The New York Times reports the attack on the Splendid Hotel in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso was organized by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the leader of al-Mourabitoun.
— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 16, 2016
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb reportedly admitted responsibility for the attack in a statement posted on an encrypted telephone app, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.
The mention of the encrypted app is pertinent considering the frontal assault the US government is waging against the technology.
SITE consists of Rita Katz and two “senior advisers,” one of whom is Bruce Hoffman, the Corporate Chair in Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency at the RAND Corporation and former director of the RAND’s Washington DC office.
In addition to receiving funding from the U.S. government, SITE has worked closely with the FBI. The FBI specializes in fabricating domestic terror plots.
Remarkably, the insider group “uncannily secures terrorist statements and videos well before the US’s wide array of lavishly-funded intelligence services,” writes James F. Tracy.
Mokhtar Belmokhtar’s Shady Connections
The last time we heard from Mokhtar Belmokhtar he was leading an attack on a gas complex in Algeria. At least 39 foreign hostages were killed along with an Algerian security guard after Algerian special forces raided the Tigantourine gas facility near In Amenas, Algeria.
Belmokhtar was recruited and trained by the CIA in Afghanistan. He was an “Afghan Arab” recruit from North Africa and fought with the CIA and Pakistan ISI (Inter Services Intelligence) Mujahideen that would later splinter into al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Following the deadly Afghan civil war that claimed nearly a half million lives, Belmokhtar returned to Algeria in 1993 and joined the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC).
The GSPC was purportedly founded by Hassan Hattab, a former Groupe Islamique Armé (GIA) commander. Mohammed Samraoui, the Algerian army’s deputy chief counterintelligence specialist, claims GSPC was established by the Algerian army in an attempt to weaken and destroy the moderate Islamic Salvation Front, an Islamist political party poised to take power in Algeria’s elections. GSPC members were recruited by Algerian intelligence upon returning from the jihad in Afghanistan.
In 2007, the GSPC changed its name to the Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and aligned itself with the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). In November 2007, al-Qaeda second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri released an audio announcing that the LIFG had joined al-Qaeda.
“Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb from the outset in 2007 had established a close relationship to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, whose leaders had also been trained and recruited in Afghanistan by the CIA,” writes Michel Chossudovsky. “The LIFG is supported covertly by the CIA and Britain’s MI6.”
According to an MI6 document, British intelligence knew of a LIFG plot to assassinate Gaddafi in 1995 involving “Libya veterans who served in Afghanistan.” The report was given credibility by the fact British authorities allowed LIFG members living in the U.K. to engage in activities supporting the organization despite its official declaration as a terrorist group.
In addition to support from U.S. and British intelligence, AQIM and other Salafist groups in Africa received support from Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The intelligence organization DGSE to the French Defense Ministry mentioned in a report Qatar’s support for terrorism in northern Mali.
Algeria’s prime minister, Abdelmalek Sellal, said the In Amenas Gas plant attack in the Sahara “included two Canadians and a team of explosives experts who had memorized the layout of the sprawling complex and were ready to blow the place sky-high,” the CBC reported.
Belmokhtar was reportedly killed on at least two occasions—by the the Chadian Army in 2013 at a terrorist base in Mali and the following year during a U.S. airstrike inside Libya.
Dead terrorists have a remarkable Lazarus-like ability to rise from the dead and strike again, the most notable being the mercurial Abu Musab al-Zarqawi who was killed several times.
The Pentagon admitted al-Zarqawi was little more than a PSYOP that had “raised his profile in a way that some military intelligence officials believe may have overstated his importance and helped the Bush Administration tie the war to the organization responsible for the September 11 terrorist attacks.”
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