Headlines of interest, mid to late April, 2016…

Russia maintaining upper hand against U.S. electronic warfare defenses?…

AviationistRussian Su-27 interceptor performs Top Gun stunt over U.S. spyplane

Military TimesRussian attack aircraft just flew within 30 feet of a U.S. Navy ship

BBCKerry: Shooting down Russia jets ‘would have been justified’

IndependentRussia rejects complaints over simulated attacks by warplanes on US Navy destroyer

SOTTUS-Polish navies, conducting electronic warfare 70km from Russia, provoked Russian jets response

RTKiller airwaves: Russia starts trial of electromagnetic warfare system

Defense SystemsDOD official: The spectrum should be a domain of warfare

Air Force TimesF-22 fighter jets are in Romania to keep tabs on Russia’s Black Sea antics

New York TimesRace for Latest Class of Nuclear Arms Threatens to Revive Cold War

Press TVRussia begins ‘first phase’ of S-300 delivery

SputnikRussia Supplying S-300 to Iran Ahead of Schedule, May Ink New Arms Deals

Washington Free BeaconIran Conducts Space Launch

Fort RussFull Report: Sharp Increase in Donbass fighting – last 72 hours

(translation of Free News) – “Suicide Bomber Battalion” Formed on the Crimean Border

(translation of Anti-NATO) – Kiev Junta is Preparing to Shoot Down Planes Over Crimea

(translation of MIAnews.ru) – Shelling sets apartment buildings on fire in Kiev region of Donetsk

(translation of Новороссия) – Basurin: As a Result of Error, the UAF Fired Artillery at a School in Occupied AvdiivkaUAF Attack Avdiivka, Donetsk (VIDEO)

(translation of e-news) – A Total of 397 People Died at the House of Trade Unions

Poroshenko Vanishes – Russian Agents Involved?

Yatsenyuk Announces Resignation

TASSUkraine’s prosecutor general’s office probing into Yatsenyuk’s alleged bribe taking

Transcarpathia begs release from the madhouse…

KatehonThe strategically important region demands autonomy from Ukraine

The SakerUkraine slides into chaos as the prospect of all out war re-emerges

Ron Paul Liberty Report As Ukraine Collapses, Europeans Tire of US Interventions

21st Century WireCameroon: Samantha Power’s Motorcade Mows Down African Child and Flees the Scene

Middle East Eye (AFP) – UN fears 500 people died in mass drowning off Libya coast

Moon of Alabama Soft Coup In Libya Causes Meltdown, Breakup

U.S. Delivers 3,000 Tons Of Weapons And Ammo To Al-Qaeda & Co in Syria

Wall Street JournalU.S. Readies ‘Plan B’ to Arm Syria Rebels

Times of Israel‘Russian forces fired on Israeli jets at least twice’

DEBKAfileNetanyahu, Putin hold cordial meeting in Moscow, with Syria at center stage

RTIsrael cooperates with ISIS, Al-Qaeda terrorists – Syria chief govt negotiator

ISIS destroys 2,000-year-old legendary ‘Gate of God’ in Iraq

Antiwar – Clashes Continue in Tuz Khormato; 159 Killed in Iraq172 Killed in Iraq; Sectarian Tensions Explode in Tuz KhormatuMore Bombs For Baghdad; 310 Killed in IraqDemonstrations in Baghdad; 102 Killed Across Iraq318 Killed in Iraq Battles, AttacksBashir Operation Fails; 230 Killed in Iraq

APUS to send 200 more troops, Apache helicopters to Iraq

Sierra Leone TelegraphFormer child soldiers from Sierra Leone employed as mercenaries in Iraq

GuardianUK special forces and MI6 involved in Yemen bombing, report reveals

38 NorthNorth Korea’s Nuclear Test Site: Limited Activity Continues; Tunnel Excavation Resumes

North Korea’s Large Rocket Engine Test: A Significant Step Forward for Pyongyang’s ICBM Program

Washington Free BeaconReport: North Korea May Test Mobile Ballistic Missile Capable of Striking U.S.

North Korean Missile Exploded, Damaged Launcher in Failed Test

KTUU (Anchorage) – Floating box labeled ‘guided missile’ was eerie discovery, boater says

This has been a function of U.S. martial policy since Jefferson’s war on “the shores of Tripoli”…

ReutersU.S. challenged China, India and 11 other countries on navigation rights last year

An update on our post: Obama checks War Party?

Navy Times4-star admiral wants to confront China. White House says not so fast

Washington TimesDefense bill amendment targets Obama micromanagement, gives Pentagon leverage

ThereAreNoSunglassesWestern Militarization of South China Sea

Pentagon Taking Secret Aggressive Mini-Wars To The Entire World

If the Afghan Taliban Tried To Kill John Kerry, Whose Orders Were They Following, Islamabad or Langley?

TOLO newsAttack on Intelligence Unit Carried Out By Haqqani

Times of IndiaPakistan’s ISI funded deadly attack on CIA camp in Afghanistan: US National Security Archive

Penny for your thoughtsEgypt: US Removes Sinai Troops & Israeli Fighter Jet Intercepts Egyptian Passenger Plane

Bosphorus Naval NewsNew Constructions For Turkish Navy

VoltairenetSecond Russian intelligence report on Turkey’s current assistance to Daesh

Amak AgencyTurkish artillery fire hits the town of Sawran and the village of Ihtimilat in Aleppo’s northern countryside.

