The West has allowed Turkey to be a massive base for ISIS: UK analyst

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Category: interview

A London-based political activist blames the United States for preparing the ground for ISIS and a ‘new generation of sympathisers and recruits to extremist Islam’ to be born.

“The reckless actions of President George W. Bush made the threat of terrorism all the more dangerous. It is because of his illegal invasion of Iraq that ISIS was born in the first place and because of his subsequent illegal occupation of Iraq that a new generation of sympathisers and recruits to extremist Islam was born, the effects, of which, are being felt throughout the Middle East, North Africa and Europe today,” Marcus Papadopoulos, the editor of Politics First magazine, told Habilian Association.

In reply to a question about the current status of Takfiri groups like Al-Qaida and ISIS and whether they have become weaker or stronger after the US invasion of Iraq, he said: “There is very little doubt that extremism and terrorism have grown stronger since the US’ illegal invasion of Iraq. While Al-Qaeda may have grown weaker in recent years, ISIS has taken on the baton and now poses a threat to both the Muslim and non-Muslim world that Al-Qaeda could only have dreamt of posing. And just to reiterate: how was ISIS born? The answer is through the American-led invasion of Iraq.”

When asked about Wahabism, Saudi Arabia’s official ideology, and its contribution to the promotion of terrorism, Dr. Papadopoulos replied: “Saudi Arabia is the leading exporter of extremism and terrorism to the world. At the scene of every terrorist attack – be it in New York, Madrid, Bali, London or Damascus, for instance – there is a signpost pointing to Saudi Arabia. The official ideology of Saudi Arabia, Wahhabism, ranks as one of the most barbaric and repulsive ideologies in history, alongside Nazism and Fascism. In short, Saudi Arabia constitutes a malignant cancer on the international stage. However, Saudi Arabia would not pose the threat which it poses to global peace and security without the support it receives from the US. Washington and Riyadh maintain a very close friendship because the former requires oil while the latter requires money to preserve its existence and to continue exporting extremism to the world. The victims of the relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia include American, Russian, Serbian, Syrian, Iraqi and Libyan civilians – there are, of course, many, many more.”

Answering a question about NATO’s inaction towards Ankara’s alleged support of ISIS and whether NATO members and Turkey share the objective of overthrowing President Bashar al-Assad, he said: “The West has a long history of working with extremist Islamist groups to achieve geo-strategic objectives – from Afghanistan in the 1980s to Bosnia in the 1990s to Syria in the present. The US, UK, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are all seeking the overthrow of the Syrian Government and President Bashar al-Assad so that the influence and power of Russia, Iran and Hezbollah in the Middle East can be ended. As a result of that shared objective, the above mentioned countries have been supporting ISIS – ISIS is the most potent threat to the Syrian Government – and have allowed Turkey to become a massive base and training camp for this terrorist group."

Elsewhere in the interview he touched upon the possibility of an attack by ISIS against its Saudi sponsors and reiterated: “History shows that murderers and thieves can fall out amongst themselves, and the most spectacular example of this is when Osama bin Laden used his American training against the US on September 11. Saudi Arabia is not just a menace to other countries but a menace to itself, too. It is very possible that Riyadh could start to fall victim to terrorist attacks by Al-Qaeda and ISIS, both of whom have received massive support from the Saudis. Alas, as the old saying goes: if you play with fire, you get burned.”

Editor of Politics First was also asked about the UK’s plan to decide its European future in a referendum and that some experts argue UK’s remaining in the EU would ‘leave the door open’ to terrorist attacks, and he replied: “There is some truth in the argument that by the UK withdrawing from the European Union, the risk of terrorist attacks in the country would be reduced. In an age of heightened terrorism, the absence of border controls between countries is a bizarre and dangerous reality. However, even if Britain was to leave the EU, the country would still be facing a potent threat from terrorism (it is important to remember that the US was not safe from terrorism on September 11, 2001, despite the country being thousands of miles away from the Middle East and having border controls of its own). Ultimately, the severe terrorist threat posed to the UK is a result of two factors: firstly, the foreign policy of the British Government to work with extremist Muslim groups in order to achieve London’s geo-strategic objectives (Libya and Syria, for example); and secondly, the role of consecutive British governments over decades to allow the extremist Muslim community in the UK to live an almost parallel existence in the country - without adopting British values – and of having failed to counter extremism in mosques, such as not banning the preaching of hatred towards non-Muslims, Jews, homosexual people and not banning the sale of extremist DVDs and literature in mosques, including from Saudi Arabia. In recent years, political correctness in Britain has resulted in little or no action at all being taken to curb extremism in the British Muslim community, which is, of course, utterly unacceptable.”

At the end, in reply to a question about the West’s support for anti-Iran terrorist groups like Mujahedin e-Khalq organization and how would this support change after the Nuclear Deal, Dr. Papadopoulos said: "Despite the nuclear deal, the threat posed to Iran by the US remains. The American establishment – political, economic, military and intelligence – is united in the conviction that Iran poses a threat to the American presence in the Middle East and poses a threat to American allies in the region, most notably Saudi Arabia and Israel. On the basis of that, together with the reality that US presidents follow the line of the American establishment whether they like it or not, Washington will continue to try and bring about an overthrow of the Iranian Government and of the Iranian system, such as through Western-backed NGOs or through covert support to opposition groups in Iran. Tehran remains very much on Washington’s radar, and this will continue to be the case regardless of who is the president of America."