You in the West, you think you are playing chess with us, but you are never going to win because we are not following any rules.Russian mobster to his lawyer
Catherine Belton, Putin’s People
Forty years ago, a serious long-term problem confronting Moscow was the USSR’s fast-growing Muslim population. It was then speculated that the Soviet Union’s high Muslim birthrate would turn the USSR into a majority Muslim country by the middle of the twenty-first century. It is a strange joke, and more than a curious twist of fate, that NATO faces this same prospect today.
The Russian armed forces officially moved into Syria on 30 September 2015. Already a massive Muslim “refugee” invasion of Europe was underway, stretching through the spring and summer of that year. This migrant flood occurred without a dramatic change in the Syrian crisis. According to a report by investigative journalist Witold Gadowski, published in mid-September 2015, the people then pouring into the heart of Europe included more than refugees, and possibly included ISIS terrorist infiltrators.[i]
Gadowski was a well-known war reporter, documentary film director, and winner of several journalism prizes in Poland and abroad. He went to Syria in 2015 and discovered that in the territory controlled by the Islamic State (ISIS), there was no chance for anyone to leave ISIS-controlled territory without permission. As he explained, the punishment for attempting to escape was crucifixion.[ii]
In Gadowski’s opinion, the flood of refugees had been triggered by decisions made in Moscow, and perhaps in Tehran. In fact, the mass killing of Syrian civilians was an ongoing project of the Russian-backed Syrian dictator, Bashar al-Assad – whose troops were killing seven times more civilians than ISIS.[iii] Once the Russian bombers arrived, even more civilians were targeted.[iv]
Of special interest, and contrary to public declarations, Russian and Chinese technicians were busy helping ISIS to maintain its captured oil rigs and refineries, while Russian trained Iraqi military officers (formerly in Saddam Hussein’s army), were leading ISIS forces against the Baghdad government (which set up a joint intelligence headquarters in league with Iran and Russia).[v] From this and other evidence it appears that Russia has been playing a double game in the Middle East.
Using the Iraqi oil infrastructure, relying on clandestine Russian technical support, ISIS earned $800 million in annual revenues by “selling more than 60,000 barrels of oil per day.” But this was not the Islamic State’s only source of income. According to Gadowski:
…the Islamic State trades artworks and archeological artifacts. It is not true that the monuments of antique culture are destroyed. They are sold and bring a large income. In 90 percent of the cases, this is happening through the Russian mafia. The Islamic State and the wave of refugees bring profits to the Russian, Turkish and Albanian mafias.[vi]
In this matter the Russian mafia is not simply the Russian mafia, and the same can be said of mafia organizations which have appeared throughout the “former” communist world. As noted by Brian Whitmore of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, “Organized crime is now a major element of Russian statecraft.”[vii] According to Gadowski, Russia’s game is to “checkmate Europe, and to a lesser extent the United States.” Outwardly Russia pretends to fight ISIS. In reality, Russia helps ISIS. Essential to the plan, the Syrians were generating refugees by terrorizing civilians in Syria. As stated above, Gadowski believed that a secret Islamic State Terrorist Unit (AMNI) was placing fanatical killers among the refugees. In this way a vast network of suicide bombers and murderers entered Europe.[viii]
After arriving in Syria, Russian air units launched bombing raids against Syrian civilians, adding to the refugee flow in late summer. Of course, the refugee crisis was well under way before the Russians arrived. It had peaked earlier. What the bombing showed, however, was Russia’s strategic intention. The Syrians and the Russians were following a pre-defined path. The bombers were the icing on a cake already baked. Long before the Russian bombers arrived other means of pressure had been employed by Syria – including the use of chemical weapons. Refugees (and terrorists) had long since flooded into neighboring Turkey. Through the spring and summer of 2015, the numbers were getting larger and larger. A significant proportion of these masses moved into Europe. This paper will present evidence and arguments that Russia and her allies (Syria and Iran) set this process in motion as part of a larger strategic design. The authors believe that Moscow does not act haphazardly. Rather, its moves are carefully thought-out in advance. The strategy being applied is complex, its objectives masked by disinformation and subterfuge, extortion and blackmail, organized crime and false flag terrorist operations.
