December 1, 2005
“There are powers at work in this country about which we have no knowledge.”
– Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II speaking to Paul Burrell, former butler to the late Princess DianaOn July 7, 2005 bombings on the London subway system and a bus killed 52 people and injured 700. As the list of unanswered questions and inconsistencies about the attacks continued to grow, blame was quickly laid on ‘al Qaeda’.
The effects of the London bombings were immediate: There was a renewed commitment by Western leaders to the ‘war on terror’. Most other stories and scandals were wiped off newspaper front pages, including UK Prime Minister Tony Blair’s plummeting popularity.
The bombings occurred while the G8 Summit was going on in nearby Gleneagles, Scotland. It was here the topic of terrorism was beginning to seem tired amid broadening demands for debt cancellation for impoverished countries. US President George Bush’s priority – the ‘war on terror’ – was moving out of the limelight.
Afterwards, with London smoking and bleeding, Bush and Blair were able to stand up tall and look strong as they declared the ‘war on terror’ would be won: “we will prevail and they will not,” and, “we alone are fighting” to defend “the values of Western civilisation.” Terror returned to front and centre and further debt cancellation was forgotten.The bombings were the green light for Tony Blair to introduce draconian anti-terrorism legislation which had previously been thwarted by judicial rulings designed to protect human rights.
Blair said he plans policies for deportation of people who “foster hatred.” Parliament will also be asked to pass a law against “condoning” or “glorifying terrorism” anywhere in the world, and giving the government the power to close places of worship. Lists are to be drawn up of ‘extremist’ websites, bookshops and centres.
A clampdown on words or actions likely to be seen as ‘glorifying terrorism’ could affect groups and individuals unconnected to ‘Islamic extremism’ – animal rights activists, for example, may have to change much of what they write if they are not to fall foul of the legislation. British MP George Galloway, a vocal supporter of the Iraqi resistance movement, could be charged under the new law because the government has demonised the resistance as ‘terrorists’.
Australian Prime Minister John Howard also announced a similar review to ‘tighten up’ anti-terrorism legislation.
Who was ultimately responsible for the July 7 bombings remains a mystery. But authorities seemed to know who was behind it soon after the attack. London Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair had already made up his mind when he said the investigation into the bombs will uncover a “clear al Qaeda link.”
Responding to news of the July 7 bombings, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, who heads Iran’s top legislative watchdog the Guardian Council, said the British had themselves to blame.
“One possible set of culprits is al Qaeda. But al Qaeda is Bush and Blair. Who launched al Qaeda? You must be tried, you who are the mothers of al Qaeda,” he told worshippers at Friday prayers in Tehran.
“The other likelihood is that the British regime may have carried out the attack itself… because it benefits most… They want to justify their presence in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he added.
July 7 Anomalies
Independent researchers across the world have uncovered information which contradicts the official version of events and points to the involvement of intelligence agencies in the bombings.
Hardly any mainstream media picked up the news that ‘bombing exercises’ were being conducted in the London Underground at the same time as the actual attack.
Only hours after the July 7 bombings, in an interview on BBC radio, Peter Power, Managing Director of Visor Consultants, made the extraordinary admission that at precisely the time the London bombings took place, his company was running an exercise which drilled the London Underground being bombed at the exact same locations, at the exact same times, as happened in real life on July 7. Visor Consultants is a “crisis management advice company” or PR firm.
Power said the drill focused around “simultaneous bombings.” Originally the London bombings were thought to have been spread over an hour, but later it was revealed they were in fact simultaneous. Also, they were easier to execute as Britain’s terror alert level had just been lowered.
“We had to suddenly switch an exercise from fictional to real,” said Power who is a former Scotland Yard official, working at one time with the Anti Terrorist Branch.
Responding to a deluge of emails after his admission, Power strenuously denies any truth to “conspiracy theories” tying his company to the attacks, but he does confirm the exercise involved a “short number of ‘walk through’ scenarios for a private company in London as part of a wider project that remains confidential.”
Some investigators suspicious of Visor Consultants suggest the company might have released information to the media that the bombings were a power surge. For the first hour this was the explanation given, and one that would give authorities time to manage the release of information about the explosions. Power has been hired by the British government before and has on previous occasions released information after terrorist incidents in London. This is all too close to dismiss as simply coincidence.
