Posted: 09 Jan 2015 06:53 PM PST
Harith al Nadhari, a senior AQAP ideologue, has released a new audio message praising the terrorists who attacked Charlie Hebdo.
A newly released audio message from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) features a top official in the group, Harith al Nadhari, praising the attack on the office of Charlie Hebdo earlier this week.
Although the audio message was not released via one of AQAP's official channels, it appears to be legitimate. The release bears the logo of al Malahem Media Foundation, AQAP's media wing.
Al Nadhari begins his roughly 5-minute message by saying the French cartoonists targeted in the attack are the "enemies of Allah's messenger, who have disbelieved in him, lied about him." They are also "the impure from among the sons of France," Al Nadhari says.
Although the audio does not include any claims of credit for the attack, al Nadhari lauds the gunmen as "mujahideen heroes." He justifies the massacre by saying that France is "among the leaders of disbelief," alleging that the nation regularly insults Islam, its prophets, and its followers. Al Nadhari addresses the French nation directly and asks, "When will you stop fighting Allah and his messenger? If you convert to Islam, that would be better for you."
Al Nadhari concludes his statement by telling the French that unless they cease their "aggression against the Muslims...you will not be blessed with security."
A separate written statement, allegedly authored by AQAP, has been disseminated via social media. The message is purportedly AQAP's claim of responsibility for the Charlie Hebdo attack.
However, The Long War Journal cautions that the statement's authenticity could not be immediately verified. The statement has been tweeted and retweeted by well-connected jihadists who usually promote legitimate messages, but this does not guarantee that it is authentic.
"The operation was directed by the leadership of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)," the statement reads. The targets were chosen deliberately "in retaliation for the display of the Prophet."
The authors of the release also claim that the operation was "the implementation of Sheikh Osama Bin Laden's threat" in which he warned the West against going too far in offending Muslim sensibilities. Moreover, the statement explains that AQAP delayed taking credit "for security reasons" related to the attackers.
The release outlines four messages to the West, as conveyed in the Paris attack. Firstly, violating Muslim sanctities will come at a high price. The authors say that the "punishment will be severe and be a deterrent." Moreover, Western countries will pay the price of their crimes "in their own homes." Additionally, the alleged AQAP message says that al Qaeda's policy of striking the "head of the snake" is ongoing. Lastly, the statement alleges that Inspire, AQAP's English-language magazine, has been a "resounding success," because of the attack on Charlie Hebdo. In Inspire, AQAP called for terrorist attacks against Charlie Hebdo and others who had supposedly smeared the Prophet Mohammed.
At least two media outlets are reporting that AQAP members have claimed responsibility for the attack. The Interceptreports that an AQAP member sent the publication a statement saying that the group "directed the operation." And theAssociated Press reports that an AQAP member says the attack was ordered "as revenge for the honor" of the Prophet Mohammed.
Such claims may be accurate, but jihadist organizations typically issue formal statements claiming responsibility for attacks, especially assaults as high-profile as the one on Charlie Hebdo.
Posted: 09 Jan 2015 02:31 PM PST
A CNN affiliate in France, BMFTV, interviewed Cherif Kouachi, one of two brothers responsible for the attack on Charlie Hebdo's offices, before he was killed earlier today. A BMFTV journalist reportedly talked to Cherif via phone while he and his brother were holed up at a printing factory.
"We are just telling you that we are the defenders of Prophet Mohammed," Cherif Kouachi told the journalist, according to CNN. "I was sent, me, Cherif Kouachi, by al Qaeda in Yemen. I went there and Sheikh Anwar al-Awlaki financed my trip."
Asked to explain when he met with Awlaki, Cherif said "a while ago." Awlaki was killed in a US drone strike in late September 2011.
An audio recording of BMFTV's interview with Cherif has been released online, but CNN says it has not independently verified its authenticity.
Earlier, Reuters reported that the other Kouachi brother, Said, is also suspected of having ties to Awlaki. Citing "a senior Yemeni intelligence source," Reuters reported that Said met with Awlaki during his stay in Yemen in 2011.
Said's putative meeting with Awlaki has not yet been publicly confirmed by US officials.
American officials have told the press, however, that Said is thought to have trained in an al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) camp during his visit to Yemen in 2011. Citing a "senior American official" who spoke with the media,The New York Times reported that Said trained for "a few months" on small arms. CNN added that it "is also possible Said was trained in bomb making, a common jihadist training in Yemen."