The Arab spring
When rebellions began to break out in the Middle East several years ago, the former chief of Romanian intelligence, Ion Mihai Pacepa, wondered why the first rebellions in the series took place “only in Islamic countries that are pro-American.” He asked why the rebels were burning American flags. He thought it suspicious that the United States had no advanced warning of the mass demonstrations that swept the Arab world from Morocco to the Persian Gulf. Pacepa noted that “on the first day of the Cairo uprising” the demonstrators “were carrying flags displaying the hammer and sickle.” He called this “a mistake caused by overzealousness….”[ix]
The rebellion that began on 17 December 2010 in Tunisia, and spread across the Arab world, was an attempt to sweep away “moderate” Arab regimes. It was not a revolution for freedom or democracy. As Richard Miniter wrote in a 2011 Forbes article, “Virtually every element of the media narrative [on the Arab Spring] … is wrong or misleading.” The rebellion was not a spontaneous reaction to local dictatorships. According to Miniter, Egypt’s chief of intelligence warned Gen. David Petraeus in 2010 that Iran – a close ally and client state of Moscow – was preparing to “bring down [Egypt’s] Mubarak regime.”[x]
Miniter was told by intelligence officials that “Iran’s agents are behind the street demonstrations and violent attacks on government buildings.”[xi] Iran’s revolutionary activity throughout the region, however, was not merely Iranian. This activity was connected to Russia, and to Russia’s past support for the communist cause. According to an Iranian specialist, the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, was educated in Moscow and may be a Russian intelligence asset. Worse yet, other top leaders in Iran were also educated in Russia, with ongoing ties to Moscow.[xii]
In a recently published article by the Katehon Institute[xiii] in Russia, B. Ozerov explained that the Soviet government in 1918 “was guided by understanding Islam as a close ideology to the communist doctrine.” After all, Islam favored ideals of equality, social justice, and the redistribution of wealth. According to Ozerov, Moscow’s initial plan in the region was “to transform Islam into an Eastern edition of Communism….”[xiv]
In a 4 July 1925 interview with the Tokyo Nichi Nichi Shimbun, Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin was asked if he believed revolutionary turmoil in China, India, Persia and Egypt was bound to sweep away the Western powers. “Yes, I do,” said the communist leader, who added that the West would be “attacked on two sides – in the rear as well as in front.”
Related insights of V. Kalashnikov and A. Illarionov
In June 2013 J.R. Nyquist interviewed a disaffected KGB officer in Russia named Viktor Kalashnikov. In reference to Syria, the former KGB lieutenant colonel said, “It’s all about struggle against the United States. All allies are measured in terms of their anti-Americanism. If they are anti-American, they are our friends.” Kalashnikov then referred to the deployment of “terrorist armies.” Armies composed of terrorists, said Kalashnikov, were better than old-fashioned Soviet tank armies. They were more flexible, and cheaper than tanks. “The head of the Russian state has publicly warned the West that … arms deliveries to the opposition in Syria might result in terrorist attacks against Europe. That’s a clear causus belli – a real terrorist threat,” said Kalashnikov.[xv]
When Nyquist advanced the idea that the Cold War was over, Kalashnikov scoffed. This is yet another topic, he said. “But we have to ask what happened to the Soviet Union in 1991. It was dismantled for the sake of reorganization and for the sake of Russian power.” The Soviet generals were not happy with the strategic situation. The large tank armies of the Soviet Union were, in Kalashnikov’s words, “a wasting asset, especially after 1983.”[xvi]
The core strategy, he explained, “was splitting Europe from America.” In the 1980s this was attempted with the threat of war. But now, under present circumstances, a different method would have to be devised. “What happened on 9/11 was just an omen of things to come,” he explained.
In Part 1 of the interview, headlined “Russia’s Islamist Alliance, Plans to Destroy NATO,” the former KGB lieutenant colonel, who had been trained as a strategist, attempted to draw the interviewer’s attention to Russia’s support for the anti-immigrant parties in Europe. Here Kalashnikov referred to Islam as a Russian weapon in the destruction of NATO. Realizing the interviewer was perplexed, Kalashnikov said, “Let me talk about [the neo-fascists] in Hungary. They are pro-Putin. They are nationalists, and of course, they are absolutely anti-Semitic and anti-American.”[xvii]
What did the anti-immigrant parties have to do with “terrorist armies” in the Middle East? What did any of it have to do with splitting America off of Europe? Here was a question requiring careful consideration. To answer this question, one might well imagine how NATO would have prospered if Hillary Clinton and Marine Le Pen had won their respective elections. What if Europe followed France’s lead? Would the politically correct Americans remain allies with the new Europe? “What I would suggest,” said Kalashnikov, “is that your anti-terror experts read Vladimir Lenin who provided the textbook for terrorists. How they should set up combat units; who is to be killed first and second; what strategy and tactics to adopt. Lenin developed a complete theory for using terrorism to take power and govern a huge state. That was the beginning of Soviet strategy, statehood and government, as well as international policy.”[xviii]
More than one year after Kalashnikov’s curious pronouncements, a former Kremlin economic advisor named Andrei Illarionov, made an even more curious statement. In a December 2014 television interview, Illarionov noted that Europe had reached its lowest level of defense readiness. He also noted that Russia was openly threatening the West with nuclear war. Illarionov then made an astonishing prediction, adding that “the European nations will not be very much surprised, let’s say, if in the spring of next year, 2015, there will be some kind of massive political movement – let’s say a kind of ‘Islamic spring.’”[xix]
Being Russian himself, having worked in the Kremlin, it seems obvious that Illarionov had access to high-level sources. The coming “Islamic spring,” he said, would not occur in the Middle East, “but in Europe.” He mentioned destabilizing effects on “certain European countries” where the crisis would “consume the energy and attention of European leaders at a time when Mr. Putin would try and fulfill his neo-imperial project….”[xx]
Illarionov was quite specific when he said the coming “Islamic spring” in Europe would involve “movements and activities … in European countries themselves.” When asked if this could be triggered by Russia, Illarionov said, “I am just warning … when it should happen … European societies should not be [too] much shocked and surprised.”
