Schlagwort-Archive: revenge

New Video Celebrates Awlaki´s Death

by Florian Flade

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„America cannot and will not win. The tables have turned, and there is no rolling back on the worldwide Jihad movement“

– Awlaki in post-mortem video message.

September 30th 2011: A U.S. drone fires several missiles at a car convoy riding through the desert of Yemen. The missiles found their prime target, killing four people – among them what was considered by numerous counter-terrorism officials to be one of the greatest threats to America´s national security: Anwar al-Awlaki.

The US-Yemeni cleric who had immigrated to Yemen in 2004 and joined the ranks of Al-Qaida had become a very powerful influence on Islamists living in the West. Awlaki, a Western-educated ideologue of global Jihad, had used the growing power of the Internet to spread his message of war and terror, calling Muslims in the West to become Allah´s soldiers and attack the U.S. and its allies.

Yesterday Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a propaganda video celebrating the death of Anwar al-Awlaki whom the organization calls „The Martyr of Dawah“. In the video several Al-Qaida operatives are praising Awlaki´s legacy, vowing revenge for his assassination.

Amongst those talking in the Jihadi documentary is AQAP´s spiritual leader Ibrahim al-Rubaish. „We all have to revenge for our Sheikh who sacrificed himself for the sake of his Ummah“, al-Rubaish says, highlighting Awlaki´s role as a role model of a Mujahid.

Besides Awlaki himself – who is seen in a video message that looks like a draft video released in 2010 – there is another English-speaking Jihadi featured in the new video. This person named „Brother Abu Yazeed“ for sure is of interest for Western intelligence agencies as he had not appeared in previous releases. The mysterious Al-Qaida operative seems to speak with an American accent and is seen sitting in the dark, only revealing that he has a full grown beard and is wearing glasses.

„Abu Yazeed“ talks about Awlaki as well as about American Samir Khan who died alongside the cleric and about Awlaki´s 16 year-old son Abdul Rahman who was killed in a different U.S. drone strike in Yemen recently.

„Obama Fulfilled Bin Laden´s Wish“ – Interview with Abdel Bari Atwan

by Florian Flade

Abdel Bari Atwan walking with Osama Bin Laden in Tora Bora, November 1996 (Copyright Abdel Bari Atwan)

The chief editor of the London-based Arab newspaper „Al-Quds Al-Arabi“, Abdel Bari Atwan, met Osama Bin Laden in November 1996 and lived three days with him in the caves of Tora Bora in eastern Afghanistan. Fifteen years later the Al-Qaida leader was killed by a US commando raid in Pakistan. I spoke to Abdel Bari Atwan, whom I also interviewed last September on Bin Laden, to ask him about his thoughts on the killing and the impact of Bin Ladens death on the al-Qaida network.


Mr.Atwan, were you surprised when you heard the news the United States was able to find and kill Osama Bin Laden?

I did expect that one day the Americans would reach them. They have a huge intelligence service, huge intelligence equipment, it is not only the Americans, it was everyone looking for him. So he cannot hide forever. A single mistake will lead to his capture or death, no question about that. What surprised me is the ambiguity about the whole operation. The Americans were not straight forward to tell us what happened. We haven´t seen the corpse, we haven´t seen the body, and also the details about the operations kept changing. Once they said he was in a luxury house, a mansion, now we discover it was very humble. They said to us he used his wife as a human shield – no he was unarmed and he did not resist. His wife was injured. They buried him in the sea which is very strange. According to Islamic Sharia law it doesn´t say he should be buried in the sea.

Where you surprised about the location where Bin Laden was hiding for the last few years?

I was surprised, also about the Pakistani Intelligence (ISI) and the government could not discover these helicopters. Why did they fail to detect the raid? That means a military academy like this, a ammunition factory like this, is not well guarded?. Does that mean also the nuclear weapons are not well guarded? It is a affront to the Pakistani government unless they knew about it and the Americans say the Pakistanis didn´t know about it. For the Americans to come and to kill an important man like this and go away and take his body and the body of his son without the Pakistani government to know about this – this is ridicules.

Do you think the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI or the government knew where Bin Laden was hiding?

I don´t believe the Pakistanis knew where he is. They would not commit such a strange thing because this will effect the relation with the United States which is already deteriorating, that´s my first impression. the Pakistani government harboring him or keeping silent about him will create huge problems with the United States. The Pakistanis don´t have a secret. If they were hiding Bin Laden, the US would know because the Americans have infiltrated the intel and would know about it.

