Paris Shooters Just Returned from NATO’s Proxy War in Syria

First published: 08.01.2015 Author: Tony Cartalucci

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In an all too familiar pattern and as predicted, the shooters involved in the attack in Paris Wednesday, January 7, 2015, were French citizens, radicalized in Europe and exported to Syria to fight in NATO’s proxy war against the government in Damascus, then brought back where they have now carried out a domestic attack. Additionally, as have been many other domestic attacks, the suspects were long under the watch of Western intelligence services, with at least one suspect having already been arrested on terrorism charges.

USA Today would report in an article titled, “Manhunt continues for two French terror suspects,” that:

The suspects are two brothers — Said, 34, and Cherif Kouachi, 32, both French nationals — and Hamyd Mourad, 18, whose nationality wasn’t known, a Paris police official told the Associated Press. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

USA Today would also report (emphasis added):

The brothers were born in Paris of Algerian descent. Cherif was sentenced to three years in prison on terrorism charges in May 2008. Both brothers returned from Syria this summer.


The implications of yet another case of Western-radicalized terrorists, first exported to fight NATO’s proxy war in Syria, then imported and well-known to Western intelligence agencies, being able to carry out a highly organized, well-executed attack, is that the attack itself was sanctioned and engineered by Western intelligence agencies themselves,. This mirrors almost verbatim the type of operations NATO intelligence carried out during the Cold War with similar networks of radicalized militants used both as foreign mercenaries and domestic provocateurs. Toward the end of the Cold War, one of these militant groups was literally Al Qaeda – a proxy mercenary front armed, funded, and employed by the West to this very day.

Additionally, in all likelihood, the brothers who took part in the attack in Paris may have been fighting in Syria with weapons provided to them by the French government itself. France 24 would report last year in an article titled, “France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms,” that:

President Francois Hollande said on Thursday that France had delivered weapons to rebels battling the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad “a few months ago.”


Deflecting blame for the current attack on “radical Islam” is but a canard obscuring the truth that these terrorists were created intentionally by the West, to fight the West’s enemies abroad, and to intimidate and terrorize their populations at home.

We Must Sidestep the Canards 

As with any false flag attack engineered by a government for the purpose of manipulating public perception and pushing through otherwise unjustifiable policy both foreign and domestic, a series of canards are erected to distract the public from the true nature of the attack.

In the recent attack in Paris, France, the canards of “free speech,” “condemning radical Islam,” “tolerance,” and “extremism” have all taken center stage, displacing the fact that the terrorists who carried out the attack were long on the leash not of “Islamic extremists” but Western intelligence agencies, fighting in a Western proxy war, as a member of a well-funded, armed, and trained mercenary force that has, on record since as early as 2007, been an essential component of Western foreign policy.

Indeed, Al Qaeda and its various rebrandings are not the creation of “Islamic extremism,” but rather Western foreign policy using “extremism” as part of indoctrinating the rank and file, but directed by and solely for the purpose of serving an entirely Western agenda. 

As exposed by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his 2007 article, “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” it was stated explicitly that (emphasis added): 

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda. 


To this day, the US, its NATO partners including Turkey, and regional partners including Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar are arming, funding, harboring, training, and otherwise perpetuating these “Islamic extremists” within and along both Syria and now Iraq’s borders.

In reality, without Western backing, “laundered” through the Persian Gulf autocracies and manifesting themselves in a global network of mosques jointly run by Persian Gulf and Western intelligence agencies, there would be no “Islamic extremism” to speak of. To focus on “extremism” as a cause, rather than as a means used by the true perpetrators of this global-spanning campaign of Western-sanctioned terrorism, is not only to perpetuate such canards, but to invite the perpetuation of this very terrorism we are shocked and horrified by. 

