Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 28, 2014

U.S. State Department Tweets Incite People To Join Terrorist Groups

The U.S. State Department is running some odd (dis-)information campaign under the name "Think Again Turn Away". It is using so called "social media" to, supposedly, deter people from joining extreme international groups. It has a Facebook page with 8,450 likes and a Twitter account with some 12,700 followers.

But the whole program seem to be run by some bumbling intern. How please is this tweet supposed to deter young, easily impressed people from joining the Islamic State or any other extremist group fighting against the Syrian government?

That tweet is a direct invitation to join any of the hundreds of extremist insurgency groups that are fighting against the governments in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.

That the above tweet is inciting people to join to commit terrorism against the Syrian state is not the only issue. Its content is a lie. The British doctor in question came to Syria illegally and provided medical services to insurgents. He was caught and put into jail. There he hanged himself:

A British surgeon, imprisoned in Syria for over a year, has died in detention, his family has told the BBC.

Dr Abbas Khan, a 32-year-old orthopaedic surgeon from Streatham, south London, travelled to the city of Aleppo last year to help civilians.
A Syrian government official said Dr Khan had committed suicide in his cell.
Last week the family expressed concern that Dr Khan was depressed and may want to harm himself.

If a depressed man with known suicidal tendencies hangs himself in prison and there is zero evidence of any other involvement in his death how can the State Department claim that he "was killed by regime forces"?

The link in the above State Department tweet goes to an AlJazeerah story. AlJazeerah is a TV station financed by the government of Qatar which has also given billions in cash and weapons to insurgents in Syria including, at least indirectly, to Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State. Is promoting Qatari government media and thereby its policies of promoting terrorism now also one of the State Department's tasks?

The State Department tweet is linking media of the terrorist supporting Qatari government with a false claim about a doctor`s death to incite against the Syrian government. It thereby justifies terrorism attacks against the Syrian state and its people. Such justifications incite young people, especially in the "west", to join Jihadist groups that are fighting against government forces in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. Is that an expression of the State Department's official policy?

Foggy Bottom should "Think Again" about this media campaign and "Turn Away" from such primitive policies.

Posted by b on October 28, 2014 at 17:28 UTC | Permalink


If a depressed man with known suicidal tendencies hangs himself in prison and there is zero evidence of any other involvement in his death how can the State Department claim that he "was killed by regime forces"?

by lying

Posted by: john | Oct 28 2014 17:37 utc | 1

When the story broke(LAST WINTER) the spin was that he 'hung himself', as in he was suicided while in jail, ie killed by Assad.

Down the memory hole again with ... everything. In case we've forgotten, facts don't actually matter to the American regime.

Posted by: L Bean | Oct 28 2014 18:08 utc | 2

it's a big fish net for the really stupid.. the fact the state dept is engaged in lying and fishing should be no surprise..

Posted by: james | Oct 28 2014 18:26 utc | 3

Actually, a lot of the (german) online coverage about the IS seemed like hardly disguised advertisements to me, even or maybe especially in the "big" ones, Spiegel, FAZ and so on. There has been more than just the odd article that shows young men in heroic fighting poses accompanied by lines that say how good the pay is, how the IS advances and how their revenue increases. And it's not very surprising: the "private owned" media write what they're paid for and it would be strange if there weren't some "rich man from the gulf" who'd pay for a featured ad in the big "magazines".
It's frustrating to experience how many people, even intelligent ones, still think that the mainstream press in its average represents "reality", not "advertisement".

Posted by: radiator | Oct 28 2014 18:51 utc | 4

What you say makes me think of the BBC pics of the nazi guy in Norway who had killed dozens of students.

Posted by: Mina | Oct 28 2014 19:12 utc | 5

Add to that the fights between neonazis and salafists in Hamburg and now Köln and we get a picture of the coming years in the EU. Better than a colour revolution...

Posted by: Mina | Oct 28 2014 19:22 utc | 6

I wonder if ISIS (and Ebola for that matter), will be such hot topics once the AmeriKan midterm sham-elections are finished next week.

Radiator - the jMSM is a joke. Too many people taking that whole "free press" thing way too seriously - didn't even notice when it became AmeriKan Admin. bullhorn for whatever group of out-of-touch rich assholes happen to be running the show.

