Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Look who's recruiting for jihad

On december 11, news were (quietly) released that Egypt had expelled eight French nationals, and two Belgians, "on suspicion of links to a terror network which allegedly recruits Muslims to fight the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq" (AP). Along with these ten, were arrested "an unknown number of Egyptians and Arabs from other countries who were accused of belonging to an Islamist terror cell plotting attacks". And, a US citizen, and another frenchman. These last two represent an interesting case which we'll address in just a moment. According to the Egyptian police, all these people had registered at the huge Al-Azhar university in Cairo for Islamic classes, but used their presence there to talk fellow students into either going to Iraq to fight the US occupation army, or planting bombs in selected locations.

The Al-Azhar university in Cairo.
French minister of interior Sarkozy chose it to train the french imams in 2003.

For now, it is interesting to note that this piece of news never made the national media, either in France, Belgium, or the US. Only the International Herald Tribune ran the AP release, and Le Figaro published an article, with the decency to note that both in France and Belgium the alleged terrorists were freed upon arrival, and to question that hasty release. That's right : no investigation by the French nor Belgian authorities, nor questions asked. Within a few hours all these ten people, officially accused of plotting terrorist attacks by the Egyptian police, were free. Reality deniers will have to assume that all ten of them had titanium alibis for everything, as in France one spends 48 hours in custody for being accused of plotting a burglary... Others will note that something fishy stems from this release of people facing such accusations from a country allied in the so-called "war on terror". Incidentally, the Pravda reports Egypt to be quite furious over the quick release of all of the men they rendered, which could look like a logical reaction if you look at it. Let's not forget that when western intelligence agencies render suspects to Egypt, at the very least they get premium torture treatment for a few months, as contracted. But France and Belgium don't act that way : you give them suspects, they free them immediately. That 'Land of the Human Rights' reputation must be for real, after all, but what a waste : ten detainees could entertain an Abu Ghraib squadron for a full week...

By looking at the situation we need to assume that these ten are fully innocent. Or there's something else. Questioning the event leads us to take a look at the remaining two suspects. These two are even more interesting, especially the US citizen (absolutely zero detail was released as to the frog-eater. We're left to assume that his presence there, conspiring at stabbing the US Army in the back, just proves that's what these cheese manufactors like to do : bite the hand that saved their buttocks in WWII).

The arrested US citizen is "Grey Warren", as named by Egyptian police. Grey Warren, from Ohio. Doesn't sound like the usual osama arrested as ringleader of the now usual hollywoodesque plot (my favorite is "they were going to flood New York by blowing up an underwater tunnel"). Doesn't even sound like the convert who was going to behead Canada's Premier with his bare hands, but we have to hang to that name as no other element was released. Actually, "a State Department official would not confirm whether the name given by the Egyptian security official was correct, citing privacy laws". Excuse me ?!?

At this point we need to take a closer look at the situation : a US citizen is arrested in Egypt by the anti-terror police, who accuses him of recruiting Muslims to send them to fight in Iraq, against the US Army. Wouldn't that make him a traitor to his country, in time of war? In my world, it does. But for the US State Department, what's important is the man's right to privacy. You find this interesting? just wait.

According to the Herald Tribune, Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram, "citing government sources, also said the American was being questioned for possible links with al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri". Possible links with Number Two himself? It looks like we've got a good candidate for a one way ticket to Guantanamo, doesn't it? I guess the FBCIA can't wait to grab him for a session of the "frat jokes" that made Lynndie England a celebrity? Right? Well, something tells me it ain't so.

That something is the AP release again :

"In Washington, the administration said Monday it expected an American detained in Egypt as a suspected terrorist to be freed.