West Apparently Maintaining Domestic Radicalization /Recruitment Centers 


The recent Sydney cafe hostage crisis featuring an Iranian dissident granted Australian asylum and featured in anti-Iranian propaganda, exposed a vast network of radicalization and recruitment run in the Australian city of Sydney, used to organize support and fighters to be sent to the West’s proxy war in Syria. The network included many notorious individuals, well known to Australian law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and many of whom had traveled to Syria, taken part in fighting alongside known terrorist organizations, and were allowed to return and continue their political activities in Australia.

The Daily Mail’s article, “Why did police ask former terror suspect for an ISIS flag?” would state:

Counter terrorism police have contacted Sydney man and one time terror accused Zaky Mallah and asked him for an ISIS flag. 


Just over four hours into the Martin Place siege, officers the NSW Police Joint Counter Terrorism Team and asked him if he could give them an ISIS flag. 


Zaky Mallah, 30, from Westmead in western Sydney offered the Counter Terrorist police the flag that hangs on the wall of his apartment, the moderate Islamic Front flag, but ‘they weren’t interested’. 
The article would also state:

Two years ago Mr Mallah travelled to Syria and lived with the FSA rebels engaged in the bloody civil war against Muslim hardliner President Bashar el Assad ‘before it got crazy over there’. After returning home, he encouraged young people to go to Syria and engage in jihad to experience the freedom fight taken up against El Assad… 

As in Australia, France apparently also has a stable of former terrorists who had traveled to Syria and returned, all while on their watch lists – and in Australia at least – some of these terrorists are literally on security agency speed dials and are clearly a part of a network the intelligence community both monitors and in fact, maintains.

Such networks have turned out thousands of recruits to fight in NATO’s war in Syria. The BBC would report in an article titled, “Islamic State crisis: ‘3,000 European jihadists join fight’,” that:

The number of Europeans joining Islamist fighters in Syria and Iraq has risen to more than 3,000, the EU’s anti-terrorism chief has told the BBC. 


Gilles de Kerchove also warned that Western air strikes would increase the risk of retaliatory attacks in Europe.
How exactly is the public expected to believe that such a vast number of terrorists can migrate overseas to fight alongside terrorist forces the West is currently, allegedly, fighting, without the West being able to stem such a tide? Clearly, just as arming Al Qaeda in Syria was done intentionally, so to have the floodgates been open, allowing European terrorists to both join NATO’s proxy war in Syria, and to return home and join NATO’s growing war against its own people.

Operation Gladio on Steroids 


Such networks don’t just mirror NATO’s “stay behind networks” formed during the Cold War, supposedly created to activate in the wake of a full-scale Soviet invasion of Western Europe, but instead used as a covert front of political and terroristic provocation – such networks today are a continuation of NATO’s secret armies.

NATO’s provocateurs used during the Cold War were a mixture of nationalists, anti-communists, former Nazi SS officers, and extremists of every stripe. Their particular beliefs were, however, ultimately irrelevant since they were used for a singular agenda defined not by these beliefs, but by NATO’s own agenda.

Many of the militants and extremists NATO used were liquidated upon the completion of the many false flag attacks NATO organized at the cost of hundreds of innocent European lives. Likewise, today, many of the gunmen or bombers involved in the long string of suspicious domestic attacks carried out by NATO’s modern “stay behind network” are either killed on sight, or imprisoned and forgotten.

While NATO’s Cold War operations appeared confined to conducting terrorism upon its own people, today’s networks are used to carry out both proxy wars overseas as well as to carry out terrorist attacks at home. The expansive nature of this network and the threat it poses to global peace and stability should be at the center of the Paris attack debate – not the alleged beliefs, religion, or supposed agenda of the attackers who, just like their Cold War counterparts, were nothing more than patsies and pawns amid a much larger and insidious game.

[Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”.]


