Is Netanyahu Getting Back at Putin with Volgograd Bombings?

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By F. William Engdahl

 
As the Russian Sochi Winter Olympics date approaches, a wave of suicide bombings in Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad, site of the decisive resistance to German invasion in 1942), have wreaked death and uncertainty in the region. On 29 December 2013 a suicide bomber exploded at the Volgograd railway station, killing the bomber and 16 more. A day later another suicide bombing on a trolleybus killed at least 15 people. The attacks come just a few weeks before the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics begin on February 7 on the Black Sea near the border to Georgia.

Those most recent attacks followed an October 21 suicide attack in which a bomb carried by a female suicide bomber exploded on a passenger bus carrying 40 people. The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry, reported that at least 5 people died in the blast and 17 others were injured. The suicide bomber had been identified as 30-year-old Naida Asiyalova of Dagestan. Since 1999 Mujahideen Sunni Salafists, often from Saudi Arabia or other Arab countries, have tried to incite an Islamic revolution and install Sharia law in Dagestan from neighboring Chechnya as well as in Chechnya.

The recent new wave of suicide bombing attacks in the region has led many to believe they are the work of radical Mujahideen Salafist Sunnis led by an erratic Jihadist from Chechnya, Doku Umarov, who sometimes goes by the Arabized name, Dokka Abu Usman. Umarov has unilaterally proclaimed himself underground President of the unrecognized Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (ChRI), and later, the self-proclaimed Emir of the Russian North Caucasus, declaring it an Islamic state of the Caucasus Emirate. In doing so he announced, “I will serve the word of Allah and work to kill the enemies of Allah in all the time that he gives me to live on this earth.” [1]

In Russia he is called the “Russian bin Laden.” In March 2011, the United Nations Security Council Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee added Umarov to the list of individuals allegedly associated with al-Qaeda, the Saudi-financed loose network of international Jihadist bands which had been trained during the 1980’s Afghan war against the Soviet Union by CIA, Saudi, Israeli and Pakistani intelligence services. AL-Qaeda is a name for a database set up by Saudi intelligence to keep track of all the Arab and other Muslim mercenaries working in defeating the Russians in Afghanistan during the 1980s.

Umarov has claimed responsibility for gruesome suicide bombings, using women called “black widows” whose husbands had been killed fighting Jihad against Russian security forces. Umarov openly claimed responsibility for the 2010 Moscow Metro bombings and the 2011 Domodedovo International Airport bombing in Moscow. The person who did the Metro bombing was a 17-year old Mujahideen widow, Dzhennet Abdurakhmanova

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Dzhennet Abdurakhmanova, 17, posing with her late husband Umalat Magomedov. She became a “black widow”  suicide bomber, carrying out the Moscow metro bombings in April 2010 (Reuters)

In June 2013, Umarov called for his followers in and outside the Caucasus to use “maximum force” to ensure the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics do not take place: “They plan to hold the Olympics on the bones of our ancestors, on the bones of many, many dead Muslims buried on our land by the Black Sea. We as Mujahideen are required not to allow that, using any methods that Allah allows us.” [2]

All indications point to the terrorists controlled by Umarov being behind the latest “Black Widow” suicide bombings in Volgograd. Naida Asiyalova, who blew herself up in the suicide bombing in Volgograd in October, is from Dagestan. She was reported “in love” with another suicide bomber before she “did her duty” to the jihad of Umarov. She was also a close friend of the woman implicated in the most recent Volgograd station bombing.[3] All indications to date point to Doku Umarov’s Chechyn terrorist organization for these recent terror bombings in Russia.

The US State Department has just issued an Advisory Alert to US citizens going to Sochi as a response even though Volgograd is several hundred kilometers away.

Russia’s Mujahideen terrorists

Soon after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Halliburton, the world’s largest oil services company, then led by Dick Cheney, determined that the Caucasus and the region around the former Soviet Union’s Caspian Sea contained staggering volumes of untapped oil. Some said it was a “new Saudi Arabia.” As part of broader Washington strategy of then-president George H.W. Bush, US intelligence began moving veterans of the bloody Afghan Mujahideen campaign into the Caucasus and Caspian region to facilitate independence from the Soviet Union and open the door for US and British oil companies to control the key oil regions.

Two “retired” CIA operatives close to former CIA head Bush, Ted Shackley and General (Ret.) Richard Secord set up a CIA “front” fake Azeribaijan oil company called Mega Oil. It was a cover to fly in hundreds of Mujahideen veterans from Afghanistan as “oilworkers.”

