Why Americans Don't Understand Terrorism, At All

by Joe Giambrone

“Their message to us was ‘We’ve created this movement, and we can control it.’ It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs; it’s who they throw them at—Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians, if they continue to work with Hezbollah and Iran.” Seymour Hersh, The Redirection, 2007

We live in an invisible empire, and so the mechanics of the empire are never openly discussed with the rabble. Americans don’t comprehend how power actually works across the planet that their country seeks to control. They live from momentary headline to headline without any honest, in-depth analysis of why events like the Manchester bombing occur and keep occurring.
When it comes to terrorism it is dire, urgent, and desperate that the public understand, if anything is to change. But it certainly appears that Americans never will. Perhaps Britons may, and then lead the effort to stop it.
In the United States, a bigoted faction demonizes all Muslims. That faction calls for more weapons and for their own wanton terror to be perpetrated everywhere. An opposing faction absolves all Muslims and calls for peace and reconciliation…with suicide bombers? The two sides mindlessly shout clichés back and forth at one another in a cacophony, and they drown out the larger global issues that have transpired for many years. The public is thus rendered impotent, irrelevant and ignored: divided and conquered.
Gross historical ignorance leads to this inability to see what should be glaringly obvious: the deep state—covert intelligence agencies operating in secret—play a “double game.” They are in bed with terrorists, whom they see as useful proxies. The terrorists do their dirty work for them in places like Libya, Syria, Chechnya and Dagestan.
Americans are largely incapable of comprehending what a proxy is. It’s one level too abstract. Ask people on the street about such matters, and the results would be akin to the 64% who cannot even find North Korea on a map. Korea’s location is in no way a secret, and the government doesn’t officially deny its existence.
The corporate media has been criminal in distracting the public from the role of western allied intelligence agencies in these terror games. Despite the decade-long Afghanistan Jihad against the Soviets, the similarities of multiple current conflicts do not make it onto the evening news shows. This default censorship extends into so-called “alternative” media too. There is an unspoken air of collusion with intelligence in the United States. Some matters, for example Operation Gladio, are simply never, ever brought up. That chapter has been tossed down Orwell’s Memory Hole.

Just what is a “proxy” and “proxy war?”

The Cambridge Dictionary says:

a war fought between groups or smaller countries that each represent the interests of other larger powers, and may have help and support from these.”

Al Qaeda has been a proxy for US, Saudi and Pakistani interests since at least 1979, when Jimmy Carter’s CIA began aiding them and setting up the largest logistical support network in its history: Operation Cyclone. While official government claims mislead the public into assuming that the relationship ended in the late 1980s, it did not.
Al Qaeda maintains relationships with US allies, notably Saudi Arabia and Pakistan (where bin Laden lived for a decade and Ayman Zawahiri is assumed to be right now). Other states in the Persian Gulf region such as Qatar, Kuwait and Turkey are also implicated. These nations receive US arms and US protection. Although they are repeatedly exposed for aiding and abetting Al Qaeda and associated groups operating under various names, these countries are tolerated and rewarded by US administrations and other Western powers.
This absurdity can only continue because of the gross ignorance and the distractibility of western populations.

“Saudis Bankroll Taliban, Even as King Officially Supports Afghan Government”
NY Times, Dec. 6 2016

The Manchester bombing produced some uncharacteristically revealing news reports in the UK, but these are censored to US audiences. US media is more tightly controlled, apparently, when it comes to the shenanigans of western intelligence services protecting terrorists.

Here is what we learned about Manchester:

One of the friends who called the anti-terrorism hotline about one of the London Bridge attackers said, “’He was not arrested and was allowed to keep his passport. I did my bit, I know a lot of other people did their bit, but the authorities did not do their bit.”
Previously, and related, a radical Muslim cleric named Anjem Choudary was protected from arrest by MI5 for nearly twenty years!

Met counter-terror officers often felt they enough evidence to build a case against the radicalising cleric, only to be told to hang fire by MI5, because he was crucial to one of their on-going investigations, a source has claimed… After almost 20-years at the forefront of radical Islam in Britain, Choudary was finally convicted of a terrorism offence last month and faces up to ten years in prison when he is sentenced on September 6. But following his conviction it was revealed that the 49-year-old former lawyer had been linked to at least 15 terror plots dating back as far as 2001.”

