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Paying ransoms, Europe is bankrolling Qaeda terror

3 hostages
© billwarnermyblog.wordpress.com
Cash for hostages, the lucrative business of terror.
The cash filled three suitcases: 5 million euros.

The German official charged with delivering this cargo arrived here aboard a nearly empty military plane and was whisked away to a secret meeting with the president of Mali, who had offered Europe a face-saving solution to a vexing problem.

Officially, Germany had budgeted the money as humanitarian aid for the poor, landlocked nation of Mali. In truth, all sides understood that the cash was bound for an obscure group of Islamic extremists who were holding 32 European hostages, according to six senior diplomats directly involved in the exchange.

hostage memoirs
© www.nytimes.com
Mementos from captivity: Items saved by Harald Ickler, a Swede living in Germany, from his 54 days as a hostage in 2003. He was on a four-week adventure vacation when he was kidnapped in the Algerian desert by jihadists who would soon become an official arm of Al Qaeda.
The suitcases were loaded onto pickup trucks and driven hundreds of miles north into the Sahara, where the bearded fighters, who would soon become an official arm of Al Qaeda, counted the money on a blanket thrown on the sand. The 2003 episode was a learning experience for both sides. Eleven years later, the handoff in Bamako has become a well-rehearsed ritual, one of dozens of such transactions repeated all over the world.

Kidnapping Europeans for ransom has become a global business for Al Qaeda, bankrolling its operations across the globe.


While European governments deny paying ransoms, an investigation by The New York Times found that Al Qaeda and its direct affiliates have taken in at least $125 million in revenue from kidnappings since 2008, of which $66 million was paid just last year.

In news releases and statements, the United States Treasury Department has cited ransom amounts that, taken together, put the total at around $165 million over the same period.

These payments were made almost exclusively by European governments, who funneled the money through a network of proxies, sometimes masking it as development aid, according to interviews conducted for this article with former hostages, negotiators, diplomats and government officials in 10 countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The inner workings of the kidnapping business were also revealed in thousands of pages of internal Qaeda documents found by this reporter while on assignment for The Associated Press in northern Mali last year.

In its early years, Al Qaeda received most of its money from deep-pocketed donors, but counterterrorism officials now believe the group finances the bulk of its recruitment, training and arms purchases from ransoms paid to free Europeans.

Put more bluntly, Europe has become an inadvertent underwriter of Al Qaeda.
Megaphone

Former Al-Qaeda commander: ISIS and Al-Qaeda are completely controlled by CIA and other Western intelligence agencies

More evidence has been entered into the files of public record that terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda, ISIS, and the al-Nusra Front are completely controlled by the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies.

In fact, according to Nabil Na'eem, founding member of the Islamic Democratic Jihad Party and a former commander of al-Qaeda, all current al-Qaeda affiliates are nothing more than offshoots of an overarching CIA terror operation. He also claimed that these groups will eventually be turned against Saudi Arabia, despite the fact that Saudi Arabia has acted as a bankroller and facilitator for them for years on end.

Na'eem made his statements during the course of an interview with al-Maydeen , a Beirut-based news agency that serves a number of countries in the Middle East. The interview was translated by Arabi Souri of Syria News.

Star of David

NATO, MH17, Mossad and Kolomoisky: Beware the 'Chameleon'

NATO BREEZE
© Reuters/Bogdan Cristel
A view of U.S. Navy cruiser Vella Gulf in the Black Sea port of Constanta June 5, 2014.
The 10-day NATO exercise code named "BREEZE 2014" has ended in Black Sea. The exercise, which included the use of electronic warfare and electronic intelligence aircraft such as the Boeing EA-18G Growler and the Boeing E3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS), coincided with the shootdown of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine, some 40 miles from the Russian border. NATO ships and aircraft had the Donetsk and Luhansk regions under total radar and electronic surveillance.

MH-17 was shot down over a region where Russian-speaking separatist forces have been battling against the alliance of the Ukrainian armed forces and a private mercenary force answerable to a Ukrainian-Jewish billionaire oligarch.

The U.S. Army has revealed that the 10-day exercise involved "commercial traffic monitoring". Because of the sophistication of the electronic warfare and intelligence used during SEA BREEZE, it can be assumed that commercial traffic monitoring included monitoring the track of MH-17.

