An explosive new study claims researchers found ‘unique fingerprints’ in COVID-19 samples that they say could only have arisen from manipulation in a laboratory
DailyMail.com exclusively obtained the new 22-page paper authored by British Professor Angus Dalgleish and Norwegian scientist Dr. Birger Sørensen set to be published in the Quarterly Review of Biophysics Discovery
The study showed there’s evidence to suggest Chinese scientists created the virus while working on a Gain of Function project in a Wuhan lab
Gain of Function research, which was temporarily outlawed in the US, involves altering naturally-occurring viruses to make them more infectious in order to study their potential effects on humans
According to the paper, Chinese scientists took a natural coronavirus ‘backbone’ found in Chinese cave bats and spliced onto it a new ‘spike’, turning it into the deadly and highly transmissible COVID-19
The researchers, who concluded that COVID-19 ‘has no credible natural ancestor‘, also believe scientists reverse-engineered versions of the virus to cover up their tracks
‘We think that there have been retro-engineered viruses created,’ Dalgleish told DailyMail.com. ‘They’ve changed the virus, then tried to make out it was in a sequence years ago.‘
The study also points to ‘deliberate destruction, concealment or contamination of data’ in Chinese labs and notes that ‘scientists who wished to share their findings haven’t been able to do so or have disappeared‘
Until recently, most experts had staunchly denied the origins of the virus were anything other than a natural infection leaping from animals to humans
Earlier this week, Dr. Anthony Fauci defended US funding of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, saying the $600,000 grant was not approved for Gain of Function research
An explosive new study claims that Chinese scientists created COVID-19 in a Wuhan lab, then tried to cover their tracks by reverse-engineering versions of the virus to make it look like it evolved naturally from bats.
The paper’s authors, British Professor Angus Dalgleish and Norwegian scientist Dr. Birger Sørensen, wrote that they have had ‘prima facie evidence of retro-engineering in China‘ for a year – but were ignored by academics and major journals.
Dalgleish is a professor of oncology at St George’s University, London, and is best known for his breakthrough creating the first working ‘HIV vaccine’, to treat diagnosed patients and allow them to go off medication for months.
Sørensen, a virologist, is chair of pharmaceutical company, Immunor, which developed a coronavirus vaccine candidate called Biovacc-19. Dalgleish also has share options in the firm.
The shocking allegations in the study include accusations of ‘deliberate destruction, concealment or contamination of data’ at Chinese labs, and it notes the silencing and disappearance of scientists in the communist country who spoke out.
The journal article, exclusively obtained by DailyMail.com and slated for publication in the coming days, is set to make waves among the scientific community, as the majority of experts have until recently staunchly denied the origins of COVID-19 were anything other than a natural infection leaping from animals to humans.
While analyzing COVID-19 samples last year in an attempt to create a vaccine, Dalgleish and Sørensen discovered ‘unique fingerprints’ in the virus that they say could only have arisen from manipulation in a laboratory.
They said they tried to publish their findings but were rejected by major scientific journals which were at the time resolute that the virus jumped naturally from bats or other animals to humans.
Even when former MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove spoke out publicly saying the scientists’ theory should be investigated, the idea was dismissed as ‘fake news.’
Over a year later, leading academics, politicians and the media finally flipped, and have begun to contemplate the possibility that COVID-19 escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China – a lab where experiments included manipulating viruses to increase their infectiousness in order to study their potential effects on humans.
This week, President Joe Biden ordered the intelligence community to re-examine how the virus originated, including the lab accident theory.
The announcement followed the revelation that a previously undisclosed intelligence report had been made to the White House, claiming that several researchers at the Wuhan institute were hospitalized with illness in November 2019. The document was uncovered this week by the Wall Street Journal.
US health officials have also come under fire for allegedly funding researchers’ controversial and risky experiments at the Wuhan lab.
New documents have been released about the birth of a secret intelligence pactbetween the US and UK 75 years ago. The documents, including diary entries, detail the war time meetings that began at Bletchley Park and led to the UKUSA deal being signed in March 1946. The alliance involved working together to intercept communications and break codes, sharing almost everything. It grew into what is today called the “Five Eyes” pact of the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. “Together, we are greater than the sum of our parts,” said Jeremy Fleming, director of GCHQ, and director of the US National Security Agency, Gen Paul Nakasone, in a joint statement to mark the anniversary, amid talk of expanding the group even further.
