Turkey as the Nexus, Libya as the Doorway to the Caliphate

The news service Reuters reported that Obama signed an intelligence finding in early 2012 authorizing U.S. support for the Syrian rebels. And according to the New York Times, CIA operatives were on the Turkish-Syrian border this summer helping to steer weapons deliveries to selected Syrian rebel groups, most of them “hard-line Islamic jihadists.”

One of those jihadists was Abdelhakim Belhadj, head of the Tripoli Military Council and former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (Al-Jama’a al-Islamiyyah al-Muqatilah bi-Libya). According to a military official working with him and quoted by the Daily Telegraph, Belhadj met with Free Syrian Army leaders in Istanbul and on the border with Turkey. “Mustafa Abdul Jalil [the interim Libyan president] sent him there,” a military official said in November 2011.

Abdelhakim Belhadj’s contact with the Syrian Free Army was apparently part of a Libyan delegation to Turkey offering arms and fighters to the Turkish-backed Syrian jihadists.

The Daily Telegraph on Saturday [November 26 2011] revealed that the new Libyan authorities had offered money and weapons to the growing insurgency against Bashar al-Assad. Mr Belhaj also discussed sending Libyan fighters to train troops, [our] source said. Having ousted one dictator, triumphant young men, still filled with revolutionary fervour, are keen to topple the next. The commanders of armed gangs still roaming Tripoli’s streets said yesterday that “hundreds” of fighters wanted to wage war against the Assad regime.

Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna

So, we have the United-States, Libya and Turkey working together with and through Al-Qaeda-linked jihadists like Abdelhakim Belhadj to get weapons into the hands of Syrian jihadists, known to be dominated by Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Al Entisar was reportedly carrying weapons and bound for Syrian rebels.

Now let’s focus on a specific event: the docking of a Libyan-flagged vessel, the Al-Entisar — which means “The Victory” — at the Turkish port of Iskanderun, 35 miles from the Syrian border, on September 6, 2012.

Fox News reported that, according to a report by the Times of London (September 14, 2012), the Al Entisar was carrying 400 tons of cargo.

Some of it was humanitarian, but also reportedly weapons, described by the report as the largest consignment of weapons headed for Syria’s rebels on the frontlines.

Walid Phares, a Fox News Middle East and terrorism analyst, said, “This is the Libyan ship … which is basically carrying weapons that are found in Libya.”

The cargo reportedly included surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles, rocket-propelled grenades and shoulder-launched missiles.

According to Fox News, the ship’s Libyan captain told the Times of London that “It was reported there was a FIGHT about the weapons and who got what between the Free Syrian Army and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Who’s the Libyan ship owner? To whom is it chartered now? Who was the contactor during the September 11 2012 attack?

The group accused of operating the ship moving the weapons to Turkey is the Foundation for Human Rights, and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH), “an islamic Turkish NGO” founded in 1992, and now active in more than 100 countries.

IHH was behind the “Free Gaza Movement,” behind the Gaza “aid” flotilla trying to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza since 2008. It is a registered charity based in Cyprus, and banned by Israel in 2008.

This islamic Turkish NGO was operating the Mavi Marmara, the lead ship of the six-ship Gaza “aid” flotilla “carrying 10,000 tonnes of medicine, construction materials and education supplies” that was stormed by Israeli troops in May 2010.

“IHH,” wrote the BBC, “raises some of its money from Islamic religious groups and has strong sympathy among Turkey’s Islamist-rooted ruling party.”

According to the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, the islamic Turkish organization is an overt supporter of Hamas, which is an islamic militant group (founded by the Muslim Brotherhood) that seized power in Gaza in 2007.

According to the BBC, “The ITIC says it also has evidence the IHH has helped provide weapons and funds for ‘Islamic terrorist elements in the Middle East‘.”

