White Helmets and Hala Systems: the grotesque militarisation of ‘humanitarianism’ in Syria

Vanessa Beeley looks at how the now-infamous White Helmets partnered with Chicago-based Hala Systems to militarize so-called humanitarian efforts in Syria.

Syria, August 2019 – reports came in that Russian warplanes had destroyed two terrorist-manned early warning radar posts in the Northern Hama countryside, known as the 20th post and the Eagle post.

White Helmets training in early warning systems - developed by Hala Systems. Idlib. Photo: screenshot from Hala Systems promotional video.

White Helmets training in early warning systems – developed by Hala Systems. Idlib. Photo: screenshot from Hala Systems promotional video.

According to an article published by South Front, these early warning posts are “tasked with monitoring flights of Russian and Syrian warplanes” and warn armed groups throughout Hama and Idlib of incoming airstrikes on their positions.

South Front informed us that “four militants, including two commanders known as Abu Jalbib and Abdo al-Nasan, were killed during the Russian attacks on the posts”. Based on that information it is clear that these posts are military and not “humanitarian” surveillance bases.

Hala Systems logo - “protect everything that matters”. Photo: Screenshot from promotional video.

Hala Systems logo – “protect everything that matters”. Photo: Screenshot from promotional video.

September 2019 – according to reports from Syrian Alikhbaria TV channel (in Arabic), Nusra Front or Al Qaeda terrorists (rebranded as Hayat Tahrir Al Sham or HTS) installed surveillance cameras at the western side of the Abu Duhur humanitarian corridor at Al-Sultan hill to monitor civilians who attempt to flee the terrorist-held areas of Idlib to safe zones controlled by the Syrian Arab Army and Russian military and humanitarian agencies.

On September 26th 2019, medical sources informed Al Watan newspaper in Damascus that Nusra Front terrorists opened fire on civilians trying to use the Abu Duhur corridor – 2 civilians were killed and 20 others wounded.

The targeting of civilians attempting to flee terrorist-occupied and controlled areas of Syria is a familiar one, reported in East Aleppo and Eastern Ghouta as the SAA advanced towards final liberation of these districts. The value of these civilians for the terrorists is primarily as human shields, hostages to be used as instruments to turn back the inevitable sweep to victory of the SAA across Syria.

It has also been reported to me, by civilians and medical staff in the region, that the armed groups demand upwards of $ 500 of an already impoverished civilian population to be allowed to exit via these Russian/Syrian-established corridors.

Who is providing the terrorist groups still occupying the north-west of Syrian territory, Idlib, with the surveillance equipment and early warning technology to monitor airstrikes and civilian movement?

This article will provide evidence that the White Helmets are a militarised faux “humanitarian” organisation, seemingly providing essential early warning technology to alert the armed groups of imminent airstrikes by Syria and Russia.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (UK FCO) is one of the primary financiers of this pseudo “first responder” group that has usurped the original and Syrian Civil Defence, established inside Syria in 1953.

The White Helmets are already proven to be auxiliaries of the multiple extremist offshoots or forerunners of Al Qaeda and ISIS in Syria – this article will demonstrate the extent to which the group provides cover for the supply of military and “humanitarian” equipment that essentially enables the armed groups to combat the Syrian military campaign to reclaim “every inch” of Syrian territory from the terrorist groups acting as proxies for the US Coalition and their allies in the Gulf States, Israel and Turkey.

Hala Systems – who are they and what do they do?

In August 2015, my first article on the White Helmets was published by the Ron Paul Institute. In this article, I mention that Khaled Khatib, a White Helmet cameraman, was demanding an early warning system that would “ensure civilians can flee areas that are about to be bombed”. This appeal was echoed, at the time, by Syria Campaign director, James Sadri.

Syria Campaign were established with seed funding from Ayman AsfariAsfari, a Syrian oil executive, UK resident and supporter of the regime change war against Syria is also known for his generous contributions to the UK Conservative party. Asfari was investigated by the serious fraud squad UK on allegations of extensive bribery and corruption in the oil and gas industry for the last three years, according to the Electoral Commission.

The question I raised at the time in my article was “who would benefit most from this early warning system – the civilians or the “rebels”?

Screenshot from a Hala Systems promotional video - the Sentry system partnering the White Helmets.

Screenshot from a Hala Systems promotional video – the Sentry system partnering the White Helmets.

