Posted by Lex, on June 3, 2010
IHH, the Turkish NGO that sent “peace” activists armed with clubs to Gaza, has some strange antecedents according to Bill Gertz:
Terrorism specialist Evan Kohlmann said in a blog posting that he has come under fire for pointing out the terrorist links to the IHH that have been known for more than 10 years.
“The evidence in this regard is fairly weighty, and much of it comes directly from the Turkish government — not the United States, nor the Israelis,” he said…
According to Mr. Kohlmann, Turkish authorities launched an investigation into IHH in 1997 after it was disclosed that its leaders were buying automatic weapons from Islamic militant groups in the region.
In a report he wrote before the recent Israeli raid, Mr. Kohlmann said IHH offices in Istanbul were searched and security forces found firearms, explosives and bomb-making instructions, along with a jihad flag.
“After analyzing seized IHH documents, Turkish authorities concluded that ‘detained members of IHH were going to fight in Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Chechnya,’” he stated…
“The IHH is an NGO, but it was kind of a type of coverup in order to obtain forged documents and also to obtain different forms of infiltration for mujahideen in combat,” he said. “And also to go and gather [recruit] these mujahideens. And finally, one of the last responsibilities that they had was also to be implicated or involved in weapons trafficking.”
The failed Millennium plot involved a plan for an Algerian-Jordanian terrorist cell cooperating with al Qaeda to attack the Los Angeles airport as well as sites in the Middle East.
Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, said the Turkish government’s support for IHH in the latest incident is a troubling sign.
“The Turkish government has been very careful to abide by the rules and keep its nose clean and keep itself totally removed from violent groups,” Mr. Pipes said in an interview. “Now the true face of the regime is coming to light.”
Too true, alas.
Turkey tried for decades to move West and join the EU, but the largely “Post-Christian boys club” of Europe was not terribly keen on opening its borders to hordes of pastoral Anatolians looking for work and social benefits. Europe set up one obstacle after another, which helped lead in time to the rise of Recep Erdogan’s Islamist AKP despite the misgivings of Turkey’s powerful and staunchly secular military.
Turkey has promised additional seaborne aid to Gaza, this time under Turkish naval escort.
We live in interesting times.