Related - also see the RT's interview with the French Political Analyst Gearoid O Colmain who Discusses French Terror Crisis with RT International

Syria: The hidden massacre

[ Sharmine Narwani is a commentator and analyst of Middle East geopolitics. She tweets @snarwani ]

First Published:: May 07, 2014 
A picture shows courthouse that was torched a day earlier by angry protesters in the southern town of Daraa, 100 kms (60 miles) south of Damascus, on March 21, 2011 following a demonstration demanding "freedom" and an end to 48 years of emergency laws in Syria under President Bashar al-Assad and his father Hafez. (AFP Photo / Louai Beshara)
A picture shows courthouse that was torched a day earlier by angry protesters in the southern town of Daraa, 100 kms (60 miles) south of Damascus, on March 21, 2011 following a demonstration demanding "freedom" and an end to 48 years of emergency laws in Syria under President Bashar al-Assad and his father Hafez. (AFP Photo / Louai Beshara)
The attack took place shortly after the first stirrings of trouble in the southern Syrian city of Daraa in March 2011.
Several old Russian-made military trucks packed with Syrian security forces rolled onto a hard slope on a valley road between Daraa al-Mahata and Daraa al-Balad. Unbeknown to the passengers, the sloping road was slick with oil poured by gunmen waiting to ambush the troops.
Brakes were pumped as the trucks slid into each other, but the shooting started even before the vehicles managed to roll to a stop. According to several different opposition sources, up to 60 Syrian security forces were killed that day in a massacre that has been hidden by both the Syrian government and residents of Daraa.
One Daraa native explains: “At that time, the government did not want to show they are weak and the opposition did not want to show they are armed.”
Beyond that, the details are sketchy. Nizar Nayouf, a longtime Syria dissident and blogger who wrote about the killings, says the massacre took place in the final week of March 2011.
A source who was in Daraa at the time, places the attack before the second week of April.
Rami Abdul Rahman, an anti-government activist who heads up the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), the most quoted Western media source on Syrian casualties, tells me: “It was on the first of April and about 18 or 19 security forces – or “mukhabarat” – were killed.”
Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Faisal Mekdad is a rare government official familiar with the incident. Mekdad studied in Daraa, is from a town 35 kilometers to the east called Ghasson, and made several official visits to Daraa during the early days of the crisis. The version he tells me is similar, down to the details of where the ambush took place – and how. Mekdad, however, believes that around 24 Syrian army soldiers were shot that day.
Why would the Syrian government hide this information, when it would bolster their narrative of events – namely that “armed groups” were targeting authorities from the start, and that the uprising was not all “peaceful”?
In Mekdad’s view, “this incident was hidden by the government and by the security for reasons I can interpret as an attempt not to antagonize or not to raise emotions and to calm things down – not to encourage any attempt to inflame emotions which may lead to escalation of the situation – which at that time was not the policy.”

A picture taken by a mobile phone shows Syrian anti-government protesters taking part in a demonstration in Banias in northeastern Syria on April 22, 2011 as calls were launched for nationwide "Good Friday" rallies, a day after President Bashar al-Assad scrapped decades of draconian emergency rule. (AFP Photo)
A picture taken by a mobile phone shows Syrian anti-government protesters taking part in a demonstration in Banias in northeastern Syria on April 22, 2011 as calls were launched for nationwide "Good Friday" rallies, a day after President Bashar al-Assad scrapped decades of draconian emergency rule. (AFP Photo)

