Executive Intelligence Review
This article appears in the January 16, 2009 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
EXPANSION OF GAZA CONFLICT?

Anglo-Saudi Manipulations
Could Lead to World War

by Hussein Askary

[PDF version of this article]

Jan. 9—In a statement on Jan. 7, following the Israeli Defense Forces' massacre of Palestinian children in its ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, Lyndon LaRouche emphasized that "it's no longer a Gaza Strip conflict." LaRouche was responding to wishful commentaries that a ceasefire was around the corner, due to diplomatic efforts at the UN Security Council.

"The key thing we should keep in mind," LaRouche said, "is that this thing is not going to end. The intention was to set a fire that could not be quenched. The parties involved in this are not of that disposition, on the Israeli side or otherwise.... The Israelis were pressed massively to do it." He added: "And of course, Cheney and Company, who are British, are fully guilty in this."

To anyone who knows anything about military strategy, the Israeli attack on Gaza is not intended to achieve results on the ground there, but to create a global crisis, by finding the pretexts to expand the war regionally and moving the forces that would help expand it.

The Anglo-Saudi assets that LaRouche has been warning about, have been right at hand to deliver this service.

A Saudi 'Fatwa'

Leading Saudi Wahhabi clerics moved into place in late December, such as Sheikh Awadh al-Garni, who issued a fatwa calling on Muslims "to spill the blood" of Israelis everywhere in the world, as revenge for Israeli attacks against Palestinians in Gaza. "All Israeli interests, and anything else related to Israel, are a permitted target for Muslims everywhere.... They should become targets. Their blood should be shed as the blood of our brothers in Palestine has been shed. They should feel pain more than our brothers," al-Garni stated. Another Saudi cleric, Salman Fahad al-Oudeh (chairman of the Saudi institution Islamtoday.net), called on Arab countries, especially Saudi Arabia and Egypt, to respond to the Israeli attacks "with actions, not merely words."

These statements should be viewed as signals for Saudi/British-sponsored Salafi terrorist networks to wreak havoc not only against Israeli interests, but even against American or allied interests.

Al-Garni and Odeh are part of a powerful 20-person Wahhabi faction in Saudi Arabia, which has a key role in sending out marching orders and recruits for terrorist operations internationally. In 1994, this grouping was sent to jail by former King Fahd for supporting a call by Osama bin Laden, who was then based in London, for "reform" of the Saudi kingdom. These clerics were later released after cutting a deal with the Saudi royal family, according to which the Saudi government would support some of their demands for jihad in the Caucasus, Kashmir, and other targets of British operations, in return for directing their rhetoric away from the royal family, and against the "West," Russia, China, India, or other powers allegedly oppressing Muslim minorities.

In November 2004, following the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the two joined a group of 20 Wahhabi clerics who issued a fatwa calling for armed resistance against the Americans in Iraq, and anybody who collaborated with them. The "collaborators" category included not only Iraqi government officials, police, or armed forces, but almost every Iraqi who went to his job and did not participate in armed resistance against the U.S. troops. Youth from Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries poured into Iraq after this fatwa, to carry out suicide attacks against Iraqi civilians. Al-Qaeda and extreme Sunni militant groups inside Iraq used this and similar fatwas to justify the most heinous crimes against Iraqi and foreign civilians.

This is what these clerics are hoping to arouse now, but on a global scale.

This development came amid warnings that "a third force"—neither the Palestinian Hamas or Islamic Jihad, nor the Lebanese Shi'ite group Hezbollah—could expand this conflict into a global one, by targeting other nations with terrorism. The British have mastered the deployment of such third forces—known in counterinsurgency parlance as "countergangs"—during their years of imperial rule.

Did a Countergang Fire the Rockets?

The fears that a third force would provoke Israel, or give it the pretext to expand the Gaza offensive, were made real on Jan. 8, when rockets fired from southern Lebanon hit Israel. Hezbollah denied any involvement in the attack, and indeed it has practiced enormous restraint in order not to be drawn into the conflict.

A new Lebanese Shi'ite countergang, opposed to Hezbollah and calling itself the Arabic Islamic Majlis of Lebanon, announced its formation of a militant resistance group on Jan. 7. The next day—the day on which the rockets were launched against Israel—its leader issued an alert for his militia to get ready to resist an invasion of Lebanon by Israel.

The group, which is sponsored by London and has offices only in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Great Britain, claimed to have recruited 3,000 resistance fighters against Israel.

The Arabic Islamic Majlis (with the emphasis on "Arabic" to distinguish itself, its leader says, from the pro-Iranian Hezbollah) is headed by Ayatollah Alsayed Mohammad al-Huseini, and was founded in October 2006, after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, when Hezbollah defeated the Israeli army.

Al-Huseini toured continental Europe and Britain, according to the group's website, and held meetings with political personalities in London in February 2008. In a Sept. 15, 2008 report posted on its website, al-Huseini is pictured in front of a banner stating, "Thank you Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of goodness and humanity." The context of the photo is a letter sent by al-Huseini to Prince Nayef bin Sultan, Interior Minister of Saudi Arabia, thanking him for the support he has given to the "charities" run by Majlis.

