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The sex trade in Yemen: How Al-Qaeda makes millions by trafficking children

In the first in an exclusive series for The Duran, writer Catherine Shakdam exposes how with Saudi collusion, Wahhabi terrorists associated with Al-Qaeda in Yemen traffic children for use as sex slaves.

Catherine Shakdam

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Yemen you might already know has suffered under the yoke of a brutal war – one which has plunged the impoverished nation into the arms of famine, death, and despair.

Yemen today however does not just resemble a nation in the throes of a violent military conflict; it holds a mirror to the tyranny we continue to legitimise, whose wealth still carries an attraction many cannot resist.

Yemen in so many ways has come to symbolise the essence of terrorism – this terrible agenda the Western powers still claim they to want to oppose whilst never ever really pointing the finger towards its truth….well not really anyway.

Yemen you probably know stands in pain and in blood – its borders breached, its skies darkened, and its people blockaded.

What you most likely don’t know is that Yemen has now become human traffickers’ new playground. What you most certainly will not hear from the mainstream media – God forbid the truth ever passes through their tight headlines! – is that Yemen has been sold out to the abomination of paedophilia.

Now if paedophilia is a reality and a crime few nations can claim to be spared from, such is its evil that most nations have at least been spared the ignominy of its open commercialisation and industrialisation.  By that I mean that no faction or group has ever dared – to the best of my knowledge – to create a grand capitalistic industry on the back of this vile monstrosity in broad day light and without fear of prosecution.

I am not so naïve as to believe that human sex trafficking is not a flourishing business in the world of the international black economy. What I am saying is that never before have criminals who practice it done so so openly, taunting the communities they prey on, confident in the knowledge that since they have powerful patrons this gives them a cloak of immunity for what they do.

More troubling still, Yemen appears to have become yet another domino to fall in a well-organised terrorist system in which human misery is a tradable commodity. If we look at the broader region in its entirety, and more particularly at those countries which have suffered at the hands of Wahhabi radicals, we see a disturbing pattern emerging: Nigeria, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, and now Yemen.  All these countries have seen vulnerable communities targeted by sex traffickers; their children sold into a system which profits and draws satisfaction from child abuse and dehumanisation.

In November 2014 Khales Journah wrote the following on Iraq:

“Three months ago, the extremist group known as the Islamic State kidnapped hundreds of women from the Yazidi sect. Since then there have been many stories about what has happened to the women, including physical and sexual abuse, slavery and forced marriage.”

And:

“A lot of the kidnapped Yazidi women also seem to have been distributed in Baaj, around 120 kilometres west of Mosul, to fighters from the IS group. Doctors at Baaj hospital confirm this, saying they have treated a number of Yazidi women who have suffered at the hands of their captors, subjected to sexual and other physical violence.”

Whilst such acts of despicable terror unfolded in Iraq and Syria, Nigeria too was gripped by this terrible new phenomenon.  Lifting a veil on the unspoken villainy of Wahhabism, The Guardian reported in October 2014:

“Girls and women abducted by the Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram have described life in captivity which includes forced marriage and labour, rape, torture, psychological abuse and coerced religious conversion. More than 500 women and girls have been seized and held in militant camps since 2009, including 60 reportedly kidnapped from two towns in north-eastern Nigeria last week.”

Systemic sexual abuse is conducted by terrorist militants for three purposes: to strike fear at the heart of communities, for self-gratification, and for financial gain.  Behind every abuse and every abuser has towered a system which has strived for, benefited from and leaned on sexual enslavement to assert its power and to industrialise its system.

I believe it is absolutely crucial to understand at this stage that what we are witnessing across Africa and the Greater Middle East is the engineering of a system which seeks to mainstream sexual abuse by making it a matter of fact.  Terror as it were, is attempting to transition from an ideology into a socio-political system based on the degradation of those perceived as “lesser”.

Whole books could be written about this.  However in this article I will confine myself to lifting the lid on those crimes Yemenis have had to endure at the hands of their invaders, and which the world has so far chosen to look away from.

As world powers continue to argue Yemen’s future – often by speaking over Yemenis, rather than to them – a great tragedy has unfolded, unspoken and unchallenged.

