Paris & Brussels attacks: Lies, lies and more lies — UPDATE: Oussama Atar’s Brother Charged

“If not for the request by different organizations … Ousama Atar would still be in Iraqi prison.”

Jawad Al-Hindawi — Iraqi Ambassador to Belgium

Ousama Atar, a Belgian of Moroccan descent, is believed to be the mastermind of the Paris and Brussels attacks. Question: why was he living freely when he should have been kept in a Iraqi jail? Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

UPDATE JUNE 2 2017

BELGIUM — Yassine Atar has been charged with ‘terrorist assassinations’ and of being ‘a leader in the activities of a terrorist group’.

Yassine Atar — a 30 year-old Belgian national — is the brother of fugitive Oussama Atar, who is widely suspected to have masterminded both the Paris and the Brussels attacks.

According to Belgian media, Yassine was found with the key to a safe house in Schaerbeek used by Paris terror suspect Salah Abdeslam, who is currently in custody.

This information is however old news and it is not clear why the Belgian authorities are now charging Yassine Atar of being a leader of these attacks.

END UPDATE

For months, Intelligence and Security Agencies around the world have been trying to identify a man only known as ‘Abu Ahmad’, involved in recruiting a number of Islamist militants for attacks in Europe.

“Abdelhamid Abaaoud [a Belgian-Moroccan killed by police five days after the November 13 atrocities] was only a go-between, not a senior figure. We know the mastermind [of the Paris Attacks] but I will remain discreet on this point,” DGSE Director Bernard Bajolet told Parliament members last year.

The investigators now believe they have identified him as Ousama Atar.

“He’s the only coordinator from Syria to have been identified during the investigations,” a French security source told the AFP news agency.

RELATED POST: Is Belgian ISIS Jihadist Osama Atar the ‘Mastermind’ of the Paris and Brussels attacks?

Arrested in Iraq (2005)

The Iraqi Ambassador to Belgium, Jawad Al-Hindawi, says he was charged with terrorism offences.

“Apart from the evidence which was in the Iraqi (files) which led to his indictment, there were other authorities that had information about him, not only the Iraqi government, that shows he was very involved with the Al Qaeda organization and that was proven by other parties,” says the ambassador.

Al-Hindawi claims Atar belonged to an organization called “Al Fatah,” an alleged terrorist network operating out of Syria under the pretext of offering Iraqis humanitarian aid.

A 2009 letter sent from the US Embassy to Belgian officials in Jordan outlined how Atar attempted a  prison break with terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

It was while he was in US custody that Atar made new jihadi contacts, including Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who would go on to create ISIS.

Belgian Government

The following document demonstrates that the Belgian government intervened to obtain the release of Ousama Atar from the Iraqi  government.

docattar

 

Detention of Mr Oussama Atar in Iraq

09 October 2010

Pursuant to the demonstration organised today by the family of Mr Oussama Atar, a Belgian of Moroccan descent detained in Iraq, Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs reports the following:

Mr Atar’s situation is being followed closely. Repeated requests made by Belgium to the Iraqi government to consider an early release for humanitarian reasons have been fruitless so far.

Mr Atar received a consular visit this summer from our embassy in Amman. He is also being monitored closely by the International Red Cross. Pursuant in part to repeated contacts with the Iraqi authorities, we are confident that his health is being monitored appropriately.

FPS Foreign Affairs is in regular contact with Mr Atar’s family in Belgium.

Amnesty International

In a 2010 call for action to activists, Amnesty urged the Iraqi government to provide proper medical care, referring to Atar’s conviction of illegally crossing from Syria to Iraq.

Amnesty was unaware of Atar’s alleged links to terrorism and in an emailed statement to CNN, Amnesty also denied ever campaigning for Atar’s release and was “not involved in any decision to release him in 2012.” [CNN]

On November 14 2010, Amnesty International issued the following message (The full text is added to the references of this post.) The cancer claim proved to be false.  According to his lawyer, Atar was found to have a colon infection.

“Oussama Atar, a 26-year-old Belgian national, is in need of urgent medical care at al-Rusafa Prison in Iraq. According to information provided to the Belgian embassy by the prison authorities he has a tumour in the kidney and must undergo an urgent operation in the next two weeks. Reports also indicate that he has lost a great amount of weight and is very ill. Amnesty International fears for his health and is calling on the Iraqi authorities to provide urgently needed medical care.”

