Whistleblower exposes how NATO’s leading ally is arming and funding ISIS

From Nafeez Ahmed:

A former senior counter-terrorism official in Turkey has blown the whistle on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s deliberate sponsorship of the Islamic State (ISIS) as a geopolitical tool to expand Turkey’s regional influence and sideline his political opponents at home.

Ahmet Sait Yayla was Chief of the Counter-Terrorism and Operations Division of Turkish National Police between 2010 and 2012, before becoming Chief of the Public Order and Crime Prevention Division until 2014. Previously, he had worked in the Counter-Terrorism and Operations Division as a mid-level manager for his entire 20-year police tenure, before becoming Chief of Police in Ankara and Sanliurfa…

Yayla said that controversial allegations in the Turkish press concerning support to militant groups in Syria through a Turkish charitable NGO, the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), are entirely accurate reflections of a murky relationship between the Turkish government and jihadist groups…

IHH’s chief benefactor in the Turkish government was Hakan Fidan, who headed up TIKA from 2003 to 2007. A former Turkish military officer, he became deputy undersecretary to the Prime Minister in 2007. Since 2010, he has been head of the Turkish state intelligence agency, MIT.

But according to Ahmet Yayla, Fidan was a prime suspect in a series of terrorism attacks in the 1990s — when Yayla worked as a police officer in Ankara. The attacks involved targeted assassinations of leftwing Turkish intellectuals affiliated with the newspaper Cumhuriyet, in the form of car bombings and exploding parcels. The victims included journalist Ugur Mumtu, women’s rights activist Bahriye Ucok, and intellectual Ahmet Taner Kislali.

Police operations traced the perpetrators of the attacks to a terrorist cell run by the Turkish Hizbollah (TH). Two key individuals now close to Erdogan were identified by police as members of the cell: Hakan Fidan and Faruk Koca, a founding member of the ruling AKP…

Among Yayla’s most shocking allegations is that the Turkish government has directly protected the leader of ISIS’ Turkish operations, Halis Bayancuk, also known as Abu Hanzala, who is the son of one of the founding fathers of the Turkish Hizbullah…

Turkey, a key NATO member and purported ally of the West in the fight against ISIS, has now become an open safe haven for jihadists: “ISIS has a large logistical support base in Gaziantep. For example, all of its uniforms are tailored in Gaziantep, maybe over 60,000 of them over the last two years.”

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