Illarionov’s prediction carries forward the suggestion that Moscow instigated the migrant crisis. For how else could Illarionov have known about an “Islamic spring” involving “movements and activities … in Europe”? His prediction was an unlikely direct hit. To know something in advance is to know something is being planned. Illarionov clearly predicted the most significant event of the following year. He also implied this event was planned to distract the West from Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. And this prediction fits perfectly with the analysis of Lt. Col. Viktor Kalashnikov, a resident of Moscow, who warned of Russia deploying “terrorist armies” in 2013. The fact is, people in Moscow knew what was coming. And why wouldn’t they? It takes enormous resources and real planning to move millions of people from the Middle East to the heart of Europe. A lot of people had to know in advance, if only to set up the needed transport system.
Insights of a Romanian general
Those who have lived under communist regimes, who were educated as strategists, are in a better position to properly evaluate recent events than their West European counterparts. During an August 2015 Adevarul Live television discussion, retired Army General Constantin Degeratu referred to the European refugee crisis as a “hybrid war” of aggression, conjured out of the Middle East by Russia. Superficially, the refugee crisis “completely covered the problem of the Russian aggression against Ukraine,” Degeratu noted. He then stated that the whole refugee operation was “well organized.” The general added, “Look at the people who are coming. They are better dressed and better fed than 10 to 15 percent of Romania’s population. This is a planned invasion, it doesn’t have a direct cause in the Middle East….” He then pointed out the logistical difficulties involved in moving millions of people hundreds or thousands of miles. “If somebody is to come from Afghanistan with a trolley to the border of Macedonia, this requires logistics.”[xxi]
As if to clarify Kalashnikov’s earlier point about Hungary, Degeratu pointed to a curious anomaly. “It is said that this threefold increase in the number of refugees compared to the numbers of last summer is taking everyone by surprise. But [this] occurred a week after Hungary completed the building of [a large border] fence. Doesn’t it seem interesting to you that first the fence was built and afterwards this migration started, in that particular area?”[xxii]
Retired Army General Alexandru Grumaz was also on the program. He agreed that the migration was “well supported.” He added that Turkey also had an interest in pushing the refugees along, toward Europe. It was, said Grumaz, a crisis of European institutions. Degeratu said the problem of the refugee invasion could not be solved. Why? “Because it is managed by Russia and thus it is meant not to be solved, but to be maintained.” The general then said, “Russia’s interest is to maintain this crisis.”
“It is clear,” said Degeratu, “that if the European Union doesn’t want to live the nightmare … which says that in the years 2030 to 2040 more than 60 percent of the active EU population will be Muslim … then the European countries should decide if they want to survive as a civilization or not.” According to Degeratu’s strategic assessment, “We have to understand that we are the target of a war, and we may call it hybrid, or an asymmetrical war, but this migrant wave is a consequence of it.” He then summarized the perilous cost of the migrants for Europe, noting, “the cost for each one of these people is three times the minimum retirement pension in Romania!”[xxiii]
Surely, said Degeratu, “The political attitude [in Europe] with regard to this situation needs to change. So far, it’s been peace-time politics. Now we are the target of an aggression. Border control is absolutely mandatory.”
