Voltaire Network

How Turkey supports the jihadists

Russia questioned the future of Turkey when it delivered to the Security Council an intelligence report concerning Turkey’s activities in support of jihadists. The document includes about ten revelations which implicate the activities of the MIT. The problem is that each of the operations listed refers back to operations in which the same actors worked with the United States or their allies against Russia. This information adds to that which is already available concerning the personal connections between President Erdoğan and the Al-Qaïda banker, and the information about Erdoğan’s son and the illegal use of the oil stolen by Daesh.

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Russia delivered to the members of the UN Security Council an intelligence report concerning the activities of Turkey which support the jihadists operating in Syria [1]. The document lists about ten facts, each one of which violates one or several Council Resolutions.

By doing so, Russia puts the Council, and, by extension, several other inter-governmental organisations, face to face with their responsibilities. By law, the Council should ask for corresponding proof of these assertions and pressure Turkey for explanations. In the event that Turkey should be found guilty, the Council would have to decide which sanctions should be adopted under chapter VII of the Charter, in other words, by resorting to force. From their side, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation would have to exclude this gangster-state from their ranks, while the European Union would have to halt Turkey’s negotiations for membership.

However, a close examination of the Russian intelligence report reveals that the alleged infringements are susceptible to open a number of other case files implicating other powers. Consequently it is unlikely that this report will be discussed publicly, but that the future of Turkey will be negotiated behind closed doors.

The case of Mahdi Al-Harati

Born in Libya in 1973, Mahdi al-Harati emigrated to Ireland and founded a family there.

In May 2010, he was aboard the Mavi Marmara, the flagship for the « Freedom Flotilla », organised by the Turkish non-governmental organisation IHH to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza. The ships were attacked on the high seas by the Israëli army, provoking an international scandal. The passengers were kidnapped by Tsahal, imprisoned in Israël, and then finally liberated [2]. Then Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, paid a visit to a hospital to comfort the wounded militants. His cabinet issued a photograph showing one of the militants kissing him as if Erdoğan was his father. He was described as being Turko-Irish, and named El Mehdi El Hamid El Hamdi – but in reality, he was the Libyo-Irish Mahdi al-Harati.

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In July 2011, al-Harati’s house in Rathkeale (Ireland) was burgled. His companion, Eftaima al-Najar, alerted the police and told them that the thieves had taken costly Egyptian and Libyan jewellery and 200,000 Euros in 500-Euro notes. Contacted by telephone, Mahdi al-Harati confirmed to the police that he had recently met with authorities from Qatar, France and the USA, and claimed that he had received this sum from the CIA to help in the overthrow of Mouamar el-Kadhafi [3]. However, he recanted these original declarations when the Libyan Resistance took control of the affair [4].

In July and August 2011, he commanded the Tripoli Brigade – of which his brother-in-law, Hosam al-Najjair, was also a member. The Tripoli Brigade was a unit of Al-Qaïda supervised by French legionnaires and tasked by NATO with taking the Hotel Rixos [5]. Officially, the hotel was the international Press centre, but NATO had been informed by the hotel’s Turkish builder that it included a furnished basement accessible to the exterior, where several members of the Kadhafi family and the leaders of the Jamahiriya were hiding. For several days, al-Harati fought with the French against the soldiers of Khamis Kadhafi [6]

In September 2011, NATO named him as the assistant to Abdelhakim Belhaj, the historical chief of Al-Qaïda, who had become the « military governor of Tripoli ». He resigned this post on the 11th October, allegedly due to a difference with Belhaj [7]

Nonetheless, in November 2011, at Abdelhakim Belhaj’s side, he commanded a group of between 600 and 1,500 Al-Qaïda jihadists in Libya – formerly known as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) – who were registered as refugees and transported by sea to Turkey under the responsibiliy of Ian Martin, the ex-General Secretary of the Fabian Society and Amnesty International, who had become Ban Ki-moon’s special representative.

