Violent Ukrainian Neo-Nazi Speaks at US Govt Org, Helps Kiev Police ‘Purge’ Roma

An activist from violent Ukrainian neo-Nazi gang C14 spoke at the US government’s America House Kyiv, and worked with Kiev police to “purge” Roma citizens.

By Ben Norton

A prominent activist from the violent Ukrainian neo-Nazi gang C14 spoke at an event at a US government organization in Ukraine‘s capital Kiev.

This young fascist leader has also boasted of working with Kiev police to “purge” Roma citizens from a train station, according to a Ukrainian human rights organization.

The Grayzone Project has previously reported on how the US government has armed the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, which is embedded in Ukraine’s National Guard, and which has met with US military advisers.

C14 is even more notorious than Azov. This Nazi gang has carried out a slew of violent attacks on ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities in Ukraine. C14, whose name is a direct reference to the white supremacist “14 words” slogan, has specifically targeted Roma communities in a series of pogroms — and has enjoyed the help of local cops.

C14 has also received funding from the Ukrainian government, in the form of a Ministry of Youth and Sport grant for “national-patriotic education projects.”

Continue reading “Violent Ukrainian Neo-Nazi Speaks at US Govt Org, Helps Kiev Police ‘Purge’ Roma”

Ben Norton is a journalist and writer. He is a producer and reporter for The Real News, and a contributor to the Grayzone Project and FAIR. Ben co-hosts the Moderate Rebels podcast with Max Blumenthal. His website is BenNorton.com, and he tweets at @BenjaminNorton.

ShamiWitness: How Bellingcat and Neocons Collaborated with the Most Influential ISIS Propagandist on Twitter

How some of the best known Syria regime-change hustlers and “experts” helped transform the @ShamiWitness account from a cretinous troll into a credible “ISIS expert.”

By Mark Ames

Who remembers @ShamiWitness? At the peak of ISIS’s power, @ShamiWitness stood out as the genocidal militia group’s “most influential Twitter account” according to a Channel 4 exposé and a Kings College report. The @ShamiWitness account was followed by some two-thirds of foreign jihadis. But it went further than propogandizing Islamic State’s massacres and rapes: @Shamiwitness also actively recruited foreign jihadis and helped lead them through the ratlines in Turkey, into the ISIS killing fields in Syria and Iraq, as a George Washington University reportrevealed this year.

But I want to talk about the western “experts” in Washington and London who cozied up to @ShamiWitness — especially since all of them are still around, many of them bigger and more influential in our political discourse than ever. They’re the ones who built up @ShamiWitness’s social media capital, making his account so popular, and so effective, in recruiting ISIS murderers. Some of the best known Syria regime-change hustlers and “experts”—Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat and the Saudi-funded Atlantic Council; Charles Lister of the Saudi-funded Middle East Institute, former CNN “Syria expert” and Atlantic Council fellow Michael Weiss, all major figures promoting today’s RussiaGate hysteria—together helped transform the @ShamiWitness account from a cretinous troll into a credible “ISIS expert”. They validated and lent credibility to ShamiWitness as someone with deep, local insider knowledge, boosting ShamiWitness’s social capital their countless retweets, #FF’s, #Pt’s, and their numerous public interactions.

As it turned out, @ShamiWitness was a fake “Syria expert”. The millennial yuppie who ran the ShamiWitness account was as much an insider expert on ISIS as the western Syria hacks who boosted him. It wasn’t the “experts” like Bellingcat who unmasked ShamiWitness — quite the opposite, Bellingcat’s team played a major role in building him up as a credible expert. Rather, it was a Channel 4 report exposing ShamiWitness as a fake — but a very dark and dangerous fake, with very real world consequences. @ShamiWitness was run by a 24-year-old Indian marketing executive named Mehdi Masroor Biswas, who tweeted out ISIS and Syria “expertise” from his bachelor pad in Bangalore, India.

And just like that, the London and Washington Syria regime-change neocons who’d been boosting @ShamiWitness suddenly looked like fools — as well as ISIS accessories. Contrary to what they had all assumed, @ShamiWitness wasn’t the expert Syria insider he pretended to be. He spoke no Arabic; he was nowhere near Syria.

Continue reading “ShamiWitness: How Bellingcat and Neocons Collaborated with the Most Influential ISIS Propagandist on Twitter”

Mark Ames is the co-host of the Radio War Nerd podcast. Subscribe to Radio War Nerd on Patreon.