In August 2016, one year after the appeal launched by the White Helmets and their PR agency, a Chicago-based company, Hala Systems, launched “Sentry” – a “threat-prediction system designed for use by civilians in conflict zones”. Hala Systems itself was launched in 2015 at the same time as the White Helmets were requesting radar support in their role as adjuncts to Al Qaeda (rebranded or affiliates).

According to published data about Sentry – the warning system relies on human observers and remote sensors to collect data on potential air strikes. Observers spot the take-off of Russian or Syrian warplanes – they enter critical information into an Android app, which then sends information to Hala’s servers. Sensors placed in trees or on top of buildings collect acoustic data which aid confirmation of plane type, location and flight path. Software gathers and analyses the data to determine the potential for and location of the incoming air raid. If the risk is high, the system will generate alerts via social media and activate air raid sirens remotely. Using a “neural network”, an automated system continuously scans Facebook, Twitter and Telegram for “posts that might indicate air strikes”.

Sentry is based on an original Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Lincoln Laboratory, prototype.

Screenshot from one of Hala Systems promotional videos. A White Helmet operative describing 11 young boys trapped under the rubble in Idlib.

Screenshot from one of Hala Systems promotional videos. A White Helmet operative describing 11 young boys trapped under the rubble in Idlib.

Hala works in partnership with the White Helmets to implement this technology with a special focus on Idlib province, NE Syria – “the largest Al Qaeda safe haven since 9/11” according to Brett McGurk – former Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS at the U.S. Department of State.

Hala Systems makes the claim that their technology has resulted in an estimated 20-27% reduction in casualty rates in 2018. Of course, it is not determined conclusively whether those casualties are civilians or armed group fighters. There is a history of the manipulation of statistics for the benefit of the US Coalition aggressors in Syria.

Hala Systems website informs us that they are “democratizing advanced defense, sensing, and artificial intelligence technology”. Their team is made up of the following members:

“..a team of 21 [now 29] working together around the world to solve hard problems. Founded by a rocket scientist, an ex-diplomat, and an expert in using technology for good, we hail from leading educational, research, and business institutions (including Stanford, MIT, Wharton, Cambridge, UCL, Imperial, LBS, MIT-Lincoln Laboratory, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, Deloitte, Booz, and the World Bank) and are united by a mission to create a sustainable business that provides massive social impact.” (emphasis added)

Salaries are generous at Hala Systems – an accountant or product manager is offered between $ 60 – 90k. $ 110 – 160k for a “firmware engineer”. According to some estimates, Hala Systems, is now a $4-6 million company with an impressive annual growth rate.

Hala Systems – sponsors and co-founders.

An investigation into the origins, sponsors and founders of Hala Systems makes it very apparent that this is not a simple tech start-up company but suggests a much darker agenda behind their establishment and genesis into a strategic AI technology development agency with military and intelligence connections that cannot be ignored.

1 – Frank Giustra

Hala’s work was made possible by an early investment from global philanthropist, Frank Giustra.

Bill Clinton with Frank Giustra. How Bill and Hillary raised and earned millions from Canada's corporate elite.

Bill Clinton with Frank Giustra. How Bill and Hillary raised and earned millions from Canada’s corporate elite.

Giustra acquired his wealth as a Vancouver based mining financier, he founded Lions Gate Entertainment before he set up the Radcliffe Foundation in 1997 with a declared focus on child welfare, health and education.

Giustra is, perhaps, best known for his long-term collaboration with and financial investment in a huge number of projects launched by former US President, Bill Clinton and former US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. In 2007 Giustra and Bill Clinton launched the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, “now known as Elevate Social Businesses, operating in El Salvador, Haiti and Indonesia.”

Giustra was instrumental in the bankrolling of the Clinton enterprise in Haiti, one that was dogged by controversy and allegations of fraud. The Haiti Development Fund was created in August 2010 by the Clinton Foundation with “an initial endowment of $ 20 million from Giustra and Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim” – after an earthquake had devastated the region in January 2010.

Giustra, one of the biggest donors to the Clinton Foundation was also alleged to have benefited from a trip he made with Bill Clinton to Kazakhstan in 2005. As a result of the trip, Giustra “acquired uranium assets in three of the country’s state-run mines” – a venture valued at more than $ 3 billion. Of course, both Giustra and Clinton have denied any influence being brought to bear to secure such a lucrative deal but the scandal surrounding the Uranium One deal had far reaching implications.

