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How Saudi Arabia Helped Isis Take Over the North of Iraq
A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade.
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How far is Saudi Arabia complicit in the Isis takeover of much of northern Iraq, and is it stoking an escalating Sunni-Shia conflict across the Islamic world? Some time before 9/11, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, once the powerful Saudi ambassador in Washington and head of Saudi intelligence until a few months ago, had a revealing and ominous conversation with the head of the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove. Prince Bandar told him: “The time is not far off in the Middle East, Richard, when it will be literally ‘God help the Shia’. More than a billion Sunnis have simply had enough of them.”

The fatal moment predicted by Prince Bandar may now have come for many Shia, with Saudi Arabia playing an important role in bringing it about by supporting the anti-Shia jihad in Iraq and Syria. Since the capture of Mosul by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) on 10 June, Shia women and children have been killed in villages south of Kirkuk, and Shia air force cadets machine-gunned and buried in mass graves near Tikrit.

In Mosul, Shia shrines and mosques have been blown up, and in the nearby Shia Turkoman city of Tal Afar 4,000 houses have been taken over by Isis fighters as “spoils of war”. Simply to be identified as Shia or a related sect, such as the Alawites, in Sunni rebel-held parts of Iraq and Syria today, has become as dangerous as being a Jew was in Nazi-controlled parts of Europe in 1940.

There is no doubt about the accuracy of the quote by Prince Bandar, secretary-general of the Saudi National Security Council from 2005 and head of General Intelligence between 2012 and 2014, the crucial two years when al-Qa’ida-type jihadis took over the Sunni-armed opposition in Iraq and Syria. Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute last week, Dearlove, who headed MI6 from 1999 to 2004, emphasised the significance of Prince Bandar’s words, saying that they constituted “a chilling comment that I remember very well indeed”.

He does not doubt that substantial and sustained funding from private donors in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, to which the authorities may have turned a blind eye, has played a central role in the Isis surge into Sunni areas of Iraq. He said: “Such things simply do not happen spontaneously.” This sounds realistic since the tribal and communal leadership in Sunni majority provinces is much beholden to Saudi and Gulf paymasters, and would be unlikely to cooperate with Isis without their consent.

Dearlove’s explosive revelation about the prediction of a day of reckoning for the Shia by Prince Bandar, and the former head of MI6’s view that Saudi Arabia is involved in the Isis-led Sunni rebellion, has attracted surprisingly little attention. Coverage of Dearlove’s speech focused instead on his main theme that the threat from Isis to the West is being exaggerated because, unlike Bin Laden’s al-Qa’ida, it is absorbed in a new conflict that “is essentially Muslim on Muslim”. Unfortunately, Christians in areas captured by Isis are finding this is not true, as their churches are desecrated and they are forced to flee. A difference between al-Qa’ida and Isis is that the latter is much better organised; if it does attack Western targets the results are likely to be devastating.

The forecast by Prince Bandar, who was at the heart of Saudi security policy for more than three decades, that the 100 million Shia in the Middle East face disaster at the hands of the Sunni majority, will convince many Shia that they are the victims of a Saudi-led campaign to crush them. “The Shia in general are getting very frightened after what happened in northern Iraq,” said an Iraqi commentator, who did not want his name published. Shia see the threat as not only military but stemming from the expanded influence over mainstream Sunni Islam of Wahhabism, the puritanical and intolerant version of Islam espoused by Saudi Arabia that condemns Shia and other Islamic sects as non-Muslim apostates and polytheists.

Dearlove says that he has no inside knowledge obtained since he retired as head of MI6 10 years ago to become Master of Pembroke College in Cambridge. But, drawing on past experience, he sees Saudi strategic thinking as being shaped by two deep-seated beliefs or attitudes. First, they are convinced that there “can be no legitimate or admissible challenge to the Islamic purity of their Wahhabi credentials as guardians of Islam’s holiest shrines”. But, perhaps more significantly given the deepening Sunni-Shia confrontation, the Saudi belief that they possess a monopoly of Islamic truth leads them to be “deeply attracted towards any militancy which can effectively challenge Shia-dom”.

Western governments traditionally play down the connection between Saudi Arabia and its Wahhabist faith, on the one hand, and jihadism, whether of the variety espoused by Osama bin Laden and al-Qa’ida or by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s Isis. There is nothing conspiratorial or secret about these links: 15 out of 19 of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, as was Bin Laden and most of the private donors who funded the operation.

