Difficult employee … You never answer the phone — Moktar Belmoktar (29 May 2013) …item 2.. Journalist or Arab Propagandist? — Abdul Bari Atwan (Published: June 8, 2013) …
Image by marsmet548
First and foremost, they quibble over the amount of money raised by the 2008 kidnapping of Canadian diplomat Robert Fowler, the highest-ranking United Nations official in Niger, and his colleague. Belmoktar’s men held both for four months, and in a book he later published, Fowler said he did not know if a ransom was paid.
……..*****All images are copyrighted by their respective authors ………
… marsmet548 photo … Black text on white background …
Thursday, April 3, 2014
…..item 1)…. ‘You never answer the phone, you never file your expenses and don’t follow instructions’: The written warning sent out to a difficult worker… by AL QAEDA (which prompted Moktar Belmoktar to quit and carry out his own atrocities) …
… Mail Online – Daily Mail … www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ …
… Al-Qaida letter found in building formerly occupied by Islamist fighters in Mali
… It reveals how local leadership was unhappy with Belmoktar’s attitude
… Belmoktar subsequently quit and launched two massive terror attacks
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
PUBLISHED: 04:21 EST, 29 May 2013 | UPDATED: 05:15 EST, 29 May 2013
It reads like a written warning to a worker facing disciplinary proceedings. In page after page, bosses accuse him of failing to answer his phone, failing to turn in expense reports, ignoring meetings and refusing to carry out orders.
But the recipient of the letter was not your typical corporate employee: it was international terrorist Moktar Belmoktar. And the sender? Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the terror group’s North African branch.
Most scathing of all, the group’s chiefs claimed Belmoktar had failed to carry out a single spectacular operation, despite the resources at his disposal.
img code photo … Difficult employee
Difficult employee: This undated image purports to show terrorist leader Moktar Belmoktar, whose insubordination prompted al-Qaida superiors to send him a scathing letter detailing his failures
Belmoktar responded the way talented employees with bruised egos have in corporations the world over: He quit and formed his own competing group.
Within months, he carried out two lethal operations that killed 101 people in all: one of the largest hostage-takings in history at a BP-operated gas plant in Algeria in January, and simultaneous bombings at a military base and a French uranium mine in Niger just last week.
The Al Qaeda letter, found by The Associated Press inside a building formerly occupied by their fighters in Mali, is an intimate window into the ascent of an extremely ambitious terrorist leader, who split off from regional command because he wanted to be directly in touch with Al Qaeda central.
It’s a glimpse into both the inner workings of a highly structured terrorist organisation that requires its commanders to file monthly expense reports, and the internal dissent that led to Belmoktar’s rise.
And it reveals a terrorism landscape where charismatic jihadists can carry out attacks directly in Al Qaeda’s name, regardless of whether they are under its command.
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Rudolph Atallah, the former head of counter-terrorism for Africa at the Pentagon and one of three experts who authenticated the 10-page letter dated October 3, said it helps explain what happened in Algeria and Niger, both attacks for which Belmoktar claimed credit on jihadist forums.
‘He’s sending a message directly north to his former bosses in Algeria saying, "I’m a jihadi. I deserve to be separate from you.",’ said Mr Atallah.
‘And he’s also sending a message to Al Qaeda, saying, "See, those bozos in the north are incompetent. You can talk to me directly." And in these attacks, he drew a lot of attention to himself.’
Born in northern Algeria, the 40-something Belmoktar travelled to Afghanistan at the age of 19, according to his online biography. He claims he lost an eye in battle and trained in Al Qaeda’s camps, forging ties that would allow him two decades later to split off from its regional chapter.
Over the years, there have been numerous reports of Belmoktar being sidelined or expelled by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. The letter recovered in Timbuktu, one of thousands of pages of internal documents in Arabic found by the AP earlier this year, shows he stayed loyal to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, until last year, and traces the history of their difficult relationship.
img code photo … Striking out on his own
Striking out on his own: Algerian firemen carry a coffin containing the body of a person killed during the gas facility hostage taking carried out by Islamist fighters loyal to Belmoktar in Ain Amenas, Algeria, in January
img code photo … Atrocity
Atrocity: Algerian soldiers and officials stand in front of the BP-operated gas plant where over 600 people were kidnapped and held hostage by Belmoktar’s men, who killed 37 of them
The letter, signed by the group’s 14-member Shura Council, or governing body, describes its relationship with Belmoktar as ‘a bleeding wound,’ and criticises his proposal to resign and start his own group.