In 1991 Richard Secord along with veterans of US operations in Laos, and later of Oliver North’s operations with the Contras, turned up in Baku, Azerbaijan under the cover of MEGA Oil. This was when George H.W. Bush supported an oil pipeline stretching from Azerbaijan across the Caucasus to Turkey. Dick Cheney was then Bush senior’s Defense Secretary. MEGA never found oil. But MEGA operatives in Azerbaijan engaged in military training, passed “brown bags filled with cash” to members of the Azeri government, and set up an airline on the model of the CIA’s Vietnam era Air America which flew hundreds of mujahedin mercenaries from Afghanistan into Azerbaijan and the Caucasus, especially Chechnya. [4]

A faction of the CIA and US intelligence tied to the neo-conservatives and the US military industrial complex, have been involved in bringing fanatical Jihadist Islam into the traditionally Sufi peaceful Islam of the Caucasus region. Osama bin Laden actively moved from Afghanistan into Bosnia, then Kosovo and on into Chechnya after 1995, where his principal ally, fellow Saudi Jihadist, Ibn al-Khattab was leader of the Arab Mujahideen in Chechnya fighting the Russians. Chechnya happened to be the transit region for a major Russian oil pipeline from Baku into Russia for Caspian oil, something Washington was determined to block. Journalist Ali Soufan notes that by 1996, “the United States had been on the side of Muslims in Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Chechnya.” [5]

At the time of the Beslan school massacre in Russia near the Georgia border in September 2004, Umarov’s Jihadists, including Arab Mujahideen, were partly financed with US money via a Washington-based NGO called ACDI/VOCA. Much of the money that the US Government-funded NGO received for the project reportedly came from a US Department of Agriculture Food for Peace Project.[6] Apparently the food they dispensed was in the form of Kalashnikovs and hand grenades, not grain and apples.

According to veteran Caucasus-based journalist Jeffrey Silverman, Doku Umarov is today an “asset” controlled and guided by a Washington-based think-tank called Potomac Institute for Policy Studies.[7] The board of the Potomac Institute reads like a who’s who of retired US military and intelligence people. According to Washington insider reports, Potomac is not entirely what it appears to be.

It is rather, these sources report, a front for Israeli intelligence, a group of US neo-conservatives, both working with Saudi Arabian intelligence. Two of Potomac’s key people involved in the Caucasus are reported to be Prof. Jonah Alexander, who heads the institute’s International Center for Terrorism Studies, and Ambassador (ret) David Smith.

Alexander has taught at Tel Aviv University and headed an interesting-sounding project, “Terrorism, Gray Area and Low Level Conflict,” for the US Global Strategy Council, a group founded by Ray Cline, former Deputy Director of the CIA.[8] David J. Smith is Director of the Georgian Security Analysis Center (GSAC) at the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies in Tbilisi, Georgia. Between 2002 and 2006 Smith was US Member of the International Security Advisory Board, assisting Georgia to “build democracy and establish functional national security institutions.”[9]  By all indications, he did a rather poor job if that really was what he was building.

Many of the Arab and Chechyn Jihadist terrorists plaguing Russia in recent years have been infiltrated into Chechnya from the Pankisi Gorge region across the border in Georgia, where a pro-US Saakashvili regime at the time obviously “looked the other way.” Reportedly Saakashvili’s brother worked in London for BP, the head of the Anglo-American oil pipeline consortium that owns the BTC pipeline from Baku through Georgia to Turkey.[10]

Contrary to outward appearance, there has been intimate cooperation between Saudi and Israeli intelligence services on matters of common strategic interest for years. Reportedly the ties began when Prince Bandar was Saudi Ambassador to Washington.[11]

If all this is true, it would suggest that Umarov’s latest suicide attacks in Russia are part of a “revenge” operation of Netanyahu and Saudi Intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, to sabotage the Sochi Olympics, for Putin’s role in winning Obama away from war against Syria last fall and openly seeking a diplomatic resolution of the Iran nuclear problem. Saudi Arabia’s Bandar and Netanyahu, who admitted they were in cooperation, both were reportedly livid against Putin for sabotaging their Jihad in Syria.