‘The Ys are coming!’
A short entry from February 1941 in the diary of Alastair Denniston, released for the first time today by GCHQ, marked the beginning of what was once the most secret of relationships. “The Ys are coming!” it read – meaning the Yanks. Denniston was head of Bletchley Park and he was welcoming a group of American code breakers at a time when the US had not yet entered the Second World War. “There are going to be four Americans who are coming to see me at 12 o’clock tonight. I require you to come in with the sherry. You are not to tell anybody who they are or what they will be doing,” he told his assistant. The Americans had undertaken a perilous crossing with their boat shot at by Nazi planes but they arrived at the home of British code breakers on a mission of huge importance. With the permission of then-Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the two groups of spies would share their most sensitive secrets – that the UK had broken the German Enigma code and the US the Japanese code called Purple. Further diary entries reveal how key figures would travel back and forth over the Atlantic, including Denniston to meet with his opposite number as well as code breaker Alan Turing. The relationship forged in that visit would outlast World War Two and, after a series of meetings, be formalised at the start of the Cold War with a document signed in Washington on 5 March 1946. The agreement was something of a “marriage contract” – each agreed honesty, openness and commitment to the other including a “no spy agreement” in which they would not target the other side. They would share nearly all the intelligence they produced through breaking codes and intercepting communications (known as signals intelligence or SIGINT) although the agreement did allow some wiggle room if one side felt they had to act independently. Initially known as UKUSA, over the next 10 years it would be expanded as Australia, Canada and New Zealand joined, making up what is known today as the Five Eyes alliance. Details of the original deal were secret until 2010. The power of the alliance in WW2 has made it the heart of what is sometimes called the “special relationship” between the two countries. The term seems increasingly outdated but the one place where it has always been real is when it comes to code breaking.
‘Global partnerships are key’
“This alliance defines how we share communication, translation, analysis, and code breaking information, and has helped protect our countries and allies for decades,” said Mr Fleming of GCHQ and Gen Nakasone in their joint statement. “The modern digital world is constantly evolving. Threats don’t respect international borders. Global partnerships are key to our security and economic prosperity – and none more so than the one between our two countries.” The relationship meant that the allies divided up the world between them when it came to intercepting communications. In the case of the Cuban Missile Crisis, this meant a GCHQ outstation in Scarborough would end up playing a critical role in delivering intelligence to the desk of President Kennedy in Washington. The NSA and GCHQ continue to divide up tasks – GCHQ for instance monitors the hackers of Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency and passed intelligence to the US when they saw them hacking into the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 US Presidential election. The relationship remains close with staff from each side travelling over the Atlantic to work in the other side’s agency and is far more intimate than that of MI6 and CIA, which deal with human, as opposed to signals intelligence. But the relationship has not always been smooth. Intimacy creates risks. In the early Cold War, there were fears that the other side might be “leaky”. In Britain this came after revelations about the Cambridge Five showed individuals within British intelligence had betrayed secrets to the Soviet Union. The UK also has worried about showing it was contributing enough, especially given US resources dwarf its own (although expertise in code breaking has often made up for this). More recently, there was tension after a GCHQ whistleblower, Katharine Gun revealed an NSA memo that showed plans to spy on the UN in the run up to the Iraq War in 2003. And former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed to the world the extent to which the two allies had built a vast capability to intercept global communications with almost no public awareness and little oversight. Other countries have sometimes suggested they wanted in on the deal. Germany made noises about a “no spy deal” in the wake of the Snowden revelations which showed the US spying on it. But Five Eyes is not simply an intelligence sharing alliance but an intelligence production alliance where members are expected to contribute and this appeared to be an obstacle. Recently, Western intelligence agencies have focused more on China, making Australia’s role increasingly important.
The sensitives were also on display when the US warned about limiting intelligence sharing if the UK continued to use Chinese telecoms Huawei in its new 5G network (the UK changed its position in 2020 to exclude the company). The changing focus has also led to talk about Japan and perhaps others in Asia joining Five Eyes. Officials say this is unlikely even though they do expect closer co-operation. The reality is that the alliance still remains one rooted in the trust and personal connections first forged during the WW2.
American spies kept close tabs on Scotland with probes into UFOs, spoon-bending and psychics among the declassified documents released.
