Centre for Research on Globalisation
Centre de recherche sur la mondialisation

US Intelligence behind alleged Al Qaeda Attacks?

by Michel Chossudovsky

www.globalresearch.ca 18 November 2003

The URL of this article is: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO311B.html

"Who was behind" the recent terrorist bomb attacks (Riyadh, Baghdad Red Cross, Istanbul)? 

The «alleged terrorist groups» are invariably reported by the media, in chorus, as having  «links to Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda», without of course acknowledging the fact (amply documented by intelligence reports and official documents) that Al Qaeda is a creation of CIA 

In analysing these attacks, it is important to understand that Al Qaeda is not an Islamic movement of resistance against the US. It is a network, controlled and manipulated by US intelligence. (For further details, see   (Michel Chossudovsky, Osamagate, CRG, October 2001, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO110A.html )

In other words, these attacks, which allegedly are perpetrated by an "Outside Enemy" of America, are in fact carried out by a CIA "intelligence asset." Ironically, the CIA has never denied its role in creating Al Qaeda. The statements emanating from the intelligence community and the media will acknowledge that: Yes we did create Osama bin Laden, "but he went against us." (Ibid)

Intelligence Asset

Al Qaeda is an instrument of covert intelligence operations. This does not mean that Al Qaeda operatives in the field are aware of the role they are playing on the geopolitical chessboard. Nor does it mean that the various grassroots Islamic resistance movements, which have links to Al Qaeda are aware of the complex relationship between units of Al Qaeda and US intelligence. 

According to the CIA, a so-called "intelligence asset" as distinct from a bona fide "intelligence agent" need not be committed to the pursuit of U.S. interests. Rather, they are meant to act and/or behave in a way which serves U.S. foreign policy interests. Intelligence assets are invariably unaware of the precise functions and roles they are performing on behalf of the CIA.

Most post-September 11 news reports consider that these Al Qaeda-CIA links belong to the "bygone era" of the Soviet-Afghan war. They are invariably viewed as "irrelevant" to an understanding of the various terrorist attacks, which have occurred since 9/11. Lost in the barrage of recent history, the role of the CIA, in supporting and developing international terrorist organizations during the Cold War and its aftermath, is casually ignored or downplayed by the Western media.

What is the hidden agenda of the terrorist attacks from the point of view of their US intelligence sponsors?

1) The terrorist attacks serve to develop a "useful wave of indignation" following the death of civilians. In other words, Al Qaeda is used by its intelligence sponsors to discredit the various grass roots (Islamic and secular) resistance movements. The attacks serve to uphold in the eyes of World public opinion, the shaky legitimacy of the US led occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the Israeli occupation of Palestine. The civilian casualties are meant to provide legitimacy to the "war on terrorism" and uphold the Bush Administration's national security doctrine.

2) The attacks serve to foster ethnic hatred and uphold the police state in Western countries, including the wave of arbitrary arrests directed against Muslims and Arabs. More generally, the terrorist attacks "fabricate an enemy". 

3) The Istanbul synagogue attacks (November 2003) serve  to uphold  "the fight against international terrorism" as a legitimate campaign against anti-semitism.  Needless to say, they also sustain the legitimacy of the Israeli State, while portraying both the Palestinian authority headed by Arafat and the Palestinian based Islamic organizations as "terrorists".

4) Al Qaeda is also used to infiltrate the Islamic resistance movement. The figurehead of Osama bin Laden serves to mobilise support, while distorting and weakening both the Islamic and secular resistance movements. More generally, Al Qaeda is used to destabilize secular institutions and undermine the development of a broad secular resistance movement against the US-led war. Al Qaeda and its various proxies, are thereby used to foster divisions within Middle Eastern societies, within Islam as well as between Muslims, Christians and Jews.

6) Al Qaeda is used to destroy solidarity between social, ethnic and religious groups against State terrorism and US military aggression. In turn, Saudi Arabian charities with links to the CIA are used to channel financial support to various Islamic organizations.

