feb 072017
 

Officially known as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, SEAL Team 6 is today the most celebrated of the U.S. military’s special mission units. But hidden behind the heroic narratives is a darker, more troubling story of “revenge ops,” unjustified killings, mutilations, and other atrocities — a pattern of criminal violence that emerged soon after the Afghan war began and was tolerated and covered up by the command’s leadership. 1 THE WEDDING PARTY MASSACRE ON THE AFTERNOON of March 6, [lees verder]

feb 072017
 

A stunning new exposé published today in The Intercept about the elite military unit SEAL Team 6 reveals a darker side of the group best known for killing Osama bin Laden. National security reporter Matthew Cole spent two years investigating accounts of ghastly atrocities committed by members of the unit, including mutilating corpses, skinnings and attempted beheadings. According to sources, senior command staff were aware of the misconduct but did little to stop it—and often helped to cover it up. [lees verder]

okt 232015
 

An intelligence assessment drafted by the CIA months prior to the March 2003 US invasion of Iraq asserting that Saddam Hussein harbored an active weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) cache has been thoroughly debunked time and again. But even after the deaths of more than 4,000 US soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, CIA officials have never publicly taken responsibility for getting the pre-war intelligence so wrong. Former CIA deputy director Michael Morell, however, now owns up to [lees verder]

okt 232015
 

WASHINGTON — As the war in Iraq deteriorated, a senior American intelligence analyst went public in 2005 and criticized President George W. Bush’s administration for pushing “amateurish and unrealistic” plans for the invasion two years before. Now that same man, Gregory Hooker, is at the center of an insurrection of United States Central Command intelligence analysts over America’s latest war in Iraq, and whether Congress, policy makers and the public are being given too rosy a picture of the situation. [lees verder]

aug 262015
 

A former Pentagon intelligence chief, Iraqi government sources, and a retired career US diplomat reveal US complicity in the rise of ISIS A new memoir by a former senior State Department analyst provides stunning details on how decades of support for Islamist militants linked to Osama bin Laden brought about the emergence of the ‘Islamic State’ (ISIS). The book establishes a crucial context for recent admissions by Michael T. Flynn, the retired head of the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), [lees verder]

aug 262015
 

WASHINGTON (AP) — After billions of dollars spent and more than 10,000 extremist fighters killed, the Islamic State group is fundamentally no weaker than it was when the U.S.-led bombing campaign began a year ago, American intelligence agencies have concluded. U.S. military commanders on the ground aren’t disputing the assessment, but they point to an upcoming effort to clear the important Sunni city of Ramadi, which fell to the militants in May, as a crucial milestone. The battle for Ramadi, [lees verder]

aug 262015
 

WASHINGTON — In the spring of 2010, Afghan officials struck a deal to free an Afghan diplomat held hostage by Al Qaeda. But the price was steep — $5 million — and senior security officials were scrambling to come up with the money. They first turned to a secret fund that the Central Intelligence Agency bankrolled with monthly cash deliveries to the presidential palace in Kabul, according to several Afghan officials involved in the episode. The Afghan government, they said, [lees verder]

aug 262015
 

Washington (CNN) An ISIS fighter who calls for jihad in a new online video was trained in counterterrorism tactics on American soil, in a program run by the United States, officials tell CNN. The video features a former police commander from Tajikistan named Col. Gulmurod Khalimov. He appears in black ISIS garb with a sniper rifle and a bandolier of ammunition. He says in the video that he participated in programs on U.S. soil three times, at least one of [lees verder]

aug 262015
 

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon’s inspector general is investigating allegations that military officials have skewed intelligence assessments about the United States-led campaign in Iraq against the Islamic State to provide a more optimistic account of progress, according to several officials familiar with the inquiry. The investigation began after at least one civilian Defense Intelligence Agency analyst told the authorities that he had evidence that officials at United States Central Command — the military headquarters overseeing the American bombing campaign and other [lees verder]

aug 262015
 

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) does not pose the biggest threat to the U.S., according to a former leader of the CIA. It isn’t even in the top three. “Despite that significant threat from ISIS, it is not the most significant threat to the homeland today,” former CIA deputy and acting Director Michael Morell said on Monday. “The most significant threat to the homeland today still comes from al Qaeda and three al Qaeda groups in particular.” [lees verder]