DEBKAfileISIS fighters capture several towns, villages north of Aleppo from rebels

SputnikDaesh Terrorists Detained in Izmir Belonged to Turkish Ruling Party

Fars News AgencyTurkey Supports ISIL Transportation to Iraq

Video Shows ISIL Tunnel to Smuggle Iraq’s Ancient Artefacts to Israel, Europe

DWGerman Chancellor Merkel allows investigation of satirist Böhmermann

Al Monitor‘Imamization’ raising eyebrows in Turkey

Middle East EyeTurkey’s parliament speaker seeks religious constitution

Turkey’s High Court throws out convictions in Ergenekon coup trial

Spook news…

IntelNews (citing Hürriyet) – Turkey arrests senior official for selling weapons plans to US-based firm

N.Y.TimesPortugal Clears the Way for Extradition of Ex-C.I.A. Agent to Italy

The OlympianJudge clears Spokane-based lawsuit against CIA program

CryptomeLazar-Guccifer Trial Set for 12 September 2016

Virginian-PilotNavy officer charged with espionage in military court at Norfolk Naval Station

USNI NewsU.S. Official: Lt. Cmdr. Edward Lin Accused of Passing Secrets to Taiwan in Addition to China

ReutersGermany confirms departure of spy agency chief

SWIFT warns customers of multiple cyber fraud cases

Intelligence OnlineData-mining: Modus Operandi challenges Palantir

International Business TimesQatar National Bank: Database leak gives data on al-Jazeera journalists and British ‘spies’

BloombergInside the Nondescript Building Where Trillions Trade Each Day

Great Recession BlogWhat in the World is Going on with Banks this Week? Emergency meetings, banker summits, crashing European banks, and the worst bank reports since the Great Recession

CNBCSwiss banker whistleblower: CIA behind Panama Papers

See Scott Bennett on Bradley Birkenfeld, his page ArmyPSYOP and recently on The Real Deal, episode 173 at time stamp 28:12.

We have already had a sneak peak of the redacted 28 pages of the joint congressional report on 9/11 courtesy of Wayne Madsen (re-posted under spook news in our July 17, 2015 and June 23, 2015 installments) and Jeffery Steinberg at LaRouchePAC. Yet finally, mainstream news now gets around to covering the story, though in an altogether weak report, with nary a mention of ‘Bandar Bush’…

60 Minutes28 Pages

This nevertheless may just tip the balance towards getting the damned thing released…

Prison Planet9/11 Cover-Up Imploding As Mainstream Media Forced to Report Saudi Link

N.Y.TimesSaudi Arabia Warns of Economic Fallout if Congress Passes 9/11 Bill

APSept. 11 families upset by White House effort to derail bill

Obama: Top intel official reviewing secret 9/11 material

Perhaps the time has come to throw the Saudis under the bus, while certain other “special relationships” said to be implicated in the document – with Israel and the UK – are to be spared through Clapper’s selective review…

InfowarsGovt Insider Confirms Israel’s Role In 9/11 Attacks!

PressTVIsraeli, Saudi role in 9/11 covered up by US: Analyst

LaRouchePACSaudis Are Threatening, But It’s Obama Covering for British/Saudi Use of Terrorism

SputnikBlackmailed? Obama Enjoys Saudi King’s ‘Hospitality’ Amid New 9/11 Proof

Zero Hedge (citing The Times) – The Smoking Gun: “Document 17” Links Saudi Embassy In Washington To Sept 11

AlternetSeymour Hersh Dishes on Saudi Oil Money Bribes and the Killing of Osama Bin Laden

John Brennan goes from Riyadh to Sarajevo…

APHead of the CIA arrives in Bosnia for anti-terrorism talks

NoviniteBulgaria Chief Prosecutor Warns of Efforts to ‘Destabilize State’ through Migrant Inflow

RTHundreds protest against govt corruption in Macedonian capital, clash with police

‘Still no fear’: Tear gas, firecrackers & stones at anti-labor reform rally in Paris

GuardianThousands of troops on Paris streets but are they France’s new Maginot line?

teleSURBrazil Remembers Campesino Massacre Amid ‘Political Coup’

L.A.TimesBrazil’s president plans to take her impeachment fight to the United Nations

After nearly 60 years of attempted overthrow and assassination, Fidel Castro will die a natural death with his regime intact. His final address?…

Radio HavanaFidel Castro: The Cuban People Will Overcome

Infowars (Wayne Madsen) – Was Cruz’s father linked to the JFK assassination?

Black Agenda ReportCOINTELPRO Alive and Well in Los Angeles

Bradblog400 ‘Democracy Spring’ Protesters Arrested in Peaceful Call for Electoral Reform at U.S. Capitol

FrontPageMagArrest George Soros: Use existing criminal and civil laws to shut down his anti-American juggernaut

Xymphora The Human Rights Industrial Complex

Free Thought ProjectPanama Papers Expose Clinton’s Elite and Criminal Campaign Donors

Daily KosElection Fraud Proven at Audit by Chicago BOE – flipped precinct by 18pts from Bernie to Hillary

James FetzerWisconsin was Stolen, fair and square: Progressives in Denial

WNYC60,000 Fewer Democrats in Brooklyn and No Clear Reason Why

Courthouse NewsDemocrats Say New York Purged Them From Voting Rolls

World Socialist Web SiteInsurers set to sharply increase Obamacare premiums

N.Y.TimesJudge Rejects Challenge to Searches of Emails Gathered Without Warrant

Empty WheelFBI’s Back Door Searches: Explicit Permission … and Before That

Sputnik (interview of William Binney) – US Domestic Spy Programs Continue Without Any Court Oversight

InterceptListen to an FBI “Honeypot” on the Job

Beauty Secrets of the Spies: CIA’s Venture Capital Arm Is Funding Skin Care Products That Collect DNA

National Security ArchiveConcerned About Nuclear Weapons Potential, John F. Kennedy Pushed for Inspection of Israel Nuclear Facilities

NikkeiUnusual quake cluster worries Japan

Japan TodayJapan prepares for release of tritium from Fukushima plant

ENENewsNuclear Expert in Fukushima: People’s feet turned black for years because radiation so high — Every time I turned around I saw someone who had radiation damage — Hair falling out, caughing up blood, bodies covered with boils… Officials keeping doctors from telling truth… Public being brainwashed

Times Free Press (Chattanooga) – High radiation triggers alert at Browns Ferry

Fort Russ (translating VARJAG_2007) – Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant Experiences Release of Radioactivity

ReutersU.S. bans most Pacific sardine fishing after population crash

Common Sense ShowGenocide In the Gulf: Expected Lifespan of Children Reduced by 25%-Evacuate Now!

Detroit Free PressFlint water crisis defendants could lead to higher-ups

CryptogonDeaths of People Related to Flint Water Crisis

See Janet Phelan on dual water systems at Authentic Mentoring

Water wars in N. Florida and the ambush of Dr. P…

PieczenikBig Time Intimidation Factor at Bradford County Commission Meeting

Truthout“Nestlé Is Trying to Break Us”: A Pennsylvania Town Fights Predatory Water Extraction

InfowarsDid the Chemtrail Flu Kill Prince and Merle Haggard?

