Sunday, June 24, 2018

Congressional investigators looking to Bangladesh to help Russiagate investigation

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In November 2017, The Asian Age published my article, 'Are Hillary's fingerprints on Mueller's smoking gun?' which detailed some curious links between elements of the US Russiagate scandal and Bangladesh. It has caused a scandal in itself. US investigators from Congress and the FBI are taking notice of The Asian Age.

Stephan Roh, a Swiss lawyer and businessman linked to a major figure in Russiagate has also used the article in his new book, The Faking of Russiagate. Which is a rather ironic twist. Trump's fortunes are being raised because a newspaper in a Muslim majority country reported doubts on the popular US narrative.

Trump and his core supporters have been known for their extreme positions against Muslims. There are signs he is starting to listen to moderate voices and is slowly changing his hateful rhetoric and policies. But, that remains to be seen.

Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese academic who specializes in the study of diplomacy, was the focus of the article. He is widely believed to have been the connection between the Trump campaign and the Russian government Democrats, still shell shocked that Hillary Clinton lost the election, and the US media have built Mifsud up as being the centre pillar or ground zero for Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.

The article, and my subsequent research, has attracted the notice of US Congressman Devin Nunes (R-Ca), who is the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). Nunes is investigating allegations that Russia interfered in the 2016 Presidential election.

Julian Assange, the editor of WikiLeaks, has also taken interest tweeting my findings to his followers. Assange was silenced by the Ecuadorian Embassy a few days after he tweeted some of my research to his thousands of followers.

He tweeted a photo of Mifsud working alongside Claire Smith. Smith was formerly a member of Britain's Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) the highest security council in the UK which answers directly to the Prime Minister. Smith helped compile the infamous 'dodgy dossier' which was used to justify the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Mifsud was working for the London Centre for International Law Practice (LCILP) in the UK with George Papadopoulos, a former campaign advisor to the Trump campaign. He has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in relation to his contacts with Russians.

His wife Simona Mangiante, a lawyer and former Versace model, has been speaking to US media giants over the last few months claiming that Trump was under pressure because her husband was cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Mangiante has changed her story. She is now saying, 'Mifsud was working with western intelligence.' My research has been promoted by American conservatives and Bernie Sanders supporters. Mangiante also worked for LCILP alongside David Hanton, a former Grameen Bank employee.

Andrew Friedman was also at LCILP, he worked for Just Consulting, a curious firm which represented Jamaat figures against war crimes charges in Dhaka. Luke Harding, Guardian journalists and author of the New York Times' bestselling book 'Collusion' conducted an interview with Mangiante claiming LCILP and Mifsud were part of a 'Russian intelligence plot.' He clearly did not do his research.

LCILP has been working closely with the Global Center for Cooperative Security (GCCS) in countering violent extremism. Richard Barret, the former chief of MI6's counter-terrorism programs, works with Global Center. It is a leading player in countering extremism around the world with counter-terrorism analysts pulled from numerous United Nations programs.

Global Center has been partnering with the Australian government to help run training programs for Commonwealth countries. The Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) and the Resolve network are partners with Global Center.

These organizations feel Islamic State is the major cause of terrorism in Bangladesh, not Jamaat's network which has funded diverse and geographically spread groups such as Hamas and Jemaah Islamiyah in the past.

Jemaah Islamiyah was responsible for the Bali Bombings which killed many Australian citizens. It received funding from Jamaat-e-Islami charity fronts. Historical revisionism in relation to Jamaat's role in funding terrorism is dangerous.

Islamist radical leaders of al-Qaeda affiliates such as Jemaah Islamiyah and Islamic State are aware of efforts to use divide and conquer style tactics making them ineffective. Both of extreme terrorist movements are rising, because sanctions brought in by the United Nations after 9/11 were not followed up properly because of diplomatic considerations. Richard Barret was in control of organizing those sanctions. It's partly his failure.

LCILP was also run by the FBI's British lawyer Arvinder Sambei, which makes it highly unlikely that Mifsud was a Russian spy.  The investigations are still ongoing, but Bangladesh is becoming increasingly in focus as the Department of Justice and Congress look for answers. They have The Asian Age to thank for it.

The writer is a British political analyst who researches on political Islam of Jamaat-e-Islami's anti-secular and anti-elective democracy role. Views expressed in the article are the
writer's personal

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