Archives‎ > ‎

911: Mossad ran Arab hijacker cells, from Peter Myers

(1) 911 Mossad ran Arab hijacker cells - Wikileaks/ Madsen(2) Yemini drones are designed in Iran but made in Yemen. Trump won't attack Iran, wants to be re-elected(3) Trump's 'Maximum Pressure' has brought us to the Brink - Pat Buchanan(4) Economist calls Trump's response 'Tepid'(5) CIA-Mossad-Epstein-network's Orwellian solution to Mass Shootings is similar to China's Social Credit(1) 911 Mossad ran Arab hijacker cells - WIKILEAKS/ MadsenFrom: chris lancenet <> Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2019 12:42:17 +0900 Subject: analytical-and-intelligence-comments-mossad-ran-9-11-arab. WIKILEAKS/ Madsen Monday February 27th, 2012, WikiLeaks began publishing The Global Intelligence Files, over five million e-mails from the Texas headquartered "global intelligence" company Stratfor. The e-mails date between July 2004 and late December 2011. They reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal's Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defence Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor's web of informers, pay-off structure, payment laundering techniques and psychological methods.[Analytical & Intelligence Comments] Mossad ran 9/11 Arab "hijacker" terrorist operationReleased on 2013-02-13 00:00 GMTEmail-ID	1332210 Date	2011-05-04 16:26:59 From To [Analytical & Intelligence Comments] Mossad ran 9/11 Arab "hijacker" terrorist operationCROYDON KEMP sent a message using the contact form at ran 9/11 Arab "hijacker" terrorist operationBy Wayne MadsenBritish intelligence reported in February 2002 that the Israeli Mossad ran the Arab hijacker cells that were later blamed by the U.S. government's 9/11 Commission for carrying out the aerial attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. WMR has received details of the British intelligence report which was suppressed by the government of then-Prime Minister Tony Blair.A Mossad unit consisting of six Egyptian- and Yemeni-born Jews infiltrated "Al Qaeda" cells in Hamburg (the Atta-Mamoun Darkanzali cell), south Florida, and Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates in the months before 9/11. The Mossad not only infiltrated cells but began to run them and give them specific orders that would eventually culminate in their being on board four regularly-scheduled flights originating in Boston, Washington Dulles, and Newark, New Jersey on 9/11.The Mossad infiltration team comprised six Israelis, comprising two cells of three agents, who all received special training at a Mossad base in the Negev Desert in their future control and handling of the "Al Qaeda" cells. One Mossad cell traveled to Amsterdam where they submitted to the operational control of the Mossad's Europe Station, which operates from the El Al complex at Schiphol International Airport. The three-man Mossad unit then traveled to Hamburg where it made contact with Mohammed Atta, who believed they were sent by Osama Bin Laden. In fact, they were sent by Ephraim Halevy, the chief of Mossad.The second three-man Mossad team flew to New York and then to southern Florida where they began to direct the "Al Qaeda" cells operating from Hollywood, Miami, Vero Beach, Delray Beach, and West Palm Beach. Israeli "art students," already under investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration for casing the offices and homes of federal law enforcement officers, had been living among and conducting surveillance of the activities, including flight school training, of the future Arab "hijacker" cells, particularly in Hollywood and Vero Beach.In August 2001, the first Mossad team flew with Atta and other Hamburg "Al Qaeda" members to Boston. Logan International Airport's security was contracted to Huntleigh USA, a firm owned by an Israeli airport security firm closely connected to Mossad - International Consultants on Targeted Security - ICTS. ICTS's owners were politically connected to the Likud Party, particularly the Netanyahu faction and then-Jerusalem mayor and future Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. It was Olmert who personally interceded with New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to have released from prison five Urban Moving Systems employees, identified by the CIA and FBI agents as Mossad agents. The Israelis were the only suspects arrested anywhere in the United States on 9/11 who were thought to have been involved in the 9/11 attacks.The two Mossad teams sent regular coded reports on the progress of the 9/11 operation to Tel Aviv via the Israeli embassy in Washington, DC. WMR has learned from a Pentagon source that leading Americans tied to the media effort to pin 9/11 on Arab hijackers, Osama Bin Laden, and the Taliban were present in the Israeli embassy on September 10, 2001, to coordinate their media blitz for the subsequent days and weeks following the attacks. It is more than likely that FBI counter-intelligence agents who conduct surveillance of the Israeli embassy have proof on the presence of the Americans present at the embassy on September 10. Some of the Americans are well-known to U.S. cable news television audiences.In mid-August, the Mossad team