A news report which almost went unnoticed hints intelligence agencies had prior knowledge of the attacks.
Arutz Sheva, pegged as Israel’s national news Internet site, stated on the day of the July 7 bombing: “Army Radio quoting unconfirmed reliable sources reported a short time ago that Scotland Yard had intelligence warnings of the attacks a short time before they occurred. The Israeli Embassy in London was notified in advance, resulting in Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu remaining in his hotel room rather than make his way to the hotel adjacent to the site of the first explosion, a Liverpool Street train station, where he was to address an economic summit.”
This report was subsequently refuted and changed to say Netanyahu was warned after the first blast.
The importance of Visor Consultant’s training exercise cannot be understated because the exact same scenario played out in the United States on the morning of September 11, 2001.
The Pentagon and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) conducted drills involving multiple hijacked planes on the morning of September 11, 2001. And in what the US government called “a bizarre coincidence,” the US National Reconnaissance Office had planned an exercise for September 11 in which an errant aircraft would crash into an office tower. American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon, took off from Dulles at 8:10 AM on September 11 – 50 minutes before the exercise was said to begin.
On the morning of 9-11, NORAD radar screens showed as many as 22 hijacked airliners at the same time, but they had been briefed this was part of the exercise drill and therefore normal reactive procedure was forestalled and delayed. The two scenarios are comparable in that it is a tried and tested method of navigating around everyday security services, and, more importantly, if the perpetrators get caught during the attack or after with any incriminating evidence, they can just claim they were taking part in an exercise.
What are the odds of coincidental ‘drills’ going on at the exact same time real life events were taking so many human lives in two terrorist attacks?
We are also faced with the scenario of four men, one of whom had a new family, and another whose wife was pregnant, carrying bombs set on timers and calmly waiting for them to explode.
A statement issued by the family of the so-called “fourth suicide bomber”, Jamaican-born British resident Germaine Lindsay, said he “had a kind, caring and calming presence about him.”
“He was a good and loving husband and a brilliant father, who showed absolutely no sign of doing this atrocious crime. We as a family had no idea of his plans and are as horrified as the rest of the world.”
The incongruities of the case have already prompted even some official investigators to suggest the men were not ‘suicide bombers’ but may have been duped by their “al Qaeda handler” into believing they would only place the explosive devices and not be killed in the blast. But it also makes sense if the men thought they were carrying fake bombs as part of a terror drill.
Lending weight to this theory is the fact all four men had paid up their parking tickets before boarding a train at Luton for King’s Cross and they all bought return tickets to the capital.
The lack of video taped evidence revealing the alleged bombers’ movements is also suspicious. Every London bus and Underground train carriage is said to have multiple video cameras, but the one on the bombed bus apparently “malfunctioned.” Videos of the other men have not been made available, only a few grainy images of the men at the start of their journey boarding the train at Luton.
Another piece of the jigsaw being pieced together by independent investigators is the testimony of 32 year-old dance instructor Bruce Lait, who was just metres away when a bomb ripped through his train carriage. He miraculously escaped with only minor injuries.
Speaking from his hospital bed in an interview with the British newspaper Cambridge Evening News of July 25, Lait recounts what happened after the bomb went off and how a policeman helped him out of the carriage, adding that, “The policeman said ‘mind that hole, that’s where the bomb was’. The metal was pushed upwards as if the bomb was underneath the train. They seem to think the bomb was left in a bag, but I don’t remember anybody being where the bomb was, or any bag.”
Then on July 21, two weeks after the July 7 bombings, four attempted bomb attacks disrupted part of London’s public transport system. By July 29, police had arrested all four of the main bombing suspects and numerous other people.
The July 21 attacks were immediately linked to the previous bombings, however it is has now been established there was no connection between the men involved in both attacks.
The police operation that quickly rounded up all the suspects of the copycat July 21 attack succeeded in monopolising media coverage and taking attention away from growing doubts about the official version of the July 7 bombings.
Hamdi Issac, one of the July 21 bomb suspects held in custody in Rome, says his backpack contained only flour and was designed merely to frighten. This explains why the so-called bombs let off a small bang followed by some smoke smouldering from their backpacks. According to Italian daily La Repubblica, he claims not to have planned to kill anybody in the attack, “let alone myself.” He added that the July 7 bombings in London, “happens every day in Iraq.”
