By Elizabeth Vos
Source: Disobedient Media
In April last year, Disobedient Media broke coverage of the British involvement in the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, asking why All Russiagate Roads Lead To London, via the quasi-scholar Joseph Mifsud and others.
The issue was also raised by WikiLeaks’s Julian Assange, just days before the Ecuadorian government silenced him last March. Assange’s Twitter thread cited research by Chris Blackburn, who spoke with Disobedient Media on multiple occasions covering Joseph Mifsud’s ties to British intelligence figures and organizations, as well as his links to Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign, the FBI, CIA and the private cyber-security firm Crowdstrike.
We return, now, to this issue and specifically the research of Chris Blackburn, to place the final nail in the coffin of the Trump-Russia collusion charade. Blackburn’s insights are incredible not only because they return us to the earliest reporting on the role of British intelligence figures in manufacturing the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, but because they also implicate members of Mueller’s investigation. What we are left with is an indication of collusion between factions of the US and UK intelligence community in fabricating evidence of Trump-Russia collusion: a scandal that would have rocked the legacy press to its core, if Western establishment-backed media had a spine.
In Disobedient Media’s previous coverage of Blackburn’s work, he described his experience in intelligence:
“I’ve been involved in numerous investigations that involve counter-intelligence techniques in the past. I used to work for the 9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism, one of the biggest tort actions in American history. I helped build a profile of Osama bin Laden’s financial and political network, which was slightly different to the one that had been built by the CIA’s Alec Station, a dedicated task force which was focused on Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. Alec Station designed its profile to hunt Osama bin Laden and disrupt his network. I thought it was flawed. It had failed to take into account Osama’s historical links to Pakistan’s main political parties or that he was the figurehead for a couple of organizations, not just Al-Qaeda.”
“I also ran a few conferences for US intelligence leaders during the Bush administration. After the 9/11 Commission published its report into the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon it created a public outreach program. The US National Intelligence Conference and Exposition (Intelcon) was one of the avenues it used. I was responsible for creating the ‘View from Abroad’ track. We had guidance from former Senator Slade Gorton and Jamie Gorelick, who both sat on the 9/11 Commission. We got leaders such as Sir John Chilcot and Baroness Pauline Neville Jones to come and help share their experiences on how the US would be able to heal the rifts after 9/11.”
“The US intelligence community was suffering from severe turf wars and firewalls, which were hampering counter-terrorism efforts. They were concentrating on undermining each other rather than tackling terrorism. I had mainly concentrated on the Middle East, but in 2003 I switched my focus to terrorism in South Asia.”
Counter Terrorism, Not Counter Intelligence, Sparked Probe
In an article published by The Telegraph last November, the paper acknowledged the following:
“It forces the spotlight on whether the UK played a role in the FBI’s investigation launched before the 2016 presidential election into Trump campaign ties to the Kremlin… Mr. Trump’s allies and former advisers are raising questions about the UK’s role in the start of the probe, given many of the key figures and meetings were located in Britain… One former top White House adviser to Mr. Trump made similar insinuations, telling this newspaper: “You know the Brits are up to their neck.” The source added on the Page wiretap application: “I think that stuff is going to implicate MI5 and MI6 in a bunch of activities they don’t want to be implicated in, along with FBI, counter-terrorism and the CIA.” [Emphasis Added]
The article cites George Papadopoulos, who asked why the “British intelligence apparatus was weaponized against Trump and his advisers.” Papadopoulos has also addressed the issue at length via Twitter. In response to the Telegraph’s coverage of the issue, Chris Blackburn wrote via Twitter: “The Telegraph story on Trump Russia acknowledges that activities involving counter-terrorism are at the heart of the scandal…not counter-intelligence. If the [London Centre for International Law Practice] was British state, not private, some Commonwealth countries are going to be seriously pissed off.”
Blackburn spoke with Disobedient Media, saying: “If you factor in the dreadful reporting to discredit Joseph Mifsud and leaks, it is pretty clear something rather strange happened to George Papadopoulos during the campaign while he was shuttling around Europe and the Middle East. He was working with people who have intelligence links at the London Centre of International Law Practice. A recent article in The Telegraph also alludes to MI5, MI6, and CIA using counter-terrorism assets which would tie into the London Centre of International Law Practice (LCILP), and its sister organizations, doing counter-terrorism work for the Australian, UK and US governments. They quote anonymous officials who believe that their intelligence agencies used counter-terrorism personnel to kick start the investigation/scandal.” [Emphasis Added]
Blackburn discussed this differentiation with Disobedient Media: “Counter-terrorism is obviously involved in more kinetic, violent political actions-concerning mass casualty events, bombings, assassinations, poisonings, and hacking. But, the lines are blurring between them. Counter-intelligence cases have been known to stretch for decades- often relying on nothing more than paranoia and suspicion to fuel investigations. Counter-terrorism is also a broader discipline as it involves tactical elements like hostage rescue, crime scene investigations, and explosive specialists. Counter-Terrorism is a collaborative effort with counter-terrorism officers working closely with local and regional police forces and civic organizations. There is also a wider academic field around countering violent, and radical ideology which promotes terrorism and insurgencies. Cybersecurity has become the third major discipline in intelligence. The London Center of International Law Practice, the mysterious intelligence company that employed both Papadopoulos and Mifsud, had also been working in that area.”
