La trajectoire Bandar, de 9/11 à ISIS

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La trajectoire Bandar, de 9/11 à ISIS

Dans un très long article sur le phénomène du groupe islamiste ISIS devenu Califat islamiste et installé dans les régions Nord de l’Irak et de la Syrie, le journaliste et enquêteur Patrick Cockburn développe la thèse de la responsabilité majeure de l’Arabie Saoudite. Il est inutile de parler de complot puisque le soutien de l’Arabie à tous les groupes islamistes/sunnites a toujours été constant et très ouvert, au su et au vu de tous,, et l’ISIS n’échappe certainement pas à la règle. Cockburn fait intervenir Prince Bandar, inévitable diabolus ex machina, en remontant jusqu’aux prémisses de l’attaque 9/11, et cela à partir de révélations explosives faites par Richard Dearlove, ancien chef du MI6 de 1999 à 2004, lors d’une conférence au Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) il y a une dizaine de jours.

La présentation de Dearlove, dont Cockburn relève qu’elle a été d’une manière surprenante très peu relevée, permet de refaire tout le trajet, sur une quinzaine d’années, du développement des groupes terroristes, islamistes, etc., dans le contexte de l’antagonisme anti-chiite poursuivi par l’Arabie Saoudite. Pour ce qui est d’ISIS, incontestable progéniture de l’activisme financier et tortueux, et de la paranoïa autant que de l’action clandestine, de l’Arabie, le groupe devenu Califat est présenté comme une sorte de Frankenstein dont l’Arabie a perdu le contrôle et qui finirait par se retourner contre son géniteur...

Quelles que soient les modalités de la chose, les labyrinthiques calculs des uns et des autres, le résultat net, brut, stratégique autant qu’eschatologique, est une formidable contribution au désordre général ... (L’article de Cockburn se trouve dans The Independent du 13 juillet 2014.)

«How far is Saudi Arabia complicit in the Isis takeover of much of northern Iraq, and is it stoking an escalating Sunni-Shia conflict across the Islamic world? Some time before 9/11, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, once the powerful Saudi ambassador in Washington and head of Saudi intelligence until a few months ago, had a revealing and ominous conversation with the head of the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove. Prince Bandar told him: “The time is not far off in the Middle East, Richard, when it will be literally ‘God help the Shia’. More than a billion Sunnis have simply had enough of them.”

»The fatal moment predicted by Prince Bandar may now have come for many Shia, with Saudi Arabia playing an important role in bringing it about by supporting the anti-Shia jihad in Iraq and Syria. Since the capture of Mosul by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) on 10 June, Shia women and children have been killed in villages south of Kirkuk, and Shia air force cadets machine-gunned and buried in mass graves near Tikrit.

»In Mosul, Shia shrines and mosques have been blown up, and in the nearby Shia Turkoman city of Tal Afar 4,000 houses have been taken over by Isis fighters as "spoils of war". Simply to be identified as Shia or a related sect, such as the Alawites, in Sunni rebel-held parts of Iraq and Syria today, has become as dangerous as being a Jew was in Nazi-controlled parts of Europe in 1940.

»There is no doubt about the accuracy of the quote by Prince Bandar, secretary-general of the Saudi National Security Council from 2005 and head of General Intelligence between 2012 and 2014, the crucial two years when al-Qa'ida-type jihadis took over the Sunni-armed opposition in Iraq and Syria. Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute last week, Dearlove, who headed MI6 from 1999 to 2004, emphasised the significance of Prince Bandar's words, saying that they constituted “a chilling comment that I remember very well indeed”. [...]

»But there has always been a second theme to Saudi policy towards al-Qa'ida type jihadis, contradicting Prince Bandar's approach and seeing jihadis as a mortal threat to the Kingdom. Dearlove illustrates this attitude by relating how, soon after 9/11, he visited the Saudi capital Riyadh with Tony Blair.

»He remembers the then head of Saudi General Intelligence “literally shouting at me across his office: ‘9/11 is a mere pinprick on the West. In the medium term, it is nothing more than a series of personal tragedies. What these terrorists want is to destroy the House of Saud and remake the Middle East.’” In the event, Saudi Arabia adopted both policies, encouraging the jihadis as a useful tool of Saudi anti-Shia influence abroad but suppressing them at home as a threat to the status quo. It is this dual policy that has fallen apart over the last year. [...]

»Saudi Arabia has created a Frankenstein's monster over which it is rapidly losing control. The same is true of its allies such as Turkey which has been a vital back-base for Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra by keeping the 510-mile-long Turkish-Syrian border open. As Kurdish-held border crossings fall to Isis, Turkey will find it has a new neighbour of extraordinary violence, and one deeply ungrateful for past favours from the Turkish intelligence service.

»As for Saudi Arabia, it may come to regret its support for the Sunni revolts in Syria and Iraq as jihadi social media begins to speak of the House of Saud as its next target. It is the unnamed head of Saudi General Intelligence quoted by Dearlove after 9/11 who is turning out to have analysed the potential threat to Saudi Arabia correctly and not Prince Bandar, which may explain why the latter was sacked earlier this year.

»Nor is this the only point on which Prince Bandar was dangerously mistaken. The rise of Isis is bad news for the Shia of Iraq but it is worse news for the Sunni whose leadership has been ceded to a pathologically bloodthirsty and intolerant movement, a sort of Islamic Khmer Rouge, which has no aim but war without end. The Sunni caliphate rules a large, impoverished and isolated area from which people are fleeing. Several million Sunni in and around Baghdad are vulnerable to attack and 255 Sunni prisoners have already been massacred. In the long term, Isis cannot win, but its mix of fanaticism and good organisation makes it difficult to dislodge.

»“God help the Shia,” said Prince Bandar, but, partly thanks to him, the shattered Sunni communities of Iraq and Syria may need divine help even more than the Shia.»

Mis en ligne le 14 juillet 2014 à 14H26


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