‘Your letter … contained some amount of backbiting, name-calling and sneering,’ they write. ‘We refrained from wading into this battle in the past out of a hope that the crooked could be straightened by the easiest and softest means. … But the wound continued to bleed, and in fact increasingly bled, until your last letter arrived, ending any hope of staunching the wound and healing it.’
img code photo … Canadian diplomat Robert Fowler, pictured in 2000
Quibbles: Canadian diplomat Robert Fowler, pictured in 2000, whose 2008 abduction by Belmoktar’s men was a major bone of contention in the letter
They go on to compare their group to a towering mountain before raging storms and pounding waves, and say Belmoktar’s plan ‘threatens to fragment the being of the organisation and tear it apart limb by limb.’
‘Abu Abbas is not willing to follow anyone,’ they write, referring to him by his nom de guerre, Khaled Abu Abbas. ‘He is only willing to be followed and obeyed.’
First and foremost, they quibble over the amount of money raised by the 2008 kidnapping of Canadian diplomat Robert Fowler, the highest-ranking United Nations official in Niger, and his colleague.
Belmoktar’s men held both for four months, and in a book he later published, Fowler said he did not know if a ransom was paid.
The letter says they referred the case to al-Qaida central to force concessions in the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan, a plan stymied when Belmoktar struck his own deal for €700,000 (about 0,000) for both men. That’s well below the million per hostage that European governments were normally paying, according to global intelligence unit Stratfor.
‘Rather than walking alongside us in the plan we outlined, he managed the case as he liked,’ they write indignantly. ‘Here we must ask, who handled this important abduction poorly? … Does it come from the unilateral behaviour along the lines of our brother Abu Abbas, which produced a blatant inadequacy: Trading the weightiest case (Canadian diplomats!!) for the most meagre price (€700,000)!!’
The complaint reflects how Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, initially considered one of the group’s weaker wings, rose to prominence by bankrolling its operation with an estimated million raised by kidnapping foreign aid workers and tourists for ransom. No less than Osama bin Laden endorsed their business model, according to documents retrieved in the terror leader’s hideout in Pakistan.
The letter also confirms for the first time that payments from European governments went directly toward buying arms to carry out attacks against Western targets, as long speculated by experts. The council chides Belmoktar for not following this practice.
‘(The chapter) gave Abu Abbas a considerable amount of money to buy military material, despite its own great need for money at the time. … Abu Abbas didn’t participate in stepping up to buy weapons,’ the letter says. ‘So whose performance deserves to be called poor in this case, I wonder?’
img code photo … Maverick
Maverick: Nigerien soldiers walk near debris after suicide bombers blew themselves up inside a military barracks, in Agadez, northern Niger, another attack for which Belmoktar has claimed credit
The list of slights is long: he would not take their phone calls; he refused to send administrative and financial reports; he ignored a meeting in Timbuktu, calling it ‘useless’; he even ordered his men to refuse to meet with Al Qaeda emissaries. And he aired the organization’s dirty laundry in online jihadist forums, even while refusing to communicate with the chapter via the Internet, claiming it was insecure.
Sounding like managers in any company, the Shura leaders accuse Belmoktar of not being able to get along with his peers. They charge that he recently went to Libya without permission from the chapter, which had assigned the ‘Libya dossier’ to a rival commander called Abou Zeid. And they complain that the last unit they sent Belmoktar for backup in the Sahara spent a full three years trying to contact him before giving up.
‘Why do the successive emirs of the region only have difficulties with you? You in particular every time? Or are all of them wrong and brother Khaled is right?’ they charge.
The letter reveals the rifts not only between Belmoktar and his superiors, but also the distance between the local chapter and Al Qaeda central. The local leaders were infuriated that Belmoktar was essentially going over their heads, saying that even AQIM has had few interactions with the mother brand in Pakistan and Afghanistan, a region they refer to by the ancient name of Khorasan.
‘The great obstacles between us and the central leadership are not unknown to you. … For example, since we vowed our allegiance, up until this very day, we have only gotten from our emirs in Khorasan just a few messages, from the two sheiks, bin Laden (God rest his soul) and Ayman (al-Zawahiri),’ they write. ‘All this, despite our multiple letters to them.’
img code photo … Osama bin Laden
Hands off management style: The letter also reveals the distance between al Qaida’s North African chapter and the terror organisation’s leaders Osama bin Laden, left, and Ayman al-Zawahiri
img code photo … Ayman al-Zawahiri
Hands off management style: The letter also reveals the distance between al Qaida’s North African chapter and the terror organisation’s leaders Osama bin Laden, left, and Ayman al-Zawahiri
Belmoktar’s ambition comes through clearly not only in the bitter responses of his bosses, but also in his own words: ‘Despite great financial resources … our works were limited to the routine of abductions, which the mujahedeen got bored with.’
In another quote, he calls bin Laden and al-Zawahri ‘the leaders of the Islamic nation, not the leaders of an organisation alone. We love them and we were convinced by their programme. … So it’s even more now that we are swords in their hands.’
To which AQIM replies with more than a hint of sarcasm: ‘Very lovely words. … Do you consider it loyalty to them to revolt against their emirs and threaten to tear apart the organisation?’