The difference between al-Qa’ida and Isis can be overstated: when Bin Laden was killed by United States forces in 2011, al-Baghdadi released a statement eulogising him, and Isis pledged to launch 100 attacks in revenge for his death.

But there has always been a second theme to Saudi policy towards al-Qa’ida type jihadis, contradicting Prince Bandar’s approach and seeing jihadis as a mortal threat to the Kingdom. Dearlove illustrates this attitude by relating how, soon after 9/11, he visited the Saudi capital Riyadh with Tony Blair.


He remembers the then head of Saudi General Intelligence “literally shouting at me across his office: ‘9/11 is a mere pinprick on the West. In the medium term, it is nothing more than a series of personal tragedies. What these terrorists want is to destroy the House of Saud and remake the Middle East.'” In the event, Saudi Arabia adopted both policies, encouraging the jihadis as a useful tool of Saudi anti-Shia influence abroad but suppressing them at home as a threat to the status quo. It is this dual policy that has fallen apart over the last year.

Saudi sympathy for anti-Shia “militancy” is identified in leaked US official documents. The then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote in December 2009 in a cable released by Wikileaks that “Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qa’ida, the Taliban, LeT [Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan] and other terrorist groups.” She said that, in so far as Saudi Arabia did act against al-Qa’ida, it was as a domestic threat and not because of its activities abroad. This policy may now be changing with the dismissal of Prince Bandar as head of intelligence this year. But the change is very recent, still ambivalent and may be too late: it was only last week that a Saudi prince said he would no longer fund a satellite television station notorious for its anti-Shia bias based in Egypt.

The problem for the Saudis is that their attempts since Bandar lost his job to create an anti-Maliki and anti-Assad Sunni constituency which is simultaneously against al-Qa’ida and its clones have failed.

By seeking to weaken Maliki and Assad in the interest of a more moderate Sunni faction, Saudi Arabia and its allies are in practice playing into the hands of Isis which is swiftly gaining full control of the Sunni opposition in Syria and Iraq. In Mosul, as happened previously in its Syrian capital Raqqa, potential critics and opponents are disarmed, forced to swear allegiance to the new caliphate and killed if they resist.

The West may have to pay a price for its alliance with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies, which have always found Sunni jihadism more attractive than democracy. A striking example of double standards by the western powers was the Saudi-backed suppression of peaceful democratic protests by the Shia majority in Bahrain in March 2011. Some 1,500 Saudi troops were sent across the causeway to the island kingdom as the demonstrations were ended with great brutality and Shia mosques and shrines were destroyed.

An alibi used by the US and Britain is that the Sunni al-Khalifa royal family in Bahrain is pursuing dialogue and reform. But this excuse looked thin last week as Bahrain expelled a top US diplomat, the assistant secretary of state for human rights Tom Malinowksi, for meeting leaders of the main Shia opposition party al-Wifaq. Mr Malinowski tweeted that the Bahrain government’s action was “not about me but about undermining dialogue”.

Western powers and their regional allies have largely escaped criticism for their role in reigniting the war in Iraq. Publicly and privately, they have blamed the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for persecuting and marginalising the Sunni minority, so provoking them into supporting the Isis-led revolt. There is much truth in this, but it is by no means the whole story. Maliki did enough to enrage the Sunni, partly because he wanted to frighten Shia voters into supporting him in the 30 April election by claiming to be the Shia community’s protector against Sunni counter-revolution.

But for all his gargantuan mistakes, Maliki’s failings are not the reason why the Iraqi state is disintegrating. What destabilised Iraq from 2011 on was the revolt of the Sunni in Syria and the takeover of that revolt by jihadis, who were often sponsored by donors in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates. Again and again Iraqi politicians warned that by not seeking to close down the civil war in Syria, Western leaders were making it inevitable that the conflict in Iraq would restart. “I guess they just didn’t believe us and were fixated on getting rid of [President Bashar al-] Assad,” said an Iraqi leader in Baghdad last week.

Of course, US and British politicians and diplomats would argue that they were in no position to bring an end to the Syrian conflict. But this is misleading. By insisting that peace negotiations must be about the departure of Assad from power, something that was never going to happen since Assad held most of the cities in the country and his troops were advancing, the US and Britain made sure the war would continue.

