CoJiT: The "Anti-Extremism" Think Tank Started by Sons of Israeli Superspy Robert Maxwell
Posted by sashimi on August 4, 2021, 2:16 am
Alan Macleod, 3 August 2021 |
Lede: CoJiT's profound and manifold connections to the Israeli security state
call into question the Maxwell brothers' motives for founding the think tank,
considering how an anti-Muslim extremism agenda could dovetail so easily with a
pro-Israeli state one.
LONDON - If you have not heard of Combating Jihadist Terrorism and Extremism
(CoJiT), you are probably not alone. The London-based think tank does not go out
of its way to advertise itself. Yet it appears to be having an outsized effect
on domestic British policy towards terrorism and surveillance, pushing for more
all-encompassing measures against Muslims in the name of fighting terrorism both
at home and worldwide.
Yet a closer look at its connections to the notorious Maxwell family - headed by
"Israeli superspy" Robert Maxwell and including his daughter Ghislaine and
Jeffrey Epstein - as well as its ties to the infamous Department of War Studies
at King's College, London, suggests that something else might be afoot.
Espionage: a family affair
CoJiT was started by Ian and Kevin Maxwell, sons of disgraced media tycoon
Robert, former owner of The Daily Mirror newspaper. Ian is still a director of
the think tank, although Kevin's name is now nowhere to be found on its
website. Apart from his publishing empire, Robert Maxwell is well-known to have
been an Israeli intelligence asset before his mysterious death aboard his luxury
yacht in 1991. First recruited by the intelligence services in the 1960s, he
began buying up Israeli tech companies in the 1980s, some of which were official
service providers for the Mossad, according to his biographers Gordon Thomas and
Martin Dillon. The Israeli spying agency used these computer firms to provide
cover to its agents worldwide, helping them carry out clandestine activities
around the globe.
Maxwell is also suspected of providing a wide range of services to the national
security state, so much so that when he died, his body was flown to Israel for a
full state funeral fit for a "national hero," as The Washington Post reported at
the time. This surprised many casual onlookers, as Maxwell had no formal public
connection whatsoever to the Jewish state until three years previously. He was
honored with a funeral at the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, one of the holiest
sites in Judaism, the spot from which Jesus is said to have ascended to
heaven. His interment was attended by many government and intelligence
officials, including then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, who eulogized him as a
hero of Israel.
In the United Kingdom, however, he is undoubtedly remembered less fondly, known
mostly for his gigantic financial embezzlement scandal that left his workforce's
retirement plans in tatters. As the newspaper The Scotsman remarked ten years
later in 2001,
If [Maxwell] was despised in life, he was hated in death when it emerged he had
stolen 440 million [pounds] from the pension fund of Mirror Group Newspapers. He
was, officially, the biggest thief in British criminal history.
The government inquest into the scandal was damning for Maxwell's son, too. "The
extent of Mr. Robert Maxwell's activity was known to Mr. Kevin Maxwell and some
of those closely associated with Mr. Robert Maxwell," it noted, adding that
"[t]he primary responsibility rests with Mr. Robert Maxwell. In addition
Mr. Kevin Maxwell bears a heavy responsibility in respect of many of the
events." Left with a business empire in tatters, his sons were unable to cope,
with Kevin becoming the largest bankruptcy case in U.K. history.
Most accounts of the family present Ian and Kevin as relentlessly browbeaten and
dominated by their father. Largely spurned in life, reports state that Kevin in
particular is consumed by an overwhelming desire to be "his dad reincorporated,"
of whom he is still in awe. Certainly, Ian and Kevin appear to have similar,
eyebrow-raising business ties. At one point Ian was a director of 31 companies,
Kevin 24, despite some of them hemorrhaging money.
If Ian and Kevin took over Robert's business mantle, others have already gone
into the other family business. Isabel, another of the nine Maxwell siblings,
continued her father's exploits in tech - and in Israel. Described by
investigative journalist Whitney Webb as "Israel's back door into Silicon
Valley," Isabel used Robert's connections to strike deals with some of the tech
world's biggest players, including Microsoft co-founders Bill Gates and Paul
Allen. She told Israeli newspaper Haaretz that she saw her work in tech as an
opportunity to "continue her father's commitment to the country. In 2001, Isabel
vowed to "work only on things involving Israel." In a more overtly political
move, she also accepted a position as the governor of the Peres Centre for
MintPress spoke with Webb about the Maxwell/Epstein clan. "Isabel says that she
took over the Israel portfolio of her father. And I would say that Kevin and Ian
took over the business side of what their father was doing," Webb said. "Not
only was Robert Maxwell conducting espionage activities, he was also involved in
a lot of fraud and a shady web of front companies and businesses."
