Selective Outrage
Media Lens, London, 18 January 2012
News that a fourth scientist in two years, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, had been assassinated in Iran by an unknown agency generated minimal outrage in the press.
Patrick Cockburn notedin the Independent:
?While the identity of those carrying out the assassinations remains a mystery, it is most likely to be Israel’s foreign intelligence service, Mossad??
The Sunday Times published a meticulous account of the planning and execution of the attack provided by ?a source who released details? on the actions of ?small groups of Israeli agents? operating inside Iran. (Marie Colvin and Uzi Mahnaimi, ?Israel’s secret war,? Sunday Times, January 15, 2012)
Julian Borger?s article in the Guardian warnedagainst ‘Goading a regime on the brink.’
We wonder if the Guardian would have described the Iranian assassination of scientists on US or Israeli streets as ?goading?. We also wonder if Borger would have described these as terrorist attacks. Continue reading “”

Anti-semitism, and the 9/11, Israel-Mossad Connection Part IV

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Rahnuma Ahmed

“History cannot be permanently falsified; the myth cannot stand up to the scrutiny of research; the sinister web will be brought into the light and torn to pieces, however artfully it has been spun.”

– Dr Jakob Ruchti (1915)

Why should people who are highly knowledgeable in western diplomacy, intelligence, counter-terrorism, false flag operations, defence and security matters?including some who occupied very high leadership positions in the west?risk making utter fools of themselves by claiming that 9/11 was an inside job? Unless it was. False flag. Covert operation, you name it.
Michael Meacher, Tony Blair’s environment minister, thought 9/11 was “bogus.” Drawing parallels with Pearl Harbour, he said 9/11 had the hallmarks of a “political myth” made to pave the way for America’s goal of world hegemony. Japanese lawmaker, Yukihisa Fujita alleges, the official claims just don’t fit the facts. Plane crashes always yield plane fragments which can be identified by the plane’s serial number. The US government produced passports and DNA samples of individuals killed but no identifiable plane parts. Strange, no?
General Albert Stubblebine, the commanding general of US Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM), now retired but with a 32 year army career says, I was in charge of the Army’s Imagery Interpretation for Scientific and Technical Intelligence during the Cold War.?It was my job to measure pieces of Soviet equipment from photographs. “I look at the hole in the Pentagon and I look at the size of an airplane that was supposed to have hit the Pentagon. ‘The plane does not fit in that hole.’ “So what did hit the Pentagon? Where is it? What’s going on?” If a plane had hit the Pentagon, there’d have been wing marks on the walls of the Pentagon. Someone told me, you’ve got it all wrong. One wing tipped down, hit the ground. Broke off. Fine. But what about the other? “I haven’t met an airplane with only one wing.” He adds, We pride ourselves with the “free press.” I do not believe the “free press” is free anymore.
His observation seems equally valid for the “free press” in western Europe. Euro-parliamentarian Giulietto Chiesa, one of the team members which produced the 9/11 film Zero, organised its screening at EU Parliament on February 28, 2008. Despite having personally invited all 785 EU parliamentarians and nearly a thousand journalists, only 6 Europarliamentarians and 2 journalists turned up. When asked, Chiesa replied, “It shows that the US is controlling everything. They are all powerful. No politician in the European Parliament can ignore the power?or wrath!?of the US.” The Belgian media obliged by not publishing or broadcasting news of the screening and discussion that took place, either on that, or the following day. Suspecting Bush administration’s version of the 9/11 attacks, says Chiesa, is taboo. People just can’t handle 9/11 truth.
“The deathly precision,” “the magnitude of planning” behind September 11 attacks would require “years of planning,” says Eckehardt Werthebach, former president of Germany’s domestic intelligence service, Verfassungsschutz.?An operation as sophisticated as this would require the “fixed frame” of a state intelligence organisation. Not something a “loose group” of terrorists, one led by a Mohd Atta studying in Hamburg, could pull off. Colonel Ronald Day, deputy assistant secretary of defense during the Reagan administration and a highly-decorated Vietnam veteran expresses his incredulity at the Bush administration’s story:? “Half a trillion dollars a year and a bunch of guys over in a cave in Afghanistan were able to penetrate that half a trillion dollar network that’s supposed to provide Americans with national security.” Hah!
To Horst Ehmke, the televised images of 9/11 looked like a “Hollywood production.” Coordinator of the German secret services under prime minister Willy Brandt, Ehmke maintains, “Terrorists could not have carried out such an operation with 4 hijacked planes without the support of a secret service.”
“The planning of the attacks,” says Andreas von Bulow, “was technically and organizationally a master achievement. To hijack four huge airplanes within a few minutes, and within one hour to drive them into their targets with complicated flight maneuvers! This is unthinkable without years-long support from secret apparatuses of the state and industry.” A former minister, and Bundestag member who served on the parliamentary commission which oversaw the three branches of the German secret service, von Bulow insists, Mossad (Israeli intelligence service) was behind 9/11. The attacks were carried out to turn public opinion against the Arabs. To boost military and security spending. To justify building military bases in the Middle East for future confrontation with China.?The story of 19 Muslims working with bin Laden’s al-Qaeda is an “invented” one. WTC Building 7 (the one that fell on its face without being being hit by a plane) was a command bunker, later demolished to destroy the crime scene. “The BND (German secret service) is steered by the CIA and the CIA is steered by Mossad.”
Former Italian president Francesco Cossiga, famous for his honesty and outspokenness, who had revealed the existence of, and his part in setting up the false flag operation, Gladio, also thinks that the 9/11 attacks were run by the CIA and Mossad.?Operation Gladio was a rogue intelligence network under NATO auspices?overseen by US intelligence agencies?that carried out bombings across Europe in the 60s, 70s and 80s. Gladio agent Vincenzo Vinciguerra had stated in his sworn testimony,
You had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple: to force…the public to turn to the state to ask for greater security.”
Cossiga says, it is common knowledge among global intelligence agencies that 911 was an inside job. The reason? To put the blame on the Arab countries. To induce western powers to take control of Iraq and Afghanistan.
September 11, writes David MacGregor (author, September 11 as ??Machiavellian State Terror,?? 2006), may be an example of “expedient destruction ordered from within the state, a macabre instance of a state protection racket.” Inspired by the sixteenth century Italian thinker Machiavelli, MacGregor writes, Machiavellian state terrorism, as distinct from those that are publicised, are often “initiated by persons or groups other than those suspected of the act.” Most importantly, they are secretly perpetrated by, or on behalf, of the violated state itself. Machiavellian state terror advances the ruling agenda while disguising itself as the work of individuals or groups opposed to the state?s fundamental principles. Convenient opportunities for maximum impact of terrorist events?and this includes pyrotechnic effects, spectacular deaths?may be best known by, and available to those in power.
Or, as Dr Alan Sabrosky (director of studies, US Army War College) had put it, it would have been impossible to stage 9/11 without the full resources of both the CIA and Mossad.
One must not underestimate the side actor roles played by the ISI (Pakistan), and the Saudi intelligence agency, I hasten to add. Most crucial.
Meacher had said, 9/11 had the hallmarks of a political myth. From Shlomo Sand’s When and How Was the Jewish People Invented? (2008) it seems that the idea of a Jewish nation too, is a political myth.?Alongwith the idea that the Jews were exiled from the Holy Land. So also, the idea that most of today’s Jews have a historical connection to the land called Israel.
Dr Sand, a courageous Israeli historian, draws on extensive archaeological and historical research to argue that the idea of a Jewish nation is an early 20th century idea, one created by Zionist Jews to justify the founding of the state of Israel. “Zionism changed the idea of Jerusalem. Before, the holy places were seen as places to long for, not to be lived in.” He writes, like all other Israelis I had taken it for granted that the Jews were a people living in Judea, that they were exiled by the Romans in 70 AD. But historical evidence says that the kingdoms of David and Solomon were legends. That the Romans didn’t exile people. “In fact, Jews in Palestine were overwhelming peasants and all the evidence suggests they stayed on their lands.”
But if most Jews never left the Holy Land, what became of them? Answering his own question, Sand says, “It is not taught in Israeli schools but most of the early Zionist leaders, including David Ben Gurion [Israel’s first prime minister], believed that the Palestinians were the descendants of the area’s original Jews. They believed the Jews had later converted to Islam.”
Both myths?America was attacked because they hate our freedom, Jews existed as a people separate from their religion?have been artfully spun. Both are unable to withstand scrutiny.

