Disinfo: Al Baghdadi was an American product

Summary

Al-Baghdadi was [if he is really dead] an American product. IS was established after the illegal invasion of Iraq, the collapse of the Iraqi state, and the release of extremists who were detained by the US. Therefore, the Americans have destroyed the person they have produced, if it is true that they killed him.

Disproof

This is a conspiracy theory perpetuating a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that the US or NATO has created and is supporting global terrorism, and that Al Baghdadi might have not been really killed. Pro-Kremlin media have not produced any evidence to support either claim. In reality, the US is committed to fighting terrorist organisations, such as Daesh and Al-Qaeda.

This is part of an emerging pro-Kremlin disinformation strategy to raise doubts about the death of Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi. Details of the operation to eliminate Al Baghdadi have been confirmed by the Pentagon, the Syrian Democratic Forces, the Global Coalition against Daesh, and Iraqi intelligence. Even Daesh/ISIS have acknowledged Al Baghdadi's death. Parts of the footage filmed by US troops involved in the operation were recently released by the Pentagon.

Other examples of this narrative are claims that instead of being killed he was evacuated by US forces, that he was indeed a US product, or that he was acting in Iraq under US protection. These additional claims are also completely unsubstantiated by factual evidence and follow a familiar pattern of pro-Kremlin disinformation about US or NATO support for international terrorism.

For similar cases about US or Western support for terrorism, see here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 174
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 01/11/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Arabic
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Iraq, Syria, US
  • Keywords: Terrorism financing, Islamic extremism, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Conspiracy theory, Terrorism, Daesh
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Around 2500 people were killed in NATO's bombing campaign

In 1999, the NATO coalition, including the United States, bombed Yugoslavia for almost three months. According to the Serbian authorities, around 2500 people were killed. 12,500 people were injured.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the number of civilian casualties of the NATO bombing and war in former Yugoslavia. According to the Humanitarian Law center, in Serbia (excluding Kosovo) and Montenegro, 275 persons lost their lives in the NATO bombings: 180 civilians, 90 members of the Yugoslav Armed Forces and five members of the Ministry of Interior of Serbia. In Kosovo, 484 people were killed: 267 civilians (209 Albanian and 58 non-Albanian), 171 members of the YA, 20 members of the Serbian MUP and 26 members of the KLA (19 of whom died in the NATO bombing of the Dubrava prison, near Istok). Human Rights Watch concludes that as few as 489 and as many as 528 Yugoslav civilians were killed in the ninety separate incidents in Operation Allied Force. The primary purpose of the campaign was to end violence and repression and force Slobodan Milosevic to withdraw his military, police and para-military forces from Kosovo (see NATO statement from 1999).

The people of Crimea voted for unity with Russia in a democratic ballot

Crimea became a Russian region based on the results of a referendum organized by the authorities of the peninsula in March 2014, after overthrowing the rule of Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, in February of the same year.

Russian leadership has repeatedly stressed that the people of the peninsula voted for unity with Russia in a democratic ballot conducted in accordance with international law. In May 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that the Crimea issue was “permanently closed”.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea.

No international body has recognised the so-called referendum, announced on 27 February 2014, and held on 16 March 2014, which was organised by self-proclaimed Crimean leadership lacking democratic legitimacy and installed by armed Russian military personnel following the seizure of public buildings.

Gorbachev and Yeltsin were CIA agents, and the US earned trillions of dollars thanks to Kurapaty story

Ex-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and Alexander Yakovlev, a member of the Politburo and Secretariat of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, were blessed by Margaret Thatcher to undermine socialism. On CIA instructions Yakovlev chaired the campaign on USSR destruction. His campaign included falsification of the alleged secret protocol to Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and Katyn tragedy, both based on Goebbels fakes. Boris Yeltsin, first Russia’s president, was a CIA agent too. He appointed CIA officers to each Russian ministry, destroyed Russian industry and agriculture, science, education, and health care system, and inflicted larger damage on Russia than Hitler’s or Napoleon’s occupations taken together. Belarusian politician Zianon Pazniak has been a CIA agent too. His mission was to invent the Kurapaty story and to assign the crimes by Hitler’s followers to Belarusian people and USSR’s NKVD, thus contributing to USSR’s destruction. It allowed Americans to benefit thanks to USSR resources and technologies for trillions of US dollars. Present-time impoverished people and great Russian losses are a consequence of Pazniak’s activities.

Disproof

This publication is a mix of conspiracies and groundless allegations which aim to present the USSR's collapse as a plot of CIA agents among Soviet authorities, to put a blame for socio-economic difficulties in Russia on the West whose agent Boris Yeltsin allegedly was, to put in question the existence of secret protocols to Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and mass political killings by NKVD including in Minsk and Katyn. It generally falls into the recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the aggressive West. Alexander Yakovlev was the first Soviet politician to acknowledge the existence of the secret protocols of the 1939 Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact with Nazi Germany. However, their authenticity is well proven and cannot be considered Goebbels’s fake as alleged. The same is true for Katyn massacre, a series of mass executions of about 22,000 Polish military officers and intelligentsia carried out by the Soviet Union, specifically the Soviet secret police, the NKVD in April and May 1940. Kurapaty is an area on the outskirts of Minsk, where at least 30,000 people (according to some estimates, up to 250,000 people) were executed for political reasons by the NKVD, in the period between 1937 and 1941. Zianon Pazniak was a Belarusian historian who discovered undocumented mass graves on the outskirts of Minsk in 1988 and alleged that it was the site of mass executions by NKVD. The discovery gave an added momentum to pro-independence movement in Belarus. The version about the Soviet NKVD massacre was repeatedly confirmed by the Soviet and Belarusian official investigations. See earlier disinformation cases alleging that the West destroyed the USSR and currently targeting the Union State between Belarus and Russia, that Kurapaty memorial site is a Western project to ruin Belarusian statehood, and that the West began destabilising Belarus through religious issues and Kurapaty memorial site.