GreenpeaceCommission fails to regulate new GMOs after intense US lobbying

Dumbing down the human race…

Daily MailCommon medicines including cold and flu tablets, heartburn drugs and sleeping pills ‘SHRINK the brain and slow down thinking’

JAMA Neurology (Risacher et al) – Association Between Anticholinergic Medication Use and Cognition, Brain Metabolism, and Brain Atrophy in Cognitively Normal Older Adults

L.A.TimesIBM makes a big shift into cognitive computing

Rice UniversityNanotubes assemble! Rice introduces ‘Teslaphoresis’

CERNToo quiet to hear a particle drop

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On the occasion of Shakespeare’s birthday…   “The Tempest” Shakespeare; audio/abridged; w/ Sir Donald Wolfit (Youtube)

A suitable soundtrack, as it is also Bilal Erdoğan’s birthday, whose fleet of ships in the BMZ Group we have been keeping an eye on, as concerns the suspected export of ISIS oil and other material. Here follows a diary of these tankers’ recent navigation…

Begim Aslanova – Last position received was 2016-03-15 22:00:17 (UTC) heading East off the S. Crimean coast. With irregular AIS data, as of 03-16 15:30 it was  in the SE Black Sea off the coast of Novorossiysk, before resuming AIS data at 03-17 15:06 near the port of POTI, just S. of its next port of call KULEVI (Georgia), where it arrived at 03-21 05:46 and departed at 2016-03-22 14:23. Last position received at 03-23 14:54 in S. Black Sea, resuming at 03-25 03:10, prior to crossing Bosphorous. Irregular AIS data through Aegean and Mediterranean Seas – an anomaly occurs where AIS pings occur several hundred miles apart in the space of a few minutes (03-28 17:14-17:18) when the ship suddenly “appears” on its approach to PORT SAID. Upon completing transit of SUEZ at 03-30 15:58, AIS data dark through much of transit of Red Sea, particularly between ports of Sudan and Jeddah on April 2-3, also through most of passage along coast of Yemen, from S. Red Sea through Gulf of Aden to area between Yemen and island of Socotra. AIS data highly irregular through passage to Gulf of Oman. Goes AIS dark for over 24 hours from late 04-11 to early 04-12 upon near completion of journey, apparently anchored (ATA listed as 2016-04-11 22:02) near UAE port of FUJAIRAH (ETA 04-09 09:00), where it finally arrives eleven days late at 04-20 07:51, departing 04-21 06:41, then anchoring from 06:55 to 14:44, before heading East to destination unknown. At 04-22 05:58 it briefly goes AIS dark and then meanders off the southern coast of Iran…

There is some discrepancy with the AIS data and itinerary between MarineTraffic.com and VesselFinder.com, whose recent departure times for Begim Aslanova are listed as follows:

Apr 21, 2016, 06:02 UTC – AL FUJAYRAH, UAE
Mar 30, 2016, 01:04 UTC – PORT SAID, EGYPT
Mar 14, 2016, 17:02 UTC – YUZHNYY, UKRAINE
Mar 06, 2016, 09:10 UTC – HAIFA, ISRAEL
Mar 02, 2016, 09:00 UTC – DUMYAT, EGYPT
Feb 15, 2016, 09:04 UTC – BREST, FRANCE
Feb 04, 2016, 17:00 UTC – ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
Shovket Alekperov – Arrives at CANAKKALE at 03-14 11:43, departed at 03-15 09:47. Last AIS data just N of Bosporus at 2016-03-17 10:23. Proceeding to port of ODESSA, instead went to Romanian port of SULINA, departing at 03-18 11:30, then navigating up the Danube as far as Ukrainian town of Orlivka at 03-18 19:28, with limited AIS data for over 12 hours, then proceeding back, with no AIS data between 03-19 10:30 and 03-20 04:20 near Romanian city of Tulcea. Reentering Black Sea sometime after 03-20 17:23, heading due East with no AIS data while circumnavigating Crimea, before anchoring near Russian port of NOVOROSSIYSK, docking at 03-24 21:01 and departing 03-27 18:39. Passes through Bosphorus on March 29-30, AIS dark through much of Sea of Marmara and Aegean. Irregular AIS data with approach to ALEXANDRIA on April 1, ETA: 04-02 06:00. Arrival at 04-06 05:42,  ATD at 04-07 14:42. Arrives in ISTANBUL at 04-10 18:49:00, departs at 04-10 20:13:00. AIS dark through most of passage of Mediterranean, Aegean, and Black Sea en route to Ukrainian port of DNEPROBUGSKY, ETA 04-12 12:00. Stops off coast of Odessa on early 03-12 before proceeding towards port, arriving 04-12 16:52, departing approximately 04-14 06:30. Passes through Bosphorus on 04-15 18:00-19:00, Canakkale on 04-16 11:00-15:00. Goes AIS dark from 4-16 22:30 to 04-17 03:00 on approach towards Athens, near which it departs PIRAEUS ANCH at 04-17 09:16, and AGIOI THEODOROI ANCH at 04-17 11:20, before passing through CORINTH CANAL 04-17 11:50-13:22, en route to RAVENNA (ETA 04-20 08:00), going AIS dark from 04-18 20:39 to 04-19 00:08 in passing near city of Bari. Anchors near Ravenna at 04-20 04:48, then goes AIS dark until 04-23 01:51.
VesselFinder.com departure times for Shovket Alekperov:
Apr 07, 2016, 14:18 UTC – EL ISKANDARIYA (= ALEXANDRIA), EGYPT
Mar 27, 2016, 18:04 UTC – NOVOROSSIYSK, RUSSIA
Mar 11, 2016, 14:04 UTC – HAIFA, ISRAEL
Mar 08, 2016, 14:03 UTC – HAIFA, ISRAEL
Feb 28, 2016, 01:04 UTC – FOS-SUR-MER, FRANCE
Feb 23, 2016, 06:03 UTC – FOS-SUR-MER, FRANCE
Feb 18, 2016, 16:04 UTC – CEUTA, SPAIN
Mecid Aslanov – Arrived in HAIFA at 03-13 01:22, departed 03-20 14:40. Crossed Bosphorus at 03-24 12:00. No AIS data through Black sea until 03-25 18:20 off the coast of Ukraine, then irregular navigation and substantial AIS dark periods amidst stops in YUZHNY and NIKOLAEV (ATD 03-29 22:49). One hour stop in Istanbul, departing 03-31 22:49. Stops in CANAKKALE at 04-01 10:17, departing 04-01 12:37, then AIS dark until approach of MERSIN (ETA 04-04 06:00). Irregular logs in and around Mersin: anchoring at 04-04 02:46, arrives at Mersin at 04-04 13:10, departing Mersin anchor at 04-04 14:42, departing Mersin again 04-05 21:49, finally departing Mersin anchor at 04-05 22:30. Irregular navigation between Mersin and next stop Haifa, lingering off coast of Turkey and again just East of Cyprus. Arrived in Haifa at 04-08 03:43, departed 04-09 14:41. AIS data fairly regular in passage through Aegean Sea and Bosphorus, with stops in Canakkale and Istanbul (April 12 and 13) en route to Moldovan port of Giurgiulesti, ETA 04-14 20:00. Stops in Ukrainian port of RENI (arrives 04-15 14:44, departs 04-16 01:03), GIURGIULESTI (arrives 04-15 15:32, departs 04-16 15:39), Reni again (arrives 04-17 03:39, departs 4-17 03:55), Romanian ports of TULCEA (arrives 04-17 05:54, departs 04-17 06:21) and SULINA (arrives 04-17 09:52, departs 04-17 10:52). It then proceeds NW and stops in international waters near Odessa, going AIS dark from 04-17 19:30 to 04-19 00:00, then with sporadic AIS “pings” in same position before turning around en route to the Romanian port of CONSTANTA (ETA 04-20 09:00). Goes AIS dark from approx. 04-20 03:00 to 05:40 on approach to port, where it arrives at 04-20 22:59, departing at 04-22 12:07  en route to Georgian port of BATUMI, ETA 04-24 19:00.
VesselFinder.com departure times for Mecid Aslanov:
Apr 22, 2016, 12:00 UTC – CONSTANTA, ROMANIA
Apr 15, 2016, 06:06 UTC – SULINA (PORT ET ZONE FRANCHE), ROMANIA
Apr 09, 2016, 13:02 UTC – HAIFA, ISRAEL
Apr 05, 2016, 21:03 UTC – MERSIN, TURKEY
Mar 29, 2016, 23:04 UTC – NIKOLAEV, UKRAINE
Mar 27, 2016, 18:05 UTC – YUZHNYY, UKRAINE
Mar 08, 2016, 19:04 UTC – IZMIR, TURKEY
Feb 29, 2016, 23:03 UTC – CEUTA, SPAIN
Feb 22, 2016, 09:02 UTC – LEIXOES, PORTUGAL
Feb 15, 2016, 22:04 UTC – BILBAO, SPAIN
Feb 06, 2016, 05:03 UTC – VALENCIA, SPAIN
Poet Qabil – At French port of SETE on 03-22, departing at 15:43. Anchored near BARCELONA at 03-23 06:23, where it lingers for a week. Departing Barcelona at 04-01 11:59. Arrives at FOS SUR MER at 04-02 09:20, anchors at 04-02 08:05, departs LAVERA at 04-03 16:37. Proceeds to Spanish port of HUELVA, arriving at 04-08 18:17, departing 04-09 16:44. Next stop Barcelona, ETA 04-12 12:00. Spotty AIS pings in crossing Strait of Gibraltar to and from Huelva. Regular AIS data along most of the Spanish coast until arriving near Barcelona, where it goes AIS dark from 04-12 11:53 to 04-14 12:19. AIS data then resumes as the ship remains stationary until 04-15 20:00 when proceeds to VALENCIA, arriving 04-16 12:16, departing 20:56, then to meet its sister ship Armada Fair after arriving at CARTAGENA ANCH at 04-18 22:34, then docking at 04-20 08:07, and departing at 04-22 10:58, en route to the Turkish port of GEBZE, ETA 04-29 20:00.
VesselFinder.com departure times for Poet Qabil:
Apr 22, 2016, 10:04 UTC – ESCOMBRERAS, SPAIN
Apr 16, 2016, 20:03 UTC – VALENCIA, SPAIN
Apr 03, 2016, 16:03 UTC – PORT-DE-BOUC, FRANCE
Apr 03, 2016, 01:00 UTC – FOS-SUR-MER, FRANCE
Mar 22, 2016, 15:04 UTC – SETE, FRANCE
Mar 21, 2016, 07:03 UTC – SETE, FRANCE
Mar 15, 2016, 09:03 UTC – CEUTA, SPAIN
Mar 07, 2016, 02:00 UTC – TERNEUZEN, NETHERLANDS
Mar 07, 2016, 00:04 UTC – GENT (GHENT), BELGIUM
Mar 06, 2016, 08:04 UTC – TERNEUZEN, NETHERLANDS
Mar 05, 2016, 21:04 UTC – ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS

Armada Fair – Last received ship position 03-14 21:47 in international waters off the coast of Algeria. Then stopping 03-16 15:04 in TUNIS, TUNISIA. Departed at 03-17 10:39. Crossing paths with Mecid Aslanov (both at about 10 knots) off SW coast of Turkey at approximately 04:00 3-22. No AIS data on approach to MERSIN from circa 03-23 06:30 to 03-25 07:20, when it turns around listing next destination as Ukrainian port of IZMAIL (ETA 03-29 23:00), with considerable AIS dark periods through transit of Aegean and Sea of Marmara. Makes brief stop in ISTANBUL, departing 03-29 16:25 going AIS dark through Black Sea until approach of Danube at approx 03-31 00:01, tracking cuts off at 03-31 12:22 with approach to Izmail, arrival logged at 04-04 07:28, ATD at 04-07 09:47. Arrival at Romanian port of TULCEA at 04-08 03:42, departing 04-08 04:07. Arrives at SULINA at 04-08 07:50, departing 04-08 08:51. Stops in Istanbul at 04-09 17:30, departs 04-09 18:51. Next destination: CARTAGENA, ETA 04-17 09:00. Frequent decelerations to less than 1 knot in Aegean on April 9-10. Heads NW into Ionian Sea on 03-12 before changing course towards Malta on 03-13, in the East vicinity of which it stops from approx. 04-14 00:00 to 06:00 before proceeding to Cartagena, arriving at 04-18 09:51, departing 04-18 17:16, arriving again at 04-19 02:11 (note: there is a glitch with the AIS playback at 04-19 02:10 to 02:11 – it traverses the Punta de los Aguilones and lands into port), then departing 04-19 03:59, at 04:13 passing within approx. 1500 meters of the Poet Qabil en route to the port of BILBAO, ETA 04-24 06:00. Irregular AIS data – going dark and wobbling directional pings – after passing through Strait of Gibraltar, near Cadiz; AIS data resumes as it passes along the coast of Portugal.