For a country which has already lost too many of its sons and daughters to war, seeing its children and young people stolen by the likes of al-Qaeda and Daesh is one abomination too many. Seeing its children and young people traded to sexual predators so that they satisfy their evil desires is where silence must end.

So far, and due to the nature of these crimes, communities have been reluctant to come forward. Stigma, fear of social exclusion, fear of repercussions, shame, and distrust of the media, have driven many families to keep silent.  Still, a few brave souls have now decided to break this unspoken code of silence, albeit under the cover of anonymity, so that abusers can be outed and victims rescued.

Hundreds of children – mainly young girls aged 6 to 15 are claimed to have been kidnapped from across Yemen, to be sold as sex slaves by al-Qaeda’s trafficking network. The Mona Relief Organization in Yemen is currently assessing allegations of widespread abuses across several provinces.

Sources in Abyan – a stronghold of al-Qaeda, which also happens to be runaway President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s home province – have confirmed that children have been trafficked out of south Yemen through Mukallah and the seaport of Aden by militants affiliated to al-Qaeda.  It is important here to note that Aden is under Saudi control.

A former officer in Yemen’s Central Security Forces, who I will call Abdullah to preserve his identity, explained how many of the children would end up somewhere in

“the GCC* to serve as sexual objects of rich patrons.”

(*The GCC – the “Gulf Cooperation Council – the political grouping of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States)

Abdullah is adamant al-Qaeda is operating with the full knowledge of the Saudi-led coalition.

“There is no way the Saudis do not know about this. Bear in mind Yemen is under a massive naval blockade.   They must know …!”

He added:

“Those children have been sold into sexual slavery. They will either be sent to Africa through Ethiopia and Djibouti or will be directly transferred to GCC countries. Al- Qaeda has made millions from this trade over the years. The war has allowed for an acceleration. I also believe that Yemen’s youth is being traded to break Yemen’s resolve.”

Here is where I hope the straw will break the camel’s back. The world has known for some time that Saudi Arabia has been instrumental in furthering sexual enslavement.

In 2009 the U.S. State Department Trafficking in Persons report read:

“Yemen is a country of origin and, to a much lesser extent, transit and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labour and sexual exploitation. Yemeni children, mostly boys, are trafficked across the northern border with Saudi Arabia or to the Yemeni cities of Aden and Sana’a for forced labour, primarily as beggars, but also for domestic servitude or work in small shops. Some of these children are subjected to commercial sexual exploitation in transit or once they arrive in Saudi Arabia.”

And again, in the 2014 edition of the same report:

“Yemen is a country of origin and, to a lesser extent, a transit and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labour, and women and children subjected to sex trafficking. Some Yemeni children, mostly boys, migrate to the Yemeni cities of Aden and Sana’a, or travel across the northern border to Saudi Arabia and, to a lesser extent, to Oman, where they are subjected to forced labour in domestic service, small shops, or as beggars. Some of these children are forced into prostitution by traffickers, border patrols, other security officials, and their employers once they arrive in Saudi Arabia; some children are forced to smuggle drugs into Saudi Arabia.”

With the collusion of its Saudi patrons al-Qaeda is building up an entire economy generating millions of dollars through the exploitation of children. The world cannot afford to look away.

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Peace on Korean Peninsula within reach, if only Trump can remove Pompeo & Bolton (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 152.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou discuss the results of the Putin-Kim summit in Vladivostok, Russia, aimed at boosting bilateral ties between the two neighboring countries, as well as working to contribute to a final peace settlement on the Korean peninsula.

Putin’s meeting with Kim may prove to be a pivotal diplomatic moment, as North Korea continues to work towards normalizing ties with the U.S. amidst ongoing denuclearization talks with the Trump White House.

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Via the BBC…

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un needs international security guarantees if he is to end his nuclear programme.

Such guarantees would need to be offered within a multinational framework, he added, following talks near Vladivostok in Russia’s far east.

Mr Kim praised the summit as a “very meaningful one-on-one exchange”.

Mr Putin said North Korea’s leader was “fairly open” and had “talked freely on all issues that were on the agenda”.

The meeting followed the breakdown of talks between the US and North Korea in February, when Mr Kim met US President Donald Trump in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi.

Those talks reportedly stalled over North Korea’s demand for full economic sanctions relief in return for some denuclearisation commitments – a deal the US was not willing to make.