“Oussama Atar has been in prison for the past six years. He was convicted of illegally crossing the border between Syria and Iraq and sentenced to 10 years in prison. He has been held in the prisons of Abu Ghraib, Camp Bucca, Camp Cropper, and he is currently held in al-Rusafa prison in Baghdad. According to his family, his health has deteriorated in the past months. Amnesty International raised concerns about his general state of well-being to the Iraqi authorities in May 2010, but the organisation had received no answer on his behalf. In light of this latest information, Amnesty International fears for his current state of health.”

Belgian Politicians

Besides Amnesty, Belgian politicians Zoé Genot, Ahmed Mouhssine, Jamal Ikazban and Ahmed El Khannouss have played a leading role in securing the release of Ousama Atar. (See the video — in French — below.)

Earlier this month (May 2017), the daughter of Ahmed El Khannouss  was arrested in connection to a terrorism case.

Belgian Security Services

Abu Ahmad/Osama Atar is a cousin of Ibrahim and Khalid el-Bakraoui (two of the Brussels bombers). He was very well known to Belgian authorities.

Ibrahim el-Bakraoui detonated a suitcase bomb at Zaventem Airport, and his younger brother Khalid detonated his device at Maalbeek Metro station.

Atar’s younger brother Yassine was also arrested around the time of the Brussels attacks. (Explosive residues were found on his body.)

Their mother’s home has been raided by police several times since the attacks.

RELATED POST: ISIS: 3 Belgian Citizens at the ‘Creation’ Meeting

RELATED POST: Former Head of Belgian Security Service: “Terrorists Will Hit Brussels Again”

RELATED POST: EUROPOL: Islamic State to step up attacks on European targets

Belgian Authorities are not as convinced as others — French and American Intelligence Agencies — that Atar is the mastermind of the Paris and Brussels attacks.

Belgian Federal Prosecutor Frédéric Van Leeuw told the AFP that:

The order for the Brussels and Paris attacks came from very high up in the ISIS hierarchy. Ousama Atar — being one of the attack commanders– is “one theory among many others”.

Atar’s lawyer — Vincent Lurqin — appealed to Belgian intelligence for more information. A letter from Belgian intelligence shows that they denied knowing anything about Atar. At the same time, they refused a court order to turn over his intelligence file.

According to an official letter, the Iraqis (Read: “the Americans”) had released Atar on two conditions. First, the Belgian Foreign Ministry would not issue a passport. Second, his activities would be monitored.

Even though Atar’s name was on the Belgian foreign fighters list, he visited his cousins —  the El Bakraoui brothers, who had been arrested for criminal activity —  at two separate prisons on the outskirts of Brussels 20 times. (These same two cousins later carried out the Brussels attacks.)

A source close to the inquiry has revealed that the Belgian Foreign Ministry did issue a passport to Ousama Atar. The reasons for this remain a mystery to this day.

According to a judicial source, in August 2016 — four months after the Brussels attack and in the midst of a global manhunt — Atar quietly visited his mother and siblings in Brussels.

TIMELINE

2002 — Ousama Atar travels to Syria

2004 — Atar goes back in 2004 before travelling to Iraq, where he was arrested for crossing the border illegally

2005 —  jailed in Iraq for 10 years

2010 — November: Amnesty International “call for action” to activists

2012 — September: Osama Atar returns to Belgium

2013 — Atar was arrested while trying to flee to Tunisia, and then disappeared after his release.

2015 — Paris attacks

2016 — Brussels attacks

2017 — June 2: Yassine Atar charged with ‘terrorist assassinations’

Video

The following video clearly identifies some of the Belgian Politicians who campaigned for Mr Oussama Atar’s release.

REFERENCES

Belgian jihadist Atar ‘co-ordinated’ Paris and Brussels attacks

The Islamic State’s External Operations and the French-Belgian Nexus
By Jean-Charles Brisard and Kévin Jackson — CTC SENTINEL

Search for jihadi draws a blank — Flanders News

Europe’s most wanted — POLITICO 01/29/2016

Europe’s most wanted Fugitives — Official Website

Un document le prouve: les Affaires étrangères et Steven Vanackere (CD&V) ont demandé à ce que Oussama Atar soit libéré

Oussama Atar, l’homme le plus recherché d’Europe

Detenu belgo-marocain en Irak Oussama Atar

Atargate: le document qui accable la Belgique

Ahmed Mouhssine

L’affaire Ecolo – Oussama Atar – Pourquoi Zoe Genot se tait aujourd’hui ?

