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CONFIRMED: Iran did NOT help Al-Qaeda after 9/11 as US alleges

Al-Qaeda document found in Osama bin Laden compound actually proves Al-Qaeda and Iran were enemies not allies

Alexander Mercouris

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A few weeks ago the CIA released via The Long War Journal, a publication backed by the Washington-based neocon Foundation for Defense of Democracies an Al-Qaeda document found in Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound which allegedly proved that ‘loose cooperation’ had occurred between Iran and Al-Qaeda after the 9/11 terrorist attacks took place.

The claims of cooperation between Iran and Al-Qaeda attracted widespread skepticism, with some suggestions that the document was a fake.

Al-Qaeda is a militant sectarian Salafi/Wahhabi organisation, wholly antithetical to everything Iran’s Shia version of Islam and its Islamic Republic stand for.  Al-Qaeda and Iran have accordingly been deadly enemies. with Iran the most implacable enemy of Salafi/Wahhabi terrorist groups throughout the Middle East.

The claim that Iran and Al-Qaeda could have worked together at any point and for any length of time is therefore counter-intuitive, and indeed makes no sense.

By contrast it is known that the US’s intelligence agencies have worked alongside Al-Qaeda – or at least some people who have turned out to be operatives of Al-Qaeda – in several wars, including during the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s and during the more recent wars in Libya and Syria in the Middle East.

Nonetheless, despite the doubts expressed about the document its existence was widely reported, with claims that it was the ‘smoking gun’ which allegedly proved that collusion between Al-Qaeda and Iran had taken place.

When I first heard about this document I too had my doubts that the claims being made about it could be true, though I thought it extremely unlikely that it was a fake.

I did however wonder what the document actually said – no one seemed to be offering a translation (the original is in Arabic) – and I did also wonder why so much credence was being given to a document produced by Al-Qaeda.

In the event the brilliant investigative journalist Gareth Porter working on behalf of the The American Conservative has now had made a proper translation of the document, and in an article for The American Conservative has revealed that far from the document proving the existence of cooperation between Al-Qaeda and Iran the document actually does the opposite.

What the document shows is that in the aftermath of the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 some Al-Qaeda militants did escape to Iran.  Some appear to have done so by entering the country illegally, but in a number of cases the Iranian authorities granted some of them visas on very strict conditions that they would not engage in any political activities.

As Gareth Porter points out, this was probably done in part in order to keep a better track of these people and to use them to track down those Al-Qaeda figures – including the dangerous fanatic Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, the ultimate founder-figure of ISIS – who had entered Iran illegally and had gone into hiding there.

The ploy worked, and within weeks the Iranian authorities began the process of rounding them all up.  It seems that the Iranian authorities had a legitimate legal pretext to do so because some of these people almost immediately breached their visa conditions by trying to stir up Iran’s Baluchi people who are Sunnis.

As Gareth Porter shows the sequel was that Iran then deported most of them  to the various Arab countries they had come from including Saudi Arabia and Iraq, which was how Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi – who was actually Jordanian – ended up in Iraq.  However Iran decided to jail some of the most dangerous of them and keep them in Iran.

Al-Qaeda retaliated with terrorist attacks, which included the kidnapping of an Iranian diplomat in Yemen.  In order to bring these to an end and to obtain the diplomat’s release the Iranian authorities eventually released some or all of the Al-Qaeda figures they were holding.

As Gareth Porter rightly says, this is not a story of cooperation between Iran and Al-Qaeda; it is the opposite.

The document in fact talks with bitter anger and hatred of the Iranians.  It says of them

Their religion is lies and keeping quiet. And usually they show what is contrary to what is in their mind…. It is hereditary with them, deep in their character.

This is no more than what one would expect given the pathological sectarianism and hatred of Shiism and Iran that one would expect to find in a member of Al-Qaeda.

The document does say – without of course providing the slightest corroboration – that the Iranians offered some Saudi Al-Qaeda members

…..money and arms, anything they need, and training with Hezbollah in exchange for hitting American interests in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.