Against Obama too

That the Saudis and Israel’s Netanyahu are actively working as well to sabotage Obama’s Iran diplomacy is also clear. On October 30, 2013, Sheldon Adelson, an Israeli-American billionaire with dual passports, a financier friend of Netanyahu who owns Las Vegas casinos, called on US Congress. He reportedly told his friends in Congress to pass new sanctions against Iran designed to sabotage the Iran-Obama talks. Adelson was the main financial backer in 2012 of Mitt Romney to defeat Obama, who has become a bitter Netanyahu foe. Adelson apparently feels that Obama has slowly been distancing from Bush and Cheney’s strong tilt to the hawkish US neo-conservatives tied to the US-Israeli military industrial complex around Netanyahu’s Likud Party.[12]

The Republican Jewish Coalition — led by GOP financial donor Sheldon Adelson — is asking its members to call their senators and urge them to pass a new round of sanctions on Iran amid efforts from top Obama administration officials to persuade Congress to delay such measures to allow time for negotiations with the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program to “gain traction.” [13]

The Volgograd bombings are a part of a global political shift taking place with factions declaring war inside major governments. Washington is split today between a “pro-Israel” faction largely in Congress, and on the opposite side, a mix of nationalists who seem to be trying to define a genuine American interest in all the wars around the world. Reportedly General Martin E. Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the military’s highest body in the Pentagon, and others around President Obama are moving to distance Washington from the Saudi-Israeli war strategy which they have realized as against American interest.

The realization in and around the White House and State Department that the US Government was being manipulated by Israeli and Saudi false intelligence was the real reason, according to Washington reports, for the abrupt decision by President Obama last summer to halt the planned war against Syria. Obama was told that the “evidence” of a Syrian government chemical weapons attack on civilians had been doctored by Saudi and Israeli intelligence to force Obama to finally declare war. [14]

That was why Obama surprisingly and inexplicably embraced the Putin mediation offer to remove the chemical weapons and why Assad quickly agreed. Obama was himself strongly against military action in Syria. The chemicals used in Syria reportedly were supplied by Prince Bandar to the rebels, not from Syrian Government forces. [15] The intelligence intercepts given President Obama purporting to be tapes of Syrian Army commanders discussing the chemical attack were given to Washington by Israeli intelligence by Israeli Defence Forces’ 8200 unit and were also reportedly faked.[16]

Now this same network seems to have activated a revenge attack against Putin and Obama for foiling their stratagems. It’s a high risk gamble by Netanyahu and Saudi Prince Bandar that could severely boomerang against them.

****

In a noteworthy footnote to the entire gruesome Doku Umarov drama, on January 17, Moscow Times reported on a social media message sent out by Chechen president, Ramzan Kadyrov, claiming that he had “new evidence” that rebel leader Doku Umarov was dead. Kadyrov wrote in an Instagram, “According to our information, Umarov is dead and we are looking for his body.” He claimed that Umarov had been killed during a Russian Special Forces operation.[17] The report has not been confirmed by Moscow. The Kadyrov report has to be taken with more than a little grain of salt. The flamboyant Chechyn President has issued such messages before, the last time in December, when he wrote that Umarov was “mostly likely already dead or will be soon.”[18] Whether dead or alive, it seems most likely that Doku Umarov is little more than a “cover” for the darker networks running terror against Putin’s Russia in the Caucasus, and that darker network is Moscow’s real problem.

Endnotes:


[1]Al Jazzera English, Chechen rebel chief denies quitting – Europe, Al Jazeera English., August 12, 2010.

[2] Miriam Elder. Russian Islamist Doku Umarov calls for attacks on 2014 Winter Olympics, theguardian.com. August 12, 2013.

[3] EIN News, Russia’s deadly black widow cult that threatens Olympians, January 02, 2014, accessed in

http://world.einnews.com/article/183473672/k-vWy4dXMol6ijtf?afid=777&utm_source=MailingList&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Breaking+News%3A+world583-Thursday.

[4] Peter Dale Scott, The Falsified War on Terror: How the US Has Protected Some of Its Enemies, The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 11, Issue 40, No. 2, October 7, 2013.

[5] Ali H. Soufan, The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al-Qaeda (New York: Norton, 2011), p. 62.

[6] Henry Kamens, Did CIA train the Boston Bombers in Georgia?, April 2013

[7] The information on the Potomac Institute and Umarov was made available to the author from Jeffrey Silverman, an investigative journalist based in the Caucasus who has researched the subject for more than twenty two years.

[8] SourceWatch, Global Strategy Council, 23 July, 2013, accessed in  http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Global_Strategy_Council

[9] Ibid. ; As well, for bios on Smith and Alexander, the website of Potomac Institute accessed in http://www.potomacinstitute.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=226:smith&catid=61:fellows-&Itemid=537.

[10] Jeffrey Silverman, op. cit.

[11] Umberto Bacchi, Israel Negotiating Historic Alliance with Saudi Arabia over Iran’s Nuclear Weapons, Ooctober 3, 2013, accessed in http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/511160/20131003/israel-saudi-arabia-gulf-alliance-iran-nuclear.htm.

