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03 May 2016

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Amir

Totally out of the box and a bunch of free associations that probably make no sense:
I am not a native Arabic speaker but found it interesting that the subject is called "Abu Suleyman al-Faransi" and not "Farangi". French, French speaking or Western and if the later do they mean geographically or culturally Western.
Süleyman is the Turkish version of Solomon while the Arabic is generally written as Sulaiman or Sulayman, at least in Latin letters.
Solomon's meaning refers to peace (?!) and obviously it's relationship with the biblical figure, the Hebreew profit, whose father (Abu) was David (Daud, Dawood, Dawud in Arabic).

Bill Herschel

Thank you for this very informative article.

Patrick Bahzad

Amir,

Some of what you're referring to may have to do with transcription rules followed by those who write an alias in latin alphabet, depending on which language they speak. You're right about the general rule of "Suleyman" being the Turkish version of Solomon, but there is plenty of evidence for Jihadi fighters of various colour using this spelling rather than the more Arabic "Sulayman".
That being said, with regard to this individual, I'm pretty sure you'll find all kinds of transcriptions of his nom de guerre.

Bill Herschel

Must add an additional comment although I had definitely not intended to. First of all, having lived in France, I am particularly interested in your article and am, again, thankful for being able to read it. I guess my question from that perspective would be, "Do you think LePen will be elected President?" One wonders how many successful attacks it will take to elect her. One more would certainly change some votes.

But that is not why, or only indirectly why, I want to comment again. American History is being written tonight. Donald Trump is going to be the Republican nominee for President. A man who theoretically cannot be bought and who is a real actor on the same level with a Jack Benny or a Mel Brooks. I know that Ronald Reagan is considered to be a Saint on the Right, but one must admit that he was an actor the same way Hector Lopez was a baseball player. Trump is incredibly talented in the spotlight.

The verbal/philosophical/moral/... battle between him and Clinton may actually contain substance. Oh, and I think pretty much anyone with functioning neurons will admit that Clinton can be bought. Bring it on.

Bill Herschel

Well, I slandered Hector Lopez. He was a poor fielder ("Hector giveth and Hector taketh away"), but he could hit and he lived in the shadow of Maris and Mantle. He didn't get much of a break on radio broadcasts.

different clue

Bill Herschel,

Trump has already performed two major services for America. He has retired the Bush Dynasty from the political stage for some time to come. And he appears to have neutralized the evil Ted Cruz for this presidential cycle.

F5F5F5

It looks like the French services have been very good at identifying potential terrorists, but very bad at following up on them.

Maybe it has something to do with how Sarkozy (Minister of Interior 2005-2007, then President 2007-2012) disrupted the French anti-terror apparatus after the 2002 Karachi bus bombing case turned into a "Karachigate", and/or during his dealings with Gaddafi etc.

Jackrabbit

Kasich is still in the race. Kasich is more likely than Cruz to do well in the remaining races.

I don't think the NEVER TRUMP crowd have given up yet.

Jackrabbit

Al-Mouadan's nom de guerre was indeed "Abu Suleyman", but ... he was killed in a US airstrike at the end of December 2015.

I'm not sure how much credence we should give to a claim of 'killed by airstrike'. US have claimed to have killed ISIS personnel in airstrikes that weren't actually killed.

Jackrabbit

What about the bungling French security services and France's unwillingness to confront countries that support ISIS after the Charlie Hebdo attack? Instead, France staged a public relations charade and passed police-state laws that failed to prevent a worse attack - despite warnings from Iraqi intelligence.

'Where's Waldo?' may be really interesting in its own right, but it diverts us from the root of the problem:

>> ISIS is _useful_ to the 'Assad must go!' Coalition;

>> That's why many Coalition countries have directly or indirectly supported ISIS ($$, arms, training, oil trading, propaganda, madrasas, weak anti-ISIS efforts, etc.);

>> Seymour Hersh described a conspiracy (USA, KSA, Israel) to use extremists as a weapon in "The Redirection" (2006), which has been confirmed by subsequent events and reporting;

>> ISIS terr0r has been an excuse to extend/expand costly and invasive GWOT measures and increase anti-Muslim sentiment.

We need to do more than swat the mosquitoes, we need to drain the swamp of unaccountable power that uses and abuses people for its own ends.

elaine

Please explain why France allows the "returnees" to freely roam rather
than arresting or deporting them upon discovery. What's the rational?

Patrick Bahzad

There are probably a variety of reasons, in particular the number of suspects on the terror wat lists, which are stretching resources very thin. The failed restructuring of domestic intelligence under Sarkozy is another one. You might say also that nobody wanted to see the problem for what it was ...

Patrick Bahzad

I'm not sure which countries you mean when you say they support ISIS.

Not sure I agree on much of what you say actually ... Coalition countries supporting ISIS ? Don't think so.

As for Hersch's piece about the "rat line" I'm aware of it but it's hardly a conspiracy.