 7) The terrorist bombings provide a pretext to wage further military operations, to send in US special forces.  They feed the US propaganda campaign. In the case of the Istanbul synagogue attacks (November 2003), they contribute to stalling the Geneva Accord (signed on November 4, 2003), reached between representatives of the Palestinian authority and the Israeli Left 

8) In Saudi Arabia, the terrorist attacks are being used by Washington to demand regime change. They are also applied to discredit the Saudi royal family on the grounds that members of the Saudi establishment have links to al Qaeda.

Western Intel behind the Scenes

The behind the scenes role of Western intelligence in the these attacks is not something which can be established in a clear-cut fashion.

A careful reading of the media reports, nonetheless, reveals in some cases a complex relationship between the alleged terror group and its US intelligence sponsors.

In the case of the Bali attack (October 2002), the alleged group responsible for the attack, had links to both Indonesian and Pakistan intelligence, both of which have links to the CIA.

Indonesian Intelligence also has close links to Australian Intelligence, which played a key role in the the investigation of the Bali attack. .(For further details, see Michel Chossudovsky,  Fabricating an Enemy, CRG, January 2003, at http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO301B.html

The Bali bomb attack which resulted in some 200 deaths, was allegedly perpetrated by Jemaah Islamiah, a group, which operates in several countries in South East Asia. Press reports and official statements at the time pointed  to close ties between Jemaah Islamiah (JI) and Al Qaeda. The JI’s "operational leader" is Riduan Isamuddin, alias Hambali, a veteran of the Soviet-Afghan war, was trained in Afghanistan and Pakistan. According to a report by UPI:

"The [Soviet-Afghan] war provided opportunities for key figures of these groups, who went to Afghanistan, to experience firsthand the glory of jihad. Many of the radicals detained in Singapore and Malaysia derived their ideological inspiration from the activities of the Mujahideen in Afghanistan and Pakistan"  (UPI, 6 January 2002)

What the report failed to mention was that the training of the Mujahideen in Afghanistan and Pakistan was a CIA sponsored initiative launched under President Jimmy Carter in 1979, using Pakistan’s ISI as a go-between.

In the wake of the October 2002 Bali bombing, a contradictory report emanating from Indonesia’s top brass, pointed to the involvement of both the head of Indonesian intelligence General A. M. Hendropriyono as well as the CIA:

"The agency and its director, Gen. A. M. Hendropriyono, are well regarded by the United States and other governments. But there are still senior intelligence officers here who believe that the C.I.A. was behind the bombing." (Raymond Bonner and Jane Perlez, More Attacks on Westerners Are Expected in Indonesia, New York Times, 25 November 2002)




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Michel Chossudovsky is the author of War and Globalization, the Truth behind September 11 , Global Outlook, Shanty Bay, Ont., 2003




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‘Foreign Powers’ Behind Istanbul Blasts: Experts

Additional Reporting By Sa'ad Abdul Majid, IOL Correspondent

ISTANBUL, November 16 (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) –

Investigators are hunting for clues amid the rubble

Additional Reporting By Sa'ad Abdul Majid, IOL Correspondent

Foreign powers might be behind the deadly blasts that ripped through two synagogues in Istanbul on Saturday, November 15, killing at least 23 people and injuring 300 others, Turkish intelligence experts and journalists said on Sunday, November 16, ruling out that they were the work of underground organizations in Turkey.

Maher Kenaq, a former director at the Turkish intelligence service, told the Turkish daily Milliyet Gazette that the attacks were planned by foreign intelligence services to pressure the ruling Justice and Development party (AKP).

Aouni Ozgurul, a journalist at the daily Yeni Safak, said the two blasts served as ‘a strong message’ to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

However, Faek Blout, a journalist at the NTV news channel ruled out that the explosions were the work of one of the underground organizations, asserting that the magnitude of the attacks suggested that they were backed by a major power.

The home-grown group the "Islamic Front of Knights of the Great Orient" had claimed the blasts in a telephone call with Anatolia news agency on Saturday, alleging that they came in response to what they called the ‘persecution of Muslims’.

