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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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New Zealand weapons ban dream move of leftist activists

The American left is sure to pick this up and start screaming for an “assault weapons ban” because this supports their agenda so well.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Reuters reported on Thursday, March 21 that the Prime Minister of New Zealand enacted a sweeping change, banning weapons of the type that were used in the massacre of at least fifty Muslims, who were gunned down on livestream while in Friday prayer services in Christchurch last week. We quote from the Reuters piece below, with added emphasis:

New Zealand will ban military-style semi-automatic and assault rifles under tough new gun laws following the killing of 50 people in its worst mass shooting, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday.

In the immediate aftermath of last Friday’s shootings at two mosques in the city of Christchurch, Ardern labeled the attack as terrorism and said New Zealand’s gun laws would change.

“On 15 March our history changed forever. Now, our laws will too. We are announcing action today on behalf of all New Zealanders to strengthen our gun laws and make our country a safer place,” Ardern told a news conference.

“All semi-automatic weapons used during the terrorist attack on Friday 15 March will be banned.”

Ardern said she expected the new laws to be in place by April 11 and a buy-back scheme costing up to NZ$200 million ($138 million) would be established for banned weapons.

All military style semi-automatics (MSSA) and assault rifles would be banned, along with parts used to convert weapons into MSSAs and all high-capacity magazines.

Australia banned semi-automatic weapons and launched a gun buy-back after the Port Arthur massacre in 1996 in which 35 people were killed.

Ardern said that similar to Australia, the law would allow for strictly enforced exemptions for farmers for pest control and animal welfare.

“I strongly believe that the vast majority of legitimate gun owners in New Zealand will understand that these moves are in the national interest, and will take these changes in their stride.”

This is undoubtedly going to be real red meat (or perhaps real vegetables) for the anti-gun lobby in the United States. This is because New Zealand strongly resembled the US in terms of firearm rights and the penetration of numbers of guns in the populace of this remote island nation. Reuters continues, with statements that would probably surprise, even horrify some gun owners in the States, but which are doubtlessly useful for the application of pressure on such individuals:

New Zealand, a country of fewer than 5 million people, has an estimated 1.2-1.5 million firearms, about 13,500 of them MSSA-type weapons.

Most farmers own guns while hunting of deer, pigs and goats is popular. Gun clubs and shooting ranges dot the country.

That has created a powerful lobby that has thwarted previous attempts to tighten gun laws.

Federated Farmers, which represent thousands of farmers, said it supported the new laws.

“This will not be popular among some of our members but … we believe this is the only practicable solution,” a group spokesman, Miles Anderson, said in a statement.

The main opposition National Party, which draws strong support in rural areas, said it also supported the ban.

The changes exclude two general classes of firearms commonly used for hunting, pest control and stock management on farms.

“I have a military style weapon. But to be fair, I don’t really use it, I don’t really need it,” said Noel Womersley, who slaughters cpoliticalattle for small farmers around Christchurch.

“So I’m quite happy to hand mine over.”

To be absolutely fair, the attack on the mosques was an awful event, made the worse by the shooter’s deliberate attempts to politicize various aspects of what he was doing and what he “stood for” as an attack ostensibly against US President Donald Trump, some seven thousand miles away in the United States.

The immediate reaction of the people interviewed, some among them related or friends with the victims of the massacre, was to embrace the weapons reform laws:

Nada Tawfeek, who buried her father-in-law killed in the attacks, Hussein Moustafa, on Thursday, welcomed the ban.

“It’s a great reaction. I think other countries need to learn from her [Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern],” Tawfeek said.

Mohammed Faqih, a member of the Islamic clergy who flew in from California and attended the funerals for some victims on Thursday, said he was “extremely grateful” for the gun ban.

“I wish our leaders in the States would follow on her footsteps and do the same thing,” he said.

One can expect there to be quite the outcry among American liberals about gun control, especially if anything remotely resembling this event takes place or is thwarted in coming days in the US.

It may seem very cold and cruel to focus on the political angle of this story rather than the human tragedy that it is. However, in this situation we have seen signs that the most vile form of human tragedy has actually taken place – the murder of dozens of innocent people for a mere political point. Indeed this thought has been noted and vilified already, as Mr. R.X. Dentith, writing for the New Zealand website Spinoff here quoted:

American paleo-conservative Rush Limbaugh was one of the first to note: “There’s an ongoing theory that the shooter himself may, in fact, be a leftist who writes the manifesto and then goes out and performs the deed purposely to smear his political enemies, knowing he’s going to get shot in the process. You know you just can’t – you can’t immediately discount this. The left is this insane, they are this crazy. And then if that’s exactly what the guy is trying to do then he’s hit a home run, because right there on Fox News: ‘Shooter is an admitted white nationalist who hates immigrants.’”