According to Prof. Przemysław Żurawski vel Grajewski, who was asked by Dr. Cernea to comment on Gen. Degeratu’s assessments, “The opinions of Gen. Degeratu are fully justified and I would subscribe [to] each of his statements….” Prof. Żurawski is one of Poland’s best political analysts. He teaches social science at the University of Łódz and the National School of Public Administration, serving in the National Council for Development, an advisory board to President Andrzej Duda. He is also a counselor to the current Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jacek Czaputowicz. According to Prof. Żurawski, the Russians are not responsible for all the refugees who have flooded into Europe, but it is certain “they did their best to make [the problem] larger … to confuse the political scene in European countries … as much as they can. Russia is the main ally of Assad and Iran….” These allies of Russia, he said, have maximized “the scale of the refugees.” Prof. Żurawski also pointed to “the semi-criminal FSB/local mafias and hybrid structures in Bosnia and Herzegovina.” These also played a role in moving refugees through the Balkans into the heart of Europe. “The conclusion is,” he said, “that Russia had instruments to maximize the troubles” despite Europe’s inability to find “a smoking gun.”[xxiv]
Prof. Żurawski also noted that, “Anti-immigrant parties in the West are usually pro-Russian (Front National, AfD); so deepening the crisis helps Russia’s followers in the West.” This point should not be overlooked. (Kalashnikov hinted at this factor with reference to Hungary more than a year before the refugee crisis began.) Here the manipulation of the European right takes center stage. Moscow has every reason to believe the European anti-immigrant parties will gain political traction as the refugee crisis intensifies. Moscow, therefore, has reason to invest in the European right. Simultaneously, Moscow also uses its agents on the European left. These agents intensify the crisis through “politically correct” policies. As the left drives the crisis forward, the right opposition grows and seeks ready allies – and is driven into Moscow’s open arms.
This process may already be underway in Hungary where Prime Minister Viktor Orban has shifted toward Moscow.[xxv] The Chief of the Hungarian General Staff, Gen. Tibor Benkő, says that Hungary does not have to buy equipment exclusively from NATO countries. Russia is currently modernizing Hungarian Mi-24 and Mi-17 helicopters for $64 million.[xxvi] Perhaps even more alarming is Prime Minister Orban’s tolerance with regard to Russian infiltration of the Hungarian right. Former Hungarian anti-communists are now celebrating Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, linking arms with Russian officials. According to authors Péter Krekó and Lóránt Győri, Russia has invested political capital in “hate groups in Central Europe,” with financial ties “to violent organizations in Central and Eastern Europe as well….”[xxvii] This is a conscious strategy:
In Moscow’s toolkit of active measures and hybrid warfare, the boundaries between violent and nonviolent tools are increasingly blurry. And this process is two-directional: not only can information be weaponized; violent organizations can be used as soft-power tools. The Kremlin is highly effective at infiltrating fringe parties and paramilitary organizations in Central Europe. They are easy to purchase or control, as these extremist groups tend to be small and easily manipulated.[xxviii]
What is the ultimate strategic value of the infiltration and manipulation of fringe parties and paramilitary groups? Keeping this question in mind, when we look at the present-day chaos in the Middle East, Russia’s past support for terrorist organizations of every kind becomes less and less of a riddle.
The former Romanian Minister for Communications and Information,[xxix] Marius Bostan, was asked by Dr. Cernea if he agreed with Gen. Degeratu’s remarks. Bostan replied, “From the perspective of my own experience in public service and politics, I do agree with Gen. Degeratu’s opinion that Russia is likely to have been involved in the migrant crisis and … it should be regarded as a hybrid war operation against the West.” Bostan emphasized that “a very important component of the hybrid war is the cultural dimension.” Here the Internet plays a key role. The Russian long-term investment in “propaganda, disinformation, opinion and behavior-shaping” cannot be underestimated. A short-term view would be a mistake. Bostan explained,
There is something about the Russian strategy that is difficult to explain to our Western allies. It’s the fact that Russia usually acts on both sides of a (real or manufactured) conflict. For instance, on [the] Internet we notice that Russian propaganda, disinformation or trolling activity on forums and social networks typically carry messages meant to create/amplify conflicts between different ethnic or religious groups – Romanians versus Hungarians, Poles versus Ukrainians, Christians versus Jews, etc. And they encourage at the same time groups with opposed views – far left anti-market tendencies [versus] libertarian ones, LGBT-rights [versus] conservative Christian activism, open-border multiculturalism [versus] anti-immigration movements, etc. Thus, Russia is able to provoke conflicts and crises, and to influence the public agenda of the countries it targets for subversion.
This ambivalence may seem paradoxical to Western minds, used to a binary logic according to which something cannot be black and white at the same time. Well, Russians are not Westerners. In the East, black and white may be defined in many different ways. Moreover, the Russian leaders still function according to a mentality shaped by Marxist dialectics, which says that progress results from the constant struggle between contrary elements.
It looks like the West is only now discovering that, for instance, Russian internet trolls simultaneously support a certain cause and its contrary.[xxx]
Bostan has laid out one of Russia’s key strategies. He says this kind of strategy is “difficult” for the West to understand. As Rudyard Kipling expressed it, “East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.” At some point in the future, however, the West must learn to appreciate Russia’s “scissors strategy” – “that Russia usually acts on both sides of a … conflict.” If there is one central lesson to be drawn from this study, Bostan has underscored it.