running the Hamburg cell in Boston reported to Tel Aviv that the final plans for 9/11 were set. The Florida-based Mossad cell reported that the documented "presence" of the Arab cell members at Florida flight schools had been established.The two Mossad cells studiously avoided any mention of the World Trade Center or targets in Washington, DC in their coded messages to Tel Aviv. Halevy covered his tracks by reporting to the CIA of a "general threat" by an attack by Arab terrorists on a nuclear plant somewhere on the East Coast of the United States. CIA director George Tenet dismissed the Halevy warning as "too non-specific." The FBI, under soon-to-be-departed director Louis Freeh, received the "non-specific" warning about an attack on a nuclear power plant and sent out the information in its routine bulletins to field agents but no high alert was ordered.The lack of a paper trail pointing to "Al Qaeda" as the masterminds on 9/11, which could then be linked to Al Qaeda's Mossad handlers, threw off the FBI. On April 19, 2002, FBI director Robert Mueller, in a speech to San Francisco's Commonwealth Club, stated: "In our investigation, we have not uncovered a single piece of paper - either here in the United States, or in the treasure trove of information that has turned up in Afghanistan and elsewhere - that mentioned any aspect of the September 11 plot."The two Mossad "Al Qaeda" infiltration and control teams had also helped set up safe houses for the quick exfiltration of Mossad agents from the United States. Last March, WMR reported: "WMR has learned from two El Al sources who worked for the Israeli airline at New York's John F. Kennedy airport that on 9/11, hours after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounded all civilian domestic and international incoming and outgoing flights to and from the United States, a full El Al Boeing 747 took off from JFK bound for Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport. The two El Al employee sources are not Israeli nationals but legal immigrants from Ecuador who were working in the United States for the airline. The flight departed JFK at 4:11 pm and its departure was, according to the El Al sources, authorized by the direct intervention of the U.S. Department of Defense. U.S. military officials were on the scene at JFK and were personally involved with the airport and air traffic control authorities to clear the flight for take-off. According to the 9/11 Commission report, Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta ordered all civilian flights to be grounded at 9:45 am on September 11." WMR has learned from British intelligence sources that the six-man Mossad team was listed on the El Al flight manifest as El Al employees.WMR previously reported that the Mossad cell operating in the Jersey City-Weehawken area of New Jersey through Urban Moving Systems was suspected by some in the FBI and CIA of being involved in moving explosives into the World Trade Center as well as staging "false flag" demonstrations at least two locations in north Jersey: Liberty State Park and an apartment complex in Jersey City as the first plane hit the World Trade Center's North Tower. One team of Urban Moving Systems Mossad agents was arrested later on September 11 and jailed for five months at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. Some of their names turned up in a joint CIA-FBI database as known Mossad agents, along with the owner of Urban Moving Systems, Dominik Suter, whose name also appeared on a "Law Enforcement Sensitive" FBI 9/11 suspects list, along with the names of key "hijackers," including Mohammed Atta and Hani Hanjour, as well as the so-called "20th hijacker," Zacarias Moussaoui.Suter was allowed to escape the United States after the FBI made initial contact with him at the Urban Moving Systems warehouse in Weehawken, New Jersey, following the 9/11 attacks. Suter was later permitted to return to the United States where he was involved in the aircraft parts supply business in southern Florida, according to an informed source who contacted WMR. Suter later filed for bankruptcy in Florida for Urban Moving Systems and other businesses he operated: Suburban Moving & Storage Inc.; Max Movers, Inc.; Invsupport; Woodflooring Warehouse Corp.; One Stop Cleaning LLC; and City Carpet Upholstery, Inc. At the time of the bankruptcy filing in Florida, Suter listed his address as 1867 Fox Court, Wellington, FL 33414, with a phone number of 561 204-2359. From the list of creditors it can be determined that Suter had been operating in the United States since 1993, the year of the first attack on the World Trade Center. In 1993, Suter began racking up American Express credit card charges totaling $21,913.97. Suter also maintained credit card accounts with HSBC Bank and Orchard Bank c/o HSBC Card Services of Salinas, California, among other banks. Suter also did business with the Jewish Community Center of Greater Palm Beach in Florida and Ryder Trucks in Miami. Miami and southern Florida were major operating areas for cells of Israeli Mossad agents masquerading as "art students," who were living and working near some of the identified future Arab "hijackers" in the