Once arrived in Turkey, the jihadists were transferred by bus into Syria, under MIT escort (Turkish secret services). They settled in Jabal al-Zouia where, on behalf of France, they created the Free Syrian Army (FSA). For almost two months, Abdelhakim Belhaj and Mahdi al-Harati received all the Western journalists who passed through Turkey in order to cover the event, in what they transformed into a « Potemkin village » [8]. The cabinet of Prime Minister Erdoğan put them in contact with “passers” who transported them by motor-bike to Jabal al-Zouia. There they saw with their own eyes thousands of people demonstrating « against the dictatorship of Bachar el-Assad and for democracy ». Bedazzled, the Western Press concluded that a revolution was under way, at least until a journalist from the Spanish daily ABC, Daniel Iriarte, noticed that the majority of the demonstrators were not Syrian, and only obeyed their Libyan commanders, Abdelhakim Belhaj and Mahdi al-Harati [9]. However, the spectacle of the Falcons of the Levant Brigade (Suqour al-Sham Brigade) had its effect. The myth of a Free Syrian Army composed of « deserters from the Syrian Arab Army » was born, and the journalists who fed the fire will never admit that they had been tricked.

In September 2012, Mahdi al-Harati returned to Libya for medical reasons, after having formed, with his brother-in-law, a new jihadist group - Liwa al-Umma (the Ummah Brigade) [10].

In March 2014, Mahdi al-Harati escorted a new group of Libyan jihadists who travelled to Turkey by sea. According to the Russian intelligence report, the group was taken over by the régime’s number 2, Hakan Fidan, the head of the MIT (secret services), who had just re-assimilated his functions. The group joined Daesh via the frontier post at Barsai. This decision was consecutive to the meeting organised in Washington by the US National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, with the heads of the secret services from the Gulf states and Turkey, with a view to handing over the continuation of the war against Syria, in order to maintain the pretence of not using Al-Qaïda and Daesh [11].

In August 2014, Mahdi al-Harati was « elected » Mayor of Tripoli with the support of Qatar, Sudan and Turkey. He is dependent on the government of Tripoli, which is dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, and rejects the government of Tobruk, which is supported by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

Mahdi al-Harati’s career path attests to the links between Al-Qaïda in Libya, the Free Syrian Army, Daesh and the Muslim Brotherhood, which destroys the theory of a democratic revolution in Syria. It also reveals the support offered to this network by the United States, France and Turkey.

The transfer of Daesh combatants from Syria to Yemen

The intelligence report reveals that the Turkish secret services organised the transfer of Daesh combatants from Syria to Yemen. Some were transported by plane, and others by boat to Aden.

This accusation had already been made, on the 27th October 2015, by the spokesman for the Syrian Arab Army, General Ali Mayhub. According to him, at least 500 Daesh jihadists had been assisted by the Turkish MIT for their journey to Yemen. They had been transported by two planes from Turkish Airlines, one from Qatar Airways and one from the Emirates. Once arrived in Aden, the jihadists were divided into three groups- the first group travelled to the Bab el-Mandeb straits, the second to Marib, and the third group was sent to Saudi Arabia.

This information, which had been widely developed by the pro-Syrian Arab media, was ignored by the Western Press. Yemeni General Sharaf Luqman, spokesman for the military faithful to ex-President Saleh, confirmed the Syrian accusation and added that the jihadists had been welcomed by mercenaries from Blackwater-Academi.

The transfer of Daesh combatants from one theatre to another attests to the coordination of operations in Syria and Yemen. It implicates Turkey, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Blackwater-Academi.

The « Tatar village »

The Russian intelligence report also evokes the case of the « Tatar village », a Tatar ethnic group initially based in Antalya, then moved further north by the MIT to Eskişehir. Although the report specifies that it includes Al-Qaïda combatants and that it helps Islamist combatants in Syria, it does not explain why this group was moved farther away from Syria, nor what its activities were.