The difference between the two bomb attacks could not be starker. The bombers of July 7 are all dead and police have made no arrests of significance in connection with it. The attacks of July 21 led to the arrest of all those directly involved including dozens of people who supposedly are ‘connected’.
Perhaps one of the biggest indicators of an intelligence agency link to the July 7 bombings is the revelation that Haroon Rashid Aswat – allegedly the “mastermind” of the attacks – is controlled by MI6, Britain’s external security service.
Speaking on July 29 to Fox News channel, former US Justice Department prosecutor and terrorism expert John Loftus discussed Aswat’s relationship to British and US intelligence, through a British based organisation Al Muhajiroun.
Loftus added that, “the entire British police are out chasing him [Aswat], and one wing of the British government, MI6 or the British Secret Service, has been hiding him…” Loftus adds that Aswat’s role as an informer or a ‘double agent’ had protected him from being arrested by the CIA because he “was working for British intelligence.”
Arresting and putting Aswat on trial in a secret tribunal for organising the July 7 attacks could be turned into a two fold victory for the intelligence agencies: al Qaeda is proved to be responsible, and a blowback remnant and potential whistleblower from their past operations is taken out of circulation.
Space does not permit a full accounting of Britain’s creation and manipulation of certain so-called ‘Islamic’ organisations in the late 19th and early 20th century. Close to a century ago the British began cultivating Islamic groups to counter the rising tide of Arab nationalism which demanded independence from colonialism. Suffice to say, as masters of political manoeuvring and intrigue, British geostrategists have for many years struggled to control events in the oil rich Middle East.
Up until recently, this strategy allowed a flood of ‘Islamists’ from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Palestine, to live in Britain, a safe haven where they could further promote their various causes.
By the 1980s and 90s, foreign intelligence services were complaining about the policy. The French were particularly incensed, tracing the origin of the 1995 bombings of the Paris Metro to cells operating, with apparent impunity, from London.
The Russians repeatedly expressed displeasure over Britain providing asylum for Chechen separatists, which they say is a double standard in the fight against terrorism. Two of the terrorists behind the massacre of 300 people, half of them children, in Beslan, Russia in 2004, were British citizens.
It is well known that for more than two centuries, the West has been engaged in breaking up – or thwarting – the presence and extension of Russian influence southward to the Black Sea and beyond. Destabilising the Russian republic of Chechnya is a key aspect of this strategy, part of the ‘New Great Game’.
The New Statesman revealed in December 2002 that, even a year after September 11, Britain was still seen as excessively tolerant. In a cover piece entitled ‘Londonistan’, the Statesman quoted European and American officials as suggesting the UK “had come to a non-aggression pact with Islamist oppositionists dating back to the mujahedin rebellion against the Soviet-backed regime in Afghanistan”: a deal that might explain British immunity from ‘Islamic’ attacks.
Years before September 11 there were calls for Britain to give up harbouring certain groups, but these pleas fell on deaf ears.
Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, at the 1997 summit of the Organisation of Islamic Conference decried “Western democracies,” meaning in this case, Britain, which “give refuge to those of our people who promote disruptive activities in our countries,” even while accusing Islamic nations of promoting “terrorism.”
The ‘Islamic Group’ that claimed credit for the November 1997 shootings in Luxor, Egypt which killed over 60 people, mostly foreign tourists, had its international headquarters in London.
Al Ahram, the Egyptian government daily, in a feature entitled ‘How Can We Surround and Extradite London’s Lords of Terror?’ published on December 7, 1997, documents how London became an “Islamic” terrorist haven following the war in Afghanistan, when “legions” of unemployed mujahideen, who had been drawn to Afghanistan from all over the Muslim world, flocked to London for protection, and for new assignments.
Al Ahram quotes an unnamed security source, in its analysis of British motives in making London the “world’s terror capital,” which partially describes the thinking of British intelligence. “The British expect to reap a great advantage through controlling the most dangerous terrorists on its soil,” it quotes the source as saying.
“Through this logic,” the source continues, “British intelligence works contrary to all its counterparts in the world. The information British intelligence has acquired about these groups and its members, is an invaluable card, which it can use to either negotiate, or put pressure on, Middle East states.”
Al Ahram adds that part of the purpose is to manipulate these groups and take them over, on behalf of British geopolitical aims.
