Is there really a group ready to hang Erdogan out to dry?

May 01, 2020

Is there really a group ready to hang Erdogan out to dry?

by Intibah Kadi for the Saker Blog

Australian Investigator and Reporter, Chris Ray, has written an excellent piece [1]on Syrian born Imam Fedaa Al Majzoub, a graduate from the world’s most prestigious Muslim institution, Al-Azhar University, and who, until recently, enjoyed a privileged position in the Sunni Islamic community in Australia as a leader and academic and was presented as a “moderate”. Like many of his peers, he engaged with government and NGO’s in “interfaith” activities [2], reassuring the Australian government and public of unity, fraternity and equal regard for the law [3]and governance of Australia , glossing over, or in fact denying any contradictions vis-à-vis their hardline Takfiri agenda and where loyalties ultimately lie, also perhaps underplaying the decades-long role Saudi Arabia has played in the Muslim communities of Australia[4]. Some of the positions this Imam held in Australia were; Adjunct Lecturer at a public Australian university, Religious Advisor to the Islamic Council of NSW (the most populous state in Australia), Deputy Chairman of the NSW board of Imams, Member of the Fatwa Board on the Australian National Imams Council and Head of Muslim Chaplaincy within the NSW Government Department of Family and Community Services.

My interest in the subject of the Al Majzoub family began back in 2012 when they received media coverage and government sympathy in Australia. They were well known for their opposition to the Syrian government. Several people produced exposes of two brothers of the family including Fedaa Al Majzoub, and corporate media in Australia even repeated those allegations and defended the family. In closed forums the background was discussed and explored regarding the father of the family Hassan AlMajzoub, Syrian born, educated further in Egypt and Saudi Arabia and having lived and worked in Pakistan and Afghanistan where he came and went from Australia for a period of time. When allegations broke out in late 2014 in Australia about the academic and cleric, Imam Fedaa Majzoub, the subject of Chris Ray’s current article, government leaders and the major media rushed to defend him. The prestigious, conservative paper, a prominent newspaper,The Australian, published an article titled “The Respected Aussie imam smeared by Assad regime.” [5], referring with outrage to alleged Syrian Government allegations against him. One of the allegations was that Majzoub was implicated in massacres, one which Ghassan Kadi and I described in English from a Syrian, Arab language documentary.[6]

Notwithstanding Chris Ray’s excellent article on Al Majzoub and his alleged activities, including a previous piece on the two brothers written in 2014 [7], it appears that part of the sources he drew from, namely that of author Abdullah Bozkurt, could be problematic but, even if it does, it provides an interesting story in itself.

Bozkurt produces stunning exposés on Erdoğan, one after another. They are quite delightful to read. Many of his articles are excellent. Nevertheless, Bozkurt appears to have his own dubious agenda. The recent news regarding documents implicating Fedaa AlMajzoub, which Chris Ray has picked up on, seems to only originate from one source; Bozkurt [8]. Perusing Arabic, English and Turkish language media, there appears to be nothing about Fedaa AlMajzoub being in trouble with Turkish authorities. I stand to be corrected, but I will not accept to be corrected if there are reports or the subject is covered by any Gülenist media or supporters because of their history. This is because I believe Bozkurt is working with or sympathetic to the Gülenists. In Sweden, after evacuating from the 2016 attempted coup in Turkey where he was the Ankara bureau chief of the Gülen-friendly “Today’s Zaman Daily, Bozkurt established the media outlet https://www.nordicmonitor.com/. From Sweden, Bozkurt made his claims regarding connections between Al Majzoub and Erdoğan, replete with documents described as genuine.