In their Atlantic Council article, “From Russia with Hate,” Péter Krekó and Lóránt Győri explain how Polish counterintelligence “is currently investigating Mateusz Piskorski, the leader of the Polish leftist party … as well as former activists of the far-right Polish Congress of the New Right (KNP) on charges of espionage on behalf of Russia.”[xxxi] Here is the classic Russian “scissors strategy” at work.
If the refugee crisis is part of a Russian scissors strategy, how does Russia benefit? First, political tensions are intensified between the European right and left; second, the right can be pushed toward Moscow by a variety of mechanisms; third, a general weakening of NATO develops under a scenario of “divide and conquer”; fourth, a general demoralization and loss of belief in existing institutions naturally follows.
In his interview with Epoch Times in November 2015, General Degeratu showed the depth of this understanding when he said we “should see who takes profit” from the refugee crisis. “Well,” he explained, the Russians profited, and many cracks appeared in NATO. “We see how ‘united’ Europe has been,” Degeratu added. “Full unity! There have been 50 voices in our European ‘unity.’”[xxxii]
Those who have set up the exercise have understood all our weaknesses and have exploited them properly. What else have they obtained … does anyone still speak about the Ukrainian crisis? Not anymore. There are also 1 million – in fact, 800,000 – refugees, from Eastern Ukraine and Crimea, most of them from Donbass. Eight hundred thousand. There are 8,000 dead. Around 2,000 children and pregnant women have died in this crisis. We almost haven’t seen them on the (TV) screen, there have been no gatherings, there was no session of the Romanian Parliament….[xxxiii]
Degeratu is extraordinarily perceptive, and other experts agree with his assessment that Russia is waging a hybrid war against Europe. “Maybe some of us are too militarily-minded and ask questions that shouldn’t be asked,” said Degeratu.
Direct testimony from a Syrian general on Russia’s double game
There is a stunning revelation in the fragment of a September 2015 interview given to Witold Gadowski by Syrian Brigadier General Ahmad Aljjdeaa, a soldier with thirty years of experience in the Syrian Army who is also the deputy minister of defense in the Syrian government-in-exile. According to Gen. Aljjdeaa, “Russian officers are constantly present in the branches of the Syrian army supporting the regime of Bashar Assad….” Then he added, “Russia is interested in confusion in Syria. There are also four military training centers in Russia, in which fanatics are trained, who then fill the ranks of the Islamic State troops (ISIS). Among the trained are also Chechens.”[xxxiv]
Related to this, another curious headline reads: “In retreating from Iraq, ISIS terrorists lost their Russian passports.”[xxxv] The facts are reported as follows: “The Iraqi military, who at the end of last week occupied the university building previously held by ISIS in the city of Mosul, displayed what was found in evidence as the identification papers of Islamic State terrorists, which mostly turned out to be Russian.”[xxxvi]
Again, it is a case of the “scissors strategy.” Moscow has perfected the fine art of stage-managing fake wars and phony splits with false fronts made up of “useful idiots.”[xxxvii] Russia’s deployment of terrorist and counter-terrorist forces in Syria and Iraq should surprise no one. This procedure was used during the Soviet-Afghan War in the 1980s and again during the recent wars in Chechnya.[xxxviii]
At this juncture it may be useful to recite a bit of history. In July 2005 the Russian KGB/FSB defector Alexander Litvinenko told the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita that Ayman al-Zawahiri (then Al-Qaeda’s second in command) was trained by the FSB in Dagestan in 1997. According to the former KGB foreign intelligence officer Konstantin Preobrazhensky, Litvinenko “was responsible for securing the secrecy of al-Zawahiri’s arrival in Russia … in 1996-1997.”[xxxix]
The Romanian intelligence defector, Lt. Gen. Ion Mahai Pacepa, has described Moscow’s use of Arab terrorist organizations throughout the Cold War in his books.[xl] We know that Russia stands firmly behind the Islamic terror regime in Tehran. Researcher Antero Leitzinger explained, “Modern terrorism was born within a year, 1967-68. International socialists (communists) started the fashion all over the world simultaneously, which should make us suspicious about the common roots. National socialists followed suit, turning Marxists of Muslim origin into Islamists of Marxist origin.”[xli]
Among the closest associates of Khomeini, there were many Communists who had conveniently grown beards. Mustafa Ali Chamran had studied in California and Egypt before he founded a Red Shi’ite secret society. His pupils included later foreign minister Ibrahim Yazdi, oil minister Mohammed Gharazi, and Lebanese fellow student in Berkeley University, Hussein Shaikh al-Islam, who led the occupation of the US Embassy in Tehran. This occupation, shortly before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, focused Iranian radicalism into anti-Americanism…. Mohammed Beheshti, whose death at a bombing on June 28th, 1981, remained a mystery, had resided in East Germany. Khomeini’s early companion and foreign minister, Sadegh Ghotbzadeh had successfully accommodated with the new regime. Both Ghotbzadeh and Chamran had received Palestinian terrorist training. As a student in the USA, Ghotbzadeh had been recruited by the [Soviet] GRU.[xlii]