Needless to say, those five warnings flagging Manchester bomber Salman Abedi were completely ignored by authorities—for some reason. This is very similar to the warnings about the Tsarnaev Brothers in 2013. The pattern is almost identical to the Boston Marathon Bombing.
Russia sent the FBI two warnings about the Tsarnaevs including one that was ignored after Tamerlan met with a known extremist guerrilla leader in Dagestan. Israel’s DEBKAFile suggested at the time that the Tsarnaevs were being recruited by US intelligence to go stir up trouble in the Russian provinces of Chechnya and Dagestan. This was confirmed by Michele McPhee in her recent book Maximum Harm: The Tsarnaev Brothers, the FBI, and the Road to the Marathon Bombing.
Warnings were ignored, systematically, in both cases. Numerous warnings were also ignored concerning the 9/11 attacks, and for similar reasons. FBI chief division counsel Coleen Rowley explained in painstaking detail how her efforts to stop the 9/11 attacks were blocked by her own headquarters.

Within days of terrorist suspect Zaccarias Moussaoui’s arrest in Minnesota on Aug. 16, 2001, French intelligence confirmed that Moussaoui had been fighting under and recruiting for [Chechen Al Qaeda leader] Ibn al-Khattab, raising concerns about Moussaoui’s flight training. Yet FBI Headquarters officials balked at allowing a search of his laptop and other property, still refusing to recognize that: 1) the Chechen separatists were themselves a “terrorist group” for purposes of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act’s (FISA) legal requirement of acting “on behalf of a foreign power” and 2) that Moussaoui’s link to Ibn al Khattab inherently then linked him to bin Laden’s well-recognized Al Qaeda group for purposes of FISA (the point in my memo).”

The Minnesota FBI agents were thwarted from investigating Moussaoui’s intelligence, and it remained untouched when hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center and Pentagon a month later.
Those are three clear examples of interference in the fight against terrorism on western soil. A fourth example is the Berlin 2016 Christmas attack, which killed 12 and injured 56 others. “The attack was carried out by a man whom security officials across Germany were very well aware of,” according to the Interior Minister Ralf Jäger. Anis Amri was investigated seven times before striking, and yet officials claimed that nothing could be done about him. The public is to believe that the entire law enforcement and intelligence apparatus of Germany is powerless against one man. Police knew prior to his attack that he had traveled through Germany under 14 different aliases.
Newsbud compiled a timeline to dispute the claims of German officials:

26 September 2016:
Tunisian and Moroccan security authorities inform the North Rhine-Westphalia LKA that Amri is an Islamic State supporter, that he is in contact with suspected Tunisian terrorists in Libya, “wants to carry out a project” in Germany and is staying in Berlin. German authorities receive similar information on October 14 and October 26.

Coincidentally, that December, German intelligence produced a report that “10,000” Salafists were living in Germany. The report pointed the finger at Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait for their direct funding and support to “mosques, religious schools,” and “hardline preachers.”
The corporate media in the US today is a cacophony of irrelevant distraction. There, 99% of what is broadcast about terrorist attacks is completely unrelated to why it actually happened or how to stop it from happening again. TV news serves only as propaganda and does not inform its viewers of these otherwise knowable facts above.
The public would be far more attuned to these security breaches, and the impunity which surrounds them, if they understood modern history, and particularly the history since 1948 with the creation of the CIA and the “National Security State.” Soon after, we have it on the record, that the CIA began engaging in false-flag terrorism. It was a key component of Operation Ajax, the criminal plot to overthrow the democratically elected president of Iran.
New York Times revealed, in 2000 (47 years late):

“The [CIA’s own] history says agency officers orchestrating the Iran coup worked directly with royalist Iranian military officers, handpicked the prime minister’s replacement, sent a stream of envoys to bolster the shah’s courage, directed a campaign of bombings by Iranians posing as members of the Communist Party, and planted articles and editorial cartoons in newspapers.” (emphasis added)

Upon this “success,” the destruction of Iranian democracy and the installation of a murderous tyrant, the Central Intelligence Agency was thus encouraged to engage in more anti-communist false-flag attacks. That was Operation Gladio, a “forty year” spree of state-sponsored terrorist attacks across Europe, according to the BBC investigation.
Clearly we should be listening to meticulous experts like Dr. Nafeez Ahmed, rather than the barrage of talking heads who obfuscate on CNN. The Strategy of Tension persists and is the conceptual foundation of the perpetual “War on Terrorism.”