Three of the 5 Israelis detained for 10 weeks, later deported to Israel after FBI cleared them of any involvement in 9-11 (on Israeli TV talkshow, Nov 2001). They told the Israeli audience that their purpose was to document the event. But who were they documenting the event for? And how did they know the attack was going to be that particular morning?

Israelis were caught with a van on September 11 which had a mural painted on the side literally depicting the 9/11 attacks.

Published in New Age, May 31, 2008

Anti-semitism, and the 9/11, Israel-Mossad Connection Part III

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Rahnuma Ahmed

“Investigators within the DEA [Drug Enforcement Administration],?INS [Immigration and Naturalization Service], and FBI have all told Fox News?that to pursue or even suggest Israeli spying…? is considered career suicide.” Carl Cameron, investigative reporter, Fox News

Cameron made this remark in `Israeli Spying in the US,’ a 4 part Fox News channel series, aired in mid December 2001. The programme contended that Israeli intelligence had advanced information about the September 11 attacks.
It didn’t assert (of course not) that Mossad had `done’ 9/11. As did Dr Alan Sabrosky, former director of studies of the US Army War College, recently.
But that was bad enough. The programme was pulled down from the Fox News website. So was it’s transcript. All references were deleted. No explanation was ever given by Fox.
Career suicide? Hmm, reminds me of how the BBC conveniently lost the original footage, the one where Jane Standley, news correspondent, reports the collapse of Building 7. Wouldn’t have been a problem except for the fact that the building was still standing. The BBC’s news editor dismisses the footage loss casually. No `conspiracy.’ (No destruction of evidence). Just a `cock-up.’
But Israelis have spied on the US. And to top it all, they traded US state secrets with the USSR. Its sworn enemy. Jonathan Pollard, an American of Jewish descent, an intelligence analyst in the US Navy, stole and sold to Israel more than a million pages of classified material. Israel secretly passed on to the USSR those which did America the greatest damage?relating to the US Nuclear Deterrent relative to the USSR. In exchange, emigration quotas for Soviet Jews to Israel were increased. Information about American agents operating within the USSR also found their way to USSR via Israel. After 13 long years of denial, Israel finally acknowledged, in 1998, that yes, Pollard was an Israeli spy. He was a LAKAM (Israeli Scientific Liaison Bureau) agent.
The Pollard affair still rankles among US ruling circles. The US government has declined to release him from life imprisonment?interestingly, he was tried for espionage, not treason?despite repeated public relations campaigns and requests by Jewish Americans. By Israelis. By prime minister Netanyahu himself. “[It is] difficult to conceive of a greater harm to national security than that caused by… Pollard’s treasonous behavior,” said Caspar Weinberger, Reagan’s secretary of defense.
The greatest harm to US national security done by its “closest” ally? By the nation which has,? according to three-fourths of the US Senate, and most? of Congress members, an “unbreakable bond” with the US?words used to describe the relationship in a recent letter addressed to Hillary Clinton, one that has been interpreted as implicitly rebuking president Obama for his confrontational stance towards Israel.
Known as the AIPAC-backed, pro-Israel letter (April 13, 2010), it has created waves of consternation among America’s informed circles: what comes first for our lawmakers? Surely it is the US? Surely it is not Israel?
I myself, as I read and reflect on the unfolding events, am reminded of General Leonid Ivashov’s (former joint chief of staff of Russian Armed Forces) comment: the 9/11 attack was the result of “a clash of interests among US leaders.”
Is the clash finally coming to a head? According to close observers, what is taking place at present is unprecedented. Tony Judt did issue a warning several years ago, “something is changing in the United States”. There has been a sea change, he had said.