The chief beneficiary is Isis which over the last two weeks has been mopping up the last opposition to its rule in eastern Syria. The Kurds in the north and the official al-Qa’ida representative, Jabhat al-Nusra, are faltering under the impact of Isis forces high in morale and using tanks and artillery captured from the Iraqi army. It is also, without the rest of the world taking notice, taking over many of the Syrian oil wells that it did not already control.

Saudi Arabia has created a Frankenstein’s monster over which it is rapidly losing control. The same is true of its allies such as Turkey which has been a vital back-base for Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra by keeping the 510-mile-long Turkish-Syrian border open. As Kurdish-held border crossings fall to Isis, Turkey will find it has a new neighbour of extraordinary violence, and one deeply ungrateful for past favours from the Turkish intelligence service.

As for Saudi Arabia, it may come to regret its support for the Sunni revolts in Syria and Iraq as jihadi social media begins to speak of the House of Saud as its next target. It is the unnamed head of Saudi General Intelligence quoted by Dearlove after 9/11 who is turning out to have analysed the potential threat to Saudi Arabia correctly and not Prince Bandar, which may explain why the latter was sacked earlier this year.

Nor is this the only point on which Prince Bandar was dangerously mistaken. The rise of Isis is bad news for the Shia of Iraq but it is worse news for the Sunni whose leadership has been ceded to a pathologically bloodthirsty and intolerant movement, a sort of Islamic Khmer Rouge, which has no aim but war without end.

The Sunni caliphate rules a large, impoverished and isolated area from which people are fleeing. Several million Sunni in and around Baghdad are vulnerable to attack and 255 Sunni prisoners have already been massacred. In the long term, Isis cannot win, but its mix of fanaticism and good organisation makes it difficult to dislodge.

“God help the Shia,” said Prince Bandar, but, partly thanks to him, the shattered Sunni communities of Iraq and Syria may need divine help even more than the Shia.

(Republished from The Independent by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Iraq, ISIS, Saudi Arabia, Shias and Sunnis 
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  1. One thousand million Sunni want to attack one hundred million Shea.

    Isn’t it time for Iran to get the bomb?

    The Saudi military are NOT great fighters – lots of equipment – little courage – who in Saudi is truly loyal to the royals? Maybe Bandar has created a monster that he cannot control?

    The real enemy of the Sunni people is Bandar and his ilk.

    Please! Please! – are we going to take sides in this – brothers in money and hate – Israel and Saudi want us to kill Iran for them.

    Are we really going to support the killing of a hundred million people. Given Israel’s control over our government and media – it is not unthinkable.

  2. MarkU says:

    I suppose if all else fails we could always stop arming, training and funding them. I know that I’ve made this comment before but its still true.

    Recently it was announced that Obama wants more funding for Syrian ‘rebels’, surely by now we know who ends up with the equipment (hint – its not the practically non-existent ‘moderates)

    Although the US has sent some forces to Iraq, most of it is meant to defend the US embassy not to fight ISIS. The US has been dragging its heels so much on supplying warplanes to the elected Iraqi government that they have been obtaining planes elsewhere. Bluntly the US has little or no intention of actually fighting ISIS, though they may put up a shallow pretence of doing so.

    Lastly, has any real pressure been put on the Gulf monarchies to stop the flow of arms and equipment to ISIS and similar groups? No, I believe is the correct answer to this question. Am I seriously being asked to believe that neither Saudi intelligence, the CIA, MI5, Mossad or indeed any western intelligence agency have any idea which individuals are supplying ISIS? Sorry I refuse to believe this.

  3. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The author is an embedded ‘journalist’ of the intelligence services of the West. As you see, he has abondened Israel crimes against Palestinian and talking about “sunni and shiite war” whcih has been fabricated by CIA/Mossad/MI6, the true axis of evil. These war has been carefully designed by the West, US-Israel-Britain where with a False Flag Operation, 9/11, started and you know the rest. All ISIS, ISIL, Al qaeda are Western intelligence Pawns used to destabilize the fragment Islamic countries in the region for the interest of the West, and “greater Israel” based on Oded Yinon that this agent does not talk, instead, he is focused on Intelligence services agenda, “shiite/sunni” war. These war are waged based on evil empire and zionist mass murderers agenda and HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RELIGION. Only CIA/Mossad/MI6 embedded “journalist” present it as ‘religious war’ to fool you. The author is promoting partition of Iraq and creation of another Israel, the kurdish terroirsts as Israel’s petty pawns where is one of the aims of these wars. Don’t be fooled by lies of this embedded “journalist”. He lies for the evil empire for the final goal, US hegemony at any price including massacare of whole population of Palestine, partition of all Islamic countries using CIA trained terrorists where Saudis and Qattaris are funding with oil $$$$$. Down with liars and their agents pose as ‘journalists’.

