Accuracy in Media

I learned about the passing of former Washington Times columnist John Lofton as I was looking through an old file of clippings and found a Lofton gem entitled, “Where terrorism is rooted,” from the July 5, 1985, issue of the paper. It’s a reminder of Lofton’s important style of writing and the fact that the Islamists we face today learned their style of warfare from the Soviets, who established the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as “the fulcrum of the Soviet Union’s strategic approach” to world revolution, especially control of the Middle East.

At the time, President Reagan was battling the Soviet empire, including its support for international terrorist groups. Lofton reminded his readers of many facts about the Soviet-supported international terrorist networks. These facts are extremely relevant today.

Lofton quoted from Marx and Lenin, establishing the fact that the communists were advocates of terror from the beginning. He cited evidence of Soviet sponsorship and support of terrorist groups and personalities from the PLO, to “Carlos the Jackal,” to the Sandinistas in Nicaragua and the African National Congress in South Africa.

One looks back on what Lofton wrote about and has to conclude that the modern-day Islamic terrorists we face today grew out of these communist networks that the Soviets sponsored.

Discussing the communist Sandinistas—who have retaken power in Nicaragua—Lofton noted, “The Sandinistas were trained in Cuba and by the PLO. In August 1979, the European representative of the Sandinistas, Jorge Mundi, spoke of these ties, saying: ‘We have long had close relations with the Palestinians. Many of the units belonging to the Sandinista movement were at Palestinian bases in Jordan. In the early 1970s, Nicaraguan and Palestinian blood was spilled together in Amman and in other places during the Black September (a terrorist group) battles … It is natural, therefore, that during our war against Somoza we received Palestinian support for our revolution in various forms.’”

What Lofton was describing was a concrete example of how the communists and the Arabs and Muslims were collaborating in terrorism.

What we have learned since that time is that PLO chairman Yasser Arafat was actually a trained KGB operative. The case of Carlos the Jackal, the KGB-trained Marxist terrorist, is perhaps more significant. He converted to Islam.

In his column, Lofton had faulted President Reagan for not being aggressive enough in fighting the Soviets and their agents. Our problem today is that we have a President who pretends not to recognize the enemy and authorizes a half-hearted effort to stop one particular Islamist group in the Middle East, while failing to support freedom fighters in Ukraine against the main enemy—Russia.

It is not fashionable to accuse the Russians of having any ties to Middle East terrorism today. Indeed, some conservatives seem to think the U.S. and Russia can work together to defeat radical Islam.

The analyst and author Jeff Nyquist asks, “When we learn that a leading commander in ISIL was born in the Soviet Union and trained in Russia, we ought to wonder what is really going on?” Omar al-Shishani, the Russian commander in ISIL (also known as ISIS or the Islamic State), has been reported to be the group’s overall military chief.

We have heard repeatedly about Americans and Europeans fighting for ISIL, but little attention is being devoted to the Russian-speaking foreign fighters that make up the group. Their numbers are estimated at 500 or more. Omar al-Shishani is usually described as a prominent Islamic State fighter who is Chechen. In fact, he was born in the former Soviet republic of Georgia and was trained there.

Some reports suggest these fighters are opposed to the Russian-backed Assad regime in Syria and Russia itself.  But if this is the case, then why is Russia opposed to U.S. bombing of these terrorists? NBC News reports that the Russian foreign minister says airstrikes “should only go forward with Syria’s consent.”

Coming from a country that violated international law when it invaded Ukraine, this attitude makes no rational sense.

In a story headlined, “Russia condemns U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria,” The Washington Post reported this interesting piece of information: “Although the Islamic State has gripped Russian news media, there is far less public pressure to get involved in eradicating the militant movement than in the United States, where videos of militants beheading captives, including two Americans, dealt a shock to the country.”

It is indeed fascinating that ISIL has been targeting Americans and that the state-run Russian media, always anxious to label the freedom fighters in Ukraine as Nazis or fascists, are not rallying the Russian people for action against ISIS. Why? Some experts are speculating that Moscow is seeking a U.S. deal with Syria’s Assadm and even the Iranian regime, to work together to defeat this suddenly new menace. That, in turn, could lead to a deal to reward Iran with its own nuclear weapons program, supposedly as a check on Sunni “extremism,” as Obama calls it.

Before we jump to conclusions that Russia is on our side in fighting ISIS, it might be wise to examine the history of international terrorism, its Soviet roots, and Russia’s ties to these networks today. President Obama told “60 Minutes” on Sunday that the U.S. intelligence community had “underestimated what had been taking place in Syria.” So what do we know about this mysterious entity called ISIS? Could Russia be playing both sides in this conflict as part of a geopolitical game to safeguard its Iranian client state?

It might be worthwhile to consider that former NSA analyst Edward Snowden, still in the hands of the Kremlin, might have helped thwart efforts by the U.S. intelligence community to learn the truth about ISIL. It would seem to be in Moscow’s interest to hide its hand in this terrorist threat.

The urgency of this matter is impressed upon us by the revelation that the Islamist who beheaded a woman in Moore, Oklahoma had a Facebook photo of Omar al-Shishani.

As we attempt to understand the intelligence failure that Obama himself admits, it would also be wise to go back and examine the writings of conservatives like John Lofton, who were reporting the facts about Soviet terror 30 years ago. Lofton spoke with clarity and passion.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke eloquently on Monday about the “poisonous tree” that has given rise to groups like ISIS and Hamas.

That tree, the evidence shows, has its roots in Moscow. That’s where the PLO—and eventually Hamas—came from. In addition to supporting a Palestinian state that could threaten Israel’s existence, it is the Putin regime in Russia that is the major international sponsor of the Iranian terrorist regime today.