VesselFinder.com departure times for Armada Fair:

Apr 19, 2016, 03:03 UTC – ESCOMBRERAS, SPAIN
Apr 08, 2016, 08:04 UTC – SULINA (PORT ET ZONE FRANCHE), ROMANIA
Mar 25, 2016, 01:04 UTC – MERSIN, TURKEY
Mar 17, 2016, 10:44 UTC – TUNIS, TUNISIA
Feb 29, 2016, 17:19 UTC – NANTES, FRANCE
Feb 28, 2016, 15:00 UTC – NANTES, FRANCE
Feb 28, 2016, 03:04 UTC – DONGES, FRANCE
Feb 26, 2016, 10:04 UTC – BREST, FRANCE
Feb 15, 2016, 23:00 UTC – BILBAO, SPAIN
.
Here are a few stories that perhaps correlate with BMZ Group activities…
Several ships among the BMZ Group fleet have been frequently stopping in southern Spain:
The Shovket Alekperov stopped in the nearby Russian port of Novorossiysk on March 24-27:
The Poet Qabil passed through the Kiel Canal on Feb. 18:
There have been several stops in the Spanish port of Ceuta, opposite Gibraltar on the N. African coast:
Shovket Alekperov, Mecid Aslanov, and Armada Fair was present in Black Sea during “Deniz Yildizi” Turkish naval exercises of March 28 -April 5…
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Editor’s note: we are experiencing technical difficulties with inconsistent html code on WordPress.

Headlines of interest, March into April 2016…

We begin with old spook news and a bit of the esoteric [with thanks to Wayne Madsen for the tip]…

BBCKim Philby, British double agent, reveals all in secret video

WaPoFrom beyond the grave, ex-Mossad chief slams Netanyahu

HaaretzThe Strange Case of a Nazi Who Became an Israeli Hitman

For more about Skorzeny, and his relationship to George H. Scherf Jr, (a/k/a G.H.W. Bush?), see this re-post of the April 2007 Idaho ObserverDeathbed confessions, photos support claims that George H. Scherf(f), Jr., was the 41st U.S. president

Skorzeny certainly got around; recovering Solomon’s treasure for the Ahnenerbe on March 16, 1944?…

Otto Rahn MemorialOtto Rahn – Otto Skorzeny Raiders of the Found Ark?

Also with the Ahnenerbe was Otto Rössler, a specialist in Aegyptology, and another of ambiguous “anti-Semitism”…

Gerd SimonVom Antisemiten zum Semitistik-Professor Chronologie Rössler, Otto

Rössler was the father of CERN critic Otto E. Rössler – see 2008 interview in Science 2.0, and more recently his Notepad publishing interview of last year, Part 1 and Part 2 (Youtube).

CERNThe LHC wakes up from its winter break

Wall Street JournalCERN Is Seeking Secrets of the Universe, or Maybe Opening the Portals of Hell

InverseResearchers Are Dumpster Diving Outside the Large Hadron Collider

PravdaAnomalies of Large Hadron Collider still inexplicable

.

Now to the more mundane news of the world…

WITN (NC) – Implosions bring down 48 VOA towers in Beaufort County

International Consortium of Investigative JournalistsThe Panama Papers

Wayne Madsen ReportApril 4-5, 2016 — Managed “leak” targets Western foes, soft peddles right-wingers and American lackeys

The world has experienced leaks like the so-called “Panama Papers” before. A consortium of global corporate media entities are cherry-picking information from a purported leak of 11 million documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. The list was obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), an NGO financially supported by George Soros’s Open Society Foundations and the Central Intelligence Agency-directed U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

The corporate media is playing up the connections of various off-shore tax-dodging contrivances and money laundering vehicles to a collection of world leaders. Instead of focusing on leaders who have direct connections to money laundering and tax evasion, the ICIJ, as is their usual method, is drawing “guilt by association” links to specific leaders. Not surprisingly, the chief target is Soros’s and the CIA’s number one foe — Russian President Vladimir Putin…

And, of course, the ICIJ, Soros, and USAID could not help themselves from linking, again indirectly, Mossack Fonseca to the impeachment charges against Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and the investigation of her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Also hyped by ICIJ and their co-conspirators Soros and USAID are fuzzy indirect links to Syrian President Bashar al Assad and the late Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi in the Panama Papers…

Although the Islamic State-supporting King Salman of Saudi Arabia and neo-con and Zionist favorite Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, both U.S. allies, are directly named in the documents, none of the corporate media outlets are referring to them in their news leads. The ICIJ is infamous for such stories. They excel in advocacy journalism” and ensure that they award each other journalistic honors for shoddy and incomplete pieces of journalism like the Panama Papers revelations. And curiously absent from the ICIJ’s “scoop” are the names of U.S. political leaders. And the ICIJ, Soros, and USAID would actually have us believe that the bribery, extortion, and kickback operations of the Clinton Foundation are no where to be found in 11 million documents on global money laundering?…

This would appear to be as close to the Clintons as it gets, only incidentally in introducing veteran spooks Azima and Khashoggi…

McClatchyDCSpies and shadowy allies lurk in secret, thanks to firm’s bag of tricks

Along with such blockbuster revelations as…

Panama Papers reveal how spies and CIA gun-runners use offshore companies to stay hidden

Offshore world blurs the line between legitimate business and the world of espionage

Who would’ve thought? Madsen:

Of course, we have seen such cherry picking before. When WikiLeaks first began leaking to the corporate media classified State Department cables, absent were those from the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv that were critical of Israel. Reason? There were credible press reports, including one from the Arabic language Al Haqiqa website that Israel’s Mossad arranged a handsome monetary payoff for WikiLeaks’s founder Julian Assange in Switzerland.

