(This post contains original research. Please spread this one around.)
Last month, the BBC World Service broadcast a radio documentary in which Peter Taylor investigates the origins and funding of the Islamic State -- ISIS. (Go here
.) According to Taylor, the group gets money from taxation, from (literal) bank robbery, from oil, and from selling antiquities.
(The last-mentioned source may reward further study. You can't make money selling artifacts unless you have a buyer. Who are
these buyers? How did a bunch of universally-detested Islamic radicals contact the people who control the antiquities market?)
Taylor's tale is noteworthy for what it omits: He does not mention the many, many reports that ISIS received funding from Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar. Many mainstream news sources have made this claim: See here
-- and that's just for starters.
If you click on that last link, you'll find this quote:
Günter Meyer is Director of the Center for Research into the Arabic World at the University of Mainz. Meyer says he has no doubt about where ISIS gets its funding. "The most important source of ISIS financing to date has been support coming out of the Gulf states, primarily Saudi Arabia but also Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates," Meyer told Deutsche Welle. The Gulf states' motivation in financing groups like ISIS was to support their fight against the regime of President Bashar al Assad in Syria, according to Meyer.
Many respected experts have said the same thing. Yet the BBC is having none of it.
The BBC World Service refuses even to mention the idea that the Saudis have funded ISIS -- not even to debunk the oft-heard allegation.
The absurdity of this BBC report becomes apparent when you give the matter a little thought. ISIS had to conquer one hell of a lot of territory before they got into a position to sell oil. Conquest takes an army, and armies require money. Where did the initial
investment come from?
The BBC leaves that question dangling.
Peter Taylor traveled far to compile this report, but who were his sources? First, we heard from a man named Abu Hajar, a captured ISIS "finance minister" (who actually seems to have been little more than a bag man). He is now being held by the Iraqi government.
A prisoner who has been subjected to torture cannot be expected to speak freely. He will say only what he feels is safe to say.
The BBC's other main source is Daniel Glaser
, who works for the Treasury Department: He's the Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing. Is this man likely to speak with complete candor on any topic that might endanger US/Saudi relations?
Along the way, Taylor also speaks to that remarkable British spy -- or former
spy -- Alastair Crooke, whose name I stupidly misspelled in an earlier post
. (Apologies.) As it turns out, that earlier post has some bearing on our current discussion -- even though the topic, on that occasion, was how to make the Russians dance to our tune:
Crooke says that a chief architect of these schemes was a fellow named David S. Cohen, of the Treasury Department. As Moon of Alabama notes, Cohen has moved on the CIA, where he is The New Number Two. That extraordinary piece of job-hopping tells you a lot about the world we are in.
You don't just jump right into the Number Two position at CIA; you get a job like that only if you've spent a good portion of your life working for the intelligence community. For decades, the Agency has seeded its personnel throughout the government and military. (Cohen's job at Treasure was really an intelligence position, since he focused on the financing of terror.)
If you Google the names of Cohen and Glaser, you will see that the two are as close as Batman and Robin. If Batman was CIA, the same is probably true of Robin.
In this light, you should take a look at Glaser's Wikipedia entry
. In its current incarnation, this bio is genuinely startling:
Daniel L. Glaser is the Assistant Secretary for the Department of the Treasury of the United States. He serves under David S. Cohen, the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Intelligence in the Obama Administration. His work came into prominence as the result of the WikiLeaks progressives spying for Putin's KGB.
"WikiLeaks progressives spying for Putin's KGB..." Good lord. Who wrote
After trying to track the author -- and a merry chase it was! -- I suspect that these words were written by either Glaser himself or by an associate, although I cannot prove the point. The many progressives who voted for Obama may be interested to learn whether or not a member of the Obama administration believes that progressives are Putin spies.
Needless to say, there is zero evidence for the assertion that Putin controls the Assange operation.
So what do we have here? Simply this: The BBC World Service purports to give the world the straight skinny on how ISIS gets its money, but they ignore the many experts who have spoken of Saudi backers. Instead, the BBC relies on testimony from a torture victim -- who, obviously, will say whatever his captors want him to say -- and from an Obama administration official who seems spookier than the Haunted Mansion. The BBC also talked to David Petraeus, who ran
As noted above, Taylor also talked to Alastair Crooke of MI6. He avers that ISIS is committing atrocities precisely because they want
the "crusaders" to send "boots on the ground" -- a claim that does much to explain the events of this day in France and Tunisia.
But on the topic of exterior support for ISIS, the BBC does not allow Crooke to say the kinds of things he says here
, in an article titled "Ex-intel officials: Pentagon report proves US complicity in ISIS."
Alastair Crooke, a former senior MI6 officer who spent three decades at the agency, said yesterday that the DIA document provides clear corroboration that the US was covertly pursuing a strategy to drive an extremist Salafi “wedge” between Iran and its Arab allies.
The strategy was, Crooke confirms, standard thinking in the Western intelligence establishment for about a decade.
“The idea of breaking up the large Arab states into ethnic or sectarian enclaves is an old Ben Gurion ‘canard,’ and splitting Iraq along sectarian lines has been Vice President Biden’s recipe since the Iraq war,” wrote Crooke, who had coordinated British assistance to the Afghan mujahideen in the 1980s.
Gee. You'd think
that the BBC would be interested in this material.
But no: Auntie Beeb doesn't want to say anything about the US using ISIS as a proxy army against Assad. Instead, the BBC prefers to give us the world according to David Glaser.
One other thing. The BBC also claims that ISIS is getting money from -- get this -- Bashar Assad, the very man that ISIS is determined to destroy. Predictably, we are not favored with even the slightest whisper of proof for this nonsense. (The source is unmentioned. I'm guessing it was Glaser.)
The BBC does many marvelous things, but on this occasion, they have misled the public with a load of codswallop. And the citizens of the UK are paying for this propaganda.