months preceding 9/11.ABC's 20/20 correspondent John Miller ensured that the Israeli connection to "Al Qaeda's" Arab hijackers was buried in an "investigation" of the movers' activities on 9/11. Anchor Barbara Walters helped Miller in putting a lid on the story about the movers and Suter aired on June 21, 2002. Miller then went on to become the FBI public affairs spokesman to ensure that Mueller and other FBI officials kept to the "Al Qaeda" script as determined by the Bush administration and the future 9/11 Commission. But former CIA chief of counter-terrorism Vince Cannistraro let slip to ABC an important clue to the operations of the Mossad movers in New Jersey when he stated that the Mossad agents "set up or exploited for the purpose of launching an intelligence operation against radical Islamists in the area, particularly in the New Jersey-New York area." The "intelligence operation" turned out to have been the actual 9/11 attacks. And it was no coincidence that it was ABC's John Miller who conducted a May 1998 rare interview of Osama Bin Laden at his camp in Afghanistan. Bin Laden played his part well for future scenes in the fictional "made-for-TV" drama known as 9/11.WMR has also learned from Italian intelligence sources that Mossad's running of "Al Qaeda" operatives did not end with running the "hijacking" teams in the United States and Hamburg. Other Arab "Al Qaeda" operatives, run by Mossad, were infiltrated into Syria but arrested by Syrian intelligence. Syria was unsuccessful in turning them to participate in intelligence operations in Lebanon. Detailed information on Bin Laden's support team was offered to the Bush administration, up to days prior to 9/11, by Gutbi al-Mahdi, the head of the Sudanese Mukhabarat intelligence service. The intelligence was rejected by the Bush White House. It was later reported that Sudanese members of "Al Qaeda's" support network were double agents for Mossad who had also established close contacts with Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and operated in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Eritrea, as well as Sudan. The Mossad connection to Al Qaeda in Sudan was likely known by the Sudanese Mukhabarat, a reason for the rejection of its intelligence on "Al Qaeda" by the thoroughly-Mossad penetrated Bush White House. Yemen had also identified "Al Qaeda" members who were also Mossad agents. A former chief of Mossad revealed to this editor in 2002 that Yemeni-born Mossad "deep insertion" commandos spotted Bin Laden in the Hadhramaut region of eastern Yemen after his escape from Tora Bora in Afghanistan, following the U.S. invasion.French intelligence determined that other Egyptian- and Yemeni-born Jewish Mossad agents were infiltrated into Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates as radical members of the Muslim Brotherhood. However, the "Muslim Brotherhood" agents actually were involved in providing covert Israeli funding for "Al Qaeda" activities. On February 21, 2006, WMR reported on the U.S. Treasury Secretary's firing by President Bush over information discovered on the shady "Al Qaeda" accounts in the United Arab Emirates: "Banking insiders in Dubai report that in March 2002, U.S. Secretary of Treasury Paul O'Neill visited Dubai and asked for documents on a $109,500 money transfer from Dubai to a joint account held by hijackers Mohammed Atta and Marwan al Shehhi at Sun Trust Bank in Florida. O'Neill also asked UAE authorities to close down accounts used by Al Qaeda . ... The UAE complained about O'Neill's demands to the Bush administration. O'Neill's pressure on the UAE and Saudis contributed to Bush firing him as Treasury Secretary in December 2002 " O'Neill may have also stumbled on the "Muslim Brotherhood" Mossad operatives operating in the emirates who were directing funds to "Al Qaeda."After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise to power of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Sharjah's ruler, Sultan bin Mohammed al-Qasimi, who survived a palace coup attempt in 1987, opened his potentate to Russian businessmen like Viktor Bout, as well as to financiers of radical Muslim groups, including the Taliban and "Al Qaeda."Moreover, this Israeli support for "Al Qaeda" was fully known to Saudi intelligence, which approved of it in order to avoid compromising Riyadh. The joint Israeli-Saudi support for "Al Qaeda" was well-known to the Sharjah and Ras al Khaimah-based aviation network of the now-imprisoned Russian, Viktor Bout, jailed in New York on terrorism charges. The presence of Bout in New York, a hotbed of Israeli intelligence control of U.S. federal prosecutors, judges, as well as the news media, is no accident: Bout knows enough about the Mossad activities in Sharjah in support of the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, where Bout also had aviation and logistics contracts, to expose Mossad as the actual mastermind behind 9/11. Bout's aviation empire also extended to Miami and Dallas, two areas that were nexuses for the Mossad control operations for the "Al Qaeda" flight training operations of the Arab cell members in the months prior to 9/11.Bout's path also crossed with "Al Qaeda's" support