April 2011: The killing of soldiers

What we do know for certain is that on April 25, 2011, nineteen Syrian soldiers were gunned down in Daraa by unknown assailants. The names, ages, dates of birth and death, place of birth and death and marital/parental status of these 19 soldiers are documented in a list of military casualties obtained from Syria’s Defense Ministry.
The list was corroborated by another document – given to me by a non-government acquaintance involved in peace efforts – that details 2011 security casualties. All 19 names were verified by this second list.
Were these the soldiers of the “Daraa massacre?” April 25 is later than the dates suggested by multiple sources – and these 19 deaths were not exactly “hidden.”
But even more startling than actually finding the 19 Daraa soldiers on a list, was the discovery that in April 2011, eighty-eight soldiers were killed by unknown shooters in different areas across Syria.
Keep in mind that the Syrian army was mostly not in the field that early on in the conflict. Other security forces like police and intelligence groups were on the front lines then – and they are not included in this death toll.
The first Syrian soldiers to be killed in the conflict, Sa’er Yahya Merhej and Habeel Anis Dayoub, were killed on March 23 in Daraa.
Two days after those first military casualties, Ala’a Nafez Salman was gunned down in Latakia.
On April 9, Ayham Mohammad Ghazali was shot dead in Douma, south of Damascus. The first soldier killing in Homs Province – in Teldo – was on April 10 when Eissa Shaaban Fayyad was shot.
April 10 was also the day when we learned of the first massacre of Syrian soldiers – in Banyas, Tartous – when nine troops were ambushed and gunned down on a passing bus. The BBC, Al Jazeera and the Guardian all initially quoted witnesses claiming the dead soldiers were “defectors” shot by the Syrian army for refusing to fire on civilians.
A protester in the flahspoint central Syrian city of Homs throws a tear gas bomb back towards security forces, on December 27, 2011. (AFP photo)
A protester in the flahspoint central Syrian city of Homs throws a tear gas bomb back towards security forces, on December 27, 2011. (AFP photo)

That narrative was debunked later, but the story that soldiers were being killed by their own commanders stuck hard throughout 2011 – and gave the media an excuse to ignore stories that security forces were being targeted by armed groups.
The SOHR’s Rami Abdul Rahman says of the “defector” storyline: “This game of saying the army is killing defectors for leaving – I never accepted this because it is propaganda.” It is likely that this narrative was used early on by opposition activists to encourage divisions and defections among the armed forces. If military commanders were shooting their own men, you can be certain the Syrian army would not have remained intact and united three years on.
After the Banyas slayings, soldier deaths in April continued to pop up in different parts of the country – Moadamiyah, Idlib, Harasta, al-Masmiyah (near Suweida), Talkalakh and the suburbs of Damascus.
But on April 23, seven soldiers were slaughtered in Nawa, a town near Daraa. Those killings did not make the headlines like the one in Banyas. Notably, the incident took place right after the Syrian government tried to defuse tensions by abolishing the state security courts, lifting the state of emergency, granting general amnesties and recognizing the right to peaceful protest.
Two days later, on April 25 – Easter Monday – Syrian troops finally moved into Daraa. In what became the scene of the second mass slaying of soldiers since the weekend, 19 soldiers were shot dead that day.
This information also never made it to the headlines.
Instead, all we ever heard was about the mass killing of civilians by security forces: “The dictator slaughtering his own people.” But three years into the Syrian crisis, can we say that things may have taken a different turn if we had access to more information? Or if media had simply provided equal air-time to the different, contesting testimonies that were available to us?

Facts versus fiction

A report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) relies entirely on 50 unnamed activists, witnesses and“defected soldiers” to set the scene for what was taking place in Daraa around that time.
HRW witnesses provided accounts of “security forces using lethal force against protesters during demonstrations” and “funeral processions.” In some cases, says HRW, “security forces first used teargas or fired in the air, but when the protesters refused to disperse, they fired live ammunition from automatic weapons into the crowds…From the end of March witnesses consistently reported the presence of snipers on government buildings near the protests who targeted and killed many of the protesters.”
The HRW report also states: “Syrian authorities repeatedly claimed that the violence in Daraa was perpetrated by armed terrorist gangs, incited and sponsored from abroad.”
Today we know that this statement is fairly representative of a large segment of Islamist militants inside Syria, but was it true in Daraa in early 2011 as well?
There are some things we know as fact. For instance, we have visual evidence of armed men crossing the Lebanese border into Syria during April and May 2011, according to video footage and testimony from former Al Jazeera reporter Ali Hashem, whose video was censored by his network.
Lebanese army troops deploy in Wadi Khaled on Lebanon's northern border with Syria on May 20, 2011. (AFP Photo / Joseph Eid)
Lebanese army troops deploy in Wadi Khaled on Lebanon's northern border with Syria on May 20, 2011. (AFP Photo / Joseph Eid)