Al Ahram’s source concludes: “London’s ‘permanent interests’ have always converged with the lords of terrorism who live in Britain, and who never underestimate what their existence represents for British interests.’’
After September 11, French intelligence officials again angrily accused Britain’s internal security agency MI5 of failing to cooperate in stifling ‘Islamic’ terrorist groups. The level of assistance received from British intelligence in tracking down terror cells was described as being worse than before September 11.
The mid-1990s witnessed a series of vicious wars that led to the break up of Yugoslavia. The Pakistan-based militant group Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HUA) was one of the many organisations to send a contingent to help Bosnian Muslims in their fight against the Serbs. They were sent by the Pakistan government of Benazir Bhutto at the request of the US administration under Bill Clinton.
The contingent, which was raised and trained by Lieutenant General (retired) Hamid Gul, former director general of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), included a large number of British Muslims of Pakistani origin.
According to estimates, about 200 Muslims of Pakistani origin living in the UK went to Pakistan, received training in the camps of the HUA, and joined the HUA in Bosnia with the blessings of London and Washington. Among them was Omar Sheikh, who went on to mastermind the murder of US journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002.
In the late 1990s, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) also attracted many foreign fighters, encouraged by an outpouring of Western support to help defeat an alleged Serbian genocide. One of those fighters was David Hicks, who is now locked up in the Guantanamo Bay prison camp.
In Crossing The Rubicon, investigative journalist Mike Ruppert notes: “Great Britain – one of the major players supporting the KLA in Kosovo – also maintained secret relationships with bin Laden… In 1996, Britain’s exterior intelligence, MI6, actually funded and worked with al Qaeda in a plot to assassinate and overthrow Libya’s Muammar Qadhafi. Details of the relationship emerged after a British domestic intelligence (MI5) officer, David Shayler, went public with documents detailing the relationship between Britain and bin Laden.”
A decade before Bosnia and Kosovo, the West had raised and funded a large corps of fighters – including Osama bin Laden – to help the mujahideen in their jihad against Soviet troops in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Most of these ‘Freedom Fighters’ returned home, but many remained under Western intelligence agency control. Some were soon redeployed to North Africa and the Middle East, to carry out terrorist actions ascribed to ‘Islamic terrorist groups’, on behalf of Western geopolitical aims.
Question is: Are some of these fighters participating in the ‘war on terrorism’, and who do they work for?
After September 11, terrorism suddenly became enemy number one. The threat was conflated into the proportions of an alien invasion. However, whether it was real or not, the powers-that-be promptly took advantage of the terrorist bogeyman.
Armies could be mobilised against any country alleged to be ‘harbouring’ the new terrorist enemy (ie. Afghanistan and Iraq). An elusive enemy could strike anywhere at anytime, which meant sacrifices at home (anti-terrorism laws).
Such an enemy of vague and ambiguous proportions could be easily stage-managed. It is now irrelevant whether Osama bin Laden is alive or dead, or that he controls an actual organisation with certain objectives. The myth is born. And now those with real power – military force and ‘informational dominance’ – easily direct the outcome of the new game.
With ‘jihadists’ on the loose worldwide, we would expect to see many attacks. Instead, despite the mainstream media’s duplicity, since September 11 the Western world has witnessed only a few spectacular attacks supposedly carried out by small groups ‘connected’ to ‘al Qaeda’.
With great fanfare in the corporate controlled press, large numbers of Muslims have been rounded up in raids across Britain, Europe, the US, and Australia. But most were later released and no one has been proven to be an ‘al Qaeda’ operative. For example, following the well publicised ‘ricin affair’ in the UK in January 2003, it was later established there was no ‘ricin’, no ‘cell’, and no ‘al Qaeda’ connection.
The independent British journalist William Bowles notes that, “with hundreds arrested under anti-terror laws but not a single conviction of anyone actually proved as being a member of al Qaeda or even being caught red-handed with a bomb, it’s safe to assume that it’s unlikely al Qaeda actually exists as an effective organisation, let alone operates an ‘international terror network’.”
Statements of responsibility made in the name of ‘al Qaeda’ or the fact an individual claims to be acting on behalf of it (after being ‘softened up’ at a secret prison camp), does not prove such an organisation exists.
Official briefings about terrorism, often unverified or unverifiable by journalists, have become dramatic press stories. Few of these ominous announcements are retracted if they turn out to be baseless. Almost no one questions the myth of ‘al Qaeda’ because so many people have got an interest in keeping it alive.
