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LAST MEN IN ALEPPO: Al Qaeda Presented as ‘White Helmets’ for the Annual Terrorist ‘Oscar’ Nomination

Vanessa Beeley
21st Century Wire

“A lion from Jabhat Al Nusra (Al Qaeda in Syria) died today and went to Paradise, I pray that God will accept his soul.”

No, that is not a quote from a terrorist group member in Syria. It is a statement taken from the Facebook page of Hasan Kattan, the Assistant Director of the latest White Helmet promotional blockbuster, Last Men in Aleppo. Shortly after this Facebook post was exposed, Kattan scrambled to remove this and all other incriminating images from his page or made them private/invisible to public view. The full testimonial attributed to this Al Qaeda militant, written by Kattan in 2014, is even more gushingly poetic:

” His beautiful smiles that illuminated his face still existing in my tired memory. He wasn’t like any other Mujahid (fighter). He loved fighting and dying under the Islamic flag and he already did. He was, among the others, the most fine and religious , had piety and a sense of humour. A lion from Al Nusra Front died today and went to Paradise . I pray that God will accept his soul.” 

Below, is the image of this “Lion of Nusra Front” on Kattan’s Facebook page. There is also a comment from Fadi Al-Halabi, director of photography for Last Men in Aleppo. Halabi’s comment reads:

“This is Jaloud who died , he went to paradise.” 

Post from Hasan Kattan facebook page, including the comment from Last Men in Aleppo’s director of photography, Fadi Al-Halabi.

Kattan is described, by CNN, as being “Executive Director” of the Aleppo Media Centre (AMC) a largely French Foreign Office-incubated and subsidized media centre that produced much of the Western media narrative during the Nusra Front-dominated occupation of East Aleppo, for almost five years. A media centre that, like so many, was exclusively embedded with the various terrorist and extremist militant factions and never deviated from the war-lobby-aligned “exclusives” that were sanctioned by Nusra Front aka Al Qaeda, who gave the green light for any video footage production in the districts it controlled.

Kattan was responsible for the AMC iconic footage of Omran Daqneesh. The notorious dishevelled and dusty image of Omran almost changed the course of the war in Syria in favour of the US Coalition of proxy terror as the UN teetered on the brink of No Fly Zones and further faux-humanitarian intervention on the pretext of rescuing more Omrans from the “brutality of the Syrian regime” and its allies, principally Russia.

Only after the liberation of all districts of East Aleppo from its terrorist stranglehold, in December 2016, did we discover the truth behind the Omran chronicle that had been so skilfully manipulated by the AMC, White Helmets and assorted NATO-aligned media outlets worldwide. Kattan had produced a lie packaged as an ‘incontrovertible truth’ in order to, yet again, swing public opinion against the Syrian government, Syrian Arab Army and allies. It almost succeeded until the family of Omran Daqneesh spoke out, in 2017, against this weaponisation of children which has been a common theme in the information war being waged against Syria by the colonial media in the West and Gulf States.

Even after the purge, Kattan’s Facebook page still reveals his allegiance to the Syrian “revolution” and the now-debunked “moderate” extremists in the Free Syrian Army (FSA). Have the audiences of the Last Men in Aleppo simply forgotten that the FSA has been proven to be allied with the more extremist factions inside Syria, such as Nusra Front, and is committing appalling crimes against the Syrian people on a daily basis? Have they also forgotten the White Helmet claims of impartiality and neutrality, their statement that they ‘adhere to no political ideology in Syria’?

A number of scenes in Last Men in Aleppo show the White Helmet ‘heroes’ celebrating and demonstrating enthusiastically with the supporters of the “revolution” in East Aleppo. These ‘supporters’, of the phony “revolution”, incarcerated and brutalised Syrian civilians during their terrorist reign in these districts. They brought nothing but death, poverty, suffering, destruction and misery according to the Syrian civilians who have now returned to their homes since the SAA liberated these areas and the White Helmets departed on the green buses, with Nusra Front, to Idlib in December 2016.

Idlib is the ultimate terrorist front-line and the White Helmets have resumed their role as human shields and producers of the “last hospital” narratives to trigger the cries of “humanitarian disaster” from the BBC and the UN, among others. The Guardian’s Kareem Shaheen has even cited the self-proclaimed terrorist supporter and leader of the White Helmets in Khan Sheikhoun, Mustafa Al Haj Yusef, in his eagerness to promote the terrorist perspective from Idlib while, again, condemning the Syrian people to prolonged suffering, in this Nusra Front-occupied province.