network at the same bank in Sharjah, HSBC. Mossad's phony Muslim Brotherhood members from Egypt and Yemen controlled financing for "Al Qaeda" through the HSBC accounts in Sharjah. Mossad's Dominik Suter also dealt with HSBC in the United States. The FBI's chief counter-terrorism agent investigating Al Qaeda, John O'Neill, became aware of the "unique" funding mechanisms for Al Qaeda. It was no mistake that O'Neill was given the job as director of security for the World Trade Center on the eve of the attack. O'Neill perished in the collapse of the complex. Mossad uses a number of Jews born in Arab countries to masquerade as Arabs. They often carry forged or stolen passports from Arab countries or nations in Europe that have large Arab immigrant populations, particularly Germany, France, Britain, Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands.For Mossad, the successful 9/11 terrorist "false flag" operation was a success beyond expectations. The Bush administration, backed by the Blair government, attacked and occupied Iraq, deposing Saddam Hussein, and turned up pressure on Israel's other adversaries, including Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Hamas, and Lebanese Hezbollah. The Israelis also saw the U.S., Britain, and the UN begin to crack down on the Lebanese Shi'a diamond business in Democratic Republic of Congo and West Africa, and with it, the logistics support provided by Bout's aviation companies, which resulted in a free hand for Tel Aviv to move in on Lebanese diamond deals in central and west Africa.Then-Israeli Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu commented on the 9/11 attacks on U.S. television shortly after they occurred. Netanyahu said: "It is very good!" It now appears that Netanyahu, in his zeal, blew Mossad's cover as the masterminds of 9/11.Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist, author and syndicated columnist. He has written for several renowned papers and blogs.Madsen is a regular contributor on Russia Today. He has been a frequent political and national security commentator on Fox News and has also appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, and MS-NBC. Madsen has taken on Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity on their television shows. He has been invited to testifty as a witness before the US House of Representatives, the UN Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and an terrorism investigation panel of the French government.As a U.S. Naval Officer, he managed one of the first computer security programs for the U.S. Navy. He subsequently worked for the National Security Agency, the Naval Data Automation Command, Department of State, RCA Corporation, and Computer Sciences Corporation.Madsen is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), Association for Intelligence Officers (AFIO), and the National Press Club. He is a regular contributor to Opinion Maker(2) Yemini drones are designed in Iran but made in Yemen. Trump won't attack Iran, because he wants to be re-elected 19, 2019The Crisis Over The Attack On Saudi Oil Infrastructure Is Over - We Now Wait For the Next OneThe Saudis and the U.S. accuse Iran of being behind the "act of war" as Secretary of State Pompeo called it. The Saudis have bombed Yemen with U.S. made bombs since 2015. One wonders how Pompeo is calling that.The Yemeni forces aligned with the Houthi Ansarallah do not deny that their drones and cruise missiles are copies of Iranian designs. But they insist that they are built in Yemen and fired from there.President Trump will not launch a military attack against Iran. Neither will the Saudis or anyone else. Iran has deterred them by explaining that any attack on Iran will be responded to by waging all out war against the U.S. and its 'allies' around the Persian Gulf.Trump sent Pompeo to Saudi Arabia to hold hands with the Saudi gangster family who call themselves royals. Pompeo of course tried to sell them more weapons. On his flight back he had an uncharacteristically dovish Q & A with reporters. Pompeo said:I was here in an act of diplomacy. While the foreign minister of Iran is threatening all-out war and to fight to the last American, we’re here to build out a coalition aimed at achieving peace and a peaceful resolution to this. That’s my mission set, what President Trump certainly wants me to work to achieve, and I hope that the Islamic Republic of Iran sees it the same way. There’s no evidence of that from his statement, but I hope that that’s the case. The crisis is over and we are back to waiting for the next round. A few days or weeks from now we will see another round of attacks on oil assets on the western side of the Persian Gulf. Iran, with the help of its friends, can play this game again and again and it will do so until the U.S. gives up and lifts the sanctions against that country.The Houthi will continue to attack the Saudis until they end their war on Yemen and pay reparations.As long as no U.S. forces get killed the U.S. will not hit back because Trump wants to be reelected. An all out war around the Persian Gulf would drive energy prices into the stratosphere and slump the global economy. His voters would not like