Recruited, Arrested, On Trial: Yemeni Spies Tell of Their Reluctant Work for CIA, MI6

Yemen spies Feature photo

By Ahmed Abdulkareem

Source

The CIA and MI6 have recruited hundreds of Yemenis to work as mercenaries and spies gathering intelligence and coordinates of Yemeni military positions, promising them money and even passports for the dangerous work.

SANA’A, YEMEN — There is little dispute that the United States and the United Kingdom have been major benefactors to the Saudi Kingdom in its six-year-long attempt to use military might to bring Yemen to heel. Both countries have provided billions in hi-tech weapons, intelligence information, and training to what is arguably the Middle East’s most repressive monarchy. But according to the confessions of six men arrested last month amid the ongoing battle over Yemen’s strategic Marib province, Western support for the Saudi-led Coalition goes much farther than conventional military support.

Arrested Yemeni spies speak to MintPress

The CIA and MI6, its British counterpart, have recruited hundreds of Yemenis to work as mercenaries and spies gathering intelligence and coordinates of Yemeni military positions in Marib, al-Mahrah, Sana’a and Sadaa, and providing that information to their handlers, according to confessions given to the Yemeni Security Intelligence Service (YSIS) by at least six Yemeni nationals currently on trial in Sana’a for violating Article 130 of Yemen’s Penal Code.

The six men, who are being held in a detention facility in Sana’a, agreed to speak to MintPress about their experiences. They insist that abject poverty as a result of the ongoing war drove them to participate in the operation, which they said came with the promise of a $300 payout.

According to the men, the operation was carried out primarily at the Ghaydah Airport in eastern al-Mahrah. There, they joined dozens of young Yemenis recruited by the CIA for training by  American and British officers on how to properly identify and describe; the use of cameras, sophisticated software programs and devices used to share coordinates; information gathering; and how to find and identify military leaders and headquarters, workshops, factories, laboratories, warehouses, checkpoints and launching sites for missiles and drones. Even the locations of the personal homes and vehicles of Ansar Allah members and other vocal opponents of the Saudi intervention were sought, according to the men.

A careful recruitment process

Their recruitment process was long and delicate, beginning when the men were approached by Yemeni officers working for the Aden-based National Security Agency. After agreeing to travel to al-Mahrah to learn more, the men were housed in hotels before being brought to special cottages at the Ghaydah Airport where they were interviewed by American and British intelligence officers. Muhammad Har, one of the six charged, told MintPress that he was initially approached by Fayez Muhammad Ismail Al-Muntaser, a former officer of the National Security Agency and commander of the Saudi-led Coalition’s Special Missions Battalion.

“When it was my turn, I entered the [unintelligible] and was surprised that members of the committee were Americans. One was asking the questions, the second was writing data, the third was taking fingerprints, while the fourth black-skinned one was translating,” Ali Mohammed Abdullah al-Jomani, a 34-year-old detainee from Haddah recalled. Al-Jomani, who says he used to earn the equivalent of about $10 per day, was put up in the Taj Al-Arab Hotel for three months during the initiation process. “When we went back to conduct the second interview, we did not find the Americans, but rather British officers. They repeated the previous questions about our ability to use maps, drive cars, and use computers.” This tracks with allegations by the Yemeni Security Intelligence Service that the CIA was recruiting young Yemenis and handing them over to British officers for training and further handling.

According to the men, there were two separate camps at the airport, one American and the other Saudi. “After we were accepted, we were trained on how to describe people, cars, and homes and how to share data and photos through WhatsApp,” recalled Basem Ali Ahmed al-Kharouga, a 29-year-old detainee from Sana’a. “The training included field exercises inside and outside of the airport.” Al-Kharouga had long dreamed of traveling abroad and thought that he had finally found his way to flee the violence when he was promised a foreign passport in exchange for the work.

Few options for young Yemenis

In addition to poverty and unemployment, there are other reasons that Yemen’s youth would risk life and freedom to work with foreign intelligence services, perhaps the most prominent being the blockade levied against the country by the Saudi Coalition since 2015. Before the war, Yemenis would regularly leave the country for business, pleasure and to seek medical care. Now — with seaports and airports, especially the once-bustling Sana’a International Airport, effectively shuttered by the Saudi Coalition — Yemenis are no longer able to flee the violence in their country or travel abroad, leaving many desperate young Yemenis with few options.

Hospitals, schools, office buildings, and infrastructure like water wells and sewage networks have been destroyed in the wake of Saudi bombing campaigns, which are often carried out with U.S. and British targeting information gleaned from their network of recruited spies. Funerals, weddings, homes, and other civilian facilities have been targeted, leading to the death and wounding of thousands of civilians and making American and British intelligence services complicit, at best, in the wanton violence.

“We were sent to Marib, me and another guy who went by the name of ‘Akram Amer,’ on one mission that lasted for four days. We were assigned by [a man named] ‘George’ to spy on the home of Ali Salem al-Huraizy near al-Rawda Park,” Aymen Mujahid Qaid Muhammad Harish, one of the six detainees, told MintPress. Among Harish’s tasks was to monitor sites in the city of Arhab, north of Sana’a, where the Saudi Coalition would later target a home where a funeral was taking place. The double-tap airstrike left a child and nine women dead and, according to Harish, his Western handlers, who were responsible for providing the Saudis with targeting data, are to blame for the attack.

The UK Is Russia’s Greatest Security Threat In Europe Behind The US

By Andrew Korybko

Source

18 MARCH 2021

The UK Is Russia

The UK’s recently completed Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy claimed that “Russia remains the most acute threat to our security”, but in reality it’s actually the UK that remains the most acute threat to Russia’s security in Europe behind the US of course.

The British are masterful perception managers and have a centuries-long history of reversing the truth. This strategic characteristic was on full display earlier this week after its recently completed Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy claimed that “Russia remains the most acute threat to our security”. As can be expected, the reality is actually the opposite: the UK remains the most acute threat to Russia’s security in Europe, though behind the US of course. I explained last summer how “MI6 Might Become The CIA’s Proxy For Stopping Europe From Moving Towards Russia” after London’s spree of fake news attacks against Moscow encompassing everything from the Skripal false flag saga to allegations of a secret Russian spy base in the French Alps. Last month, “Intrepid Journalists Exposed The UK’s Information-Driven Hybrid War On Russia”, which includes a continental network of media proxies in Latvia and other former Soviet countries.

From these revelations, it can be concluded that the UK considers itself to be in a “spy war” with Russia, which it’s waging both in pursuit of its own traditional divide-and-rule interests in Europe as well as on behalf of its American ally which shares the same goal. Manipulatively presenting Russia as the UK’s greatest threat is nothing more than a means of justifying further aggression against it under the pretext of so-called “self-defense”. It’s noteworthy to also point out that the same Integrated Review also disclosed London’s plans to increase its nuclear warhead arsenal by an astounding 40% in a move that Moscow decried as “a decision that harms international stability and strategic security” where “an ephemeral threat from Russia was voiced as justification.” The Eurasian Great Power might therefore have no choice but to defend its interests in line with international law by taking whatever countermeasures it considers to be appropriate in the face of this threat.

The present dynamic of British-Russian rivalry is a modern-day remix of their traditional competition all across the 19th century. At that time, the so-called “Great Game” mostly played out in Central Asia and parts of West and South Asia, the latter of which concerned the then-Persia and Afghanistan respectively. The British Empire was actively seeking to contain the Eurasian Great Power as a continuation of the historical trend whereby sea-based (thalassocratic) states seek to contain land-based (tellurocratic) ones. This International Relations theory is increasingly being confirmed as practically being akin to a law at this point as evidenced from this example and other related ones such as the US’ complementary efforts against other multipolar tellucorcatic civlization-states like China and Iran. It’s therefore understandable why the UK has submitted itself to being the US’ “Lead From Behind” junior partner to this end in Europe, though mostly in the Hybrid War sense.

With this in mind, the contours of the New Cold War are becoming increasingly apparent and might possibly remain enduring. The historical trend of thalassocracies versus tellucorcacies continues insofar as the US and its junior UK partner are actively seeking to contain Russia, China, and Iran. The Western Eurasian front of this global strategic competition remains complex considering the fact that Germany is dominated by thalassocratic influences despite being a tellucrocratic state. This explains its schizophrenic stance of simultaneously waging its own Hybrid War on Russia in parallel with attempting to stabilize relations with Moscow through Nord Stream II, which is vehemently opposed by its American patron. It can therefore be predicted that the outcome of the New Cold War in Europe will be greatly determined by Germany’s ability to promote its sovereign interests vis-a-vis Russia despite heavy pressure from the US and the UK to keep the two apart.

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