Turkish intelligence: al-Qaeda a “secret service operation”?

Louai Sakra, a supposed al-Qaeda operative held responsible for the November 2003 bombings in Istanbul and plans to launch attacks against cruise liners carrying Israeli tourists in Turkish ports, was arrested by Turkish authorities in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir last week. The apprehension of the Syrian national was hailed by the British embassy as “a significant success in the global struggle against Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organisations.” (MSNBC, Aug. 17)

Right on cue, paranoid blogger Kurt Nimmo responds by striking yet again his single, relentless chord:

Consider the following, published in Zaman, the fifth largest newspaper in Turkey: “Amid the smoke from the fortuitous fire [i.e., the capture of Louai Sakra, said to be the al-CIA-duh regional boss in Turkey] emerged the possibility that al-Qaeda may not be, strictly speaking, an organization but an element of an intelligence agency operation. Turkish intelligence specialists agree that there is no such organization as al-Qaeda. Rather, Al-Qaeda is the name of a secret service operation. The concept ‘fighting terror’ is the background of the ‘low-intensity-warfare’ conducted in the mono-polar world order. The subject of this strategy of tension is named as ‘al-Qaeda.'” Note the use of the phrase “strategy of tension,” an obvious reference to Gladio, the state-sponsored terrorist operation in Italy (basically a series of fascist false flag operations, or “low intensity warfare,” blamed on leftists). It is interesting that Turkish intelligence would admit that the neocon “war against terrorism” is an entirely artificial construct.

Moreover, according to Turkish intelligence, “Sakra has been sought by the secret services since 2000. The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) interrogated him twice before. Following the interrogation CIA offered him employment. He also received a large sum of money by CIA. However the CIA eventually lost contact with him.” It is curious how alleged key people in the al-CIA-duh network end up working for the CIA and other intelligence agencies.

Nimmo fails to provide either a link or a date for the Zaman commentary, but here it is (Aug. 14). Additionally, his headline, “Turkish Intelligence: Al-Qaeda a U.S. Covert Operation,” is not warranted by the quotes he cites (the unnamed officials never said “US covert operation”). We too have noted the precedent of Gladio and its “strategy of tension.” And we don’t doubt there is a sleazy incestuous relationship between al-Qaeda and western intelligence agencies. But we are skeptical of paraphrased quotes from un-named intelligence officials. And we think it is most likely at this point that al-Qaeda (spare us the smart-alecky “al-CIA-duh”, willya Kurt?) is neither exactly an “organization” or “an element of an intelligence agency operation,” but a loose network of like-minded militants with varying ties to either the core al-Qaeda group around Osama bin Laden and Ayman Zawahiri or to Western intelligence operations. Once again, the world is probably more complicated than either the conspiracy theorists or the peddlers of conventional wisdom can conceive.

See our last post on terror in Turkey. See also our last posts on Nimmo’s claims regarding al-Qaeda and its local Iraq franchise.