that.In our earlier pieces on the Abqaiq attack we said that the attacked crude oil stabilization plant in Abquaq had no air defense. Some diligent researchers have since found that there was a previously unknown Patriot air-defense unit in the area which was itself protected by several short range air-defense cannons:Michael Duitsman @DuitsyWasHere - 7:02 UTC · Sep 18, 2019 On paper, the point air defenses at the Abqaiq oil processing facility are rather formidable... by 1995 standards, at least.But one Patriot system covers only 120° of the horizon. The attacking drones came from a western directions while Saudi Arabia's enemies are to its east and south. The older Patriot 2 version the Saudis have is also not of much use against low flying drones and cruise missiles.There is also the oddity that the Patriot unit's radar system was shut off.Putin is a Virus @PutinIsAVirus - 4:53 UTC · Sep 19, 2019 No patriot radars have been active in recent months (at least not consistently) in the vicinity of the plant, not in the short range required to detect low flying cruise missiles or drones. Closest installation is in Barhain. (using Sentinel 1 CSAR sat for detection)Satellites with synthetic-aperture radar can 'see' the radar of Patriot and other air-defense system. None was detected around Abqaiq.The explanation for that is likely rather trivial. Colonel Pat Lang was stationed in Saudi Arabia as a military liaison officer. As he recently remarked:Never underestimate the feckless laziness of the Saudis. In my experience they turn off all ATC and air defense systems that require manning or watch keeping when they find them inconvenient as on the weekend. IMO if Ansarallah did this they will do something similar soon to prove they are responsible.Abqaiq was attacked on the night of Friday to Saturday. That is the weekend in Saudi Arabia.Posted by b on September 19, 2019 at 18:12 UTC(3) Trump's 'Maximum Pressure' has brought us to the Brink - Pat Buchanan Trump Still Avoid War with Iran?September 19, 2019 by Patrick J. BuchananA more fundamental question arises: If the United States was not attacked, why is it our duty to respond militarily to an attack on Saudi Arabia?President Donald Trump does not want war with Iran. America does not want war with Iran. Even the Senate Republicans are advising against military action in response to that attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities."All of us (should) get together and exchange ideas, respectfully, and come to a consensus — and that should be bipartisan," says Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jim Risch of Idaho.When Lindsey Graham said the White House had shown "weakness" and urged retaliatory strikes for what Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calls Iran’s "act of war," the president backhanded his golfing buddy:"It’s very easy to attack, but if you ask Lindsey … ask him how did going into the Middle East … work out. And how did Iraq work out?"Still, if neither America nor Iran wants war, what has brought us to the brink?Answer: The policy imposed by Trump, Pompeo and John Bolton after our unilateral withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.Our course was fixed by the policy we chose to pursue.Imposing on Iran the most severe sanctions ever by one modern nation on another, short of war, the U.S., through "maximum pressure," sought to break the Iranian regime and bend it to America’s will.Submit to U.S. demands, we told Tehran, or watch your economy crumble and collapse and your people rise up in revolt and overthrow your regime.Among the 12 demands issued by Pompeo:End all enrichment of uranium or processing of plutonium. Halt all testing of ballistic missiles. Cut off Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. Disarm and demobilize Shiite militias in Syria and Iraq. Terminate support for the Houthi rebels resisting Saudi intervention in Yemen.The demands Pompeo made were those that victorious nations impose upon the defeated or defenseless. Pompeo’s problem: Iran was neither.Hezbollah is dominant in Lebanon. Along with Russia and Hezbollah, Iran and its militias enabled Bashar Assad to emerge victorious in an eight-year Syrian civil war. And the scores of thousands of Iranian-trained and -allied Shiite militia fighters in the Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq outnumber the 5,200 U.S. troops there 20 times over.Hence Tehran’s defiant answer to Pompeo’s 12 demands:We will not capitulate, and if your sanctions prevent our oil from reaching our traditional buyers, we will prevent the oil of your Sunni allies from getting out of the Persian Gulf.Hence, this summer, we saw tankers sabotaged and seized in the Gulf, insurance rates for tanker traffic surge, Iran shoot-down a $130 million U.S. Predator drone, and, a week ago, an attack on Saudi oil production facilities that cut Riyadh’s exports in half.This has been followed by an Iranian warning that a Saudi attack on Iran means war, and a U.S. attack will be met with a counterattack. We don’t want war, the Iranians are saying, but if the alternative is to choke to death under U.S. sanctions, we will use our weapons to fight yours.America might