The Tatars are the second Russian minority, and very few of them adhere to the jihadist ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood or Hizb-ut-Tahrir.
- However, in March 2012, Arab islamists from Tatarstan attacked an exhibition concerning Syria - « The Cradle of Civilisation » - at the museum in Kazan. A little later, on the 5th August 2012, a group of jihadists, both Arabs and Tatars, met secretly in Kazan – also present were representatives from Al-Qaïda.
- In December 2013, a group of pan-Turkish Tatar jihadists from the Azatlyk (Freedom) movement, left the Syrian theatre to travel back to Ukraine and assume the organisation of security on Maidan Square while waiting for the coup d’Etat ; meanwhile other militants from the same organisation demonstrated in Kazan.
- On the 1st August 2015, a Tatar World Congress was organised in Ankara, with the support and participation of the Ukrainian and Turkish governments. Its President was the famous Cold War CIA agent Moustafa Djemilev. Its members decided to create an « International Muslim Brigade » to « free » Crimea. Djemilev was immediately received officially by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan [12]. The Brigade disposes of an installation in Kherson (Ukraine). It organised several sabotage operations in Crimea, including a huge electricity blackout (triggered from Ukraine), and then, unable to enter Russia en masse, moved to reinforce Ukranian troops in Donbass.

If the UN Security Council were to look into the question of the « Tatar village », they could not fail to notice that the United States, Turkey and Ukraine were sponsoring Tatar jihadists in Syria, Crimea and Tatarstan, including members of Al-Qaïda and Daesh.

The Turkmen of the Sultan Abdulhamid Brigade

Although Turkey never lifted a finger to help the Iraqi Turkmen massacred by Daesh, it relied on the support of Syrian Turkmen against the Syrian Arab Republic. They were organised by the « Grey Wolves », a paramilitary political party, historically linked to NATO secret services in their fight against communism (the « Gladio » network). They were, for example, the group that organised the attempted assassination of Pope Jean-Paul II, in 1981 [13]. The Grey Wolves are present in Europe, and are particularly involved with the Belgian social-democrats and the Dutch socialists. They have set up European coordination, working from Frankfurt. In reality, they are not a party in themselves, but form the paramilitary branch of the Nationalist Movement Party, MHP (Milliyetçi Hareket Partisi).

The Turkmen Brigades and the MIT organised the pillage of the factories in Aleppo. Turkish experts came to dismantle the machine-tools which were shipped to Turkey,where they were re-assembled. Simultaneously, they occupied the frontier with Turkey, where the MIT set up and supervised the jihadist training camps.

In November 2015, it was the star of the Syrian Turkmen, Turkish citizen Alparslan Çelik - member of the Grey Wolves and one of the commanders of the Sultan Abdoulhamid Brigade – who gave the order to kill the two Sukoï-24 pilots who had just been shot down by the Turkish aviation, assisted by a Saudi AWACS. One of the pilots was in fact executed.

In 1995, the Grey Wolves had organised, with the Turko-US real estate company Celebiler Isaat (who finance Hillary Clinton’s electoral campaigns), a vast recruitment drive for 10,000 jihadists to go and fight in Chechnya. A training base was installed in the university city of Top Kopa in Istanbul. One of the sons of General Djokhar Doudaïev directed the transfer from Turkey via Azerbaïdjan with the MIT.

The Russian intelligence report reveals that the MIT created the Sultan Abdoulhamid Brigade – which unites the main Turkmen militia – and that it trained its members on the base at Bayır-Bucak, under the direction of instructors from the special intervention forces of the Turkish Army and agents from the MIT. It specifies that the Turkmen Brigade collaborates with Al-Qaïda.

Any more serious research would lead the Security Council to re-open old criminal files and note the links between the Sultan Abdoulhamid Brigade, the Grey Wolves, Turkey, the United States and Al-Qaïda.

The IHH and İmkander

The Russian intelligence report reveals the role of three Turkish humanitarian NGOs in the delivery of weapons to the jihadists - IHH, İmkander and Öncü Nesil. The final declaration of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), which met in Munich on the 11th and 12th February, seems to validate this accusation since it stipulates that from now on, the United States and Russia will verify that humanitarian convoys only transport humanitarian materials. Until now, the government and the Press in Damascus have continued to accuse these NGOs of supporting the jihadists, but no-one listened. In September 2012, a cargo chartered by the IHH transported weapons to Syria on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood [14].

I am only aware of the first two organisations mentioned.