It goes without saying, that Hillary Clinton has been a major contributor to the eight year war that has been waged against Syria since the external fomenting of the “Arab Spring” in 2011.

“the best way to help Israel is to help the rebellion in Syria that has now lasted for more than a year” (i.e. from 2011). How? By mounting the case that the use of force is a sina qua non to make Bashar Assad fold, so as to endanger his life and that of his family”. And Clinton concludes: “wrecking Assad would not only be a huge advantage for the security of the State of Israel, but would also go a long way to reducing Israel’s justifiable fear that it will lose its nuclear monopoly” Wikileaks Clinton emails.

In 2016, Giustra also gifted $ 1 million to the International Crisis Group to enable the creation of the Giustra Fellowship for Conflict Prevention and had provided “transformational financial support since joining its Board of Trustees in 2005”.

The ICG has been investigated for its more iniquitous role as a part of the billionaire complex driving regime change wars and promoting the White Helmets in a three part series co-written by this author with investigative journalist Whitney Webb and published at Mint Press News.

2 – “Angel” investors

Hala Systems reportedly received further seed funding from Brian Paes-Braga of the Quiet Cove Foundation, Tim Young of The Young Family Foundation and physicist, Dr Evan Malone, founder of NextFab Studio.. Dr Malone’s significant contribution to Hala Systems will be explored in full a little later in this article.

In November 2016, Syrian-American tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Sam Yagan, invested in Hala Systems and Karam Foundation – Karam founder, Lina Sergie Attar, is implicated in the production of narratives that again serve to destabilise Syria, criminalise the Syrian government and iconise the White Helmets – with connections to pro-regime-change organisations in the US. Attar sits on the board of directors for The Voices Project/The Syria Campaign – the primary PR agency for the White Helmets. Yagan believes his venture capital fund is ”going to help entrepreneurs solve the world’s problems.”

I can’t help but question how informed these philanthro-capitalists are when it comes to solving the world’s major problem of perpetual war waged under “humanitarian” pretexts and serving, primarily, the Military Industrial Complex and globalist regimes in the so-called civilised global north.

A later sponsor was entrepreneur Mark Cuban who invested $ 1 million into Hala Systems in June 2019.

Cuban cited his reasons for investing in Hala’s AI technology:

“Sentry is a great example of using AI for good in one of the toughest places on Earth. Technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship are powerful foreign policy tools, and they should be used more to promote stabilization along fragile geopolitical fault lines — to move upstream in tackling problems like migration, terrorism, and genocide.” (emphasis added)

Ominously, according to Hala Systems, Cuban’s substantial cash injection will enable the company to expand into regions outside Syria, Hala claim to have “gained a foothold” in Yemen. Cuban represents significant support for Hala – it is rumoured he is considering a bid for the US presidency in 2020.

3 – Co-Founders of Hala Systems

Co-founders of Hala Systems are John Jaeger, David Levin and later, Franz Busse who was drafted in to Hala Systems seemingly after its creation.

John Jaeger, co-founder of Hala Systems. Photo: Rena Effendi

John Jaeger, co-founder of Hala Systems. Photo: Rena Effendi

John Jaeger – videogamer, hacker and software cracker. The promise of “good drugs and startup parties” lured him to Silicon Valley in the late ’90s. In 2012, Jaeger secured an introduction to “someone” in the US State Department via a friend who had worked on President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign. Apparently, the US Government was “recruiting people who could bring corporate experience and technical expertise to Syria” – Jaeger met the criteria.

Jaeger relocated to Istanbul, Turkey in October 2012. According to his own CV, Jaeger worked with the US Department of State – more specifically, the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilisation Operations.

Jaeger describes his primary responsibility as program officer for the CSO “Syria team”. Jaeger “designed and managed an eight figure program, worked directly with Syrians and multiple USG (United States Govt) and ally entities to help create communications networks, develop civilian leadership, inform populace, strengthen independent voices…”

Apparently, Jaeger was heavily involved in the early UK/US-led campaign to destabilise Syria and to topple the Syrian government. Jaeger was based in Turkey, the primary incubator and supporter of the terrorist groups that would flood Syria over the next few years.