Did Bin Laden choose the city of Abbottabad as a hideout because of the big military presence – did he think he was safe from an American assassination in such area?

Actually I also kept saying that Osama Bin Laden is not in the tribal areas, he would be in a city in Pakistan or other parts of the world. He is very clever, he wouldn´t stay in an area were the Americans are looking for him. What made me believe that was the fact that most of his men were arrested in Pakistani cities: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was arrested in Rawalpindi, Ramzi Binalshibh in Karachi, Abu Zubaydah was in Faisalabad. Most of his men were in Pakistani cities not in the tribal areas. So it is logically that he is in one of the Pakistani cities. To choose a place that is close to the military academy shows that he is quiet clever. He choose that place knowing that nobody will look in that area particular.

Bin Laden was family man: Are you surprised there was family with him in the Abbottabad compound?

No, because he was not staying there by choice, he was forced to stay there. He could not move freely, the longer he stayed, it was secure for him. We don´t know about what his family will tell, we only heard the American side of the story. What we have is: he was in the house. But was he permanently in the house? Was he only visiting his family in the house and was traced? We don´t know, yet.

Do you think conspiracy theories will be around until al-Qaida confirms the death or the US President released the picture of Bin Laden´s body?

There will be alot of ambiguity for a long time. We have to see what the Americans will say, we have to have proves and pictures are not good enough…

…there are many fake pictures already spreading.

Yes. We need an independent observer. Why didn´t we see the corpse itself? Why was it not shown to the international media? It is very important to have independent verification of the American story. Second, we are waiting for al-Qaida to confirm that he was killed. Maybe Osama Bin Laden was abducted by the Americans and killed later? They say he was buried in the sea: Do we have any proof of that? Nobody told us, just very briefly. The conspiracy theories will be very thrive. People will believe he is still alive, they wouldn´t believe he was killed even though they Americans raided his place. They will say he is with them, being interrogated by them.

Was the alleged burial in the ocean a smart idea?

It is un-islamic and un-human to throw his body in the sea to the sharks. Simply because in Islam if somebody dies on land, he has to be buried on land. They buried Saddam Hussein when they hanged him, they buried his sons when they shot them dead. They buried Abu Mussab az-Zarqawi when he was killed. And the Nazis, who where more dangerous than Osama Bin Laden, they face a trial and they were buried.

The argument was the US did not want his grave to become a place of worship – which makes no sense because Salafi-Islam does not allow grave-worship.

No, Salafi-Islam does not allow that, and he is a Salafi, so he himself wouldn´t allow any shrine for him. It would be against his will.

Does the killing of Osama Bin Laden make a difference to al-Qaida?

No, he was completely irrelevant to al-Qaida in the last 10 years, he was probably not running day-to-day affairs. He was caring about his personal safety, not to be abducted or killed. He was not in direct contact with his people. Second, al-Qaida is different today. Al-Qaida transformed after September 11th 2001, it became a flat and loose organization with many branches: we have al-Qaida in Yemen which is very strong, which has Anwar al-Awlaki who is a very radical preacher, we have Nasser al-Wuhayshi, who is the head of al-Qaida in Yemen, we have al-Qaida in Islamic Maghreb, which is very dangerous and managed to acquire weapons after the Libyan regime collapsed, this will make it very lethal because it is also close to Europe. We have al-Qaida in Somalia, al-Qaida in Afghanistan still, we have al-Qaida in Pakistan – we have different al-Qaidas with different leadership. If Bin Laden was operational very irrelevant and we have now Zawahiri as the successor, this will make al-Qaida more radical. This man is a very dangerous man, he has a operational brain, he was behind transforming al-Qaida from a small local organization to a global organization.

Do you think al-Qaida will elect Dr.Zawahiri as its new Amir?

We don´t know yet. We know there is Majlis ash-Shura, the leadership council of al-Qaida, and there are many unknown members, we don´t know who they are. So there will definitely be a meeting of this council and they will elect a new leader. There has never been a situation like that because Osama Bin Laden was the founder and only leader of al-Qaida. We don´t know if they will announce a new leader, but we will see who will be taking care of the organization. I think Zawahiri will be the de-facto leader of al-Qaida.

Was killing him a huge favor to Bin Laden to turn him into martyr not only a hero to his followers?

I remember when I interviewed him in November 1996 I asked him: What is your greatest wish in life? And he said: „Do die as a martyr and to join my companions in heaven.“ It seems President Obama fulfilled his first wish which is to die as a martyr. The second wish, to go to paradise, I think that is up to God.