Past NATO-Ukraine exercises in Crimea were called "SEA BREEZE". This year's annual SEA BREEZE exercise with Ukraine, approved by the rump Ukrainian Parliament, is clouded in mystery with the Pentagon saying it was only "in the planning stage and we can't announce dates yet". However, 200 U.S. Army personnel normally assigned to bases in Germany were in Ukraine during the time of the MH-17 fly-over. They were participating in NATO exercise RAPID TRIDENT II. Ukraine's Ministry of Defense led the exercise.

BREEZE included the AEGIS-class guided missile cruiser USS Vela Gulf. AEGIS cruisers' AN/SPY 1 radar has the ability to track all aircraft over a large region. For example, the AEGIS test center in Moorestown, New Jersey, was able to see the Boeing 747 TWA Flight 800 when it disappeared from radar screens in 1996 near East Moriches Bay, Long Island. According to Lockheed Martin personnel who operated the AEGIS test center in New Jersey, the Navy ordered the SPY 1 radar turned off for "maintenance" shortly before the downing of TWA 800.

Comment: See also Niall Bradley's article linking Israel to the downing of MH17: Kolomoisky may be the link between Mossad's dirty work and the collusion of certain Ukrainian elements in the false flag designed to blame Russia and/or the Novorussiya rebels.

Che Guevara

President of Bolivia declares Israel a terrorist state over Gaza attack

© AFP Photo
Bolivia on Wednesday renounced a visa exemption agreement with Israel in protest over its offensive in Gaza, and declared it a terrorist state. President Evo Morales announced the move during a talk with a group of educators in the city of Cochabamba.

It "means, in other words, we are declaring (Israel) a terrorist state," he said. The treaty has allowed Israelis to travel freely to Bolivia without a visa since 1972.

Morales said the Gaza offensive shows "that Israel is not a guarantor of the principles of respect for life and the elementary precepts of rights that govern the peaceful and harmonious coexistence of our international community."
Nebula

Bear baiting again: Russia responds to US claims it breached nuclear missiles treaty

Russian foreign ministry
© AFP Photo/Alexander Nnemenov
Headquarters of Russia's Foreign Ministry in Moscow
Moscow has slammed Washington's allegations that Russia breached the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, calling the claims unsubstantiated. It added Russia also has complaints about the US's fulfillment of their obligations under the treaty.

US claims that Russia violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) are "just as unsubstantiated as everything that has recently been heard by Moscow coming from Washington, including other issues. There is absolutely no evidence provided to support [these allegations]," Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement Wednesday.

Moscow's statement comes in response to US President Obama's letter to Russia's Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, informing him that the US has determined that Russia has breached the treaty.
Bomb

Two-faced US resupplies Israel with weapons while condemning shelling of Gaza school

Gaza
© Reuters/Baz Ratner
An Israeli mobile artillery unit fires towards the Gaza Strip July 28, 2014.
No sooner than the White House condemned the shelling of a United Nations-operated school in Gaza on Wednesday did news break that the Pentagon will supply the Israeli military with new ammunition to further their campaign on the war-ravaged city.

That afternoon, CNN reported that the United States military will be honoring a request from Israel for assistance in the midst of their weeks-long campaign against militants from Hamas residing in Gaza City.

According to the network, Pentagon officials have confirmed that the US will honor a request from Israel for several types of ammunition, including 120mm mortar rounds and 40mm ammunition for grenade launchers. The exchange will not be an emergency sale, the unnamed officials said, and is coming from a stockpile of weapons maintained by the US in Israel worth more than $1 billion.
Eye 2

Dutch PM tells Kiev to stop shelling near MH17

MH17 site
© AFP Photo / Bulent Kiic
Investigators work at a the crash site of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), some 80km east of Donetsk.
The Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, has called Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to ask government forces to stop fighting around the Malaysia Airlines crash site after experts were unable to get there for a third day running.

"The prime minister this morning called the Ukrainian president with a request to halt hostilities around the crash site," Jean Fransman, a spokesman for the Dutch PM, told AFP. "Rutte expressed his concern about the fact it appeared the investigators may today yet again not reach the site."

The Dutch Ministry for Security and Justice confirmed that the team of forensic experts and police officers from the Netherlands and Australia had not even attempted to try and reach the place where the Boeing 777 was downed due to heavy fighting in the vicinity. This is the third day they have been prevented from reaching the site due to the conflict.