Belmoktar’s defection was a long time in the making, and dates back to his time as a commander of Algeria’s Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, or GSPC. When the Iraq war started in 2003, his ambition created friction between younger Algerian fighters like himself, who wanted to join the global jihad, and an older generation whose only goal was to create an Islamic state in Algeria, according to Islamic scholar Mathieu Guidere, a professor at the University of Toulouse.
The younger faction won, but Belmoktar felt slighted because his contemporary, Abdelmalek Droukdel, was named emir of the GSPC, instead of him.
Soon after, the group petitioned to join Al Qaeda. The terror network announced a ‘blessed union’ on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks in 2006.
Both Belmoktar and Droukdel wrote ‘candidacy letters’ to bin Laden asking to be emir, according to Guidere’s book on the subject. Again, Droukdel won.
‘Any observer of the armed actions (carried out) in the Sahara will clearly notice the failure of The Masked Brigade to carry out spectacular operations, despite the region’s vast possibilities — there are plenty of mujahedeen, funding is available, weapons are widespread and strategic targets are within reach’
Criticism of Belmoktar in the letter from Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb
Frustrated, Belmoktar drifted farther south. He set up in the ungoverned dunes of neighbouring Mali, took a Malian wife and tapped into the smuggling routes that criss-crossed the Sahara, amassing arms and fiercely loyal fighters who called themselves, ‘The Masked Brigade.’
His fighters killed more than a dozen soldiers at a military garrison in Mauritania in 2005 and gunned down four French tourists there in 2007. On multiple occasions Belmoktar was declared dead, including most recently in March, and each time, he re-emerged to strike again.
The sharpest blow in the council’s letter may have been the accusation that, despite this history of terrorism, Belmoktar and his unit had not pulled off any attack worthy of mention in the Sahara.
‘Any observer of the armed actions (carried out) in the Sahara will clearly notice the failure of The Masked Brigade to carry out spectacular operations, despite the region’s vast possibilities — there are plenty of mujahedeen, funding is available, weapons are widespread and strategic targets are within reach,’ the letter says. ‘Your brigade did not achieve a single spectacular operation targeting the crusader alliance.’
In December, just weeks after receiving the letter, Belmoktar declared in a recorded message that he was leaving the Al Qaeda chapter to form his own group. He baptised it, ‘Those Who Sign in Blood.’
With that name, he announced his global ambition. ‘Those Who Sign in Blood’ was also the name of an Algerian extremist unit that hijacked an Air France flight leaving Algiers in 1994. Though their goal to fly the plane into the Eiffel Tower in Paris was thwarted, the unit foreshadowed the terrorist vision that led to the fall of the Twin Towers in New York.
On January 11, French warplanes began bombarding northern Mali, the start of a now five-month-old offensive to flush out the jihadists, including Belmoktar’s brigade. Five days later, suicide bombers took more than 600 hostages in Ain Amenas in far eastern Algeria and killed 37, all but one foreigners, including American, French and British nationals. Belmoktar claimed responsibility in a triumphant recording.
img code photo … ‘Spectacular’
‘Spectacular’: This picture shows part of the uranium mine at Arlit, in northern Niger, where Belmoktar’s men slipped past a truck entering the facility and detonated explosives inside
It was no accident that he chose Ain Amenas, Professor Guidere said. The area is in the home province of Abou Zeid, Belmoktar’s longtime rival who commanded a different Saharan brigade and was always in step with the Algeria-based emirate.
‘It’s a punch in the gut,’ said Professor Guidere. ‘It’s saying, "You’ve never been able to do anything even in your native region. Watch me. I’ll carry out the biggest hostage operation ever in that very region."
‘Ain Amenas is the illustration of his ability to do a quality operation, when he is under no authority other than his own, when he doesn’t have to turn in expense reports or answer to anybody.’
As if to turn the knife even further, last week Belmoktar also claimed responsibility for a May 23 attack at a French-owned uranium mine in Arlit, Niger. It was in Arlit in 2010 that Abou Zeid carried out his boldest operation and seized seven foreign hostages, including four French nationals who are still in the hands of AQIM.
In an apparent attempt to raise the stakes, Belmoktar’s men slipped past a truck entering the mine and detonated explosives inside. More than 100 miles to the south, a different unit of fighters under his command killed 24 soldiers at a military camp, with help from another local Al Qaeda off-shoot, called the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa.
Jean-Paul Rouiller, the director of the Geneva Centre for Training and Analysis of Terrorism, compared the escalation in attacks to a quarrel between a man and a woman in which each tries to have the last word. ‘They accused him of not doing something,’ Mr Rouiller said. ‘His response is, "I’ll show you what I can do."’
Belmoktar might have seen a certain justice in the coverage of the last week’s attack in Niger in the leading French daily, Le Monde. Among the adjectives used to describe the event: ‘Spectacular’.