Handcuffed human-chain rally protesting against Jonathan Pollard's "20th-year of disproportionate captivity in American prison." Jerusalem, 2004.

AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) rules America. Some of America's rulers at AIPAC including George Bush, Dick Cheney, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Condoleeza Rice, Nancy Pelosi

But how did it get to be this way? How did the American-Israeli lobby?in former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon’s words, “We the Jewish people control America” ?(`Jewish’ here is not anti-Semitic, no? Oh good, what a relief)?get to own America? History tells us, it all began with Harry Truman. He had succeeded to the presidency but in the 1948 campaign, he trailed behind. In the polls, in fundraising. His prospects brightened however, after he recognised Israel. A network of Jewish Zionists funded his campaign, gave him $400,000 in cash ($3 million in 2009 dollars)?. It was crucial to his victory.
For those readers who are new to these issues, who have by now become thoroughly confused over the entanglement of religion, race and ethnicity (Jewish), nation, nation-state (USA, Israel), national sovereignty (American), have been wondering whether AIPAC is a national lobby or a foreign lobby, why Sharon had said “we Jewish” and not “we Israelis” control America, which Jewish people he had meant, whether Israeli Jewish or American Jewish, whether by saying “we Jewish” he had implied that the loyalties of both American Jewish and Israeli Jewish people were owed to Israel, not to the US etc., etc., I will just mention another instance from history. In my opinion, a highly significant one.
President John F. Kennedy had insisted that the American Zionist Council (AIPAC’s predecessor, American Israel Public Affairs Committee) should register as a foreign agent under the provisos of FARA (Foreign Agent Registration Act) . His assassination (1963), and later, that of his brother Robert F Kennedy (1968), the attorney general, and also a presidential candidate?somehow led to the order that the AZC should get registered as a foreign lobby, getting buried too. Five years later, the late Senator J. William Fulbright, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee was heard telling Americans on CBS’s Face the Nation programme: the Jewish influence completely dominates the scene. To the extent that it makes it “almost impossible to get Congress to do anything they [the Jewish] don?t approve of? (1973).
John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt’s publication of The Israel Lobby (albeit from London) is part of the sea-change that Judt spoke of. Ten years ago, he wrote, that’d possibly not have happened. In their book, Mearsheimer and Walt, who are political scientists at Chicago and Harvard university respectively say?after having surveyed a wide coalition of pro-Israel groups and individuals (American Jewish organizations and political donors, Christian fundamentalists, neo-con officials in the executive branch, AIPAC, media pundits ready to accuse anyone critical of Israel of being an anti-Semite)?the pro-Israeli lobby has an `almost unchallenged hold on Congress.’ The authors are not loath to point out that their’s is a serious study. It’s not a conspiracy theory.
Mearsheimer and Walt’s work is undoubtedly, politically-speaking, highly significant. Even though they have been severely ostracised (as is only to be expected, after all, the AIPAC’s annual budget is reportedly $15 million), for conservative American academics to come out and declare that Israel is a “liability” for the US, is, well, as Judt suggested, a sea-change. But I myself, have found two other academic studies to be more insightful theoretically-speaking. One is the highly-acclaimed study by Peter Dale Scott, a professor of English. It predates 9/11?interestingly enough, it was inspired by the Kennedy assassination, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK (1993)?but the events of 9/11 have reinforced its significance in helping us to examine and analyse American politics.
To understand Deep Politics, says Scott, one must understand the difference between traditional conspiracy theory, and deep political analysis. Those who are schooled in the first approach, will look for conscious secret collaborations toward shared ends. But if one adopts the deep politics approach, then instead of looking for conspiracies, for that which is `consciously secretive,’ we will re-conceptualise, we will think of the deep political process or system as one which habitually resorts to decision-making and enforcement procedures, both outside, as well as inside, those publicly sanctioned by law and society. What makes these supplementary procedures “deep” is the fact that they are covert or suppressed. They are outside general awareness, outside acknowledged political processes. Some secrets are open. But some, says Scott, are more closely held.
The other is by an article by David MacGregor, September 11 as “Machiavellian State Terror” (The Hidden History of 9-11-2001, published 2006). Machiavellian state terror, writes MacGregor, advances the ruling agenda, while disguising itself as the work of individuals or groups opposed to the state’s fundamental principles.
To be vitally active in the political universe, says the author, one must theorise “oppositionally.” One must question the government. One must look for connections between events.
I’d like to add, one must think oppositionally, even if it be suicidal for one’s career. Better that, than be controlled, by others.