"Our expectation is that he will be released and that he will be able to leave Egypt," said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack"

"Our expectation is that he will be released and that he will be able to leave Egypt"
"Our expectation is that he will be released and that he will be able to leave Egypt"
"Our expectation is that he will be released and that he will be able to leave Egypt"

Sorry for pasting this thrice, but come on... A possible high level member of what 'they' are supposed to fight with billions of dollars and thousands of deaths is in jail in Egypt, and the expectation of the Bush administration is for him to go free? No investigation? No harsh treatment as an example to the jihad wanna-bes in the US or elsewhere? No normal treatment of someone accused of conspiring against his own country, in time of war? No indignation on CNN, no "we'll make sure that this person who, although an American, could be an enemy combatant, will receive a fair but pitiless trial"?

No. "Our expectation is that he will be released and that he will be able to leave Egypt". And quasi-complete silence from the media.

Who is this Grey Warren? Another Michael Meiring?

Who exactly is planting these bombs all over the Middle East, and who is recruiting Muslims for the so-called Jihad? Why do these people receive support from the US Department of State?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

No Muslim, no headlines

On thursday and friday, September 28 and 29, the UK police stormed two houses in Colne and Nelson (Lancashire, UK). In the first one, "rocket launchers, chemicals" and "a nuclear or biological suit" were found. One man was arrested, and "charged with being in possession of an explosive substance for an unlawful purpose" (North-West Evening Mail). In the other house, the police found "bomb-making equipment", most notably "the largest amount of chemical explosives of its kind ever found in the country" (!), and arrested another man (The Burnley Citizen). As the history of terror the UK has known during the IRA years provided for a whole lot of busts of all sorts and quantities of explosives, 'the largest amount ever', even if of a particular kind only, must mean something significant.

Both arrested men have already appeared before court, and been charged under the Explosives Substances Act 1883. One prosecutor declared that the pair had "some kind of master plan" (Pendle Today).

Wouldn't that sound newsworthy to you ? Wouldn't you expect to read about it all over the UK national press, and the international media ?

In that case, expect again : the only mention outside the (very) local media linked above, was a few lines lost somewhere in The Times. Everywhere else, one can only heed a thundering silence. No Sun, No Mirror, no BBC, no SkyNews, and no Channel 4. No non-stop headlines, no 'Breaking News' ticker on CNN. Nothing.

Is that because the two men arrested aren't the (usual) muslims (suspects), but westernly white, far-right extremists ? One of them, Robert Cottage (49), "stood as a candidate in the Pendle Council elections in May", for the BNP (British National Party). The other, David Bolus Jackson (62), is a retired dentist also linked to the BNP.

After the Forest Gate debacle, one would think the police and media would be glad to have a real terrorist plot to advertise. A real plot, where they'd actually found real explosives and real weapons, unlike the "liquid plot" which sparked massive hysteria in August, and changed the procedures for boarding planes all over the globe although no bomb-making material was ever found anywhere. This time, the curious one meets silence only. Or, a 'reassuring' statement from Superintendent Neil Smith, regarding one of the arrested men and his house : "he's not a terrorist and it's not a bomb-making factory". In short, muslims not possessing explosives are immediately labeled terrorists, while anglicans caught with explosives and "a master plan" are deemed safe before full investigation, and get some cover from the local police chief.

I know that facts and logic have long deserted the Western media, but I just can't get used to it.

There's another side to the story, which is uncorroborated, yet legit, speculation. I can't help relating this bust, and the comparable raid in Belgium last month, with the modus operandi of Operation Gladio : high ranked string pullers would manipulate far-right/neo-fascist organizations into conducting bombings which would eventually be blamed on designated-as-enemy left-wing groups. The essence of the modern false flag attack.

In the present cases, it's -very- weird that no muslim ever gets caught with explosives before a bombing, while these right-wing groups which do possess explosives (occasionally getting caught red-handed) apparently never make use of them : when was the last bombing attributed to neo-fascists in your area ?

One possible explanation is that somehow, (magically?), right wing bombs become 'muslim attacks' when they do explode. The merit of that hypothesis being that it fits the available facts.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The devil drinks gasolina

On september 27, 2006, every 'respectable' news outlet was running the 7-Eleven/Citgo story : outraged by Hugo Chavez's speech at the UN (you know, when he could still smell sulfur), the 7-Eleven executives reacted with a fiercely patriotic decision : they immediately announced they were dropping Venezuela-owned Citgo as the supplier of gasoline for 2,100 of their stores. They were switching to star-spangled companies instead : nobody can smear Our Beloved Leader Bush and get away with it.

