly, the US military and the US government were both well aware of the heavy Al Qaeda presence in Cyrenaica since as early as 2007. When violence flared up in 2011, it was clear to many geopolitical analysts that it was the result of Al Qaeda, not "pro-democracy protesters."
A similar scenario is now playing out in Syria, where the West, despite acknowledging the existence of Al Qaeda in Benghazi, Libya, is using these militants, and the exact same networks used to send fighters to Iraq, to flood into and overrun Syria. This, after these very same Libyan militants were implicated in an attack that left a US ambassador dead on September 11, 2012.
Image: Libyan Mahdi al-Harati of the US State Department, United Nations, and the UK Home Office (page 5, .pdf)-listed terrorist organization, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), addressing fellow terrorists in Syria. Harati is now commanding a Libyan brigade operating inside of Syria attempting to destroy the Syrian government and subjugate the Syrian population. Traditionally, this is known as "foreign invasion."
Abdulhakim Belhadj, head of the Tripoli Military Council and the former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, "met with Free Syrian Army leaders in Istanbul and on the border with Turkey," said a military official working with Mr Belhadj. "Mustafa Abdul Jalil (the interim Libyan president) sent him there."
Syrian rebels held secret talks with Libya's new authorities on Friday, aiming to secure weapons and money for their insurgency against President Bashar al-Assad's regime, The Daily Telegraph has learned.At the meeting, which was held in Istanbul and included Turkish officials, the Syrians requested "assistance" from the Libyan representatives and were offered arms, and potentially volunteers."There is something being planned to send weapons and even Libyan fighters to Syria," said a Libyan source, speaking on condition of anonymity. "There is a military intervention on the way. Within a few weeks you will see."
Image: (Left) West Point's Combating Terrorism Center's 2007 report, "Al-Qa'ida's Foreign Fighters in Iraq" also indicated which areas in Syria Al Qaeda fighters filtering into Iraq came from. The overwhelming majority of them came from Dayr Al-Zawr in Syria's southeast, Idlib in the north near the Turkish-Syrian border, and Dar'a in the south near the Jordanian-Syrian border. (Right) A map indicating the epicenters of violence in Syria indicate that the exact same hotbeds for Al Qaeda in 2007, now serve as the epicenters of so-called "pro-democracy fighters."
In Syria, the southeastern region near Dayr Al-Zawr on the Iraqi-Syrian border, the northwestern region of Idlib near the Turkish-Syrian border, and Dar'a in the south near the Jordanian-Syrian border, produced the majority of fighters found crossing over into Iraq, according to the 2007 West Point study.
These regions now serve as the epicenter for a similar Libyan-style uprising, with fighters disingenuously portrayed as "pro-democracy" "freedom fighters." These are also the locations receiving the majority of foreign fighters flowing in from other areas described in the 2007 report, mainly from Saudi Arabia via Jordan, and from Libya, either directly, through Turkey, or through Egypt and/or Jordan.
The 2007 West Point report also describes the routes taken by the fighters entering Iraq. The most prominent routes by far were from Syria itself, the Libya-Egypt-Syria route, the Saudi Arabia-Syria route, and the Saudi Arabia-Jordan-Syria route. These routes are clearly being used yet again, only this time, instead of sowing sectarian violence and destabilization in Iraq, these foreign fighters, with NATO backing, are targeting Syria directly.
SUBVERSION OF SYRIA WAS PLANNED
BY THE US, ISRAEL, AND SAUDI ARABIA IN 2007
While many Western think-tank documents, including the joint US-Israeli "Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm," recognized Syria as a threat to corporate-financier hegemony throughout the Middle East and beyond, it wasn't until at least 2007 that a fully articulated plan was developed for actually rolling back or eliminating Syria as a viable, independent nation-state.
The specific use of Al Qaeda-affiliated militant organizations, not just inside Syria, but from across the region was a key component of the plan, revealed by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his 2007 New Yorker report titled, ""THE REDIRECTION: IS THE ADMINISTRATION'S NEW POLICY BENEFITING OUR ENEMIES IN THE WAR ON TERRORISM?"
In the report it specifically stated:
"To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shi-ite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran.“The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda." ~The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)
"The Saudi government, with Washington’s approval, would provide funds and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad, of Syria. The Israelis believe that putting such pressure on the Assad government will make it more conciliatory and open to negotiations." ~ The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)
“... [Saudi Arabia's] Bandar and other Saudis have assured the White House that “they will keep a very close eye on the religious fundamentalists. Their message to us wasWe’ve created this movement, and we can control it.’It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs; it’s who they throw them at ~ Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians, if they continue to work with Hezbollah and Iran.” ~The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)
the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia above all others,
IN SUPPORTING AL QAEDA IN IRAQ.