Incredible evidence has emerged of the extent that American CIA agents have kept tabs on Scotland. Declassified documents range from paranormal research to political intrigue – lifting the lid on the Scots ‘X-files’.
Dusty files locked away include UFO sightings, psychic powers and Cold War espionage over decades of spy games.
Some of the weirdest records relate to the controversial Stargate programme which has long fascinated conspiracy theorists.
The shadowy work was widely credited for influencing the 2009 movie The Men Who Stare at Goats – starring George Clooney and Ewan McGregor.
In the film, US special forces attempt to harness paranormal powers as a weapon – by trying to explode the hearts of animals just by looking at them.
Lecturer in intelligence and international security at the University of Glasgow Damien Van Puyvelde said: “The references reflect the global scope of CIA activities and the evolution of its interests”.
“From assessments of the Soviet economy, to public perception of the Vietnam War abroad, to perceived communist influence in Latin America, to the rise of the terrorist threat, and more eccentric issues like UFOs and psychists”.
“All of these can be linked to the broader context of the Cold War.”
Buried in the historical files is a 1964 report by the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena research group – which included retired armed services chiefs.
Kept in closed CIA files for nearly 40 years, the 186-page document lists UFO sightings across the globe and includes a mysterious case in Wigtownshire on April 4, 1957.
It tells how three radar posts tracked a UFO which “dove and circled” at between 60,000 and 14,000ft.
The close encounter was described by Wing Commander W P Whitworth, based in Scotland, as: “Quite definitely this was no freak”.
“It was an object of some substance and no mistake could have been made.”
Recommendations in the report include boosting attempts to communicate with extraterrestrials and even drafting ‘space law’ to govern how humans interact with ET.
It concludes: “On the basis of the evidence in this report, NICAP has concluded that UFOs are real and that they appear to be intelligently controlled”.
“We believe that it is a reasonable hypothesis that UFOS (beyond those explainable as conventional objects or phenomena) are manifestations of extraterrestrial life.”
However, the report accepted that evidence was too “sketchy” to suggest what aliens looked like or the purpose of their visits to earth.
Van Puyvelde said: “Sightings of unidentified flying objects could provide information on Soviet ballistic missiles or airplanes”.
“It was also important to understand and manage people’s threat perception.”
He said a CIA study group concluded the Soviets could use UFO reports to generate “panic” and wage a form of information warfare.
Van Puyvelde added: “UFO reports could also be used to overload the US air warning system.”
It certainly appears to have been too early to break out the intergalactic welcome mats.
Van Puyvelde said: “In general though, CIA and US Air Force investigations into these found that most of them could be linked to optical illusions and hallucinations, hoaxes and misinterpretations.”
In the 1980s, the CIA took an interest in the work of leading Edinburgh University parapsychologist Deborah Delanoy.
She exposed a “bright and very affable” 17-year-old self-proclaimed metal-bender called Tim as a fake in 1983-84.
Delanoy’s report reads: “Tim claimed to have started bending metal, mostly cutlery, at the age of four and to have been doing so ever since.”
After seven-and-a-half months of lab tests, researchers began to suspect Tim was a fraud and used a hidden camera to expose him.
The report continues: “Tim confessed to deceptive behaviour. He said that he was a practicing magician who had wished to see if it were possible for a magician to pose successfully as a psychic in a laboratory.”
Delanoy concludes: “We must never let ourselves forget that our subjects may be deceiving us”.
Van Puyvelde explained why CIA agents tasked with defending the most powerful country in the world against all foes might be interested, at least for a time, in Scots spoon-bending teens.
He said: “The focus on psychics also sounds quite eccentric. But when digging further we can see an agency that looks for scientific studies to inform its views, following rumours that the Soviet Union was interested in psychics in the 1970s.
“This search for scientific evidence inevitably creates links with universities, more often than not in indirect ways“.
“The CIA’s own conclusion by the mid-1990s was that the entire program was not useful to its operations.”
An offshoot of the Stargate programme was project Sun Streak – which tried to tackle the Lockerbie bombing in unorthodox fashion.
Pan Am Flight 103 was brought down over the Scottish village by the device on December 21, 1988, killing all 259 passengers and crew on board and a further 11 people on the ground.
By 1990, the investigation was still ongoing and it would be another year until Libyans Abdelbaset al-Megrahi and Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah were indicted.