The IHH is an association founded and led by the Turkish Prosperity Party (Refah) of Necmettin Erbakan, but without statutary or organic links with him. It was first of all registered in Germany, at Fribourg-en-Brisgau in 1992, under the name Internationale Humanitäre Hilfe (IHH), then in Istanbul in 1995, under the name İnsani Yardım Vakfı. As its new acronym was İYV and not IHH, it preceded its name with İnsan Hak ve Hürriyetleri, which in Turkish means « Human Rights and Freedoms ». Under the cover of humanitarian aid to the Muslims of Bosnia and Afghanistan, it supplied them with weapons, in accord with NATO strategy. After that, it lent military support to the Islamic Emirate of Ichkeria (Chechnya) [15]. In 2006, it organised a monumental funeral, without the body but with the presence of tens of thousands of militants, at the Fatih mosque in Istanbul, for the Chechen jihadist Chamil Bassaïev, who had just been killed by the Russian Forces after the massacre he had commanded at the school in Beslan [16].

The IHH acquired world renown by organising, with the AKP, (successor to Refah) the « Freedom Flottilla », which was intended to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza by breaking the Israeli embargo, once again with White House approval, in a US attempt to humiliate Israëli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Amongst the passengers was Mahdi al-Harati, mentioned above. The UN Commission presided by Geoffrey Palmer attests to the fact that, contrary to the allegations, the flotilla was not transporting any humanitarian cargo. This leads to the conclusion that the IHH knew that it would never arrive in Gaza, and thus begs the question of what the true aims of the expedition may have been.

On the 2nd January 2014, the Turkish police – who had just questioned the sons of three Ministers and the director of a major bank concerning money laundering - intercepted a truck-load of arms from the IHH destined for Syrian jihadists [17]. Following that, the police searched the head office of the IHH. In his offices, it interrogated Halis B., suspected of being the leader of Al-Qaïda in Turkey, and İbrahim Ş., second in command of that organisation for the Near East [18]. The government managed to remove the police officers and free the suspects.

İmkander (in Turkish “Fraternity”, by reference to the Muslim Brotherhood) is another « humanitarian » association, created in 2009 in Istanbul. It specialised in aid to the Chechens and the defence of the jihadists in the Caucasus. It organised a media campaign in Turkey when the representative of Dokou Oumarov (the self-proclaimed « Emir of the Caucasus »), Berg-Khazh Musaev (known as Emir Khamzat), was assassinated in Istanbul. At the time, the FSB considered that it was at war with any states which gave military support to the jihadists, and did not hesitate to kill them in those countries (like Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev in Qatar, and Umar Israilov in Austria). İmkander organised vast funeral services at the Fatih mosque in Istanbul.

On the 12th and 13th May 2012, with the support of the Istanbul city hall, İmkander organised an international congress – in the tradition of the CIA congresses during the Cold War – in order to support the independentists in the Caucasus. At the end of the meeting, the Congress of the Caucasian People was created as a permanent body, recognising the unique authority of the Emir of the Caucasus, Dokou Oumarov. The delgates accused the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation of having carried out the genocide of the Caucasian people. In a video, Emir Dokou Oumarov called for all the People of the Caucasus to join the jihad. Russia reacted strongly [19].

In 2013, Russie asked the Security Council 1267/1989 Committee to place İmkander on the list of organisations linked with al-Qaïda. The United Kingdom, France and Luxembourg opposed this. [20]. Indeed, while İmkander claims to lend political support to Al-Qaïda in the Caucasus, according to the Western powers, Russia has not supplied sufficient proof of its participation in military operations.

Thes two NGOs are directly implicated - in arms trafficking for IHH, and in political support for İmkander. They dispose of the support of the AKP, the party created by Président Erdoğan to replace Refah which was outlawed by the Constitutional Court.

What can be done with the Russian intelligence report ?

It is unlikely that the Security Council will study the Russian intelligence report. Questions concerning the role of the secret services are generally treated in secret. In any case, the United States will have to make clear what they intend to do with their ally Turkey, which has been caught violating Council Resolutions.

This information adds to that already available concerning the personal ties between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Yasin al-Qadi, the banker for Al-Qaïda [21], and the role of Erdoğan’s son, Bilal, concerning the commerce of oil stolen by Daesh [22].