Our media think that because the Soviet Union died and a modern Russia supposedly emerged in its place, these issues are irrelevant. But the head of this new Russia is a former KGB spy who wants to reconstitute the former Soviet Union. He invaded Ukraine. Is it really too much to believe that the Kremlin has had a hand in the rise of ISIS?

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  • marlene

    The bible predicted russia’s end time position thousands of years ago. For knowledge of what comes next, read it – before it becomes news so you won’t be scared or surprised. There’s more truth in the bible than there is in man.

  • George

    For media accuracy, check the historical facts and you’ll find the Zionist state of Israel has its roots in Moscow too, the KGB funded their terrorism in the 1940’s.

    ‘….to assist the Zionists and accompanying these clandestine arms shipments the Soviets have also sent a very sizable contingent of instructors and advisors to Palestine’.

    January 31, 1948, London. British Foreign Office officials
    revealed that over 1,000 Soviets, all Russian-speaking Communist military
    technicians, had been intercepted on the immigrant ships “Pan York” and
    “Pan Crescent” (see –

  • Zan

    For the love of God George, Israel is not the problem! But that is another battle that evil will never understand. The article uses the Obama statement that intel underestimated ISIS (cockroaches), since then info has come out that he has not even been attending intel briefings regularly. Our intel is and has been impaired since Clinton, but this is HIS fault, not just a weak intel system.

  • gmalarki

    I think you have things precisely backwards. While Marxist ideology provided the rationale for the worst terrorist outbreaks in history, originally the Russians learned terrorism from Muslims. If you look back at history, Russia has faced several brutal Islamic invasions over the centuries complete with all the marks of jihadist terrorism we see today. Russians have a strong institutional memory regarding these invasions. The Islamists are a much greater threat to Russia than to the U.S. for simple reasons of geography–not to mention history. There remains a sizable Muslim minority in various parts of modern Russia who are just as vulnerable to radical jihadist teachings as any in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Iran or even the U.S. The U.S., Russia, Western Europe, and Israel should be natural allies against the jihadists, but our short-sighted current leadership in all these countries (except possibly Israel) doesn’t see it. Eventually they will have to get the point. But military means are not enough. Only an ideology can defeat an ideology. The only really effective weapon in the long run is a Christianity that regains its roots and its confidence to engage in effective evangelization. Deus vult.

    P.S., Why don’t you take another look at President Obama’s relationship to his half-brother Malik Obama who allegedly has Muslim Brotherhood connections?

  • Capnmikey

    Read “The Terror Network” by Claire Sterling written around 1968 to truly understand our modern terror problem..she ties it all together.

  • Supporting terrorism in hopes oil prices on the market would increase might be another reason.

  • John Cunningham

    Russia is the main antagonist to the reality that Armegedon is alive and well and has a very good chance of happening in our lifetime. Barack Obama may be the reason America is not mentioned in the end of times. Can anyone really imagine almost two more years with him at the helm? Nope! The stars are aligning and exciting times are ahead.

  • Andruchiw Andy

    What invasions of Russia by Muslims? Chechens wanting out from Russian rule where pretty aggresive, agreed. But others?

  • Sigi

    Who are the “some conservatives” who think that the US and Russia can work together? I can think of a few fringe types starting with Pat Buchanan and going further from the mainstream conservatism, but no one who gets much of the radio audience or who could make a difference in a primary outcome by their influence who thinks like that. Most conservatives see that Mr. Putin is a dangerous man with ambitions which will never jive with what is good for the USA nor the well being of the world.

  • Sigi

    The Bible says nothing about Russia. The OT prophecies referring to a bear were about Persia (Iran). Gog of the land of Magog is the prince of Meshech and Tubal, both of which overthrown by Nebuchadnezzar and both clearly located by other sources as being in modern day Turkey or Syria. Psalm 120 put Meshech near Kedar, where other Bible passages tell us there were black tents. The Bedouin of Syria use black goat-hair tents to this day. No one near Moscow has or does. Drop the Cold-war interpolations and re-read Ezekiel 38 with Turkey in your mind and see how things look. I believe we are very close to a time that those events could come to pass.

  • Alain

    Albeit I am currently very against Russia in Ukraine, it is quite funny to read this, when you know what the USA did in Afghanistan in the 80ies. And that Ben Laden and the talibans are their creatures 🙂 So, on this subject, America is certainly not better than Russia…

  • Luis

    Isis is fighting with American weapons, ment to be for the so called rebells in Syria. Iran hasn’t invaded a country for 90 years, a better track record than many like to admit, and much better than many western countries, who are claiming being the moral cradle of the world today. You may also read Marx’ Capital, not being a communist myself, but many things Marx said about our society are for real. Polarising and only taking one side will never make this world a better place.

  • Francesco Yossef Romano Calvar
  • AbdullahtheButcher

    Islamic terrorism actually comes from within Islam, and has been a feature of the sect since the beginning. Both Russia and the US were foolish and/or arrogant enough to think they could use this as a weapon against each other during the Cold War. Both of them had obviously forgotten that the way the Muslims got to overrun Spain in the 8th century, shortly after the foundation of the sect, was that they had been INVITED in by a king who was warring on another king and thought he could use them to attack his enemy. They did attack his enemy – after killing the first king himself, of course – and then went on to attack all of Spain. Also, that was true for the Islamic invasion of Sicily, and the Ottoman incursion into Europe. In the case of Sicily, a Byzantine admiral, Euphemius approached the Moslems of North Africa and asked their help against the Byzantine King Michael II to take SIcily and Malta from him. Also, the Ottomans were invited into Europe by Byzantine Regent John VI Kantakouzenos to help him against first the then queen dowager, then the legitimate King John V himself, enabling the Turks to get a foothold within the Byzantine Empire.
    This is playing out just the same way.