The possible ties between AQAP and the terrorists who attacked Charlie Hebdo were reported in the first hours after the attack. "You can tell the media that it's al Qaeda in Yemen," one of the terrorists said during the assault, according to a witness cited in the press. "Al Qaeda in Yemen" is a reference to AQAP, al Qaeda's official branch in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
A French official who briefed the press shortly after the attack also claimed that the terrorists are "linked to a Yemeni terrorist network."
In the past, AQAP has explicitly threatened Charlie Hebdo and its editor-in-chief, Stephane Charbonnier, who was killed in the attack. The 10th issue of AQAP's Inspire magazine, which was released in early 2013, includes a "Wanted" poster that is headlined, "Dead or Alive For Crimes Against Islam." The poster is intended to encourage followers to shoot 11 people, all of whom have supposedly offended Islam. One of them is Charbonnier.
And in the very first edition of Inspire magazine in 2010, Anwar al Awlaki called for jihadists to attack cartoonists who had supposedly smeared the legacy of the Prophet Mohammed.
Separately, BMFTV was also in contact today with Amedy Coulibaly, who was not involved in the assault onCharlie Hebdo, but is suspected of killing a Paris police officer and holding hostages at a kosher market.
Coulibaly apparently did not mention any ties to AQAP, but did say he was a member of the Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot that claims to rule over parts of Iraq and Syria as a "caliphate." Coulibaly also claimed that he had coordinated his actions with the Kouachi brothers.
It is not clear at this point if Coulibaly had any ties to the Islamic State, or was simply claiming an affiliation.
AQAP and the Islamic State are bitter rivals. The two jihadist groups have engaged in a war of words in recent months.
In mid-November, the emir of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, announced that his "caliphate" had expanded into Saudi Arabia and Yemen. In the process, Baghdadi claimed, the authority of all other existing jihadist groups had been superseded. Baghdadi's announcement was a direct, ideological attack on AQAP.
AQAP's ideologues have responded by arguing that the Islamic State is not a true caliphate and lacks the religious authority to rule as one. AQAP has also released a series of messages that are supportive of al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri.
The Attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the “Kosher Grocery Store”: Israel’s Mossad “to the Rescue”?
Global Research, January 09, 2015
Url of this article:
Amply documented, the French Republic under the helm of president Francois Hollande is supporting as well as funding Al Qaeda affiliated terrorists.
The forbidden truth which the French public should address is that their government together with the US, NATO and Israel while waging a self-proclaimed Global War on Terrorism routinely provide covert support to the same terrorist entities which are the object of their humanitarian wars” and counter-terrorism operations.
While the French media in chorus point to the jihadist threat to Freedom of Expression, not a single French media has had the courage of raising the broader issue of State sponsorship of terrorismand the insidious role of the French government and its intelligence apparatus in supporting Al Qaeda affiliated entities not only in the Middle East and Africa but also in France.
In a bitter irony, the campaign following the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo has not contributed to sustaining ”Freedom of Expression”. In fact quite the opposite. It has contributed to a new wave of media censorship.
There is a gruesome political agenda behind these attacks which must be the object of public debate. Who are terrorists? Those who commit terrorist acts or those who control and finance the terrorists?
Israel to the Rescue of the Kosher Grocery Store in Paris Vincennes
According to reports, French police have launched raids “on two separate sieges” at a kosher grocery in a Jewish neighbourhood in Paris and at Dammartin en Goële, a small town 30 km. northeast of Paris “where the Charlie Hebdo suspects have reportedly been killed” (Daily Telegraph, January 9, 2015).
Unconfirmed reports suggest that there were up to 10 hostages inside the kosher grocery.
Hours before the Jewish Sabbath, the street is usually especially crowded with shoppers – French Jews and tourists alike.The Vincennes region of eastern Paris in which the second, grocery hostage situation is taking place has a large Jewish population. (Daily Telegraph, January 9, 2015)
Because the Jewish community is allegedly threatened, Israel was to come to the rescue of the kosher grocery store. This was confirmed in an official statement by the Israeli government.
In this regard, Prime minister Netanyahu confirmed on January 9, the dispatch of an Israeli Police SWAT team unit which would be working in liaison with its French counterparts. The Israeli SWAT unit “specialising in siege situations and rescues is on standby ready to travel to Paris to assist the French authorities resolve the siege of the kosher grocery store.” according to Haaretz (emphasis added).