With regard to the Soviet-Afghan War, Leitzinger explained that Soviet Military Intelligence (GRU) had developed special capabilities by the late 1980s, especially “how to manipulate Islamists and to make Communists (of the Khalq faction) to grow beards and join their declared enemies.” According to Leitzinger, “This ‘Khalq strategy” provided a successful alternative to the more orthodox “Parcham strategy” that relied on ideologically less unholy alliances.”[xliii]
Leitzinger argued that the Russian secret services “gained a tight hold on international terrorism, and [especially] on Islamism” in the 1990s. The terrorist is, in essence, a special kind of agent provocateur. A Western analyst finds it difficult to see the Afghan-Soviet War or the first and second Chechen Wars as utilizing provocation techniques on a broad scale. Former CIA official T.H. Bagley and KGB defector Peter Deriabin noted, “Soviet provocation … remains little understood in the West. People safe in a democratic system may find it difficult to conceive that rulers would systematically use such hostile techniques against their own subjects.”[xliv]
If Moscow’s wars in Afghanistan and Chechnya were built around terrorist provocations, and the objective was to radicalize and infiltrate Islam, and reorient Islam against the West, then the wars in Afghanistan and Chechnya appear in a more intelligible light. The Soviet Union did not invade Afghanistan for conventional reasons, or to attain classical military control.
With the advent of the refugee crisis in Europe, with the likelihood of thousands of terrorists settled within a mass of protected Muslim refugees, the least sign of Russian involvement – or the involvement of Russia’s Islamist surrogates – ought to inspire a shockwave of alarm through Europe’s security establishment. Given the history of Moscow’s infiltration of Islam, and the mounting evidence of Russia’s double game, the Kremlin would be the most natural suspect in any close study of the refugee crisis. Arguably, any other focus would be irresponsible.
As reported by the BBC, U.S. Gen. Philip Breedlove, the senior NATO commander in Europe, said that Russia and Syria were “deliberately weaponizing migration in an attempt to overwhelm European structures and break European resolve.” He cited Russia’s use of barrel bombs against Syrian civilians. What was the purpose of such indiscriminate attacks? The purpose was, he said, to “get them [masses of people] on the road” to Europe.[xlv]
Masses of homeless people, adhering to an alien religion, is one problem for Europe. Terrorism is yet another. Since the refugee crisis began Europe has been hit with an unprecedented wave of terrorist attacks (not to mention rapes and robberies). First came the Paris killings of November 2015, then the Brussels bombings of March 2016, then the Nice truck attack and the Normandy church attack of July 2016. Then there was the string of Islamic stabbings across Europe.[xlvi]
Some of our sources (quoted above) have claimed that modern terrorism was introduced to the Muslims by the communist bloc half a century ago. This point must not be forgotten when evaluating the left’s strange love affair with Islam. “From the very beginning,” said former KGB Lt. Col. Konstantin Preobrazhensky, “the so-called Bolsheviks, or communists, were considering Muslims as the reserve [army], as the human resource for the world revolution. Not all … people know that the second appeal by Lenin, after the Great October Socialist Revolution in 1917, was addressed to Muslim toilers….” Preobrazhensky continued:
At that time Islam was the religion of the oppressed … of the people colonized by the West. As Lenin said by the time of the … Communist International, ‘The West is existing at the expense of the East.’ Even now we can hear such conclusions, such ideas. And as soon as the Russian Revolution took place, Russian Muslims immediately supported it, so that the communist Muslim military organizations were formed. The Muslim communists were dethroning the local bourgeois Muslim governments which appeared in the Russian Empire[xlvii].
Muslim refugees to Europe: a Russian policy
According to Antoni Rybczynski, “The migratory crisis in Europe is largely a work of Russian policy….” He further stated, “Already … when nobody expected Russian raids in Syria, Vladimir Putin warned that Europe would face the great problems associated with the influx of immigrants.” In this way Moscow supported Assad while undermining Europe.[xlviii]
Another Niezalezna.pl headline underscores this same idea: “Putin’s diabolical game, Exporting Muslim immigrants to Europe.” The article begins, “The Norwegian authorities believe that the refugees’ invasion of their country is a Russian provocation.”[xlix]
In October 2015 the Czech Minister of Defense, Martin Stropnicky, suggested that Russia was possibly financing the transportation of refugees to Europe. “Although I do not have 100 percent proof of this information,” he said, “I cannot discount it either.”[l] Given all we know, his surmise is logical. It is sensible. Why wouldn’t Russia – which has armed Islamic terrorists throughout Asia – arm Islamic terrorists in Germany, Britain, France or Sweden?
