Depuis plus une dizaine d’années, une polémique et diverses révélations font épisodiquement surface à propos du sort de Sibel Edmonds, jeune universitaire multilingue qui fut engagée comme traductrice au FBI immédiatement après l’attaque 9/11 pour des travaux de traduction dont il s’avéra qu’ils portaient sur des documents ultra-sensibles. Elle fut mise à pied après être intervenue auprès de ses supérieurs concernant le contenu de certains des cables ultrasecrets qu’elle avait traduits, qui montraient une collaboration active entre divers services et officiels du gouvernement US, et divers individus et organisations terroristes plus ou moins affiliés à al Qaïda, ou ce qui est regroupé sous ce nom.
Edmonds a publié un livre sur son histoire l’année dernière (Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story). Elle a rencontré l’universitaire, journaliste, auteur et activiste Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, qui a publié à la suite de cette interview un long article sur la connexion entre les USA et les groupements islamistes. L’article a été publié le 17 mai 2013 sur le site du magazine CeaseFire, repris sur divers sites et enfin publié sur le propre site de Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, Cutting Edge, le 21 mai 2013. Dans cette dernière version, Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed rajoute certaines précisions, notamment en nommant certaines personnes jusqu’alors désignées anonymement. Cet article très long, très détaillé, rend compte de l’extraordinaire complexité des connexions USA-islamistes, et des myriades d’implications et d'opérations clandestines qui vont avec.
Nous publions la présentation de son article par Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, le début de l’article décrivant la carrière d’Edmonds depuis sa mise à pied du FBI et les pressions et diverses attaques juridiques auxquelles elle a du faire face ; et un passage particulièrement intéressant, caractérisant la mise en place et le déploiement d’une organisation désignée Gladio-B, développé à partir du Gladio initial. Le schéma d’utilisation concernant Gladio-B expose que les groupes terroristes islamistes furent utilisés, à partir des années 1990, de la même façon que les groupes néo-fascistes et néo-nazis avaient été utilisés notamment en Europe, dans les années 1970, dans les opérations de montage terroriste dans le cadre des opérations Gladio, particulièrement en Italie et en Belgique.
La connexion est évidemment extrêmement intéressante et permet d’envisager une vue d’ensemble des opérations clandestines et de montage terroriste des activités des services de sécurité nationale des USA, de nombre de pays de l’OTAN, et d’autres pays associés au bloc BAO comme l’Égypte du président Moubarak. Elle confirme l’importance fondamentale de l’opération Gladio, prolongée en Gladio-B, pour l’entièreté de la période depuis 1945. On voit que cette opération générale a tendu et tend toujours à chapeauter, sinon à regrouper finalement l’ensemble des opérations subversives du Système dans sa branche américaniste durant cette période et jusqu’à nos jours, selon le scénario de susciter des changements de politique ou des changements de gouvernement/de régime dans les pays de diverses régions (l’Europe d’abord pour Gladio, l’Asie centrale et ses alentours pour Gladio-B) par une stratégie de provocation utilisant l’instrument du terrorisme, pour des buts spécifiques qui peuvent varier. Ces précisions confirment également l’analyse de Daniele Ganser, universitaire suisse et meilleur spécialiste du Gladio, qui établissaient des connexions directes entre l’action durant la guerre froide de Gladio et les implications du même Gladio autour de l’attaque 9/11 et en général dans cette période post-guerre froide (voir deux de nos textes sur Ganser et Gladio, une reprise d’une interview le 27 décembre 2005, une analyse également du même 27 décembre 2005).
«Last Friday, Ceasefire magazine published my exclusive, in-depth investigative report exposing the Pentagon's covert sponsorship of al Qaeda terrorists from the late 1990s through to 9/11 - including sponsoring Ayman al Zawahiri himself.
»My report is based on interviews with FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, whose extraordinary case has been covered by the likes of Vanity Fair and American Conservative, as well as with Sunday Times journalists who corroborated her claims and spoke of an investigative series they were working on in 2008, based on her revelations, which was “pulled” inexplicably after US government pressure.
»The report has gone well and truly viral, collecting over 4,000 Facebook shares, 500 Tweets, and being reposted all over the web. The report was also republished by the highly respected US investigative news magazine, Counterpunch.
»But there's more...
»The versions published so far have been edited to avoid naming certain names. Below, exclusively for this blog, I publish the original version identifying the “State Department official” fingered by Sibel in the past - Marc Grossman, a senior government official who has worked for both the Bush and Obama administrations before moving into the private sector/lobbying sector...»