Emphasis has been added to demonstrate the indiscriminate hyperbole used by these White Helmet newshounds:

“The bombing is constant. It’s not daily but hourly, on the whole region, and it seems to be completely random,” said Mustafa al-Haj Youssef, a rescue worker for the White Helmets in charge of Idlib. “The thing that hurts us most is the double-tap strikes, when the regime bombs an area, and we go to it after receiving emergency calls, and then they bomb it again. The displacement [of refugees] is usually out of fear of indiscriminate bombing,” he said. 

So, to complete the Kattan chapter. This is a French Foreign Office-bankrolled and media-trained operative who has eulogized the death of an Al Qaeda terrorist in Syria. Kattan has already produced one of the most memorable lies of the seven-year-long Syrian conflict – Omran Daqneesh – and hot on the heels of this short-lived propaganda  “triumph”, he is involved in the second Hollywood blockbuster to glorify the Nusra Front-affiliated White Helmets.

The White Helmet Centre in Al-Insari, East Aleppo

The former White Helmet centre in Al-Ansari, East Aleppo. January 2018. (Photo: Vanessa Beeley)

While in Aleppo over the New Year 2018, I visited the White Helmet centre that features in Last Men in Aleppo, with local journalist, Khaled Iskef. Iskef had identified the Al Insari area as being the correct location prior to my arrival. We had also previously visited this area in July/August 2017 and ascertained that it was a frontline for Nusra Front and a number of other extremist brigades, all financed by the US Coalition, including the client-states of Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Like so many of the buildings occupied by the White Helmets and their Nusra Front associates, this building had been a school prior to its conversion to a centre for “Nusra Front’s Civil Defence“.  The Fenon school for girls and the Abu Ayoub Al Insari school are now being restored to their original use and will be open very soon to continue providing secular education for the children of Aleppo.

Below is a very revealing screenshot taken from a BBC Arabic video report, filmed in December 2016, published in April 2017, three months after Last Men in Aleppo had scooped the 2017 Sundance Film Festival award on the 28th January 2017. Extraordinarily, the BBC made no connection between the footage of terrorist activity they had produced and the footage featured in Last Men in Aleppo even though the BBC report was clearly in the same location and filmed just prior to the Last Men in Aleppo win at the Sundance Festival.

It will become clear later in Part Two of this article, quite why the BBC may have been reluctant to make that critical connection that would expose the White Helmets as the terrorist affiliates they really are. However it is clear when you compare the two photographs – 1. My photo from January 2018 and 2. The BBC screenshot – that they are both of the White Helmet centre featured in the Last Men in Aleppo movie, located in the Al-Insari district of Nusra Front-occupied East Aleppo.

The first important point to be made about the location of the White Helmet centre is its proximity to Al Mashad Square, just 200 metres from the Al-Insari centre. It was in this square that the extremist group, Nour Al Din Zenki, publicly tortured and beheaded 12 year old Palestinian child, Abdullah Issa in July 2016. Issa begged his torturers to shoot him, but he was decapitated and his head was held aloft by his executioner standing on the back of a pick-up truck.

Hasan Kattan who raced to feed the photographs & video of Omran Daqneesh to Western media, did not seem so eager to produce images or video footage of the murder of Abdullah Issa commited one month prior to the incident involving Omran. One can only conclude that Kattan was not keen to portray the White Helmet neighbours as de facto terrorists committing atrocities against the Syrian people under their control. That would raise all sorts of awkward questions and speculation as to why the White Helmets would permit such crimes to be carried out on their watch & in their neighbourhood.

I filmed the following video during my visit to the Al-Insari White Helmet centre, while walking from the centre to Al Mashad Square. Watch:

Then lets take a look at the neighbours of the Al-Insari White Helmets. In the adjacent buildings we could identify the previous presence of Nusra Front, Khatib Abu Amara brigade (Nusra Front protection corps), Free Syrian Army, Free Syrian Police, Aleppo Media Centre and Aleppo Today media buildings. How do we know this? Because of the graffitti on the walls and the signage that has been covered up by the Syrian authorities, keen to erase all trace of these US Coalition-backed terrorists that oppressed, starved, raped and tortured Syrian civilians in East Aleppo for the duration of their occupation.

