The terrorist attack in Paris, which exposed the problem of radical Islam across Europe, the attack on a hotel in Bamako, which demonstrated the failure of NATO’s struggle against Islamists not only in Mali, but also in the Sahara and Sahel as such, as a result of the explosion of a Russian plane with tourists in Sinai pledged on board the IED convinced the public of the West that Russia’s actions in Syria were correct, changing its balance in favor of Moscow.
This, however, did not stop the information war against Russia and did not lead to the lifting of sanctions, as it did not stop the actions of Ankara, Riyadh and Doha to strengthen their position at the expense of neighbors and the support of terrorists in Syria. Consider the current situation in the region, based on materials prepared by A. A. Bystrov, M. S. Khodynskaya-Golenischeva and Yu. B. Shcheglovina, prepared for the IBB.
Companions and accomplices
Experts are discussing various versions of the location of the laying of an explosive device on the Kogalymavia aircraft. Obviously, we are dealing with Islamist agents in the airport staff or, less likely, in the hotels where Russian tourists lived. Laying a bomb in the luggage in a hotel is fraught with accidents. It is safer to put it in the liner during the cleaning of the cabin or loading luggage.
“Terror against Russia can be stopped only by sending a clear signal to Doha about Moscow’s dissatisfaction in a language that they understand there - forceful”
The American special services, which immediately began talking about the terrorist act, did not have information that the terrorists were preparing an airplane bombing, but "additional activity in Sinai ... attracted attention." It's about intercepting telephone conversations of local supporters of the "Islamic State" (IG). It was not by chance that German and French, and later British and Irish airlines refused to make flights to Sinai.
The attack was committed after the Russian VKS launched an operation in Syria, when they realized in the Gulf: it disrupts plans to overthrow the regime in Damascus, which was a priority for Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which was required before the end of the year agreed to the division of zones of influence and the neutrality of the militants of the supervised groups in relation to each other). Not for nothing, a few days after the start of the actions of the Russian Aerospace Forces, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah, whose brother, Hamad al-Attiyya, is the Minister of Defense of Qatar, threatened with a “third world war”.
Working on tasks “to contain Moscow” followed very quickly, which indicates that the terrorist groups in Sinai and in the AER as a whole are well managed. Qatar oversees them, so it does not matter which of the terrorists gave the Executive order. The organization of the attack was possible only with solid funding. The airport clerk was not necessarily a supporter of the Islamists, who was “in sleep mode”. He could just buy. The organizers were most likely militants from the Prokari group “Vilayet Sinai” or from the “Muslim Brotherhood”. The latter usually distance themselves from the attacks, but the situation could have prompted them to violate the principles. In spring and summer, the intelligence services of Egypt under the orders of President al-Sisi were purged from the supporters of the Brothers, and the airports in Egypt are guarded and responsible for the security of the personnel of these structures.
Qatar has aggravated relations with Egypt and Saudi Arabia, which is making plans to turn Egypt into a regional partner, choosing its tourist business as its goal. The blow will destroy South Sinai, which guarantees a response from Cairo and Riyadh. Qatar will allocate finances for terrorist activity against Russian targets and, as the Syrian forces attack the militant positions, its special services will become more active in this direction. Terrorism can be stopped, in addition to reinforcing Russian videoconferencing in Syria and preventive measures against the bandit underground in the North Caucasus and in other regions of the Russian Federation, only by sending a clear signal to Doha about Moscow’s dissatisfaction in a language that is understood in the region - forceful.
The incident could strengthen the position of critics of Russia's actions in Syria, if not for the situation in Europe, not only in France, forcing people to talk about the danger to its whole traditional way of life as such. Data on terrorist attacks in Paris allow us to consider several versions. The Syrian passport found at the site of the explosion forced a number of experts to assume that some of the terrorists arrived from Syria along with the refugees. At least the owner of this passport crossed the Greek border in October of this year. Although go to the terrorist attack with a passport is actually not accepted. Some of the militants were French citizens. Others are not identified. However, the organization of the terrorist attack was most likely a matter of persons who were born in France or lived in it for a long time. The fact that the two terrorists turned out to be underage shows that the group was recently assembled and was not fully professional.
This is evidenced by the technical data of the VCA used by terrorists. An attempt to go with the “belt of the shahid” to the stadium, where French President F. Hollande was, confirms the lack of knowledge of the realities of the strengthened security system in such cases. The raids of the Belgian police in Brussels indicate that weapon purchased in this country on the black market. That is, no intelligible measures have been taken since the previous terrorist attacks in the EU. The backbone of the group was clearly local natives. This is dictated by the need to purchase weapons, make explosive devices, target reconnaissance, and so on. Refugees in the short term cannot organize this without the threat of failure. But the presence of refugees in the composition of the terrorists allows us to push the version of the customers of the terrorist attack in Turkey.