Posted by: Farflungstar | Oct 28 2014 19:25 utc | 7

@7 The midterms aren't entirely shams. The GOP's internal division was covered because there was a fondness for Dubya that only he could achieve. Jeb can't, and this is a pre-9/11 division. There are brownshirt types and the old country club types. The government shutdown and even the Congressional opposition to Syria intervention was led by the brown shirts. They wield considerable power within the GOP. Race baiting, abortion, gay marriage, and money for churches and their areas kept them in line, but they aren't pawns they've been made out to be. The whole Tea Party was designed to prepare them for the former governor of Massachusetts and Mormon, Mitt Romney, after Romney failed in 2008 despite competition from the likes of McCain and Hucklebee.

This kind of Republican has no use for any Democrat, and they aren't all official Teabaggers. There may not be workable majorities. This same element has largely opposed Obama so far. They won't stop for Hillary. They hate her even more, and Hillary won't attract younger voters because no one under 40 cares about Hillary becoming the first post title IX, democratic first lady.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Oct 28 2014 19:47 utc | 8

NTG @ 8

Thanks, awesome response. Some people are already calling it as Jeb vs. Hillary for 2016.
Talk about unlikable! Bad vs. worse! Tweedledee and Tweedleblecch!

Posted by: Farflungstar | Oct 28 2014 20:29 utc | 9

The media withn its constant demonisation of Syrias President Assad is also one of the maion means of recruitment of impressionable sunnis, who believe that the media tells the truth:

► 4:21

Posted by: brian | Oct 28 2014 21:39 utc | 10

IN THE NOW ‏@INTHENOWRT ·1 hr1 hour ago
Who would have thought new #NATO chief would be a former anti-war activist. @jensstoltenberg

Posted by: brian | Oct 28 2014 21:49 utc | 11


What fights between neonazis and salafists? Sounds interesting.

Posted by: Massinissa | Oct 28 2014 22:17 utc | 12

FSA are hardly distinguishable from all the other groups of terrorists who the West have been playing footsie with over the years, the IS role was to attack the Shia arc of "so called extremism" by first of all toppling Assad, then Hez, leaving Iran isolated, another question is why the Iraqi army has not been sufficiently equipped, including the non appearance of US f16's already paid for by Iraq. US policy in the middle east cannot have been thought through, not when they have a policy of supporting "good terrorists" against "bad terrorists".
The US hope that when when the good terrorists defeat the bad ones,they will go on to defeat the Syrian Army. What are these US planners smoking?

Posted by: harry law | Oct 28 2014 22:19 utc | 13

ISIS already control most of Kobane

Posted by: sattlite | Oct 28 2014 22:29 utc | 14

"Actually, a lot of the (german) online coverage about the IS seemed like hardly disguised advertisements to me, even or maybe especially in the "big" ones, Spiegel, FAZ and so on."

I get this sense too. There seems to be a lot of stories lately about people going to join ISIS or other groups. Of course the three teenage girls from Denver are just a part of it.

There are so many stories though:

Libyan Rebels Banish U.S. Student Who Joined Fighting for Summer Vacation
Second known American joins Kurds in battle against Islamic State
Exclusive: American explains why he's fighting ISIL
Hagel reveals 'over 100 US citizens' are fighting alongside ISIS in the Middle East – a huge increase from previous estimates
More Western fighters joining militants in Iraq and Syria
An American citizen is killed ‘fighting for freedom’ in Libya

Also, news to me about Eric Harroun, who fought with Syrian "rebels": US Army Vet Eric Harroun, Who Fought in Syria, Died at Home

Posted by: guest77 | Oct 28 2014 23:03 utc | 15

Maybe all the press surrounding US citizens going to the ME to fight (ie, becoming radicalized) is priming the pump for a home grown terrorist coming back to commit terrorist acts in the US. That news story would be a distraction lasting some time. The school shootings are becoming so common that their "distraction quotient" has been severely reduced.

Posted by: linda amick | Oct 28 2014 23:59 utc | 16

Is promoting Qatari government media and thereby its policies of promoting terrorism now also one of the State Department's tasks?

The U.S. military orchestrates the air war over Iraq and Syria from a hulking command center on the vast al-Udeid Air Base, a Qatari-owned encampment that is home to 8,000 American military personnel and dozens of Air Force jets. Giant video screens inside the windowless, two-story structure allow troops to track every plane and observe live footage from every drone involved in operations against the Islamic State. Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar has been a major resource in supporting the air war on Afghanistan, and now the air war on ISIS including surveillance, electronic attack and bombing.