«A whistleblower has revealed extraordinary information on the U.S. government's support for international terrorist networks and organised crime. The government has denied the allegations yet gone to extraordinary lengths to silence her. Her critics have derided her as a fabulist and fabricator. But now comes word that some of her most serious allegations were confirmed by a major European newspaper only to be squashed at the request of the U.S. government.
»In a recent book, Sibel Edmonds, a former translator for the FBI, describe how the Pentagon, CIA and State Department maintained intimate ties to al-Qaeda militants as late as 2001.Her memoir, Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story, published last year, charged senior government officials with negligence, corruption and collaboration with al Qaeda in illegal arms smuggling and drugs trafficking in Central Asia.
»In interviews with this author in early March, Edmonds claimed that Ayman al-Zawahiri, current head of al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden's deputy at the time, had innumerable, regular meetings at the U.S. embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan, with U.S. military and intelligence officials between 1997 and 2001, as part of an operation known as 'Gladio B'. Al-Zawahiri, she charged, as well as various members of the bin Laden family and other mujahideen, were transported on NATO planes to various parts of Central Asia and the Balkans to participate in Pentagon-backed destabilisation operations.
»According to two Sunday Times journalists speaking on condition of anonymity, this and related revelations had been confirmed by senior Pentagon and MI6 officials as part of a four-part investigative series that was supposed to run in 2008. The Times journalists described how the story was inexplicably dropped under the pressure of undisclosed “interest groups”, which, they suggest, were associated with the U.S. State Department.
»Described by the American Civil Liberties Union as the “most gagged person in the United States of America” Edmonds studied criminal justice, psychology and public policy at George Washington and George Mason universities. Two weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, her fluency in Turkish, Farsi and Azerbaijani earned her an FBI contract at the Washington DC field office. She was tasked with translating highly classified intelligence from operations against terrorism suspects in and outside the U.S.. In the course of her work, she became privy to evidence that U.S. military and intelligence agencies were collaborating with Islamist militants affiliated with al-Qaeda, the very forces blamed for the 9/11 attacks – and that officials in the FBI were covering up the evidence. When Edmonds complained to her superiors, her family was threatened by one of the subjects of her complaint, and she was fired. Her accusations of espionage against her FBI colleagues were eventually investigated by the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General, which did not give details about the allegations as they remained classified.
»Although no final conclusions about the espionage allegations were reached, the Justice Department concluded that many of Edmonds' accusations “were supported, that the FBI did not take them seriously enough and that her allegations were, in fact, the most significant factor in the FBI's decision to terminate her services.”
»When she attempted to go public with her story in 2002, and again in 2004, the U.S. government silenced Edmonds by invoking a legal precedent known as “state secrets privilege” – a near limitless power to quash a lawsuit based solely on the government's claim that evidence or testimony could divulge information that might undermine “national security.” Under this doctrine, the government sought to retroactively classify basic information concerning Edmonds's case already in the public record, including, according to the New York Times, “what languages Ms. Edmonds translated, what types of cases she handled, and what employees she worked with, officials said. Even routine and widely disseminated information – like where she worked – is now classified.”
»Although certainly not the first invocation of “state secrets privilege”, since the Edmonds case the precedent has been used repeatedly in the post-9/11 era under both the Bush and Obama administrations to shield the U.S. government from court scrutiny of rendition, torture, warrantless wiretapping, as well as the President's claimed war powers.
»Other intelligence experts agree that Edmonds had stumbled upon a criminal conspiracy at the heart of the American judicial system. In her memoirs, she recounts that FBI Special Agent Gilbert Graham, who also worked in the Washington field office on counterintelligence operations, told her over a coffee how he “ran background checks on federal judges” in the “early nineties for the bureau... If we came up with shit – skeletons in their closets – the Justice Department kept it in their pantry to be used against them in the future or to get them to do what they want in certain cases - cases like yours." A redacted version of Graham's classified protected disclosure to the Justice Department regarding these allegations, released in 2007, refers to the FBI's “abuse of authority” by conducting illegal wiretapping to obtain information on U.S. public officials.»
«In her March interview with this author, Edmonds said that the Pentagon operations with Islamists were an “extension” of an original 'Gladio' programme uncovered in the 1970s in Italy, part of an EU-wide NATO covert operation that began as early as the 1940s.