On June 7 of that year at an unknown location, a psychic was tasked with describing a photo of the reconstructed baggage carrier which held the plane’s bomb.
Filed under “special access required”, the notes are headed: “Warning notice: Intelligence sources and methods involved.”
Sun Streak’s mission was to collect intelligence information through ‘psychoenergetics’ – including telepathy.
The Lockerbie test produced 22 pages of scrawled notes and sketches and a typed up account of the session.
Notes state: “There is a bomb in the box and it explodes.
“It makes me think of a bomb blowing up a person. I can see red, fire and jagged flames. Something about the target makes my eyes burn.”
An information report, marked ‘secret’ from August 1951 shows the lengths the CIA went to in order to monitor activity in the Eastern Bloc – however mundane it might appear.
Released 50 years later and still with redacted sections, the file contains two reports on the production of screws and bolts in what was then Czechoslovakia.
US intelligence services are known to have meticulously monitored industry output in the Societ bloc for fear of any military or technological use.
Intelligence experts say firms in the Eastern Bloc were often used as fronts for the USSR to get around trade barriers with the West for any goods on watch lists.
Buried in the report is an order in June 1950 for one tonne of two-pointed rivets imported to Prague from Dieck’s Ltd in Glasgow.
The report adds: “There is a complete lack of all sizes of winged screws. There are none at all in stock.”
However seemingly innocuous the order, authors of the report requested “evaluation of this material” within a month.
Glasgow was even mentioned in dispatches during the Vietnam War – at what would become one of American foreign policy’s darkest hours.
A memo marked ‘confidential’ on August 6, 1964, examines foreign reaction to the “Crisis in Vietnam”- specifically US airstrikes against the North.
The date is highly significant coming the day after a report to Congress on the notorious Gulf of Tonkin incident which led to the escalation of US action in Vietnam.
It detailed an attack on a US warship by North Vietnamese torpedo boats – reports later debunked as US government lies to justify a war against the communist North.
The memo mentions how the escalating crisis in South East Asia was front page news in the UK – with most media backing US action.
Prime Minister Alec Douglas-Home was returning to London from a holiday in Scotland and was expected to issue a statement.
The memo adds: “The only anti-American incident reported was in Glasgow where demonstrators daubed slogans outside the US consulate.”
A terrorism review from 1983 delves into a rise in letter bombs in the UK – with the Scottish National Liberation Army among those responsible.
Branded ‘secret’, the report was deemed so sensitive, it was only released in 2010 and even then in a “sanitized” form.
It chronicles eight letter bombs attributed to the SNLA in a little over a year between March 1982 and the following spring.
Targets were identified as an undisclosed location in Edinburgh on March 1, 1982, followed by government offices in both the capital and Glasgow on March 17.
In May, letter bombs were sent to the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh, followed by unnamed political party headquarters in the capital on June 19.
On November 22, 1982, the British Industry Secretary was targeted in London, followed by Glasgow’s City Hall on February 17, 1983.
Later that year, letter bombs were set to the Prime Minister’s Office in London on successive days – March 15 and 16.
Authors describe the SNLA as “a Scottish separatist group opposed to British rule.”
They conclude: “In the attacks to date, the letter bombs have contained only small amounts of explosives, probably to avoid personal injury and to preclude discovery by security measures.”
A ‘top secret’ national intelligence cable from March 1982 reveals the extent of the CIA’s interest in UK domestic politics.
It includes analysis of Roy Jenkins’ Glasgow by-election victory on March 26 when he won a third of the vote in overturning a Tory majority of 2,000.
It credits the win as reviving the Social Democrat/Liberal alliance of the day but predicted “potentially serious differences” to come.
The report’s writers comment: “Jenkins’s victory at least temporarily will breathe new life into the Social Democrats’ sagging fortunes and should make him the clear favorite to be elected party leader at next fall’s annual conference.”
Jenkins was indeed made leader of the SDP ahead of the 1983 general election – only to resign after a disappointing SDP performance.
A quarterly report on ‘significant international terrorist incidents’ from 1981 documents an attack on the US consulate in Edinburgh.
CIA analysts embarrassingly refer to the consulate as being in England before giving an account of the September 5 incident.
They report how three “gasoline” bombs were hurled at the ground floor windows of the consulate on plush Regent Terrace.
The author’s assessment goes on: “A security-glass window cracked but kept the bombs out of the building.
“Damage was minor and no injuries were reported. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.”
