My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Sunday, February 18, 2007

How the Arab states help al-Queda...

So-called allies of the west were very willing to help Al-Qaeda...
MIDDLE EASTERN countries secretly armed and supported suspected Al-Qaeda recruits in the failed state of Somalia in a direct challenge to western interests in east Africa, according to a United Nations report.

Hundreds of Islamist fighters were flown, with Eritrean assistance, from Somalia to Syria and Libya for military training. Others were taken to Lebanon to fight with Hezbollah, the report to the UN security council has revealed.

UN investigators also detailed military aid given to the Islamists by Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Arab states friendly to the West. Iran also supplied 125 shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles, 80 of which arrived by sea in dhows and the rest by air.

A clandestine operation to smuggle the fighters out of Somalia began in July last year.

In an interview, Evgueny Zakharov, the owner of Aerolift, an airline with a fleet of ageing Antonov and Ilyushin transport aircraft, based in Johannesburg but registered in the British Virgin Islands, said: “We transported lots of men in uniform — Arabian men with masks.

“They were disciplined men and although none of them had rank badges there were obviously people in charge. They got on the aircraft as if they had done it many times before.”

Zakharov said his involvement began after he was approached by a General Tambi of the Eritrean People’s Defence Forces. Eritrea, a neighbour of Somalia in the volatile Horn of Africa, was a major supporter of the Islamists.

Tambi offered to buy Zakharov’s Ilyushin 76 transport aircraft carrying the Kazakhstan registration number UN 76496 for $1.5m (£770,000), even though the normal price for an aircraft of that vintage and condition is just $1m.

Zakharov went ahead despite the unusual contract conditions that stipulated secrecy. He insisted the contract should specify that the new owners were not to use the aircraft to make arms flights.

However, he said last week that the Ilyushin made three sanctions-busting arms flights to Somalia from the Eritrean port of Massawa, bringing out the masked men on the return legs. “I do not know who they were but you can draw your own conclusions,” he said.

Zakharov’s revelations came as western security services continued their investigation into foreigners suspected of fighting on behalf of Islamic forces in Somalia and of joining Al-Qaeda last year. Among them are British, American and French Muslims.

Significant numbers of foreigners went to Somalia, western intelligence officials have found, after the radical Islamic Courts Union (ICU) movement seized power from a weak UNbacked government, established links with Al-Qaeda and allowed Somalia to be used as an Al-Qaeda terrorist training ground like Afghanistan under Taliban rule.


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