Prince Nayef is a generous donor to Lebanese Sunni groups. He was especially generous after the arrest of Saudi terrorists who had joined the Palestinian Salafi/Wahhabi group Fatah al-Islam, in fighting against the Lebanese Army in the Palestinian refugee camp Nahrel Bared in northern Lebanon in May 2007. Nayef negotiated the release and transfer of the Saudi terrorists to Saudi Arabia.

Al-Huseini is based in the city of Tyre and other southern Lebanese towns, with a perfect position and infrastructural capabilities to act against northern Israel.

What leads us further to suspect the Majlis of involvement in the provocative rocket attack against Israel, is an interview which al-Huseini gave to the Saudi TV channel al-Arabiya, which was aired on Jan. 8. Al-Arabiya.net reported that he declared the launching of the Arab Islamic Resistance, "which includes 3,000 mujahideen from all fields of military, logistical, and civil defense." He pointed out that he has received "more than 1,500 requests to join from the Arab Gulf countries, since the announcement of the volunteer process." He further emphasized that the new resistance movement "has members and weapons in quantities that please the friends and brothers and terrify the enemies," warning that there will be many "surprises," especially with regard to weapons, disclosing what he called "the Aloroba rocket, which is a product of the resistance, and it will be exceptional."

Al-Huseini outright accuses Hezbollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah of being an Iranian agent, not a Lebanese patriot. Following the failed Israeli invasion of Lebanon in Summer 2006, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney visited Saudi Arabia and other predominantly Sunni Arab countries to whip up Shi'a-Sunni confrontation. According to his plan, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, Jordan, and Egypt would ally with Israel against Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran, which were considered a Shi'a axis. (Hamas, which is Sunni in origin, has involuntarily become part of the latter axis recently.) In 2007, Cheney's right-hand man in the White House, Elliott Abrams, who had been convicted in the Iran-Contra weapons-for-drugs scandal in 1991, visited Lebanon to devise a method to weaken Hezbollah by entangling it in a civil war-like situation. According to unconfirmed intelligence reports issued at the time, one plan was to create a countergang of Shi'a groups who would be rivals to Hezbollah. The result of that project, which was to be armed by the Lebanese pro-Bush government of Saad Hariri and Fouad Siniora, and financed by Saudi Arabia, is the Arabic Islamic Majlis, as we know it today.

On May 16, 2006, al-Huseini sent a letter to Maryam Rajavi, the leader of the British-controlled, U.S.-protected Iranian terrorist group Mujahideen-e-Khalq, thanking her for her support in the face of Iranian harassment against his group in Lebanon. He called her "jihadist sister Maryam Rajavi," president-elect of the [Iranian] republic, saying that she had been elected by the Iranian resistance to the government in Tehran.

Al-Huseini is also allied with the Druze sect in Lebanon, whose leader, Walid Jumblatt, has been calling for a U.S. war against Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran. Al-Huseini visited the religious leaders of the Druze at the al-Irfan Foundation, on Jan. 7, the day he launched his armed resistance against Israel.

Iran Breaks Profile

Interestingly, Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran are all acting contrary to profile, sitting quietly at the bottom of the proverbial boat. They have realized that the attack on Gaza was aimed at larger strategic global goals than those stated by the Israeli government. Intensive diplomatic moves by Iranian leaders such as Saeed Jalili, head of the Iranian National Security Council, and Speaker of the Iranian Parliament and former National Security chief Ali Larijani, who visited Syria, and met with representatives of Hamas and Islamic Jihad as well as Hezbollah, had a restraining effect on these groups.

One of the most remarkable moves was made by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Jan. 8. Khamenei, a hardliner and virulent anti-Israeli, anti-American ideologue, made a speech to a large crowd in the city of Qom banning any Iranian from carrying out suicide attacks against Israel or Israeli interests. Just one week earlier, he had called on Iranian youth to enlist to go to fight in Gaza. Seventy thousand volunteers were registered by extremist groups that support President Ahmadinejad. The volunteers started pouring out to Iranian airports, demanding to be flown to Syria or Lebanon to fight Israel.

In the face of this pressure, Khamenei, whose word is law, issued his ban. In his speech in Qom, he told the crowd that he "thanked them" a great deal, but that the Palestinians would be better helped by "political and popular pressure on Israel," rather than the power of arms. Khamenei also warned the Iranian people and peoples of the region: "You should be aware of the hidden aspects of the Zionist conspiracy behind creating the tragedy in Gaza. The main objective of international imperialism behind the crimes in Gaza is to put an end to the resistance element in the whole region, and to control the enormous resources of the Middle East." He urged people "to learn about this hidden goal and react to it in the appropriate manner." Khamenei did not state what methods should be used, but unlike on previous occasions, he did not refer to any armed resistance.

The Anglo-Saudi/Israeli/Bush-Cheney provocateurs stand exposed today, but it should not be ruled out that some bloody acts of terrorism, whether in Israel or elsewhere, could still lead to the globalization of the conflict.

Subscribe to EIW