There is no doubt that the Turkish ranting about a possible military invasion of Syria is simply intended as a diversion. In any event, if war were to break out between Turkey and Russia, this report would deprive Ankara of the support of NATO (article 5 of the United Nations Charter).

Translation
Pete Kimberley

[1] “Russian intelligence report on Turkey’s current assistance to Daesh”, Voltaire Network, 18 February 2016.

[2] “Freedom Flotilla: The detail that escaped Netanyahu”, by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, 8 June 2010.

[3] “Tinker raiders, Soldier, Spy”, Sunday World, November 7, 2011.

[4] “Dublin man denies receiving funds from US to assist overthrow of Gadafy”, Mary Fitzgerald, Irish Times, November 22, 2011.

[5] “Irish Libyans join rebels trying to oust Gadafy”, Paulo Nunes Dos Santos, Irish Times, August 13, 2011.

[6] According to the orders of his mission, which had been determined during a secret meeting of NATO in Naples attended by Alain Juppé, Mahdi Al-Harati was supposed to profit from the confusion at the Rixos to assassinate me.

[7] “How Al Qaeda men came to power in Libya”, by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, 7 September 2011.

[8] In the 18th century, the Russian Minister Grigori Potemkine ordered the construction of luxurious cardboard facades in order to hide the poverty of the villages during a visit by the Empress Catherine II to Crimea. Since then, the expression « Potemkin village » has been used to describe the creation of a fictitious entity for propaganda purposes.

[9] “Libyan Islamists go to Syria to "help" the revolution”, by Daniel Iriarte, ABC (Spain) , Voltaire Network, 22 December 2011.

[10] “Irish Syrian fighters pass on lessons of revolution”, Mary Fitzgerald, Irish Times, August 1, 2012.

[11] “Spymasters gather to discuss Syria”, David Ignatius, Washington Post, February 19, 2014.

[12] « L’Ukraine et la Turquie créent une Brigade internationale islamique contre la Russie », par Thierry Meyssan, Réseau Voltaire, 12 août 2015.

[13] This was an attempy to force the Holy See to abandon Ostpolitk, which Cardinal State Secretary Agostino Casaroli was pursuing with the same goals as Willy Brandt.

[14] “Brotherhood ‘buying influence with arms’”, Sheera Frenkel, The Times, September 14, 2012.

[15] «The role of Islamic charities in international terrorist recruitment and financing», Evan F. Kohlmann, Danish Institute for International Studies, 2006.

[16] “Turkey pays homage to Basayev”, IHH, July 14, 2006.

[17] “Turkish police seizes truckful of weapons bound for Syria”, Translation Alizée Ville, Voltaire Network, 6 January 2014.

[18] “Turkish court accuses IHH of having ties to Al-Qaeda”, Translation Alizée Ville, Voltaire Network, 20 January 2014.

[19] «De "la Conférence Internationale sur le Caucase" à Istanbul», in «Le briefing d’A.K. Loukachevitch, porte-parole du Ministère des Affaires étrangères de la Russie, le 18 mai 2012».

[20] “Commentaire du Département de l’Information et de la Presse du Ministère des Affaires étrangères de la Russie sur une demande russe adressée au Comité des sanctions du Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU contre Al-Qaïda”, Ministère des Affaires étrangères de la Fédération de Russie, 12 septembre 2013.

[21] “Erdoğan received Al-Qaeda’s banker in secret”, Translation Alizée Ville; “Al-Qaeda, NATO’s Timeless Tool”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Roger Lagassé, Al-Watan (Syria) , Voltaire Network, 6 January 2014.

[22] “The role of the Erdoğan family within Daesh”; “Russia shows proof of petrol trafficking by Daesh via Turkey”, by Valentin Vasilescu, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network, 5 August and 3 December 2015.

Thierry Meyssan

Thierry Meyssan French intellectual, founder and chairman of Voltaire Network and the Axis for Peace Conference. His columns specializing in international relations feature in daily newspapers and weekly magazines in Arabic, Spanish and Russian. His last two books published in English : 9/11 the Big Lie and Pentagate.

 
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