In June 2015, Jaeger left the CSO and seemingly went straight to his assigned role with Hala Systems. I can speculate that the distress call came in from the White Helmets, already an integral and highly effective part of the UK/US coalition disinformation system on Syria – Jaeger was strategically placed and with the right skillset to address the demands for an early warning system to protect US client military operatives in the terrorist factions and the White Helmets, facing an increased threat from a recent Russian intervention in September 2015 to support Syria in its war against internationally-sponsored terrorist groups.

It is worth noting that Jaeger does give the impression that the US State Department was disinterested in his early warning system concept – an impression that is made questionable by the US, UK government support that Hala Systems receives which I will demonstrate later in this article.

Certainly, Jaeger was no “accidental” agent to be seconded to the development of technology which would protect US assets from efforts by the Syrian government and allies to retake Syrian territory from their illegal possession.

Dave Levin

Dave Levin of Hala Systems. Photo: Rena Effendi

Dave Levin of Hala Systems. Photo: Rena Effendi

Dave Levin is a Wharton MBA who had worked for the UN Global Compact under Kofi Annan, had been an entrepreneur in the Philippines, and had consulted for McKinsey.” In 2014 Levin founded Refugee Open Ware (ROW) “a catalyst for humanitarian intervention” (emphasis added). ROW was co-founded with Dr Evan Malone mentioned previously as one of the early sponsors of Hala Systems.

Apparently, Levin and Jaeger were “connected” by a Syrian activist. In November 2015, 2 months after Russian intervention, Jaeger made contact with a Syrian “coder” who goes by the name of Murad. Murad had already been active in helping the White Helmets with “data management”. Murad came up with the idea to start connecting White Helmets in neighbouring towns to provide a communication chain regarding pending airstrikes.

Franz Busse

Franz Busse - photo taken from his Linkedin profile.

Franz Busse – photo taken from his Linkedin profile.

Earlier this year, I was given information that Franz Busse had previously responded to a job offer which included an equity investment in Hala Systems. In March 2017, Busse joined the Hala Systems team as co-founder and “chief scientist”.

Busse, a PhD in aerospace engineering, had been with MIT for almost 15 years before he was tempted to join Hala Systems. Busse had been a research assistant at Stanford University and an engineer at Lockheed Martin.

Towards the end of November 2016, Busse had written a research paper in collaboration with Jaeger and Levin, entitled “Aleppo and Beyond: Options for delivering humanitarian aid in dangerous conditions”. Busse advocated US airdrops to the terrorist factions still occupying areas of East Aleppo prior to the SAA final victory and liberation of these districts from the 5 year long terrorist reign over the civilian population. Of course, it is not mentioned that this incursion into Syrian airspace could, correctly, be considered an act of war by the Syrian government and allies.

It is clear from reading the paper that Busse, Jaeger and Levin are unequivocally supporting the US Coalition narrative of “good rebel” versus “bad dictator”, amplifying the western government and aligned media misinformation and outright lies that were commonplace around the time that East Aleppo was being liberated.

I consider it worth pointing out that Busse also discusses UAVs (unmanned air vehicles) or drones as an alternative to planes to deliver aid into Aleppo. Busse discusses the merits of the KMAX, an autonomous rotor-craft sold by Lockheed Martin which can carry 6000 pounds and was used by US Marines in Afghanistan 2011-2014. Busse concludes that UAVs are not a recommended delivery option for Aleppo but that additional development of cargo-scale UAVs is encouraged for future scenarios. This was just before Busse joined Hala Systems.

Why do I mention the Busse reference to UAVs and his clear expertise in that field? It will be explained in my conclusions.

The Hala Systems connections to the US State Department, the UN, the military technology and industrial complex and globalist adventurism (McKinsey) were beginning to take shape and future employees would only further expand upon these connections.

The illusion that Hala Systems was just a minor start-up tech company created in response to the “humanitarian crisis” in Syria, or more specifically Idlib – is rapidly developing serious flaws – not least when I started to look into the governments that are partnering this enterprise.

Hala Systems – government sponsors are promoters and originators of the regime change war against Syria

The list of governments sponsoring or partnering Hala Systems are all involved to a greater or lesser extent in the regime change war against the Syrian government that was planned long before 2011.

Screenshot from Hala Systems website showing their partners.

Screenshot from Hala Systems website showing their partners.

In August 2018, Alistair Burt MP, announced that UK AID was backing Hala Systems early warning system. Burt went on to clarify that the Conflict Stability and Security Fund has effectively supported Hala Systems as part of the new £10 million allocation for the “UK’s response to the Syria crisis”.

