Tag: CIA

More evidence of Libya blowback: UK Navy rescued Manchester suicide bomber

The UK Navy “rescued” Manchester Arena suicide bomber Salman Abedi in Libya in 2014. This provides further insight into the original CIA definition of blowback.

By Jake Kallio and Ben Norton

Seven years after NATO allied with Islamist insurgents and violently overthrew Libya’s government, plunging the oil-rich North African nation into a hellish chaos from which it still has not recovered, we are learning more and more about the disastrous blowback this war later unleashed back at home.

The Guardian has reported that the British Navy “rescued” Manchester Arena suicide bomber Salman Abedi in Libya in 2014 — three years before he massacred 22 people at a concert by the pop singer Ariana Grande.

What this Guardian article did not disclose is that the British government is even further implicated in this massive scandal.

Grayzone Project editor Max Blumenthal reported immediately after the May 22, 2017 suicide attack how Abedi’s father had fought in the al-Qaeda-linked extremist militia the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which has extensive ties to US and UK intelligence agencies and had been used to try to assassinate Libyan leader Moammar Qadhafi.

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Jake Kallio is a writer and antiwar activist in Montreal, Canada.

How Trump’s CIA Used Bin Laden Files and a Neocon Think Tank to Escalate Tensions With Iran

An ex-CIA analyst has raised suspicions about the Trump CIA’s release of bin Laden documents and apparent collaboration with the hard-right Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) to demonize Iran.

By Ben Norton / AlterNet

The Central Intelligence Agency appears to have collaborated with the neoconservative think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies to try to link Iran to the Salafi-jihadist group al-Qaeda.

Ned Price, a former CIA analyst and spokesman, has suggested that the move may be part of a wider campaign by the Trump administration’s new CIA director to establish “a rationale for regime change” in Tehran.

In the lead-up to the illegal 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, the effort to link Baghdad to al-Qaeda was “a key element of the march to war,” Price explained, implying that the Trump administration might be doing something similar with Iran.

President Donald Trump has, since the beginning of his term, made aggressive opposition to Iran a key feature of his foreign policy. He has surrounded himself with anti-Iran hawks in the White House, and pledged to unilaterally “tear up” the nuclear deal agreed to by major world powers.

Saudi Arabia, a key U.S. proxy in the Middle East, has in recent weeks escalated its campaign against Iran. The Saudi monarchy pressured Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to resign, and has been accused of holding him hostage. The kingdom then effectively declared war on Lebanon, in the name of countering Iran and its ally Hezbollah.

President Trump has praised Saudi Arabia’s belligerent intervention and foreign meddling, even while accusing Tehran of doing exactly what Riyadh is doing. The U.S. government is working very closely with the Saudi monarchy and Israel to, in Trump’s words, “counter the regime’s destabilizing activity.”

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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.