In the aftermath of the murderous rampage on Wednesday 22nd March on Westminster Bridge, the media has once again informed us there are between 2000-3000 suspected would be jihadists under surveillance by MI5, the British intelligence security agency. Yet somehow, Khalid Masood aka Adrian Ajao, somehow slipped off their radar.
Mr. Masood is the prime suspect behind the killing of four people as he careered his hired vehicle over Westminster Bridge and then stabbing a police officer to death. The assailant was then seen to be neutralised by an armed officer.
In light of two factors about Mr.Masood that were quickly established, it is perfectly natural to ask what criteria are the intelligence services using to justify surveillance of potential jihadis? Continue reading
To varying degrees both the Donald J. Trump and Brexit electoral victories were based on scapegoating minorities considered to be a threat to the Western natural order. For Trump, Mexicans and Muslims were the villains of the piece in his “Make America Great Again” campaign for the Presidency of the United States of America. For British Brexiters, scapegoating was encapsulated in the slogan of “Take Back Control”. This slogan was largely aimed at the bureaucrats in Brussels who mythically had taken control of Britain and the east European migrants who have legally arrived recently in the U.K. As others have pointed out there were similarities in the two campaigns with both rooted in the new (mostly right-wing) populism sweeping some western nations.
Another similarity was the violence the two campaigns unleashed. Admittedly the tensions at Trump rallies were successfully contained and never reached the level of the British Brexit campaign were a British legislator or Member of Parliament, Jo Cox, was brutally murdered with the assailant yelling “Britain First” and “keep Britain independent” (slogans popular with extreme right) as he shot and knifed his victim 15 times.
This is where the similarities end because as can be seen by the Continue reading
Below (maybe, digitally for the first time) is Winston Churchill’s statement endorsing the UK/France/Israeli invasion of Egypt October-November 1956. Churchill is clearly in favour of the conspiracy by claiming it was all Egypt’s fault that Israel is invading it. The invasion left the UK and France with no option but to “restore peace”. Churchill’s pack of lies was made to his constituents and printed in the Guardian on the 5th November 1956.
In the inter-war years Churchill was known as an advocate of using mustard gas on Arabs and Kurds to quell rebellions against the British Empire. He had supported the colonisation of Palestine with European Jews at the expense of the indigenous population in a genocidal manner,
“I do not admit that the dog in the manger has the final right to the manger, even though he may have lain there for there for a very long time…I do not admit, for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America, or the black people of Australia…”
But to his constituents he refers to British history in the region as an endeavour to “confer on them the benefits of justice and freedom from internecine wars.” Continue reading
The recent repackaging of Syrian al-Qaeda affiliate from Jabhat al-Nusra to Jabhat Fatah al-Sham has hoodwinked very few people. The Americans, who blacklisted Nusra back in 2012 and are widely and practically sympathetic to the Syrian Islamist insurrection against the government of President Bashar al-Assad have refused to accept there is anything substantial in the name change besides different labelling.
Taking a step back, the name ‘al-Qaeda’ itself has indefinite and opaque origins but the leaders and individuals who came to personify ‘al-Qaeda’, especially after the atrocities in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, emanated in an Islamist insurgency which had considerable support from the West. Specifically, the Afghan war in the 1980s which pitted the old Soviet Union against Islamist jihadis was where many of al-Qaeda’s future operatives and leaders learned their bombastic trade.
An organisation called the ‘Maktab al-Khidamat’ i.e. the “Service Bureau” was set up to greet, meet and manage the Arab recruits for the insurgency against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Both future leaders of al-Qaeda, the late ‘Sheikh’ Usama bin Laden and current ‘Emir’ Aymen al-Zahrawi were drawn to Afghanistan during this period. Bin Laden was head-hunted by Saudi intelligence after they couldn’t find a minor member of the Saudi royal clan to join the ‘jihad’, while Zahrawi first arrived in Afghanistan as part of an ‘aid convoy.’ More so, it is known thousands from the Arab world were recruited to fight the Soviets and Western media were more than willing to favourably refer to them as ‘Mujahideen’ i.e. Holy Warriors. Continue reading
The zenith of all political naivety must be to expect a politician to be consistent in his or her supposed beliefs or positions. Quite formulaically, politicians reach for awe inspiring moral heights of propriety, rhetoric and common sense when they are far removed from the levers of political power. But as soon as the levers fall into their lap, by some weird political alchemy these same politicians suddenly begin to espouse opinions they had seemingly opposed before their ascension to power. In layman’s terms, they say one thing out of office and do another when in office.
Within a timeframe of a mere nine months as Her Majesty’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs for the United Kingdom i.e. Foreign Secretary, Mr. Boris Johnson has provided a text book case of a politician adopting two diametrically opposed positions on each side of the variable of political power. Continue reading