Burt proudly announces that the UK is the leading donor in the humanitarian response in Syria, having committed over £ 2.71 billion in humanitarian funding to the region. “Humanitarian” funding that is making its way exclusively into Idlib, the largest Al Qaeda safe haven since 9/11.

It is no coincidence that the CSSF is also siphoning British taxpayer contributions to the White Helmets and to Mayday Rescue, an offshoot NGO established by James Le Mesurier in 2014 to manage the UK FCO funding of the White Helmets. James Le Mesurier, a former MI6 intelligence operative, was the founder of the White Helmets while working for ARK Group in 2013.

Jaeger’s claims that the US State Department showed no interest in Hala Systems was clearly misleading as USAID, one of the primary CIA/US State Department outreach agents, is shown to be partnering Hala – in connection with one of Hala’s employees who will be discussed in a later section of the article.

The Netherlands government has also been heavily involved in the regime change war in Syria – until recently they were funding the White Helmets and Mayday Rescue. However in November 2018, the Netherlands government withdrew this funding because of the suspicion that financing was being diverted to terrorist entities in Syria via these organisations. Despite this, the Netherlands was expected to give asylum to 27 White Helmets who had been evacuated alongside terrorist leaders, by Israel in July 2018.

The Canadian government has been very active in promoting and reinforcing the anti-Syrian government narratives that have driven the war against the Syrian people. Since 2018, the Canadian administration has been more at the forefront of the campaign to criminalise the Syrian government and President Bashar Al Assad culminating in Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland campaigning to revoke the appointment of a Syrian Honorary Consul who was perceived to be “pro-Assad” – Waseem Ramli had also publicly designated the White Helmets a terrorist organisation, a statement that would not be entertained by those who provide protection and PR for this US Coalition-fostered intelligence organisation.

“Canadian stabilization assistance supported the Syria Civil Defence volunteers (the White Helmets) to expand their capacity to remove explosive hazards in the southern de-escalation zone in Syria. [..]Through Hala Systems, Inc., the Sentry early warning air raid system was developed and operationalized.” ~ Canadian Government report

Denmark – In September 2016, the US led an hour long bombing raid against SAA positions on the Tharda mountains to the south of Deir Ezzor airport. More than 100 SAA soldiers were killed during the attack, many others were injured. SAA supplies and equipment were destroyed. The attack enabled ISIS to take control of the area temporarily and put the besieged civilians in Deir Ezzor at high risk of an ISIS attack. Danish air-force F16 planes and drones had taken part in the attack under US command. After the report was published the Danish government withdrew all air support for the US Coalition “against ISIS”.

The Governments supporting Hala Systems are the dominant forces in the US Coalition leading the dirty war against Syria since 2011.

Hala Systems notable directors, board members and advisors – highly motivated, deep state players

I have investigated a percentage of the most notable Hala System employees and directors to offer an insight into the backgrounds of the Hala team. What this does is to reinforce the impression that this organisation is a military, intelligence front agency. It is interesting that Hala Systems is brazen in responding to the question “are they a CIA front” on the FAQ page – certainly, I am sure I am not the first person to suspect this.

Saad Ansari – board member and advisor to Hala Systems. Formerly under secretary of the US Navy. Brookings Institute. McKinsey and Co. Helped start the Pentagon’s disaster technology portfolio. Start-up finalist for MIT 100k award. Ansari currently offers technical advice to Fortune500 companies.

Jason Bohoney – Senior manager with 20 years experience driving revenue growth for leading organisations. Secured Navanti’s first USAID multi-million prime contract. Involved in Department of Security and Defence contracts. Managed 11 USAID-funded projects in 10 countries since 2002.

Wrote and submitted 7 responses to USAID, EU, Microsoft, and Google solicitations around the use of technology, particularly artificial intelligence (AI), to increase civilian protection in conflict-affected areas.

Marko Oroz – Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chief Operating Officer Hala Systems. Former manager at the Clinton-Giustra Enterprise. Oroz is also Managing Director at Levin/Malone-founded ROW. Oroz spent five years as a consultant at Deloitte – a company that has clear ties to the CIA and an alleged history of corporate espionage. Marko graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service with a degree in Science, Technology, and International Relations.

Dan Henebery – is the Director of Analytics at Hala Systems. He was formerly an officer in the US Army and a senior data scientist at Deloitte Consulting. Writing for Atlantic Council on surveillance, tracking methods used in Syria – particularly in relation to alleged chemical weapon attacks that are routinely used to demonise the Syrian government and have facilitated unlawful US Coalition aggression against Syria.