However it then goes on to say that these Saudi Al-Qaeda members spurned this offer, which it speaks of in contemptuous terms

We don’t need them. Thanks to God, we can do without them, and nothing can come from them but evil…..

In my opinion this all but confirms that the account of the “offer” is a fiction.

The purpose of the document is clearly to make the Iranians look treacherous, so the author has woven into his narrative an account of an “offer” which is intended to contrast Iran’s ‘duplicity’ with Al-Qaeda’s integrity, whilst also emphasising Al-Qaeda’s self-reliance and lack of need of Iranian help.

Here it is important to say that we have not been told the context in which this document was written.

However it looks as if someone within Al-Qaeda – possibly Osama bin Laden himself, or conceivably his rather more cerebral deputy Ayman Al-Zawahiri – at about this time (apparently 2007) suggested some sort of approach to Iran.

This however provoked an angry response from the author of the document, who wrote it in order to counter this proposal.

He did so by giving an angry and no doubt heavily embroidered account of Al-Qaeda’s past dealings with Iran so as to show that nothing good could come from any approach to Iran, whose help was anyway not needed.

It is easy to see why a person with that sort of motive might have invented a past offer of help from Iran in order to show that Iran’s help was not needed.

Cut off from most outside contact in his compound in Abbottabad or wherever else at the time he was hiding, Osama bin Laden would have had no means of finding out the truth.

That looks like the most reasonable explanation for the creation of the document based on the account Gareth Porter has provided of it.

It continues to baffle me that so many people forget that information which originates with Al-Qaeda however it is obtained must always come with a strong health warning.

Merely by the act of joining such an organisation its members are engaging in a flight from reality.  To assume that anything they say is true – even when they say it to each other – is foolhardy, and is a practice which should be avoided.

Sad to say, when the information is further mediated by a neocon think-tank which has dealings with the CIA then the health warning becomes even greater.

In summary, there are no grounds for saying that any sort of cooperation between Iran and Al-Qaeda has ever taken place.

The Al-Qaeda document found in Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad does not provide such grounds.  On the contrary it is compelling evidence that no such cooperation has ever taken place.

In making the last point, I feel I must comment on one specific claim Gareth Porter makes in his article.

There was a time when Iran did view Al Qaeda as an ally.  It was during and immediately after the war of the mujahedin against Soviet troops in Afghanistan. That, of course, was the period when the CIA was backing bin Laden’s efforts as well. But after the Taliban seized power in Kabul in 1996— and especially after Taliban troops killed 11 Iranian diplomats in Mazar-i-Sharif in 1998—the Iranian view of Al Qaeda changed fundamentally. Since then, Iran has clearly regarded it as an extreme sectarian terrorist organization and its sworn enemy.

This is a misconception.  Whilst there is some evidence that some sort of organisation calling itself Al-Qaeda was established by a group of Arab Mujahideen (including Osama bin Laden himself) in Afghanistan in August 1988, the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan a few months later, removing the last of their troops in February 1989, so that Al-Qaeda’s role in the war can only have been marginal.

Obviously some of the individuals who eventually became members of Al-Qaeda including Osama bin Laden himself had previously played a much bigger role in the war.  However there is very little evidence that they ever had any significant dealings with Iran.

Iran for most of the 1980s was locked in a gruelling war with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, which ended in August 1988, coincidentally the same month that Al-Qaeda is supposed to have been founded.

This war with Iraq was the all-consuming focus of Iran’s energies whilst it was underway.

Iran was therefore in no position to concern itself with the war in Afghanistan to any great degree, and its role in the war was in fact marginal, being apparently mostly focused on helping Afghanistan’s Shia communities.

As it happens most accounts of the war say that Iran became highly suspicious of the motives of the Arab Mujahideen who were flooding into Afghanistan at a very early point in the war, and refused thereafter to have anything to do with them.

Regardless, no comparison can be validly made between whatever brief contacts Iran might have had during the 1980s with people who were fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan and who eventually became part of Al-Qaeda, and with the much vaster and far better documented dealings that the US and its allies Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt had with these same people during this period.

Putting this aside, Gareth Porter and The American Conservative are to be congratulated on an exemplary piece of investigative journalism.