One blast occurred outside the Neve Shalom synagogue in the historic Beyoglu district in the heart of Istanbul. Another went off close to the Beth Israel synagogue in the nearby neighborhood of Sisli.

Al-Qaeda Hands

But other experts said the blasts bear the hallmarks of Al-Qaeda network.

Dr. Mansour Aq John, professor of international relations, and researcher Aytanoush Altin, a specialist in religious affairs and evangelism, said there is a clear resemblance between them and other attacks worldwide claimed by Osama bin Laden's group.

They further agreed that the blasts served as a message against the U.S. occupation in Iraq and the perceived U.S. bias towards Israel.

Sheikh Mohammad Fatahallah Golen, the spiritual leader of Al-Nour Islamic group in Turkey, strongly denounced the blasts.

"The evil spirits do not want a strong and democratic Turkey," Golen said in a statement published by Zaman newspaper.

Turkey's press on Sunday hit out at the blasts as a "serious development", pointing the fingers at "evil powers outside Turkey".

"Laden's terror has hit us as well," the popular daily Vatan said. "Istanbul's two most prominent synagogues were hit in quick succession just as the twin towers (in New York) and the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania."

"Terror in Istanbul," the daily Cumhuriyet said, adding that the attacks bore resemblance to bombings in Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

"This is dastardly…The Muslims' holy month and the Jews' sacred day is soaked in blood," the daily Aksam said.

The head of the Jewish community in Turkey, Yalmiz bin Edret, told NTV that the blasts were designed to impair Turkey's image, adding that they were not targeting Jews in specific.

On Saturday, a spokesman for the Jewish community in Istanbul, Silvio Ovadyo, said that two Jews were killed and 100 injured in the attacks, noting that Turkey's Chief Rabbi Isak Haleva escaped the blasts unhurt.

However, Israeli public radio reported Sunday that six Jews were among the 20 victims, quoting a member of the Turkish Jewish community.

"We have identified six Jews among the people killed in these attacks, including four security guards employed by the community... Most of those killed were neighboring shop workers," the unidentified Istanbul source said.

"This toll is a tragic pointer for the future of Jewish and Muslim relations in Turkey," Israel's consul general in Turkey, Amira Arnon, said on radio.

Four Israeli police experts have been sent to Turkey to conduct a criminal enquiry along with members of the Zaka volunteer group, which specializes in aiding the victims of catastrophes.

Investigations Underway

Meanwhile, Turkish investigators hunted for clues to find out who was behind the twin car bomb attacks as Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom joined grieving families of the victims on Sunday.

Police set up barricades to block off the bombed-out streets as investigators in bright yellow helmets combed through the carpet of broken glass and debris in the hunt for clues to find out who was behind the attacks, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).

The Hurriyet newspaper reported that three people had been arrested over the carnage, but there was no immediate confirmation.

Israeli consul Amira Arnon said it is very early to have any conclusions, but the attack could have been committed by "a major organization, maybe with a state behind it".

Security officials told Anatolia news agency that a security camera at one of the synagogues showed a person parking a car outside the building and leaving and then the vehicle exploded.

Shalom flew in to Istanbul 24 hours after the car bombs, walking through scenes of devastation to lay wreathes in memory of the dead.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul also visited the bomb sites as relatives of the dead laid flowers for their loved ones.

"We have Jewish citizens in Turkey, there is no division between the two communities," said Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, adding: "An attack against them is an attack against Turkey."

The bombings were the latest in a series of strikes against Jewish targets in recent months, including suicide attacks in the Moroccan city of Casablanca in May 2003 that killed 45 and an attack on an Israeli-owned hotel in Kenya a year ago that left 18 dead.

Neve Shalom, the Istanbul Jewish community's largest synagogue, was attacked in 1986 and 22 people were gunned down.

Turkey has been Israel's chief regional ally since 1996 when the two nations hammered out a military cooperation accord.

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