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Old 06-03-2010, 07:59 AM
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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37477182...d_news-europe/

Turkish aid group had terror ties
'They were basically helping al-Qaida,' a former anti-terrorism judge says

The Turkish Islamic charity behind a flotilla of aid ships that was raided by Israeli forces on its way to Gaza had ties to terrorism networks, including a 1999 al-Qaida plot to bomb Los Angeles International Airport, France's former top anti-terrorism judge said Wednesday.

The Istanbul-based Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief, known by its Turkish acronym IHH, had "clear, long-standing ties to terrorism and Jihad," former investigating judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

Bruguiere, who led the French judiciary's counterterrorism unit for nearly two decades before retiring in 2007, didn't indicate whether IHH now has terror ties, but said it did when he investigated it in the late 1990s.

"They were basically helping al-Qaida when (Osama) bin Laden started to want to target U.S. soil," he said.

Some members of an international terrorism cell known as the Fateh Kamel network then worked at the IHH, he said. Kamel, an Algerian-Canadian dual national, had ties to the nascent al-Qaida, Bruguiere said.

Arrested in al-Qaida plot
Among Kamel's followers was Ahmed Ressam, an Algerian who was arrested in the U.S. state of Washington in December 1999 on his way to bomb Los Angeles International Airport as part of an al-Qaida plot.

"IHH had a role in the organization that led to the plot," Bruguiere said, reiterating sworn testimony he made in a U.S. Federal Court during Ressam's trial. Ressam is serving a 22-year prison sentence.

Bruguiere issued an international warrant for Kamel, Ressam's former mentor, who was extradited from Jordan to France in 1999 and sentenced to eight years in prison on terror-related charges.

IHH vehemently denies ties to radical groups. The group is not among some 45 groups listed as terrorists by the U.S. State Department's Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism. Nine people on board the IHH flotilla were killed by Israeli forces on Monday.

"We are a legal organization," IHH board member Omer Faruk Korkmaz said late Wednesday in response to Bruguiere's statements. "We have nothing to do with any illegal organization," he said.

"We don't know Ahmed Ressam or Fateh Kamel," Korkmaz said. "We don't approve of the actions of any terrorist organization in the world."

French investigators found in the 1990s that "several members of Fateh Kamel's network worked at the IHH as a cover," Bruguiere said. "It was too systematic and too widespread for the NGO (non-governmental organization) not to know" their real goal, he said.

The former judge, renowned for tracking down convicted terrorist Carlos the Jackal, said he didn't believe the IHH could have been infiltrated by terrorists without its knowledge.

"It's hard to prove, but all elements of the investigation showed that part of the NGO served to hide jihad-type activities," Bruguiere said. "I'm convinced this was a clear strategy, known by IHH."

Weapons, false documents
The judge said he was personally involved in a raid with French and Turkish police at IHH headquarters in Istanbul in 1998, where they found weapons, false documents and other "incriminating" material.

"It was clearly proven that some of the NGO's work was not charity, it was to provide a facade for moving funds, weapons and mujahedeen to and from Bosnia and Afghanistan" — areas focused on by Islamic militants then.

In Istanbul, Korkmaz, of IHH, confirmed the late '90s police raid but denied that any weapons were found and said there was no evidence found of links to militancy.

Bruguiere would not specify how many members of Kamel's terror cell worked at IHH or give their names, but he said one of the suspects, a man from Bosnia, appeared in another terror-related case as recently as 2005 — though there was no indication at the time that the man still had ties to IHH.


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Elements within the charity supported jihadi operations in the 1990s, Bruguiere said, before adding: "I don't know whether they continued to do so" more recently.

"But it seemed clear at the time that it was thanks to a measure of political backing within the Turkish government that it (IHH) could continue to operate," despite the strong suspicions against it, Bruguiere said.

Bruguiere retired from the judiciary in 2007 when he took part in an election to become a lawmaker in the conservative party of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. He lost his bid.

Bruguiere, 67, is now the coordinator for the European Union in a terrorism finance tracking program jointly run with the United States.
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  #22  
Old 06-03-2010, 12:19 PM
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Old 06-03-2010, 12:22 PM
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The Real Israeli Raid Fallout: Turkey with a Bomb?

June 1, 2010 at 12:36PM by Thomas P.M. Barnett

If you look beyond the international shouting match that began on Monday after Israel botched its handling of a Turkey-sponsored aid flotilla bound for Gaza, well, things look pretty shocking. Just because at least nine people are dead — Western casualties included — doesn't mean the boat raid itself is what "has the makings of a huge international fracas."

And just because the Turkish foreign minister says "this attack is like 9/11" — which it isn't — doesn't mean Tel Aviv will take its eyes off what the Israelis actually perceive to be the larger threat: Iran's nuclear weapons.

Sure, President Obama probably nudged his ambassador to pull the trigger on the UN's head-spinning condemnation of Israel this morning. But in the days just before the attack, the UN was also finally reporting that Iran has sufficient enriched uranium for two nuclear devices, just as Israel was provocatively parking two diesel subs packed with nuclear cruise missiles off Iran's coast.