Unfortunately it will not get anything like the sort of publicity that it deserves.  Certainly it will not be given anything like the publicity the original false allegation of cooperation between Al-Qaeda and Iran which was supposedly proved by the Al-Qaeda document was given.

In fact I am sorry to say that I have no doubt that the false claims about the Al-Qaeda document will continue to be made by those who either do not know or do not care that Gareth Porter and The American Conservative have proved them false.

That does not alter the fact that what the Al-Qaeda document shows is that no cooperation between Al-Qaeda and Iran took place.

For that knowledge those of us who care about the truth about such things owe Gareth Porter and The American Conservative our thanks.

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Clinton-Yeltsin docs shine a light on why Deep State hates Putin (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 114.

Alex Christoforou

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Bill Clinton and America ruled over Russia and Boris Yeltsin during the 1990s. Yeltsin showed little love for Russia and more interest in keeping power, and pleasing the oligarchs around him.

Then came Vladimir Putin, and everything changed.

Nearly 600 pages of memos and transcripts, documenting personal exchanges and telephone conversations between Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin, were made public by the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Dating from January 1993 to December 1999, the documents provide a historical account of a time when US relations with Russia were at their best, as Russia was at its weakest.

On September 8, 1999, weeks after promoting the head of the Russia’s top intelligence agency to the post of prime minister, Russian President Boris Yeltsin took a phone call from U.S. President Bill Clinton.

The new prime minister was unknown, rising to the top of the Federal Security Service only a year earlier.

Yeltsin wanted to reassure Clinton that Vladimir Putin was a “solid man.”

Yeltsin told Clinton….

“I would like to tell you about him so you will know what kind of man he is.”

“I found out he is a solid man who is kept well abreast of various subjects under his purview. At the same time, he is thorough and strong, very sociable. And he can easily have good relations and contact with people who are his partners. I am sure you will find him to be a highly qualified partner.”

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the nearly 600 pages of transcripts documenting the calls and personal conversations between then U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin, released last month. A strong Clinton and a very weak Yeltsin underscore a warm and friendly relationship between the U.S. and Russia.

Then Vladimir Putin came along and decided to lift Russia out of the abyss, and things changed.

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Here are five must-read Clinton-Yeltsin exchanges from with the 600 pages released by the Clinton Library.

Via RT

Clinton sends ‘his people’ to get Yeltsin elected

Amid unceasing allegations of nefarious Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election, the Clinton-Yeltsin exchanges reveal how the US government threw its full weight behind Boris – in Russian parliamentary elections as well as for the 1996 reelection campaign, which he approached with 1-digit ratings.

For example, a transcript from 1993 details how Clinton offered to help Yeltsin in upcoming parliamentary elections by selectively using US foreign aid to shore up support for the Russian leader’s political allies.

“What is the prevailing attitude among the regional leaders? Can we do something through our aid package to send support out to the regions?” a concerned Clinton asked.

Yeltsin liked the idea, replying that “this kind of regional support would be very useful.” Clinton then promised to have “his people” follow up on the plan.

In another exchange, Yeltsin asks his US counterpart for a bit of financial help ahead of the 1996 presidential election: “Bill, for my election campaign, I urgently need for Russia a loan of $2.5 billion,” he said. Yeltsin added that he needed the money in order to pay pensions and government wages – obligations which, if left unfulfilled, would have likely led to his political ruin. Yeltsin also asks Clinton if he could “use his influence” to increase the size of an IMF loan to assist him during his re-election campaign.

Yeltsin questions NATO expansion

The future of NATO was still an open question in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and conversations between Clinton and Yeltsin provide an illuminating backdrop to the current state of the curiously offensive ‘defensive alliance’ (spoiler alert: it expanded right up to Russia’s border).

In 1995, Yeltsin told Clinton that NATO expansion would lead to “humiliation” for Russia, noting that many Russians were fearful of the possibility that the alliance could encircle their country.