The US Air Force’s Combined Air and Space Operations Center (CAOC) is a high-tech facility filled with rows of computer stations, each one with between two and six screens. Think of NASA’s mission control, just with more screens at each station. In the front of the room, four mammoth screens were projected onto the wall.

Al Udeid is also host to a forward headquarters of United States Central Command, headquarters of United States Air Forces Central, No. 83 Expeditionary Air Group RAF, and the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing of the USAF.

Twenty miles to the northeast, in the heart of Doha, an opulent and fast-growing capital city, the even more gargantuan Grand Mosque has served as a key outpost for al-Qaeda-linked rebels fighting the Syrian regime. From a pulpit under ringed chandeliers, several clerics have exhorted the faithful to open their wallets in support of Syrian resistance groups. Some of the clerics have boasted of directing money toward Jabhat al-Nusra, which the U.S. government has classified as a terrorist organization linked to al-Qaeda.

So I think we might conclude that promoting Qatari government media and thereby its policies of promoting terrorism is now also one of the State Department's tasks. What's new, pussycat? Promoting terrorism has been a long-standing US policy. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamanei: “the enemy invests to provoke proxy wars in the region and hopes for wars between Shiites and Sunnis.”

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 29 2014 2:07 utc | 17

Sorry to be OT but I must say I am happy that Matt Taibbi has followed Marcy Wheeler off Omidyar's payroll. Too many good journos have been seduced into the failed enterprise.

Posted by: Ben Franklin | Oct 29 2014 13:51 utc | 18

Like in the Iraqi war where the Bush administration wanted the public opinion to consider Saddam Hossein as an Al Qaeda leader, the US is now manipulating the media to make the Syrian government a partner of ISIS.

Posted by: Virgile | Oct 29 2014 14:19 utc | 19

The Pakistani-British doctor was about to be released from a low security jail where he was teaching english to the inmates and healing others. His mother visited him several times and he told her he was OK. He was due to be released imminently.
Why would the Syrian intelligence kill him in the jail in such a theatrical setup at the last minute when he could have been killed discreetly a long time ago when no one knew his whereabouts?
In my view, the doctor was mentally disturbed by what had happened to him on the field and in the jail. He may have developed the Stockholm syndrome and did not want to leave his jailers. Or he killed himself because maybe there was something he did that he was ashamed of and that he feared would be revealed after he left Syria. There are many possibilities and an inquest in the jail with the inmates who knew him could reveal what was his state of mind. But who would believe the outcome of the inquest if if does not point the finger to the Syrian intelligence?
The Syrian intelligence are not that stupid to decide to kill such a publicized British citizen. They can be accused of everything but not of that.

Posted by: Virgile | Oct 29 2014 14:38 utc | 20

ot - "Omidyar's payroll".... is that some type version of a black hole?

Posted by: james | Oct 29 2014 17:25 utc | 21

its not all about wahhabis or takfiris..ordinary sunnis are recruited by the media lies about president Assad being an oppressive tyrant
take this sad case case:
'The sister of a teenage jihadi from Brighton who was killed fighting in Syria last week wrote a tribute to her brother on Facebook.

Aîóshà Deghayes wrote that her brother Jaffar Deghayes “died as an honorable man helping fight an oppressive tyrant,” and that his last words were the Islamic testament of faith.

Jaffar Deghayes, 17, is believed to have died last weekend. He left his home in Saltdean, Brighton, in January this year to go to Syria to fight alongside rebels aiming to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.


“All young Muslims, however young and naive, who thinks to go to Syria out of kindness and to try to make a difference – do not go,” he told the Guardian. “The Syrians do not need fighters. […] Do not make this mistake. Do not go there.”

now whats sad is that no education can prevent people being deluded by public lies such as the media freely spreads...and going off to kill other people believing it to be good and Nobel. So how many syrians did this stupid lout kill?

Posted by: brian | Oct 29 2014 21:38 utc | 22

it may seem good and nobel to go fight an alleged tyrant or terrorists, but whos to say who is the tyrant or terrorist? the media
Most people lack the intel to know who or what to support in a foreign war....but that just makes them more manipulable

Posted by: brian | Oct 29 2014 21:44 utc | 23

'Deghayes said, “The grief I have for my two sons cannot be described. My words fail to describe it.”