More next week

Published in New Age 24 May 2010

9/11, Mossad, and a super 9-11 in the offing


By Rahnuma Ahmed

Anti-Semite, Jew hater, Holocaust denier are the epithets one is bound to gather if one voices criticism of Israel. Of Zionism.
Historian Tony Judt, of Jewish background himself, had written on Israel’s 58th birthday, Israel is like an adolescent. It is convinced that it can do as it wishes. That it is immortal. That no one understands it. Everyone is against it. It is unique (`The country that wouldn’t grow up,’ Haaretz, May 2, 2006).
And after all, as God’s “chosen people” how can they be blamed? Self-deluded into thinking that they are distinct?especially from their Arab neighbours who are barbaric, fanatics, dirty, smelly?imagine their shock when a research aimed at studying genetic variations in immune system genes among Middle Eastern people discovered otherwise, that Jewish people are genetically not distinct from their neighbors. What was to happen now to the Jewish claim that they are special? That Judaism can only be inherited? (`Mideast Jews, Palestinians Virtually Genetically Identical,’ The Observer, November 25, 2001).
And how did the scientific community react? Did members scratch their heads and say, Oh good, now the Israelis will realise that it was all a big mistake. They’ve been slaughtering and grabbing land from people who’re actually their brothers… All this horror can stop. We can have peace. Finally!
No. The paper was pulled from Human Immunology, the American journal in which it’d just been published. It was removed from the journal’s website. Academics who had already received journal copies were urged to rip out the offending pages. Libraries and universities throughout the world were asked to either ignore it or “preferably to physically remove the pages.” The author, Spanish geneticist professor Antonio Arnaiz-Villena was sacked from the journal’s editorial board.
If Arnaiz-Villena had found evidence that instead of being “ordinary,” Jewish people were genetically “very special,” wrote a fellow scientist, “you can be sure no one would have objected.”
Israel, as we can all see, has refused to grow up. If it had, it would have, at the very least, done what Judt had advised 4 years earlier: dismantle the major settlements. Open unconditional negotiation with Palestinians. Offer Hamas leaders something serious in return for recognition of Israel and a cease-fire.
It would have realised that it cannot count indefinitely upon the unquestioning support of the United States. That the worldwide scrutiny of its everyday behaviour towards the Palestinians, only a TV button or a mouse click away?curfews, checkpoints, bulldozers, home destructions, land grabbings and settlements, slaughter in Gaza dubbed the world’s largest open-air prison, apartheid wall, targeted assassinations, theft of western passports?would eventually lead to a situation where, as Judt puts it, “the fact that the great-grandmother of an Israeli soldier died in Treblinka,” or Auschwitz, is no excuse for his own abusive treatment of a Palestinian woman waiting to cross a checkpoint. That it would lead to a situation where Israel would no longer be able to cash in on the Holocaust.
It will be most unfortunate. Zionism will provide the excuse for the rise of genuine anti-Semitism, for exacting the price?from both Zionist, and non-Zionist Jews?for not having learnt lessons from history.
Judt had issued a warning: “something is changing in the United States.” Ten years ago, he said, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt’s The Israel Lobby would possibly not have been published. Not even from London. A sea-change is taking place. It is leading prominent thinkers, including erstwhile neo-conservative interventionists like Francis Fukuyama to hard-nosed realists like Mearsheimer and Walt (“prominent senior academics of impeccable conservative credentials”) to voice the concern that Israel is “a liability.” If America is to regain her “foreign image and influence” the umbilical cord which ties US foreign policy to the needs and interests of Israel must be severed.

Mossad logo: `By way of deception, thou shalt do war'

US military circles apparently are not far removed from these changing concerns. As Dr Alan Sabrosky, former director of studies of the American War College said in a recent interview, his article, in which he alleges that 9/11 was a Mossad-CIA operation, is being read by people in the Headquarters Marine Corps, the Army War College. At first it is met with disbelief. But once people get convinced, they get angry. Very angry, he said. That’s because the military, unlike the Congress, the White House, and the media, has not been bought (see last week’s column, The `Mad Dog’ in the Middle East).
It is a conviction that seems to be shared by Gordon Duff, a Marine Vietnam veteran, and a widely published expert on military and defense issues. Israel’s powerful group around Bush ?the PNAC-ers, the neo-cons?is not present in the current administration, but the idea, as Duff explains, had been that regardless of who was voted to power, whether it was John McCain or Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel would be there, “to pull his strings” ?(Emanuel is the White House chief of staff at present). And they still have the Clintons, both Bill and Hillary, the State department, and “AIPAC’s ability to put 75% of the members of congress around anything from a resolution that the moon is made of green cheese to `National Have Sex With Your Child Day.’ Equally importantly, the media giants controlled by Israeli assets and Christian Zionist allies are in position in Germany, the UK and the US, and along with Canada, Australia and New Zealand, these assets are quick in “suppressing news, running any story and manipulating the masses.”
Things started to go wrong for Israel, writes Duff, when top military leaders increasingly became suspicious of 9/11 (April 24, 2010). Of the possibility that Israel was involved in 9/11. It is a suspicion which has festered like an open wound. General Petraeus, the senior operational commander, the person really in charge of the US military, has told Admiral Mullen that Israel is not subjected to any foreign threat. That it has become “a massive liability.” Obama, writes Duff, was confronted with a choice. He was told that neither the military nor the intelligence services are prepared to participate in attacks on Iran “under any imaginable circumstances.” That, if the US wanted to attack Iran, “he and Emanuel Rahm would have to invade Iran personally” (and I cannot help think who’d blame them with 18 attempted suicides per day among American war vets?).
As Israel lined up its collaborators in the US, Obama went after “Israel’s biggest prize in America, Goldman Sachs,” its prime asset for controlling America. For looting America. According to Duff, the alliance between the US and Israel has totally broken down. The most liberal and the most conservative members of congress have signed up in support of Goldman Sachs, and lined up against the President and Pentagon, who are are aligned together. In support of his argument, he asks: why [else would] extreme liberals and conservatives all attacking President Obama and, less visibly, our military leaders, all at the same time? Who is orchestrating this oddest turn of political events in recent history?
And in this oddest of situation backroom chatter has increased: a terror attack is imminent. Iran will be blamed for it. The primary suspect is Israel since “only a new 9/11 can bail Israel out,” writes Duff. According to rumors, the weapons are in place in Europe and the US. Arabs, Iranians, Pakistanis, some kind of Islamic terrorist group, have already been recruited. Or invented. News stories have already been drafted (I’d like to remind skeptics of 9/11, when BBC news correspondent Jane Standley had reported the collapse of Building 7, a good 23 minutes before the actual collapse time). Film crews are on alert. Witnesses will be briefed, they will say, Yes, it was an Arab dirty bomb. We saw them. Middle Eastern-looking. They must have bought the bomb from North Korea. After the story has hit the news, these stunned survivors will suddenly disappear. We all know where.
A super 9-11. But will this one, now that suspicions have been raised, now that Israel’s cover has been blown, will it generate `super’ sympathy for Middle East’s `mad dog’?
May be not. Once bitten, twice shy.
Published in New Age

Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who provides the best security of them all..?