In the mid-1950s, CIA analysts bemoan Pakistan’s move into jute production – to the detriment of Dundee.
A confidential report from 1955 links the shift into the trade in Asia to nationalism.
It adds: “Formerly the jute produced in Pakistan was manufactured in India and at Dundee, Scotland; and that city was the center for the marketing of the finished product.”
Report authors list three Dundee firms as jute kingpins – MacGregor, Gateshead and John Ireland and Son.
They conclude: “Now they will be forced to turn to other activities or their employees will be thrown out of work.”
A ‘secret’ intelligence report from March 1984 tackles European, including Scots, support for communist regimes in Central America.
At the time, CIA chiefs were trying to stop the toppling of regimes to their south by revolutionaries aligned with the Soviet Union.
Intelligence chatter was rife over where the next Cuba would be with Nicaragua only recently falling to the Sandinistas.
Worse still, the leftist guerillas appeared to be winning the propaganda war in the west by drumming up sympathies.
The report points the finger at the Soviet Bloc with a “massive propaganda and disinformation” campaign launched in 1980.
Documents seized from captured insurgents in El Salvador reveal guerillas coordinating their international activities through Mexico City, claims the report.
It states: “During 1981, some 80 mass meetings were held ranging from 15 people in Adelaide, Australia, to 75 people in Vancouver, Canada, to a few hundred in Edinburgh.
“This process could one be carried out through the apparatus that the communists have put together in the world peace movement, student groups, unions etc.
“There is no way a small Central American country or even Cuba could mount a worldwide propaganda campaign of this kind.”
Van Puyvelde praised the CIA for making nearly one million documents available online – and encouraged other nation’s intelligence agencies, including the UK’s, to follow suit.
He said: “Overall, it is quite remarkable that the CIA is making all of this material available online.
“By comparison, the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) does not make its records available at The National Archives or its website.
“This is a missed opportunity to improve public understanding of intelligence.
The SIS broke into the Indian High Commission for MI6 and the Iranian Embassy for the CIA in the late 1980s and early 1990s to photograph code books, plant bugs and steal communications.
The operations included at least two raids on the Indian High Commission in Wellington in 1989 and 1991 to photograph thousands of pages from the commission’s code books, which were used to encrypt communications.
The covert attack on the Indian High Commission was code-named Operation Dunnage and was a joint mission between the New Zealand SIS and Britain’s MI6.
Thousands of photographs containing the codes were sent back to the UK so that Britain’s foreign intelligence service could decipher the communications of Indian government officials and diplomats.
RNZ has also learned that in the early 1990s the New Zealand SIS targeted the Iranian embassy in Wellington in a mission named Operation Horoscope, which was driven by the CIA.
The CIA altered circuit boards on a telex machine used by the Iranian Embassy in Wellington, allowing the American intelligence agency to intercept the Iranian’s communications.
The SIS entered the embassy for the CIA, photographed the building and installed listening devices supplied by the CIA.
Operation Horoscope involved months of covert work and remained active for many years afterwards.
RNZ learned about the raids after piecing together information gained after months of engaging with multiple sources in New Zealand, Britain and the US.
One New Zealand source, who has spent more than 20 years at the highest levels of the public sector, told RNZ he was concerned about the nature of the work the SIS carried out for its Five Eyes partners.
The source, who has had close dealings with the intelligence agencies, said New Zealand came under pressure from its Five Eyes partners, especially the US and Australia, to do their dirty work.
He felt New Zealand sometimes risked its international reputation by doing things that largely benefited Five Eyes partners.
The source said the embassy raids uncovered by RNZ needed to be made public as the disclosure might help keep the SIS more tightly “on the leash”.
In a statement, the SIS said it was “unable to respond to questions about what may or not be specific operational matters“.
“The mission of the NZSIS has always been to keep New Zealanders safe, protect our key national institutions and promote New Zealand’s national advantage,” the statement said.
It said the SIS had always been subject to processes which ensured its activities were authorised, even though the details of those processes have changed over time in line with changes in legislation.
Former prime minister Helen Clark has also expressed her concern about New Zealand drifting too close to its Five Eyes partners, in an interview for The Service podcast about New Zealand’s role in the Cold War.
The Service, made by RNZ and Bird of Paradise Productions, revealed multiple embassy break-ins, including a joint SIS-MI6 raid on the Czechoslovakian Embassy in 1986 to steal the Warsaw Pact codes.