Oussama Atar, l’un des cerveaux présumés des attentats de Bruxelles, recherché par les autorités belges

Amnesty International — Health Professional Action — Prisoner in need of urgent medical care — Iraq

Public MDE 14/011/2010

To: Health Professional Network

From: Health and Human Rights Team

Date: 9 September 2010

Health Professional Action

Prisoner in need of urgent medical care

Iraq

Oussama Atar, a 26-year-old Belgian national, is in need of urgent medical care at al-Rusafa Prison in Iraq. According to information provided to the Belgian embassy by the prison authorities he has a tumour in the kidney and must undergo an urgent operation in the next two weeks. Reports also indicate that he has lost a great amount of weight and is very ill. Amnesty International fears for his health and is calling on the Iraqi authorities to provide urgently needed medical care.

Oussama Atar has been in prison for the past six years. He was convicted of illegally crossing the border between Syria and Iraq and sentenced to 10 years in prison. He has been held in the prisons of Abu Ghraib, Camp Bucca, Camp Cropper, and he is currently held in al-Rusafa prison in Baghdad. According to his family, his health has deteriorated in the past months. Amnesty International raised concerns about his general state of well-being to the Iraqi authorities in May 2010, but the organisation had received no answer on his behalf. In light of this latest information, Amnesty International fears for his current state of health.

Amnesty International has received reports that the prison contacted the Belgian embassy in Jordan (which has responsibility for Belgium’s relations with Iraq) to inform them that Oussama Atar had a tumour in the kidney and that he urgently need to receive treatment in the next two weeks. Amnesty International has also been informed that the Belgian government is reported to have expressed its willingness to provide the necessary treatment for Oussama Atar.

Amnesty International calls on the Iraqi authorities, in particular those responsible for al-Rusafa Prison, to ensure that Oussama Atar receives full and immediate access to the medical care that he needs in conformity with the UN Standard Minimal Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners. According the UN Standard Minimal Rules, if adequate medical care is not available in the prison hospital, the prisoner must be transferred for treatment to an appropriate institution outside of the prison system, such as a specialised institution or civil hospital (22.2). Amnesty International is also calling on the prison authorities to cover the costs of such treatment as required by the United Nations Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment (Principle 24). Amnesty International believes the denial of medical care to Oussama Atar may amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

Recommended Action:

Please write to the Iraqi authorities below:

 Explaining that you are a health professional concerned about human rights;

 Expressing concern at reports that Oussama Atar, currently held in al-Rusafa Prison, Iraq, is not receiving adequate medical care;

 Urging the authorities to ensure that Oussama Atar receives full and immediate access to medical care, in accordance with the provisions set out in the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners; if the authorities are unable to urgently provide specialist medical care then they should make arrangements with the Belgian government to guarantee his treatment.

Addresses:

His Excellency

Dr. Salih al Hasnawi

Minister of Health

Convention Centre (Qasr al-Ma’aridh)

Baghdad, Iraq

Salutation: Your Excellency

Her Excellency

Wajdan Mikhail Salam

Minister of Human Rights

Convention Centre (Qasr al-Ma’aridh)

Baghdad, Iraq

Salutation: Your Excellency

Copies to:

His Excellency

Hoshyar Zebari

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Convention Centre (Qasr al-Ma’aridh)

Baghdad, Iraq

Salutation: Your Excellency

His Excellency

Judge Dara Noureddin

Minister of Justice

Convention Centre (Qasr al-Ma’aridh)

Baghdad, Iraq

Salutation: Your Excellency

Due to the dysfunctional postal system in Iraq, we ask that you direct all appeals to the diplomatic representatives of the Iraqi government accredited to your country. Please mark letters, ‘For the attention of the Minister of Health and the Minister for Human Rights, with copies to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Justice.’

If you receive no reply within two weeks of sending your letter, please send a follow-up letter seeking a response. Please send copies of any letters you receive to the International Secretariat, attention of Health and Human Rights Team, 1 Easton Street, London WC1X 0DW or e-mail: health@amnesty.org

=

Paris & Brussels attacks: Lies, lies and more lies — UPDATE: Oussama Atar’s Brother Charged

This entry was posted in Brussels attacks 2016, Paris Attacks 2015 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s