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This article appears in the October 11, 2013 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Russia: Ghouta Chemical Attack
Was a Saudi 'Black Op'

Special to EIR

[PDF version of this article]

Oct. 5—As an advance team of United Nations staffers and disarmament specialists on chemical weapons arrived in Syria yesterday in advance of inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the Voice of Russia posted a blockbuster article saying that the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack in Ghouta, a Damascus suburb, was done by a Saudi Arabian black operations team.

"Based on data from a number of sources, a picture can be pieced together. The criminal provocation in Eastern Ghouta was done by a black op team that the Saudis sent through Jordan and which acted with support of the Liwa al-Islam group, a source in the diplomatic circles said," according to the VoR article.

The new evidence and assertions by Russian, Syrian, and other sources, including members of the Syrian opposition, are being presented to governments around the world, not only to present the evidence of rebel chemical weapons attacks, but to prevent the Saudi-controlled rebel terrorists in Syria from destroying the work of the OPCW in removing the government's chemical weapons arsenal. Sources quoted in the Russian media believe that the rebels are preparing attacks, even a false-flag chemical weapons attack, in order to destroy the U.S.-Russian agreement that is the basis for a diplomatic solution for Syria.

While EIR has not confirmed these charges, they are coherent with highly qualified reports coming from U.S. and other intelligence experts, as well as EIR's detailed knowledge of the British-Saudi nexus responsible for the vast majority of terrorism worldwide.

Bandar's Army

At the same time, Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin-Sultan, who is referred to in media reports as "Prince of the Jihadis," "Chemical Bandar," and "Bandar Bush," is reported by international news services to be behind the creation of a jihadi "Army of Islam" in Syria. This Army, made up of about 50 Islamist organizations that announced a split from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) on Sept. 24, is an attempt to keep the ultra-radical neo-Salafis in positions of power within the opposition to the Assad government, by creating a phony "new" organization, separate from the organizations that the United States has named as "terrorists." This Saudi effort to create a "non-terrorist" band of jihadis is similar to British intelligence's "countergang" tactics used in Africa in the 1950s: to create an intelligence-service-controlled organization that would serve as a puppet "opposition."

One immediate purpose of the Saudi maneuver is to distance Liwa al-Islam from Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the two allied groups that are openly connected to al-Qaeda and its head, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and which have been put on a terrorist list by the United States.

But this move is completely phony. According to an Oct. 4 article by investigative reporter and blogger Steve Lendman, Liwa al-Islam is headed by Zahran Alloush, the son of the Saudi-based Salafist cleric, Abdullah Mohammed Alloush. Lendman and others report that it is well-known that Zahran Alloush, who rejects negotiations with President Bashar al-Assad, conducts joint operations with Jabhat al-Nusra. Lendman highlights the Voice of Russia story, which implicated Saudi Arabia and Jordan in the Ghouta chemical weapons attack. "The Saudi black ops teams were based in Jordan," Lendman wrote. King "Abdullah II ibn al-Hussein's Hashemite Kingdom is complicit."

A well-informed Middle East intelligence source told EIRNS that Liwa al-Islam is one of the major assets in the Islamist network selected and financed by Bandar's Saudi operation. Among its notorious actions during the Syrian civil war, Liwa al-Islam claimed responsibility for the bombing of the July 2012 secret government meeting in Damascus that killed a number of top Syrian officials, including Defense Minister Dawoud Rajiha, his deputy Asef Shawkat, and Assistant Vice President Hassan Turkmani, reported Russia Today on Oct. 4. Liwa al-Islam is one of the 11 jihadi groups that issued a Sept. 24 statement disassociating themselves from the Syrian National Coalition.

Propaganda Machine in Action

Already this Saudi maneuver to create a jihadi army that is not on the U.S. terrorist list has gotten its propaganda wing in motion. On Oct. 1, writer Hassan Hassan welcomed Liwa al-Islam in a Foreign Policy article called, "The Army of Islam Is Winning in Syria." The article is subheaded: "And that's not necessarily a bad thing."

Hassan says that Liwa al-Islam "is the central player in the Army of Islam, [which] now dwarfs both the FSA and radical militias such as Ahrar al-Sham and Jabhat al-Nusra, which long played a prominent role in the region...."

In the aftermath of the action of Sept. 24, when 11 of the rebels' most powerful Islamist groups left the umbrella opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition, there has been a scramble over who will be recognized as the official opposition. Then on Sept. 29, "at least 50 groups operating mainly around Damascus merged into Jaish al-Islam ('the Army of Islam'), thus undermining the Free Syrian Army's dominance" in that part of Syria where the FSA had been considered the strongest rebel force, according to Lendman's analysis.

Such a sanitizing of the neo-Salafis is a necessary step for the Saudi-led Sunni backers of the rebels, since Bandar's role in helping the terrorists is exposed as never before. Since the Aug. 21 chemical attack in Syria, dozens of articles have appeared internationally identifying Bandar as the "godfather" of the jihadi killers that are the armed rebels in Syria. These revelations come at the same time that there is mounting pressure in the United States to declassify and release the redacted 28 pages of the 2004 findings of the 9/11 Joint Congressional Inquiry, pages suppressed by both the Bush and Obama administrations for strictly political reasons. The release of the classified 28 pages would be a critical flank in exposing the Anglo-Saudi role in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and the international jihadi terrorist threat today.

Until the story of the role of Saudi Arabia and then-Ambassador to the U.S. Prince Bandar bin-Sultan is exposed—starting with the release of the 28 pages—there will be no way to stop the jihadi terror wave which has swept over the last year from Benghazi, Libya to Algeria to Mali and Kenya; which is ripping apart Syria, Iraq, and Pakistan on a daily basis; and has intensified in Central Asia.

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