Speaking after the talks on Thursday, Mr Putin said he wanted to see full denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula.

But he said this could only be achieved through respect for international law.

“We need to restore the power of international law, to return to a state where international law, not the law of the strongest, determines the situation in the world,” he said.

Mr Kim greeted Russian officials warmly when he arrived in Russia on Wednesday.

The North Korean leader was entertained by a brass band in Vladivostok before he got inside a car flanked by bodyguards, who – in now familiar scenes – jogged alongside the vehicle as it departed.

What do we know about the summit?

According to the Russian presidential spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin believes the six-party talks on North Korea, which are currently stalled, are the only efficient way of addressing the issue of nuclear weapons on the peninsula.

Those talks, which began in 2003, involve the two Koreas as well as China, Japan, Russia and the US.

“There are no other efficient international mechanisms at the moment,” Mr Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.

“But, on the other hand, efforts are being made by other countries. Here all efforts merit support as long as they really aim at de-nuclearisation and resolving the problem of the two Koreas.”

What do both sides want?

This visit is being widely viewed as an opportunity for North Korea to show it has powerful allies following the breakdown of the talks with the US in February.

The country has blamed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for the collapse of the Hanoi summit. Earlier this month North Korea demanded that Mr Pompeo be removed from nuclear talks, accusing him of “talking nonsense” and asking for someone “more careful” to replace him.

The summit is also an opportunity for Pyongyang to show that its economic future does not depend solely on the US. Mr Kim may try to put pressure on Moscow to ease sanctions.

Analysts say the summit is an opportunity for Russia to show that it is an important player on the Korean peninsula.

President Putin has been eager to meet the North Korean leader for quite some time. Yet amid the two Trump-Kim summits, the Kremlin has been somewhat sidelined.

Russia, like the US and China, is uncomfortable with North Korea being a nuclear state.

How close are Russia and North Korea?

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union (of which Russia is the main successor state) maintained close military and trade links with its communist ally, North Korea, for ideological and strategic reasons.

After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, trade links with post-communist Russia shrank and North Korea leaned towards China as its main ally.

Under President Putin, Russia recovered economically and in 2014 he wrote off most of North Korea’s Soviet-era debt in a major goodwill gesture.

While it is arguable how much leverage Russia has with the North today, the communist state still regards it as one of the least hostile foreign powers.

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Putin meets Kim for the first time (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 151.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a look at the historic meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the city of Vladivostok in the Russian Far East.

The meeting marks the first ever summit between the two leaders.

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Via RT…

Leaders of Russia and North Korea sat down for a historic summit in Vladivostok, expressing hope it will revive the peace process in the Korean Peninsula and talks on normalizing relations with the US.

The summit on Russky Island, just off Vladivostok, started a little late because President Vladimir Putin’s flight was delayed. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had made the trip by train, arriving on Wednesday.

In brief public remarks before the talks, the two leaders expressed hope the summit will help move forward the reconciliation process in the Korean Peninsula. Putin welcomed Kim’s contributions to “normalizing relations” with the US and opening a dialogue with South Korea.

Kim said he hoped the Vladivostok summit would be a “milestone” in the talks about denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, but also build upon “traditionally friendly ties” between Russia and North Korea.

The North Korean leader also made a point of thanking Putin for flying all the way to Vladivostok for the meeting. The Far East Russian city is only 129 kilometers from the border with North Korea.

The historic summit takes place less than two months after Kim’s second summit with US President Donald Trump in Hanoi fell apart without a breakthrough on denuclearization. The US rejected North Korea’s request for partial sanctions relief in return for moves to dismantle nuclear and missile programs; Washington insists on full disarmament before any sanctions are removed.

Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is the main subject of the Kim-Putin summit, but there will also be talks about bilateral relations, trade, and humanitarian aid. The first one-on-one meeting is scheduled to last about an hour, followed by further consultations involving other government officials.

Following the summit, Putin is scheduled to visit China.

 

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Kim And Putin: Changing The State Of The Board In Korea

The future of Korea could be decided by these two men today.

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Authored by Tom Luongo:


Today is a big day for Korea. The first face-to-face summit of Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un takes place.

At the same time the 2nd annual Belt and Road Forum kicks off in Beijing.

This meeting between Putin and Kim has been in the works for a while but rumors of it only surfaced last week. But don’t let the idea that this was put together at the last minute fool you.

