Sunday, May 8, 2016

Quilliam and the US

Nafeez Ahmed describes how Ted Cruz is linked to the London-based "counter-extremism" think-tank the Quilliam Foundation, incorporated as a tax free charity in the US since 2011.

Quilliam Director Maajid Nawaz appointed former Bush counter-terrorism official, Chad Sweet, to his US board of directors. Sweet served as chief of staff of Homeland Security (DHS) under Michael Chertoff.

"In January 2011, the same year Nawaz appointed Chad Sweet to the Quilliam Foundation’s US board of directors, Sweet set up a nonprofit corporation in Texas, Ted Cruz for Senate, where he remains a director." 

And.... 

 "Corporate filings show that the Quilliam Foundation is registered to the same address as Gen Next Inc. in Newport Beach, California. The director and 'principal officer' of Quilliam’s US-based charitable company responsible for the company filings is Michael P. Davidson, who is also CEO of Gen Next."  

Gen Next...  

"Since 2011, the Quilliam Foundation’s American offices have been physically shared with Gen Next. Gen Next executive members include senior Bush administration officials and Tea Party activists such as Adam Stryker, vice-president of Americans for Prosperity, the fundraising super PAC that functions as the main political arm of the billionaire Koch brothers. " 

Quilliam, by the way, is closely tied to the Henry Jackson Society a neocon-backed UK regime change think tank. It's advisers have included Russian regime-change fanatic Michael Gove and the charming Timothy Garton Ash who has called for nuclear attacks upon Russia.

Then there's London based think tank, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD).

This is a European think tank which "aims to work with leaders across sectors and geographies to develop to the major security and socio-economic challenges of our time", especially in issues of counter-terrorism; its CEO is Sasha Havlicek.

"Sasha previously served as Senior Director at the US think-tank, the EastWest Institute (EWI), where she headed the organisation’s conflict resolution and transition work, rolling-out unique cross-border field operations across the Balkans, Eastern Europe and Russia. She was nominated to serve on a Task Force of the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe in the aftermath of the Balkan wars."

Wiki has more...

"In May 2009, EWI released a Joint Threat Assessment on Iran, produced by senior U.S. and Russian experts convened by the Institute. The assessment, which concluded that the planned system would not protect against an Iranian nuclear threat, helped inform the Obama administration's decision to scrap the ballistic missile defense plan proposed by the Bush administration and replace it with a plan of its own."

Sasha Havlicek, from the EWI, also serves on the board of Women Without Borders and is a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations. So yeah, she has a politically neutral history.

And when she makes submissions on countering radical Islam to the UK Parliament in her role as co-founder and head of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, then we can expect a balanced view from her -- especially since she has worked with Google in developing the UK's Against Violent Extremism network.

Neocon Jared Cohen also joins the fray. He worked for Condi Rice, was an adviser to Richard Holbrook in Afghanistan and engineered a google app to support the Syrian rebels.

That's Jared Cohen, President of Google think tank Google Ideas. Google of the NSA fame.

In 2011 Google that launched the UK's Against Violent Extremism Campaign with Gen Next and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, advocating the theme that the only valid Islam is the non-violent one, accepting of Western and Israeli political goals.

The UK government has officially backed this development:

"The Against Violent Extremism network which is made up of a number of former extremists and survivors of terrorism who engage with individuals and organisations that are developing counter-extremist messages. The AVE network receives funding from private sector—the Gen Next Foundations and Google Ideas....We welcome the progress made by internet companies such as Google (who own YouTube) in the work they are doing to promote counter narratives."

 Of course, not everyone agrees about the benefits or the purpose of this program.

Let's turn to Advancing Human Rights, an international advocacy group for human rights, created in 2010 as an offshoot of its parent organization Movements.Org by Robert L. Bernstein, the founder of Human Rights Watch.

It was a 2012 grant from Google that founded AHR and its primary achievements have been Jared Cohen's google app for tracking and supporting Syrian defectors and the formation of a new group CyberDissidents.Org.

Bernard Lewis sat on the board of CyberDissidents for two years. Movements.org regularly publishes at The Daily Beast.

You get the idea. The agenda is not exactly hidden.

There's a lot more. London meets Washington. Sorting out the Middle East by reforming Islam.