One of the buildings next door to the White Helmet centre in Al-Insari. January 2018. (Photo: Vanessa Beeley)

The following video will walk you through the White Helmet Al-Insari neighbourhood. Watch: 

When I first mentioned that I had visited this area of East Aleppo and had identified the location of the Last Men in Aleppo footage, the director of the film, Firas Fayyad commented publicly on my Facebook post that I published while still in Aleppo. He tried to protest that I had mistaken the area as so many buildings, especially ‘governmental “Ba’ath” buildings look identical’:

“This is not where I shoot the film and there are several places in Aleppo look like that colour, and all Colours of Ba’ath headquarters or any governmental places look like each other in Syria. There are no linked or relations between the White Helmets and this group of fighters or Al Qaeda. […] you attack the White Helmet who is the most human group on Earth, and they are Syrian and people who give everything for their society” 

Really Fayyad?

Screenshot from Last Men in Aleppo outside the Al-Insari White Helmet centre. 

Screenshot from Last Men in Aleppo. Behind the main actor is the Syria Civil Defence sign in Arabic.

Photo of the same street, with White Helmet centre on the right. January 2018. (Photo: Vanessa Beeley)

I think we can safely say that Fayyad was lying when he tried to throw me off the scent. Does Fayyad feel so confident that his international backers will protect him, no matter what evidence is brought to light in Syria that will condemn the White Helmets as an Al Qaeda support group financed by the same governments who are also arming, equipping & lining the pockets of the terrorist entities that still operate in Syria.

Finally lets take a look inside one of the buildings a little upstream from the former White Helmet centre and on the other side of the road:

In this building, which also features in Last Men in Aleppo, we find the Tamkeen logo on the walls. Tamkeen is the UK FCO financed project,managed by Adam Smith International and Integrity Consulting which was analysed at length in my previous article asking if “Global Britain” is bankrolling terrorist organisations & individuals in Syria. Clearly, Tamkeen had a presence or an influence in the Al-Insari district that was infested with a variety of terrorist groups and their affiliated organisations.

White Helmets & ‘Local Councils’ – Is the UK FCO Financing Terrorism in Syria with Taxpayer Funds?

We’ve spent £200m in Syria – for nothing. It is now clear that British backing for the ‘rebels’ in the Syrian civil war was not just a mistake, it was a disaster. The policy made a horrific war much worse, and facilitated the growth of ISIS. Though the Government said we were helping ‘moderates’, the main beneficiaries were Al-Qaeda and other jihadists…” ~ Peter Oborne

Second Oscar for Al Qaeda?

Yes, the Last Men in Aleppo has been propelled to the second Oscar nomination for what is little more than an Al Qaeda promotional flick. The first Academy award for the Netflix Documentary on the White Helmets was in 2017, now the Last Men in Aleppo has been nominated for 2018. How on earth have we arrived at such a place in our existence where our Governments can finance both ends of the terrorist spectrum and not be in prison? Nusra Front and all other rebrands of the terrorist factions are simply the other side of the coin to the White Helmets. One cannot operate without the other and our Governments are arming, funding and equipping both sides.

Sputnik correspondent, Denis Bolotsky, told me that Fayyad likened himself to Shakespeare during his recent speech at Davos:

“We would have never heard about the conflict of Hamlet without Shakespeare” – he says – “We would have listened to a small part of the 15th century. With Shakespeare we understand what kind of lives these people lived, what kind of conflict they lived through. So this here is not to bring them as White Helmets, it’s to bring them as humans, I didn’t want to make these people as heroes.”

Bolotsky went on to describe, to me, how organised groups of children from Davos middle-school were brought to the screening of Last Men in Aleppo. This is a disturbing aspect surrounding the marketing of this latest White Helmet enterprise. Children, aged between 12-14 were subjected to imagery that is surely not suitable for impressionable minds – the flinging of decomposing, dismembered limbs from buildings to White Helmets standing below, the parading of dead, excavated babies for the camera, the endless invective against the Syrian government and its allies.

“Fayyad doesn’t flinch from the gruesome details. We see hands, feet and other body parts in the rubble, as well as children’s gaping head wounds: there’s little break from the tears and desperation.” ~ The Guardian review of Last Men in Aleppo.

This is brainwashing and social engineering on an industrial scale and should never have been allowed.

Hanna Elvira, an Academic, who specialises in Psychology, gave this evaluation.

“Through observational learning, children’s exposure to media violence leads to increased aggression, emotional desensitization to violence, dispositional and behavioural changes, in both the immediate and long term context. Even after the single viewing of a violent film, short term effects occur that involve children demonstrating an immediate drop in sympathetic attitudes and less concern for and awareness of aggressive acts. Long term psychological effects in both children and adolescents involve chronic sleep disturbances, depression, anxiety, and a desensitization to violence that increases the likelihood of modeling the aggressive behaviours they observe.” 

