Saturday, December 10, 2016

Turkey

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Guantanamo Bay

Surprise, surprise; one of the suspects arrested in connection with last week’s terrorist attacks in Turkey spent time at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The U.S. released him to his native Russia along with six other detainees who subsequently became known as the “Russian Taliban,” according to an alarming report published by a Washington D.C. think-tank that studies totalitarian societies of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.

One of the members of the so-called Russian Taliban, Airat Vakhitov, is among 30 people arrested by Turkish authorities in connection with the attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport that killed dozens and injured more than 100, a U.S. government-funded news service reports. Vakhitov spent two years at Gitmo after being captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan in 2001, the news report says, and he’s one of 11 Russian citizens arrested in the last few days in connection with the Turkey attack, which was carried out by ISIS. “Russia’s security services have accused Vakhitov of fighting in Syria and Iraq alongside terrorist groups, as well as recruiting foreign fighters for IS and other groups, and raising funds for terrorists,” the news story says.

Judicial Watch tracked down Vakhitov’s Department of Defense (DOD) Gitmo file and it says he was born in Naberyozhnyj and traveled by train to Afghanistan where he was eventually arrested by the Taliban on suspicion of espionage. He was taken to Gitmo in mid-June, 2002 and was “cooperative” during his two-year stay. “Because of the Russian government’s agreement to incarcerate this detainee upon his transfer, and provided that he remains incarcerated under the control of the Russian government, the detainee poses no future threat to the U.S. or its allies,” the DOD file states. “In addition, the Russian government has agreed to share with the United States all intelligence derived from this detainee in the future.”

It’s not clear when Russia freed Vakhitov or if he was ever really incarcerated there after leaving Gitmo. An international human rights organizations claims Vakhitov and his fellow countrymen were tortured in Russia after leaving Gitmo in 2004. “Access to the ex-detainees is limited because three of them are in prison and the rest have either managed to leave the country or are in hiding,” the group writes in an announcement promoting a report blasting the U.S. for relying on Russia’s “diplomatic assurances” of fair treatment to justify sending Gitmo captives.

If Vakhitov was involved in the Turkey attack, he’s simply the latest of many Gitmo captives to reengage in terrorism after leaving the top security compound at the U.S. Naval base in southeast Cuba. Judicial Watch has reported on this for years, documenting specific cases based on intelligence reports. Earlier this year the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) disclosed that dozens have joined terrorist causes after begin released, including seven of the 144 captives freed by the Obama administration.

Of the 532 released under the George W. Bush administration (this includes Vakhitov), 111 eventually reengaged in extremist causes, the ODNI revealed. Just a few weeks ago Judicial Watch reported that a veteran Al Qaeda operative released from Gitmo to Uruguay in late 2014 has gone missing and authorities in Latin America believe he sneaked into Brazil after being denied legal entry. Keep in mind the summer Olympics are just weeks away in Brazil.

In one embarrassing case an Al Qaeda operative freed from Gitmo was subsequently placed by the U.S. government on a global terrorist list where a $5 million reward was offered for information on his whereabouts. The Saudi national, Ibrahim al-Rubaysh, was repatriated by the Bush administration in 2006 under a Saudi Arabian “rehabilitation” program that supposedly reformed Guantanamo Bay jihadists but instead serves as a training camp for future terrorists.

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War in Syria

Today the State Department and Pentagon officials are ordering the families and non-military personnel that are in southern Turkey to leave immediately due to security concerts.

The staff at the consulate in Adana and the Incirlik base are ordered to leave as well as a couple of other places that are very close to the Syrian border in Turkey.

In a statement made by the European commander, he said, “We understand this is disruptive to our military families, but we must keep them safe and ensure the combat effectiveness of our forces to support our strong ally Turkey in the fight against terrorism.”

Since the personnel is being ordered to leave, that does mean that the US government will pay for the relocation. But what is the rush?

Two weeks ago authorities captured the Paris ringleader in Brussels. In the past week there has been an attack in Belgium that killed almost 40 and injured hundreds. Then Iraqi troops took the ISIS city of Mosul back.

There is new demand for America to go in and take out the leader of ISIS and that is what it looks like Obama is doing. The pieces are lining up on the map.

ISIS is being pushed back to Syria and it looks like America is going to come in from the North through Turkey. Iraq, Russia and Iran look to be protecting the East of Syria and fighting ISIS on that front.

That leaves Israel and Jordan to protect the south. It is shaping into an attack to take out ISIS leadership and their rule in Raqqah and now with the ordering the removal of all non-essential staff and military, it might be sooner than later.

The governments in Europe and the US are feeling the pressure to do something to stop the spread of ISIS. Going in and eliminating the power structure is a good start. Even if they get all of ISIS, is the land going to be given back to Assad, President of Syria?

This whole thing is turning into a huge mess, but from the looks of it, things are just getting started.

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