Pot calling kettle black?…

ZeroHedgeShots Fired: Wikileaks Accuses Panama Papers’ Leaker Of Being “Soros-Funded, Soft-Power Tax Dodge”

Head Of “Transparency International” In Chile Resigns After “Panama Papers” Revelations

“The Cat Is Out Of The Bag” – In Interview Mossack Fonseca Founders Admit It’s Over… To Rothschild’s Delight

Recall that according to a recent investigation by Bloomberg, “The World’s Favorite New Tax Haven Is the United States”

And, to top it off, there is one specific firm which is spearheading the conversion of the U.S. into Panama: Rothschild...

In fact, someone with a conspiratorial bent may decide that the dramatic takedown of the Panama “tax offshoring” industry was nothing more than a hit designed to crush the competition of US-based “tax haven” providers… such as Rothschild.

Here Is Rothschild’s Primer How To Launder Money In U.S. Real Estate And Avoid “Blacklists”

Leave it then to the reputed Rothschild house organ (see Eustace Mullins) to report…

ReutersU.S. readies bank rule on shell companies amid ‘Panama Papers’ fury

Panama law firm says data hack was external, files complaint

Rothschild, bucking trend, contemplates new hires in Russia

Fort Russ (translating Florian Schaar) – Panama Papers expose Putin’s neighbor’s cat!

– – Jabhat Al-Nusra Release Video Showing Badly Beaten Pilot of Downed Su-22

RudawISIS chemical weapons attack on Syrian air field

Syrian Arab News AgencyThe army establishes control over Palmyra Castle

UNESCO Director General welcomes the liberation of Palmyra

Bokova’s record is not good, see WMR: UNESCO chief’s legacy: more destroyed World Heritage Sites than all predecessors combined; also Filip Kovacevik at BFP: Will the Next U.N. Secretary-General Come From the Balkans?

RTTurkey’s Gaziantep is main ISIS trade hub of antiques hauled in Syria & Iraq – Russian UN envoy

Moon of AlabamaU.S. Delivers 3,000 Tons Of Weapons And Ammo To Al-Qaeda & Co in Syria

L.A.TimesIn Syria, militias armed by the Pentagon fight those armed by the CIA

ThereAreNoSunglassesDid CIA Interfere With DOD Refitting of DEA Surveillance Plane For Afghanistan?

Full transcript: What the ‘Indian spy’ says in the video released by Pakistan

Intelligence OnlineIran-Taliban dialogue causing concern in region

Khaama PressForeign terrorists disguised as Taliban are fighting Afghan forces: Stanikzai

DWPakistan Taliban targets Lahore Christians in Easter attack

Antiwar – 216 Killed in Iraq as Falluja Faces StarvationMilitary Progress Slows as 200 Killed in IraqString of Bombings, Clashes Leaves 303 Dead in Iraq – ISIS Prisoners Reportedly Freed; 116 Killed in IraqTurkish Soldier and 181 Others Killed in IraqHeavy Fighting near Mosul; 136 Killed in IraqBomb Disrupts Soccer Game; 58 Killed in Iraq140 Killed in Iraq as Forces Draw Nearer to Mosul

AhramEgyptian army destroys North Sinai militant hideouts: Spokesman

Ma’an News AgencySinai province militants killed in clashes with Egyptian army

And now a word from neocon hottie…

GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnDOpen Letter To 44 About Aegypt

DEBKAfileSisi asks Obama for military intervention to save Egypt from ISIS

Middle East EyeUN: Yemen ceasefire to start 10 April and peace talks a week later

Three suicide bombings rock Yemen’s Aden

‘We were prisoners’: Yemeni Jews rescued in secret Israeli mission

Ma’an News AgencyIsraeli forces continue demolition campaign across West Bank

teleSURSaudi King, UAE President at the Center of the Panama Papers

KatehonInstability in Turkey

Penny for your thoughtsA Back Stabbing Obama, Cannot Face His Intended Target- Erdogan

Al MonitorTurkish bodyguards take Washington by force

Syrian Kurds proceed with federal structures despite Turkish threats

Foreign PolicyErdogan Uses Closed-Door Meeting to Blast Obama Administration

The Big Lie About the Libyan War

Moon of AlabamaLibya – Tribes, Militia, Interests And Intervention – by Richard Galustian

Maghreb ConfidentialCIA keeps Libya covered from the air

InfowarsFast And Furious Was Secret Program To Ship Arms To Middle East Terrorists

Matthew Aid (citing The Intercept) – Erik Prince, Founder of Blackwater, Is Under Investigation for, Amongst Other Things, Ties to Chinese Intelligence

(AP) – Investigation of Chinese Espionage at Boeing Yields Instead a Prosecution for Child Porn

Spiegel Spionage: BND spähte Regierungsstellen in Jerusalem, London und Washington aus

Al MonitorWhy Netanyahu humiliated his defense minister

HaaretzU.S. National Security Agency Head Paid Secret Visit to Israel

Intelligence OnlineUS, Israel strike secret Warsaw defence deal

New EuropeRomanian anti-corruption chief spied by former Mossad agents

Fort Russ (translating FSB press release) – CIA Is in Charge of Ukrainian Security Sevices, SBU Agent Detained

TASSUkrainian Security Service employee detained in Russia — service chief

RTCIA chief’s visit to Moscow not linked to Russian withdrawal from Syria – Deputy FM

Escalation of hostilities in disputed Nagorno-Karabakh

Russia vows ‘totally asymmetrical’ response to major US troop build-up in Europe

Plymouth HeraldPlymouth warship escorts Russian destroyer along English Channel

Spaceflight NowSoyuz launcher puts Russian military spy satellite in orbit

A chunk of comet, or something else?…

MirrorGiant fireball ‘ten times brighter than the moon’ turns day to night in this spectacular footage

Counterpunch (John Pilger) – A World War has Begun: Break the Silence

Yonhap News AgencySeoul, Washington roll out joint landing drill

Pyongyang ready for pre-emptive nuclear strike: North’s dop diplomat (sic)

38 NorthSuspicious Activity at Yongbyon Radiochemical Laboratory; Progress Towards Completing the Experimental Light Water Reactor

ArirangN. Korean leader oversees firing of surface-to-air missile: KCNA

Jane’sIndonesia to deploy Skyshield air defence system in South China Sea

Alert 5 (citing sankai.com) – Japan to send helicopter carrier to Indonesia, Philippines