The ITIC has reliable information indicating that in the past IHH had links with global jihad and Islamic terrorist elements in the Middle East. As part of its connections with the global jihad it supported jihadist terrorist networks in Bosnia, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Chechnya.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon said, “The organisers are well-known for their ties with global Jihad, al-Qaeda and Hamas. They have a history of arms smuggling and deadly terror.”

There is evidence to suggest that the IHH has been involved in gun-running from Libya to Syria on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood. According to the Jewish Chronicle Online, Free Syrian Army commanders have indeed told The Times that “a boat containing weapons,” (the Al-Entisar?) that docked in Syria the week of September 14, 2012, was “registered to members of the IHH.”

Samar Srewel, reportedly an FSA activist who had helped to organise the consignment, reportedly told The Times:

The Muslim Brotherhood, through its ties in Turkey, was seizing control of this ship and the cargo. This is what they do. They buy influence with their money and guns.

In Syria, rebel groups are fed money, weapons and equipments by the Muslim Brotherhood. According to the Carnegie Middle East Center, about a quarter of the 130 members of the Syrian National Council have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

On June 21, 2012, the New York Times reported that since March, there is a game-changing “influx of weapons and ammunition to the rebels.”

In May, “Turkish Army vehicles delivered antitank weaponry to the border,” according the New York Times, “where it was then smuggled into Syria,” upon consultation with the United States.

Jihadists in Syria: the Muslim Brotherhood & the Syrian National Council VS the Free Syrian Army

The Syrian National Council, which has Washington’s blessing and is dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, is reportedly trying to organize “the scattered, localized units that all fight under the name of the Free Syrian Army into a more cohesive force.”

Jeffrey White a defense fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy specializing in the military and security affairs of the Levant and Iran, wrote there is about 100 rebel formations ranging in size from a few fighters to a couple of hundred combatants.

Military coordinating “councils” across Syria are sharing tactics and information, according to the New York Times, except in the city of Homs, where “the three main military groups in the city do not get along.”

Officials of the Obama Administration from the National Security Council have met with Muslim Brotherhood officials and the Syrian National Council, “a creature of the Muslim Brotherhood and Turkey,” with America’s backing, according to Daniel Green. The objective was to put together and control a pipeline of weapons and information being routed to Syria through the Muslim Brotherhood, in order “to give the Brotherhood military parity with the Free Syrian Army, which has done the bulk of the fighting on the ground, and has remained so far largely outside the Syrian National Council.”

According to the Time, the rebels are patronized mostly by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. But Saudi Arabia and Qatar are NOT “on the same page when it comes to determining who among the plethora of mushrooming Syrian rebel groups should be armed.”

Al Jazeera’s correspondent Ahmed Zaidan has said that the Saudis “don’t want any ties to anything called Muslim Brothers.”

Qatar and Saudi Arabia might not be “on the same page,” but their middlemen operate out of Turkey. Rania Abouzeid wrote for the Time that “a secretive group operates something like a COMMAND CENTER IN ISTANBUL, directing the distribution of military supplies provided by Saudi Arabia and Qatar and transported with the help of Turkish intelligence to the Syrian border and then to the rebels.

According to the Time, the Free Syrian Army is nominally headed by Riad al-Asaad, who is based in Turkey.

Neither Asaad nor his chief Free Syrian Army rival General Mustafa Sheikh are party to the Istanbul Control Room that supplies and arms rebels who operate under the Free Syrian Army banner.

The Free Syrian Army head Brigadier General Mustafa Sheikh

Qatar is reportedly operating via “a major who defected from Assad’s army.” The Qataris, it is being said, have strong ties to the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.

Saudi Arabia’s main man in the Istanbul control center is a Lebanese politician named Okab Sakr.

Okab Sakr, Saudi Arabia’s man

The Time reported that rebel sources who dealt with Okab Sakr say he was in the Turkish city of Antakya, overseeing the distribution of “small consignments of 50,000 Kalashnikov bullets and several dozen rocket-propelled grenades” to the Free Syrian Army. Free Syrian Army sources told the Time that Okab Sakr was designating the representatives in Syria to whom the Istanbul Center would funnel “Kalashnikov rifles, BKC machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and ammunition” to the Free Syrian Army.

