Time and again Western security services have been shown to be up to their necks in promoting, training and giving operational support for Islamists to do their dirty work. It started in the 1950s as a strategy to mobilise the most backward and conservative sections of society against nationalist, independent and mostly progressive currents in the Middle East. They managed to destroy every single one of these currents, leaving a politically barren landscape dominated by political options that have no future and, despite their ultra-anti-Western rhetoric, which cannot fight against Western imperialism.
Then came the CIA’s war in Afghanistan in the 1980s, with the US funding Osama bin Laden’s group and other jihadis to fight the Russians. Then there was the training and deployment of thousands of jihadis to fight Serbia in the war in the former Yugoslavia. Then the training and deployment of thousands of jihadis to fight in Chechnya with the sole purpose of destabilizing Russia. Many of the latter had previously fought in Serbia. Then came Libya, where the security services sent hundreds of these operatives to undermine Gaddafi in 2011. Then came Syria, where the security services sent in hundreds of armed Libyan jihadis to fight Assad.
Not a lot of people know that many of the detainees held at Guantanamo Bay’s US military prison was or is a former CIA- or MI6-trained fighter. They sent them there because they knew they were committed jihadists, as opposed to the less dangerous Iraqi or Afghan nationalists who were just fighting to oust foreigners from their countries and had no global or ideological pretensions.
Now the web site MiddleEastEye lifts the lid on the Libyan connection to this week’s Manchester bombing that the British authorities do not want to talk about. It explains why, within hours of the attack, the security services were already declaring that a network was involved. They knew whom they were dealing with!