By Rahnuma Ahmed

In the aftermath of the `underwear’ bomber incident, an increasing clamour of voices insist that the rest of the world should learn airport security from Israel, and El Al, its national airlines.
Their record is impressive, writes Christopher Walker. Global Traveller magazine has named El Al, the “world’s most secure airline” (`Air security: rest of world needs to learn from El Al,’ The First Post, 21 January 2010).
Their deterrents, both seen and unseen, are most effective. The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) provide updated specifications of weapons and explosives likely to be used by terrorists and militants. Security staff, often women, trained in psychological techniques begin questioning passengers as they approach the terminal. El Al terminals the world over, are patrolled by plain-clothes agents, fully armed police, and military personnel. Passenger names are checked at passport control with FBI, Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Scotland Yard, Shin Bet (Israel’s domestic security service), Interpol and French Deuxieme Bureau databases. To divert missiles, all aircrafts are fitted with Flight Guard Civil Aviation Missile Protection System. All bags are routinely put in a decompression chamber which simulates on-flight pressure needed to trigger explosives. Sky marshals, armed but often in plain-clothes, travel on flights. All these are routine matters.
As is its pro-Jewish racial profiling.
Human rights campaigners the world over may “object” to it, some may think it “shameless,” others may regard it as “blatant” but, Walker writes, its inclusion ensures “thoroughness.” After all, what is more important? Differential treatment toward some passengers? Or, risking the lives of all?
Absence of the Israeli-kind-of security in Britain’s recent measures, is likely to lead to failure. (Only) No-fly lists. (Only) Cancelling all flights between Britain and Yemen. (Only) Seamlessly tracking and disrupting all terrorist movements. (Only) Introducing full body scanners at all British airports. These are just “not enough,” says Walker. Nothing short of racial and religious profiling, and fitting aircrafts with anti-missile systems?will do.
Delia Lloyd is similarly enthusiastic about Israel, which has “pioneered” and “perfected” aviation security. A full-scale Israelification of US and UK airports is needed, and even though sheer numbers, costs of re-training employees make it daunting, we should start thinking of “moving towards the Israeli model.” (`Airport Security: Is Israel the Answer,’ Politics Daily, 1/08/10).
Not everyone agrees. As a reader comments on Lloyd’s piece: “No, Israel isn’t the answer, Israel is the problem. Why do you think we are the object of attacks? Because we prop up Israel, and behave like Israel.” [TAWNY JONES 5:58 AM, JAN 8, 2010; CHECKED AT 21:26, 24 JANUARY, HAS BEEN REMOVED]
Interestingly enough, the clamor for Israelification began soon after serious doubts and questions surfaced about what actually occurred at Schipol airport in Amsterdam.
But there are questions about other airports too. About private firms who were in charge of security. Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris (2001). Logan airport in Boston (2001). For the underground, as well. The London Underground (2005).
But more on Schipol first. In an earlier column (`Padded Underwear,’ 10 January 2010), I’d written that airport security in Amsterdam is contracted to an Israeli controlled company; the same company which developed the concept of security profiling.
XRay images at airport

New Airport Security

Newer information since: it’s called International Consultants on Targeted Security (not `ICTS Europe,’ a different company), and was established in 1982 by former agents of Israel’s internal Shin Bet security service and former El Al airline security agents. It is Netherlands-based and has two subsidiaries (I-SEC, and its daughter company P-I, or Pro-Check International). These provide security services consisting of consultation, instruction, training, inspection and supervision. Links between El Al security and Mossad (Israeli intelligence) are very close, according to Gordon Duff of Veteran Today, with “abundant cross-pollination of senior personnel back and forth.” ICTS’s senior management are all ex-Israeli security officials, many work for El Al security (e.g., retd Major General Amos Lapidot, an ICTS board member, had served as a commander of the Israeli Air Force).
Abdulmutallab’s father had gone to the US embassy in Nigeria, in November. His son, he said, was being influenced by “unidentified extremists,” and was planning to travel to Yemen (incidentally, Nigerian intelligence services are tied to, and trained by, Israel). Intelligence officials, said president Obama, had failed to “connect those dots.”
But being on a terrorist watchlist means (a) not being permitted to board a commercial airline
(b) being put under immediate surveillance. In Abdulmutallab’s case, not even his US visa was withdrawn. Well. Okay. It? could happen. It did. But what about security officers at Schipol? Despite his “age, name, illogical travel route, high-priced ticket purchased at the last minute, his boarding without luggage (only a carry on) and many other signs” they were not suspicious (Haaretz, 10 January 2010). Despite the fact that ICTS is renowned for using security measures “pioneered” in Israel: assessing the threat level of passengers based on name, age, nationality and behaviour during questioning.
The official account gradually began losing credibility. Kurt Haskell (American lawyer, passenger) recalled having seen a wealthy looking Indian man with Abdulmutallab at Schipol, (“an odd pair”). He heard the elder man tell the ticket agent, he doesn’t have a passport, he’s Sudanese, he needs to board the plane. “We do this all the time.” The agent suggested they go and talk to the manager. The next thing he knew, Abdulmutallab was on the same flight, trying to ignite explosives.
At first Dutch security insisted, Abdulmutallab had a passport. Later, it was revised: he did not have to “Go through normal passport checking procedures” but he did undergo “a security interview and check” (But if he did not have a passport, how could they have known that he had a valid US visa?) Haskell says, what is important is the presence of an apparently successful accomplice who can “skirt normal passport boarding procedures in Amsterdam.” Dutch security says there was no Indian man, but it has not released any video footage. “I have no doubt that if the video indicated that my account was wrong… [it] would have already swept over the entire world wide web.” As did video footage of the death of Iranian protestor Neda Agha-Soltan.
Another passenger, Richelle Keepman says, a man with a camcorder had calmly and without interruption filmed the entire incident (“he was standing up [when] we were supposed to be seated”). After the plane landed in Detroit, FBI agents arrived with sniffer dogs, handcuffed a younger Indian man, and took him away. Nothing has since been heard about him, or the person who video-recorded the foiled attempt. Interestingly enough, FBI’s account of what happened has changed 5 times, while Haskell’s remains unchanged.
Richard Reid, shoe bomber (22 December 2001): Reid attempted to board an El Al flight from Schipol to Tel Aviv six months before the attempted shoe bombing. El Al security identified him as a terrorist suspect (one-way ticket, cash payment) but instead of handing him over to Dutch security, they allowed him to board the plane so that his movements during his 5 days in Israel could be monitored by Shin Bet. Six months later, he tried to ignite his shoe on AA flight 63 from Paris to Miami. Israel had not informed British, American, French or any other security agency of their concerns about Reid. He later claimed that El Al had failed to detect the explosives in his shoes.
The name of the security company which allowed him to board the AA flight in Paris? ICTS.
London Bombings (7 July 2005): A series of successive and coordinated bomb attacks on 3 London Underground trains (and a double decker bus) killed 56 people. Calls for a full, independent inquiry dismissed by prime minister Tony Blair, a “ludicrous diversion.”
Security for London’s Underground train network was provided by Verint Systems (Israeli).