Abdullah Bozkurt, professes to have recently come across or been furnished with leaked memos allegedly from Turkish police and intelligence compiled way back in 2012. They appear to not contain letter heads and, according to some observers, are not written in a style recognised as typical of Turkish officials. Of interest, the documents don’t implicate any Western powers despite it being well-known that the war on Syria and Libya was prosecuted primarily by the West and that with regard to Syria, Turkey was a crucial enabler for its NATO allies and terrorists’ to access Syria. Bozkurt, being an experienced media man, a former Bureau Chief of a large Turkish newspaper with many contacts, could well be telling the truth about the reliability of these documents, particularly if they have come from dissidents, including Gülenists, who have or still are deeply embedded into the Turkish apparatus, a weeding out task seemingly almost impossible for Erdoğan.Gülenists have been used by the CIA in intelligence operations and are referred to as Gladio B operators[9] and, naturally, they are not going to expose the dirt of the West and their allies in the going-ons regarding Syria or anywhere else. Gülenist articles on international or Turkish affairs may seem attractive, but they are yet another side of the coin when it comes to terrorism.

Bozkurt’s claim is that the classified intelligence documents he states he received, reveal a jihadist group called the Ben Ali Group, led by an Abdaladim Ali Mossa Ben Ali, a Libyan with close ties to Al Qaeda, having participated in transferring foreign fighters and weapons from Libya through to Turkey and that links existed between this group and Erdoğan who was Prime Minister at that time. The documents presented as genuine, show a close working relationship between Ben Ali and Fedaa Al Majzoub, which it alleges was in touch with Erdoğan’s then chief advisors, namely Ibrahim Kalin, now the Presidential spokesman, and Sefer Turan, now the chief Presidential advisor, during the process of arranging the transfer of foreign fighters and weapons. None of this news is new information to those up-to-date on the attempts to take down the sovereign state of Syria. The surprise lies in the total absence of Bozkurt implicating any role of Western forces behind the events he reports on and their close relationship, particularly at this period, with Erdoğan.

At the time of these documents which were claimed to have been created in 2012, any such concerns expressed within them by Turkish authorities would have been laughable as all the enemies of Syria worked together for as long as they were moving forward in achieving their individual aims.

Clearly until the break between Qatar and Saudi Arabia in 2017, memberships in terrorist groups largely were interchangeable and often based on who provided the best or most exciting opportunities. Ghassan Kadi explained to Sputnik in 2015 [10] that “…members walk in and out of these organizations all the time, and in effect, there is no difference between them at all”. Their relationships only fell apart when they failed to take down the Syrian government and scrambled to look for whom to blame for their own failures. Even well after this alleged police and intelligence report, numerous exposés appeared on Erdoğan’s own son and son-in-law’s business ventures with ISIS regarding Syrian oil.

Perusing many of Bozkurt’s articles in turkishminute.com, clearly a Gülenist mouthpiece or strong sympathiser media site, there is no evidence [11]of Bozkurt mentioning any Western players in bed with Turkey with regards to any of the mischief and mayhem going on with Syria and all the bands of terrorists involved. His Twitter account renders no satisfaction either on this deficit.

Had the Western enemies of Syria decided it was time to take down Erdoğan, surely this article and its contents, and maybe some others by Bozkurt, would suddenly have gained prominence, making it to “news flash” status. Fetullah Gülen is no longer a favourite tool of the Americans; some of his key people and enablers spend more time in court than doing anything else in the US. Or, perhaps it is early days and the news, if true, hasn’t been taken up by entities of America’s choosing. If the documents are genuine and have only recently come to the attention of Erdoğan, surely the paranoid megalomaniac would be on another purge within his government and all its apparatuses; that is unless it is being kept very quiet. However with opposition to Erdoğan around the world, keeping the lid on any purge might be difficult.

Investigations I carried out on Feeda AlMajzoub placed him clearly with the FSA and if the 2012 Turkish reports are true, he would have worked with all kinds of people and entities committed to taking down the Syrian government. It was publicly stated by AlMajzoub’s own people that he was the “only Australian “[12] on the Syrian National Council, the political wing of the FSA, at that time funded by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. He was allegedly in the terrorist area when his brother was killed [13] and there are many photos of him with militants from all over the world.