[12] Stephen J. Sniegoski , Would Romney Pursue a Neocon War Agenda?,  accessed in http://home.comcast.net/~transparentcabal/article36.html.

[13] Ben Armbruster,  Group Led By Billionaire Sheldon Adelson Pushes Congress To Undermine Iran Talks,  October 30, 2013, accessed in http://thinkprogress.org/security/2013/10/30/2859711/rjc-adelson-iran-sanctions/.

[14] Dale Gavlak and Yahya Ababneh, Syrians In Ghouta Claim Saudi Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack, MintPress,  August 29, 2013, accessed in http://www.mintpressnews.com/witnesses-of-gas-attack-say-saudis-supplied-rebels-with-chemical-weapons/168135/.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Seymour Hersh, Whose Sarin?, London Review of Books, August 12, 2013, accessed in http://home.comcast.net/~transparentcabal/article36.html.; see also Harriet Sherwood, Israeli intelligence intercepted Syrian regime talk about chemical attack, theguardian.com, 28 August 2013, accessed in http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/28/israeli-intelligence-intercepted-syria-chemical-talk.

[17] Moscow Times, Chechen Leader Kadyrov Again Says Rebel Leader Umarov is Dead, 17 January 2014,

RIA Novosti, accessed in  http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/chechen-leader-kadyrov-again-says-rebel-leader-umarov-is-dead/492910.html#ixzz2qf7FqJzz.

 

[18] Moscow Times, Chechen Leader Says ‘Rat’ Rebel Chief Is Likely Dead, 20 December 2013, accessed in http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/chechen-leader-says-rat-rebel-chief-is-likely-dead/491867.html

 

Author Details
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant, author and lecturer. He is author of the best-selling book on oil and geopolitics, A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order. It has been published as well in French, German, Chinese, Russian, Czech, Korean, Turkish, Croatian, Slovenian and Arabic. In 2010 he published Gods of Money: Wall Street and the Death of the American Century, completing his trilogy on the power of oil, food and money control. Mr Engdahl is one of the more widely discussed analysts of current political and economic developments, and his provocative articles and analyses have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines and well-known international websites. In addition to discussing oil geopolitics and energy issues, he has written on issues of agriculture, GATT, WTO, IMF, energy, politics and economics for more than 30 years, beginning the first oil shock and world grain crisis in the early 1970’s. His book, ‘Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation has been translated into eight languages. A new book, Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order describes the American military power projection in terms of geopolitical strategy. He won a ‘Project Censored Award’ for Top Censored Stories for 2007-08. Mr. Engdahl has lectured in economics at the Rhein-Main University in Germany and is a Visiting Professor in Economics at Beijing University of Chemical Technology. After a degree in politics from Princeton University (USA), and graduate study in comparative economics at the University of Stockholm, he worked as an independent economist and research journalist in New York and later in Europe, covering subjects including the politics of energy policy in the USA and worldwide; GATT Uruguay Round trade talks, EU food policies, the grain trade monopoly, IMF policy, Third World debt issues, hedge funds and the Asia crisis. Engdahl contributes regularly to a number of international publications on economics and political affairs including Asia Times, FinancialSense.com, 321.gold.com, The Real News, Russia Today TV, Asia Inc., GlobalResearch.com, Japan’s Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Foresight magazine. He has been a frequent contributor to the New York Grant’sInvestor.com, European Banker and Business Banker International and Freitag and ZeitFragen in Germany, Globus in Croatia. He has been interviewed on various geopolitical topics on numerous international TV and radio programs including Al Jazeera, CCTV and Sina.com (China), CCTV (China) Korea Broadcasting System (KBS), and RT Russian TV. He is a Research Associate of Michel Chossudovsky’s well-respected Centre for Research on Globalization in Montreal, Canada and member of the editorial board of Eurasia magazine. Mr Engdahl has been a featured speaker at numerous international conferences on geopolitical, GMO, economic and energy subjects. Among them are the Ministry of Science and Technology Conference on Alternative Energy, Beijing; London Centre for Energy Policy Studies of Hon. Sheikh Zaki Yamani; Turkish-Eurasian Business Council of Istanbul, Global Investors’ Forum (GIF) Montreaux Switzerland; Bank Negara Indonesia; the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies; the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Croatian Chamber of Commerce and Economics. He currently lives in Germany and, in addition to teaching and writing regularly on issues of international political economy and geopolitics, food security, economics, energy and international affairs, is active as a consulting political risk economist for major European banks and private investors. A sample of his writings is available at Oil Geopolitics.net
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