Continuing, Blackburn pinpointed the significance of defining counter-terrorism as the starting point of the investigation, saying: “It shows that there is a high probability that intelligence was deliberately abused to make Papadopoulos’ activities look like they were something else. As counter-terrorism and counterintelligence are close in tactics and methods, it would seem that they were used because they share the same skill sets – covert evidence gathering and deception. It’s basically sleight of hand. A piece of theatre would be more precise. However, we don’t know if the FBI knew it was real or make-believe. It’s more likely that the CIA played the FBI with the help of close allies who were suspicious and frightened of a Trump presidency.”
Mueller’s Team And Joseph Mifsud
Zainab Ahmad, a member of Mueller’s legal team, is the former Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York. As pointed out by Blackburn, Ahmad attended a Global Center on Cooperative Security event in 2017. In recent days, Blackburn wrote via Twitter: “Zainab Ahmad is a major player in the Russiagate scandal at the DOJ. Does she work for SC Mueller? She was at a GCCS event in May 2017. Arvinder Sambei, a co-director of the [London Centre of International Law Practice], worked with Joseph Mifsud, [George Papadopoulos] and [Simona Mangiante]. She’s a GCCS consultant.”
Blackburn told this author: “Zainab Ahmad was one of the first DOJ prosecutors to have seen the Steele dossier. In May 2017, she attended a counter-terrorism conference in New York with the Global Center on Cooperative Security (GCCS), an organization which Joseph Mifsud, the alleged Russian spy, had been working within London and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.”
“Richard Barrett, the Former Chief of Counter-Terrorism at MI6, Britain’s foreign intelligence department traveled with Mifsud to Saudi Arabia to give a talk on terrorism in 2017. Ex-CIA officers, US Defense, and US Treasury officials were also there. The London Centre of International Law Practice’s relationship to the Global Center had been established in 2014. The Global Center on Cooperative Security made Martin Polaine and Arvinder Sambei consultants, they then became directors at the London Centre of International Law Practice.”
“The Global Center on Cooperative Security’s first major UK conference was at Joseph Mifsud’s London Academy of Diplomacy (LAD). Mifsud then followed Arvinder Sambei and Nagi Idris over to the London Centre of International Law Practice. Sources have told me that Mifsud was moonlighting as a specialist on counter-terrorism and Islamism while working at LAD which explains why he went to work in counter-terrorism after LAD folded.”
“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Global Center on Cooperative Security is connected to various elements that popped up in the Papadopoulos case. The fact that a prosecutor on Mueller’s team was at Global Center before Mueller was appointed as special counsel is also troubling.”
Days ago, The Hill reported on Congressional testimony by Bruce Ohr, revealing that when served as a DOJ official, he warned FBI and DOJ figures that the Steele dossier was problematic and linked to the Clintons. Critically, The Hill writes:
“Those he briefed included Andrew Weissmann, then the head of DOJ’s fraud section; Bruce Swartz, longtime head of DOJ’s international operations, and Zainab Ahmad, an accomplished terrorism prosecutor who, at the time, was assigned to work with Lynch as a senior counselor. Ahmad and Weissmann would go on to work for Mueller, the special prosecutor overseeing the Russia probe.” [Emphasis Added]
This point is essential, as it not only describes Ahmad’s role in Mueller’s team but places her at a crucial pre-investigation meeting.
Last year, Blackburn noted the connection between Mifsud and Arvinder Sambei, writing: “LCILP director and FBI counsel, works with Mike Smith at the Global Center. They ran joint counter-terrorism conferences and training with Mifsud’s London Academy. Sambei then brought Mifsud over to the [London Centre of International Law Practice]. [Global Center works with Aussies, UK and US State too.”