…[P]eople like Limbaugh… can’t stomach the idea the terrorist action in Otautahi might be motivated by the kind of rhetoric Limbaugh helps disseminate – tend to think there is a culture war going on, and they are on the losing side.

This war has many names, and the enemy is easily identified: it is the battle against Cultural Marxism; the fight against Toxic Feminism; the resistance to Identity Politics; and the fear of the Great Replacement, the thesis at the heart of the terrorist’s own manifesto.

The Great Replacement thesis posits that the majority white European countries are being “invaded” by non-white, non-European peoples. Not just that, but due to declining birth rates in the West, this “invasion” constitutes a wholesale replacement of the white population over time.

Mr. Dentith tries further to knock down this notion of the Great Replacement. However, he misses a much more basic point.

Someone who goes and takes human lives and broadcasts them for any reason is not a mere political operative. The person who does this is a very sick, deranged human being indeed. Evil is certainly appropriately used here.

However, evil is often quite cunning, and despite the intellectual arguments about the reality or non-reality of any particular manifesto statement, in this case, the killer played the media with infernal intelligence, and they took the bait. It is possible that Prime Minister Ardern also took the bait, in this most awful of bad situations, and to give her credit, she took swift actions to try to “correct” what was wrong.

But the problem here was not the type of weapons used. The problem is the fact that they were used by a person who thought these fifty people’s lives were worth nothing more than a bit of policy change. One of the worst examples of human evil in recent times, this incident shouts to the world that there is a problem, but the problem remains unsolved, even though many people will hand over their firearms out of a genuine wish for compassion to those lost and the hope that somehow this action will prevent a future incident.

But the logic of this emotional reaction is nil. And what is worse is that the American Left knows this, but does not care. The movers and shakers of liberalism will likely milk the actions of sincerely horrified New Zealanders for all they are worth to try at affecting change in American constitutional rights.

And the innocent dead will not rest in peace, because the real problem has not even been examined.

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Upstart Populist Party Shocks In Dutch Election Upset, 2 Days After Utrecht Attack

International reports have described the FvD as receiving “a surge of last-minute support” in the days following the Utrecht attack.

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Via Zerohedge…


Dutch voters have sent shock waves through Europe at the polls on Wednesday in the wake of Monday’s deadly Utrecht terror shooting, in which a now detained 37-year old Turkish man went on a terrifying tram killing spree which left three dead and three injured.

Euroskeptic party, Forum for Democracy (FvD), has emerged victorious in key provincial elections this week, paving the way to making it one of the two largest groups in the Dutch Senate, and representing growing Dutch frustration with the recent unprecedented refugee influx in Europe.

Newcomer Forum for Democracy party is led by 36-year-old Thierry Baudet, who is a critic of the EU and of the Netherlands’ immigration policies, via EPA

International reports have described the FvD as receiving “a surge of last-minute support” in the days following the Utrecht attack, which investigators have since described as having a “terror motive” based on a letter found in shooter Gokmen Tanis’ possession.

Forum for Democracy party leader Thierry Baudet had immediately placed ultimate blame  for the incident on the government’s “lax immigration policies” and provocatively stated a day before the elections (referencing his political rival)

If people want more deadly shootings like the one in Utrecht, then they have to vote for the VVD.

Baudet, riding a wave of renewed Euroskeptic sentiment, and whose party also wants to see more military spending, green initiatives, and an easing on income tax while greatly restricting the borders, said in the aftermath of Wednesday’s vote: “The voters in the Netherlands have spread their wings and shown their true power.”

Referencing the Utrecht attack and other deadly terror incidents on European soil, he added: “We have been called to the front because we have to. Because the country needs us.”

Three were killed and several injured in Monday’s Dutch tram terror attack, which raised the country’s emergency threat level to five as it was unfolding, its highest level.

Interestingly, the 36-year old Baudet and his party continued campaigning down to the last moments even as others stopped in the wake of Monday’s attack which rocked the Netherlands. According to Al Jazeera:

Following the lead of US President Donald Trump, Baudet opposes immigration and emphasises “Dutch first” cultural and economic themes. He opposes the euro and thinks the Netherlands should leave the European Union.

Baudet had continued campaigning when other parties stopped after Monday’s attack in Utrecht, in which a gunman shot three people dead on a tram. The populist leader blamed the incident on the government’s lax immigration policies.

The FvD is now set to take 12 seats in the upper house of parliament, which is equal to Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s conservative VVD Party, a scenario before this week considered unlikely according to many observers.

The FvD slightly outscoring the VVD means Rutte’s government has lost its majority for the 75-seat Senate ahead of upcoming May elections.

In a post-election speech on Wednesday, Baudet described further that what’s now being described in international media as “an upstart populist party [that has] shocked the Dutch political establishment” as punishing the arrogance of elites.

In his pro-Western civilization themed remarks, Baudet added, “We are standing in the rubble of what was once the most beautiful civilization in the world.”

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Will The Trump White House finally punish Facebook for censorship?