However, once Saudi Arabia and Qatar fell out, the FSA and its affiliates were funded primarily by Qatar, with Turkey facilitating and allowing all the physical logistics such as training camps and, most importantly, access into Syria. Saudis no doubt from the beginning would have felt uncomfortable that they could not control all aspects of the war on Syria due to the longest border with Syria being that of Turkey. Whilst Saudi Arabia controls Jordan, Jordan’s long border with Syria could not provide in any way the logistics and attributes possessed by Turkey. It is common knowledge that Syria would never have been invaded without the key help of Turkey due to its geography[14].This reality was a boon for Turkey’s (Erdoğan’s) dream to gain world Sunni leadership [15].

So why, according to Bozkurt’s article, is Turkey turning on alleged assets such as this Imam, when the regime itself is and has for a long time been deeply involved in the actions described in Bozkurt’s exposé? If this is true, perhaps one explanation could be offered that such individuals have served Erdoğan’s purposes. If that is the case, Erdoğan would likely want to identify all who were loyal and co-operative with him on Syria but who also took money and orders from Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom Erdoğan wishes to wrestle the title of “Leader of the Sunni world” from and, who Erdoğan these days, along with Qatar, stands against. If these claims of Bozkurt are true, and if a Turkish “crackdown” on Al-Qaida has indeed been taking place, given that Al-Qaida, also identified as Al Nusra, which has been a crucial asset to Erdoğan, surely it would merely be a tokenistic action for Western consumption.

Boztkurt’s exposé intimates that the lid is about to blow off on the activities of Erdoğan in respect to this Ben Ali Group and associates. No evidence of such an impending event seems to exist, nor does potential collaboration by powerful entities or states seem to transpire around these allegations, let alone any sign of a developing action brewing in an attempt to set up Erdoğan for a fall. When the time for Erdoğan to take a tumble arrives, we may get a surprise as to who will be responsible.

References and Footnotes:

[1] Chris Ray. “Moderate” Australian Imam Named in Syria arms trafficking operation

[2] Footnote: Chris Ray’s article picks up an important point of a strategy used in Australia by the hidden radical leadership in the Sunni community, that being the activities of “Interfaith” meetings. Such meetings, encouraged initially by the Jewish B’nai B’rith movement, were embraced by Government and relevant NGO’s and educational facilities as a celebration and affirmation of a harmonious, diverse and culturally rich Australia. Concurrently this raised the profile of government “approved” and endorsed, mostly highly qualified, articulate Islamic leaders in the country, ignoring the fact that not all of the country’s Muslims were Sunni. Not only did they become the “show ponies”, trotted out each time Australian authorities or NGO’s wanted to express harmony, they were also used to quell the public anxieties after 9/11, subsequent attacks attributed to “Islamic terrorism” or any disharmony such as the Cronulla Riots in 2005. Fedaa Al Majzoub was up there with Prime Ministers and people of influence. Note the fifth last paragraph of the report below regarding a high level interfaith event; “Interfaith Dinner honouring His Grace Bishop Kevin Manning as the 2010 Champion of Cultural Inclusion”, 9 June 2010

https://islamicfriendshipevents.blogspot.com /2010/06/interfaith-dinner-honouring-his-grace.html

[3]Dinner Meeting between the Imams and the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police, Mr. Tony Negus 25 December 2010

https://islamicfriendshipevents.blogspot.com/2010/09/dinner-meeting-between-imams-and.html

[4] Footnote: Saudi Arabia’s role in strong business relationships with Australian government and companies and as a strong US ally, gave them a powerful inroad to radicalising Muslim communities, including emerging refugee communities. Saudi Arabian Wahhabi missionaries could easily enter Australia and go about their activities. Funding for Islamic based activities was substantial. This included funding universities, mosques, study groups, promoting to government particular Islamic leaders, inculcating Saudi Wahhabi culture into communities in place of their traditional cultures, just to mention some of their strategies to replace Sunni Islam with the Wahhabi version. Some links” “Revealed: the Saudis’ paymaster in Australia”, Sydney Morning Herald, 10 September, 2005; https://www.smh.com.au/national/revealed-the-saudis-paymaster-in-australia-20050910-gdm1ko.html ,and “How to be a useful idiot: Saudi funding in Australia”, Mervyn Bendle, 13 October 2008, updated 29 September 2010; https://www.abc.net.au/news/2008-10-13/32626 and “NATIONAL SECURITY:Secret Saudi funding of Australian institutions”,Mervyn Bendle (reviewer) 21 February 2009 http://www.newsweekly.com.au/article.php?id=3808. All this time, it appeared Australian authorities in general, possessed little of no capacity in appreciating the nefarious undercurrents to many of these events, culminating in recruitment opportunities for Wahhabis for the wars and conflicts that interested them.

[5] Respected Aussie Imam Smeared by the Assad Regime, The Australian, December 2014

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/the-respected-aussie-imam-smeared-by-the-assad-regime/news-story/01bafc012a5b37d65c626e82be829049

[6] OGARITE DANDACHE’S AUGUST 2013 DOCUMENTARY ON LATTAKIA MASSACRE

https://intibahwakeup.blogspot.com/2013/10/ogarite-dandaches-august-2013.html

[7] Blood Brothers; the Sydney Jihadists who took on Assad, Chris Ray, 9 January 2014
https://www.crikey.com.au/2014/01/09/blood-brothers-the-sydney-jihadists-who-took-on-assad/?wpmp_switcher=mobile?wpmp_switcher=mobile%20*http://www.smh.com.au/good-weekend/the-controversies-raging-inside-our-islamic-schools-%2020151012-gk790z.html

[8]Al-Qaeda group in Libya had close ties to Erdoğan, intelligence documents reveal, Adbullah Bozkurt, 20 January 2020

[9] The Origins of NATO’s Secret Islamic Terrorist Proxies. Tom Secker, 11 March 2013

[10] “Moderate Islamism” Washington, Brussels Playing with Fire in Syria, Iraq. Ghassan Kadi, Sputnik,12 December 2015

https://sptnkne.ws/x3Zy

[11] Search on Adbullah Bozkurt’s articles https://www.turkishminute.com/author/abozkurt/

[12] Popular Sydney Sheikh Mustapha Al Majzoub martyred in Syria, Muslim Village, 20 August 2012; https://muslimvillage.com/2012/08/20/27205/popular-sydney-sheikh-mustapha-al-majzoub-martyred-in-syria/

[13] Footnote: In 2012 the younger brother of Imam Fedaa AlMajzoub, Sheikh Mustapha AlMajzoub was killed in a terrorist held part of Syria. He was a “Sheikh”, a school teacher responsible for cultivating the minds of young Muslims in Australia and, on his Facebook page, boasted about the capture of 72 Syrian government loyalists. Under his post a friend asked if they had been “slaughtered” yet. The then Premier of NSW, Barry O’Farrell, allegedly, according to Arabic Newspaper, An-Nahar, published on 27 August 2012, offered his condolences for the “killing” of Sheikh Mustapha Al Majzoub. This is despite on the 22nd of August 2012, The Australian publishing that the Sheikh was ” … known to police and intelligence services because of his “extreme” views” https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/sydney-sheik-killed-in-syria-an-extremist/news-story/795ec65ea88ecf84f0622b84e08a6aa4. The grieving father Hassan AlMajzoub travelled to the terrorist held area where his son was killed to visit his grave.The headstone says “Al Shahid Mustapha Al Majzoub”. The father posted a video on his Facebook page of his visit https://www.facebook.com/hassan.almajzoub.31/videos/310864785734275/?__cft__%5B0%5D=AZUKkfhfK2lZeHTBMp5Z_JM9y_nmpWkOiHq6DUuo9B_uWgbB72S38q6xaXp9SUYvvQ7QrUza_-_cfDLMuT2ctlurWw-ElbqHXUQ2J4pUkPhPBSQMZBmXiPZwVfBMeCwee8cKigq-hiQCxN5nzxe6S_Ws&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-y-R

[14]The Gateway To Idlib Goes Via Cilica, Ghassan Kadi, The Saker,1 March, 2020 http://thesaker.is/the-gateway-to-idlib-goes-via-cilica/

[15] Erdogan’s Long-Coming Reality Check: Ghassan Kadi , The Saker, 14 February 2020

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