Sambei has been described elsewhere as a “Former practising barrister, Senior Crown Prosecutor with the Crown Prosecution Service of England & Wales, and Legal Adviser at the Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ), Ministry of Defence.” [British spelling has been retained]
That Sambei has been so thoroughly linked to organizations where Mifsud was a central figure is yet another cause of suspicion regarding allegations that Joseph Mifsud was a shadowy, unknown Russian agent until the summer of 2016. She is also a direct link between Robert Mueller and Mifsud.
Blackburn wrote via Twitter: “Arvinder Sambei helped to organize LCILP’s counter-terrorism and corruption events. She used her contacts in the US to bring in Middle Eastern government officials that were seen to be vulnerable to graft. Lisa Osofsky, former FBI Deputy General Counsel, was working with her.” Below, Arvinder is pictured at a London Centre of International Law Practice (LCILP) event.
As Chris Blackburn told this author: “Mifsud and Papadopoulos’s co-director Arvinder Sambei was also the former FBI British counsel working 9/11 cases for Robert Mueller. She also runs a consultancy which deals with Special Investigative Measure (SIMs) which is just a posh description for covert espionage and evidence gathering. She has worked for major intelligence and national law agencies in the past. She wore two hats as a director of London Centre and a consultant for the Global Center on Cooperative Security (GCCS), a counter-terrorism think tank which is sponsored by the Australia, Canada, UK and US governments. Alexander Downer’s former Chief of Staff while at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade now works for the Global Center. Mifsud was also due to meet with Australian private intelligence figures in Adelaide in March 2016. So. Australia is certainly a major focus for the investigation.” [Emphasis Added]
Below, former FBI Deputy General Counsel Lisa Osofsky is pictured at a London Centre for International Law Practice event. Osofsky also served as the Money Laundering Reporting Officer with Goldman Sachs International. Since 2018, she has served as the Director of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
An Embarrassment For John Brennan?
Disobedient Media previously reported that Robert Hannigan, then head of British spy agency GCHQ, flew to Washington DC to share ‘director-to-director’ level intelligence with then-CIA Chief John Brennan in the summer of 2016. This writer noted that “The Guardian reported Hannigan’s announcement that he would step down from his leadership position with the agency just three days after the inauguration of President Trump, on 23 January 2017. Jane Mayer, in her profile of Christopher Steele published in the New Yorker, also noted that Hannigan had flown to Washington D.C. to personally brief the then-CIA Director John Brennan on alleged communications between the Trump campaign and Moscow. What is so curious about this briefing “deemed so sensitive it was handled at director-level” is why Hannigan was talking director-to-director to the CIA and not Mike Rogers at the NSA, GCHQ’s Five Eyes intelligence-sharing partner.”
Blackburn told Disobedient Media: “Former Congressman Trey Gowdy, who has seen most of the information gathered by Congress from the intelligence community concerning the Russia investigation, said that if President Trump were to declassify files and present the truth to the American public, it would “embarrass John Brennan.” I think that is pretty concrete for me, but it’s not definitive. I know the polarization and spin in Washington has become perverse, but that statement is pretty specific for me. If Brennan is involved, it is most probably through Papadopoulos who sparked off the ‘official’ investigation at the FBI. He also made sure the Steele dossier was spread through the US government.”
Blackburn added: “Chris Steele was also working on FIFA projects, and a source has told me that he was working to investigate the Russian and Qatari World Cup bids. The London Centre of International Law Practice has been working with Majed Garoub, the former Saudi legal representative of FIFA, the world governing body for soccer. He’s also been working against the Qatari bid. Steele likes to get paid twice for his investigations.”
“Mifsud has also been associated with Prince Turki the former Saudi intelligence chief, Mifsud and the London Academy of Diplomacy used to train Saudi diplomats and intelligence figures while Turki was the Saudi Ambassador to London. Turki is a close friend of Bill Clinton and John Brennan. Nawaf Obaid was also courting Mifsud and tried to get him a cushy job working with CNN’s Freedom Project at Link Campus in Rome. He also knows John Brennan. Intelligence agencies like to give out professional gifts like this plum academic position for completing missions. In the US, it is widely known that intelligence agencies gift the children of assets to get them into prestigious Ivy League schools.”
At minimum, we can surmise that Mifsud was not a Russian agent, but was an asset of Western intelligence agencies. We are left with the impression that the Mifsud saga served as a ploy, whether he participated knowingly or not. It seems reasonable to conclude that the gambit was initially developed with participation of John Brennan and UK intelligence. Following this, Mueller inherited and developed the Mifsud narrative thread into the collusion soap opera we know today.
Ultimately, we are faced with the reality that British and US interests worked together to fabricate a collusion scandal to subvert a US Presidency, and in doing so, intentionally raised tensions between the West and a nuclear-armed power.