The terrorist attack in Paris occurred on the eve of the G20 summit in Antalya, where the theme of terror and the migration crisis was one of the main ones. President R.T. Erdogan in October held a series of talks in Belgium, putting forward an ultimatum: migrants would flood Europe, causing it problems if Brussels did not agree to cooperate with Turkey in Syria. It should include support for Ankara’s idea of creating a “security zone” with a “no-fly component”. Camps for refugees will be created there with funding and military support from the EU, which will stop the flow of uncontrolled migration. Simultaneously with Erdogan's visit to the European media, a duck was launched from “autonomous sources in Turkey” that “about five thousand militants of the IG under the guise of refugees were already infiltrating into the countries of Europe”. EU leaders have chosen to give Ankara several billion euros to refugee camps. The Americans also blocked the idea of Erdogan. But the terrorist attack requires Paris and Brussels to risk an escalation of terrorism or to accept the conditions of Ankara.
It is characteristic that de facto Turkey is not at war with IS. The head of the MIT special services, H. Fidan, did not accidentally call for establishing “constructive relations with the IG and opening their representation in Ankara”. Contacts between the Turkish special services and the IG (with the mediation of Qatari in the first stage) are in place. This is evidenced by the coordination between Ankara and Doha on the use of Turkish territory as a rear base of the IG, as well as on its use for their own purposes, as was the case after the terrorist attacks against Erdogan’s political opponents in Suruç and Istanbul, the responsibility for which was laid on the Islamic State . Ankara can use the IG to organize the “necessary” acts of influence. A blow to France, which has weight in the EU and will lobby for a hard line against the IG, is logical according to this scheme.
The version of revenge for attacking the Islamists is extremely doubtful. The French Air Force made only three percent of the attacks on the IS in Syria from the number that falls to the share of the international coalition. Before the terrorist attack, Ankara again began to emit the idea of a “deeply coordinated activity on ... countering the IS”, which is based on the same no-fly zone. The terrorist attack in Paris “accidentally” confirmed the validity of Turkey’s demands. Although President B. Obama found the idea of a no-fly zone counterproductive, on other issues “mutual understanding” was reached with Ankara. She will receive 3,3 a billion dollars "for the resettlement of refugee camps" in Turkey, the liberalization of the visa regime in the EU for its citizens and diplomatic support for actions in the Syrian sector. That is, the main beneficiary of the Paris events was President Erdogan.
Arsenals of terrorism
Of course, the incident intensified the actions of France in Syria against the IS, including in cooperation with Russia. It should be noted that Paris cannot wage war on its own, without having the strength and means for this. The recent military operation "Serval" in the north of Mali against Islamists and separatists, the results of which all French media are silent, showed an extreme shortage of air support and intelligence, as well as a small radius of action of the land forces of France. Paris had to hastily involve the Chadian contingent and rent American UAVs, but the situation in Mali shows a steady trend towards deterioration, which, among other things, is shown by the recent seizure by terrorists of a hotel in Bamako with human casualties.
In the African part of the region, in addition to the situation in the Sahara and the Sahel, it is necessary to monitor the political maneuvers of the Gulf monarchies in the waters of the Red Sea, where they reinforce their military presence. This is primarily about Eritrea and Djibouti, where, after the scandal between the military leadership of this port State and the UAE, the latter, together with Saudi Arabia, canceled the construction of a military base to optimize logistic support for the Arabian coalition in Yemen. The conflict was initially caused by ignoring the business interests of the UAE in the infrastructure of the port of Djibouti. During the trip to Riyadh, President I. Gelle reached a compromise. Saudi Arabia has pledged investment in the economy, the export of hydrocarbons at discounted prices, and the deployment of two command posts in Djibouti.
At the same time, the UAE does not reduce activity in Eritrea. The cost of renting logistics infrastructure in this country is lower by an order of magnitude than in Djibouti, and the geographical position is more advantageous from the point of view of operations in Yemen. The very fact of the presence of the Emirate's military in Eritrea, with which the relations with the Djiboutian politicians are traditionally difficult, is an additional trump card for receiving preferences from I. Gelle. In addition, the UAE and KSA, cooperating with Eritrea, are pushing out Iran, which used its territory to transport weapons through Sudan to Sinai, and then to the Gaza Strip. In the strategic plans of Riyadh, the establishment of a SAAPPZ force base in Djibouti, which will allow to control the routes through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait.
The UAE, using the Eritrean port, is reducing the “logistics arm” to organize the logistics of the Arab coalition forces in Yemen, using three cargo ships that regularly transfer ammunition and the Sudanese contingent, which takes a passive part in the battles for Taiz. A total of 950 Sudanese and 500 Eritrean military have been deployed, although they did not change the situation in Yemen. Experts believe that if Riyadh fails to conclude an alliance with the Hashed tribes, foreign troops will not correct the situation. This forces Saudi Arabia to negotiate with the Housits, who secretly pass through the mediation of Oman.
Military aviation The UAE in Eritrea is deployed at a military base near the Asmara International Airport. The air base is being equipped with the forces of the UAE's engineering forces; some military aircraft are located on the civilian side of the airport. Flights are flown to the Taiz area for air strikes and air assaults to local militias, among which jihadists have intensified. Some of them were transferred from Syria in early November. Among other things, the equipment of the Air Force base in Eritrea is important for the UAE, since the Saudi Air Force base Khamis Mushait in the south-west of the KSA, the main center for providing the coalition's air wing, is overloaded and does not cope with the maintenance of the KSA, UAE, Kuwait, Jordan and Morocco. In addition, its own Air Force and Navy base allows Abu Dhabi to distance itself from the “ties” to Riyadh in headquarters work and flight planning, which is important for the UAE given the growing influence of this country in the coalition.