The White Helmets also play a pivotal role in the production of these narratives as recently demonstrated by the staged hospital scenes in the Douma “chemical weapon” debacle, April 2018 – now entirely discredited by the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media.

Adam Arabian – Senior Tech Advisor at Hala Systems. Former US Navy. Chief Technology Officer at ROW. Heavily involved in prosthetic limb research.

These employees and consultants demonstrate the overlap of the companies and sponsors involved with Hala Systems – the usual blurring of lines between NGOs as staff and concepts merge into a cluster of individuals and organisations supporting the US Coalition globalist war campaign in Syria.

Hala Systems marketing & educational partners – powerful transformationalists and global influencing agencies

I will very quickly look into the companies partnering Hala Systems that seem to provide associated technology, professional marketing and product promotion campaigns for the technology that Hala is developing.

Unreasonable Group “backs entrepreneurs bending history in the right direction” Unreasonable Goals develops partnerships between governments, multinationals and entrepreneurs to leverage market forces. UG offers mentorship, financing and government relations and corporate global networks to enable faster worldwide exposure and business expansion.

Dave Levin, co-founder of Hala Systems and “fellow” at Unreasonable. Photo: Unreasonable website.

Dave Levin, co-founder of Hala Systems and “fellow” at Unreasonable. Photo: Unreasonable website.

Consensys Blockchain technology – a global blockchain company with offices in 15 countries, including Israel.

“Israel is a hotbed of technology advancement and central to the development of modern cryptography,” explains ConsenSys Founder Joe Lubin. “In the year since launching ConsenSys Israel, we have witnessed incredible traction amongst developers, enterprises, and individuals passionate about our shared vision of decentralized technology.”

Martin Agency – PR and marketing. “When you impact culture, you impact sales”

Singularity University – Hala Systems was awarded the SU Global Grand Challenge award in the Security section. According to the SU website, they are a “global learning and innovation community using exponential technologies to tackle the world’s biggest challenges and build a better future for all. Our collaborative platform empowers individuals and organizations across the globe to learn, connect, and innovate breakthrough solutions using accelerating technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, and digital biology.”

Creative Destruction Lab – founded at the Rotman School of Management. Partners with Said Business School which is a part of the Said Foundation – part funded by Ayman Asfari whose role in the regime change war in Syria is analysed in the 3 part series on humanitarian war manufacturers and the billionaire complex behind the creation and promotion of the White Helmets in Syria – written by myself and Whitney Webb for Mint Press News.

The NGO connections – refugees, Greece, Israel and organ transplantation.

Examination of the NGOs sponsoring and connected to Hala Systems begins to expand Hala’s operations out into fields that I had not considered when I first started my research into this organisation.

Frank Giustra - the Clinton connection behind the creation of Hala Systems and heavily involved with the supporting NGO complex focused on the refugee crisis in Greece. Photo: website.

Frank Giustra – the Clinton connection behind the creation of Hala Systems and heavily involved with the supporting NGO complex focused on the refugee crisis in Greece. Photo: website.

David Levin and Dr Evan Malone are the co-founder and sponsor of Hala Systems respectively. Both connect in Refugee Open Ware/ ROW as already discussed – with connections to the refugee crisis in Greece. ROW “is a network of social entrepreneurs operating through a decentralized governance structure, united by a common theory of change. ROW was founded in 2014 by Dave Levin and Dr. Evan Malone, Founder of NextFab and NextFab Foundation.”

ROW supporting Hala Systems/White Helmets - photo: ROW website.

ROW supporting Hala Systems/White Helmets – photo: ROW website.

“The Ascend Collaborative is a philanthropic vehicle bringing together leading organizations (e.g., IKEA Foundation, Coca-Cola Foundation, Libra Group, Radcliffe Foundation) to pool resources and expertise in support of effective local organizations working on refugee issues in Greece — over 5 million euros were donated within a year of its founding.”

The Ascend Collaborative or venture fund is overseen by Hala System’s David Levin and Marko Oroz.

ROW supporting Hala Systems/White Helmets - photo: ROW website.

ROW supporting Hala Systems/White Helmets – photo: ROW website.