emerge victorious in such a war, but the cost could be calamitous, imperiling that fifth of the world’s oil that traverses the Strait of Hormuz, and causing a global recession.Yet even if there is no U.S. or Saudi military response to Saturday’s attack, what is to prevent Iran from ordering a second strike that shuts down more Arab Gulf oil production?Iran has shown the ability to do that, and, apparently, neither we nor the Saudis have the defenses to prevent such an attack.A more fundamental question arises: If the United States was not attacked, why is it our duty to respond militarily to an attack on Saudi Arabia?Saudi Arabia is not a member of NATO. It is not a treaty ally. The Middle East Security Alliance or "Arab NATO" chatted up a year ago to contain Iran — of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf states — was stillborn. We are under no obligation to fight the Saudis’ war.Nor is Saudi Arabia a natural American ally.Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman runs an Islamic autocracy.He inserted himself into first position in the line of succession to the throne of his father, who’s in failing health. He locked up his brother princes at the Riyadh Ritz Carlton to shake them down for billions of dollars.He summoned the prime minister of Lebanon to the kingdom, where the crown prince forced him to resign in humiliation. He has ostracized Qatar from Arab Gulf councils. He has been accused of complicity in the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.With his U.S.-built and bought air force, the Crown Prince has made a hell on earth of Yemen to crush the Houthis rebels who hold the capital.The question President Trump confronts today:How does he get his country back off the limb he climbed out on while listening to the Republican neocons and hawks he defeated in 2016, but who have had an inordinate influence over his foreign policy?(4) Economist calls Trump's response 'Tepid'’s dangerous gameA strike on Saudi Arabia moves a shadowy conflict closer to open war America’s response needs to balance deterring Iran with the risk of escalationSep 19th 2019The missiles streaked down and turned the night sky orange. In the early hours of September 14th a barrage of fast-moving weapons hit Abqaiq, a town in the eastern Saudi desert that is home to the world’s largest oil-processing facility. They punched holes in the spheroids that process crude oil and smashed five of Abqaiq’s 18 stabilisation towers, lighting up the night. A separate volley set ablaze the Khurais oilfield, 185km to the south west.When the sun rose a few hours later, thick plumes of smoke were visible from space. The images reminded some of the 1991 war with Iraq, when Saddam Hussein’s retreating army set fire to oilfields in Kuwait. Oil prices briefly surged 20% on news that more than 5.7m barrels a day of oil production had been halted. This was the biggest disruption to the world’s energy supply in decades (see article).The attack appears to be the most dangerous escalation yet by the Islamic republic in its simmering conflict with America and its allies. After months of sabre-rattling and increasingly brazen acts of aggression—from mine attacks on ships to the seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker—Iran (or its proxies) has moved on to strike directly at the jugular vein of the world’s economy. The barrage, by a mix of cruise missiles and drones, also marks a worrying transition to open war from the shadowy proxy conflict that Iran has waged with Saudi Arabia and its allies.Iran has made mischief in the region, and beyond, for years. The Quds Force, a special-operations arm of the hardline Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (irgc), provided explosives used in attacks on American troops in Iraq a decade ago. Iran was also implicated in terrorist activities in Europe and the Americas long before that.But the regime’s most dangerous card—a nuclear programme that may have left it months away from the ability to manufacture an atomic bomb—was removed from the deck in 2015. An agreement struck between Iran and six world powers saw it accept strict limits on uranium enrichment in exchange for relief from some economic sanctions. The deal may have also helped to dissuade Iran from aggressive acts that could have threatened the foreign investment and other benefits promised by the deal. But that calculus changed when President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the agreement in May 2018 and in effect banned the export of its oil a year later. Iran’s exports have shrunk from a peak of 2.8m barrels a day last year to less than 1m now. Mr Trump has since added to the pain with new sanctions on entire industries, such as petrochemicals and the gold trade, and on individuals including Mohammad Javad Zarif, the foreign minister.This pressure has prompted Iran to hit back. It first sabotaged oil tankers in the Persian Gulf. Then it stepped up a notch to seizing them, most recently grabbing a vessel on September 16th that it said was smuggling fuel to the United Arab Emirates (uae). Iran has also begun to flout some aspects of the nuclear deal itself, by enriching uranium to proscribed quantities