There are other things we are still only now discovering. For instance, the HRW report also claims that Syrian security forces in Daraa “desecrated (mosques) by scrawling graffiti on the walls” such as “Your god is Bashar, there is no god but Bashar” – in reference to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Just recently a Tunisian jihadist who goes by the name Abu Qusay, told Tunisian television that his“task” in Syria was to destroy and desecrate mosques with Sunni names (Abu Bakr mosque, Othman mosque, etc) in false-flag sectarian attacks to encourage defection by Syrian soldiers, the majority of whom are Sunni. One of the things he did was scrawling pro-government and blasphemous slogans on mosque walls like “Only God, Syria and Bashar.” It was a “tactic” he says, to get the soldiers to “come on our side” so that the army “can become weak.”
Had the Syrian government been overthrown quickly – as in Tunisia and Egypt – perhaps we would not have learned about these acts of duplicity. But three years into this conflict, it is time to establish facts versus fiction.
A member of the large Hariri family in Daraa, who was there in March and April 2011, says people are confused and that many “loyalties have changed two or three times from March 2011 till now. They were originally all with the government. Then suddenly changed against the government – but now I think maybe 50% or more came back to the Syrian regime.”
The province was largely pro-government before things kicked off. According to the UAE paper The National, “Daraa had long had a reputation as being solidly pro-Assad, with many regime figures recruited from the area.”
But as Hariri explains it, “there were two opinions” in Daraa. “One was that the regime is shooting more people to stop them and warn them to finish their protests and stop gathering. The other opinion was that hidden militias want this to continue, because if there are no funerals, there is no reason for people to gather.”
“At the beginning 99.9 percent of them were saying all shooting is by the government. But slowly, slowly this idea began to change in their mind – there are some hidden parties, but they don’t know what,” says Hariri, whose parents remain in Daraa.
HRW admits “that protestors had killed members of security forces” but caveats it by saying they “only used violence against the security forces and destroyed government property in response to killings by the security forces or…to secure the release of wounded demonstrators captured by the security forces and believed to be at risk of further harm.”
We know that this is not true – the April 10 shootings of the nine soldiers on a bus in Banyas was an unprovoked ambush. So, for instance, was the killing of General Abdo Khodr al-Tallawi, killed alongside his two sons and a nephew in Homs on April 17. That same day in the pro-government al-Zahra neighborhood in Homs, off-duty Syrian army commander Iyad Kamel Harfoush was gunned down when he went outside his home to investigate gunshots. Two days later, Hama-born off-duty Colonel Mohammad Abdo Khadour was killed in his car. And all of this only in the first month of unrest.
In 2012, HRW’s Syria researcher Ole Solvag told me that he had documented violence “against captured soldiers and civilians” and that “there were sometimes weapons in the crowds and some demonstrators opened fire against government forces.”
But was it because the protestors were genuinely aggrieved with violence directed at them by security forces? Or were they “armed gangs” as the Syrian government claims? Or – were there provocateurs shooting at one or both sides?

Provocateurs in “Revolutions”

Syrian-based Father Frans van der Lugt was the Dutch priest murdered by a gunman in Homs just a few weeks ago. His involvement in reconciliation and peace activities never stopped him from lobbing criticisms at both sides in this conflict. But in the first year of the crisis, he penned some remarkableobservations about the violence – this one in January 2012:
“From the start the protest movements were not purely peaceful. From the start I saw armed demonstrators marching along in the protests, who began to shoot at the police first. Very often the violence of the security forces has been a reaction to the brutal violence of the armed rebels.”
In September 2011 he wrote: “From the start there has been the problem of the armed groups, which are also part of the opposition…The opposition of the street is much stronger than any other opposition. And this opposition is armed and frequently employs brutality and violence, only in order then to blame the government.”
Certainly, by June 5, there was no longer any ability for opposition groups to pretend otherwise. In a coordinated attack in Jisr Shughur in Idlib, armed groups killed 149 members of the security forces, according to the SOHR.
But in March and April, when violence and casualties were still new to the country, the question remains: Why would the Syrian government – against all logic – kill vulnerable civilian populations in“hot” areas, while simultaneously taking reform steps to quell tensions?
Who would gain from killing “women and children” in those circumstances? Not the government, surely?
Syrian security men react after a security base was targeted by a suicide attack in Damascus on December 23, 2011. (AFP Photo / Louai Beshara)
Syrian security men react after a security base was targeted by a suicide attack in Damascus on December 23, 2011. (AFP Photo / Louai Beshara)