9/11 terror attacks (9 September 2001): ICTS sold services to all 3 airports?Logan International (Boston), Washington Dulles International, Newark International (New Jersey)?from which the four hijacked planes operated on 9/11, including security, sometimes through wholly-owned subsidiaries like Huntleigh USA Corporation. As a 9/11 researcher puts it, this means an Israeli company had “automatic inside access to all of the[se] airports…”
Hours before the House version of the first Patriot Act went to a vote, “technical corrections” were inserted making foreign security companies such as ICTS-International immune from lawsuits related to 9/11. The act was signed into law by president Bush on 26 October 2001.
No independent inquiry has been held on 9/11. According to Thomas Kean, chairman of the official 9/11 Commission, it was “set up to fail.” Pentagon, Federal Aviation Administration, and NORAD officials said things “just so far from the truth.”
And, `the Indian man’? Wayne Madsen, an ex-US navy lieutenant turned investigative journalist and blogger, thinks the attempted terrorist attack on the Detroit-bound plane was actually a false flag operation (covert operation, designed to deceive the public). That it was carried out by the “intelligence tripartite grouping of the CIA, Mossad, and India?s Research and Analysis Wing.”
To assume a RAW connection just because the man was Indian, is surely stretching it a bit too far? But then, I remember Israeli prime minister Netanyahu’s words, ?Our ties with India don?t have any limitation??
Published in New Age, 25 January 2010

Military Ties Unlimited. India and Israel

By Rahnuma Ahmed

?Our ties with India don?t have any limitation?.? Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli prime minister (1997)

Ariel Sharon was the first Israeli prime minister to visit India. It was 2003, and the Financial Times, while reporting on the impending visit, had this to say: it is “one of the world’s most secretive relationships.” As for the reason of the visit: it was to be a “coming-out party” (`India and Israel Ready to Consummate Secret Affair,’ 4 September). The party, unfortunately, was cut short by two Palestinian suicide bombings in Jerusalem which killed 16 people.
Many more parties have been held since, but neither side has cared to shed any light on the nature of their relationship. It has remained a secret.
A status that has been vetted and certified by Mark Sofer, Israel’s ambassador to India. I quote his memorable words: “We do have a defence relationship with India, which is no secret. On the other hand, what is a secret is what is the defence relationship. And with all due respect the secret part of it will remain secret” (Outlook India, 18 February 2008).
What is one to make of that? That defence and intelligence co-operation, which includes sales of high tech weapons systems and mutual access to military facilities and training?is mere surface? What lies underneath then? Something which is so hidden, so momentous that His Excellency needed to utter the word `secret’ four times?
Whatever be the true nature of this `limitless’ relationship, it took time to develop, to mature. Full diplomatic relations were established in 1992, a good forty-two years after India had recognised the state of Israel. And, why?
Earlier, India had been supportive of anti-colonial struggles. It was one of the first non-Arab states to recognise Palestinian independence, to allow the setting-up of an embassy. There had been tactical reasons, too. To counter Pakistan’s influence in the Arab world. To safeguard its oil supplies. To ensure jobs for Indian migrants in Middle Eastern countries . Also, out of respect for its alliance and friendship with the Soviet Union. After all, those were the good old Cold War days and as a founder-member of the Non-Aligned Movement, India had maintained a self-respecting distance from US imperialism. But not everyone will agree, pointing instead to prime minister Indira Gandhi’s instructions to Rameshwar Nath Kao, founder of RAW (Research and Analysis Wing), way back in September 1968. Cultivate relations with Mossad, she had said. It’ll help monitor developments likely to threaten both nations.
Everyone agrees however that the Kargil war (May-July 1999) “cemented” the relationship between the two nations. Israel had leapt to India’s assistance. As Air Marshal PS Ahluwalia puts it, it had not been very easy to locate Pakistani intruders. They had merged into the stony terrain. Tel Aviv assisted with unmanned reconnaissance aircrafts. These UAVs, or drones, could not only fly longer i.e., 24 hours, but were able to “sense even simple movements on the ground.” The Israeli Heron and Searcher UAVs are now flown by the Indian Armed forces. It had also, reportedly, provided an emergency shipment of artillery shells to India, on credit.
These cementing steps were preceded by events which had caused alarm in New Delhi, had led to strategic re-assessments. Guerrilla warfare had begun in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in the late 1980s, this had coincided with the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan in the face of? the ISI-trained and CIA-sponsored mujahidin insurgency, the subsequent collapse of the USSR. New Delhi’s re-assessment of its relationship with America and Israel led to the discovery of convergences; these mirrored assessments arrived at in both Washington and Tel Aviv. Realignments followed soon, ones that were vigorously pursued by Indian and Jewish lobbies in the US.
To modernise its Soviet-era arsenal, India plans to spend $100 billion on defense over the next decade. Having overtaken Russia, Israel is now India’s No 1 supplier of arms and ammunitions; 50% of Israel’s defence exports are to India, which relies on Israel for 30% of its imports. Israel supplies a range of defence products, which include Barak missiles, assault rifles, night fighting devices, radar network, hi-tech warfare systems and information technology related equipment. The growing defence ties were expressed by India’s launching of Tecsar, an Israeli spy satellite (also known as Polaris), from Sriharikota launch site, in 2008. According to Israeli press reports, the satellite will improve Israel’s ability to monitor Iran’s military activities. In early November last year, the signing of a $1.1 billion contract was announced while India’s army chief General Deepak Kapoor was in Israel for high-level talks. The sale of Barak-8 systems, an upgraded tactical air defence system, is expected to be delivered to India by 2017. Since Kargil, India has bought $8 billion worth military hardware and software from Israel. Some of the defense contracts however, have been dogged by controversy surrounding alleged kickbacks (the name of a London based businessman cropped up in the Barak deal; the director of India’s Ordnance Factory Board was arrested with others, on corruption charges).
Israel India arms trade copyIndia’s army chief General Deepak Kapoor visited Israel November 2009 to complete $1.1 billion deal to purchase upgraded tactical air defense system, Barak – 8. ? Alexz/
Militarisation, armament, as feminists argue, is deeply gendered. The Israeli armament company Rafael, unveiled an ad at the Aero-India show in Bangalore (2009) a dance and music video, Bollywood style, to woo the Indian defence establishment. The 3 mt 21 sec video shows a man, presumably Rafael (Israel) wooing a woman (India) singing a song, accompanied by dancing shokhis:

We will never be apart, dinga-dinga, dinga-dee….Israeli armament company Rafael displayed this Bollywood dance number-based marketing video at Aero India 2009 in Bangalore.

[Man] “We have been together for long…

Trusting friends and partners…
What more can I pledge to make our future strong?”
[Woman] “I need to feel safe and sheltered…
security and protection, commitment and perfection,
defence and dedication.”
[Chorus] Dinga-dinga, dinga-dinga, dinga-dee.
Some of the shots show missiles, part of the set design, around which the dancers gyrate their bodies. The phallic symbolism was surely not lost on India’s elite defence establishment.? A senior defence officer?probably distraught at India’s depiction as a helpless woman, in need of a manly man, one that goes against its image as an emerging superpower, one which India would like its less fortunate South Asian kin to revere?told the Times of India, the ad was “quite tacky.” Like a “C-grade Hindi movie song.” The Times was more sophisticated. Its headline said, the ad had “raised” Indian eyebrows.
Arms sales can be tracked, says Vijay Prasad. “But this counterterrorism relationship is very, very covert” Prasad’s suspicions reverberate when Richard Boucher, US assistant secretary of state?described as Obama administration’s point man for South Asia?says, India will be “a key stakeholder” in Obama’s so-called Af-Pak strategy. After all, “They’ve made an important contribution in Afghanistan?I think their total (contribution to the rehabilitation and reconstruction in Afghanistan) is up to about $1.2 billion. They’ve been very instrumental in key areas like training, civil service, and helping build Afghan institutions,” but “they will not do anything militarily or put boots on the ground” because of regional issues involved with Pakistan.
The left’s opposition to India’s `limitless’ relationship with Israel seems to have died down after the Mumbai attack in November 2008, India’s 9/11. A fact compounded by the electoral results last year, one of the biggest wins for the Indian National Congress, “no longer under the pressure of the left front”. The Mumbai attack has made it easier for sentiments about Israel-India’s similarities to be voiced: both are targeted by Islamist fundamentalists. In one case, Palestinians/Hamas, in the other, Pakistanis/jihadists.
But, Jeff Gates writes, as Afghanistan and Pakistan join other nations in being destabilised one cannot help but raise questions about how the crises which have wracked the sub-continent in recent years, were so “well-timed”: Benazir Bhutto’s murder, Musharraf’s departure, the terror attack in Mumbai which served to draw Pakistani forces away from the western tribal region. Incidents which served the tactical goals of both Muslim extremists and Jewish nationalists. Did Mossad have any role to play? asks Gates.
Israeli writer and peace activist Gideon Levy recently wrote, the time has come to send Israel for observation. Only psychiatrists can explain Israel’s behaviour. Its acts have no rational explanation. It suffers from a loss of touch with reality. Temporary or permanent insanity. Paranoia. Schizophrenia. Memory loss. Loss of judgment.
Maybe, not having `any limitation’ is not a good idea, after all. Maybe, there is still time for India to part company with Rafael. To retrieve its sense of judgment.

Published in New Age 18 January 2010

Padded Underwear

By Rahnuma Ahmed

It seems that 23 year old Nigerian student Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s underwear was padded with more than just a six inch long packet containing nearly 80 grams of a powdery substance known as PETN (chemical pentaerythritol tetranitrate). But I will turn to `deeper’ layers of padding later. First, what is generally known.
Abdulmutallab reportedly used a syringe to inject liquid into the packet which was sewn close to his groin, to set off the PETN, known to be a very powerful explosive belonging to the same chemical family as nitroglycerin. But popping noises, like firecrackers, alerted other passengers of Northwest flight 253 as the plane, which had taken off from Schipol airport in Amsterdam, was in its final descent toward Detroit.
Jasper Schuringa, a fellow passenger, described what happened, “He was holding the object which was on fire and smoke was coming out of it and I really had to pull it out of his hands because he kind of resisted and it was also kind of stuck in his underwear so I really had to rip the whole object out of his pants.” Schuringa grabbed the syringe which had partially melted, shook it to stop it from smoking, and threw it to the floor.
Passengers and crew members subdued Abdulmutallab. Using blankets and fire extinguishers, they put out the fire on his trouser legs, and a wall of the airplane. Had he been successful, the explosive would have blown a hole in the side of the airplane, causing it to crash.
It was 25 December, Christmas 2009.
The White House termed it an “attempted act of terrorism.” Abdulmutallab was soon discovered to have received training in Yemen “visiting various al Qaeda operatives including a notorious radical cleric.” US politicians, media, and experts quickly jumped into the fray calling for an expansion of the war on terror. President Barack Obama obliged by declaring that the US would strike anywhere to prevent another attack. These calls, as Mark LeVine points out, were unnecccesary since the US is already involved in Yemen, supervising attacks on militants there.
He was also discovered to have been a student of University College London, where he had enrolled in September 2005, to graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering in June 2007. Finger-wagging soon ensued: liberal colleges and universities in England were a `breeding ground’ for jihadists, they `groomed’ Islamic radicals etc. etc. ?But no one, of course not, called for a US bomb attack on UK. Or on London. To make the world safer.
On December 29, the US put Abdulmutallab’s underwear on display.
Screen shot 2010-01-11 at 2.16.40 AM