The SIS officer in charge of the raid and the head of the prime minister’s department at the time, Gerald Hensley, both claimed in the podcast that the raid was unsuccessful and the SIS failed to get the code books.
Hensley confirmed there were multiple embassy raids over many years but that the practice ceased after fears grew about the potential for international fallout.
Breaking into an embassy is a breach of the Vienna Convention, an international treaty that states that embassies are inviolable and the host nation should never so much as open the diplomatic mail bag.
Sir Geoffrey Palmer, New Zealand’s prime minister between August 1989 and September 1990, said he had not heard of the raids on the Indian and Iranian embassies but should have been alerted by the SIS if they occurred when he was in charge of the agency.
“If it was at the time I was prime minister, I most certainly should have been.”
Jim Bolger, prime minister from 1990 to 1997, said he could not recall ever signing any warrants to allow the SIS to break into foreign embassies.
He expressed surprise that there had been a raid on the Indian High Commission and asked why New Zealand would want to carry out a covert attack on that country.
“I have no recollection of that ever hitting my desk and if it did, I have to say, my memory is not gone yet, I’d be very surprised if I was ever advised of any such event. I have no recollection – and that’s not just a brush-off.”
Former and current ministers responsible for New Zealand’s intelligence agencies would not give solid answers on whether the SIS still breaks into foreign embassies.
Helen Clark refused to confirm or deny whether raids happened during her time as prime minister between 1999 and 2008.
If the SIS was still conducting embassy raids like the covert attacks on the Indian and Iranian embassies, it was likely unlawful, Palmer said.
“None of that could be done under the existing law it seems to me. Quite apart from the breaches of the Vienna Convention you’ve got breaches of New Zealand law there, I would have thought, you’ve got breaches of human rights.”
Asked whether he thought New Zealand should rule out breaking into foreign embassies, he said: “I think New Zealand should be in the position of saying it follows all the legal requirements of its own legislation and it does seem to me that those would rule this out.”
The SIS acted with few constraints in the past and operated without any legislation at all for the first 13 years after it was established in 1956, Palmer said
The current legislation, the Intelligence and Security Act 2017, was more stringent, he said. “They have got to act in accordance with New Zealand law, they have got to follow all human rights obligations that are contained in New Zealand. They have to act with integrity.”
This extended to operations done in partnership with Five Eyes partners such as MI6 and the CIA. “When they are dealing with requests from other agencies they [must] facilitate things that are appropriate for New Zealand law.”
They also had to “abide by democratic obligations,” which meant ministers should be told about the operations and properly consent to them, he said.
The motivations for the raids on the Indian and Iranian embassies remain unknown, although both countries would have been of particular interest to the Five Eyes alliance at the time.
India, a nuclear power since the mid-1970s, suffered intense political unrest in the late 1980s and early 1990s, which included the 1991 assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi by Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers.
Meanwhile, Iran had just resumed diplomatic relations with Iraq after a decade of war and in 1990 it remained neutral during Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.
Iran had long suspected the CIA was intercepting its communications. Those fears intensified after the 1991 assassination of former Iranian prime minister Shapour Bakhtiar.
In August 1991, before Bakhtiar’s body was discovered, messages were sent to Iranian embassies around the world asking whether he was dead and the message was deciphered by Western intelligence agencies.
Iran suspected the CIA had access to its coding machines used for secure communications. In 1992 Iran arrested a salesman who worked for the Swiss company that manufactured the coding machines, Crypto AG. He was released nine months later after a ransom of US$1 million was paid and he returned to Switzerland.
In February this year, the Washington Post revealed that the CIA and their West German counterparts, the BND, had controlled Crypto AG, which made coding machines for dozens of countries, including Iran and India.
The Washington Post story said weaknesses were deliberately programmed into the Crypto AG hardware, giving the CIA decades of access to the communications of the countries who used the machines.
Well Russia joining the war in Syria has certainly opened a can of worms that has left Western leaders reeling. So much so that the words coming from their mouths and the media are incomprehensible, “Russia joining the war againstISISwill only serve to make them stronger” came from both David Cameron and Barrack Obama.
As I sat there watching the news, I though to myself are people really buying in to what they are saying?