“It’s a new form of encirclement if the one surviving Cold War bloc expands right up to the borders of Russia. Many Russians have a sense of fear. What do you want to achieve with this if Russia is your partner? They ask. I ask it too: Why do you want to do this?” Yeltsin asked Clinton.

As the documents show, Yeltsin insisted that Russia had “no claims on other countries,” adding that it was “unacceptable” that the US was conducting naval drills near Crimea.

“It is as if we were training people in Cuba. How would you feel?” Yeltsin asked. The Russian leader then proposed a “gentleman’s agreement” that no former Soviet republics would join NATO.

Clinton refused the offer, saying: “I can’t make the specific commitment you are asking for. It would violate the whole spirit of NATO. I’ve always tried to build you up and never undermine you.”

NATO bombing of Yugoslavia turns Russia against the West

Although Clinton and Yeltsin enjoyed friendly relations, NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia tempered Moscow’s enthusiastic partnership with the West.

“Our people will certainly from now have a bad attitude with regard to America and with NATO,” the Russian president told Clinton in March 1999. “I remember how difficult it was for me to try and turn the heads of our people, the heads of the politicians towards the West, towards the United States, but I succeeded in doing that, and now to lose all that.”

Yeltsin urged Clinton to renounce the strikes, for the sake of “our relationship” and “peace in Europe.”

“It is not known who will come after us and it is not known what will be the road of future developments in strategic nuclear weapons,” Yeltsin reminded his US counterpart.

But Clinton wouldn’t cede ground.

“Milosevic is still a communist dictator and he would like to destroy the alliance that Russia has built up with the US and Europe and essentially destroy the whole movement of your region toward democracy and go back to ethnic alliances. We cannot allow him to dictate our future,” Clinton told Yeltsin.

Yeltsin asks US to ‘give Europe to Russia’

One exchange that has been making the rounds on Twitter appears to show Yeltsin requesting that Europe be “given” to Russia during a meeting in Istanbul in 1999. However, it’s not quite what it seems.

“I ask you one thing,” Yeltsin says, addressing Clinton. “Just give Europe to Russia. The US is not in Europe. Europe should be in the business of Europeans.”

However, the request is slightly less sinister than it sounds when put into context: The two leaders were discussing missile defense, and Yeltsin was arguing that Russia – not the US – would be a more suitable guarantor of Europe’s security.

“We have the power in Russia to protect all of Europe, including those with missiles,” Yeltsin told Clinton.

Clinton on Putin: ‘He’s very smart’

Perhaps one of the most interesting exchanges takes place when Yeltsin announces to Clinton his successor, Vladimir Putin.

In a conversation with Clinton from September 1999, Yeltsin describes Putin as “a solid man,” adding: “I am sure you will find him to be a highly qualified partner.”

A month later, Clinton asks Yeltsin who will win the Russian presidential election.

“Putin, of course. He will be the successor to Boris Yeltsin. He’s a democrat, and he knows the West.”

“He’s very smart,” Clinton remarks.

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New Satellite Images Reveal Aftermath Of Israeli Strikes On Syria; Putin Accepts Offer to Probe Downed Jet

The images reveal the extent of destruction in the port city of Latakia, as well as the aftermath of a prior strike on Damascus International Airport.

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Via Zerohedge


An Israeli satellite imaging company has released satellite photographs that reveal the extent of Monday night’s attack on multiple locations inside Syria.

ImageSat International released them as part of an intelligence report on a series of Israeli air strikes which lasted for over an hour and resulted in Syrian missile defense accidentally downing a Russian surveillance plane that had 15 personnel on board.

The images reveal the extent of destruction on one location struck early in attack in the port city of Latakia, as well as the aftermath of a prior strike on Damascus International Airport. On Tuesday Israel owned up to carrying out the attack in a rare admission.

Syrian official SANA news agency reported ten people injured in the attacks carried out of military targets near three major cities in Syria’s north.

The Times of Israel, which first reported the release of the new satellite images, underscores the rarity of Israeli strikes happening that far north and along the coast, dangerously near Russian positions:

The attack near Latakia was especially unusual because the port city is located near a Russian military base, the Khmeimim Air Force base. The base is home to Russian jet planes and an S-400 aerial defense system. According to Arab media reports, Israel has rarely struck that area since the Russians arrived there.