    • Replies: @Ahmed
  4. It will be fun to see ISIS make some sort of push against Iran, because Iran is no pushover and they are going to rain hell on ISIS all up and down the frontier. And, as Iraq is sympathetic to Iran, those Iranian troops and warplanes are going to drives the fanatics of ISIS straight south into Saudi Arabia where the royal family will have to deal with its own Frankenstein creation or perish. Some of the ISIS groups are already voicing a desire to raze Mecca as having become an ‘idol’ in itself, so it will be fun to see Saudi Arabia’s own chickens coming home to roost.

    On the other hand, I believe the US should simply refuse to participate and let the chips fall where they may. We made deals with post-war Nazis, so surely we can make deals with whoever is left standing in the Middle East when the dust settles.

  5. TomB says:

    Where this comment isn’t ridiculously thinly supported it’s categorically contradictory.

    First we are told that what even sounds like a mere prediction by one Saudi at one point in time—that sooner or later the Sunnis in the form of al Queda and ISIS and whack the Shia—is the revelation of deep and huge and official and covert Saudi policy goal, without the least supporting evidence.

    And of course we are told all this in what’s clearly intended to be a gasp-inducing fashion.

    F0llowed by all kinds of observations confirming common sense: That al Queda and ISIS are considered lethal, mortal enemies by the Saudi monarchy.

    This then is exactly the sort of … analysis that we almost exclusively get out of the Mideast where every “analysis” seems to be nothing more than incoherent, polemical axe-grinding writing of one stripe or another.

    Quite obviously the Saudis have been and are walking a middle line: Of course they are concerned about the projection and/or flowering of Shia influence and power in the region. But then they are also concerned about the real fundamentalists of the Sunni Al Queda/ISIS variety too.

    Moreover, their very fundamental position and interest is that above all stability and not uproar and constant threats to their regime is what they really need in the Mideast, so that, as a minimum, their oil can flow and they can make their money.

    Read Cockburn though and the impression is that … the Saudis have been acting in an unstable, hysterical and extreme way (and yet in directly opposite ways) for decades upon decades, all leading to the clear desired conclusion that … something must be done against them!

    This isn’t analysis. Nor is it even journalism in any researching, revealing way. Ironically what it is in fact is akin to what Cockburn accuses the Saudis of: Yet another piece of purely polemical, hysterical, alleged reportage in a long line of history of such stuff coming out of the region.

    • Replies: @Greek Tragedy
  6. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I guess the US could have just droned Basher and all his cronies in a couple days if they had a mind to but their involvement wouldn’t have ended there. However, would be the best outcome.

  7. KA says:

    Saudi is most unrepresentative of any government anywhere in the world. How does one survive this anachronistic system? By powerful support. Israel ,by exerting influences on those countries that are keeping Saudi system alive ,maintains its influence on Saudi. Israel has remained fixated on control of regional resources by achieving Balkanization of the regions . Saudi can’t stand as a single country. To achieve this, Israel will get a Saudi Iran war at concluding part of the drama after Syrian and Iraqi disintegration . Saudi will disappear unless Israel decides that it is to its advantage to keep the dynasty in control of the rump country.
    Author mention 911 hijackers. But he or no one has ever produced any evidences that support that the plots were limited to Al Quida and plotters were exclusively under the control of Al Quida . The hijackers flourished in those countries where Israelii inteligence has deep unobstructed access to everything that happens in those countries. Al Quida plotters only confirmation also come from destroyed tapes of water hoardings and some pretty late in the game confirmation of Alquida video after actual denial by Osama . Why did he deny ? The videos made by US have been marketed to the world as being original. The 13 yrs occupation of Afghanostan did not produce anything to substantiate that the plots were engineered in Afghanistan .
    At best 911 remains an unsolved crime where Saudi citizen played some part according to some remote indirect evidences.