In recent years I have had the privilege of working for both the US and Russian organisations in the Middle East in a Security role. This has allowed me to be a fly on the wall as to how both nations tick and their peoples modus operandi. Quite surprisingly both countries are very similar. They are big, very nationalistic, proud and focussed. Both have huge similarities and when it comes to the global table, both are as boisterous as young teenagers flexing their muscles. There is also however one flaw that both countries share, greed and power.
Looking back at the tit for tat of the Cold War I focus on a period that proved to be a catalyst for todays conflict in the Middle East. The Soviet conflict in Afghanistan became a focal point for events that would shape conflicts well in to the 21st Century. Russia constantly dealing with the threats of Islamic Extremism on its borders was only exacerbated by western secret services agencies (CIA,MI6) training arming and enabling the Mujahideen to fight their communist enemies.
The problem in having such allies is that their ideology is much different from our own in the West. Extremist Islam contradicts a Christian democratic western world. So did we go to bed with these organisations in the 80’s if it was just a way of getting at the USSR and fighting a war by proxy, a very dangerous game if you ask me.
In the years that followed the West were very good to pally up with regime leaders in order to best keep the flow of Oil and Gas coming our way. Handshakes with Ghadaffi and military exercises in Jordan to prove our capabilities in the Middle East ensued.
Then something terrible happened, like a nasty divorce the very people the west had laid in bed with only 2 decades earlier flew aircraft in to the Twin Towers. The ringleader Osama Bin Laden basing himself in the very country which the West had freed from the threat of the bear only decades earlier. The Mujahideen had a new structure in the form of the Taliban and its international arm of Al Qaeda. What had caused such a breakdown in relations, did somebody in the West make false promises.
I now turn my focus on Iraq, off the back of 9/11 the focus was now drawn to Saddam Hussein and his tyrannical regime in Iraq. In fact his regime must have been that bad, that when we pushed his Army back to his borders from Kuwait in 91 we must have been too scared to overthrow him at that time. Oh no, it took another decade and a good excuse to finish the job for good and “free the people of Iraq“.
We now had intelligence that Saddam had at his disposal WMD’s that he could deploy globally at 40 minutes notice. Both UK and US government roused in a furore that action was needed and troops mobilised. Consultation with a subject matter expert in the capabilities of Iraq, Professor David Kelly was swept under the carpet and in a matter of days he had taken his dog for a walk and also taken his own life.
The stage was now set to topple the first of many tyrannical regimes and free the people of the Middle East from oppression, to a life of democracy and freedom. Or so we were told.
In April 2004 I sat in the cupola of my armoured car as we rolled into Basra southern Iraq. Our mission at the time was to to bring about a safe and secure environment in the absence of any local police or military. As my unit drove in to the city I noticed field upon field of oil and immediately questioned the real reason for our being in that place.
In the decade that ensued a volatile policing and counter insurgency nightmare faced Western Armies in both Iraq and Afghanistan. With no end game or long term solution planned by the governments who initiated conflict in both regions a toxic void appeared. A void that would in time be filled by the most hideous threat to our very civilisation.
A change in tactic had been adopted to overthrow regimes in North Africa, destabilising governments, strategic bombing, training and arming rebel forces. We even had a go of it on our own doorstep with Ukraine. The Arab spring was born but looking back at it 2 years on and I see it as an Arab autumn. An autumn facing a cold and dangerous winter.
The free Syrian army was born, equipped and trained in the hope that it would create the catalyst to overthrow the Assad regime. Extremist elements within the FSA had their own agenda. The creation of a Caliphate that would expand across the Middle East with the sole purpose of Islamizitation on a global scale.
Looking at the tactics of ISIS it doesn’t take much to realise that this organisation has been well trained and well led, with blitzkrieg tactics taught by western armies. This leads me to believe the CIA have been up to their old tricks again.
Putin has been less than tactful in his initial booming of targets in Syria, the first strikes launched were directly focussed at CIA training camps. During the debriefing phase from the first missions Russia declared they had struck at the heart of the command and control of ISIS and made significant gains. I think they were very close to the truth of things.
The US and UK governments are now panicking, the same tactics the CIA used in Afghanistan 30 years ago are being repeated in Syria with dangerous consequences. If allowed to continue a legacy of very well trained and motivated extremists will sit at the doorstep of Europe and when promises made are again rescinded we may well have a repeat of 9/11.
As the developed world we need to recognise our past mistakes and work openly in the face of a common foe –