ReutersChina says Japan base shows its hypocrisy on South China Sea

Russia says to deploy new weapons on disputed Kurile islands

Brazil’s biggest party quits ruling coalition, Rousseff isolated

RT (Pepe Escobar) – Brazil, like Russia, under attack by Hybrid War

Intercept (Glenn Greenwald) – Brazil Is Engulfed by Ruling Class Corruption — and a Dangerous Subversion of Democracy

BloombergHow to Hack an Election

LaRouchePACEcuador’s President Is Right: New “Plan Condor” Is Underway Against South America

Granma (Fidel Castro) – Brother Obama

teleSURPanama Papers Show Peña Nieto’s ‘Favorite Contractor’ Hid $100M

Macri Dealing Dirty? Argentine Ex-Minister Claims Vote Buying in Vulture Funds Plan

Zero HedgeDays After Iceland’s PM Resigns Over “Panama Papers”, Its Bankers Are Released From Jail Years Early

New Legislation Permits Authorities to Freeze Accounts and Use Them For Bail-ins

France24Students clash with police at protests against French labour reform

DWNeo-Nazi NSU members employed by government informant, media report

ZeitZschäpe soll wie Mundlos für V-Mann gearbeitet haben

ExpressPlot to exploit migrant chaos as ‘an EXCUSE’ to rush through creation of EU Army

Tarpley (with Thierry Meyssan) – Turkish Dictator and ISIS Terror Boss Erdogan Is Prime Suspect in March 22 Brussels Bombing

ENENewsReuters: Bombers “switched target from nuke plant at last minute” — Report: Terror cell plotted to blow up nuclear plant… Threat of “most devastating terror attack in history” — Murder of nuclear worker increasing fear of more attacks — Police worry other cells “poised to unleash further terror”

CryptomeTihange Nuclear Power StationDoel Nuclear Power Station

HaaretzBelgian Intelligence Had Precise Warning That Airport Targeted for Bombing

SOTTFormer Israeli Intel Operatives Run Security at Brussels Airport

DEBKAfileThe Brussels airport terrorists were not suicide bombers. A jammed gun averted a mega massacre

Global ResearchFake Video Used in News Coverage of Brussels Terror Attacks

Angry Arab News ServiceThe Saudi Connection in the Belgium Attacks

Perhaps the Mormon Mafia is behind it all…

Daily MailTHIRD brush with terror: American Mormon, 19, left with burns and shrapnel injuries in Brussels attack also survived Boston and Paris bombings

Godlike Productions (link at Drudge) – UTAH CAUCUS: First hand insider report – Incompetence, Manipulation, and Ballot Stuffing!!!

BradblogWhich One is the Fake Internet Voting Site for Tonight’s Utah GOP ‘Online Caucus’?

Predictable Landslides and Voting Disasters in WI

California Sunday Magazine Crowd Source: Inside the company that provides fake paparazzi, pretend campaign supporters, and counterfeit protesters

N.Y. Daily NewsIf Bernie Sanders wins the New York Democratic primary, some superdelegates vow to back Hillary Clinton anyway

Free Thought ProjectHillary’s Rigged Primary Victories are Showing the World Presidents are Selected — Not Elected

The Hill147 FBI agents involved in Clinton email probe

Lost emails from Clinton server discovered

APJudge asks US to defend secrecy of Trump associate’s history

AangirfanTRUMP; 9 11; SILVERSTEIN; AIPAC; GAY; RAPE; CHILD ABUSE; CIA; JEWISH MAFIA; NAZIS

InfowarsTed Cruz: I Won’t Have Sex With “Rat” Trump

Trump’s strange campaign logo: STARS

GuardianUtah ranchers vow to stand up to government despite Oregon arrests

MPR NewsSpy planes overhead still watching Minneapolis. Why?

SputnikThe New Big Brother: How Social Media is Creating an ‘Orwellian’ Society

ReutersIsraeli firm helping FBI to open encrypted iPhone: report

RegisterWater treatment plant hacked, chemical mix changed for tap supplies

World Socialist Web SiteNewly-released email details complicity of Obama’s EPA in Flint poisoning

N.Y.TimesNuclear Plant Leak Threatens Drinking Water Wells in Florida

ENENewsCemetery full of dead babies missing brains next to US nuclear site — Funeral Director: Almost all infants we have died the same way… “that’s pretty much all I see on death certificates” — Few miles from “most contaminated place in hemisphere” — “One of largest documented anencephaly clusters in US history”

Nuclear Expert: “I’ve learned there’s a huge spike in death rates in Fukushima for young children”… Officials are covering up data — Gov’t committing inhuman acts on their own people — Doctor’s who treat patients suffering from radiation illness are being put out of business

RTWild radioactive Fukushima boars breed like rabbits, ravage local countryside

Yonhap News AgencyGov’t opts not to disclose radiation test result of Japanese fishery goods

Alert 5Raytheon’s subsidiary to convert 2 AGM-86s into high-power microwave weapons

DutchsinseGovernment Permits DRONES to be used for Weather Modification — Spraying to induce precipitation

Geoengineering WatchPushing Back Against Climate Engineering, Canadian Lawsuit Is Filed

Sustainable PulseExpert Groups Sue US FDA over GMO Salmon Approval

Patricia Finn’s Attorney Blog VAXXED THE MOVIE, PRESS RELEASE TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL

Truth BarrierHOUSTON FILM FEST HIT WITH “VERY THREATENING CALLS” FROM GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS FORCING “VAXXED” PULLED

Daily MailFormer science chief: ‘MMR fears coming true’

ScienceSynthetic microbe lives with fewer than 500 genes

Zika virus in the Americas: Early epidemiological and genetic findings

Breaking DefenseDepSecDef On Boosted Humans & Robot Weapons

MIT Technology ReviewThe Long-Awaited Promise of a Programmable Quantum Computer

 

BMZ Group supplying ISIS in Europe?

There has been a good deal of focus in the international press regarding the transport of oil originating from Islamic State held areas making its way across the Turkish border and through Turkish ports finding its way to ports from France (see Thierry Meyssan in Voltairenet) , to the Ukraine (see Laurent Courtois in Novorossia Today), and even to Japan (see William Engdahl in New Eastern Outlook), all of which is facilitated via the tankers of the BMZ Group, in which Bilal Erdoğan is an equal shareholder with two other partners.