  8. Ahmed says:


    You hit the nail on the head! I liked some of Cockburn’s articles in the past, but this one is just sheer propaganda from the Mossad desk. It is very interesting that he turns a blind eye to the genocide in Gaza and instead by deflection and diversion wants to spark war between the Sunnis and the Shiites! He minimizes Maliki’s crimes in destroying Iraq, perhaps because Maliki, the man handpicked by the neocons and their friends who run America, even when he lost the election to Iyad Alawi in 2010, is the best man to take the Sunni-Shiite strife into the point of no return, and make Israel’s agenda of forever occupying Palestine into fruition. Won’t work, regardless of the lies those intelligence agencies may throw around.

  9. gdpbull says:

    One wonders why the 28 redacted pages of the 9/11 report are classified, especially when many who had the clearance and have read them say that declassifying those pages would not damage national security and believe that they should be declassified. They say it contains information that is applicable to what is happening today in the ME and that its important for all Americans to have access to the redacted pages.

  10. KA says:

    Can Cockburn tie togther the prophesy ( actuallya document like PNAC) of Yoded Yinon,ideas floated by Wolfowitz and recorded by Wesley Clark ( attacking Arab countries and changing regimes – 1991 and 2001 ) , PNAC documents, letter to Clinton exhorting regime change in 2000 AD, numerous Accountability bills and laws against Libya,Iraq,Syria,Leanon,and Iran ( drafted by Israeli firsters AIPAC) in Congress , disregard of the intelligence on potential and imminent Al Quida attack on US soil by Bush 2 administration ( overwhelmingly manned by Israeli firsters ) , the widespread Israeli spying activities ,and the dancing Isareli on Hudson river ,the total contempt for any post invasion planning by Bush offcials (Wolfowitz,Brenner and Cheney group )and desires of certain neocons to see balkanzaition of ME ( Michael Ledeen and Wolfowiz ) ,urging of Sharon and other Isreali leaders to initiate attack on other countries iminutes after Iraq ( before even securing the safety and security of Iraq ) invasion, dismantling of PA and killing of Arafat ,blaming of Harriri murder on Syria without proof and using that to get Syria out of lebanon by Israeli friendly UN investigators ? It was on the card for 30 yrs or so . The neoocns can write and put this at for show but they wont finish it. History will finsih them but not to their liking .

    Can he tie the events in Libya with ISIS through Syria ? Can he offer some explanation why so many terrorsits chirpings get eavesdroped easily by NSA but not a word about ISIS marching to Iraq? Why Satellite can pick up massing of Iraqi soldiers on Saudi border in 1990 but not the marching of ISIS 20 yrs after ?

    • Replies: @KA
  11. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Perhaps Cockburn should look at President Bashar Al-Assad Inauguration Speech to understand that this IS NOT A RELIGOUS WAR, rather a plan desigen by US and Israel for “greater Israel” in the “New World Order” where people of the region will sent into a grave, it already started with Syrian people.
    He said:
    Brothers and sisters,

    Your resilience constituted the official obituary of what was falsely called ‘the Arab spring’ and reset the course. Had this ‘spring’ been genuine, it should have started in the backward Arab countries. Had it been a revolution for more freedom, democracy and justice, it should have started in the most oppressive and tyrannical countries: the countries behind every catastrophe that befell this nation, behind every war against it, behind the intellectual and religious deviation and moral degradation. The existence of these countries is the West’s most important achievement and the most significant cause for Israel’s successes and continued existence. There is no clearer evidence than their current stand regarding the Israeli aggression against Gaza. Where is the ‘alleged’ zeal and ardour that they showed towards Syria or the Syrian people? Why haven’t they supported Gaza with arms and money? Where are their jihadists; and why haven’t they sent them to defend our people in Palestine?

    In order to know the answer, we should know that what is happening today in Gaza, ladies and gentlemen, is not a separate or passing event. It is an integrated chain of events: from the occupation of Palestine, to the invasion of Iraq and trying to divide it now and the division of the Sudan all planned by Israel and the West and always executed by the states of tyranny and backwardness in our Arab world.

  12. KA says:

    Adding to Guest

    From Asia Times online

    Last week, Asia Times Online published Fifty Question on 9/11. The article stressed the questions were only a taste of the immense, mysterious 9/11 riddle. (Arguably the best 9/11 timeline on the net may be seen here.

    Due to overwhelming reader response, here’s a follow-up with 20 more questions – with a hat-tip to all who joined the debate.