To his followers he was a hero since September 11th 2001, he already was „larger than life“ for them, right?

He is adored by his followers, I spent ten days with them. He laughed with them, they look at him very very highly. He is a man from the wealthiest family in the Arab world and he gave up all of this to go and fight in the causes he believed in. He was very humble, sitting with them, eating with them, living a very harsh life. He doesn´t need the Americans to kill him and make him into a hero, no, he is a hero to them for a very long time.

Is it possible for al-Qaida to replace Bin Laden?

He is irreplaceable and was irrelevant at the same time, because he was not actually running the al-Qaida organization. He was a head-figure, a spiritual leader, a ideologist, but regarding the organization it was functioning without him.

Do you think Bin Laden was more a Prophet-figure to us than he was to his followers? They knew he would die but there reason for Jihad will remain.

Osama Bin Laden is a human and one day he will day. The organization has transformed, it is not what it used to be. They have local commanders who judge things and they do not need to consult with Osama Bin Laden before they carry out any attacks or kidnappings. His disappearance will not effect the organization to a huge extent.

Do you think today´s al-Qaida is capable of carrying out a revenge attack?

I believe al-Qaida will organize a huge revenge for their leader. It takes time. Maybe there will be some quick personal revenge by individuals but they will plan for something big. And I think Zawahiri will work on that because Osama Bin Laden was very dear to him and he will not leave it without huge actions.

What do you think about the alleged will of Osama Bin Laden as it was mentioned in the media?

It is fake. It is a Saudi fabrication.

Do you think there is an authentic will?

These people don´t leave wills unless he recorded it. If you remember the 9/11 hijackers, they left wills because they were going for a suicidal mission but I don´t know, maybe he did the same. If there is one, we will see it soon.

Iran macht Jagd auf irakische Piloten

Im Irak machen iranische Agenten und verbündete Milizen Jagd auf irakische Piloten die in den 1980er Jahren am Iran-Irak-Krieg beteiligt waren. Die Wikileaks-Diplomatendepeschen zeigen das Ausmaß dieser Tötungskampagne.

by Florian Flade

Sie führten die menschenverachtenden Befehle Saddam Husseins aus, bombardierten in den 1980er Jahren kurdische Zivilisten und iranische Soldaten mit Giftgas, töteten hunderte, vermutlich tausende Soldaten und Zivilisten im Auftrag des Regimes von Bagdad. Heute müssen die Veteranen der irakischen Luftwaffe selbst um ihr Leben fürchten. Lange nach ihren tödlichen Einsätzen an der Front des Iran-Irakkrieges (1980-1988) und in den Kurdengebieten, üben iranische Todesschwadronen späte Rache an den ehemaligen Kampfpiloten.

Im Irak ist die tödliche Jagd iranischer Agenten und verbündeter Milizen auf irakische Ex-Piloten in vollem Gange. Jene Kampfpiloten, die in den 1980er Jahren Angriffe gegen den Iran flogen, sollen in einem verspäteten Vergeltungsfeldzug zur Strecke gebracht werden. In den jüngst von der Enthüllungsplattform Wikileaks veröffentlichten amerikanischen Diplomatendepeschen findet sich ein erschreckender Hinweis auf den kaum beachteten geheimen Krieg des Iran gegen Iraks Luftwaffenveteranen.

Am 14.Dezember 2009 verfasste die US-Botschaft Bagdad einen Bericht für das Außenministerium in Washington. Darin enthalten ist das Protokoll eines Treffens mit einem irakischen Militärgeheimdienstler, der von geheimen iranischen Kommandoaktionen im Irak berichtet. „“Viele ehemalige irakische Kampfflugzeug-Piloten, die Angriffe gegen den Iran flogen im Zuge des Iran-Irak-Krieges, seien nun auf Irans Abschussliste“, heißt es in der Botschaftsdepesche. Weiter notierte der Verfasser: „Nach Angaben von ____ hat der Iran bereits 180 irakische Piloten gezielt ermordet.“

Seit Jahren ist bekannt, dass Iraks Luftwaffenveteranen des Iran-Irak-Krieges im Fadenkreuz geheimer Todesschwadronen stehen. Dutzende Ex-Piloten fielen den Killern zum Opfer, wer überlebte versuchte das Land zu verlassen. Statistiken des irakischen Verteidigungsministeriums zeigen, dass seit dem Einmarsch der US-Truppen im Jahr 2003 bis zu 800 irakische Luftwaffenoffiziere teilweise mit ihren Familien den Irak aus Angst vor der iranischen Rache verließen.