»As Swiss historian Dr. Daniele Ganser records in his seminal book, NATO's Secret Armies, an official Italian parliamentary inquiry confirmed that British MI6 and the CIA had established a network of secret “stay-behind” paramilitary armies, staffed by fascist and Nazi collaborators. The covert armies carried out terrorist attacks throughout Western Europe, officially blamed on Communists in what Italian military intelligence called the 'strategy of tension'.
»“You had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game” explained Gladio operative Vincenzo Vinciguerra during his trial in 1984. “The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people... to turn to the State to ask for greater security.”
»While the reality of Gladio's existence in Europe is a matter of historical record, Edmonds contends the same strategy was adopted by the Pentagon in the 1990s in a new theatre of operations, namely, Asia. “Instead of using neo-Nazis, they used mujahideen working under various bin Ladens, as well as al-Zawahiri”, she said.
»The last publicly known Gladio meeting occurred in NATO's Allied Clandestine Committee (ACC) in Brussels in 1990. While Italy was a focal point for the older European operations, Edmonds said that Turkey and Azerbaijan served as the main conduits for a completely new, different set of operations in Asia using veterans of the anti-Soviet campaign in Afghanistan, the so-called “Afghan Arabs” that had been trained by al-Qaeda.
»These new Pentagon-led operations were codenamed 'Gladio B' by FBI counterintelligence: “In 1997, NATO asked [Egyptian President] Hosni Mubarak to release from prison Islamist militants affiliated to Ayman al-Zawahiri [whose role in the assassination of Anwar Sadat led to Mubarak’s ascension]. They were flown under U.S. orders to Turkey for [training and use in] operations by the Pentagon”, she said. Edmonds' allegations find some independent corroboration in the public record. The Wall Street Journal refers to a nebulous agreement between Mubarak and “the operational wing of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, which was then headed by Ayman al-Zawahiri... Many of that group's fighters embraced a cease-fire with the government of former President Hosni Mubarak in 1997.”
»Youssef Bodansky, former Director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, cited U.S. intelligence sources in an article for Defense and Foreign Affairs: Strategic Policy, confirming “discussions between the Egyptian terrorist leader Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri and an Arab-American known to have been both an emissary of the CIA and the U.S. Government.” He referred to an “offer” made to al-Zawahiri in November 1997 on behalf of U.S. intelligence, granting his Islamists a free hand in Egypt as long as they lent support to U.S. forces in the Balkans. In 1998, Al Zawahiri's brother, Muhammed, led an elite unit of the Kosovo Liberation Army against Serbs during the Kosovo conflict - he reportedly had direct contact with NATO leadership.
»“This is why”, Edmonds continued in her interview, “even though the FBI routinely monitored the communications of the diplomatic arms of all countries, only four countries were exempt from this protocol - the UK, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Belgium - the seat of NATO. No other country - not even allies like Israel or Saudi Arabia, were exempt. This is because these four countries were integral to the Pentagon's so-called Gladio B operations.”
»Edmonds did not speculate on the objectives of the Pentagon's 'Gladio B' operations, but she highlights the following as possibilities: projecting U.S. power in the former Soviet sphere of influence to access previously untapped strategic energy and mineral reserves for U.S. and European companies; pushing back Russian and Chinese power; and expanding the scope of lucrative criminal activities, particularly illegal arms and drugs trafficking. Terrorism finance expert Loretta Napoleoni estimates the total value of this criminal economy to be about $1.5 trillion annually, the bulk of which “flows into Western economies, where it gets recycled in the U.S. and in Europe” as a “vital element of the cash flow of these economies.”
»It is no coincidence then that the opium trade, Edmonds told this author, has grown rapidly under the tutelage of NATO in Afghanistan: “I know for a fact that NATO planes routinely shipped heroin to Belgium, where they then made their way into Europe and to the UK. They also shipped heroin to distribution centres in Chicago and New Jersey. FBI counterintelligence and DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) operations had acquired evidence of this drug trafficking in its surveillance of a wide range of targets, including officials in the Pentagon, CIA and State Department. As part of this surveillance, the role of the Dickersons – with the support of Grossman – in facilitating drug-trafficking, came up. It was clear from this evidence that the whole funnel of drugs, money and terror in Central Asia was directed, before 9/11, by Grossman.”
»The evidence for this funnel, according to Edmonds, remains classified in the form of FBI counterintelligence surveillance records she was asked to translate. Although this alleged evidence has never made it to court due to the U.S. government's exertion of 'state secret privilege', she was able to testify in detail concerning her allegations against Grossman and others under oath in 2009. She also aired these allegations in an interview with former CIA official Philip Giraldi in American Conservative magazine the same year...»