“The ‘strategy of tension’ denotes a highly secretive series of interconnected covert operations conducted jointly by the CIA and MI6 largely in Western Europe during this period. Well-documented by several respected historians, confirmed by official inquiries, and corroborated by former intelligence officials, the ‘strategy of tension’ is one of those unsavoury moments in contemporary history that we don’t learn about in school, or even university… The objective was to galvanize public opinion against leftwing policies and parties, and ultimately to mobilize popular support for purportedly anti-Soviet policies at home and abroad – most of which were really designed to legitimize brutal military interventions against nationalist independence movements in the ‘Third World’.”

Terrorism serves those who would destroy civil liberties at home and wage wars of aggression abroad. Attacks on random civilians have been allowed to proceed, and the efforts of lower-level law enforcement officers halted in their tracks, over and over again in multiple allied nations. That is the main reason we see repeated high-profile attacks perpetrated by people who are well-known to the security-intelligence complexes that are supposed to stop them but choose not to.

Joe Giambrone publishes Political Film Blog, where all these stories were tagged and compiled.

  1. Seymour M. Hersh, The Redirection, 2007, The New Yorker, http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/03/05/the-redirection
  2. Joe Giambrone, Why ISIS Exists: The Double Game, 2015, International Policy Digest, http://intpolicydigest.org/2015/11/29/why-isis-exists-the-double-game/
  3. If Americans Can Find North Korea on a Map, They’re More Likely to Prefer Diplomacy, Kevin Quealey, May 14, 2017, NY Times, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/05/14/upshot/if-americans-can-find-north-korea-on-a-map-theyre-more-likely-to-prefer-diplomacy.html
  4. Operation Gladio, BBC 2, 1992, Youtube, https://youtu.be/GGHXjO8wHsA
  5. Operation Cyclone, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Cyclone
  6. Evidence of Financial Links Between Saudi Royal Family and Al Qaeda, NY Times, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/documents/evidence-of-financial-links-between-saudi-royal-family-and-al-qaeda
  7. Nafeez Ahmed, Insurge Intelligence, The bin Laden death mythology Official history of raid camouflages US protection of governments behind 9/11, https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/the-bin-laden-death-mythology-9a3776a6e3c3
  8. Gizmodo, May 23, 2017, Here’s What Saudi Arabia Is Buying In Its $110 Billion Arms Deal, https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2017/05/heres-what-saudi-arabia-is-buying-in-its-110-billion-arms-deal/
  9. The Independent, UK, Home Office may not publish terrorist funding report amid claims it focuses on Saudi Arabia, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/home-office-terrorist-funding-report-saudia-arabia-focus-not-publish-conservatives-government-a7766381.html
  10. Saudis Bankroll Taliban, Even as King Officially Supports Afghan Government, NY Times, Dec. 6 2016 Security services missed five opportunities to stop the Manchester bomber, UK Telegraph, June 6 2017, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/24/security-services-missed-five-opportunities-stop-manchester/
  11. The Daily Mail, FBI ‘warned MI5 in January that the Manchester bomber was planning an attack on Britain’, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4548892/FBI-warned-MI5-Manchester-bomber-planning-attack.html
  12. The Telegraph, Everything we know about Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi, May 26, 2017, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/26/everything-know-manchester-suicide-bomber-salman-abedi/
  13. RT, Manchester bomber’s father and brother arrested in Tripoli, May 24, 2017, https://www.rt.com/uk/389604-father-salman-abedi-libya/
  14. The Telegraph, Everything we know about Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi, May 26, 2017, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/26/everything-know-manchester-suicide-bomber-salman-abedi/
  15. The Times, Huge scale of terror threat revealed: UK home to 23,000 jihadists, May 27, 2017, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/huge-scale-of-terror-threat-revealed-uk-home-to-23-000-jihadists-3zvn58mhq
  16. Middle East Eye, ‘Sorted’ by MI5: How UK government sent British-Libyans to fight Gaddafi, May 25, 2017, http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/sorted-mi5-how-uk-government-sent-british-libyans-fight-gaddafi-1219906488
  17. John Pilger, Libya’s Link to Manchester’s Tragedy, May 31, 2017, https://consortiumnews.com/2017/05/31/libyas-link-to-manchesters-tragedy/
  18. The Daily Mail, Flagged to MI5, arrested with a fake passport, and shopped by their own mothers: ALL EIGHTEEN glaring red flags the UK security forces missed that could have stopped the London Bridge killers, June 7, 2017, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4580832/18-missed-chances-catch-London-Bridge-killers.html
  19. The Telegraph, MI5 stopped Scotland Yard taking Choudary down, sources claim, August 21, 2016, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/21/mi5-stopped-scotland-yard-taking-choudary-down-sources-claim/
  20. The Daily Mail, Russia asked FBI to investigate bomber just 6 MONTHS ago after being spotted with ‘a militant’ on trip to Dagestan: Was it this known terrorist who Boston killer liked on YouTube?, April 21, 2013,http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2312496/Tamerlan-Tsarnaev-Russia-asked-FBI-investigate-Boston-bomber-just-6-MONTHS-ago.html
  21. The Daily Mail, EXCLUSIVE: The moment America welcomed the Boston Marathon bomber into its arms 10 years before he turned murderously against U.S. ‘because he felt betrayed’, March 21, 2017, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4267964/Boston-Marathon-bomber-worked-U-S-government.html
  22. Debkafile, “The Tsarnaev brothers were double agents who decoyed US into terror trap”, http://debka.com/article/22914/The-Tsarnaev-brothers-were-double-agents-who-decoyed-US-into-terror-trap
  23. Michele McPhee, Amazon, Maximum Harm: The Tsarnaev Brothers, the FBI, and the Road to the Marathon Bombing
  24. Coleen Rowley, Chechen Terrorists and the Neocons, April 19, 2013, https://consortiumnews.com/2013/04/19/chechen-terrorists-and-the-neocons/
  25. RT, Berlin truck attacker Anis Amri acted on orders of top IS commander – report, April 15, 2017, https://www.rt.com/news/384893-berlin-truck-amri-isis/
  26. Newsbud, Newsbud Exclusive – The Anis Amri Timeline: How German Authorities Allowed a Well-Known Terrorist Suspect to Strike Berlin, January 10, 2017,
  27. Independent, Saudi Arabia and Gulf states ‘support Islamic extremism in Germany,’ intelligence report finds, December 14, 2016,
  28. NY Times, SECRETS OF HISTORY: The C.I.A. in Iran — A special report.; How a Plot Convulsed Iran in ’53 (and in ’79), April 16, 2000,
  29. Operation Gladio, BBC 2, 1992, Youtube,
  30. Nafeez Ahmed, The Cutting Edge, The Strategy of Tension, May 14, 2007


