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How the Soviet Union helped terrorism go global – The Global Jihadism and the KGB – GS


Moscow KGB – the Alma Mater of the modern Global Terrorism

Red Jihad: Moscow's Final Solution for America and Israel: Kincaid, Cliff,  Nyquist, J.R.: 9781523956098: Books

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The Global Jihadism and the KGB – GS

Michael Novakhov’s favorite articles on Inoreader
SEPTEMBER 12, 2017 21:19
A HISTORIC poster of Vladimir Lenin on display in St. Petersburg (photo credit: REUTERS) A HISTORIC poster of Vladimir Lenin on display in St. Petersburg (photo credit: REUTERS) 
This year marks the centenary of the founding of the Soviet Union, and with it the imposition of a communist dictatorship in Tsarist Russia and beyond. The totalitarian government that Vladimir Lenin and his party apparatchiks built is commonly associated with the terror of large-scale famine, police-state repression, gulags and assassinations. Yet, there is another noteworthy Soviet legacy: communist support for terrorist groups.Soviet aid to terrorist organizations was a staple of Moscow’s strategy against the West and its allies during the Cold War. At the roots of this sponsorship was a desire to portray the USSR and communism as the vanguard of “liberation” in an era that witnessed the disintegration of the British and French empires. That the Soviet Union itself had engaged in imperialism since shortly after its creation was an inconvenient truth to be whitewashed in communist propaganda.As analyst Nick Lockwood noted in The Atlantic in 2011, “Russia is the birthplace of modern terrorism,” with 19th century Russian nihilists and secret societies advocating a violent overthrow of Tsarist rule. Groups like the “People’s Will” murdered Tsarist officials and, in March 1881, Tsar Alexander II himself. Among its more infamous members was Alexander Ulyanov – Lenin’s older brother – who was executed by the state in 1887 for a planned assassination of Alexander’s son and successor.There was terrorism from the Russian far Right as well, with organizations like the Union of the Russian People having “compiled lists of current and former government officials to be assassinated,” as the historian Stephen Kotkin highlighted in Stalin: Paradoxes of Power.But it was the USSR and its communist allies who helped terrorism go global.According to The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the Third World, a book by historian Christopher Andrew and the KGB operative turned defector Vasili Mitrokhin, the “unexpected surge” of international terrorism in the early 1970s coupled with the successful backing of Sandinista guerillas in Latin America “encouraged” Moscow to “consider the use of Palestinian terrorists as proxies in the Middle East and Europe.” By 1970, the KGB “began secret arms deliveries to the Marxist-Leninist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)” – a US-designated terrorist group. In addition to the PLFP, the Soviets, the East German Stasi, the Cuban General Intelligence Directorate (DGI), Romanian intelligence services, and other communist dictatorships gave funds, training and support to various leftist terrorist networks.THESE GROUPS, such as the Japanese Red Army, Italy’s Red Brigades, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) and various German organizations all “shared Marxist philosophies, a hatred of America” and “solidarity with the Palestinians,” Lockwood notes. On the latter point, the analyst pointed out: “Palestinian groups were enthusiastic participants in Soviet terror largesse.”This went hand in glove with the USSR’s propaganda campaign to tar Zionism, the belief in Jewish self-determination, as racism; a tool, it was said, of Western colonialist oppression.In this fashion, the communists that had imposed autocracy and enslaved billions could be painted as “liberators” of the Third World.Yasser Arafat, a founder of the Palestinian Fatah movement and future head of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Palestinian Authority (PA), even received KGB training in east Moscow in the early 1960s, according to a Wall Street Journal article by Ion Mihai Pacepa, the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Romania before his defection to the United States in 1978.Together, communist-backed terrorist groups pioneered airplane hijackings and the purposeful targeting – including mass murder – of civilians. Indeed, General Alexander Sakharovsky, who headed the KGB’s First Chief Directorate that oversaw operations abroad, bragged in 1971: “Airplane hijacking is my own invention.”According to Andrew and Mitrokhin, the Soviets ceased supporting the PFLP in the late 1970s. Other groups, however, continued to receive support and other communist dictatorships – all trained and backed by the USSR – were happy to provide it.East Germany in particular was an avid proponent, as the American historian Jeffrey Herf documented in his important 2016 book Undeclared Wars with Israel. The country’s vicious and highly effective intelligence service, the Stasi, aided the PLO, among other groups, in carrying out “acts of war” and “international terrorism,” as its own records note. Herf points out that East Germany served as a “transit” and “training spot” for numerous terrorists and that the Stasi, concerned about Western condemnation should their trainees carry out attacks in the West, entered into a formal agreement with the PLO: committing terrorist attacks “anywhere else” was encouraged.The plane hijackings and massacres, such as occurred at the Lod Airport and the Munich Olympic Games in 1972, foretold much of what was to come – although the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union fell more than two decades ago, the Soviet legacy of terrorism remains.Indeed, according to a September 9, 2011, US State Department cable, the Soviet-trained Cuban DGI allowed the Lebanese-based, US-designated terrorist group Hezbollah to establish “an operational base in Cuba, designed to support terrorist groups throughout Latin America.”In his “Lessons from the Moscow Uprising,” written more than a decade before seizing power, Lenin set the course, writing of his Bolsheviks: “We stand for terror – this should be frankly admitted.”He’s right.The writer is a Washington DC-based foreign affairs analyst. His views are his own. var cont = `

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The former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko told Euractiv he was “absolutely sure” that instructors from the Russian mercenary group Wagner were transferred from Syria to Gaza to help prepare the terrorist attacks on Israel on 7 October.