Here is the interview I gave to Sputnik regarding the screening of Last Men in Aleppo at Davos:

Who is Promoting ‘Last Men in Aleppo’?

Unsurprisingly, the Guardian tops the league table of unquestioning support for the White Helmet feature film. Olivia Solon‘s recent media-lynch-mob hit piece attempting to discredit all evidence against the White Helmets as produced by Russian trolls, bots and social media dregs, has bombed. Eva Bartlett, one of the Solon-designated “trolls” has written a consummate deconstruction of Solon’s transparently biased and singularly unresearched slander, so I won’t waste my time going over old ground. Evidence against the White Helmet organisation is mounting beyond all attempts to slur those who expose their criminal, terrorist links.

So, the latest fawning admiration for the White Helmet construct emanates from the Guardian’s film reviewer, Charlie Phillips – “A bit doccy, a bit politic, vegan, withering  fan. Head of Documentaries at The Guardian” according to his Twitter profile. Phillips began his review with the bold statement:

“The bravery of the White Helmets in Syria is beyond dispute”

Not true Phillips, the “bravery” of the White Helmets has been disputed multiple times, not by “Russian trolls”, but by the Syrian people whose voices the Guardian systematically erases from our consciousness in the UK.

Other voices are also muted by the Guardian. Censorship is rife at the Guardian when comments do not comply with their UK State-sanctioned narratives. Comments were not activiated on the Solon hit-piece, comments were closed on the Phillips glowing review of the White Helmet movie when the majority proved to be dissenting. Comments were almost universally deleted and eventually closed when the Guardian shamelessly lobbied for the White Helmets to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016. Do we see a pattern here?

Here is a cosy Twitter exchange between the Director of Last Men in Aleppo and Phillips who says ” I work for the Guardian, I’m used to it“. Charlie Phillips is ‘used’ to abuse for blindly amplifying the narratives that serve the “Global Britian” neocolonialist policies and practices but that is as far as it goes.

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” ~ Upton Sinclair

Phillips obviously missed some of the more subtle signals contained within the film:

In this section, the “hero” has pulled into a makeshift garage to repair the radiator of the White Helmet vehicle. In the same garage is parked a vehicle displaying a terrorist flag used by a number of brigades in the East Aleppo district but often identified as the Caucusus Emirate that then morphed into ISIS. This would tie in with the identification of the terrorist buildings connected to the Al-Insari White Helmet centre.

This is a curious inclusion in the Last Men in Aleppo movie. Why depict a man throwing tyres onto an already blazing pyre of burning rubber? Particularly, when this has been identified as a tactic employed by the “opposition”- embedded “citizen journalists” and terrorist-friendly “activists” to create the impression of recent attacks from Syrian Arab Army planes or even Navy as in the case of the fraudulent claims of warship attacks on Lattakia’s coastal town in 2011:

“It reminds me of August 2011 news reports of warships shelling the coastal city of Latakia. Three separate sources – two opposition figures from the city and an independent western journalist – later insisted there were no signs of shelling. It was also the first time I learned from Syrians that you can burn rubber tires on rooftops to simulate the after-effects of exploded shells.” ~ Hollywood in Homs and Idlib, by Sharmine Narwani

I could spend hours going through the Last Men in Aleppo footage to take out the glaringly condemnatory material but I recommend that everyone watches it with a more critical eye. Why would a first responder fling decomposed limbs down from one floor of an already destroyed building to a White Helmet on the ground amid the rubble? Why would these ‘first responders’ then spend, what feels like forever, discussing the size and age of the toes on the limb, on film. Why film this? It is a macabre and disrespectful scene to present to a public who seem to show no horror at this exploitation of the very real suffering of the Syrian people in East Aleppo. Where is the context? Who caused this severing of a limb from the body of a human being under terrorist occupation?

The filmaker gives you no option, it is the Syrian “regime” or the ‘Russian warplanes’ – never does this film describe the horror of life under Nusra Front and associates, in fact they are never mentioned! Why not, and why is nobody questioning this omission? Anyone watching Last Men in Aleppo will assume Nusra Front simply never existed in East Aleppo. Those children who were forced to watch this propaganda will walk away with history rewritten for them. Rewritten by the most predatory forces in the world that are trying to ensure their generation inherits an “Empire of Graveyards“.