Im Oktober 2005 tauchten erste Berichte von gezielten Mordaktionen an gezielt jenen irakischen Piloten auf, die am Iran-Irak Krieg beteiligt waren. Innerhalb weniger Wochen wurden damals 36 ehemaligen Kampfpiloten im Bagdader Stadtviertel Karradah ermordet. Anwohner fanden im Laufe des Fastenmonats Ramadan die von Kugeln durchsiebten Leichen der Männer und sprachen daraufhin vom „Schwarzen Ramadan von Karradah“.

Der Nachrichtenagentur AFP berichtete zur selben Zeit ein Ex-Offizier der irakischen Luftwaffe mindestens 23 ehemalige Kampfpiloten seien bislang getötet worden. „Ich gehe nicht mehr aus dem Haus, aus Angst getötet zu werden“, so Ex-Pilot Rabih Ahmad al-Tai aus Tikrit. „Einer meiner Freunde, Major Shamal Ghafuri, wurde bei helllichtem Tag in Bakuba erschossen als er einkaufen war“, erzählte al-Tai, „Ein Freund der bei ihm war – Colonel Jassim Hassan – wurde schwer verletzt.“

Wer hinter den Morden steckt, stand für den ehemaligen Kampfpiloten al-Tai zweifelsfrei fest. Von Iran gesteuerte Gruppen seien für die Piloten-Morde verantwortlich. Iran übe so Vergeltung für die irakischen Luftangriffe der 1980er Jahre. Al-Tai selbst diente als Pilot eines Kampfjets im Iran-Irak-Krieg.

Die irakische Tageszeitung „Azzaman“ meldete im Juni 2006, Irans Geheimdienst „Ministry of Intelligence and Security“ (MOIS) habe die irakischen Sicherheitskräfte infiltriert und nutze Polizei- und Armeeeinheiten um die irakischen Piloten-Veteranen aufzuspüren und zu ermorden. Zudem zahle MOIS alliierten schiitischen Milizen 50,000 US-Dollar für die Ermordung eines irakischen Ex-Piloten der in den 1980er Jahren an der Bombardierung des Iran beteiligt war.

Doch nicht nur Iran und die vom Teheraner Regime unterstützten irakischen Schiiten-Milizen sollen einen Rachefeldzug gegen Luftwaffen-Angehörige eingeleitet haben. Auch die kurdischen Peshmerga-Milizen des Nord-Irak verhafteten und folterten angeblich ehemalige Kampfpiloten, hieß es in irakischen Medien. Mehrere Ex-Piloten starben in Haft, nachdem sie von kurdischen Sicherheitskräften verschleppt worden waren. In einigen Fällen sollen die entführten Männer sogar gegen hohe Geldsummen an iranische Geheimdienstler verkauft worden sein.

Noch vor fünf Jahren, im Oktober 2005, bat eine Delegation von 1000 irakischen Luftwaffenoffizieren, den kurdischen Staatspräsidenten Jalal Talabani um Asyl im Nord-Irak, wo man sich vor den schiitischen Todesschwadronen sicher fühlte. Die politische Führung der irakischen Kurden hatte Saddams Kampfpiloten eine Art Amnestie zugesichert. „Die Piloten haben keine Schuld an den Verbrechen die das frühere Regime verübt hat, sie haben lediglich kriminelle Befehle ausgeführt“, erklärte Talabani damals, „Hätte sie sich dem widersetzt, wäre sie auf der Stelle exekutiert worden.“ In den kurdischen Gebieten des Irak seien die Kampfpiloten in „Sicherheit, unabhängig von ihrer politischen Einstellung.“

Iraks Regierung scheint dem Treiben der iranischen Killerkommandos machtlos gegenüber zu stehen oder diese zu ignorieren. Die arabische Zeitung „Asharq Alawsat“ sprach bereits vor fünf Jahren den damaligem Innenminister der irakischen Übergangsregierung, Bayan Jabr, auf die Mordserie an. „Wie erklären Sie sich die Ermordungen von Piloten und ehemaligen Offizieren die am Irak-Iran-Krieg beteiligt sind?“, fragte die Zeitung den schiitischen Politiker. „Mir sind solche Informationen über die Tötung von Offizieren bekannt“, so die Antwort des Innenministers. Jabr fügte aber gleich hinzufügte: „Wissenschaftler, Physiker und Lehrer werden auch ermordet. Es wird dabei nicht auf ein spezielle Gesellschaftsgruppe abgezielt: alle Teile des irakischen Volkes werden angegriffen.“