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Lisa Thompson
Lisa Thompson
Aug 29, 2017 11:20 PM

Hey there, I became able to submit this response employing a perfect proxy from https://publicproxy.net/

Jun 14, 2017 9:36 PM

Americans as most understand terrorism, but what is a terrorist? The unknowns who plant the bombs and pull the triggers or the academics who author security papers that treat nations like bowling pins? Those that support ‘humanitarian’ interventions whilst never troubling themselves over the practicalities or those whose land and families have been taken and have nothing left to loose? The list is endless as are the variations and levels of culpability. Most I would imagine concurrently pursue decent activities, how are we to decide unless we are presented with evidence. Who presents the evidence and how thorough has it been? Our experience and bias prove how little we know. We understand terrorism, we just aren’t sure who they are.

Jun 14, 2017 8:54 AM

PS What’s the point of that lo-res image embedded in the article? Is it supposed to support the “reality” of the Manchester event? Because it shows nothing, really. It’s time to get a little smarter about these things; “alt News” should be a counter- or antidote to “News”, not a subset of it.
PS Google “Manchester bombing” and the top image-results show the serious devastation… of the IRA Manchester Bombing of 1996. Peculiar, no? But psychologically astute. If you don’t have convincing images from the current event, borrow the images from elsewhere… (there’s even an image of the bomb’s flash, and a separate image of the smoke plume, from the 1996 explosion, 20 years before the UK became a high-tech surveillance state… )

Jun 14, 2017 8:27 AM

“Gross historical ignorance leads to this inability to see what should be glaringly obvious: the deep state—covert intelligence agencies operating in secret—play a “double game.” They are in bed with terrorists, whom they see as useful proxies.” You make it sound as though, if the Deep State were to do nothing… if it stopped acting entirely… then the “terrorists” would keep committing terrorist acts on their own; but who would arm and pay them? Who would train them? Who would give them orders and invent, then advertize, their “cause” with Mass Media? You make the Deep State sound as if it’s only one element in a larger equation. You stop rather short of painting the whole picture. Semantics is part of the problem. “The Deep State” sounds so small, shadowy and rogue-ish compared to that big, smiling, well-meaning and sunlit dope we think of “The State” as being. Had there… Read more »

Jun 14, 2017 12:47 PM
Reply to  StAug

StAug, why aren’t you writing articles?

