Monday, June 14, 2010

Setting The NY Times Straight on Flotilla Terror Ties

New York Times Needs My Help to Find Flotilla Planners' Terrorist Ties: OK! Here's A Start for Their Research
By Barry Rubin*
June 12, 2010

The New York Times is a vast and wealthy organization with highly paid reporters and news bureaus around the world. Unfortunately, however, it seems to need a little help in gathering the news. In an editorial, the newspaper has held forth with the following sentence:
"The Israelis claim that Insani Yardim Vakfi is a dangerous organization with terrorist links. They have yet to offer any evidence to support that charge."
This is like Goldstone who keeps saying that no one has challenged his report despite literally hundreds of specific refutations. It is like the little boy who doesn't want to hear something, puts his hands over his ears, and keeps yelling, "I don't hear you!"It does, however, mark some retreat from the Times earlier statement of intense suspicion about documented Israeli claims, in which one of its writers dismisses the video footage of the soldiers being attacked with these words: "Those images of commandos being attacked with clubs and chairs are lacking context. Were they shot before or after the boarding party started using force?"Of course, the video clearly shows the deck of the ship with no Israeli soldiers on it. There is no fighting at all. The first soldier comes down the rope, holding on with both hands. He is attacked. Then a second, he is attacked. And so on for the next two. So how could the boarding party be using force when it had not yet boarded? How's that for context?In other words, the Times has updated the three famous monkeys: See no terrorism, Hear no terrorism, Report no terrorism.
But since I had an hour to spare, I decided to offer my services to the New York Times to provide some evidence about IHH links to terrorism. I offer this to the Times for publication, further research, and the names of people who might be interviewed. If the newspaper wants more of my research services, I suggest it hires me as a consultant. Otherwise, it might assign some reporters to open their eyes and read material that is available easily from reliable sources. Or they might actually do some research themselves!OK here is some of the evidence the Times says hasn't been offered:
--Hamas is a terrorist organization and IHH has acted as a support group helping Hamas obtain political support and supplies. Just as Americans are arrested for furnishing equipment and money to terrorist groups as constituting "terrorist links" the same applies to the IHH. The IHH has organized propaganda and raised money for Hamas, furnished money for the families of Hamas terrorist casualties, and performed many other services which, as noted above, makes it an organization with "terrorist links."
--Turkish raids by previous government calling IHH terrorist. In 1997, a Turkish security force raid discovered in the IHH headquarters weapons, explosives, instructions for making bombs, and other furnishings that indicate it has terrorist links. Turkish reports say that the documents captured shows that IHH members, with organizational support, were being dispatched as Jihad warriors in Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Chechnya. The group was also found to have bought automatic weapons.
--A report commissioned by the Danish government is full of data about terrorist links. See here and here.
This is how it opens the section on IHH:"Yet, the phenomenon of charitable front groups that provide support to Al-Qaida [includes]...the so-called Foundation for Human Rights, Liberties, and Humanitarian Relief (IHH).
--The respected French counterterrorism magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguière, has revealed, in the words of the Danish report:"IHH leader, Bülent Yildirim [who organized the Gaza flotilla], was directly involved in recruiting "veteran soldiers" to organize jihad activities. According to the French report, a number of operatives were sent by IHH into war zones in Islamic countries to gain combat experience. The report also stated that IHH transferred money, 'caches of firearms, knives and pre-fabricated explosives' to Muslim fighters in those countries."
An examination of IHH's telephone records in 1996 showed repeated calls in 1996 to an Al-Qaeda guest house in Milan and to Algerian terrorists operating in Europe (one of whom was notorious Al-Qaeda figure Abu Ma'ali [Abd al-Qadr Mukhtari], who operated in Bosnia)."
--IHH, according to Bruguière, was also involved in a terrorist attack on the United States, as he testified at the trial of Ahmed Ressam, a senior al-Qaida operative who in 1999 entered the United States with 1320 pounds of explosives planning to carry out a massive attack at Los Angeles International Airport. He testified that IHH had played an important role in the attempted attack, providing forged documents, agents who helped Ressam, and weapons for al-Qaida. In recent days, Bruguière has repeated his statements on IHH noting there have been attempts to intimidate him into silence.
--Statement by Mete Cubukcu, editor-in-chief of NTV, one of Turkey's largest television networks, on the German Television One show, that IHH was linked to international terrorism. Note also the presence of BPP cadre working with IHH, a party which left-wing German groups--including the one that furnished part of the flotilla passengers--described as violent and neo-Nazi. Here it is in:GermanFrenchEnglish
--IHH is part of the Union of Good, designated as a Hamas front group by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
According to this U.S. government agency: "The Union of Good's executive leadership and board of directors includes Hamas leaders, Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs), and other terrorist supporters."You are also welcome to examine this detailed report from Israel on terrorist links of the IHH.Let me repeat the New York Times claim:"The Israelis claim that Insani Yardim Vakfi is a dangerous organization with terrorist links. They have yet to offer any evidence to support that charge."
Ok. Here's what I rounded up in less than an hour. I'm offering it to you for free. Now do some work of your own and issue a retraction since Israel had offered evidence. We are waiting.

*Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), with Walter Laqueur (Viking-Penguin); the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan); A Chronological History of Terrorism, with Judy Colp Rubin, (Sharpe); and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley). To read and subscribe to MERIA, GLORIA articles, or to order books, go to You can read and subscribe to his blog at

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