ISSN 2330-717X

Syria: Interviews With Alleged Terrorist Cell Claim Muslim Brotherhood Backing

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Syrian TV on Wednesday aired confessions of a terrorist cell who were supplied with money and weapons by “foreign bodies” to carry out plots and acts of sabotage in Syria, reports state media agency SANA, adding that various types of weapons seized along with the terrorist cell were also shown. In particular the reports claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood was financing unrest in Syria.

With protests rocking the nation and growing international criticism, the SANA report appears to support official claims of foreign financing aimed at destabilizing the country.

SANA, citing Syrian TV, quotes Anas Kanj – which it claims is the head of the terrorist cell – as saying, “I was born in Damascus in 1982 and I work in the field of billboards in Housh Blas industrial city…I was arrested on Sunday, 10th of April…I had formed a cell encompassing two members; namely, Mohammad Bader al-Qalam and Mohammad Ahmad al-Sukhneh. I head the cell under the name /The Syrian Revolution/, which aimed at moving the country from a bad situation to a better one.”

The SANA report continued, quoting Kanj as saying, “We were recently tasked with a mission to launch an armed attack against al-Sbeineh Police Station in Damascus Countryside taking advantage of the low level of security around it.”

“I recruited al-Qalam and al-Sukhneh, as they have been my intimate friends for more than 5 or 6 years, and I trust them and they trust me, which is why I recruited them…When I suggested this issue to them, they said ‘ok’ and that they need weapons, and I told them that weapons are available…We received orders to instigate the people to go out for demonstrations, particularly near the Umayyad Mosque. Therefore, I sent Bader with 8 young people to the Mosque to chant ‘freedom’ slogans, and about 500 people gathered around them. After that, the security forces came, and Bader fled under the pretext that he is a translator or a tourist guide with two foreign female tourist,” Kanj said, according to SANA.

“We were instructed later to be armed and to carry out operations in support of the people in Daraa and all the Syrian governorates such as Lattakia and Baniyas…This was to be done through Ahmad Audeh, whom I have known for more than a year and a half and who was the messenger between me and MP Jamal al-Jarrah in Lebanon, and he told me that we must shoot at the demonstrators, the rally and the young men who support President Bashar al-Assad. I took some sniper and Kalashnikov rifles from him and headed towards the rally, but neither me nor my companions could shoot at the young men because we consider them our fellow brothers… so I returned and told him (Audeh), but he rejected this and said that we must shoot and sow sedition among the young men, and make it appear that the supporters are the ones who did that,” Kanj said, in the SANA report.

According to SANA, Kanj added, “Of course, I was not seeing Ahmad that much as he was frequently going to Lebanon and would only come when there were new instructions or a new mission. The latest mission was to attack Sbeineh Police Station in Damascus Countryside on the basis that Ahmad would provide us with a car resembling that of the security forces, in addition to highly sophisticated telephones…We assigned someone with the task of taking photos for the injured and the killed people and sending the photos directly to the so-called al-Thawra website (Revolution) on Facebook.”

“Of course, Ahmad had been recently telling me that he belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood Group and that he would let me meet MP Jamal al-Jarrah, who was very generous with me that he wouldn’t let me need anything…and he would help me whenever anyone of my family was ill, and whenever I needed money. I was supposed to see him, but I couldn’t due to his circumstances,” Kanj said, according to SANA.

“The last time I met Ahmad, he proudly told me about a person called Fidaa al-Sayyed whom he claimed he was the secretary general of the Muslim Brotherhood Group in Syria and is well-known in the country…He said that he will take me to the MP al-Jarrah after attacking al-Sbeineh Police Station, and he told me that al-Jarrah is very generous and he will recruit me and make me close to him…I asked him when we were going to attack the station, and he told me that we must appear as police officers or security members when we will attack the station, and we must kill people and sabotage the country,” he added.

He went on saying, SANA reported, “I asked him when he would let me meet al-Jarrah, and he said ‘al-Jarrah is in Lebanon, and I work in Bekaa and the contacts between me and him are weak somehow, and when he is not busy, we will go and see him’…so I told him that there was no problem, and I was in need for money to strengthen my cell .”

In the report, Kanj is quoted as saying,  “Ahmad had told me that there were other cells. I don’t know them or they are unknown. But he deals with those in charge of them…they have plenty of weapons which he brought through Lebanon in a way of bribery on the border…He has a group of persons on the border who make sure he doesn’t get isnpected.”

“I said to Ahmad ‘If one day, we get a strange weapon, how could we train ourselves on using it’, and he told me ‘I had prepared a training cell to train you on using all weapons’…The cell trained us on using the sniper rifles which I didn’t know their names or how to use them. however, it proved very easy to deal with… He gave us some sniper rifles and some weapons which we knew how to use and some which we didn’t, so he trained us on using them.”