Also of note is Isabel's son (and Robert's grandson) Alex Djerassi. Almost
straight out of college, Djerassi was employed by Hillary Clinton (an individual
with ties to Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell) in her ultimately
unsuccessful presidential bid of 2008. Nevertheless, he was given a job in her
State Department, at first as a "Special Assistant" but quickly rising to become
Chief of Staff at the Office of the Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Near
Eastern Affairs. In this role, he was a strategic advisor and oversaw
U.S. relations with Israel, Arabia and Iran. In his biography at the Carnegie
Endowment for Peace, he notes that he "worked on matters relating to
democratization and civil society in the Arab world, the Arab uprisings, and
Israeli-Palestinian peace." That someone whose immediate family, including his
mother, are more-or-less openly working as agents of a foreign country he is
overseeing is of some concern.
The irony over how the Maxwell dynasty presents itself mounts, as Isabel was
also CEO of an Israeli tech company that "protects children online" at the same
time as her sister Ghislaine was allegedly actively abusing children. Ghislaine
is currently being held at a detention center in Brooklyn, awaiting trial for
her role in sex trafficking minors. Her brothers maintain her innocence, with
Ian in particular leading a campaign to prove it. Together, Ian and Kevin have
reportedly come up with millions of dollars worth of collateral and guarantees
to get her out of her cell - and conditions that Ian has described as "torture."
Where they have found this money if they indeed lost their fortune is a question
of some debate, reigniting old rumors that perhaps Robert's fortune was not lost
Ghislaine's partner Jeffrey Epstein also reportedly had ties to Israeli
intelligence. Four separate sources told Rolling Stone magazine that Epstein had
directly worked for Israel. The New Yorker had long kept his identity a
mystery. As The Sunday Times wrote in 2000, "He's Mr. Enigmatic. Nobody knows
whether he's a concert pianist, property developer, a CIA agent, a math teacher
or a member of Mossad." There appears to be at least a kernel of truth in many
of these identities. Alexander Acosta, former secretary of labor, testified
that, while an attorney in South Florida, he was instructed to cut an extremely
lenient deal for Epstein's sex crimes case, as he "belonged to intelligence" and
that the matter was "above his pay grade." Epstein and Robert Maxwell had close
ties going back to the 1980s, when the former allegedly began helping the tycoon
to hide his fortune in various offshore accounts.
Barely 700 followers, all kinds of influence
These profound and manifold connections to the Israeli security state call into
question the Maxwell brothers' motives for founding Combating Jihadist Terrorism
and Extremism, considering how an anti-Muslim extremism agenda could dovetail so
easily with a pro-Israeli state one.
CoJiT's stated goal is to "eliminate jihadist terrorism," and to "discuss openly
and without fear or favour what should be done to counter it." Arriving on its
website, viewers are greeted with a picture of and words from former U.K. Prime
Minister Theresa May, who said "We need to become far more robust in identifying
extremism and stamping it out across society." In his organization's book,
"Jihadist Terror: New Threats, New Responses," Ian Maxwell states that "CoJiT is
an initiative designed to make a rapid, direct and high-profile contribution in
responding to these difficult questions and to play a catalysing role in the
'national conversation' called for by the prime minister."
A measure of how little known CoJiT is to the general public is the
organization's Twitter account, which has barely 700 followers. But that is not
to say their influence is negligible; far from it. CoJiT's audience is the
British government (and other allied nations). At its inaugural conference in
2018, held at the prestigious Royal Institution, the keynote speech was given by
Sara Khan, the government's Lead Commissioner for Countering Extremism. Also
taking part was Jonathan Evans, former Director General of MI5, Britain's
domestic intelligence agency.
-- Cont'd at https://www.mintpressnews.com/cojit-influential-think-tank-started-sons-israel-superspy-robert-maxwell/278112/