It should be noted that the entire French police apparatus is mobilized. What would be the role of the Israeli police forces? Political propaganda? Bear in mind: president Francois Hollande is scheduled to make a major political statement in the wake of the police operation.
Foreknowledge of the Charlie Hebdo Attack?
The suspects were known to French intelligence.
Media and intelligence sources confirm that “the French authorities had been warned about Said and Cherif Kouachi ahead of this Wednesday’s initial attack on Charlie Hebdo” (Daily Telegraph, January 9, 2015, emphasis added), pointing to possible foreknowledge of the attacks.
If they had been duly warned, why did they not act to prevent the attack from occurring?
The Role of Mossad
In addition to the Israeli SWAT team, Prime minister Netanyahu “has ordered Mossad to provide French officials for all the assistance they need in tackling the ongoing terror situation in and around Paris” (Daily Telegraph, emphasis added). What this suggests is that Mossad agents would be operating on French soil in partnership with France’s Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure formerly known as Le Deuxième Bureau.
According to Israel’s prime minister Netanyahu, (January 9)
“[the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the Paris kosher grocery store] are a microcosm of of a greater battle against jihadists …This is a global struggle. Bringing to justice the Paris murderers is just the beginning,…And all of them seek to destroy our freedoms and to impose on all of us a violent, medieval tyranny. They might have different names, but all of them are driven by the same hatred and blood-thirsty fanaticism.They bomb churches in Iraq; they slaughter tourists in Bali; they rocket civilians from Gaza; and strive to build nuclear weapons in Iran...we have to fight these enemies of our common civilization (quoted in Times of Israel, January 9, 2015)
What the Times of Israel report fails to mention is that Netanyahu has been actively supporting Islamic State (ISIS) and Al Nusrah terrorists out of the occupied Golan heights. While coming to France’s rescue, Netanyahu does not deny his governments support of the jihadists in Syria. The IDF top brass has acknowledged that global jihad elements inside Syria are supported by Israel:
Netanyahu toured the Golan Heights with Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz.At a lookout point overlooking the Syrian border, OC Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan briefed Netanyahu on the presence of global jihad elements inside Syria, as well as on the work being done to fortify the Israeli-Syrian border fence. (Jerusalem Post, February 19, 2014)
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Shakes Hand with an Al Qaeda Terrorist. Is the wounded terrorist an Israeli intelligence asset?
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon next to a wounded mercenary, Israeli military field hospital at the occupied Golan Heights border with Syria, 18 February 2014″ (ibid, emphasis added)
Ironically, the State of Israel is collaborating with the French authorities in the Charlie Hebdo counterterrorism operation, while also supporting the two main terrorist entities in Syria: the Islamic State (ISIS) and Al Nusrah.
While there is no evidence of Mossad presence prior to the Charlie Hebdo attacks, it should be noted that France and Israel have a longstanding bilateral relationship in military and intelligence affairs. The fact that the Israeli government announced its intention to dispatch Mossad officials to Paris might suggest that Israeli intelligence officials were in Paris at an earlier date, prior to the January 9 official announcement by PM Netanyahu.
State Sponsorship of Terrorism
Amply documented, the French Republic under the helm of president Francois Hollande is supporting as well as funding Al Qaeda affiliated terrorists in the Middle East and North Africa in liaison with the US, NATO and Israel:
France, as part of a NATO-led coalition, has been arming, funding, aiding, and otherwise perpetuating Al Qaeda terrorists for years, beginning, on record in Libya with the overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and continuing until today with NATOs arming, harboring, and backing of Al Qaeda terrorists including the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) within and along Syrias borders.With the recent attack in Paris likely the work of the very terrorists France has been arming and backing across North Africa and the Middle East, the French government itself stands responsible, guilty of the continued material support of a terrorist organization that has now killed French citizens, including two police officers, not only on French soil, but within the French capital itself. (Tony Cartalucci, Global Research, January 8, 2015)
“The forbidden truth” which the French public should address is that Western governments including France, NATO and Israel –while waging a self-proclaimed “Global War on Terrorism”– routinely provide covert support to the same terrorist entities which are the object of their “humanitarian wars” and “counter-terrorism operations”.
While the French media in chorus point to “Freedom of Expression” in journalism, not a single french media has had the courage of pointing to the issue of State sponsorship of terrorism.