15.06.2016 Author: Tony Cartalucci

US Terrorism Hits Orlando – Not Just for Syrians Anymore

34534534534A horrific attack unfolded this week when Omar Mateen entered a nightclub in Orlando, Florida before allegedly opening fire killing 50 and injuring scores more. Mateen would eventually be gunned down himself by police.

At face value it appears to be another “extremist” attack – an extension of America’s ongoing “War on Terror.” In reality Mateen is instead an extension of America’s use of terrorism as a geopolitical tool to fight its enemies abroad and maintain paralyzing fear, division, and hysteria at home.

Mateen, the Latest in Long Line of Known Terrorists West Failed to Stop

The London Guardian’s article, “Orlando gunman known to FBI shows difficulty of ‘lone wolf’ cases,” would cite Erroll Southers, a former FBI counterintelligence and terrorism agent:

“What this illustrates is the difficulty in trying to identify people who would do things like Mr Mateen did today,” Southers said. “There is no profile.”

However, Southers is wrong. There most certainly is a profile to which each and every high-profile “terrorist” attacking targets across the West from North America to Europe adheres. Each and every suspect has been known to Western law enforcement and intelligence agencies before carrying out their deadly attacks.

The Boston bombing suspects were on FBI and CIA watch lists months before their deadly attack in April 2013 according to the US State Department’s own Voice of America news service. The Paris attack suspects were known to European security agencies and tracked for years save for the final 6 months before the attacks were finally carried out. Two of the Brussels attackers this year had been arrested for violent crimes including terrorism before being inexplicably released.
Considering these most recent examples and many others, it is not a matter of the West being blindsided by terrorism – but rather Western security agencies either incapable or disinterested in stopping militants from carrying out attacks which are then shamelessly and very intentionally exploited for political gain both at home and abroad.

What’s more alarming is that the recent case in Florida appears to be a textbook case of a US FBI entrapment case gone wrong. Quite literally every aspect of the case, from Mateen’s background, to how he gained law enforcement’s attention before the attacks, to aspects of his personality including allegations that he was mentally ill, mirrors almost identically two FBI entrapment cases which unfolded last year.

Inspired by Islamic State or by the FBI? 

The Intercept would report in its 2015 article, “Another “Terror” Arrest; Another Mentally Ill Man, Armed by the FBI,” that (emphasis added):

U.S. law enforcement officials announced another terror arrest on Monday, after arming a mentally ill man and then charging him with having guns.

ABC News quoted a “senior federal official briefed on the arrest” as saying: “This is a very bad person arrested before he could do very bad things.”

But in a sting reminiscent of so many others conducted by the FBI since 9/11, Alexander Ciccolo, 23, “aka Ali Al Amriki,” was apparently a mentally ill man who was doing nothing more than ranting about violent jihad and talking (admittedly in frightening ways) about launching attacks—until he met an FBI informant. At that point, he started making shopping lists for weapons.

The Intercept would also reference the FBI’s affidavit (.pdf), stating (emphasis added):

According to the affidavit, Ciccolo first talked to the FBI informant about attacking two bars and a police station. Later, he spoke of attacking a college campus with a homemade pressure-cooker bomb like the one used in the Boston Marathon terror attack; he also talked about using guns and a lot of ammo. Ciccolo, according to the affidavit, then “ordered the firearms from a confidential human source (“CHS”) working with the FBI.”

The list of weapons provided to the mentally-ill suspect by the FBI informant is shocking. Revealed in the official FBI affidavit (.pdf), the weapons included a 9mm Glock 17, a 10mm Glock 20, a .223 Colt AR-15 rifle, (referred to by the media as an “assault rifle”), and a 556 Sig Arms SG550 rifle (also often referred to as an assault rifle). The AR-15 rifle and Glock are the same weapons allegedly used by Omar Mateen in this most recent massacre.

Also included in the affidavit is the same hysterical rhetoric encouraged by FBI informants now evident in the recent actions of terror suspect Omar Mateen in Florida. The FBI quite literally moved Ciccolo from A-Z up to and including placing weapons into his hands before finally arresting him.

In Mateen’s case, it is alleged that he legally purchased his firearms. However, another 2015 FBI entrapment case includes a suspect the FBI was similarly cultivating, and instead of providing the suspect with weapons, he was allowed to purchase them on his own – two M-15 5.56 semi-automatic rifles.

NBC Cincinnati affiliate WLWT5 would report in their 2015 article, “FBI: Cincinnati man bought rifles, planned to attack U.S. Capitol,” that (emphasis added):

Agents said that on Tuesday and Wednesday Cornell met with the informant the final time to plan their trip to D.C. to execute their plan. He purchased two Armalite M-15 5.56 mm semi-automatic rifles Wednesday morning, along with 600 rounds of ammunition, and was arrested.

Cornell bought the rifles at the Point Blank gun store on Harrison Avenue in Colerain Township. He passed a background check and paid $1,900 in cash, $700 for each rifle and about $400 for the ammunition.

The gun store owner, John Dean, said FBI agents notified him that Cornell was going to come in to buy the guns about 10 minutes before he entered the store.

Dean said the agents told him to allow the purchase and agents would stop Cornell after he left the store.

Upon reading the FBI’s own affidavits, it appears the only difference between Ciccolo, Cornell, and Mateen is that the former two were arrested before committing mass murder while Mateen was allowed to carry out his attack. Whether or not FBI informants were handling Mateen before the attack remains a mystery. But it should be noted that the FBI is conducting – according to the New York Times – hundreds of such entrapment cases.