According to the magazine Foreign Policy, Saudi’s man Okab Sakr supported Jamal Maarouf, known also as Abu Khalid, the leader of Syria’s Martyrs Brigades, a group reportedly now fielding around 45,000 fighters.

Abu Khalid, writes Ammar Abdulhamid, “is wary of Salafi groups, and hates the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Abu Khalid’s chief rival is Ahmad Abu Issa, founder of the Suqoor
, (“The Falcons of Syria“) Brigades. Ahmad Abu Issa, calling for an islamic revolution in Syria, is also no friend of the Muslim Brotherhood. In this YouTube video he is in fact denoucing the Muslim Brotherhood’s efforts to take control of rebel coordinating bodies.

Ahmad Abu Issa, Salafi preacher and founder of the Suqoor al-Sham (“The Falcons of Syria“) Brigades

Ahmad Abu Issa recently co-founded the Islamic Front for the Liberation of Syria, mainly composed of Salafi rebel groups, and also known as Jabhat al-Nusra.

According to Foreign Policy’s Ammar Abdulhamid, the Muslim Brotherhood is “one of the Islamic Front’s primary backers.”
“Some claim,” according to the Time, that Abu Issa’s Islamic Front “has ties to al-Qaeda.” Ahmad Abu Issa’s Suqoor al-Sham is part of international islamist networks. The group has joined Jabhat Tahrir Syria, or the Syrian Liberation Front (Jabhat al-Nusra), which groups many battle-hardened rebel gangs, such as Al-Farouq Battalions.

According to Time, the Ahmad Abu Issa’s Liberation Front “will likely be the most powerful armed body in Syria.”

Asked about Saudi’s man Okab Sakr, Abu Issa said: “We will not accept becoming tools for anyone, nor do we accept any living being, whether foreign or from within the revolution, acting in a manner to divide revolutionaries.”

Abu Khalid is now receiving some funding from Saudi authorities, according to Foreign Policy, and the Saudis have had historically profund differences with the Muslim Brotherhood. They are basically competing against each other for the control of the Syrian rebellion. “The Salafists are far more traditional and populist than members of the Brotherhood,” writes Ammar Abdulhamid, since the Brotherhood “often come across to ordinary Syrians as too Westernized and elitist.”

Nonetheless, the Muslim Brotherhood exerts its influence on the ground through small groups of rebels, along with the Salafists’ Islamic Front and the Martyrs Brigades. Within Syria, it has been a capital offense to be a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Molham al-Drobi, an executive member of the Muslim Brotherhood and a founding member of the Syrian National Council, now living in Saudi Arabia, said to Time that “the Muslim Brotherhood does exist in the ground.” “We work under the Free Syrian Army umbrella,” he added, and specified that there is “at least one member of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Istanbul operations room.”

Despite the competition between the Saudis and the Muslim Brotherhood over the Syrian revolt, most the rebel groups gets support from the Istanbul control center, according to the Time.

Turkey acts as a nexus between the Saudis and the Muslim Brother to gain control over Syria’s revolt.

Colonel Afif Suleiman, the head of the Idlib Military Council, a grouping of 16 military units from across the province, is unhappy with the support he gets from the control room.

Colonel Afif Suleiman defected from the Air Force division in Hama

He is angry with Sakr, who, he says, “got involved in the issue of weapons to split our ranks, to divide the revolutionaries. He chose three people on our council and supported them. I won’t name them. They are not the largest units. There is one big group, but the others are just regular ones. He formed a rift within the council, and we are working to heal this rift. We clarified the issue to our Saudi brothers about Okab [Sakr]. They promised that there will be no support, either military or financial, except via the councils. This is what they recently promised us.”