Pierre Le Corf, a French humanitarian volunteer, based in Aleppo, has described the criminal process of “cropping” the images that is employed by the colonial media in the West. I thoroughly recommend listening to Le Corf, an authentic and genuine transmitter of the Syrian voices that are eradicated by Firas Fayyad and his production team:

As John Pilger said in his 2012 article, History is the Enemy as ‘Brilliant’ Psy-ops Become the News

“How much longer must we subject ourselves to such an “invisible government”?  This term for insidious propaganda, first used by Edward Bernays, the nephew of Sigmund Freud and inventor of modern public relations, has never been more apt.  “False reality” requires historical amnesia, lying by omission and the transfer of significance to the insignificant. In this way, political systems promising security and social justice have been replaced by piracy, “austerity” and “perpetual war”: an extremism dedicated to the overthrow of democracy. Applied to an individual, this would identify a psychopath. Why do we accept it?”

Never in history will a more glittering prize be given to the parade of ‘psychopaths’ on the Academy’s red carpet, as for the second year running, the White Helmets are nominated for an Oscar.

The BBC, Channel 4, Guardian, CNN Cabal Defending Terrorism in Syria 

In Part Two of this article, I will delve deeper into the connections that link the BBC, Channel 4, the UN, CNN, Al Jazeera, The Guardian and yes, Walt Disney into the apparatus that is promoting the White Helmet-Al Qaeda community in Syria, a network whose majority shareholder is none other than “Global Britain”, the 100% neocon-approved UK FCO.



BBC and Guardian Whitewash of UK FCO Funding Scandal in Syria
What to Expect From BBC Panorama and Guardian’s Whitewash of UK Gov’t Funding Terrorists in Syria

White Helmets Evidence Presented at Geneva Press Club:
Vanessa Beeley Presents Exposé on White Helmets at Swiss Press Club in Geneva

‘Global Britain’ – UK Funding a Shadow State in Syria
‘Global Britain’ is Financing Terrorism and Bloodshed in Syria and Calling it ‘Aid’

White Helmets – Hollywood Poster Boys:

WHITE HELMETS: State Sanctioned Terrorism and Hollywood Poster Boys for War

21st Century Wire:
New Report Destroys Fabricated Myth of Syria’s ‘White Helmets’

Initial Investigation into White Helmets:
Who are Syria’s White Helmets?

21st Century Wire article on the White Helmets:  
Syria’s White Helmets: War by Way of Deception ~ the “Moderate” Executioners

Who Funds the White Helmets?
Secret £1bn UK War Chest Used to Fund the White Helmets and Other ‘Initiatives’

Original investigative report:
The REAL Syria Civil Defence Exposes Fake White Helmets as Terrorist-Linked Imposters 

Irish Peace Prize Farce
Tipperary’s White Helmets Peace Prize: A Judas Kiss to the Antiwar Movement and Syria

White Helmets Executions
WHITE HELMETS: Severed Heads of Syrian Arab Army Soldiers Paraded as Trophies

CNN Fabricate News About the White Helmets
A NOBEL LIE: CNN’s Claim That ‘White Helmets Center in Damascus’ Was Hit by a Barrel Bomb

White Helmets Links to Al Nusra
WHITE HELMETS: Hand in Hand with Al Qaeda and Extremist Child Beheaders in Aleppo

Report by Patrick Henningsen
AN INTRODUCTION: Smart Power & The Human Rights Industrial Complex

Open Letter by Vanessa Beeley
White Helmets Campaign for War NOT Peace – Retract RLA & Nobel Peace Prize Nominations

Staged Rescue Videos
(VIDEO) White Helmets: Miraculous ‘Rag Doll Rescue’

White Helmets Oscar Award Farce:
Forget Oscar: Give The White Helmets the Leni Riefenstahl Award for Best War Propaganda Film

Cory Morningstar report:
Investigation into the funding sources of the White Helmets, including Avaaz, Purpose, The Syria Campaign

Open letter to Canadian MPs from Stop the War Hamilton (Canada):
Letter from the Hamilton Coalition to Stop War to the New Democratic Party in Canada ref the White Helmet nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize:

Open letter to Canada’s NDP Leader on Nobel Prize:
Letter to NDP from Prof. John Ryan protesting White Helmet nomination for RLA and Nobel Peace Prize.

READ MORE WHITE HELMETS NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire White Helmets Files

READ MORE SYRIA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Syria Files




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