Discussion about the role of provocateurs in stirring up conflict has made some headlines since Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet’sleaked phone conversation with the EU’s Catherine Ashton disclosed suspicions that pro-west snipers had killed both Ukranian security forces and civilians during the Euromaidan protests.
Says Paet: “All the evidence shows that people who were killed by snipers from both sides, among policemen and people from the streets, that they were the same snipers killing people from both sides…and it’s really disturbing that now the new (pro-western) coalition, they don’t want to investigate what exactly happened.”
A recent German TV investigation the sniper shootings confirms much about these allegations, and has opened the door to contesting versions of events in Ukraine that did not exist for most of the Syrian conflict – at least not in the media or in international forums.
Instead of writing these things off as “conspiracy theories,” the role of provocateurs against targeted governments suddenly appears to have emerged in the mainstream discourse. Whether it is the US’s leaked plan to create a Cuban twitter to stir unrest in the island nation – or – the emergence of“instructional”leaflets in protests from Egypt to Syria to Libya to Ukraine, the convergence of just one-too-many “lookalike” mass protest movements that turn violent has people asking questions and digging deeper today.
Since early 2011 alone, we have heard allegations of “unknown” snipers targeting crowds and security forces in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria and Ukraine. What could be more effective at turning populations against authority than the unprovoked killing of unarmed innocents? By the same token, what could better ensure a reaction from the security forces of any nation than the gunning down of one or more of their own?
By early 2012, the UN claimed there were over 5,000 casualties in Syria – without specifying whether these were civilians, rebel fighters or government security forces. According to government lists presented to and published by the UN’s Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, in the first year of conflict, the death toll for Syrian police forces was 478, and 2,091 for military and security force casualties.
Those numbers suggest a remarkable parity in deaths between both sides in the conflict, right from the start. It also suggests that at least part of the Syrian “opposition” was from the earliest days, armed, organized, and targeting security forces as a matter of strategy – in all likelihood, to elicit a response that would ensure continued escalation.
Today, although Syrian military sources strongly refute these numbers, the SOHR claims there are more than 60,000 casualties from the country’s security forces and pro-government militias. These are men who come from all parts of the nation, from all religions and denominations and from all communities. Their deaths have left no family untouched and explain a great deal about the Syrian government’s actions and responses throughout this crisis.

SOURCE | http://rt.com/op-edge/157412-syria-hidden-massacre-2011/

Tourist in North Korea



http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2638213/Tourist-took-camera-inside-North-Korea-expected-really-really-sad-people-shocked-seemingly-ordinary-lives-citizens.html

Girls playing on the beach, hair salons and bored commuters: Tourist who took camera inside North Korea expecting to find 'really, really sad people' is shocked to discover a happy country

  • Singaporean photographer Aram Pan visited North Korea last year
  • Gained permission for his 360 photography project after sending emails and faxes to North Korean contacts
  • A BBC Panorama documentary led him to believe he would see lots of starving people
  • Discovered healthy looking men and women shopping, playing volleyball and clocking off work at 6pm
  • Believes that 'North Korea needs more friendly interaction with the outside world, even if it is just tourists'


By SARAH DEAN

PUBLISHED: 22:26 AEST, 29 May 2014 |