Special attention should be paid to the efforts of the monarchies of the Gulf to supply their supporters in various parts of the world. So, the visit of the Minister of Defense of Qatar Hamad bin Ali al-Attiyi to the end of June 2015 in Minsk and his talks with President A. Lukashenko focused on the procurement of weapons in the “interests of the Qatari army”. At the same time, the latest Belarusian weapons (including the systems of MANPADS, anti-tank systems and RPGs) are not necessary, they are equipped according to American standards. Obviously, the purchases are in the interests of "third parties". The final recipients include Libyan Islamists, militants in Sinai and Syrian supporters of the IG. The visit of the Qatari Minister of Defense suggests that Doha is trying to transfer the arms supply channels under its control with the refusal of the services of Serbian intermediaries, whose participation is risky due to possible pressure on them from Brussels.
The regional rival of Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, also deals with schemes for acquiring weapons and ammunition conditionally “Soviet-made”. The key player in their operations is Al Mutlaq Technology, the Al Mutlaq Croup sales office. This group was founded in 1982 year and is registered in Abu Dhabi on Sheikh Zayed Street, 3. Its CEO, Hussein Mohammed bin Mutlaq al-Ghafli, is a non-public figure. His cousin, Mohammed Abdullah bin Mutlaq al-Ghafli, is the UAE’s ambassador in Minsk, which makes it easier for him to purchase weapons in this country free from all international restrictions and embargoes. Prior to that, he was the UAE ambassador to Canada.
In addition to business ties, clans have family ties, which strengthened the marriage of their children in 2009. The Al-Ghafli Clan is the “old guard” of the Al Nahyan dynasty ruling in the UAE. Both families come from Al Ain. Al-Ghafli locked himself on the elder brother of the UAE crown prince Mohammed bin Zayed and the head of the UAE’s state security Hazzu bin Zayed. Lieutenant General Said Eid al-Ghafli directs his staff. The state security of the UAE is engaged in circumventing the embargo on the purchase of weapons and ammunition and oversees the rearmament of the army, the acquisition of nuclear technology, missile tactical weapons and UAVs through front companies. Al Mutlaq Croup acquires heavy weapons for the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Defense of the United Arab Emirates, including MANPADS, high-tech components of weapons and military equipment, rocket launchers and small arms from North Korea. Part of the weapons and ammunition is supplied to Libya by General H. Haftar, who opposes the pro-Cathar Islamist coalition Dawn of Libya.
The partner of the United Arab Emirates is the North Korean holding Korean Mining Development Trading Corporation (KOMID), which is under US sanctions from 2005 of the year for trying to acquire technologies for manufacturing ballistic missiles. KOMID participated in the supply of weapons and ammunition to the Libyan rebels during the overthrow of the regime of M. Gaddafi, including communication systems, armored cars and small arms. The similar tasks at that time were performed by the company of the clan Al-Kaaba International Golden Group (IGG). By order of the heir to Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, this group carried out such operations with the Serbian arms dealer Slobodan Tesic, as the Qataris did until recently. Now the main focus is on Minsk, which turns Belarus into the largest exporter of weapons for local conflicts.
In this regard, there is a danger that, due to the agreement on the Iranian nuclear program, the UAE will intensify attempts to acquire nuclear weapons and operational-tactical missiles in North Korea for their delivery. This scenario of deterring Iran, which is considered in the KSA and the UAE, avoids the risk of creating a program to enrich uranium and develop its own technologies, taking into account the negative reaction of Washington to the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Middle East region. At the same time, Riyadh places greater emphasis on the development of relations with Pakistan than with North Korea. The Kingdom guaranteed funding for the rearmament of the Pakistani army in exchange for the transfer of nuclear ammunition to it in the event of X.
Against the background of escalating tensions in the region, there is a noticeable intensification of the information war against Russia using UN structures. October 22 2015 published a report by the UN Secretary-General with statistics on “victims of Russian bombardment in Syria”, referring to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). All it belongs to the category of fraud and fraud. Their sources are:
- “The Syrian Network for Human Rights”, founded by F. Abdul Ghani, who has been living in Doha since 2009, is the nephew of one of the leaders of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. Funded by Qatar and the UK.
- The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is based in London and consists of one employee, Rami Abderrahman, who receives information about what is happening in Syria from militants by phone.
- “Violation Documentation Center”, the report of which became the source of OHCHR data on “civilian casualties and destruction of non-military architecture in ATS”. Receives information from Syria from local anti-government coordinating committees controlled by Turkey.
- “Physicians for Human Rights” (organization based in the USA).
- The Syrian Committee for Human Rights, located in London and funded by the UK.
-UN also uses information from the NGO Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, which accused Russia of using cluster munitions in Syria.
Needless to say, these structures take an anti-Russian position, as well as the sources of their information.