The Australian Federal Police again deemed the situation too risky without firm commitments from opposing Ukrainian and anti-government forces which would guarantee the investigators' safe passage to the area.

Special envoy Angus Houston said there was a lot of fighting just south of the MH17 crash site and the situation remained "very fluid, very dynamic."

"You just have to accept the fact that you don't go into a fast-moving conflict with a mission like ours," The Australian newspaper reported him as saying.

Monitors from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe have been trying to negotiate the investigators' passage to the crash site from the city, which is encircled by Ukrainian troops, but the message to let them pass has not been heeded by Ukraine government forces.

Comment: Kiev is acting like a mad dog, and the world is starting to take notice. Like the psychopaths that they are, Kiev's leaders are shooting themselves in the foot with their heavy-handed tactics. Even the Western media is starting to have trouble spinning their barbarism, blatant provocations by shelling Russian territory, and transparent attempts to hamper the MH17 investigation.

Snakes in Suits

"Obama will make history as the statesman who started a new cold war"

Alexei Pushkov
© RIA Novosti, Alexander Natruskin
Alexei Pushkov
US President Barack Obama will make history as the statesman who started a new cold war, senior Russian parliamentarian Alexei Pushkov said Wednesday.

"Obama will go down in history not as a peacemaker - everyone has forgotten about his Nobel Peace Prize already - but as an American president who launched a new cold war," the head of the committee for international relations in the State Duma, Russia's lower house parliament, wrote on his Twitter page.

Earlier in the day, Obama said that there is no new cold war with Russia and that the US will continue discussions with Moscow to find a diplomatic solution to Ukraine crisis.
Attention

Kiev continues to provoke, shells Russian checkpoint

Rostov border
© RIA Novosti / Valery Melnikov
More than a 100 People Evacuated from Russia-Ukraine Border Due to Shelling
About 120 people were evacuated from Russian checkpoint Matveyev Kurgan due to shelling at the adjacent Ukrainian checkpoint Uspenka, Russia's Border Guard Service in the Rostov Region Vasily Malayev told RIA Novosti Wednesday.

"There were about 120 people crossing the border between Uspenka and Matveyev Kurgan at the time of the shelling. Border guards evacuated them to a safe distance," Malayev stated.

According to him, around 11:00 p.m. (19:00 GMT) the checkpoint Uspenka was shelled from the Ukrainian side.

Malayev added that there were no casualties.

Several Russian checkpoints have been closed recently due to the firing from Ukrainian territory as clashes continue between Ukraine's National Guard forces and independence supporters near the border.

The Russian Foreign Ministry condemned the shelling of the Russian territory, urged Kiev to stop the attacks immediately and warned that such provocations might have irreversible consequences.
Clock

Situation escalates in Novorussiya: Kiev launches ballistic missiles at rebel territory

Tochka
© military-today.com
SS-21 Tochka tactical ballistic missile
Information from very reliable sources. These sources are in Novorossiya, Russian Federation, EU and Ukraine:

29.07.2014 in afternoon Ukraine time 4 SS-21 Tochka tactical ballistic missiles were fired by Ukraine Armed Forces. At least two were clearly aimed at Saur Moglia with the idea of the Ukes trapped in The Cauldron having a sudden escape route opened for them. Moments before launch Russian Federation units surged toward the border at The Cauldron area and to the north of The Cauldron.

None of the 4 Tochka missiles reached their targets. I repeat, none of the 4 Tochka missiles reached their targets and none impacted with the ground anywhere that can be found in anything close to one piece. As you know this missile can carry a tactical nuke, chem/bio, cluster munition or HE in the weight of just under 500 kilos.

When the 4 missiles failed to reach their targets the Armed Forces of RF immediately halted their surge and held position. They are in the same positions 30.07.2014.

There has been a noticeable slow down of fighting activity since the launches and Strelkov has pointedly said again that Novorossiya is open to negotiations.

The 4 Tochka missiles were shot down over Novorossiya territory occupied by Ukraine Armed Forces before the missiles reached their programmed height. They were shot down from inside RF according to normally reliable sources. No visual evidence has been provided of RF shooting down the Tochka systems nor of the system used to shoot down the Tochka missiles.

Comment: Here's CNN's report on this military escalation. Notice the reporter, who says these are supposed to be the "good guys":



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