Foreign Policy wrote that the rebels are now gaining control of more and more Syrian territory, as they are enjoying support from some 3,500 foreign fighters, “mostly from Gulf states, Libya, Tunisia, Chechnya, Somalia, and Sudan.” The money, the intelligence, and the weapons pass via Turkey. Abu Issa, Suleiman and Maarouf reportedly spent much of August shuttling between Syria and Turkey.

The Free Syrian Army is actually conducting the rebellion on the ground against the Bashar Al-Assad régime. But the Syrian National Council, backed by the Muslim Brotherhood, claims to be the real head of the rebel groups. The game plan of the Muslim Brotherhood and its backers in the Obama Administration, according to Daniel Greenfield, “calls for a provisional Syrian National Council government followed by another ‘Democratic election’ that will allow the Brotherhood to reap all the benefits of the rebellion.”

Most of the Free Syrian Army units are facing pressure to take orders from the Muslim Brotherhood leaders, in exchange for weapons (mostly anti-tank weapons and rocket-propelled grenades) and money, reported Time.

The Obama Administration does its part to help the Muslim Brotherhood by providing intelligence gained from electronic eavesdropping and satellite surveillance to the militias picked by the Muslim Brotherhood, helping it to dispose of rival militias.

In June 2012, the New York Times reported that the CIA was helping direct “automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons,” bought by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and smuggled into Syria by the Muslim Brotherhood.

CIA operatives in southern Turkey are “helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms to fight the Syrian government, reported the New York Times.

Those who smuggle the weapons also decide who gets to use them. The weapons are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border, mostly by Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood, and mostly paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, officials said to the New York Times.
The Obama administration, according to the New York Times, is also “providing satellite imagery and other detailed intelligence on Syrian troop locations and movements”.

The Obama Administration does its part to help the Muslim Brotherhood by providing intelligence on the movements of the Free Syrian Army to the Syrian National Council, which is basically an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood.

As in Libya before Gaddafi was overthrown, there is now a coordinated effort by the CIA and the Muslim Brotherhood to guide the Syrian rebels in their campaign against the Bashar Al-Assad régime.

The aftermath of the “intervention” in Libya boosted the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, linked to Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. It then spilled Gaddafi’s stockpiles of weapons around, and those weapons are now making their way into Syria, where the rebels are being guided by the CIA.

Which brings us back to Benghazi, where the United States were also running guns with the Muslim Brotherhood.

U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens’ last meeting the night he was killed was with Turkish Consul General Ali Sait Akin.

According to two Senior State Department Officials, Stevens escorted the Turkish Consul General out of the consulate front gate one hour before the assault began at approximately 8:30 p.m. local time. Was Ali Sait Akin there to discuss a weapons transfer? Was he warning the American Ambassador about a possible compromise of the Libyan weapons pipeline to Syria via Turkey? Do we know of any link between Turkish Consul General Ali Sait Akin and the IHH, the Turkish islamic organization that chartered the Libyan-flagged Al-Entisar? Remember, the Al-Entisar ducked at the Turkish port of Iskanderun, 35 miles from the Syrian border, on September 6, 2012, allegedly carrying 400 tons of cargo, while being run by an islamic organization with “ a history of arms smuggling and deadly terror.” The cargo reported the BBC might have include surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles, rocket-propelled grenades and shoulder-launched missiles.

Ambassador Chris Stevens and the CIA were somehow, some way running or heavily involved this armament pipeline. And Turkey is the nexus of this pipeline of weapons and information being routed to Syria through the Muslim Brotherhood. Turkey is the nexus, and Libya is the doorway to the Caliphate to get the arms in for distribution to Syria, Yemen, Jordan, Egypt and eventually Saudi Arabia.

UPDATE: Fox News on the armament pipeline:


One response to “Turkey as the Nexus, Libya as the Doorway to the Caliphate

  1. Pingback: Mapping the Islamic Brigades from Libya to Syria | In-Extremis

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s