According to a member of the Estonian National Defense League, Ants Laaneots, “Putin’s aim is the disintegration of the European Union and NATO, if possible.” Russia, he added, is promoting “Euroscepticism.”[li] More likely, Russia’s strategy includes many subtle and indirect objectives. As with the work of the late Mohammad Fahim in Afghanistan, Russia can take over a NATO-defended country through the work of an enterprising criminal. Russia can thereby paralyze the heart of Afghanistan or the heart of Europe in a way that mocks European compassion.
The Chairman of the Supreme Council of Lithuania, Vytautas Landsbergis, made an observation on 15 September 2015 about the refugee crisis almost identical to others we have seen:
I was thinking who had to profit, and I know now. In the current crisis, the whole attention is focused on Europe. Nobody is speaking of Ukraine any more, although there are almost 2 million refugees there as well. Putin has chased them away, and nobody is proposing them to go where life is better….[lii]
According to Landsbergis, the current migration crisis is a threat to European civilization.
Europe has met a big danger for its own system, even for its own civilization. The Germans earlier had illusions, that they would manage to integrate a million Turks, that the Turks would become Germans and there would be no problem. It didn’t work. Ghettos were created, a state within the state, and these are big problems….[liii]
The Ukrainian MP, Anton Gerashchenko, speaking on TV Channel News One, stated:
The crisis of migrants in Europe arose because of Putin. The war in Syria began in 2011, but migrants flooded [Europe] like a large river in the spring of 2015. Russia made a decision after Europe imposed economic sanctions on Russia: ‘Let’s create problems for them.” They created a problem: $1,000 was allocated for the head of [each] refugee who will be taken from Syria to Europe. A million refugees are a billion dollars. This is nothing to Putin….[liv]
The cost to Europe, however, is much more than a $1 billion. Gerashchenko added that an atmosphere of xenophobia has been created in Europe along with the growing influence of various nationalist parties, which are known for their favorable position toward Putin’s Russia.
Whatever the causes of the Refugee crisis, Moscow’s strategists have taken full advantage of the situation. Those who know Russian policy best, who are geographically further east, know that Russia has something to gain. If a “smoking gun” is absent, in a strict sense, there is yet a loaded gun. One might say this gun is pointed at the heart of Europe.
With regard to proof, the strategist does not wear a white lab coat or follow some academic procedure to understand the world. He is not a prosecuting attorney who has to prove his case in a court of law. He is engaged in “a duel on an extensive scale” – which was Carl von Clausewitz’s famous definition of war. If military and political leaders only acted on the basis of scientific proof – or relied only on proofs that would be used to convince a jury – they would not be able to act at all. The soldier and the stateman exercise judgment on a more commonsense level.
Consider the following analogy: If it is 2 December 1941 and an American plane spots six Japanese aircraft carriers moving east between Alaska and Midway Island, a sensible strategist would assume that the Japanese were intending to attack the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor. The sensible strategist would be quite foolish to declare that “there was no proof” of a Japanese intention to attack. It would be pedantic, under the circumstances, to say there was “no smoking gun.” Strategy dictates an entirely different epistemology. The reported movement of the Japanese aircraft carriers would constitute a loaded gun, aimed at the U.S. Pacific Fleet. A responsible military leader does not wait for that gun to be fired. An American admiral, drawing the proper inferences, would know exactly what to do. He would alert the fleet at Pearl Harbor and take countermeasures. He would know, as one who directs fleets, that every enemy move speaks to intention. That must be the foundation of his certitude, of his practical knowledge.
In terms of the Muslim refugee crisis in Europe: reports of ISIS training camps in Russia, reports of GRU/SVR and Russian Mafia assistance to a massive influx of refugees, reports of Russian infiltration of terrorist organizations throughout the Muslim world, etc., constitute a loaded gun. We must judge these reports as strategists – not as social scientists. This must be the foundation of a new strategic methodology for the Muslim Refugee problem. Clearly, this is not simply about Islam. Russian involvement is indicated. Russian strategy must be understood as part of a greater strategic whole in order to properly assess the larger situation.
This research paper was written and researched by J.R. Nyquist and Dr. Anca-Maria Cernea. It was first published on May 29, 2018 at the website of the Center for Security Policy – Microsoft Word – Russia_Refugee_05-28-18.docx (centerforsecuritypolicy.org)
Footnotes and Links
[xii] The former intelligence official was interviewed by J.R. Nyquist on condition of anonymity.