aug 262015
 

Almost three years ago the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) of the U.S. Dept of Defense accurately characterized the conflict in Syria and predicted the emergence of the Islamic State. This stunning revelation has emerged as a result of a Freedom of Information Act law suit filed by Judicial Watch in connection with the House Select Committee on Benghazi. The heavily redacted August 2012 seven page intelligence report reveals the following: 1. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) confirmed the sectarian core of [lees verder]

aug 262015
 

A year ago this month, fighters from the self-proclaimed Islamic State declared they had established a caliphate in the territories they controlled in Iraq and Syria. Since then, the Islamic State has continued to grow, building affiliates from Afghanistan to West Africa while recruiting new members from across the globe. In response, President Obama has sent thousands of U.S. troops back to Iraq. The deployment of another 450 troops was announced on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the rise of the Islamic State [lees verder]

aug 262015
 

CONFRONTING THE ‘CALIPHATE’ | This is part of an occasional series about the rise of the Islamic State militant group, its implications for the Middle East, and efforts by the U.S. government and others to undermine it. Hear from the man responsible for one of the most controversial counter-messaging videos produced by the U.S. State Department. EDITOR’S NOTE: The Washington Post has blurred the graphic images from the State Department video. (The Washington Post) As fighters surged into Syria last [lees verder]

aug 262015
 

A former intelligence officer for the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was the mastermind behind Islamic State’s takeover of northern Syria, according to a report by Der Spiegel that is based on documents uncovered by the German magazine. Spiegel, in a lengthy story published at the weekend and entitled “Secret Files Reveal the Structure of Islamic State”, says it gained access to 31 pages of handwritten charts, lists and schedules which amount to a blueprint for the establishment of a [lees verder]

aug 262015
 

Der Spitzel-Führer des “Islamischen Staates” Er entwarf den Masterplan zur Machtübernahme in Syrien, baute ein Spitzelnetz auf, installierte den selbst ernannten Kalifen: Haji Bakr war der wichtigste IS-Stratege, die Religion nutzte er nur als Mittel zum Zweck. Der SPIEGEL hat seine Geheimdokumente ausgewertet. Die meisten kannten ihn als den Mann mit dem weißen Bart, manche als den mit dem schwarzen Bart. Der örtliche Rebellenkommandeur erinnerte sich an ihn unter dem Namen “Schweib”, zuständig für die Waffenbeschaffung. Einer der örtlichen politischen [lees verder]

jul 272015
 

In 2004, with the war in Iraq going from bad to worse, the US drafted in a veteran of Central America’s dirty wars to help set up a new force to fight the insurgency. The result: secret detention centres, torture and a spiral into sectarian carnage An exclusive golf course backs onto a spacious two-storey house. A coiled green garden hose lies on the lawn. The grey-slatted wooden shutters are closed. And, like the other deserted luxury houses in this [lees verder]

jul 272015
 

BEIRUT — The talk now is all about whether Syria and Iraq will end up as divided states. The impetus for such speculation derives firstly from the latest Saudi, Qatari and Turkish joint resolve to mount huge numbers of jihadists on Syria’s borders. According to two senior political figures I spoke to, up to 10,000+ Wahhabist/Salafists (predominantly An-Nusra/Al Qaeda) have been gathered by the intelligence services of these latter states, mostly non-Arabs from Chechnya, Turkmenistan, etc. Plainly, Washington is aware [lees verder]

apr 082015
 

Iraq’s vice-president for reconciliation says air strikes alongside failure to reconcile Shias and Sunnis may drive more tribes to join jihadis Bombing in Kobani, Syria From the air, things appear to be going well for the US-led coalition that has dropped more than 1,700 bombs on Islamic State (Isis) targets in Iraq and Syria, scattering the terror group in some areas and slowing its momentum in others. But the view on the ground tells a different story, officials and tribal [lees verder]

apr 082015
 

(New York) – Militias, volunteer fighters, and Iraqi security forces engaged in deliberate destruction of civilian property after these forces, following US and Iraqi air strikes, forced the retreat of Islamic State fighters (also known as ISIS) from the town of Amerli and surrounding areas in early September 2014, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Iraqi government should rein in the militias and countries participating in the fight against ISIS, including the United States and Iran, [lees verder]

apr 082015
 

Thirteen years ago, the intelligence community concluded in a 93-page classified document used to justify the invasion of Iraq that it lacked “specific information” on “many key aspects” of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs. But that’s not what top Bush administration officials said during their campaign to sell the war to the American public. Those officials, citing the same classified document, asserted with no uncertainty that Iraq was actively pursuing nuclear weapons, concealing a vast [lees verder]