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 113.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a look at US President Trump’s tweet where he has said that he would be “looking into” a report that his social media chief, Dan Scavino Jr. has been censored by Facebook.

Are we finally about to see the Trump White House move to punish social media outlets for their blatant and bias censorship of alternative narratives that dare to stray from globalist neo-liberal and radical left ideology?

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“Conservatives face a tough fight as Big Tech’s censorship expands”, authored by Donald Trump Jr., via The Hill…

As Big Tech’s censorship of conservatives becomes ever more flagrant and overt, the old arguments about protecting the sanctity of the modern public square are now invalid. Our right to freely engage in public discourse through speech is under sustained attack, necessitating a vigorous defense against the major social media and internet platforms.

From “shadowbans” on Facebook and Twitter, to demonetization of YouTube videos, to pulled ads for Republican candidates at the critical junctures of election campaigns, the list of violations against the online practices and speech of conservatives is long.

I certainly had my suspicions confirmed when Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, “accidentally” censored a post I made regarding the Jussie Smollett hoax, which consequently led to me hearing from hundreds of my followers about how they’ve been having problems seeing, liking or being able to interact with my posts. Many of them even claimed that they’ve had to repeatedly refollow me, as Instagram keeps unfollowing me on their accounts.

While nothing about Big Tech’s censorship of conservatives truly surprises me anymore, it’s still chilling to see the proof for yourself. If it can happen to me, the son of the president, with millions of followers on social media, just think about how bad it must be for conservatives with smaller followings and those who don’t have the soapbox or media reach to push back when they’re being targeted?

Thanks to a brave Facebook whistleblower who approached James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas, we now know that Mark Zuckerberg’s social media giant developed algorithms to “deboost” certain content, limiting its distribution and appearance in news feeds. As you probably guessed, this stealth censorship was specifically aimed at conservatives.

Facebook appears to have deliberately tailored its algorithm to recognize the syntax and style popular among conservatives in order to “deboost” that content. “Mainstream media,” “SJW” (Social Justice Warrior) and “red pill” — all terms that conservatives often use to express themselves — were listed as red flags, according to the former Facebook insider.

Facebook engineers even cited BlazeTV host Lauren Chen’s video criticizing the social justice movement as an example of the kind of “red pills” that users just aren’t allowed to drop anymore. Mainstream conservative content was strangled in real time, yet fringe leftists such as the Young Turks enjoy free rein on the social media platform.

Despite the occasional brave gesture, politicians have been far too sluggish in recognizing the extent of the problem. But the Republican Party and the conservative movement are becoming more vigilant against the suppression of our speech, as we saw at last weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Silicon Valley lobbyists have splashed millions of dollars all over the Washington swamp to play on conservatives’ innate faith in the free-market system and respect for private property. Even as Big Tech companies work to exclude us from the town square of the 21st century, they’ve been able to rely on misguided conservatives to carry water for them with irrelevant pedantry about whether the First Amendment applies in cases of social media censorship.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) has been making a name for himself as a Republican prepared to stand up to Big Tech malfeasance since his time as Missouri’s attorney general. He delivered a tour de force interview with The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel in front of the CPAC crowd, one that provided a clear-eyed assessment of the ongoing affront to the freedoms of conservative speech and expression.

Hawley demolished the absurd notion that “conservative principles” preclude taking action to ensure free debate online simply because Big Tech firms — the most powerful corporations in the world — are private companies.

Hawley pointed out that Big Tech companies already enjoy “sweetheart deals” under current regulations that make their malfeasance a matter of public concern. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, for instance, allows them to avoid liability for the content that users post to their platforms. To address this problem, Hawley proposed adding a viewpoint neutrality requirement for platforms that benefit from Section 230’s protections, which were originally enacted to protect the internet as “a forum for a true diversity of political discourse.”

“Google and Facebook should not be a law unto themselves,” Hawley declared. “They should not be able to discriminate against conservatives. They should not be able to tell us we need to sit down and shut up!”

It’s high time other conservative politicians started heeding Hawley’s warnings, because the logical endpoint of Big Tech’s free rein is far more troubling than conservative meme warriors losing their Twitter accounts. As we’re already starting to see, what starts with social media censorship can quickly lead to banishment from such fundamental services as transportation, online payments and banking.

Left unchecked, Big Tech and liberal activists could construct a private “social credit” system — not unlike what the communists have nightmarishly implemented in China — that excludes outspoken conservatives from wide swaths of American life simply because their political views differ from those of tech executives.

There is no conservative principle that even remotely suggests we are obligated to adopt a laissez-faire attitude while the richest companies on earth abuse the power we give them to put a thumb on the scale for our political enemies.

If anything, our love of the free market dictates that we must do whatever is necessary to ensure that the free marketplace of ideas remains open to all.

Donald Trump Jr. is executive vice president at The Trump Organization.

 

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