Poroshenko, president from 2014 to 2019 and now heads the European Solidarity party, was visiting Brussels ahead of an expected decision by the EU Commission on 8 November to greenlight the start of Ukraine’s accession talks.

In an exclusive interview on Wednesday (11 October), he warned that “not everybody should think the decision is in our pocket”.

Asked about what appears to be sabotage on the Balticconnector pipeline and telecommunications cable linking Finland to Estonia, qualified by the authorities in Helsinki as damage caused by “outside activity”, he said:

“I’m absolutely convinced that this is a terrorist attack, the aim of which is to destabilise the energy situation in Europe, in the same way Russia attacks with missiles the energy system of Ukraine.”

He said the same Russian signature was seen in the assault the Islamist militant group Hamas launched on Israel last weekend.

“I’m absolutely convinced that there is Russian interest, Russian hands, in the preparation of the Hamas terror attack on Israel.”

Though without concrete proof, he said he knew very well how Wagner mercenaries operate.

“I have known it since 2014 when the first Wagner group appeared in the east of my country. I know the signature of Wagner from their attacks in Lysychansk, Severodonetsk, Soledar, Bakhmut. This is exactly Wagner tactics.”

“I’m absolutely sure that the Russian Wagner instructors in Syria were transferred to Hamas in Gaza and participated in the training of terrorists to prepare the absolutely barbaric attack on Israel from the Gaza strip.”

How to deal with Putin

Asked about his personal impressions of Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom he met many times, including for the negotiation of the now defunct Minsk agreement following Russia’s occupation of Donbas, he said:

“I have several conclusions. Conclusion number one: never trust Putin. Putin is a KGB officer who especially learned how to lie. Number two: never ever be afraid of Putin. Because if you are afraid, you lose. Number three, keep in mind that Putin understands only one language: strength. This is why he will go only as far as we allow him to.”

Poroshenko said the best negotiator with Russia was the armed forces Ukraine has built.

The security of Europe, he said, resided in the “blue and yellow shield of Ukraine”, which he said was strengthened under his presidency.

The strongest army in Europe

“I’m proud that I created with the people of Ukraine the strongest, the most efficient armed forces of Europe,” he said.

He said that as a leader of the second largest political party force, his mission was to be “a watchdog” for the progress of reforms and civil society’s power.

Challenged with the question about a pessimistic scenario, in which the war in the Middle East would eclipse the war in his country while the prospects for NATO and EU enlargement would fade, he said such doubts only fueled Putin’s narrative.

“Stop talking about fatigue. If you feel fatigue from Ukraine, it means you feel fatigue from freedom, you feel fatigue from democracy, you feel fatigue from the EU, from NATO, in favour of Putin”.

“And please stop thinking that you are helping Ukraine. You are also helping yourself, you are investing in your own security”, he said.

“For us, NATO is life, it’s survival, for Ukraine, NATO means life”, he repeated.

Nuclear arsenal again?

Asked if Ukraine made a mistake back in 1994 when it gave up the nuclear weapons on its soil under the Budapest memorandum, he said:

“That happened almost 30 years ago. But I agree that the positions of the Ukrainian negotiator would be much stronger if we had nuclear weapons. Even more: if Ukraine had had nuclear weapons, Putin would have never attacked us.”

Asked if Ukraine should develop a new nuclear arsenal again, given its experience and potential, especially if the NATO candidacy fails, he gave an answer suggesting that plan A was NATO accession.

“Ukraine will fight for our independence. Ukraine will fight for our existence. No matter if or without any assistance. But it would be much more efficient than nuclear weapons to have NATO membership. Without Ukrainian membership in NATO, war will be never-ending.”

Poroshenko leads a foundation which he said has gathered from the companies he previously created as a businessman $100 million for the armed forces of Ukraine since the start of the Russian aggression.

Due to the sensitivity of the issues discussed, the transcript of the interview was double-checked by his cabinet.

[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic]

A view shows smoke in the Gaza Strip as seen from Israel's border with the Gaza Strip, in southern Israel

A view shows smoke in the Gaza Strip as seen from Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip, in southern Israel October 18, 2023. REUTERS/Amir Cohen Acquire Licensing Rights

DUBAI/WASHINGTON, Oct 18 (Reuters) – Israel is vowing to wipe out Hamas in a relentless onslaught on the Gaza Strip but has no obvious endgame in sight, with no clear plan for how to govern the ravaged Palestinian enclave even if it triumphs on the battlefield.

Codenamed “Operation Swords of Iron”, the military campaign will be unmatched in its ferocity and unlike anything Israel has carried out in Gaza in the past, according to eight regional and Western officials with knowledge of the conflict who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.

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