Muslim Press has conducted an interview with Edward Corrigan, an international human rights lawyer, to discuss the rise of terrorist organizations and the role of Western countries, especially France, in it.

Here's the full text of the interview:

Muslim Press: What is the source of today's terrorism that targets Western countries?

Edward Corrigan: The threat of terrorism against West is being exaggerated for political and economic reasons. There is certainly some terrorism that is directed against the West. Contrary to what some commentators and writers say Muslims and the people of the Middle East do not hate us for our freedom. They hate us because of a century of invasion, economic and political domination backed up by a massive amount of violence. The West, and in particular Great Britain and France, since the 1916 Sykes Picot Accord have invaded and subjected the people living in the Middle East to invasion and occupation that has resulted in a pillaging of the Middle East's resources and especially oil.

All violence and terrorism should be condemned. However, when one looks at the scale of violence the West suffers and the scale of violence in Middle Eastern Counties suffer, the ratio is somewhere around one to a thousand. The United States, it has been said, is responsible for the deaths of between 20 million and 40 million people since the end of the Second World War. Many of these deaths have been Muslim and people of color.

There is another aspect to "terrorism" in the West that should be considered. There are a few lone wolf acts of terrorism and a few crazy people who use violence in the name of one cause or another. Many of the acts of terrorism are committed with the intent to manipulate politics in the West and especially the outcome of elections and to sway public opinion. When examining the motivation behind terrorism, one should always look to see who benefits.

There is one notorious example which was a series of terrorist attacks committed by a right-wing organization set up by the CIA and Britain's MI6. Terrorist acts were committed in the name of "left-wing political groups" in order to create a backlash against the left in elections in Italy and other European countries. The details of these right-wing terrorist attacks were investigated and made public at a major trial in Italy. The name given to this well documented conspiracy is "Operation Gladio". The right-wing network armed and set up by the CIA and other Western Intelligence agencies committed many acts of terrorism in the name of various "left-wing terrorist organizations". They even kidnapped and murdered an Italian Prime Minister.

Most people have never heard of "Operation Gladio", but there is a great deal of information on the internet about this "False Flag" conspiracy. There are other similar "False Flag" operations. Ones that are well documented include the Israeli "Lavon Affair" and the 1967 Israeli attack on the US spy ship the USS Liberty. In 1963 US Military Joint Chiefs of Staff approved "Operation Northwoods" but it was vetoed by US President John Kennedy and Defense Secretary McNamara.

Today, when European countries talk about recognizing the State of Palestine or support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) Movement against Israeli Apartheid that angers the Israelis, it is very curious that there is a marked increase in "Islamic terrorism" in Europe.

This "Islamic terrorism" evokes parallels to "Operation Gladio" and helps create anti-Islamic and anti-Palestinian sentiment and creates sympathy for the "Jewish State".

MP: Do you think France and some other Western countries are responsible for the growth of ISIS in Iraq and Syria? How so?

Edward Corrigan: First off, the destruction of Iraq, Syria and Libya created a power vacuum which gave an opportunity for ISIS, Al-Qaeda and other extremist Wahhabi groups to gain a foothold where they never existed before.

The CIA and MI-6, aided by Saudis money, created  Al-Qaeda to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. They then used these same Wahhabi militants recruited from around the Muslim World to attack Serbia, the last remaining independent Socialist State in Europe. The West thought they could control Al-Qaeda and use it against Hezbollah, Syria, Iran and even Russia and China which have large restive Muslim populations. Then Al-Qaeda, was blamed for the 9-11 Attacks and these attacks were used as a pretext to launch a "War Against Terrorism". However, the pretext was used to launch an invasion of Iraq and Libya which had nothing to do with  Al-Qaeda or terrorism. Iraq, Libya and Syria were all the sworn enemies of Wahhabi extremism. Afghanistan also had nothing directly to do with the 9-11 attacks and it was also invaded and largely destroyed.

US General Wesley Clark revealed that the Pentagon had plans to invade 7 countries over 5 years. None of those countries were linked to Al-Qaeda, yet the destruction of those countries created a fertile environment for the establishment of  Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State and other extremist Wahhabi groups.

The West and Israel have always employed the divide and conquer technique to subvert and dominate targeted populations. On August 2, 2016, "The Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies, one of Israel's most internationally visible and influential think tanks, published a paper titled, "The Destruction of Islamic State is a Strategic Mistake". It was written by Israeli Prof. Efraim Inbar. In the paper he argued that the Islamic State should not be destroyed because it was a very useful tool to be used against Hezbollah, Syria and Iran. Similar sentiments have been expressed by American strategists. ISIS is either a by-product of Western policies in the Middle East or the West's direct creation.

MP: Recently, meeting of the terrorist group Mujaheedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO) was held in France. What's your take on this?

Edward Corrigan: France, like other Western powers, uses "terrorist organizations" when it suits their purposes. Sometimes they support two sides to hedge their bets. When the Shah was the West's "Policeman of the Gulf", MKO was considered an outlawed terrorist organization. MKO had launched attacks at the United States which was supporting the Shah.

Now many years later, the French, Americans and Israelis consider MKO a useful tool against the Iranian Islamic Republic. Once the MKO has outlived its usefulness or displays too much independence it will be discarded. The fact that a leading Saudi Prince met with MKO is very important. The Saudis were publically acknowledging their support for MKO instead of secretly supporting it.

It should be remembered that Ayatollah Khomeini was given refugee in France until the CIA in a desperate attempt to divide the opposition to the Shah sent him back to Iran. However, Khomeini outplayed them all and emerged victorious.

MP: Do you think France tolerates terrorist groups more than it should? How so?

Edward Corrigan: One man's "Terrorist" is another man's "Freedom Fighter." It is really a subjective argument. It is a matter of political choice and opportunism. The International community has great difficulty with coming up with an acceptable definition. If the Western powers like what they are doing, they are "Freedom Fighters", if they do not like them, for example they are too independent, they are "Terrorists". It really is a sad vicious game.

MP: The MKO is known for its terrorist acts against Iranian nations. What is behind the sequential meetings of Saudi, Israeli and Palestinian Authority with this terrorist organization?

Edward Corrigan: The Saudis and Israelis want to use MKO as a weapon against Iran and its allies Syria and Hezbollah. The Palestinian Authority is desperate for support and perhaps sees MKO as a useful ally against the Islamic Movement Hamas.


Edward C. Corrigan holds a B.A. in History and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Western Ontario. He also has a Law Degree from the University of Windsor and was called to the Bar of the Law Society of Upper Canada in 1992. His academic area of expertise is the Middle East and he has published many articles in academic publications including Middle East Policy, Middle East International, Outlook and Z Magazine. His article "Is it anti-Semitic to Defend Palestinian Human Rights?" was published as a chapter in, Anti-Semitism: Real and Imagined: Responses to the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism," (The Canadian Charger, Waterloo, Ontario, 2010), pp.83-99.