A grim-faced president?leading some analysts to comment, rather admiringly, that Obama was not a man known to “anger easily” ?declared that there had been a deep failure of? national intelligence. That the government had enough information to thwart potential disaster but had failed to “connect those dots” (January 5, 2010). Although no new steps to improve the intelligence or security systems were announced, enhanced airport screening and a review of the US watch-list system was ordered. Dozens of names were added to the US’ 550,000 strong list of `suspected’ terrorists, they would be subjected to extra scrutiny before being allowed to enter the US; those on the 4,000 strong no-fly list were barred from boarding aircraft in or headed for the United States. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was instructed to give full-body, pat-down searches to US bound travellers from Yemen, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and 11 other countries. The transfer of Guantanamo prison detainees was suspended (about half of the near-200 currently detained are from Yemen). The US embassy in Yemen was closed down for several days.
According to the unclassified summary of the review into intelligence failures released by the White House, “The U.S. Government had sufficient information prior to the attempted December 25 attack to have potentially disrupted the AQAP plot?i.e., by identifying Mr. Abdulmutallab as a likely operative of AQAP [al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula] and potentially preventing him from boarding flight 253.” After all, as the review says, Abdulmutallab’s father, had met with US embassy officers on November 18, had expressed his concern that his son may have come under the influence of “unidentified extremists,” and planned to travel to Yemen. And what did those august officials do? They marked his file for a full investigation should he re-apply for a visa after his current one to the US expired in June 2010, and passed on this information to officials in Washington. Meanwhile the latter added his name to 550,000 suspected terrorist list, but not to the no-fly one, which meant no alarms were raised when he bought his one-way ticket to US using cash, checking in without any baggage.
Since the US ruling establishment consistently portrays itself as a hapless victim of irrational violence unleashed upon it by dark, evil and religious forces out there, public discussion in the US soon enough latched on to shrill cries of more security, to what LeVine has termed the “$30 billion underpants.” To a prevention strategy which means new technologies, added law enforcement and security personnel on and off planes, lost revenues for airline companies, more expensive plane tickets. And, of course, inevitably, to an expansion of the `war on terror.’
It turned to talk of X-ray backscatters which reveal chalk etching images, to Millimeter wave screening which reveal fuzzy photo negative images. Amid all the security paranoia and fear-mongering, one did come across traces of humor. A commentator on a blog wrote, “I figure I?ll just show up at the airport naked carrying a vial of Propofol so that I can knock myself out before the colonoscopy.” A CNN political strategist reportedly said on the radio that he’d be willing to allow the TSA to measure his penis before the flight to dispense with full body scans. This might work for white penises, not for `colored’ ones. Iris scannings of transit passengers deemed to be `Aliens’ by the US government are taken and re-taken at US airports. Has been so, post 9/11.
Other paddings have since emerged, hinting at something deeper. At dots that are `not’ meant to be connected.
It seems that Abdulmuttalab boarded the flight to Detroit without a passport. According to Kurt Haskell, a fellow passenger, a lawyer who worked for the US federal government for 6 years, a “wealthy-looking Indian man” accompanied Abdulmuttalab to the counter before boarding, saying that Abdulmuttalab needed to board the plane, that he didn’t have a passport, and was? from Sudan. Haskell remembers the incident because the two of them had looked “strange together,” and remembers Abdulmuttalab as there were very few black men on the flight. Dutch counter-terrorism authorities have dismissed the claim: ?He had a passport and a valid visa for the United States and KLM had clearance on the passenger list to carry him to the US.? It remains to be seen whether FBI refutes the claim. And, as Alexia Parks? writes in The Huffington Post (January 6, 2010), if the plane had exploded over Detroit as planned, we would never have learned what Haskell had to say. ?In response to Park’s piece, this is what a contributor wrote: any passenger coming in on a KLM flight from Nigeria at Schipol usually has to go through US Passport Control, a place where “They interview each passenger individually, and you HAVE to present a passport at the very beginning of the interview. They scan your passport and ask you a bunch of questions, then you go through a metal detector and have any carry-on items scanned.”
I remember having gone all the way to Bangkok four years ago, to get a Mexican visa, of getting my visa but not being allowed to board the flight at Bangkok airport because I didn’t have a Dutch visa, an absolute necessity for Bangladeshis. So what if I was only a transit passenger?
Gordon Duff, senior editor of Veterans Today (an American Military Veterans and Foreign Affairs journal), connects `other’ dots, more sinister ones : (1) The senior Muttalab, back in Nigeria, “ran the national arms industry (DICON) in partnership with Israel, in particular, the Mossad.” Muttalab, though a Muslim, was a close associate of Israel, which runs “everything in Nigeria, from arms production to counter-terrorism.” (2) The two al-Qaeda leaders released by Bush from Guantanamo, although two of the highest ranking known terrorists there, had been “released without a trial.” (3) According to the Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, security forces had arrested a group of alleged Islamist militants linked to Israeli intelligence (BBC news report, 7 October 2008). (4) CBS News had learnt as early as August 2009 that the CIA had picked up information on a person dubbed “The Nigerian,” suspected of meeting with “terrorist elements” in Yemen. And (5) Airport security in Amsterdam is contracted to an Israeli controlled company which not only has the most sophisticated technologies, but is the one to have developed the concept of security profiling. There is no reason to think that al-Qaeda would be operating in Yemen without American or Saudi help, or, possibly, without direct material assistance from Israel, writes Duff, adding, the game seems to be falling apart.
If larger numbers of people are able to see the game for what it is, it can only mean that we are inching closer to a showdown.
Published in New Age 11 January, 2010