If you read between the lines, then, I would say Turkey got itself formally admitted into this matchless rivalry just in time.

Trust me: Ankara has about as much interest in the Palestinians as the rest of the Muslim regimes in the region; protesting their plight is a means to larger but self-serving ends. Turkey is pursuing a policy of "zero problems" with its neighbors, all right, but elevating its regional influence requires that Ankara not be trumped by Tehran's successful nuclear bid. And that's why Turkey is now committed to demonizing its old ally across the Mediterranean.

"Declaration of war," you say? Allow me to unspin those heads a bit:

Israel's three-year-old blockade of the Gaza Strip was already preapproved for official UN censure, thanks to last September's Goldstone Report. The next logical step for Israel's critics was to place it on the international front burner, dislodging the UN Security Council's regional fixation on Tehran's nuclear enrichment program. An aid flotilla loaded with one ringer (i.e., the sixth and largest ship populated with committed activists spoiling for a violent — and videotaped — showdown) was a brilliantly timed move of passive-aggression on Turkey's part. But no fight equals no media coverage, so the flotilla ignored Tel Aviv's demands that the relief supplies be off-loaded in an Israeli port for inspection and subsequent shipment to Gaza. And while the first five ships submitted peacefully to the boarding inspection parties, the sixth exploded in violent resistance — as planned.

Turkey's deputy prime minister called the raid "a dark stain on the history of humanity." So now Ankara has its bloody shirt, which will be used — once Tehran inevitably announces the weaponization of its nukes — to justify Turkey's rapid reach for the same. Just like Tehran cannot openly rationalize its bid for regional supremacy vis-à-vis archrival Saudi Arabia, Turkey requires an appropriate villain for its nuclear morality play. Anybody watching the deterioration of Turkish-Israeli relations over the past year knew that some cause célèbre was in the works. Suddenly, if perhaps on purpose, Turkey can claim that — despite its efforts to broker a non-nuclear peace in the region (including a recent enrichment deal engineered with Brazil) — it needs its own deterrent against Israel's nuclear arsenal, too.

Checkmate, Turkey.

And as for the Obama administration's dream of enlisting Turkey's UN Security Council vote for further sanctions against Iran, the White House is missing the larger point: Turkey is uninterested in punishing Israel. Turkey is interested in power. The White House, in pursuing Obama's naïve dream of a "world without nuclear weapons," is chasing pawns around the board.

But, above all, remember this is a three-dimensional, multisided chess match: Iran duping the world with its nuclear threats against Israel; Turkey now set to justify its own bid against this "rogue" regime; and the Saudis yet to make any significant moves against their Shiite nemesis. But you've gotta watch out for those Saudis — knowing their love for misdirection and duplicitous dealings, I would expect them to simultaneously squeeze the Obama administration for more military sales, continue secretly cooperating with Pakistan on its own nuclear program (just like Turkey), and quietly collaborate with Israel on its planned air strikes against Iran.

Prepared to be shocked — shocked! — at the "stunning revelations" to come.

Esquire contributing editor Thomas P.M. Barnett is the author of Great Powers: America and the World After Bush.



Read more: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politic...#ixzz0porqvxbp
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Old 06-03-2010, 01:17 PM
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Erdogan and the Decline of the Turks

When I asked the prime minister about stories alleging a U.S.-Israeli murder and organ selling scheme in Iraq, he could not bring himself to condemn them.


By ROBERT L. POLLOCK

Israeli special forces and their commanders were apparently shocked to find their boarding attempt on the Mavi ("Blue") Marmara met with violence. They should not have been. I have no doubt that the Turkish "peace activists" aboard the ship regarded Israeli troops as something akin to the second coming of Hitler's SS.

To follow Turkish discourse in recent years has been to follow a national decline into madness. Imagine 80 million or so people sitting at the crossroads between Europe and Asia. They don't speak an Indo-European language and perhaps hundreds of thousands of them have meaningful access to any outside media. What information most of them get is filtered through a secular press that makes Italian communists look right wing by comparison and an increasing number of state (i.e., Islamist) influenced outfits. Topics A and B (or B and A, it doesn't really matter) have been the malign influence on the world of Israel and the United States.

For example, while there was much hand-wringing in our own media about "Who lost Turkey?" when U.S. forces were denied entry to Iraq from the north in 2003, no such introspection was evident in Ankara and Istanbul.

Instead, Turks were fed a steady diet of imagined atrocities perpetrated by U.S. forces in Iraq, often with the implication that they were acting as muscle for the Jews. The newspaper Yeni Safak, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's daily read, claimed that Americans were tossing so many Iraqi bodies into the Euphrates that local mullahs had issued a fatwa ordering residents not to eat the fish. The same paper repeatedly claimed that the U.S. used chemical weapons in Fallujah. And it reported that Israeli soldiers had been deployed alongside U.S. forces in Iraq and that U.S. forces were harvesting the innards of dead Iraqis for sale on the U.S. "organ market.

Associated Press Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan (left) has distanced himself from allies such as the U.S. and curried favor with the likes of Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.