    1. In the first months of 2001, three years after Bin Laden’s 1998 fatwa against the US, Mullah Omar wanted to “resolve or dissolve” the Osama-Taliban nexus in exchange for Washington maneuvering to lift United Nations sanctions. Would anyone from the first George W Bush administration confirm a solid Taliban offer? Kabir Mohabbat, a Houston-based, Paktia (Afghanistan)-born businessman also involved in the (failed) 1990s negotiation for the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan pipeline, and then named by Bush’s National Security Council as a key Taliban contact, has sustained that was the case.

    2. Eight names on the “original” Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) list of 19 Muslim hijackers happened to be found alive and living in different countries; the FBI has always sustained that the identity of the hijackers was established from DNA collected at all four sites – the World Trade Center (WTC), the Pentagon and the Shanksville, Pennsylvania, crash site. Would the FBI explain how is that remotely possible?

    5. How to explain the enormous surge in “option puts” on both United Airlines and American Airlines on September 10?

    6. How come the passport of alleged hijacker Satam al Suqami (and not Mohammed Atta, as reported) was miraculously found amid massive World Trade Center debris – either by “police and FBI” or by “a passerby who gave it to the NYPD”, according to different versions?

    8. How come Barry Jennings, who worked for New York City’s Housing Department, reported on 9/11 to ABC News how he heard an explosion on the 8th floor of WTC 7? Jennings happened to die just a few days before the release of the NIST report on the WTC 7 collapse.

    10. Why there has been no investigation of Dov Zakheim? He was a prominent member of the Project for the New American Century group, and chief executive officer of SPC – a company making systems for remote control of airplanes – for four years prior to 9/11. Six months before 9/11, he became supervisor of a group of Pentagon comptrollers responsible for tracking no less than $2.3 trillion missing from the Pentagon books; many of these comptrollers died on 9/11.

    11. The “five dancing Israelis” question. How come Oded Ellner, Omer Marmari, Paul Kurzberg, Sivan Kurzberg and Yaron Shmuel had set up a video camera on top of their white van pointing at the Twin Towers even before they were hit? Later they were seen celebrating. The FBI established that two were Mossad agents and that their employer, Urban Moving Systems, was a front operation. The investigation about them was killed by the White House. After being deported from the US, they admitted on Israeli TV that they had been sent to New York to “document” the attacks. How about other reports of vans packed with tons of explosives intercepted on New York bridges?

    12. How come two US employees of Odigo, an Israeli instant messaging company based in Herzliya, the headquarters of Mossad, received an SMS about an attack on the WTC two hours before the fact?

    13. How come there was no investigation of ICTS International, owned by Ezra Harel and Menachem Atzmon, and crammed with former Israeli Shin Bet agents? This was the company responsible for airport security at Dulles, Logan and Newark airports on 09/11

    17. Where are the full tapes from the Pentagon’s security cameras?

    19. Why did the 9/11 Commission not consult airline specialists who insist trainee pilots who had practiced on very light aircraft for a few weeks simply cannot land a jet on the ground floor of the Pentagon after allegedly slicing through half a dozen light poles and evading a series of trees, cars and overpasses?

    20. How come no one investigated claims by the two co-chairs of the 9/11 Commission, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, who wrote in the New York Times on January 2008 that the Central Intelligence Agency “failed to respond to our lawful requests for information about the 9/11 plot [and] obstructed our investigation?”

    Sept 18 2009

    Pepe Escobar

    (Copyright 2009 Asia Times Online (Holdings) Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing.)

  13. @TomB

    Cockburn appears to write for Shia-Iranian interests and indirectly for Israeki interests. The Saudis appear to be in the cross hairs of ISIL, his analysis is flawed. We are looking at a third force. A terrible beauty appears to have been born.

  14. The Iranians may have a legitimate reason for having nukes.

  15. [MORE]
    Saud must have promised Israel a free hand in the destruction of the Palestinians as well as Netanyahu promising to order the U.S. Senate to keep going after Iran. Turkey to serve to destroy Kurds and Syria if Erdogan can.

  16. Erdodan, Saud, Netanyahu all on the same page. Erdogan gets the destruction of the Kurds, Saud gets Sunni Wahabe, Salafist state unemcumbered by Shia, Christians, Alawites and others, Netanyahu the destruction of the Palestinians and Greater Israel.

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