Patrick Bahzad

Nobody gets to roam freely. Do you think these people come back and openly boast about where they have been ? Additionally a number of the Paris attackers entered the EU with the many refugees who arrived in 2015. Picking hem out of thousands of individuals is not easy, especially when they have well forged or even genuine ID papers in a different name. Greek authorities just let many go through without any further check, even when they had doubts about someone.

Bill Herschel

France makes billions selling arms to Saudi Arabia. And they make billions on tourism. The lights are burning late in the Elysée Palace.

Peter in Toronto

If Col. Lang is reading this, could I press you to comment on Trump's foreign policy speech?

Linked below, if you haven't seen it yet:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XW8RqLN3Qao

Jackrabbit

There is plenty of information available to connect the dots. Some highlights (see more at the links below):

2012 Defense Intelligence Agency report
"“The West, Gulf countries [the Islamic regimes ruling Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, etc.], and Turkey support the Syrian opposition . . . There is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist [fundamentalist Islam] principality in Eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want..."

Other newly released official U.S. documents obtained by Judicial Watch also show that the Obama administration was fully aware that weapons were being shipped from Benghazi to Syrian jihadists

VP Joe Biden
“The fact is, the ability to identify a moderate middle in Syria, um, was, uh — there was no moderate middle,” Biden said, acknowledging that history was likely to record the facts. “What my constant cry was, that our biggest problem was our allies — our allies in the region were our largest problem.” Specifically identifying the Islamist rulers of Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia, along with unspecified others such as Qatar, Biden noted that “they were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war.”

So, with that in mind, “what did they do?” the vice president asked before providing a partial answer. “They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad; except that the people who were being supplied were Al Nusra and Al Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.” He did not mention the role of the CIA and the State Department in the process, of course, but that has been well documented by countless sources.

“Now you think I’m exaggerating — take a look,” Biden continued. “Where did all of this go? So now what’s happening? All of a sudden everybody’s awakened because this outfit called ISIL, which was Al Qaeda in Iraq, which when they were essentially thrown out of Iraq, found open space in territory in eastern Syria, [and] work with Al Nusra who we declared a terrorist group early on, and we could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them.”

Gen. Martin Dempsey
. . . responding to a question by pro-Syrian jihad senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) about U.S. allies supporting ISIS, explained: “I know of major Arab allies who fund them.”

Training anti-ISIS fighters
After spending $40 million of a $500 million program to "train and equip" anti-ISIS fighters, about 100 fighters were graduated. About 95 of these immediately defected and turned over their arms.

As reported by CBS News, hundreds of others that were trained left the program early because (it was claimed they said) they believed that fighting Assad as a greater priority. Leaving many questions unanswered (and not followed up by the Press): 1) how much training did these drop-outs actually get? 2) did the drop-outs get arms/supplies? etc.

Furthermore:
. . . “moderate” Syrian opposition — all of whom proudly describe themselves as Islamists and jihadists fighting for Allah against an “apostate” regime — have openly boasted of their collaboration with both al-Qaeda and ISIS. “We are collaborating with the Islamic State and the [al-Qaeda-linked] Nusra Front by attacking the Syrian Army’s gatherings in … Qalamoun,” commander Bassel Idriss with the Obama-backed “Free Syrian Army” recently told Lebanon’s Daily Star newspaper.

Indeed, entire FSA brigades armed and trained by Obama and his “allies” have proudly defected to ISIS, taking all of their Western government-provided weaponry with them. Even Islamic State operatives boast of their intimate ties with Obama’s “moderate” rebels in major media outlets. “We are buying weapons from the FSA,” ISIS terrorist Abu Atheer was quoted as saying by Al-Jazeera. “We bought 200 anti-aircraft missiles and Koncourse anti-tank weapons. We have good relations with our brothers in the FSA. For us, the infidels are those who cooperate with the West to fight Islam.”

=

MoonofAlabama.org

http://www.thenewamerican.com/world-news/asia/item/20943-u-s-intel-obama-coalition-supported-islamic-state-in-syria

http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/foreign-policy/item/19258-obama-s-anti-isis-coalition-built-isis-biden-admits

http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/foreign-policy/item/19103-to-battle-isis-jihadists-obama-will-arm-more-jihadists-in-syria

Fred

Patrick,

"You might say also that nobody wanted to see the problem for what it was ..."

I think that is also an American problem, though things haven't gotten as bad here ... yet.

Patrick Bahzad

The US sorted out their own pig sty after 9/11. While nothing is perfect, I think CT-efforts displayed by the US are pretty solid overall. But fingers crossed anyway ...