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…..item 2)…. Journalist or Arab Propagandist? …
… aish.com … www.aish.com/jw/mo/ …
img code photo … Abdul Bari Atwan
Abdul Bari Atwan uses the mainstream media to endorse Bin Laden and spew hatred of the West.
June 11, 2013 / 3 Tammuz 5773
Published: June 8, 2013
by Rabbi Shraga Simmons
Media monitors have long decried how some Western “journalists” sound more like political activists working for the al-Qaeda PR department.
Take the case of Abdul Bari Atwan, a popular foreign affairs analyst who seems quite moderate when appearing on BBC and CNN. Yet in his day job as editor of the Arabic daily, Al-Quds Al-Arabi, Bari Atwan reveals a decidedly different slant. When a Palestinian terrorist killed eight teenagers in a Jerusalem school, Bari Atwan called the attack “justified” and described the celebrations in Gaza that followed the massacre as symbolizing the “courage of the Palestinian nation.”1
BBC brushed off Bari Atwan’s anti-Israel oratory.
When presented with this information, Adrian Wells, head of foreign news at Sky-TV where Bari Atwan is a frequent analyst, said dryly: “It is not our policy to comment on what contributors may or may not say on other channels.” A BBC spokesman similarly brushed off Bari Atwan’s anti-Israel oratory by saying that “BBC is required to explore a range of views, so that no significant strand of thought is knowingly unreflected or underrepresented.”2
It is impossible to imagine BBC being so cavalier had the shoe been on the other foot – if one of its Jewish correspondents had come out in favor of massacring Palestinians.
Bari Atwan was at it again last week, coming out in favor of Palestinians abducting Israeli soldiers.3
Meanwhile, Bari Atwan continues to be a guest commentator for the mainstream Western media, where his anti-Israel and anti-Western ideology gains a “legitimate” platform.
This is the same Bari Atwan who was welcomed by Osama Bin Laden into his secret Afghanistan cave for an exclusive interview.4
The same Bari Atwan who was paid thousands of dollars every month by Libya’s Gaddafi.5
The same Bari Atwan who expressed the hope that Palestinian violence would “mark the countdown to Israel’s destruction.”6
On the Iranian nuclear issue, Bari Atwan told a Lebanese TV station: “If the Iranian missiles strike Israel, by Allah, I will go to [London’s] Trafalgar Square and dance with delight.”7
Now in June 2013, Bari Atwan has stooped to a new low. Questioned on Egyptian TV whether he considers Osama bin Laden a “terrorist, Bari Atwan replied:
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"Whoever fights the American enterprise in this region… is not considered a terrorist by me."8
Keep this all in mind the next time you see Bari Atwan offering one of his “expert commentaries” in the mainstream Western media.
Abd Al-Bari Atwan : Bin Laden Was Only Half a Terrorist
video: 1:50 minutes
Abd Al-Bari Atwan
Editor-in-Chief, Al-Quds Al-Arabi
ON TV (Egypt)
June 2, 2013
It depends on your definition of terrorism.
That was back then, but now, in 2013, do you consider Bin Laden a terrorist?
He was half a terrorist.
He was fighting for some causes…
But in general, do you consider him a terrorist?
Whoever fights America and its enterprise in the region, and whoever fights Israel and the American occupation, is not considered a terrorist by me.
– Are you trying to destroy me? – Absolutely not.
Isn’t it enough that they have prevented me from entering the US?
1. 1 Jonny Paul, “London Arabic Daily Editor: Mercaz Harav Attack was ‘Justified,’” Jerusalem Post, March 16, 2008.
2. Jonny Paul, “London Editor Prays for Nuclear Attack on Israel,” Jerusalem Post, August 28, 2007; Tom Gross, “BBC and Sky News Analyst Praises Jerusalem Yeshiva Massacre,” Tomgrossmedia.com, March 20, 2008.
3. "Abbas and the New Betrayal: ‘economic Peace’," bariatwan.com.
4. Abdul Bari Atwan, “Inside Osama’s Mountain Lair,” The Guardian (UK), November 12, 2001.
5. "Secret Documents from Libyan Intelligence Reveal Abdel Bari Atwan Received Money from Gaddafi," Palestine Press News Agency, September 15, 2011.
6. Paul, “London Arabic Daily Editor: Mercaz Harav Attack was ‘Justified.’”
7. ANB-TV (Lebanon), June 27, 2007; cited in “Abd Al-Bari Atwan, Editor-in-Chief of Al-Quds Al-Arabi: If Iranian Missiles Hit Israel, I Will Dance in Trafalgar Square,” Memritv.org.
8. "Abd Al-Bari Atwan: Bin Laden Was Only Half a Terrorist," Memritv.org, June 6, 2013.
Published: June 8, 2013
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