The Western press insists that the Syrian government constitutes a threat to international security. It has been implied on many occasions that the Syrian government has been, or still is supporting Al Qaeda. However, what does the West Point Combating Terrorism Center say about the Syrian government's role regarding the influx of foreign fighters into neighboring Iraq during the West's occupation?
In a second report, published in 2008 titled, "Bombers, Bank Accounts and Bleedout: al-Qa'ida's Road In and Out of Iraq," a rare and candid history is given regarding the genesis of Al Qaeda and the history it has had in Syria. It includes a revelation that contradicts the talking-points often repeated across Western media in regards to Syrian President Hafez Assad and his crackdown in the 1980's.
“During the first half of the 1980s the role of foreign fighters in Afghanistan was negligible and was largely unnoticed by outside observers.“The flow of volunteers from the Arab heartland countries was just a trickle in the early 1980s, though there were more significant links between the mujahidin and Central Asian Muslims ~ especially Tajiks, Uzbeks, and Kazakhs.“Individuals like the abovementioned Abull Walid were recruited in the early years via ad hoc outreach campaigns initiated from within Afghanistan, but by 1984, the resources being poured into the conflict by other countries ~ especially Saudi Arabia and the United States ~ had become much greater, as had the effectiveness and sophistication of the recruitment efforts. Only then did foreign observers begin to remark on the presence of outside volunteers.
The repression of Islamist movements in the Middle East contributed to the acceleration of Arab fighters leaving for Afghanistan. One important process was the Syrian regime of Hafez Assad’s brutal campaign against the Jihadi movement in Syria, led by the “Fighting Vanguard” (al-Tali’a al-Muqatila) of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.
“The crackdown initiated an exodus of Vanguard militants to neighboring Arab states. By 1984, large numbers of these men began making their way from exile in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Jordan toward southeastern Afghanistan to fight the Soviets. (page 24, "Bombers, Bank Accounts and Bleedout: al-Qa'ida's Road In and Out of Iraq," (2008)
The 2008 report reiterates the importance of Libya's LIFG in regards to the large numbers of fighters it sent to Iraq and its official merging with Al Qaeda, stating:
Today, the LIFG is an important partner in al-Qa`ida’s global coalition of Jihadi groups. The late Abu Layth al-Libi, LIFG’s Emir, reinforced Benghazi and Darnah’s importance to Libyan Jihadis in his November 2007 announcement that LIFG had joined al-Qa`ida, saying:"It is with the grace of God that we were hoisting the banner of Jihad against this apostate regime under the leadership of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which sacrificed the elite of its sons and commanders in combating this regime whose blood was spilled on the mountains of Darnah, the streets of Benghazi, the outskirts of Tripoli, the desert of Sabha, and the sands of the beach." (Page 38-39, "Bombers, Bank Accounts and Bleedout: al-Qa'ida's Road In and Out of Iraq," (2008)
Syria can almost certainly do more to disrupt the traffic across the border. However, it is unrealistic to expect the regime to expend more energy, given the economic and internal political importance of the underground cross border trade to Syrian social and political leaders, and the inherent limits of the regime’s ability to enforce a crackdown indefinitely. (Page 98, "Bombers, Bank Accounts and Bleedout: al-Qa'ida's Road In and Out of Iraq," (2008)
IT IS CLEAR THAT THE SYRIAN GOVERNMENT,
HAS BEEN FIGHTING
AND AL QAEDA ITSELF.
It was perhaps the compromises made by Syria to placate a perceived "international consensus" in regards to "freedom" and "democracy" that gave militants the foothold they needed to trigger the violence now unfolding across Syria and beyond its borders.
It is hoped that people both in the United States and in Syria can see what forces among themselves have contributed to the perpetuation of Al Qaeda and its use as a militant proxy, and purge these organizations and their ideology permanently from the body politic.
By reading the tremendous body of work provided by the US Army's West Point Combating Terrorism Center's reports, "Al-Qa'ida's Foreign Fighters in Iraq" and "Bombers, Bank Accounts and Bleedout: al-Qa'ida's Road In and Out of Iraq," other nations at risk of potentially falling prey to a similar use of Al Qaeda as a proxy serving Western foreign policy, can begin making preparations and raising awareness regarding the truth behind this geopolitical tool.
The following is just a FYI: