Education sector in Syria withstood the foreign-backed terrorist war and now confronting coronavirus

ST

Thursday, 02 April 2020 15:49 

After nine years of fighting against takfiri terrorism and western sanctions that affected all walks of life in Syria, the Syrians are now facing yet a different kind of war. It is the battle against coronavirus, the ambiguous pandemic threatening the entire world.

The Syrian government has taken precautionary measures including the closure of schools, colleges and all public facilities, to prevent coronavirus, which is also known as covid 19, from spreading in the country. Later measures included closing all markets, stopping public transportation, keeping work at the minimum level at institutions and imposing partial curfew to avoid crowds and limit contacts among individuals. Wide-scale sterilization campaigns have also been launched everywhere to combat the virus.

Like other state’s sectors, education has its share of these precautionary measures. In one of the schools in al-Tadamun neighborhood in Damascus, a voluntary cleanup and sterilization campaign was launched by the school’s staff including the principal and the teachers to disinfect all parts of the school in preparation for the safe return of the students after the threat of the killer disease is completely eliminated.

“Before the government’s closure decision, we used to explain to the students, through the health and psychological educators at the school, the nature of this virus, how it spreads and what they must do to avoid infection,” Mrs. Rawda al-Shini, the principal of Martyr “Hayel Abdalla” school for basic education in Damascus told Syriatimes e-newspaper.

 The school is affiliated to the Education Directorate of Quneitra province.

 The Syrians should cooperate to defeat coronavirus as they defeated terrorism

“Some members of the school’s teaching and administrative staff and I took the initiative and started cleaning and sterilizing the school with the support of the Quneitra Education Directorate which provided us with necessary detergents, sterilizers and masks,” she added.

“The students are like our children and it is our responsibility and duty to protect them against illnesses or any kind of danger,” said the principal, an energetic Syrian woman with a high sense of responsibility and patriotism, calling on the Syrians to keep steadfast and to cooperate in order to defeat coronavirus as they defeated terrorism.

The Syrians believe in knowledge and education as a weapon against ignorance 

Talking about the foreign-backed takfiri terrorist war on Syria and how the education sector managed to withstand the difficult circumstances and continued the education process, Mrs. Rawda said “the Syrians are vivid people who believe in knowledge and education as a weapon against ignorance  and who don’t surrender to despair. Education was a major target of terrorism in Syria. Many schools were destroyed or damaged because of terrorism, keeping tens of thousands of children out of school which was actually a real challenge that faced the education sector in our country. However, the successive victories that have been achieved by the Syrian Arab army in the fight against terrorism in different part of the country plus the government’s continuous support and urgent solutions have helped the education process continue”.

“Among other challenges that faced the education process was the terrorists’ random mortar attacks and sniper fire on residential neighborhoods, yet these attacks couldn’t stop the education process or prevent the teachers and students from coming to school to provide education to as many students as possible without discrimination,” Mrs. Rawda added, pointing out that the psychological support for both teachers and students was very necessary in that stage to overcome obstacles and achieve the noble message of teaching.

Overcrowded classrooms

“Many families, who were displaced from their areas because of terrorism, resided in al-Tadamun neighborhood and some of them enrolled their children in our school causing overcrowding  in the classrooms- nearly 60 students in each- but we had to respond positively to this issue in order to compensate those children for the lessons they missed,” Mrs. Rawda went on to say, pointing out that “some of the students we accepted in the school were children of gunmen, whose wives fled the areas held by those gunmen to government-controlled areas.

Students’ psychological condition

 On the psychological condition of students during events, she said “every child has had a sad story to tell during the war. Some children saw their fathers being killed by terrorists. Some others were displaced or they lost their fathers or mothers in the war and some others have their parents kidnapped or missing, not to mention the divorce cases that have been very harmful to the psychological condition of children. Our duty in the school has been to work as a family to provide tenderness and psychological support for the students in order to make them feel safe and loved,” she said, hailing the key role played by the school’s psychological educator in this regard.

“We were keen on promoting amity, solidarity and cooperation among the students regardless of their being children of martyrs, of displaced families or of gunmen. We were also keen to enhance the children’s love to their homeland and army through explaining to them what was happening in their beloved Syria and highlighting the sacrifices offered by the Syrian Arab army to protect the homeland and citizens and to restore security and normal life countrywide,” the principal made it clear. She pointed out that special focus was put on explaining the reality of Islam as a religion of peace amity and tolerance, not the a religion of killing and radical thinking like that of Daesh and Moslem Brotherhood terrorist organizations.

On the situation of martyrs’ children at the school, Mrs. Rawda said “we have some 40 students who are children of martyrs from the Syrian army, backup forces and civilian families. The school has held several activities to honor those children so that they feel proud of their fathers and know the value of martyrdom in defense of the homeland.”

Interviewed by: Hamda Mustafa

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متفقون أم منحرفون؟

ديسمبر 7, 2019

د. وفيق إبراهيم

يروّج آلاف من المحللين السياسيين ومنتحلي صفة مثقفين على شاشات التلفزة الإقليمية لمقولة تزعم ان التدخل الأميركي في الشرق الأوسط، يوفر للعرب حماية من التدخلات الخارجية وينقذهم من خطر الاحتلال.

ويقذفون بثلاثة انواع من المخاطر التي يجابها الأميركيون في العالم العربي كما يقولون وهي المطامع الإيرانية، والإرهاب، وروسيا.

لجهة الخطر الإيراني، يمكن الجزم بالاستدلال العلمي التاريخي ان إيران لم تعتدِ على بلد عربي منذ الفتوحات الاسلامية قبل الف عام تقريباً، وفي حين ان اتهام تحالفاتها في العالم العربي بأنها من الحرس الثوري الإيراني، فأمرٌ مثير للسخرية، لأن انصار الله في اليمن هم جزء من “الزيود” الذين يحكمون اليمن منذ تسعة قرون على الأقل.

لقد مر عشرات المستعمرين على اليمن في مراحل تاريخية مختلفة، وتلقوا جميعاً هزائم شديدة، أسألوا الأتراك والانجليز والسعوديين، وحتى المصريين في مرحلة عبد الناصر، أما قبل الإسلام فألحقوا هزائم بالرومان والفرس والصليبيين والإغريق فقط.

لجهة الحشد الشعبي العراقي فهو عراقي تاريخي ينتمي لكتلة بشرية تنتمي الى ارض السواد منذ آلاف السنين أي قبل دخول الإسلام اليه، وتحالفه مع إيران أدى الى دحر إرهاب كبير مدعوم من الأتراك والأميركيين والخليج.

هذا يؤكد أن تحالف إيران مع الحشد الشعبي كان عاملاً أساسياً في تحرير العراق من الإرهاب ومنع تقسيمه حسب مشروع أميركي – خليجي علني وليس إيرانياً.

كذلك فإن الدور الإيراني في سورية انما جاء بعد تدخل إرهابي كوني من حدود تركيا وبرعاية من مخابراتها وتمويل سعودي – إماراتي قطري تلبية لمطالب أميركية.

هذا الدور دعم الجيش السوري ببضع مئات من المستشارين وأسلحة كثيرة ومساعدات أخرى مادية، حتى تمكن من تحرير 65 في المئة من سورية بإسناد روسي وآخر من حزب الله.

حتى الآن لا أحد يعرف كيف أسهم التدخل الأميركي في إنقاذ المنطقة، بل على العكس لانه كشف التواطؤ الأميركي بدعم الإرهاب لتفتيت المنطقة.

ماذا عن لبنان؟ هناك حزب الله المتهم بإيرانيته على مستوى السياسة، باعتبار انه لبناني أصلي من جبل عامل.

تكفي هنا الاشارة الى ان الدعم الإيراني لحزب الله أدى الى تحرير جنوب لبنان من “إسرائيل” في العام 2000 ونجاحه في منع اجتياحها له في العام 2006، ومشاركته في القضاء على الإرهاب الدولي في سورية وجرود بلدة عرسال اللبنانية.

لذلك فالسؤال هنا، هو ما هي التدخلات الأجنبية التي أنقذ الأميركيون العرب منها، ففلسطين المحتلة هي بإيدي أصدقائهم اليهود المدعومين منهم، ومدينة القدس المقدسة باعها الأميركيون للإسرائيليين مصدرين قراراً بإلغاء وكالة الاونروا ومانحين شرعية للمستوطنات الاسرائيلية في الضفة الغربية ومقدمين لـ”إسرائيل” الجولان السوري المحتل ومزارع شبعا اللبنانية المحتلة.

لذلك يسأل البعض عن هوية الذي يسطو على النفط في شرقي الفرات؟ ألم يعترف الرئيس الأميركي ترامب انه وضع يده عليه عازماً على استثماره لمصلحة الولايات المتحدة الأميركية.

أما فمن يحتل العراق مقيماً فيه عشرات القواعد العسكرية فهي أميركية ايضاً.

فكيف يمكن اذاً اعتبار إيران خطراً يهدّد العالم العربي، وهي التي لا تحتل متراً واحداً من أراضيه، فيما يسيطر الأميركيون بالاحتلال على أراض سورية وعراقية وليبية ولديهم قواعد في البحرين والإمارات وعمان والكويت والسعودية والإمارات مع حق التزوّد بالوقود والسلع في المغرب ومصر والاردن.

وهل ننسى تركيا التي تحتل بدورها عشرات آلاف الكيلومترات في شرقي الفرات والشمال الغربي السوري حتى ادلب واراضي في العراق ولديها قواعد عسكرية في قطر وليبيا.

بالمقابل لا تحتل إيران متراً واحداً من المناطق العربية المجاورة.

يكشف هذا العرض عن مدى الانحطاط في ثقافة الدفاع عند قسم من المحللين العرب ومنتحلي صفة مثقفين.

على مستوى الإرهاب فالدور التركي – الخليجي الأميركي في دعمه عند انطلاقته غير مخفي تماماً كمستوى الوضوح في ان الذين هزموه في ميادين سورية والعراق هم الجيشان السوري والعراقي وحزب الله والحشد الشعبي، وروسيا التي شنت عليه مئة وعشرين الف غارة وإيران التي شاركت في القضاء عليه.

الا تبين هذه المعطيات ان الأميركيين يشكلون وبالاً على العالم العربي وقوة احتلال لأراضيه؟ وتظهر في آن معاً ان إيران ليست قوة احتلال، بل أمنت دعماً لقوى عربية متحالفة معها يجمعها بها العداء لنفوذ أميركي يلتهم ثروات المنطقة منذ 1945 ويحتل أراضيها ويسيطر على سلطاتها السياسية.

لذلك يمكن الاعتراف بأن الأميركيين يدعمون الأنظمة العربية لتقويتها في قمع شعوبها وتسهيل مسألة السطو الغربي على ثرواتها.

ماذا عن روسيا؟ هل تشكل خطراً على العرب ويعمل الأميركيون على مجابهته؟

المعروف أن روسيا لم يسبق لها ان احتلت ارضاً عربية في التاريخ ولم تكن قوة استعمارية كحالة الغرب.

اما وجودها العسكري في سورية، فهو يحوز على الشرعية القانونية من الأمم المتحدة التي تعترف بحق اي دولة الاستعانة بقوات من دولة أخرى، وهذا ما فعلته سورية بطلبها التدخل الروسي في مكافحة الإرهاب على أراضيها.

إن هؤلاء المثقفين والإعلاميين المستعربين يتوجون إيران عدواً للعرب، فيما يحتل الأتراك والأميركيون والاسرائيليون أراضي عربية بحجم دول كبيرة ويزعمون محاربة الإرهاب وهو المتحدّر من “القاعدة” الوهابية السعودية او الإخوانية التركية، ويرحلون نحو اتهام الروس في وقت تتمتع دول الخليج ومصر ومعظم الدول العربية بعلاقات جيدة مع موسكو.بذلك ينكشف تواطؤ مثقفين وإعلاميين عرب مع الأميركيين والأتراك لإبقاء العالم العربي في خدمة المستعمرين بشعارات كاذبة وزائفة.

العميل الفاخوري و«أمريكانه»: إلى استجواب جديد

الأخبار

الأربعاء 18 أيلول 2019

العميل الفاخوري و«أمريكانه»: إلى استجواب جديد

(هيثم الموسوي)

مشهد تلك السيّدة الرافعة بيدها حبل المشنقة، أمام المحكمة العسكرية أمس، كان يلخص مطلب الذين اعتصموا هناك بالتزامن مع جلسة استجواب العميل عامر الفاخوري. هو اعتصام باسم الأسرى المحررين من السجون والمعتقلات الإسرائيلية. منهم مَن كان ينفرد بصحافي ليخبره عن تجربته مع التعذيب في المعتقل، ومنهم من كان يتكلم أمام الجميع، أمام وسائل النقل المباشر، فيما هناك من تعمّد رفع صوته بقوة ليصل إلى داخل أروقة المحكمة. يُريدون لصوتهم أن يصل.

ارتفع الصوت أكثر عندما عرفوا بمجيء وفد أميركي، يضمّ محامية أميركية، بغية الترافع عن العميل. قاضية التحقيق نجاة أبو شقرا لم تسمح بذلك. لا بدّ مِن موافقة نقابة المحامين في لبنان أولاً. مجرّد فكرة أن يأتي أحدهم إلى المحكمة، بنيّة الدفاع عن العميل، أمر استفزّ المعتصمين، فكيف إذا كان أميركيّاً؟ كل من احتشد أمام المحكمة كان متشائماً، إذ سرت شائعة عن نية بعدم توقيف العميل، خاصّة في ظلّ ما صرّح به وكيل الأسرى المحررين المحامي معن الأسعد من هناك:

«الإخبارات لم تصل من قبل النيابة العامة التمييزية إلى قاضية التحقيق، لكن أرى أن الطوق ضاق على رقبة العميل… التحقيق سيستمر وسيكون هناك جلسات أخرى».

وبعد نحو ساعتين، قررت القاضية إصدار مذكرة توقيف بحق الفاخوري، عارضة ما طلبه على النيابة العامة العسكرية لإبداء الرأي، على أن يحدَّد موعد جديد لاستجوابه. كان طلب العميل محدداً: حضور المحامية الأميركية. لا يصدر عنه أي شيء آخر. انتهى الاعتصام على خير، تنفس الحاضرون الصعداء، على أن يتابع الحراك بحسب موعد الاستجواب الذي سيُحدد لاحقاً.

إلى ذلك، صرّح رئيس كتلة الوفاء للمقاومة النائب محمد رعد، أمس، قائلاً:

«إن الخيانة ليست وجهة نظر كما يرى البعض، ونحن نملك من القانون والأحكام والإجراءات ما يمكننا من التصدي لهؤلاء».

بدوره، صرّح النائب الجديد في الكتلة نفسها، حسن عز الدين، معرباً عن أسفه «لوجود من يريد أن يشرّع أمن البلد الوطني للمخاطر مجدداً». من جهته، نوّه المؤتمر الشعبي اللبناني بتوقيف الفاخوري، مطالباً بـ

«كشف كل المتدخلين والمتورطين بتسهيل عودة العملاء الفارين ومعاقبتهم كشركاء لهؤلاء في خياناتهم الوطنية».

Image result for ‫عضو تكتل «لبنان القوي»، زياد أسود‬‎

زياد أسود: توقيف الفاخوري سياسيّ لأن «سجلّه نظيف» بمرور الزمن

وخارج «الاجماع» السياسي على ضرورة أن ينال الفاخوري جزاءه، غرّد عضو تكتل «لبنان القوي»، زياد أسود، قائلاً إن توقيف الفاخوري سياسيّ، لأن «سجلّه نظيف» بمرور الزمن.

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The Rise and Fall of ISIS صعود وسقوط داعش

August 10, 2019

by Ghassan Kadi for The Saker Blog

A year or two ago, I would have never imagined that I would be writing an article with this title, at least not this soon; but things change.

If anything, my previous articles about ISIS which I wrote back between 2014 and 2017 were very alarming and predicted the worst, but again, things change, and back then there were many reasons to feel alarmed.

I have reiterated in that era of the past that the ISIS ideology had deep roots in fundamentalist Islam, and I still have this view. I have professed many times that this fundamentalist doctrine had been in place long before Christopher Columbus set a foot on American soil and that we cannot blame the CIA, Israel, the UK, or the West in general for the creation of this ideology, and I am not retracting. I have also said that those fundamentalist views do not represent real Islam, and there is no change in heart on this aspect either. So what has changed?

In this context, we are talking about the ideological rise and fall of ISIS. We are not talking about the political aspects and the horde of players who helped create, manipulate and employ ISIS for different reasons and agendas. With all of those players however, ISIS needed the support base, and that support base was the Muslim youth who are disenchanted by world events and the manner the world views Islam. Furthermore, they are disgruntled by the governments of the Muslims World and their links to the West: links they consider as treasonous and shameful. It was this mindset that was the recruitment base for ISIS; not the Pentagon.

So for the benefit of clarification, I must herein emphasize that there has always been a perverted version of Islam that founded itself on violence; in total contradiction to the Quranic teachings that clearly forbid coercion and oppression. This version was finally committed to a written doctrine, written by Ibn Taymiyyah; the founding doctrine of the Wahhabi Saudi sect.

When the West “discovered” this doctrine, it tried to employ it to its advantage, and this was how Al-Qaeda and ISIS were created, with Al-Qaeda’s role to hurt the USSR in Afghanistan, and ISIS to topple the legitimate and secular Syrian Government.

The not so funny thing about ISIS was that when the proclamation of creating the Islamist state back in mid-2014, the Caliphate passion became something easy to grow and self-nurture in the hearts and minds of many Sunni Muslims across the globe; including moderate ones.

Harking back at what happened back then; one honestly cannot blame them much. After all, many of the then Iraqi ISIS commanders and fighters were former Saddam-era Iraqi Army personnel. Many of them have even actually walked away from the “dictator” in the hope that the “regime change” was going to be for the better, only to soon realize the state of mess and mayhem that the American invasion created.

Before ISIS “had the chance” to show its ugly face, may moderate Muslims thought that this new force emerging out of Mesopotamia, one that does not recognize the border lines that Western colonialists have drawn between Sham (Syria) and Iraq, one that wants to unite Muslims, is perhaps “the one” to go for and support.

Ironically, most of those Muslims today look back at those days and either forget or wish to forget that at one stage, at some level, deep down in their hearts they supported ISIS, albeit not fully knowing what it stood for.

It was this subtle and covert support for ISIS by some elements of the global Sunni rank-and-file that gave ISIS a fertile ground for luring in recruits and that was the major cause for concern.

If anyone looks for evidence that supports this statement, then he/she need not go further than looking at the recent history of terror attacks in the EU (especially France) and the UK.

After the horrendous Bastille Day attack in Nice in the summer of 2016, a new direction for terror was established, and the perpetrator proved that one does not need a weapon to kill. His weapon was a truck, and he didn’t even need to buy it. He rented it.

After this infamous attack and what followed it, I among many others, predicted more of such events, and they continued for a while, and then suddenly they stopped. Why? This is the question.

For ISIS to be have been able to keep its momentum and growing support base, it needed to gain the hearts and minds of Muslims. But to do so, it needed to score victories and be able to revive Muslim nostalgia. Both are equally important.

In the beginning, it boasted its victories and the biggest of which was the takeover of Mosul; Iraq’s second largest city. This was how the ears of many Muslims worldwide pricked up and poised themselves to hear more. Some jumped on the band wagon straight away, but the majority braced and waited for more evidence that ISIS in general, and Baghdadi in specific, are the right ones to trust and follow.

Image result for isis crimes

What followed the capture of Mosul by ISIS however was nothing short of disgrace for ISIS; one that exposed its true inner ugliness. And instead of being able to capitalize on its initial momentum and promising to achieve more of it by adopting at least some of the virtues of Islam, ISIS turned its inability to achieve further military victories into a blood bath, looting and a sex slave market.

Image result for isis crimes

Before too long, even some of the most ardent Muslim supporters of ISIS turned away from it, and then against it, to the degree that they now even forget or deny that they once supported its baby steps.

What is interesting to note is that the move from secularism to Islam has not changed in the Muslim world. An increasing number of Muslim girls are wearing the Hijab with or without ISIS, but ISIS itself has lost its sway with the general Sunni Muslim populace.

What is interesting to see is that the definition of what is a “real Muslim” is changing, and changing quickly. And whilst the move towards Hijab and all what comes with it is still going full steam ahead, there seems to be a growing trend in the Muslim World towards moderation.

The ISIS fundamentals of black and white doctrine seem to be becoming increasingly tolerant of certain shades of grey. Even some personal Facebook friends and friends of friends who have brandished their photos performing Pilgrimage at Mecca don’t seem to be at dis-ease posting other photos brandishing a Heineken. To someone outside the Muslim Faith this may not sound like a big deal, but in reality, it is.

This all sounds good, but what has happened here really?

ISIS has definitely lost the plot. Fortunately for the world, irrespective of who are/were the people “behind” ISIS, its recruitment base had to come from Muslims; especially the youth. Having lost the ability to draw more recruits and enthusiasts who pledge their actions and lives to Baghdadi without even having to be formal ISIS members, ISIS as an organization and a name is now a spent force, and dare I say a figment of the past.

This however does not mean that the Muslim community has “immunized” itself against potential new ISIS-like organizations and agendas.

The initial rise of ISIS could have well been the result of a nostalgic remnant of a certain belief system that many Muslims did not even want to investigate and study properly to see if it really and truly conforms with the Teachings of Islam and all other religions. The fall of ISIS however heralds a new unprecedented era in the Muslim mind, and this calls for great optimism.

Perhaps for the first time in the history of Islam ever since its inception, Muslims are now beginning to examine some teachings they inherited. Even Saudi Arabia and its infamous Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman (MBS) seem to be sick and tired of the old rules and dogmas that allow this and prohibit that; based on no foundation at all. I have never been a fan of MBS, but having lived in Saudi Arabia for a while, I had always thought that this country would never allow women to drive, never ever. The fact that he changed this is a great step in the right direction. This does not take away from MBS’s genocidal activities in Yemen of course, but on the dogmatic side of things, this is a huge step towards reform. In Saudi Arabia there is also a call to have a second take on the Hadith (the spoken word of Prophet Mohamed) in an attempt to identify certain teachings that promote violence and that are incompatible with Islam. The rationale behind this is that they were never the words of the Prophet to begin with and that they might have been injected into the huge discourse by others with political agendas. Such an initiative was totally unfathomable only up till a few years ago.

Does this mean that we are seeing the end of Muslim fundamentalist-based violence? Hopefully we are, but the real answer to this question is for the whole Muslim community to answer.

The truth is that ISIS may be done and dusted, but the ideology behind lives on.

It is hoped for that the actions of ISIS will be remembered for eternity. It is hoped that Muslims realize that if they truly want to pursue the fundamentalist dreams of conquest and world dominion, then they cannot distance themselves from the legacy of ISIS. It is hoped that they look forward to a new world that is open to all religions and doctrines.

I am a firm believer that God created man in His own image, and part of this image is goodness and love of goodness; and Muslims are part of this creation. After all, Muslims, all Muslims believe in the Hadith that says: “The best people are those who most benefit to other people”. Russia and Syria might have won the military war on ISIS, but it is Muslims who have won the spiritual fight. Muslims: 1, ISIS: 0.

ِArabic Translation 

By UP

صعود وسقوط داعش

غسان كادي

 ، لم أكن أتخيل منذ عام أو عامين أبداً أنني سأكتب مقالًا بهذا العنوان؛

في ذلك الوقت كانت هناك أسباب كثيرة للشعور بالقلق، لكن الأمور تتغير.

في مقالاتي السابقة حول داعش التي كتبت في الفترة ما بين 2014 و 2017 كانت مقلقة للغاية وتوقعت الأسوأ ،  لكن الأمور تغيرت .

في تلك الحقبة الماضية كررت أن أيديولوجية داعش لها جذور عميقة في الإسلام الأصولي ،وقلت أيضًا أن تلك الآراء الأصولية لا تمثل الإسلام الحقيقي ولا يزال لدي هذا الرأي. فالعقيدة الأصولية كانت موجودة قبل فترة طويلة من اكتشاف الأرض الأمريكية وعليه لا يمكننا اتهام وكالة الاستخبارات المركزية أو إسرائيل أو المملكة المتحدة أو الغرب عمومًا بإنشاء هذه الأيديولوجية، وأنا هنا لا أتراجع. إذن ما الذي تغير؟

 في هذا السياق، نتحدث عن الصعود ولسقوط الأيديولوجي لداعش، ولا نتحدث عن الجوانب السياسية واللاعبين الذين ساعدوا في إنشاء وتوظيفها لأسباب وجداول أعمال مختلفة. لأنه مع توفر كل هؤلاء اللاعبين، كانت داعش بحاجه إلى بيئة حاضنة وقاعدة الدعم، وكانت البيئة الحاضنة وقاعدة الدعم هي الشباب المسلم المحبط بالأحداث العالمية والطريقة التي ينظر بها العالم إلى الإسلام والاستياء من حكومات العالم الإسلامي وروابطهم الخائنة والمخزية بالغرب. هذا الاحباط والاستياء مكن البنتاغون من التوظيف السياسي لداعش.

لذلك لا بد أن أشدد هنا على الوجود الدائمً لنسخة منحرفة من الإسلام تأسست على العنف ؛ في تناقض تام مع التعاليم القرآنية التي تمنع بوضوح الإكراه والقمع. نسخة كتبها ابن تيمية ؛ العقيدة المؤسسة للطائفة الوهابية السعودية.

عندما “اكتشف” الغرب هذه العقيدة المنحرفة، حاول أن يوظفها لصالحه ، وهكذا تم إنشاء القاعدة وداعش، القاعدة لإلحاق الأذى بالاتحاد السوفيتي في أفغانستان، وداعش لإسقاط الشرعية والعلمانية الحكومة السورية.

 لا شك ان إعلان داعش عن إنشاء الدولة الإسلامية في منتصف عام 2014 ، أيقظ الحنين والأمل بعودة الخلافة في  قلوب وعقول العديد من المسلمين السنة في جميع أنحاء العالم ؛ بما في ذلك المعتدلين. وبصراحة لا يمكن إلقاء اللوم عليهم كثيرا. بعد كل شيء ، فإن العديد من قادة ومقاتلي داعش العراقيين كانوا في السابق من أفراد الجيش العراقي في عهد صدام. لقد ابتعد كثير منهم عن “الديكتاتور” على أمل أن يتم “تغيير النظام” للأفضل ، لكنهم انضموا لداعش يسبب حالة الفوضى التي أحدثها الغزو الأمريكي.

قبل أن تظهر داعش وجهها القبيح ، ربما اعتقد المسلمون المعتدلون أن هذه القوة الجديدة الخارجة من بلاد ما بين النهرين ، والتي لا تعترف بالحدود التي رسمها المستعمرون الغربيون بين الشام (سوريا) والعراق ، هي القوة التي تستطيع توحيد المسلمين، والتي يجب دعمها .

ومن المفارقات، أن معظم هؤلاء المسلمين عندما ينظرون اليوم إلى الوراء، إما ينسون أو يودون أن ينسوا أنهم في مرحلة ما، في أعماق قلوبهم، أيدوا داعش ، وإن كانوا لا يعرفون تمامًا معنى ذلك.

هذا الدعم الخفي والسري لداعش من قبل بعض التيار السني العالمي هو الذي أعطى داعش أرضية خصبة لجذب المجندين وكان ذلك هو السبب الرئيسي للقلق.

إذا كان أي شخص يبحث عن أدلة تدعم هذه المقولة، فلن يحتاج الا إلى أبعد النظر في الهجمات الإرهابية في الاتحاد الأوروبي (وخاصة فرنسا) والمملكة المتحدة.

في الهجوم المروع الذي وقع يوم الباستيل في نيس في صيف عام 2016 ، أثبت مرتكب الجريمة أنه لا يحتاج إلى سلاح ليقتل. كان سلاحه شاحنة ، ولم يكن بحاجة لشرائها. فقد استأجرها.

وبعد هذا الهجوم المشين وما تلاه ، توقعت من بين أشياء كثيرة أخرى حدوث المزيد من هذه الأحداث ، التي استمرت لفترة، ثم توقفت فجأة.

لماذا ا؟ هذا هو السؤال.

لتتمكن داعش من الحفاظ على دعم بيئتها الحاضنة المتنامية ، كانت تحتاج إلى كسب قلوب وعقول المسلمين. وللقيام بذلك ، كان من الضروري تسجيل الانتصارات لإحياء حنين المسلمين للخلافة.

في البداية ، تفاخرت داعش بانتصاراتها وكان أكبرها الاستيلاء على الموصل. ثاني أكبر مدن العراق. وهكذا أصبحت آذان العديد من المسلمين في جميع أنحاء العالم تستعد وتهيئ نفسها لسماع المزيد. قفز البعض على عربة داعش مباشرة ، لكن الغالبية استعدت وانتظرت للحصول على مزيد من الأدلة على أن داعش بشكل عام ، والبغدادي على وجه الخصوص ، هما الشخصان المناسبان للثقة والمتابعة.

لكن ما أعقب استيلاء داعش على الموصل لم يكن أقل من وصمة عار كشفت عن قبحها الداخلي الحقيقي. وبدلاً من أن تتمكن داعش من الاستفادة من زخم انتصارها الأول ووعدها بتحقيق المزيد من ذلك من خلال ابراز من فضائل الإسلام على الأقل ، حوّلت داعش عجزها عن تحقيق المزيد من الانتصارات العسكرية إلى حمام دم ونهب وسوق للاسعباد الجنسي.

قبل مضي وقت طويل ، حتى ابتعد بعض أكثر المؤيدين الإسلاميين المتحمسين لداعش عنها ، ثم تحولوا  ضدها ، لدرجة أنهم الآن نسوا أو أنكروا أنهم أيدوا ذات مرة خطواتها الاولى .

 ما يثير الاهتمام هو ان فقدان داعش سيطرتها على عامة المسلمين السنة لم ينعكس على عملية الانتقال من  العلمانية إلى الإسلام لم يتغير في العالم الإسلامي. فعدد يرتدي عدد الفتيات المسلمات المحجبات يزداد

وما يثير الاهتمام هو أن تعريف “المسلم الحقيقي” يتغير ويتغير بسرعة. وبينما لا يزال ارتداء الحجاب وكل ما يأتي معه في تزايد ، يبدو أن هناك اتجاهًا متزايدًا في العالم الإسلامي نحو الاعتدال.

يبدو أن أساسيات مذهب داعش الأسود والأبيض أصبحت أكثر تسامحًا مع بعض ظلال الرمادي. حتى بعض الأصدقاء الشخصيين على وأصدقاء الأصدقاء قاموا بتلوين صورهم وهم يؤدون رحلة الحج في مكة المكرمة ،و لا يبدو أنهم لا يرغبون في نشر صور أخرى تحمل علامة هاينكن. بالنسبة لشخص من خارج الديانة الإسلامية ، قد لا يبدو هذا أمرًا كبيرًا ، لكنه في الواقع كذلك.

كل هذا يبدو جيدا ، ولكن ما حدث هنا حقا؟

بالتأكيد فقد فشلت مؤامرة داعش لحسن الحظ بالنسبة للعالم ، وبغض النظر عمن يكون / كان “وراء” تنظيم “داعش” ، كان المسلمين خاصة الشباب قاعدة التجنيد؛ فقدت داعش القدرة على جذب المزيد من المجندين والمتحمسين الذين نذروا أفعالهم وحياتهم للبغدادي دون الحاجة حتى إلى أن يكونوا أعضاء رسميين ، وأصبحت  داعش كمنظمة واسم الآن قوة مستهلكة ، وأتجرأ على القول، صورة من الماضي

لكن هذا لا يعني أن المجتمع المسلم “قام بتحصين” نفسه ضد المنظمات وجداول الأعمال المحتملة الجديدة المشابهة لداعش.

كان من الممكن أن يكون الصعود الأول لداعش هو  بقايا حنين لنظام معتقد معين لم يرغب الكثير من المسلمين حتى في دراسته بشكل صحيح لمعرفة ما إذا كان يتوافق حقًا مع تعاليم الإسلام وجميع الأديان الأخرى. لكن سقوط داعش يبشر بعهد جديد لم يسبق له مثيل في العقل الإسلامي ، وهذا يستدعي تفاؤلًا كبيرًا.

ربما لأول مرة في تاريخ الإسلام منذ نشأته ، بدأ المسلمون الآن في دراسة بعض التعاليم التي ورثوها. حتى في المملكة العربية السعودية وولي العهد السعودي الأمير محمد بن سلمان  يبدو أنهما سئموا من القواعد والعقائد القديمة التي تسمح بهذا وتحظر ذلك ؛ بدون أي أساس على الإطلاق.

لم أكن من عشاق محمد بن سلمان، ولكني كنت أعيش في المملكة العربية السعودية لفترة من الوقت ، وكنت أظن دائمًا أن هذا البلد لن يسمح أبدًا للنساء بقيادة السيارات، لكن هذا حدث وهو خطوة كبيرة في الاتجاه الصحيح و خطوة كبيرة نحو الإصلاح يجب ان لا تنسينا الإبادة الجماعية التي تقوم بها السعودية في اليمن بالطبع.

في المملكة العربية السعودية ، هناك أيضًا دعوة لإعادة النظر في الحديث (الكلمة المنطوقة للنبي محمد) في محاولة لتحديد التعاليم المنسوبة للنبي التي تروج للعنف والتي تتعارض مع االقرآن واعتبارها احاديث منحولة تم حقنها من قبل الآخرين لتبرير اجندات سياسية. مثل هذه المبادرة لم تكن ممكنة على الإطلاق قبل بضع سنوات.

هل هذا يعني أننا نشهد نهاية للعنف الإسلامي القائم على الأصولية؟ نأمل أن نكون ، لكن الإجابة الحقيقية على هذا السؤال هي برسم المجتمع المسلم بأسره.

والحقيقة هي أن داعش يقد هزمت ولكن الأيديولوجية الكامنة ورائها ما زالت مستمرة.

من المأمول أن يتذكر  المسلمون أفعال داعش إلى الأبد وأن يلفظوا إرث تنظيم الدولة الإسلامية وأحلامها الأصولية المتمثلة في الفتح والسيطرة على العالم ، من المأمول أن يتطلعوا إلى عالم جديد مفتوح لجميع الأديان والمذاهب.

أنا من أشد المؤمنين أن الله خلق الإنسان على صورته ، وجزء من هذه الصورة هو الخير ومحبة الخير ؛ والمسلمون جزء من هذا الخلق. بعد كل شيء ، المسلمون ، جميع المسلمين يؤمنون بالحديث الذي يقول:  “خير ا النَّاس انفعهم ” للنَّاس

ربما تكون روسيا وسوريا قد ربحت الحرب العسكرية على داعش ، ولكن المسلمين هم الذين فازوا في المعركة الروحية. المسلمون: 1 ، داعش: 0.

Sri Lanka Blasts: At Least 137 Killed, Hundreds Injured in Coordinated Churches’ Bombings

By Staff- Agencies

At least 137 people were killed and hundreds more were injured in near-simultaneous attacks on several churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, officials said.

The blasts hit three high-end hotels and one church in the capital, Colombo, while two additional churches were targeted elsewhere in the country during Easter services, Sri Lankan police said.

Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe called the blasts “cowardly” and said the government was working to “contain the situation.”

“I call upon all Sri Lankans during this tragic time to remain united and strong,” he wrote in a tweet.

Local security officials said at least two of the attacks appeared to have been carried out by suicide bombers.

The sites were all heavily frequented by tourists, and at least nine foreign nationals were killed in the explosions.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the apparent coordinated attack.

Sri Lanka’s police chief made a nationwide alert 10 days before Sunday’s bomb attacks in the country that suicide bombers planned to target “prominent churches”.

“A foreign intelligence agency has reported that the NTJ [National Thowheeth Jama’ath] is planning to carry out suicide attacks targeting prominent churches as well as the Indian high commission in Colombo,” said the alert, which was sent by police chief Pujuth Jayasundara to top officers.

According to hospital officials, at least 40 people were killed in the Colombo attacks; at least 62 were killed in Negombo, north of the capital; and at least 27 were killed in Batticalao, on the country’s eastern coast.

The first blast ripped through St. Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo.

The island nation of Sri Lanka, just off the coast from India, endured a brutal and bloody civil war from 1983 to 2009, when the government declared victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam insurgent group, also known as the Tamil Tigers.

Terrorism Is What We Say It Is

By Jeremy Salt
Source

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There is no consensus when it comes to defining terrorism. The most acceptable is ‘the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in pursuit of political aims.’ Some definitions insert the word ‘systematic’ so the act is defined as the regular, standard behavior of an individual or a group and not just one aberrant or anomalous action.

Terror is not quite the same as terrorism. Terror is experienced by many people in many ways and at many levels of their lives. There is terror at home in the hands of an abusive husband. There is the terror experienced by sexually abused children. There is terror in the school and the church, from abusive priests and teachers.

There is terror in the streets, from the man holding a knife to your throat as he demands your wallet and there can be terror at the hands of police, there to protect but frequently to abuse and even kill.

A violent father will terrorize his family for years. He will terrorize them regularly, day after day. He will assault his wife and children. He might even kill them. The family will live in a state of fear for years. There will be no end to it any more than there seems to be an end to occupation for the occupied.

This is a digression but it is not unreasonable to compare the fear of an abusive father in the home to the fear of soldiers and settlers amongst a people living under occupation. Violence is always just around the corner in both circumstances.

The home is turned into occupied territory, a place of violence and terror from which there is no escape for the trapped child. The abusive father becomes the soldier, the border police and the settler.

The state and the media tell us who the terrorist is. It is never us. It is always them. The terrorist is the Islamic State in Syria, the terrorist is the gunmen shooting dead 90 young people in the Bataclan theatre in Paris and the terrorist is the man driving a 19-ton truck into a mass of people strolling along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. The central problem with this mainstream definition is that it excludes the terrorist actions of a state, except, of course, when the state is part of ‘them’ and not ‘us’ and needs to be set up as a fitting target for attack.

The killers at Bataclan and Nice had their own political motives but so do ‘western’ governments and their regional allies when launching their wars of aggression in the Middle East. Their actions meet their own criteria of terrorism – unlawful violence against civilians with a political aim in mind – and they have killed infinitely more people than the victims of all individual or group terrorist attacks put together.

Their wars would be more accurately described as onslaughts by the most powerful armies in the world on countries scarcely capable of defending themselves. Israel’s war on Lebanon in 1982 was a terrorist war directed against a civilian population, with the political aim in mind of extinguishing the PLO. Its ‘wars’ on Gaza have been terrorist attacks on a civilian population with the aim of destroying support for the Palestinian government elected in 2006.

When the US and its allies invaded Iraq in 2003 the entire Iraqi population south of the Kurdish region was terrorized. Across the country, people did not know whether they or someone close to them would live to see the next day. Hundreds of thousands did not.

They were the sacrifice that had to be made so a dictator could be stripped of the weapons of mass destruction he did not have and the architects of the killing of these civilians knew he did not have.

There were no elegies, no regrets, and no remorse. No flags waving over coffins and no sound of the last post. They were pulp, no more than dross, the scourings in the factory of war, a faceless, nameless pile of bodies with a sign stuck on the top reading ‘collateral damage.’

This did not mean that death did not concern the folk back home. Many were horrified and came out into the streets to demonstrate but most were concerned only with the death of their own, the soldiers sent to kill in this senseless war.

The same governments that led the attack on Iraq then took advantage of the ‘Arab spring’ to turn their attention to Libya. This most developed country in Africa was not destroyed by ‘rebels.’ It was destroyed by the air forces of the US, the UK, and France. The ‘rebels’ moved forward only under cover of aerial attack. Without it they could not have gone beyond the municipal boundaries of Benghazi.

These same governments changed gear when it came to Syria, where they knew they could not get any kind of UN Security Council backing for what they intended to do. They claimed to have been engaged in a ‘war on terror’ since 9/11 but now they and their regional allies used the terrorist gangs they had pledged to destroy to destroy Syria. Their takfiris were no more than the equivalent of the contras Ronald Reagan used against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua in the 1980s.

The criminality in all of this is enormous. The Nuremberg tribunal defined an aggressive war as the supreme international crime. The invasion of Iraq in 2003, the destruction of Libya in 2011 and the slow-motion destruction of Syria from 2011 onwards were aggressive wars and thus supreme international crimes for which no-one who commissioned them has been held accountable in a court of law.

The 2003 attack on Iraq followed ten years of sanctions described by senior UN humanitarian coordinators as genocidal. This was a decade of terror suffered by the Iraqi people, deprived of food, clean water, and energy supplies. Half a million children who would have lived died. The sanctions sickened so many governments they refused to apply them any longer.

With the sanctions regime collapsing, and with it becoming clear that Saddam would survive and Iraq would again take its place as a front line Arab state against Israel, the US decided to attack again and break Iraq up.

The second war on Iraq was launched and sustained under cover of the most reprehensible lies, not one of them being challenged let alone exposed by the corporate media. Up to one million people were killed within a few years and millions more fled their country. Until the attack on Syria, it was the greatest outpouring of refugees in the Middle East since the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948.

The refugees scattered in all directions. Some managed to reach Indonesia, where they took rickety boats across the Timor Sea to Australia. Many drowned when their boats sank.  Others were turned back and some actually made it through the naval cordon. Taking no responsibility for its military role in the destruction of their country, the Australian government then locked them up in ‘detention centers’ or in camps behind razor wire in the middle of the desert.

The vicious, inhumane treatment of such vulnerable people will rank for all time as one of the most despicable episodes in Australian history. What it exposed yet again was the racism deeply embedded in Australian society, directed against one vulnerable group of people after another, the indigenous people from the beginning of white settlement, Chinese miners in the 19th century, ‘boat people’ escaping the Vietnam war in the 1970s and most recently the ‘boat people’ escaping the wars on Afghanistan and Iraq.

The irony could not be lost on anyone, as it was the white settlers themselves who in 1788 were the first ‘boat people,’ massacring the native people and claiming the entire land under the lie of terra nullius. Neither should the similarities with the Zionist occupation of Palestine be lost on anyone.

War turned Libya into a jumping-off point for Libyans and other Africans escaping war or seeking a better life in Europe. Thousands drowned crossing the Mediterranean. The Aegean was another death zone, for Iraqis driven out of their homeland or Kurds escaping theirs.

Then it was Syria’s turn.  If there is any redeeming feature in this latest attempt to destroy an Arab country it is that Syria has survived and in time foreign forces will eventually have to withdraw from the territory they have occupied.  The governments responsible have again violated international law in the most shocking fashion and again no-one has been punished or even held accountable.

These state crimes are the greatest in modern history, far worse in the scale of destruction and the numbers of people killed than the crimes of the national socialists and fascists in the 1930s. One would have to go back to the war on Vietnam for a parallel measure of death and destruction.

Israel was a central element in the wars on Iraq and Syria. It has long been agitating for war on Iran. Its politicians and lobbyists in the US were pushing for ‘regime change’ in the Middle East two decades ago, with the aim of clearing the region of all possible threats to Israeli military domination.

Psycho-historically, Israel also wanted to destroy what was left of the ‘Arab idea’ and what lay at its heart – Palestine. This project began with its establishment.  Israel would decide what the Arab world would be and Israel would tell the world what Arab and Palestinian history had been. Indeed, there would no longer be an ‘Arab world’ in any integrated sense.  As the Yinon planrevealed in the 1980s, it would be broken up into ethno-religious enclaves that Israel could dominate.

Along with the gross crimes committed in Iraq, Libya and Syria there have been the drone missile attacks ordered against Yemen, Somalia and other countries by that paragon of western liberal democracy, Barack Obama.

Now we have his successor dismissing international law with his claim that Jerusalem and the Golan Heights are part of Israel. Thus encouraged, Netanyahu is pledging that after the forthcoming elections he will annex at least parts of the occupied West Bank. ‘A Palestinian state would endanger our existence’ he says. If he does, Trump is likely to follow through with recognition.

What else are these attacks on the governments and people of the Middle East but terror and terrorism as defined – ‘the unlawful use of violence … especially against civilians … in the pursuit of political aims’?

This terrorism is not random but part of the DNA of certain states, no different in essence from the terror of the gunmen who burst into the Bataclan theatre and began shooting down civilians as innocent as the Iraqis, Libyans, Syrians and Palestinians killed by tank fire and missile strikes or shot by gunmen along the Gaza fence. Only the uniform separates them from the Bataclan killers.

These two governments, the US and Israel, have turned the canons of international law upside down. Their law is no more than the law of the jungle, the law not of the civilization whose virtues they endlessly spout but of brute force. They have demonstrated by their actions that where their perceptions of national interest are concerned there is no law they will obey and every law they will break.

They are the Leviathan without the social contract. They have taken the world back to Thomas Hobbes’ ‘state of nature,’ in which, for millions of people in the Middle East the life of a man or a woman, adult or child, becomes ‘brutish and short.’

In their eyes, the ‘terrorist’ is not just the Bataclan gunmen but anyone who stands in their way, whether an individual, an organization or a state. The latest addition, put on the list of designated terrorist groups by Donald Trump, is Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), which has sent forces to support Syrian and Hizbullah resistance to western-led and Israeli aggression against Syria and Lebanon. In response, Iran’s Supreme Security Council has designated the US government as a terrorist government and CENTCOM, the US central military command, as a terrorist group.

The attack on Syria has been yet another terrible violation of international law, at numerous levels, by the US and its ‘western’ and Middle Eastern regional partners. As usual, the UN Secretary-General refuses to speak out, further whittling away the UN’s credibility as the supposed defender of international order. The response by the Syrian government and its allies to the attack on Syria is not terrorism, but resistance to it.

US and Israeli orchestrated terror in the Middle East has to be put in the right semantical order. Israel was founded through terror and by terror it has been maintained. Its terrorism is not random but normalized and necessary to its existence as a state that has chosen to live outside the law, with the full support of the US.

Israel is not ‘defending’ itself when it attacks Gaza or when its soldiers, police, and settlers kill Palestinians in Jerusalem or on the West Bank. What is it is ‘defending’ is its theft of someone else’s property. It is the Palestinians who are defending their rights, under law, not Israel.

Israeli civilians living illegally on occupied land in east Jerusalem or the West Bank put themselves in harm’s way and are to be held primarily responsible for the consequences to themselves and their families.

The terror experienced by Israeli Jews living close to the Gaza fence is the minutest fraction of the terror routinely inflicted on Palestinians on the other side of the fence. They are being targeted not because they are Jews, as Netanyahu and Zionist lobbyists would have the world believe, but because they are living on land stolen from its owners more than seven decades ago after being ethnically cleansed. It would not matter who they are.  They would still be resisted because of what they have done.

Adherence to international law would redress the situation in Palestine yet the joint US and Israeli response to the violence and terror they have initiated across the Middle East is more violence and more terror. This is their answer. You will do as we say or else, signaling that the ‘special relationship’ between these two unruly, lawbreaking countries is one of the most dangerous in history.

Foreign backed terrorism in Iran: Part one -US/Israeli backed Salafists in Iran

April 07, 2019

By Aram Mirzaei for the Saker blog

While terrorism is a phenomenon most of us have come in touch with during our lifetime, much of the coverage is shadowed by terrorism in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Iraq, where US backed terrorist groups have wreaked havoc in devastating the wars that have plagued these countries.

Nonetheless, terrorism is widespread across the region, even in Iran. Due to Iran’s relatively strong internal stability, terrorist groups have been unable to catch major headlines in the Islamic Republic as terrorist groups often conduct hit and run attacks or the occasional kidnappings of young drafted border guards and soldiers near the Pakistan/Afghanistan border areas as well as across Iran’s western borders towards Iraq. Some groups are motivated by separatist goals, while others are driven by religious extremism. In this first part I will cover terrorism across Iran’s eastern borders, one that is driven by the Salafist ideology.

Iran has been familiar with terrorism for many decades through the Saddam Hussein-backed “People’s Mujahideen”, a strange group of “Marxist-Islamists” who waged war on their own country in an attempt to grab power, shortly after the Islamic Revolution. During Saddam’s 8 year war on Iran they were backed and armed by Iraqi security forces, often resorting to terrorist attacks, killing many innocent people in the process. While this group was effectively defeated, it has nonetheless survived as it was sheltered by the Saddam regime and recently have found refuge in Albania. I will come back to this group later.

Since the 9/11 attacks when Al-Qaeda became a household name, Takfiri groups have become increasingly widespread in the Middle East and central Asia. Many Takfiri groups have found their haven in neighbouring Pakistan which they use as a home base to launch cross border attacks on Afghanistan and Iran. Pakistan’s government and security apparatus are known to support Takfiri groups across the region, at the behest of Washington, a fact that former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf admitted to.

Pakistan is home to multiple Saudi funded so called Madrasas, terrorist recruitment centres focused on brainwashing young men into joining militant groups with similar ideologies such as the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. For decades, since the days of the Soviet-Afghan war, Islamabad has used terrorism as a tool for its foreign policy towards its neighbours. But it is important to understand that Islamabad and Pakistan’s security services are working for Washington’s interests, because had they had their own interests at heart, they wouldn’t allow the Waziristan province to turn into a terrorist controlled region in the country, endangering the lives of Pakistanis across the country. These Takfiri groups have committed heinous crimes against Pakistanis as well, such as the notorious Peshawar school shootings of 2014 where 132 schoolchildren were murdered.

Since 2003, Iran has been plagued by Takfiri terrorism that has penetrated through Iran’s south-eastern borders into the Sistan and Baluchistan province. One of the more active groups in the region was the Jundallah terrorist group, made up of the predominantly Sunni Muslim Baluchis (a people living in southeastern Iran and southwestern Pakistan). Jundallah claimed to be fighting for Baluchi rights in Iran while also espousing the formation of a Sunni Baluchi state. From their bases in Pakistan, over the course of 8 years, Jundallah conducted multiple terrorist attacks in Iran, such as the 2007 Zahedan bombings where 18 members of the IRGC were killed.

The following investigation pointed towards external backing by the U.S and Israel, as Mossad agents posing as CIA officers met with and recruited members of Jundallah in cities such as London to carry out attacks against Iran. In late 2008, in an interview with the Saudi Al-Arabiyah TV, Jundallah leader Abdolmalek Rigi said that his group had been “given 2000 men as well as military and ideological training”, indicating that external support to his group was indeed an ongoing process. In the following two years more attacks were carried out in the Sistan and Baluchistan province as Jundallah stepped up their operations. Despite Pakistan’s official policy of cooperating with Iran on the matter of cross border terrorism in this region, some Iranian officials have directly accused Pakistan of playing a double game. It has been claimed that Jundallah can not operate with at least some degree of support from within Pakistan and that elements from within Pakistani security establishment, particularly ISI with financial support of Saudi Arabia and its supplementation through the largest opium black market in the world have created a network of drug smugglers and terrorists in the region.

In 2007, ABC News cited US. and Pakistani intelligence sources as saying American officials had been secretly advising and encouraging Jundullah militants to carry out attacks against targets inside Iran. The following year, in 2008, Seymour Hersh’s New Yorker investigation revealed that the Bush administration had been funding covert operations inside Iran designed to destabilize the country’s leadership since 2005. According to Hersh, these covert activities included support for Baluchi groups such as Jundullah. That same year, Pakistan’s former army chief, General Mirza Aslam Baig, claimed to have first-hand knowledge that the US was providing training facilities to Jundallah militants in Pakistan and southeastern Iran, specifically to sow unrest between the two neighbouring countries.

The final piece of evidence was uncovered when Abdolmalek Rigi was captured in 2010. In a televised interview with Iranian officials before his execution, Rigi confessed that the Americans “promised to help us and they said that they would co-operate with us, free our prisoners, and would give us military equipment, bombs, machine guns, and they would give us a base.” Rigi added that “The Americans said Iran was going its own way and they said our problem at the present is Iran… not al-Qaeda and not the Taliban, but the main problem is Iran. We don’t have a military plan against Iran. Attacking Iran is very difficult for us (the US).”

Rigi’s arrest and subsequent execution weakened and ultimately dissolved Jundallah as members broke off to form new terrorist groups such as Harakat Ansar Iran and the more notorious Jaish ul Adl. Like Jundallah, Jaish ul-Adl is operating in Iran’s southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan, as well as Pakistan’s Balochistan Province. The group has carried out numerous attacks against Iranian government institutions, including one infamous incident in March 2014 in which five Iranian border guards were kidnapped, with one being executed later. The latest attack was carried out just two months ago, when a suicide bomber targeted a bus carrying IRGC personnel in the city of Zahedan (Sistan and Baluchistan).

Aside from carrying on Jundallah’s previous goals of creating a jihadist Baluchi state in southeastern Iran, Jaish ul-Adl is also opposed to the government’s active support of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which they regard as an attack on Sunni Muslims. This is where the Syrian war again is connected to the rise of salafist groups across the region, and shows us how these groups are indeed the same as the US backed terrorist groups in Syria. Takfiri extremist organizations such as Jaish al-Adl see their war against Iran as an extension of the war against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, itself part of the broader jihad against Shia Islam.

In the next part of this series, I will cover the much broader and frequent support for Kurdish nationalist and separatist groups in Western Iran, as well as the recent rise of Arab separatism in southwestern Iran.

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