However, he also told the Guardian his son’s actions were “a young man’s attempt, with scarce experience of life, to fight a tyrant [who is] massacring civilians under the watch of the whole world. I seek comfort in the fact that his intention, hopefully, was to help oppressed people.” '

words fail me to...the father is as deluded as the stupid son
'I seek comfort in the fact that his intention, hopefully, was to help oppressed people.” '
tell that to the people OF Syria whom he went to kill!

stupid stupid stupid

Posted by: brian | Oct 29 2014 21:46 utc | 24

OTOH, we can give props to an anonymous member off the State Dep't for calling out Netanyahoo as "chickenshit" and a political coward whose only concern is his re-election.

Posted by: chet380 | Oct 29 2014 22:04 utc | 25

When the US does terror, it's called "shock and awe," victims become collateral damage, etc. It's a different dictionary, King James version.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 29 2014 23:31 utc | 26

@1 John

Lol! b could have closed this thread after your post.

Posted by: really | Oct 30 2014 0:34 utc | 27

The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!

Nato jets intercept Russian warplanes

You have to read down a bit to discover that the planes in question were in international airspace. USNATO is so desperate for confrontation it would be comical were it not so dangerous...

Posted by: chuckvw | Oct 30 2014 5:18 utc | 28


That went on for years during the cold war, with both sides intercepting each other's aircraft in neutral airspace near borders.

Not sure when it started back up, three or four years ago I think.

Posted by: sleepy | Oct 30 2014 9:40 utc | 29

@29 I think it's jumped since Obama's red line/false flag in Syria. The Chinese were even monitoring naval exercises they participated in during the first days of deranged accusations over mh117. It's funny the Western msm has dropped that story which means the propagandists have dropped it.

The msm didn't report that to the media. D.C. is terrified an anti-Washington bloc is forming especially if Brazil joins with a popularly elected female President to counter the frauds the U.S. trots out (Hillary, Power, Albright, Rice, and Rice).

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Oct 30 2014 13:13 utc | 30

Sweden has now officially recognized Palestine.

Posted by: lysias | Oct 30 2014 16:26 utc | 31

What fights between neonazis and salafists? Sounds interesting.

at Massinia, 12.

In Koln there was a big demo against radical Islam. The protestors were right wing extremists / neo-nazis and hooligans (like in football hooligans.) As there were no Salafists there to fight, they fought the police instead. (From Swiss press.)

A demo in France against a barrage (in Sivens, has a looonng history) also deteriorated. Very various factions - local greens, farmers /oppositional factions to this mega-thingie gathered and one young man was killed .. The demonstrators were some of the time shouting Allah Akbar (video gone.) They also had no-one to fight except the police.

mild vids of the scene:

Posted by: Noirette | Oct 30 2014 17:18 utc | 32


And on cue, Israel withdraws its Swedish ambassador.

It won't happen, but after the midterms it would be nice if Obama's disgust with Netanyahu--which is probably more disgust with the man than disgust with Israeli policy--was reflected in a withdrawal of diplomatic cover for Israel.

We all know that Obama's a brave visionary, right?

Posted by: sleepy | Oct 30 2014 17:20 utc | 33

memo to chuckvw
The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!

Posted by: ALAN | Oct 30 2014 20:31 utc | 34

Sweden recognizing Palestine is great news for the Palestinian cause.

Sweden recognizes Palestine

Posted by: really | Oct 31 2014 8:46 utc | 35

Posted by: lysias | Oct 30, 2014 12:26:46 PM | 31
Posted by: really | Oct 31, 2014 4:46:48 AM | 35

Aren't you forgetting that Sweden is just another fake shitty little pro-USrael Eurotrsh country? The Palestinians can expect as much "help" from Sweden as Assange is getting - and for precisely the same reasons. i.e. boot licking motivated by bribery of the political elites.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 31 2014 13:51 utc | 36

36;Uh,the Israelis have pulled their ambassador,so it must be of some value,Sweden's recognition.Change is usually incremental,and not abrupt.
The Graun has a new look;It sucks,and so does most of their neoliberal content.Boy,talk about a climbdown from its glorious past.Gotta be the Zionist editors fault.
And Al Jazeera sucks also,their Libyan coverage was terrible,and made me a non reader.

Posted by: dahoit | Oct 31 2014 14:15 utc | 37

"Pulling an ambassador" = doing next to nothing ... very loudly.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 31 2014 15:49 utc | 38

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