The NYT in its article, “F.B.I. Steps Up Use of Stings in ISIS Cases,” claims that (emphasis added):

The F.B.I. has significantly increased its use of stings in terrorism cases, employing agents and informants to pose as jihadists, bomb makers, gun dealers or online “friends” in hundreds of investigations into Americans suspected of supporting the Islamic State, records and interviews show. 

Undercover operations, once seen as a last resort, are now used in about two of every three prosecutions involving people suspected of supporting the Islamic State, a sharp rise in the span of just two years, according to a New York Times analysis. Charges have been brought against nearly 90 Americans believed to be linked to the group.

It is now revealed that the FBI had interviewed Florida shooting suspect Omar Mateen twice and investigated him on at least two separate occasions in 2013 and 2014. This was also reported by the NYT in their article, “Omar Mateen: From Early Promise to F.B.I. Surveillance,” which stated:

…the Federal Bureau of Investigation was called in after reports from Mr. Mateen’s co-workers that he, the American-born son of Afghan immigrants, had suggested he may have had terrorist ties. The F.B.I. interviewed him twice, but after surveillance, records checks and witness interviews, agents were unable to verify any terrorist links and closed their investigation. 

Then, in 2014, the F.B.I. discovered a possible tie between Mr. Mateen and Moner Mohammad Abusalha, who had grown up in nearby Vero Beach and then became the first American suicide bomber in Syria, where he fought with the Nusra Front, a Qaeda-aligned militant group. Again, the F.B.I. closed its inquiry after finding “minimal” contact between the two men. 

Considering NYT’s report regarding the vast scale of the FBI’s entrapment cases targeting possible “Islamic State” sympathizers, it seems highly improbable that undercover informants were not also working on Mateen. With hundreds of cases ongoing and with many of the cases involving the transfer of real weapons to suspects who have been encouraged sometimes for months by informants to carry out deadly attacks – could the FBI have lost control of such a case – in Florida perhaps?

The FBI Has “Accidentally” Allowed its Own Ops to go Live Before  

4353534534543Has the FBI ever lost control of such operations? The answer to that question is also provided by the New York Times which in its 1993 article titled, “Tapes Depict Proposal to Thwart Bomb Used in Trade Center Blast,” reported (emphasis added):

Law-enforcement officials were told that terrorists were building a bomb that was eventually used to blow up the World Trade Center, and they planned to thwart the plotters by secretly substituting harmless powder for the explosives, an informer said after the blast. 

The informer was to have helped the plotters build the bomb and supply the fake powder, but the plan was called off by an F.B.I. supervisor who had other ideas about how the informer, Emad A. Salem, should be used, the informer said. 

The account, which is given in the transcript of hundreds of hours of tape recordings Mr. Salem secretly made of his talks with law-enforcement agents, portrays the authorities as in a far better position than previously known to foil the Feb. 26 bombing of New York City’s tallest towers. The explosion left six people dead, more than 1,000 injured and damages in excess of half a billion dollars.

The decision by the FBI supervisor eventually led to the successful detonation of the bomb by  terrorists known to the FBI and subject to an undercover investigation. The explosion would kill 6 and injure hundreds more.

At the very least there is a strong possibility that the FBI’s tactics of entrapping suspects and its practice of peddling toxic rhetoric and even placing actual weapons into the hands of mentally unstable individuals led to the tragedy in Florida just as it did in New York City in 1993. At worst – it was intentionally done as a means of using terrorism domestically to manipulate the American people just as the US uses terrorism abroad to fight its proxy wars.

The “Islamic State” Operates Out of NATO Territory

The recent attack in Florida comes at a time when Syria’s border with Turkey is now nearly sealed. While alternative media sources have been reporting for years that the Islamic State has been resupplied and reinforced from NATO territory via Turkey, it is now a fact being reported by prominent Western news services as well.

The London Telegraph in a recent article titled, “US-backed Syrian opposition forces surround Isil in key city and cut off main supply route,” admits that (emphasis added):

…Syrian opposition forces have completely surrounded the Islamic State-held stronghold of Manbij and cut off the group’s main route to the outside world….. 

The loss of Manbij will be a huge loss to the group. It had been a waypoint on an Isil supply line between the Turkish border and the extremist group’s de facto capital, Raqqa.

Also recently, the Washington Times article titled, “Turkey offers joint ops with U.S. forces in Syria, wants Kurds cut out,” would quote the Turkish Foreign Minister himself admitting (emphasis added):

Joint operations between Washington and Ankara in Manbji, a well-known waypoint for Islamic State fighters, weapons and equipment coming from Turkey bound for Raqqa, would effectively open “a second front” in the ongoing fight to drive the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, from Syria’s borders, [Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu] said.

The Foreign Minister of Turkey admits that “Islamic State” forces – fighters, weapons, and equipment – are pouring out of Turkey’s own territory “bound for Raqqa,” but never explains how the most notorious terrorist organization of the 21st century could move enough men and materiel through a NATO-member state to wage an entire war with, without being stopped before reaching Syria. Also not explained is where the “Islamic State” is procuring the weapons that it is moving through Turkey.

While the US claims to fight the “Islamic State” as well as pose as a victim of its violence, its NATO partner Turkey is quite literally the source of the terrorist organization’s fighting capacity, with US forces permanently stationed in Turkey for decades and Turkey having been a NATO member since the 1950s. Despite open acknowledgments that the “Islamic State” is operating out of Turkey, the US has used the presence of the terrorist organization inside Syria as a pretext for intervening in the war directly.

If Omar Mateen was “inspired” by the “Islamic State,” he was inspired by a terrorist organization that at any time the US and its NATO allies could crush – but who have intentionally allowed to operate within NATO territory itself.

It seems that both in Syria and at home in America, the special interests running Washington have found in the “Islamic State” a perfect tool with which to advance its various political agendas.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.