Members of Netanyahu’s Likud Blame Victims of Pittsburgh Pogrom and Echo the Killer’s Rhetoric

As Israeli Minister of Education Naftali Bennett sets out to Pittsburgh, prominent members of the governing Likud Party have blamed the Jewish victims of the neo-Nazi massacre “for causing anti-Semitism.”

By Max Blumenthal

Israeli Minister of Education Naftali Bennett has embarked on a visit to Pittsburgh “to be with our sisters and brothers in their darkest hour,” he said, after an avowed anti-Semite massacred eleven Jewish worshippers at the city’s Tree of Life Synagogue.

Robert Bowers, the right-wing terrorist, targeted the progressive congregation on the basis of its partnership with the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, or HIAS, a Jewish non-profit that helps refugees from conflict-torn regions obtain asylum in the US.

“HIAS likes to bring in invaders that kill our people,” Bowers stated in a social media manifesto explaining his motives.

As Bennett departs for Pittsburgh, some members of Israel’s governing Likud Party have issued talking points and statements blaming the victims of the anti-Jewish mass murderer for inspiring the attack. One especially prominent Likud member has even echoed Bowers’ hate manifesto.

Continue reading “Members of Netanyahu’s Likud Blame Victims of Pittsburgh Pogrom and Echo the Killer’s Rhetoric”

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of books including best-selling Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, The Fifty One Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza, and The Management of Savagery, which will be published later this year by Verso. He has also produced numerous print articles for an array of publications, many video reports and several documentaries including Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie and the forthcoming Killing Gaza. Blumenthal founded the Grayzone Project in 2015 to shine a journalistic light on America’s state of perpetual war and its dangerous domestic repercussions.

Saudi Arabia Kills Yemeni Civilians with Another US-Made Raytheon Bomb

Saudi Arabia attacked Yemenis in Hodeidah with a laser-guided bomb made by US military contractor Raytheon, as a civilian is killed every three hours on average.

By Ben Norton

A bomb used by Saudi Arabia to attack civilians in Yemen has been identified as a US-made laser-guided bomb manufactured by military contractor Raytheon.

The deaths — the latest in a long pattern of Saudi bombings of Yemeni civilians with US-made weapons — came amid reports that fighting kills one Yemeni civilian every three hours, on average, in the US-backed Saudi and Emirati war on their country.

On October 24, US-supported Saudi forces launched a series of airstrikes on the major Yemeni port city of Hodeidah.

One of these airstrikes struck several cars in the city, reportedly killing three civilians, including a child.

Local journalist Hussain Albukhaiti published a photo of a bomb fragment recovered at the scene of the airstrike:

The bomb fragment has text written in English, which indicates that it was manufactured in the United States. The CAGE code on the fragment, 96214, clearly identifies it as a part made by Raytheon.

Analysts on social media traced the serial code on the fragment, and found it to be part of the wing assembly from a GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bomb.

The text says it was made “for use on MK82” — a reference to the unguided Mark 82 bomb designed by US military contractor General Dynamics. The GBU-12, which is manufactured by both Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, is based on the Mk 82, but is guided and has additional parts.

yemen hodeidah us raytheon bomb
A fragment from a US-made Raytheon GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bomb, used by Saudi Arabia in Hodeidah, Yemen (Credit: Hussain Albukhaiti)

Continue reading “Saudi Arabia Kills Yemeni Civilians with Another US-Made Raytheon Bomb”

Ben Norton is a journalist and writer. He is a producer and reporter for The Real News, and a contributor to the Grayzone Project and FAIR. Ben co-hosts the Moderate Rebels podcast with Max Blumenthal. His website is BenNorton.com, and he tweets at @BenjaminNorton.

Facebook Censorship of Alternative Media “Just the Beginning,” Says Top Neocon Insider

At a Berlin security conference, hardline neocon Jamie Fly appeared to claim some credit for the recent coordinated purge of alternative media.

By Max Blumenthal and Jeb Sprague

This October, Facebook and Twitter deleted the accounts of hundreds of users, including many alternative media outlets maintained by American users. Among those wiped out in the coordinated purge were popular sites that scrutinized police brutality and U.S. interventionism, like The Free Thought Project, Anti-Media, and Cop Block, along with the pages of journalists like Rachel Blevins.

Facebook claimed that these pages had “broken our rules against spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior.” However, sites like The Free Thought Project were verified by Facebook and widely recognized as legitimate sources of news and opinion. John Vibes, an independent reporter who contributed to Free Thought, accused Facebook of “favoring mainstream sources and silencing alternative voices.”