It wasn’t.

The future of Korea could be decided by these two men today.

I know that sounds bold. But hear me out.

And while no one seems to think this meeting is important or that anything of substance will come from it I do. It is exactly the kind of surprise that Putin loves to spring on the world without notice and by doing so change the board state of geopolitics.

  • Russia’s entrance into Syria in 2015, two days after Putin’s historic speech at the U.N. General Assembly
  • 2018’s State of the Union address where he announced hypersonic missiles, embarrassing the U.S. Militiary-Industrial Complex which accelerated the Bolton Doctrine of subjugating the world
  • Flying 2 TU-160 nuclear-armed bombers to Venezuela, creating panic in D.C. leading to the ham-fisted regime change operations there.
  • Nationalization of Yukos.
  • The operation to secure Crimea from U.S. invasion by marines aboard the U.S.S Donald Cook during the Ukrainian uprising against Viktor Yanukovich.

Both Putin and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping are angry at the breakdown of the talks in Hanoi back in February. It was clear that everyone expected that meeting to be a rubber stamp on a deal already agreed to by all parties involved.

In fact the two meetings between Kim and Trump were only possible because Trump convinced them of his sincerity to resolve the ‘denuclearization’ of North Korea which would clear a path to rapid reunification.

It’s why they went along with the U.S.’s increased sanctions on North Korea as administered through the U.N. in 2017.

That John Bolton and Mike Pompeo destroyed those talks and Trump was unwilling or unable (who cares at this point, frankly, useless piece of crap that he is) to stop them embarrassed and betrayed them.

They are now done with Trump.

He’ll get nothing from either of them or Kim until Trump can prove he’s in charge of his administration, which he, clearly, is not.

And they will be moving forward with their own agenda for security and Asian economic integration. So I don’t think the timing of this meeting with that of the Belt and Road Forum is an accident.

And that means moving forward on solving the Korea problem without Trump.

It is clear from the rhetoric of Putin’s top diplomat, the irreplaceable Sergei Lavrov, that Russia’s patience is over. They are no longer interested in what Trump wants and they will now treat the U.S. as a threat, having upped their military stance towards the U.S. to that of “Threat.”

If Bolton wants anything from Russia at this point he best be prepared to start a war or piss off.

This is also why Russia took the gloves off with Ukraine in the run up to the Presidential elections, cutting off energy and machinery exports with Ukraine.

To put paid Putin’s growing impatience with U.S. policies, he just issued the order to allow residents of Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics to apply for Russian passports.

This will send Bolton into apoplexy. Angela Merkel of Germany will be none too pleased either. Putin is now playing hardball after years of unfailing politeness.

It’s also why Lavrov finalized arms and port deals all over the Middle East in recent weeks, including those with Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey and India.

Bolton, Pompeo and Pence are ideologues. Trump is a typical Baby Boomer, who lives in a bubble of his own design and believes in an America that never existed.

None of them truly understand the fires they are stoking and simply believe in the Manifest Destiny of the U.S. to rule the world over a dim and barbaric world.

Putin, Xi, Rouhani in Iran and Kim in North Korea are pragmatic men. They understand the realities they live in. This is why I see Putin willing tomorrow to sit down with Kim and flaunt the U.N. sanctions and begin the investment process into North Korea that should have begun last year.

Putin would not be making these moves if he didn’t feel that Bolton was all bark and no bite when it came to actual war with Russia. He also knows that Germany needs him more than he needs Germany so despite the feet-dragging and rhetoric Nordstream 2 will go forward.

Trade is expanding between them despite the continued sanctions.

Putin may be willing to cut a deal with President-elect Zelensky on gas transit later in the year but only if the shelling of the LPR and DPR stops and he guarantees no more incidents in the Sea of Azov. This would also mollify Merkel a bit and make it easier for her politically to get Nordstream 2 over the finish line.

There are moments in history when people go too far. Bolton and Pompeo went too far in Hanoi. He will pay the price now. Putin and Kim will likely agree to something in Vladivostok that no one is expecting and won’t look like much at first.

But the reality is this summit itself marks a turning point in this story that will end with the U.S. being, in Trump’s transactional parlance, a “price taker” since it has so thoroughly failed at being a “price maker.”

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