and levels of purity.There was a logic to this escalation. Iran hoped that by threatening to step away from the nuclear pact it would press the other signatories, in particular France, Germany and Britain, into offering it support such as credit lines to mitigate the impact of American sanctions. And by menacing shipping in the Gulf it wanted to demonstrate that the regime could impose costs on America and its allies. But what may have started as a way of signalling Iran’s unhappiness has since escalated into more dangerous actions such as the latest attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities.In part this is because of Mr Trump’s tepid response to earlier provocations. For all his hawkish rhetoric and sanctions, a campaign he calls "maximum pressure", the president is averse to military conflict. He ordered retaliatory air strikes after Iran shot down an American drone flying over the Gulf in June, only to recall the bombers at the last minute.Much is still unknown about the latest attack. But it is reasonable to conclude, as Saudi Arabia (and its ally America) soon did, that Iran had a hand in it. The Islamic republic denies involvement, but circumstantial evidence links it to the weapons used. The first claim of responsibility came from the Houthis, who control northern parts of Yemen and its capital, Sana’a. un investigators have previously said that Iran had supplied the Houthis with advanced weapons, including drones, missiles and equipment to make rocket fuel.Many Houthi drones look almost identical to Iranian ones. Scores have been flown into Saudi Arabia, aimed at airports, military bases and other targets. In December 2017 the Houthis even launched missiles towards a nuclear reactor under construction in Abu Dhabi. In January the un noted that the Houthis had acquired a new drone with a range of up to 1,500km. In May the group claimed to have struck two oil-pumping stations and a pipeline deep in Saudi territory using such drones.Houthi dunnit?The weapons used in the latest attack seem to have been developed in Iran. Fabian Hinz, an analyst with the James Martin Centre for Nonproliferation Studies, wrote that wreckage found near Abqaiq looked like a cruise missile known as the Quds-1, probably designed by Iran. At a press conference on September 18th Saudi Arabia showed the wreckage of drones and missiles that it claimed proved Iran’s involvement. America says that these were launched from a base in southern Iran. Satellite photos indicate a sophisticated and precise operation, with clean strikes on Abqaiq’s facilities. It is hard to imagine the Houthis conducting such an attack without Iran’s help.If oil output, and by extension the world economy, was the first casualty, then the second was surely Saudi credibility as a dependable guardian of that supply. Last year Saudi Arabia spent between $68bn and $83bn on defence (estimates vary), behind only America and China. Saudi Arabia was one of the first foreign buyers of America’s Patriot missile-defence system in 1991 and now operates six batteries of them.Yet its ground forces have been humbled by four years of fighting rebels waging guerrilla warfare in Yemen. And its air defences seem to be just as inept at fending off conventional threats. To be fair, drones and cruise missiles are especially hard to stop, particularly if they overwhelm defences by arriving in large numbers. They are small and they fly low, hiding from radar behind the curvature of the earth. And they are manoeuvrable, so they can skirt known missile-defence sites. Some reports suggest the Aramco barrage snuck in via Kuwait. Saudi air defences are relatively thin in the eastern province, with most of its batteries focused to the south on the threat from Yemen.Even so, Saudi forces seem to have had only limited success in using their Patriots against ballistic missiles, which are easier to spot. The company that makes the Patriot claims that its batteries have batted away more than 100 Houthi missiles over Saudi Arabia and the uae. But Jeffrey Lewis, an expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, says there is no evidence that they have intercepted any missiles. If the Patriot and similar systems are leakier than assumed, Saudi oil facilities may be worryingly vulnerable to Iran should the conflict escalate.America’s standing as the ultimate guarantor of security in the region has also been damaged. Mr Trump first said that America was "locked and loaded" to respond to the attack. Then he prevaricated, as he had done in earlier incidents, kicking the ball back to Saudi Arabia, saying he would wait "to hear from the kingdom" before acting. The following day he stressed his desire to make a deal with Iran. On September 18th Mr Trump announced that he would impose further sanctions. But their impact will be limited, because the administration is running out of effective targets.An aide to the vice-president, Mike Pence, said that "locked and loaded" was in fact a reference to American energy independence, a prize bit of spin even for Mr Trump’s White House. The erratic swerves then continued with Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, calling the attack an "act