Jun 14, 2017 12:55 PM
Reply to  flaxgirl
Jun 14, 2017 1:00 PM
Reply to  flaxgirl

Here’s a long one that’s, in essence, about the worthy-of-suspicion “Grey Wolf” publishing company and related “agents of influence”…

Jun 15, 2017 7:00 AM
Reply to  StAug

ooops: “Graywolf”

Guiseppe B
Guiseppe B
Jun 15, 2017 8:40 PM
Reply to  StAug

Is there an agreement that the UK sells arms to Saudi Arabia whilst the US supplies Israel?

Jun 15, 2017 10:01 PM
Reply to  Guiseppe B

Yes indeed; now: do you realize how deeply Saudi Arabia and Israel are intertwined….?

Jun 14, 2017 7:49 AM

The inquest that this article calls for – an examination into the roots of terrorism – could well be the pre-eminent issue of our times (along with the genocidal economy and the ecocidal pollution of the environment – but these can no longer be viewed as three separate issues.) The question is not confined to American’s: though Lord knows, they really could do with understanding their own covert history – but so could the rest of us. The world is facing a pan-global terrorist crisis. As I have said before, the GWOT has morphed into a global war on humanity: a war that can only continue to escalate as Neoliberal Capitalism becomes ever more cancerous and all consuming. To glean some sort of answer we will have to delve into the dual nature of the State: the overt political agenda and the deeper covert parapolitical agenda. We need to look… Read more »

Dead World Walking
Dead World Walking
Jun 14, 2017 1:37 AM

It’s their most insidious and ugly weapon.
It creates hate and division.
It destroys lives.
It ‘allows’ justification for war crimes.
It must be fought on every front.

Eric Blair
Eric Blair
Jun 14, 2017 12:13 AM

Max Forte’s latest article at Zero Anthropology is a good companion piece to this one. Both deal with the same issue but from slightly different angles.

von Col
von Col
Jun 14, 2017 3:50 AM
Reply to  Eric Blair

Agree, the article in your link is “a good companion piece”.
From the linked article:
“After consolidating the biggest ever wealth transfer in history, with the redistribution of wealth from the working classes and periphery to the top of the global power pyramid, the transnational capitalist class is anxious to defend its gains. One way to achieve that is divide and rule, to have all of us fighting against each other
“We are all meant to be packed in together, ignorant and suspicious of each other, like rats in a barrel…because that is what heightens competition, and as you know, competition is the mother of “innovation” according to the gurus of the “creative class”
“Tolerance for extremism comes from the highest levels, and it is always ordinary citizens who are made to pay the price, by design”

Jun 13, 2017 9:23 PM

So now it’s become pretty clear America is in league with so-called ISIS & Al Qaeda, what does that tell us about 9/11 ??

Jun 14, 2017 12:03 AM

As Tubularsock has said often:
“9/11 was not an Inside Job. It was outsourced job.
The U.S. outsource all their terrorist activities.
It’s the American Way!

Jun 13, 2017 4:15 PM

US foreign policy, both deep state and the shallow version for public consumption, is controlled by AIPAC and ergo; Israel. Your failure to mention this pertinent fact makes me wonder just how far “off” offguardian really is.

Jun 13, 2017 4:12 PM

Reblogged this on Worldtruth.

Jun 13, 2017 4:01 PM

Tubularsock says that the fact that you ONCE AGAIN had to repeat all of this well known information (well done by the way) goes to show that the powers that be don’t want people to know. It is an OPEN secret yet people still look the other way. Even when one can find this information easily if you look.
All Tubularsock can figure is that the fear of knowing and accepting your own government is “in on it” is just too scary to face up to.

Jun 13, 2017 7:28 PM
Reply to  tubularsock

And then the UK Tories go into an alliance with the DUP. Hard on terrorism…?
Yep, they’ll support it – the harder the better!

von Col
von Col
Jun 14, 2017 3:59 AM
Reply to  tubularsock

“the fear of knowing and accepting your own government is “in on it””
Not objecting to it and not saying anything is the same as giving consensus to murdering innocents in third world countries.

Jun 13, 2017 3:15 PM

People in GB don´t understand too!
“Great Britain: What to Make of the Terrible Terror Attacks?”: https://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2017/06/12/great-britain-what-to-make-of-the-terrible-attacks/

Jun 13, 2017 2:57 PM

Excellent and sobering article. Shared on Facebook. Thanks.