Our post of March 9th – ISIS in Spain – raises the question of whether other items of interest may be transported by these tankers. The proximity of the Mecid Aslanov in early February to the seizure in Spanish ports of uniforms and other material allegedly intended for the use of ISIS and al Nusra militants (see also RT) raises the possibility that the ship was perhaps tasked to pick up the material, a task thwarted by Spanish police? – or had the cargo been delivered with the intent of bringing the war to the Iberian peninsula?

Thierry Meyssan notes that just prior to the Paris attacks of November 13, “the Mecid Aslanov, property of Necmettin Bilal Erdoğan’s BMZ Group, left the French port of Fos-sur-Mer on the 9th November 2015, having just delivered, in total impunity, a cargo of oil which it claimed had been extracted in Israël, but which in reality had been stolen by Daesh in Syria.” He does not raise the question however of whether the ship may have been delivering other items, perhaps of use in the attacks later that week.

Similarly, the question should be raised about the itinerary of another vessel in the BMZ Group fleet, the Poet Qabil, in the period leading up to the recent attacks in Brussels. On March 22, it was in the French port of Sete. Prior to this it had a period of irregular navigation, following a mid February stop in Gdansk and passage through the Kiel Canal on Feb. 18, docking in Rotterdam on Feb. 20, Antwerp on Feb. 21, then lingering two weeks off the coast of the Netherlands (a period through which its AIS data was mostly absent) before returning to Rotterdam on March 4, and in the following days stopping in Terneuzen and Ghent – some 50 kilometers from Brussels – before heading South to the Spanish port of Ceuta on March 15 (on the N. African coast near Tangiers).

The reader can observe the navigation of these ships for oneself – in as much as the AIS data is reliable. MarineTraffic.com allows the user to select time frames within which to track the movement of a selected ship, indicating when it is AIS “pinging” and when it is not.

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In other stories related to the ISIS oil trade, the BMZ Group and Bilal Erdoğan…

Middle East EyeJordan’s king accuses Turkey of sending terrorists to Europe

Asked by one of the congressmen present whether the Islamic State group was exporting oil to Turkey, Abdullah replied: ”Absolutely.”

Wayne Madsen ReportMarch 28-29, 2016 — Is Obama sympathetic to radical Islam?

The recently-leaked remarks of Jordan’s King Abdullah, made during a January 11 meeting in Washington with the congressional leadership in Congress, indicates that President Obama is receiving counseling on America’s Middle East policy from a Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who the Jordanian king considers to be a “radical Islamist.”

Abdullah also told congressional leaders that Erdogan is deliberately sending terrorists from the Syrian battlefield to Europe to carry out terrorist attacks. In 2014, Erdogan gave the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) permission to use Turkey as a base from which to recruit Muslim guerrillas to fight against the government of Syrian President Bashar al Assad. In return, ISIL has sold cut-rate oil from occupied Syrian oil fields to members of Erdogan’s family, including his son Bilal Erdogan, and the Turkish president’s close associates...

 

Strategy PageIntelligence: Free Range Data Reveals All

Turns out that the best tool for reducing the use of ships for smuggling was an Israeli firm that built a business on creating a database of normal, and abnormal (and usually illegal) behavior by ships at sea for shipping and maritime insurance companies.

This data was easier to collect since the 1990s when all larger ships were required to use the AIS (Automated Identification System) which is essentially an automatic radio beacon (transponder) that, when it receives a signal from a nearby AIS equipped ship, responds with the ship’s identity, course, and speed. This is meant to enable AIS ships to avoid collisions with each other. An AIS activity database makes it possible to identify patterns of normal and abnormal behavior. The abnormal behavior, like arriving outside a port and waiting for several days to enter, is what smugglers are often forced to do to avoid arrest. Same thing with travelling outside the most efficient (in terms of fuel used and weather encountered) routes. With enough of this data and a thorough analysis it is very difficult for seagoing criminals to escape detection.

Erdoğan of course is doing all he can to limit the open source data that is available to researchers and investigators. Note that in our January 21st post, a Today’s Zaman story that we had linked concerning Bilal’s ownership of the BMZ Group is now a dead link, this following the government’s seizure of the news organization…

Today’s ZamanStatement from Today’s Zaman: We are seriously concerned

On Bilal’s ongoing legal difficulties in Italy…

IndependentBilal Erdogan: Italy names Turkish president’s son in money laundering investigation allegedly connected to political corruption

RTErdogan’s son abandoned Bologna over ‘security’ reasons – report

AWDNewsRome’s Police spokesman: Saudi embassy helped Erdoğan’s son to escape the police custody; using a forged Saudi passport and disguised as an Arab diplomat

As Turkey SleepsWas Berat Albayrak picked as sacrificial offering in the oil trade with the ISIL?

Buyer beware; consider the source, and Russian and Turkish language searches were fruitless in confirming of the following…

Veterans TodayExclusive: Bilal Erdogan’s Criminal Partnerships Outlined

Source close to the Italian security forces, during the course of investigation in the criminal case against Bilal Erdogan, accused of money laundering obtained by criminal means, it was revealed that transit routes used to smuggle contraband petroleum from the Turkish port Mersin to the Lebanese port of Beirut.

This scheme is implemented through a company controlled by the son of the president Bilal Erdoga HODICO S.a.l. and partners in the Republic of Lebanon – the clan Mikati headed by Najib Mikati. It is noted that Bilal Erdogan is a major shareholder in the port of Mersin, through his trustee – Hassan Juneyd Zapsu.

In addition, part of the oil transited, including that from Iraqi Kurdistan, passes through TUPRAS company (B. Erdogan – one of the major shareholders of this company) which is the operator of some oil refineries in Turkey, including an enterprise in Kırıkkale.

Main funds of B.Erdogana and his wife Retvan placed on bank accounts in HALK BANK in Bahrain and the HSBC Turkey bank in Northern Cyprus. Cashing money is carried out by proxy – who goes by the name Gökhan Kantardzhigil (Gokhan Kantarcigil) in the ABN-AMRO bank in Amsterdam (Netherlands).

These facts testify to the strong interest of the Turkish President family in maintaining the armed conflict in Syria, even the division of the country into several independent states, referring to Ankara’s control of the main hubs in the Syrian Arab Republic.

In addition, an independent consulting company Rusted Energy, in its opinion confirms the involvement of the family R. Erdogan to the illegal transit of oil, including from the territory controlled by terrorists “Islamic state.”