A few posts down, we talked about the Jewish museum shooting in Brussels. French police, almost accidentally, managed to capture the alleged killer
, whose name is Mehdi Nemmouche
. He's a young French Muslim with a history of family troubles, run-ins with the law, and a bout of homelessness; not long ago he turned to radical Islam and made his way to Turkey and Syria.
So far, the story does not fulfill the initial speculation
that the act had "spooky" depths. However, Nemmouche stint with the anti-Assad fighting forces in Syria
deserves some scrutiny...
There he fought alongside ISIS, an Islamist extremist militia formerly allied with Al Qaeda.
In March, he left Syria and, via a circuitous route designed to hide his tracks, ended up in Frankfurt. Since he was on a terror watch list, the German police reported to their French colleagues that he had returned to Europe. Then, last week he turned up in Brussels armed with a handgun, which he used to kill the Rivas, and a Kalashnikov, which he used to kill the museum volunteer and wound another visitor.
Before we knew anything about the attacker, journalists speculated that he might be a professional agent or hit man who attacked the Rivas because of their association with Israeli intelligence. But now that the alleged killer has a face and history, we know that this is the work not of a state or even a militia like Hezbollah, but of the shadowy network of jihadis fighting against the Assad regime.
I didn't know it was so easy to get a Kalashnikov across all those national boundaries.
But let's pass over that part of the story right now. Let's focus on the part that is unquestionable: Nemmouche joined the anti-Assad struggle -- a civil war which the United States has backed and manipulated.
This group -- more formally known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria -- seeks the forcible conversion of Shiite Muslims to Sunni Islam. For a while, they had a major break with the Nusra front, another anti-Assad extremist group linked to Al Qaeda. (Apparently, Nusra wasn't extreme enough
.) But the two jihadist forces seem to have patched up their differences
in recent days.
Their most recent atrocity
The most radical jihadist group fighting in Syria on Sunday killed a 102-year-old man along with his whole family in the heart of the country, a monitoring group said.
The 102-year-old was shot dead in his sleep, with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) also killing his son, his grandson, his great-granddaughter and her mother, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
All the victims were Alawites, members of the same offshoot of Shiite Islam as Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.
ISIS has behaved so abominably (even by jihadist standards) that some in Syria have theorized that the group is a "false flag" operation run by Assad himself, with the intent of turning the populace against the insurgency. That's an interesting theory which probably lacks validity. Better, perhaps, to see ISIS as little more than a rebranded version of Al Qaeda in Iraq.
Remember Al Qaeda in Iraq? They were shooting at our soldiers for a number of years. And now everyone in this country seems to have forgotten all about them.
Reportedly, the US will now toss big money at anyone in the anti-Assad coalition who will simultaneously take up arms against ISIS
. Yet ISIS remains the most formidable factor in the civil war. If Assad goes, then ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi might well replace him, or at least choose the replacement
Nobody seems to know
with any certainty who is funding ISIS, although I suspect covert help from the Saudis.
ISIS runs the rackets in Iraq
, which has -- predictably -- become a nearly lawless kleptocracy. One estimate holds that they make $8 million a month via various crooked activities. In other words, George W. Bush inadvertently created these guys when he decided to invade.
Let's return to the main contradiction of this story.
As noted above, the US wants anti-Assad "moderates" to fight the extremists of ISIS. The CIA and the Brits have even set up something called the Syrian Revolutionary Front -- led by one Jamal Maarouf -- which has launched anti-ISIS attacks. Yet our main goal is to dethrone Assad -- and like it or not, ISIS has become the
leading player in that effort.
Got that? Okay. Now let's head over to the invaluable site Global Research
, which looks into the matter more deeply...
As it turns out, the war against ISIS is not what the establishment media in the West make it out to be. On Wednesday, Maarouf told The Independent the fight against al-Qaeda was “not our problem” and admitted the mercenaries he leads with U.S., Saudi and Qatari help conduct joint operations with Jabhat al-Nusra, seen as the de facto al-Qaeda branch in Syria. Maarouf told the newspaper he does not have a problem working with al-Qaeda so long as the objective is the ouster of the al-Assad government.
In fact, according to Maarouf, his benefactors told him to provide al-Nusra with weapons despite the aforementioned propaganda campaign designed to give the impression “moderates” are fighting the good fight against al-Qaeda in Syria. He said if “the people who support us [U.S., Saudis, Qataris] tell us to send weapons to another group, we send them. They asked us a month ago to send weapons to Yabroud so we sent a lot of weapons there. When they asked us to do this, we do it.”
Let's bottom line this.
These Al Qaeda-linked fighters are destroying churches and murdering Christians throughout Syria. You would think that Christians in the United States would be concerned about this threat to their brethren overseas. But no: Our fundamentalists and evangelicals are incapable of doing independent research, of thinking for themselves. They jump only when the neocons or the Israelis or the Fox Newsers tell
them to jump.
Sorry to sound a paranoid note,
but I still
wonder what Mehdi Nemmouche was getting up to. If all he wanted to do was to kill Jews at random, he sure chose an odd way to go about it.
His roots were in southern France. Why go to the trouble of smuggling a Kalashnikov across the German and Belgian borders?
A French newspaper says that the cops found an all-too-convenient video in which Nemmouche spoke about his desire to bring "feu et sang"
(fire and blood) to Brussels." Why Brussels
? True, he had once sold stolen cars in that city -- but that fact doesn't give us the explanation we're looking for, does it?
The guy was on a terrorist watch list. The Germans knew all about it when he entered and left their country. He had a record for car theft and armed robbery. European intelligence agencies knew that he had signed up with the most extreme group within the Syrian rebel alliance. And he traveled to Marseilles via a bus line frequented by drug smugglers
There is also the likelihood that he had an accomplice. He was seen driving up to the museum in an Audi and driving away in the same car -- and there was someone else in the car
This story still has hidden depths.
And then there's this guy
, the American who became a suicide bomber for the Nusra front. The comments appended to that story are telling. First came the predictable flurry of anti-Islamic tirades from right-wingers blaming "multiculturalism." These dimwits clearly had no idea as to just which side the US (and Israel) has been supporting in Syria. A hipper reader clued them in...
All three of you strategic geniuses clap and cheer when the Israeli Air Force strikes a Syrian military position, yet scream "terrorism" when this guy gives his life to do the same thing.
Do us all a favor and stop voting until you can raise your IQ's above room temperature.