Patrick Bahzad

This is a discussion we have had on SST time and again. I beg to differ so we gonna have to leave it at this. You're free of course to connect dots where there is no causation, but that is opinion then, not fact.

turcopolier

Peter in Toronto

I watched the whole speech when he gave it. I heard two distinct elements in it. On the one hand he said whatever was necessary to assuage various special interest groups; Zionists first and foremost, internationalists, etc. OTOH he said that he will govern from a POV that always places American interest first, seeks a rapprochement with potential adversaries; Russia, China, etc., will build very strong armed forces but be "very slow on the trigger." In the area of trade he says he will re-negotiate the free trade deals that so many Americans blame for the rapid disappearance of American industry. a great many people think, as I do, that the theory of comparative advantage in economics creates economies that benefit the investor class (like me) and puts Americans who once had good wages in the position of not having the money with which to buy the cheap goods that come into the country from China, Vietnam, Mexico, etc. Trump is a negotiator. He is now negotiating with various groups to sink a deal over the presidency but his very willingness to challenge accepted and received wisdom with regard to so many sacred cows indicates to me that this is probably the real Trump while the pandering to AIPAC etc is merely trickery but skilled trickery. pl

Jackrabbit

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/03/05/the-redirection

Some of the core tactics of the redirection are not public, however. The clandestine operations have been kept secret, in some cases, by leaving the execution or the funding to the Saudis, or by finding other ways to work around the normal congressional appropriations process, current and former officials close to the Administration said.

. . .

The policy shift has brought Saudi Arabia and Israel into a new strategic embrace, largely because both countries see Iran as an existential threat. They have been involved in direct talks, and the Saudis, who believe that greater stability in Israel and Palestine will give Iran less leverage in the region, have become more involved in Arab-Israeli negotiations.

. . .

Martin Indyk, a senior State Department official in the Clinton Administration who also served as Ambassador to Israel, said that “the Middle East is heading into a serious Sunni-Shiite Cold War.” Indyk, who is the director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, added that . . . “The White House is not just doubling the bet in Iraq,” he said. “It’s doubling the bet across the region. This could get very complicated. Everything is upside down.”

. . .

Flynt Leverett, a former Bush Administration National Security Council official, told me that . . . “This is all part of the campaign of provocative steps to increase the pressure on Iran. The idea is that at some point the Iranians will respond and then the Administration will have an open door to strike at them.”

. . .

Nasr compared the current situation to the period in which Al Qaeda first emerged. In the nineteen-eighties and the early nineties, the Saudi government offered to subsidize the covert American C.I.A. proxy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Hundreds of young Saudis were sent into the border areas of Pakistan, where they set up religious schools, training bases, and recruiting facilities. Then, as now, many of the operatives who were paid with Saudi money were Salafis. Among them, of course, were Osama bin Laden and his associates, who founded Al Qaeda, in 1988.

This time, the U.S. government consultant told me, Bandar and other Saudis have assured the White House that “they will keep a very close eye on the religious fundamentalists. Their message to us was ‘We’ve created this movement, and we can control it.’ It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs; it’s who they throw them at—Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians, if they continue to work with Hezbollah and Iran.”

. . .

In the past year, the Saudis, the Israelis, and the Bush Administration have developed a series of informal understandings about their new strategic direction. At least four main elements were involved, the U.S. government consultant told me.

First, Israel would be assured that its security was paramount and that Washington and Saudi Arabia and other Sunni states shared its concern about Iran.

Second, the Saudis would urge Hamas, the Islamist Palestinian party that has received support from Iran, to curtail its anti-Israeli aggression and to begin serious talks about sharing leadership with Fatah, the more secular Palestinian group. (In February, the Saudis brokered a deal at Mecca between the two factions. However, Israel and the U.S. have expressed dissatisfaction with the terms.)

The third component was that the Bush Administration would work directly with Sunni nations to counteract Shiite ascendance in the region.

Fourth, the Saudi government, with Washington’s approval, would provide funds and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad, of Syria. The Israelis believe that putting such pressure on the Assad government will make it more conciliatory and open to negotiations. Syria is a major conduit of arms to Hezbollah.

. . .

Patrick Bahzad

I published your comment for the effort you put into compiling it. Being off topic however, and consisting in information widely accessible, I would recommend you don't waster your time on drafting large excerpts. A simple link will do, preferably under a topic that is relevant to the subject you're considering.

Bill Herschel

I agree with you completely pl. Not that that makes any difference. However, I would like to add something. the Commentariat this morning is unanimous that Trump has essentially no chance against Clinton. In the event, I believe that had the Democratic Party attempted to design a candidate who will lose to Trump, they could not have done a better job than Clinton.

On the other hand, the better Trump does, the harder time Republicans running down ticket will do... unless they support him.

I wonder what others think.

Jackrabbit

I was responding to your remark: "Coalition countries supporting ISIS? Don't think so."

Biden, Dempsey, and DIA disagree: our allies, who are members of the 'Assad must go!' Coalition HAVE supported ISIS (and we have too - at least indirectly).

I could have also mentioned: ISIS oil trading with Turkey; Turkish and Israeli medical aid to ISIS and al Nusra; the lame bombing campaign (in light of Russia's much more determined effort); and loads of propaganda meant to confuse Western populations (why would that be necessary except as cover?)

Now you raise the bar with "no causation". See my comment (above) with excerpts from Sy Hersh's "The Redirection" for causation. Summary: KSA and Israel saw Iran as the biggest beneficiary of the Iraq War and wanted to use extremists to counter Iran's influence. The USA choose to help our "allies in the region" in this endeavor.

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