It is not too difficult to understand the relative ease in which intelligence agencies, with all their financial and information resources, can manipulate data (as we saw in the recent WMD justification for war on Iraq) and people to achieve objectives.
Is the ‘war on terror’ running a little flat? Let’s raid the homes of some Muslims and then leak to the press that ‘Muslim extremists’ were planning ‘terrorist attacks’ on Australia’s Sydney’s Opera House and Harbour Bridge (such raids actually occurred in Melbourne on June 22). What’s even better, the families whose homes were raided are prevented from speaking out by new anti-terrorism laws.
Thus, we never know if the raids prevented a terrorist plot or they were a publicity stunt for the ‘war on terror’. But headlines have the desired effect, the not so subtle reminder there’s a ‘war’ going on and it might one day come to your home, your office, or your child’s school – just as it did to commuters in London on July 7.
Can we say the cause of Islam benefits from terrorist attacks that kill civilians? No, of course not. The beneficiaries are governments who can ‘justifiably’ continue to support Bush’s ‘war on terror’ (which enriches the military-industrial complex) and introduce long sought laws that curtail civil liberties and limit dissent.
In London today they are now implementing intrusive surveillance and policing of Muslims and the Muslim community. The attacks have justified the introduction of ID cards, which will hold substantial personal information.
New ‘anti-terror’ laws being rushed through the UK Parliament include rules allowing the government to impose curfews and the electronic tagging of people suspected of terrorism.
A Phoney ‘War on Terror’
It goes without saying that the overwhelmingly majority of Muslim organisations are entirely legitimate and also it cannot be assumed that all groups cited in this article are simply the products of Western intelligence. What the evidence reveals is that intelligence agencies have tirelessly worked to infiltrate groups of all political and religious persuasions in an effort to achieve their objectives.
The use of agent provocateurs is a well established method that many states still use against their perceived enemies. It would be child’s play for well established spy agencies such as Britain’s MI6, America’s CIA, and Israel’s Mossad to control ‘al Qaeda’, which barely exists at all, except as an idea or a myth about cleansing a corrupt world through religious violence.
Much of the currently perceived threat from international terrorism, argues the recent TV documentary ‘The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear’, “is a fantasy that has been exaggerated and distorted by politicians. It is a dark illusion that has spread unquestioned through governments around the world, the security services, and the international media.”
“In an age when all the grand ideas have lost credibility, fear of a phantom enemy is all the politicians have left to maintain their power,” it says. A perpetual war against an invisible and entirely fictitious enemy.
Five continuous years of a ‘war on terrorism’ past the point of no return have left the line between fabricated (intelligence agency-orchestrated) terrorism and any ‘real’ terrorism (a response to the provocations and policies) irrevocably blurred.
As a willing partner in this enterprise, the mainstream media has distorted the truth by ‘pre-packaging’ language in a way that paints the world into black (‘terrorist’) and white (‘us’). Shades of grey (where truth and reality normally reside) are difficult to describe in just a few words. Terms such as ‘terrorist’, ‘act of terror’, ‘fundamentalism’ or ‘threat’ act as familiar signposts for the public, to be regurgitated in social discourse without any knowledge of the semantic meaning of the language being employed.
George Orwell warned that an individual’s thought processes were undermined by what he disparaging termed ‘journalese’ or ‘officialese’. When an individual becomes a slave to official jargon they are, in a sense, gagged. Individuals are prone to use ‘officialese’ and follow the ‘mindless thought grooves’ which, in Orwell’s opinion, could easily be replaced with more accurate and thoughtful terms.
In George Orwell’s classic novel 1984, the totalitarian state of Oceania is perpetually at war with either Eurasia or Eastasia. Although the enemy changes periodically, the war is permanent; its true purpose is to control dissent and sustain dictatorship by nurturing popular fear and hatred.
Newspeak, the “official language” of Oceania, reduced the number and variety of words in use to render dissenting thought obsolete. Closely related to Newspeak is Doublethink, in which someone is conditioned to either say the opposite of what he thinks or think the opposite of what is true.
By the devious abuse of language and spreading the fear of more terrorist attacks, the government and the corporate media are numbing us into blindly accepting the emerging totalitarian state.