Kanj added “Regarding the attacks, Ahmad would draw them out for us very precisely. He warned us to abide by his instructions in order to avoid any mistakes. In the latest operation, his aim was to attract attention through al-Thawra Website on Facebook to make the people believe that the Syrian security members are the ones who were killing the citizens.”

He added, “Ahmad told us that we should support our brothers in Daraa and in all the other Syrian provinces, and that we should be unified to get rid of this regime in any way because it is an unjust regime, so I asked Ahmad ‘what If we needed more weapons, and when we recruit more persons what should we do?’ he told me ‘your job is to recruit persons, and as for the money or weapons, don’t worry they are available,” according to the SANA report.

SANA also reported that the alleged member of the terrorist cell, Mohammed Bader al-Qalam, said, “I am a Syrian citizen. I was connected to a person called Anas Kanj, who has been my friend for more than five years. At the time when the demonstrations started in Syria, my friend Kanj came to me and told me ‘Let us go out and demonstrate’. I asked him ‘how could we demonstrate and we are only two…what should we do?’ He said we should get the people to gather and go out to the streets. I asked him how we would gather the people, he said ‘I am ready to support you with money, and we will give the people money to demonstrate with us’, so I asked him from where he got the money, and I insisted on him to tell me from where he gets the money, so he was compelled to tell me that there is a person who supports him called Jamal al-Jarrah, who is connected with the Muslim Brotherhood Group and that there was a messenger between al-Jarrah and Kanj who is a worker called Ahmad Audeh, who is the coordinator between them.”

According to SANA, Al-Kalam ,added “We started to go out and got people to gather and we paid money for them, then we went out for demonstration which took place at the Umayyad Mosque about two weeks ago. We demonstrated, and we returned home and nobody has stopped us.”

Al-Qalam said, “In the next week, Kanj said it was not enough to go out for demonstrations, and that we must carry out sabotage acts to destroy the country. I asked him why. He said it is necessary to sabotage the country. I asked him ‘how? we haven’t weapons, and what kind of sabotage acts we should do.’ He said we can make an explosion or any other thing. I told him ‘we haven’t weapons or any thing’. He told me ‘It is not your business; we can get weapons in twenty four hours’. I asked him ‘what kind of weapons’. He told me ‘weapons like sniper rifles and RPG launchers. All what you want will be available; even tanks can be made available.’ I wondered ‘Really! to that extent!’ He answered me talking about demonstrations, ‘Do you believe that people demonstrate by themselves; most people who are going out for demonstrations are doing so, because they are paid money. There are people who pay them money and support them’,” reported SANA.

Al-Qalam added, “I didn’t discuss the issue with him so much. What is important is that Kanj wanted to meet me and Ahmad Audeh in Damascus. Audeh came and we met in Damascus. He said he was ready to bring us everything and provide a car for us, and I was the one who was supposed to drive it. He said that he would be ready at the time when we explode the police station to take photos and to immediately post them on Facebook; so that the people will say “Look, it is the security members who are sabotaging the country,” according to SANA.

“Audeh, Kanj, al-Sukhneh and I met in Damascus and Audeh started to explain the plan for us. As for Kanj, I felt that he is sympathetic towards the Muslim Brotherhood, but as for Audeh I am sure that he is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. I Knew that Kanj has this tendency towards the Muslim Brotherhood, because when he asked me to demonstrate, he told me that we should demonstrate against the regime,” he said, according to SANA.

SANA also reported that the alleged member of the terrorist cell, Mohammed Ahmad al-Sukhneh, said “I was born in Damascus in 1986. Kanj and al-Qalam are my friends. Kanj was the biggest instigator among us. Al-Qalam had a tendency to participate in what was going on, and Kanj exploited this tendency and they started to talk about political issues.”

According to SANA, Al-Sukhneh said, “Al-Qalam participated in a demonstration at the Umayyad Mosque and a demonstration at Kefer Susah Mosque, and he told us about those issues. It was a mere talking, and one day I met with them after they called me. I met with Kanj and al-Qalam in a house at Bab Mussala area in Damascus, and there I met with a man called Ahmad, but I didn’t know his surname…During the meeting, they touched upon the situation in the country and the news items reported by al-Jazeera and al-Arabia news channels which steer the people’s anger and sow hatred and malice against the security forces on the basis that it is the security forces who did those acts. At the meeting, we talked about what we should do, and Kanj had planned to attack al-Sbeineh Police Station and to take the weapons of the policemen because the station is not well secured.”

Al- Sukhneh said “Kanj told us that in case any of us were martyred, his family would get a very big prize, and in case we survived, we would also get a prize and a monthly salary. He also told us that there are foreign groups who supply them with weapons, and there are other operations to be carried out as much as they could recruit persons and try to get people to go out for demonstrations to denounce the security forces and what is going on in the country,” according to SANA.

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