Irony, and some sense of victory, were palpable all over the 'respectable' media. Said Forbes : "The sulfur Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez smells these days isn't the residue of George Bush at the United Nations, but profits from the sale of fuel to 7-Eleven stores going poof". There you are Mr Chavez, reaping what you sowed ! For the Washington Post, the 7-Eleven decision came as direct consideration for concerned customers' complaints : "Faced with a barrage of calls from customers and bloggers calling for a boycott of Citgo gasoline stations, 7-Eleven Inc. said yesterday that the Citgo signs are going to start coming down from its convenience stores". Some major company complying -in a blink- with demands from citizens, 'and bloggers', isn't that appreciable ? And new ?

Of course, there's another Angle to the story, which most of the media seem to have missed : in last july, Citgo announced it wouldn't renew no-longer-profitable supply contracts with hundreds of US gas stations (many of them part of the 7-11 network). Said contract was ending on... September 30th, 2006. Put simply, 7-11 dropped on september 27 its Citgo contract, which Citgo had already dropped on july 12. "I fire you"... "No, I quit !". Could be one of these sitcoms ? One featuring Associated Press 'journalists' running the same story two months apart, only reversing the role of main characters ?

"Foreign agression"

That same Washington Post article mentions interesting words from Boston City Council Jerry McDermott, who "(...)called for the removal of the Citgo sign visible over the left field wall of Fenway Park":
The neon sign, which went up in 1965, has been called Boston's equivalent of Big Ben. Popular outcry in 1983 stopped a company plan to dismantle the sign. But McDermott said that the Chavez speech changed his view. When he was a kid on the way to Fenway, McDermott said, "you'd be sitting in the bus and you would see the sign and you knew you were close." But, he said, the sign "doesn't have the reverence that it once did." McDermott added: "It's a corporation that is funding activities against this country, and we should take heed. I don't see why this symbol of foreign aggression should be emblazoned against the sky of Boston."

Too bad the WP 'journalist' didn't see fit to ask for details on that 'foreign aggression', as we're now left wondering what sinister plot he was referring to. Was it the now famous 'sulfur' comment (which, incidentally, a growing number of US citizens are endorsing) or was it something else?

Maybe it was that bold move from Citgo (backed by state-owned Petroleo De Venezuela SA), which decided before the '05 winter to provide 12 million gallons of heating oil to poor citizens at a 40% discounted price (representing a $10 million gift) in Mr McDermott's Boston area ? Was it the overall 'low cost heating oil' program, representing a rebate on a total of 45 million gallons of oil ? Was it this free oil (300,000+ gallons of it) provided to homeless shelters in Vermont, Connecticut and Delaware ? Was it the '06 version of the Venezuelan aid program, another plan to discount 100 million gallons of heating oil for the US poor, hospitals and shelters..? Or, was it because of that provocative offer for help, complete with mobile hospital units, after Katrina devastated New Orleans ?

All this shows there's plenty the USA can hold against Chavez. It's a surprise nobody from Capitol Hill called any of this an 'act of war' yet. The obvious way to cope with this (rogue) country that joined the 'axis of evil' in early 2005, is to launch one of these shock and awe operations so transnational companies can resume with plundering the Venezuelan resources in a healthy rush toward profit at any human cost, instead of just letting a Venezuelan firm help low income US families to go through winter with a decent temperature at home.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Don't tell the emperor's subjects...

Nice catch for WhatReallyHappened, exposing the differences in treatment of information between the USA and the rest of the world. Newsweek got caught softening the harsh reality of the war in Afghanistan for the US public, swapping its 'losing Afghanistan' cover for an innocentish 'My life in picture'.

The latter relates to "our most famous photographer" Annie Leibowitz. Photographing a celebrity photographer while the Middle East is on fire... How cute.