In comments published here for the first time, a neoconservative Washington insider has apparently claimed a degree of credit for the recent purge — and promised more takedowns in the near future.

“Russia, China, and other foreign states take advantage of our open political system,” remarked Jamie Fly, a senior fellow and director of the Asia program at the influential think tank the German Marshall Fund, which is funded by the U.S. government and NATO. “They can invent stories that get repeated and spread through different sites. So we are just starting to push back. Just this last week Facebook began starting to take down sites. So this is just the beginning.”

Fly went on to complain that “all you need is an email” to set up a Facebook or Twitter account, lamenting the sites’ accessibility to members of the general public. He predicted a long struggle on a global scale to fix the situation, and pointed out that to do so would require constant vigilance.

Continue reading “Facebook Censorship of Alternative Media “Just the Beginning,” Says Top Neocon Insider”

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of books including best-selling Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, The Fifty One Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza, and The Management of Savagery, which will be published later this year by Verso. He has also produced numerous print articles for an array of publications, many video reports and several documentaries including Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie and the forthcoming Killing Gaza. Blumenthal founded the Grayzone Project in 2015 to shine a journalistic light on America’s state of perpetual war and its dangerous domestic repercussions.

Imperial-Hipster Bible VICE Did Paid Propaganda for Saudi Arabia

Hipster media giant VICE worked with Saudi Arabia’s regime mouthpiece SRMG to create a video promoting tourism and a camel festival.

By Ben Norton

The hipster corporate media giant VICE did paid propaganda for Saudi Arabia, according to a British report on Saudi astroturf efforts.

Jim Waterson, the media editor for The Guardian, reported that VICE has worked with a soft-power arm of the Saudi royal family to generate public relations material for Saudi Arabia.

According to internal VICE sources contacted by The Guardian, the Brooklyn-based media company assembled a team to make pro-Saudi content in collaboration with the Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG), a regime mouthpiece that is closely linked to the royal family.

Continue reading “Imperial-Hipster Bible VICE Did Paid Propaganda for Saudi Arabia”

Ben Norton is a journalist and writer. He is a producer and reporter for The Real News, and a contributor to the Grayzone Project and FAIR. Ben co-hosts the Moderate Rebels podcast with Max Blumenthal. His website is BenNorton.com, and he tweets at @BenjaminNorton.

After Chemnitz: Germany’s Extreme Right Exploits Government Passivity and Public Resentment to Enter the Mainstream

While the AfD party emerges as a leading voice of political opposition, the government downplays its danger and even co-opts its xenophobic messaging.

By Denijal Jegić

German police rounded up a right-wing terror network this October 1, arresting its members ahead of an attack allegedly aimed at subverting the country. Called “Revolution Chemnitz,” the group “intended to launch violent and armed attacks against foreigners and people who have different political views,” a federal prosecutor told local media. The arrests drew attention once again to the district of Saxony, a base of the far-right Alternative for German (AfD) party where extremists staged a series of anti-migrant riots last month in the city of Chemnitz.

“We are the Nazis, you are the pigs!” a protester screamed during the extreme right demonstration in Chemnitz. Another proudly threw up a sieg heil salute during a live news broadcast. Thousands of far-right Germans and neo-Nazis mingled in riots in Chemnitz, in the East German state of Saxony. The gatherings were initially justified by the organizers, among them the AfD, as a supposedly commemorative response to the killing of a Cuban-German.

Daniel H. had been stabbed to death on August 26, 2018, allegedly by refugees of Arab ancestry. His killing inspired an especially ironic display of outrage: Having been confronted with racism as a person of color in Chemnitz, which is known to be a center of far-right activity, the very people who had called Daniel the n-word eventually seized on his death to engage in even more racism.

Far-right manifestations have become routine in Germany, and its influence has penetrated the mainstream political discourse, particularly since the AfD made it into the federal parliament following its historic success in the 2017 elections. The German government’s admission of refugees from the Middle East since 2015 has generally magnified racist tendencies among some of the country’s population. The former German Democratic Republic in the country’s east has been especially affected by an increase in xenophobic incidents.

Continue reading “After Chemnitz: Germany’s Extreme Right Exploits Government Passivity and Public Resentment to Enter the Mainstream”

Denijal Jegic is a postdoctoral scholar. He holds a PhD from the Institute for Transnational American Studies. Follow him on Twitter at @denijeg