The secular Hurriyet newspaper, meanwhile, accused Israeli soldiers of assassinating Turkish security personnel in Mosul and said the U.S. was starting an occupation of (Muslim) Indonesia under the guise of humanitarian assistance. Then U.S. ambassador to Turkey Eric Edelman actually felt the need to organize a conference call to explain to the Turkish media that secret U.S. nuclear testing did not cause the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

One of the craziest theories circulating in Ankara was that the U.S. was colonizing the Middle East because its scientists were aware of an impending asteroid strike on North America.

The Mosul and organ harvesting stories were soon brought together in a hit Turkish movie called "Valley of the Wolves," which I saw in 2006 at a mall in Ankara. My poor Turkish was little barrier to understanding. The body parts of dead Iraqis could be clearly seen being placed into crates marked New York and Tel Aviv. It is no exaggeration to say that such anti-Semitic fare had not been played to mass audiences in Europe since the Third Reich.

When I interviewed Prime Minister Erdogan (one of several encounters) in 2006, he was unabashed about the narrative.

Erdogan: "I believe the people who made this movie took media reports as their basis . . . for example, Abu Ghraib prison—we have seen this on TV, and now we are watching Guantanamo Bay in the world media, and of course it could be that this movie was prepared under these influences."

Global View Columnist Bret Stephens explains why Israel's best friend in the Middle East is now an adversary.

Me: "But do you believe that many Turks have such a view of America, that we're the kind of people who'd go to Iraq and kill people to take their organs?"

Erdogan: "These kind of things happen in the world. If it's not happening in Iraq, then its happening in other countries."

Me: "Which kind of things? Killing people to take their organs?"

Erdogan: "I'm not saying they are being killed. . . . There are people in poverty who use this as a means to get money."

I was somewhat taken aback that the prime minister could not bring himself to condemn a fictional blood libel. I should not have been. He and his party have traded on America and Israel hatred ever since. There can be little doubt the Turkish flotilla that challenged the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza was organized with his approval, if not encouragement.

Mr. Erodogan's foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, is a proponent of a philosophy which calls on Turkey to loosen Western ties to the U.S., NATO and the European Union and seek its own sphere of influence to the east.

Turkey's recent deal to help Iran enrich uranium should come as no surprise.

Sadly, Turkey has had no credible opposition since its corrupt secular parties lost to Mr. Erdogan in 2002. The Ataturk-inspired People's Republican Party has just thrown off one leader who was constantly railing about CIA plots for another who wants to expand state spending as government coffers collapse everywhere else in the word. What's more, Turks remain blind to their manifest hypocrisies. Ask how they would feel if other countries arranged an "aid" convoy (akin to the Gaza flotilla) for their own Kurdish minority and you'll be met with dumb stares.

Turkey's blind spot on the Kurdish issue is especially striking when you recall that Turkey nearly invaded Syria in 1998 for sponsoring Kurdish terrorism. Kurdish separatist leader Abdullah Ocalan then bounced around the capitals of Europe, only to be captured in Kenya and handed over to the Turks by the CIA. Turkey's antiterror alliance with Israel and the U.S. couldn't have been more natural.

Yet Prime Minister Erdogan was one of the first world leaders to recognize the legitimacy of the Hamas government in Gaza. And now he is upping the rhetoric after provoking Israel on Hamas's behalf. It is Israel, he says, that has shocked "the conscience of humanity." Foreign Minister Davutoglu is challenging the U.S: "We expect full solidarity with us. It should not seem like a choice between Turkey and Israel. It should be a choice between right and wrong."

Please. Good leaders work to defuse tensions in situations like this, not to escalate them. No American should be deceived as to the true motives of these men: They are demagogues appealing to the worst elements in their own country and the broader Middle East.

The obvious answer to the question of "Who lost Turkey?"—the Western-oriented Turkey, that is—is the Turks did. The outstanding question is how much damage they'll do to regional peace going forward.

Mr. Pollock is the Journal's editorial features editor.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...195250402.html
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Old 06-10-2010, 08:25 PM
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Arrow MEMRI Flotilla Coverage

#2504 - MEMRI Flotilla Coverage: Imam Ahmad Ibrahimi, Coordinator of Algerian Delegation to “Freedom Flotilla":

"Our Hatred of Them Is So Intense That We Wished We Could Have Been Bombs and Blown Ourselves Up among the Brothers of Apes and Pigs" Imam Ahmad Ibrahimi Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas/Gaza) - June 4, 2010 - 02:23

http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/2504.htm
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Old 06-11-2010, 05:10 AM
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When you look at Islam's record of human right abuses, you have to wonder HTF did Israel become the bad guys?! Look at Afghanistan where the Taliban recently hung a 7-year-old boy because they said he was a spy; where girls schools are routinely bombed and gassed because they want their women to be ignorant; in Yemn a 76-year-old woman was stoned to death because she allowed 2 repairmen to come into her house and there were no male relatives around; in Pakistan a wedding reception was hit by a suicide bomber, 40 killed, because the village refused to give aid to the Taliban; Turkey recently sent its fighter-bombers against its Kurdish minority, total casualties unknown.

And now, according to some Canadian and American college students, Israel must be eradicated. OK, kids; just keep your heads in the sand while the rest of the ADULT world keeps its eyes open.
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