[xiii] Katehon’s president is Konstantin Malofeev, a Russian oligarch with close ties to Aleksandr Dugin, previously the co-founder of the National Bolshevist movement (along with Eduard Limonov). This was a movement which combined nationalism and communism (i.e., a Red-Brown prototype movement). More recently Dugin changed his ideological formula, mixing pan-European or Eurasianist ideas with nihilistic metaphysics in order to justify a worldwide anti-U.S. alliance between traditionalist and Marxists. All this is interspersed with a thinly disguised Lenin-style anti-capitalist millenarianism which seeks to hasten the “end times” with the destruction of Carthage (i.e., the United States). Dugin’s pretense at Orthodox Christianity should not be taken any more seriously than his nationalist pretenses. His entire ideology is an arcane justification for a renewed USSR/Third Rome. His enemies are the old enemies of the USSR. His friends are the old friends of the USSR. Dugin’s philosophic sophistication is not to be taken seriously, though his past fascination with Aleister Crowley’s black magic craves closer investigation. Of course, Dugin’s flirtation with esoteric ideas has helped to win adherents on the alt-right, particularly among neo-pagans, occultists and Sufis. His supposed positive attitude toward traditional Christianity leads to the conclusion that he is consciously toying with dialectically opposed theologies and ideologies. Using conspiracy theory as a tool to advance his anti-U.S. agenda, Dugin also pretends to support President Donald Trump, making English language broadcasts praising Trump for stopping globalism and “the expansion of liberal ideology.” Dugin also praises Alex Jones and Infowars. To watch Dugin’s English language broadcasts, see – “The Mystic Shaping Russia’s Future and Bringing Back the Dark Ages, https://godsandradicals.org/2017/03/28/the-mystic-shaping-russias-future-and-ending-the-modern-era/. See also, http://www.4pt.su/en/content/who-aleksandr-dugin and https://www.nationalreview.com/2014/06/dugins-evil-theology-robert-zubrin/.
[xix] https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=27&v=F6vj0z_oZIs – at about 15 minutes into the interview.
[xxiv] From Żurawski’s written reply to Dr. Cernea.
[xxix] Bostan was minister from Nov. 2015 to July 2016.
[xxx] Written response to inquiry of former Communications and Information Minister Marius Bostan to Dr. Cernea, dated 3 March 2018.
[xxxvii] See, especially, Yao Ming-le, The Conspiracy and Death of Lin Biao (1983). There it is explained how Gen. Lin Biao secretly prepared to wage a phony war with the Soviet Union in 1971.
[xxxviii] See, especially, Bearden and Risen, The Main Enemy: The Inside Story of the CIA’s Final Showdown with the KGB (New York: Random House, 2003), p. 233.
[xl] Ronald Rychlak and Ion Mihai Pacepa, Disinformation: Former Spry Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism (WND Books, 2013). See also, Pacepa, Red Horizons: The True Story of Nicolae and Eana Ceausescus’ Crimes, Lifestyle, and Corruption (1990).
[xlii] Ibid. In this matter Leitzinger offers citations from the following sources: Livingston & Halevy, Inside the PLO (USA, 1990), p. 153-154; and Kuzichkin, Inside the KGB – Myth and Reality (Frome, 1990), p. 302.
[xliii] Leitzinger referenced Finnish researcher Anssi Kullberg’s master’s thesis on Russian geopolitics focusing on the Islamic Renaissance Party founded in Astrakhan in June 1990, “under KGB surveillance.” Kullberg
[xliv] Deriabin and Bagley, KGB: Masters of the Soviet Union (New York, 1990), p. 252.
[xlvii] Konstantin Preobrazhensky: “How the Russian Communists Run Islam.” https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Preobrazhensky+Konstantin+How+the+Russian+Communists+run+Islamic+Terrorism+https%3a%2f%2fwww.youtube.com%2fwatch%3fv%3d0AqMCLqTRFo&PC=ACTS&refig=ebf0ef63163f4c948bcf96c60aeb434a&ru=%2fsearch%3fq%3dPreobrazhensky%2bKonstantin%2bHow%2bthe%2bRussian%2bCommunists%2brun%2bIslamic%2bTerrorism%2bhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.youtube.com%252Fwatch%253Fv%253D0AqMCLqTRFo%26FORM%3dEDGNCT%26PC%3dACTS%26refig%3debf0ef63163f4c948bcf96c60aeb434a&view=detail&mmscn=vwrc&mid=19EC1DC31D497F37378719EC1DC31D497F373787&FORM=WRVORC
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