of war" in a visit to the kingdom.Saudi Arabia has tried to downplay the incident at home. King Salman said that his country has the "ability to respond"—hardly a war cry. Much of the public commentary on the attack has come from oil officials, not military men. Two days after the attack the front page of Al-Riyadh, a pro-government daily, led with a story about the crown prince attending a camel race. Coverage of the Aramco incident came further down. It emphasised international support for the kingdom and avoided photos of burning oilfields.This seems in keeping with Saudi tradition. For decades the kingdom was conservative in its foreign policy and shunned the use of hard power. Under the previous monarch, King Abdullah, it would have been unthinkable for Saudi Arabia to conduct a military strike without America’s full support.Times have changed. The crown prince, Muhammad bin Salman, has ploughed ahead with a ruinous war in Yemen despite deep misgivings in Washington and other Western capitals. He has also worked to cultivate a new Saudi identity, one rooted in muscular nationalism instead of Islam. Officials in the Gulf have warned for months that the kingdom would eventually have to retaliate against Iran for the seemingly endless string of drone and missile attacks on its facilities.Yet Saudi Arabia remains hesitant to pick a fight with a foe that can fight back. The experience of its air force in Yemen is not encouraging. Air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition have killed thousands of civilians, despite Britain and America providing precision munitions from their own arsenals and targeting assistance in a bid to reduce "collateral damage". Iran, which operates the Russian s-300 air defence system, would be an even harder target for Saudi warplanes. (Vladimir Putin, in a sublime bit of political trolling, suggested on September 16th that Saudi Arabia might want to buy the same system, while Mr Rouhani chuckled on a stage next to him.) The kingdom does have its own arsenal of Western-built cruise missiles, but their short range means they could reach only parts of Iran.Iran takes aimIf further evidence of Iran’s role comes to light, Mr Trump may face more pressure to act. "The strike on Abqaiq is arguably the most serious attack on energy infrastructure in the Gulf since Saddam Hussein’s forces invaded Kuwait in 1990," says Michael Singh of the Washington Institute for Near East Peace Policy, a think-tank.Mr Trump has a range of options. His proposed strike in June was aimed at the radar and missile batteries involved with shooting down the American drone. This time he could target facilities from which the attack on Saudi Arabia was launched—although drones and cruise missiles tend to be mobile and easy to launch from austere sites.Another option would be to target facilities associated with the irgc. Attacking their bases and personnel outside Iran—whether in Iraq, Syria or Yemen—might be considered less escalatory than striking Iranian soil. A larger show of force is also possible. In 1988 America responded to Iranian attacks on shipping in the Persian Gulf with Operation Praying Mantis, a major air and naval assault on Iranian ships and platforms.Quds inIran would not sit by. Its conventional means are limited; its $13bn defence budget is a fifth of Saudi Arabia’s, and one-fiftieth that of America’s. But it could target further missile volleys at ships, bases and other critical infrastructure throughout the Gulf. The Quds Force could also mobilise regional allies, from the Houthis in Yemen to Hizbullah in Lebanon, to attack Western and Arab interests, which is one reason that the Pentagon is discouraging Mr Trump from ordering a military strike. More subtly, Iran’s accomplished cyber-forces could disrupt energy, financial and political networks within the region and beyond. In 2012 Iranian hackers were blamed for crippling 30,000 of Saudi Aramco’s computers in one of the costliest cyber-attacks ever.A wild and uncontrolled backlash is unlikely. In choosing their parry, Iran’s leaders would need to balance between facing down America by raising the stakes, and avoiding an all-out war that would threaten the regime’s survival. Their hope is that Mr Trump would lose the stomach for a fight long before matters reached such a stage.This was always the inexorable endpoint of Mr Trump’s policy of "maximum pressure". He and his aides thought they could pummel Iran into a new deal that constrained not only its nuclear programme but also its foreign policy. Instead they convinced Iran’s hardliners that the only way of dealing with America was through muscular confrontation. Neither side will find it easy to back away. ?This article appeared in the Middle East and Africa section of the print edition under the headline "Iran’s dangerous game"(5) CIA-Mossad-Epstein-network's Orwellian solution to Mass Shootings is similar to China's Social CreditFrom: chris lancenet <> Subject: webb-how-CIA-Mossad-Epstein-network-are-exploiting-mass-shootings-create-orwellian How The CIA, Mossad, & "The Epstein Network" Are Exploiting Mass Shootings To Create An Orwellian NightmareSun, 09/08/2019 - 00:00Authored by Whitney Webb via