The Russian S-400 system was reportedly active during the attack, but it’s difficult to confirm or assess the extent to which Russian missiles responded during the strikes.

Three of the released satellite images show what’s described as an “ammunition warehouse” that appears to have been completely destroyed.

The IDF has stated their airstrikes targeted a Syrian army facility “from which weapons-manufacturing systems were supposed to be transferred to Iran and Hezbollah.” This statement came after the IDF expressed “sorrow” for the deaths of Russian airmen, but also said responsibility lies with the “Assad regime.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also phoned Russian President Vladimir Putin to express regret over the incident while offering to send his air force chief to Russia with a detailed report — something which Putin agreed to.

According to Russia’s RT News, “Major-General Amikam Norkin will arrive in Moscow on Thursday, and will present the situation report on the incident, including the findings of the IDF inquiry regarding the event and the pre-mission information the Israeli military was so reluctant to share in advance.”

Russia’s Defense Ministry condemned the “provocative actions by Israel as hostile” and said Russia reserves “the right to an adequate response” while Putin has described the downing of the Il-20 recon plane as likely the result of a “chain of tragic accidental circumstances” and downplayed the idea of a deliberate provocation, in contradiction of the initial statement issued by his own defense ministry.

Pro-government Syrians have reportedly expressed frustration this week that Russia hasn’t done more to respond militarily to Israeli aggression; however, it appears Putin may be sidestepping yet another trap as it’s looking increasingly likely that Israel’s aims are precisely geared toward provoking a response in order to allow its western allies to join a broader attack on Damascus that could result in regime change.

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“Transphobic” Swedish Professor May Lose Job After Noting Biological Differences Between Sexes

A university professor in Sweden is under investigation after he said that there are fundamental differences between men and women which are “biologically founded”

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Via Zerohedge


A university professor in Sweden is under investigation for “anti-feminism” and “transphobia” after he said that there are fundamental differences between men and women which are “biologically founded” and that genders cannot be regarded as “social constructs alone,” reports Academic Rights Watch.

For his transgression, Germund Hesslow – a professor of neuroscience at Lund University – who holds dual PhDs in philosophy and neurophysiology, may lose his job – telling RT that a “full investigation” has been ordered, and that there “have been discussions about trying to stop the lecture or get rid of me, or have someone else give the lecture or not give the lecture at all.”

“If you answer such a question you are under severe time pressure, you have to be extremely brief — and I used wording which I think was completely innocuous, and that apparently the student didn’t,” Hesslow said.

Hesslow was ordered to attend a meeting by Christer Larsson, chairman of the program board for medical education, after a female student complained that Hesslow had a “personal anti-feminist agenda.” He was asked to distance himself from two specific comments; that gay women have a “male sexual orientation” and that the sexual orientation of transsexuals is “a matter of definition.”

The student’s complaint reads in part (translated):

I have also heard from senior lecturers that Germund Hesslow at the last lecture expressed himself transfobically. In response to a question of transexuallism, he said something like “sex change is a fly”. Secondly, it is outrageous because there may be students during the lecture who are themselves exposed to transfobin, but also because it may affect how later students in their professional lives meet transgender people. Transpersonals already have a high level of overrepresentation in suicide statistics and there are already major shortcomings in the treatment of transgender in care, should not it be countered? How does this kind of statement coincide with the university’s equal treatment plan? What has this statement given for consequences? What has been done for this to not be repeated? –Academic Rights Watch

After being admonished, Hesslow refused to distance himself from his comments, saying that he had “done enough” already and didn’t have to explain and defend his choice of words.

At some point, one must ask for a sense of proportion among those involved. If it were to become acceptable for students to record lectures in order to find compromising formulations and then involve faculty staff with meetings and long letters, we should let go of the medical education altogether,” Hesslow said in a written reply to Larsson.

He also rejected the accusation that he had a political agenda – stating that his only agenda was to let scientific factnot new social conventions, dictate how he teaches his courses.

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