News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

CIA weapons worth millions intended for Syrian 'rebels' were stolen, sold by Jordan on black market, some used to kill two Americans there. Existence of failed CIA Syria weapons program is "classified." CIA prisoners are kept in secret jail in Jordan- NY Times, 6/26/2016, joint investigation by NY Times and Al Jazeera

Is the "CIA" an autonomous country? NY Times opening sentence: Weapons shipped "by the Central Intelligence Agency and Saudi Arabia."...
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6/26/2016, "C.I.A. Arms for Syrian Rebels Supplied Black Market, Officials Say," NY Times,  

"Weapons shipped into Jordan by the Central Intelligence Agency and Saudi Arabia intended for Syrian rebels have been systematically stolen by Jordanian intelligence operatives and sold to arms merchants on the black market, according to American and Jordanian officials. 

Some of the stolen weapons were used in a shooting in November that killed two Americans and three others at a police training facility in Amman, F.B.I. officials believe after months of investigating the attack, according to people familiar with the investigation.

The existence of the weapons theft, which ended only months ago after complaints by the American and Saudi governments, is being  reported for the first time after a joint investigation by The New York Times and Al Jazeera. The theft, involving millions of dollars of weapons, highlights the messy, unplanned consequences of programs to arm and train rebels — the kind of program the C.I.A. and Pentagon have conducted for decades — even after the Obama administration had hoped to keep the training program in Jordan under tight control.... 

The theft and resale of the arms — including Kalashnikov assault rifles, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades — have led to a flood of new weapons available on the black arms market. 

Investigators do not know what became of most of them, but a disparate collection of groups, including criminal networks and rural Jordanian tribes, use the arms bazaars to build their arsenals. Weapons smugglers also buy weapons in the arms bazaars to ship outside the country.... 

The training program, which in 2013 began directly arming the rebels under the code name Timber Sycamore, is run by the C.I.A. and several Arab intelligence services and aimed at building up forces opposing President Bashar al-Assad of Syria. The United States and Saudi Arabia are the biggest contributors, with the Saudis contributing both weapons and large sums of money, and with C.I.A. paramilitary operatives taking the lead in training the rebels to use Kalashnikovs, mortars, antitank guided missiles and other weapons. 

The existence of the program is classified, as are all details about its budget....The training program is based in Jordan because of the country’s proximity to the Syrian battlefields. From the beginning, the C.I.A. and the Arab intelligence agencies relied on Jordanian security services to transport the weapons, many bought in bulk in the Balkans and elsewhere around Eastern Europe.

The program is separate from one that the Pentagon set up to train rebels to combat Islamic State fighters, rather than the Syrian military. That program was shut down after it managed to train only a handful of Syrian rebels. 

Jordanian and American officials described the weapons theft and subsequent investigation on the condition of anonymity because the Syrian rebel training is classified in the United States and is a government secret in Jordan. 

News of the weapons theft and eventual crackdown has been circulating inside Jordan’s government for several months....

Word that the weapons intended for the rebels were being bought and sold on the black market leaked into Jordan government circles last year, when arms dealers began bragging to their customers that they had large stocks of American- and Saudi-provided weapons. 

Jordanian intelligence operatives monitoring the arms market — operatives not involved in the weapons-diversion scheme — began sending reports to headquarters about a proliferation of weapons in the market and of the boasts of the arms dealers.... 

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the United States has flooded Jordan with money for various counterterrorism programs. American and Jordanian spies have run a joint counterterrorism center outside Amman, and a secret prison in Jordan housed prisoners the C.I.A. captured in the region....

In 2009, a Jordanian doctor brought to the C.I.A. by a G.I.D. [Jordanian intelligence] officer after the doctor said he had penetrated Al Qaeda’s leadership — turned out to be a double agent and blew himself up at a remote base in Afghanistan. Seven C.I.A. employees, as well as the G.I.D. officer, were killed in the attack....

President Obama authorized the covert arming program in April 2013....The decision was made in part to try to gain control of a chaotic situation in which Arab countries were funneling arms into Syria for various rebel groups with little coordination. The Qataris had paid to smuggle shipments of Chinese-made FN-6 shoulder-fired weapons over the border from Turkey, and Saudi Arabia sent thousands of Kalashnikovs and millions of rounds of ammunition it had bought, sometimes with the C.I.A.’s help. 

By late 2013, the C.I.A. was working directly with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other nations to arm and train small groups of rebels and send them across the border into Syria. The specific motives behind the November shooting at the Amman police training facility remain uncertain, and it is unclear when the F.B.I. will officially conclude its investigation. 

This year, the widows of the Americans killed in the attack sued Twitter, alleging that it knowingly permitted the Islamic State to use its social media platform to spread the militant group’s violent message, recruiting and raising funds. [paragraph #37 in NY Times article] 

Captain Abu Zaid, the gunman, was killed almost immediately. His brother, Fadi Abu Zaid, said in an interview that he still believed his brother was innocent and that he had given no indications he was planning to carry out the shooting."...
  
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Added: The Hill cites NY Times, above:

6/26/16, "CIA weapons for Syrian rebels funneled onto black markets: report," The Hill, Evelyn Rupert

"Weapons shipped to the Middle East by the CIA [is the CIA  a country?] to arm Syrian rebels have systematically landed on the black market in Jordan, a new report finds.

An investigation by The New York Times and Al Jazeera found that millions of dollars worth of arms sent to Jordan intended for U.S.-backed Syrian groups were routinely stolen in a scheme by Jordanian operatives. Some of the stolen weapons were reportedly used in an attack in Amman, Jordan, that killed five, including two Americans.

The training program for Syrian rebels trying to oust President Bashar al-Assad is largely armed and funded by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. It was launched in neighboring Jordan in 2013 and relies heavily on Jordanian forces to transport weapons....

Jordanian officials told the news organizations that a group of Jordanian intelligence operatives siphoned off truckloads of weapons before delivering them to their intended destinations.

After complaints from the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, several dozen Jordanian intelligence officers were reportedly arrested and fired from their posts but were able to keep pensions and money they made from the scheme."
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Comment: US taxpayers are the world's laughing stock.



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