ROW and NextFab Foundation are sponsored by Frank Giustra – Radcliffe Foundation/Clinton Giustra Enterprise – ROW and the Ascend Collaborative are NextFab programs. NextFab partners with Odyssea, also sponsored by Giustra and the Radcliffe Foundation.

Odyssea’s “vision is to democratize access to technological advances, to enable self reliance, fulfill basic needs, and accelerate efforts towards a more inclusive society.” (emphasis added).

Odyssea lists its funding partners as – Radcliffe Foundation (Giustra), NextFab, European Commission and the Kahane Foundation. Karl Kahane served as President of the foundation until his death in 1993 and was an Austrian entrepreneur. The Foundation was based in Switzerland. Kahane Foundation seems to offer a variety of projects for refugees and displaced children in Greece, Lebanon, Serbia, Turkey and Lebanon.

Kahane Foundation list the following organisations among their “most important partners” – Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontiers), Hadassah Medical Organisation in Israel and HumanRights360.

Hadassah Medical Organisation reported a record year for organ transplants in 2017, the hospital has one of the largest and most active transplantation units in Israel according to the report. “In 2017, the transplantation team performed 22 liver transplants, 100 percent more than in the previous year, and 44 kidney transplants, an increase of 95 percent as compared to the previous year,” reports Prof. Hadar Merhav, Director of the Transplantation Unit – this places Hadassah at the forefront of Israeli hospitals.

HumanRights360 is also sponsored by Giustra/Radcliffe Foundation and is based in Athens. HR360 is also an organisational partner of Odyssea.

HumanRights360 website banner image.

HumanRights360 website banner image.

HR360 states that it is a newly founded civil society organisation in Athens, Greece. HR360 claim to combat the familiar challenges highlighted by the majority of these “refugee crisis”-generated NGOs – Far Right rhetoric, racism, xenophobia while envisioning vibrant, tolerant utopias where governments reject marginalisation and ghetto-ization of immigrant communities.

What all of these “refugee”-linked organisations generally fail to address are the “humanitarian” wars waged by the world governments who do not care about the people displaced from the countries they target with proxy conflicts and resource plundering projects that reduce nations to failed states, driving civilians to seek refuge in Europe and further afield.

Significant donors of HR360 are George Soros’ Open Society Foundation, Help Refugees, Netherlands Embassy and the Radcliffe Foundation.

One particular project is financed by Giustra and Help Refugees – provision of legal aid to unaccompanied and separated minors in Evros – the project aims to motivate unaccompanied and separated children in Evros to seek access to protective services. These minors are considered to be particularly vulnerable in the Orestiada/Fylakio and Evros region and without legal support and alternative protection.

Help Refugees partners the White Helmets, Karam Foundation, Peoples Convoy, Hand in Hand for Syria and Syrian American Medical Society or SAMS.

In April 2018 Independent French Humanitarian Pierre Le Corf runs through the logos on the wall of the M10 hospital in liberated East Aleppo. It includes a message from terrorists in Libya for the terrorists in Syria saying that “Democracy is for Kafirs (non-believers)” and it demonstrates the proximity of SAMS logos and stickers to such terrorist insignia and messages:

As Whitney Webb and I wrote in our MPN three part series that covered the true agenda of many of the named NGOs in the network connected to Hala Systems and, of course, the White Helmets:

Again and again, we demonstrate the close-knit regime-change community, as diverse as it is deadly for Syria and the Syrian people, who have endured seven years of war owing largely to the efforts of these organizations to sustain the narratives that dupe people in the West into believing in the case for “humanitarian” intervention. An intervention that obfuscates the underlying causes while amplifying the fraudulent cover stories for another neocon destabilization campaign in Syria.”

Help Refugees supporting propaganda that maintains the war against a bogus threat to “national security” and against another criminalised leader of an independent, sovereign nation - Syria.

Help Refugees supporting propaganda that maintains the war against a bogus threat to “national security” and against another criminalised leader of an independent, sovereign nation – Syria.

A notorious supporter and member of Help Refugees is Oz Katerji. Katerji’s aggressive defence of the White Helmets and the regime change war in Syria has led him to viciously challenge Jeremy Corbyn, Labour MP, Chris Williamson and anyone who confronts the dominant establishment narrative on Syria with evidence of alternative views and facts that might dismantle the “humanitarian” war storyline entirely. Katerji’s role as guardian of the White Helmet myth and associated terrorist apologism is exposed here.

Conclusions – Militarisation of “humanitarianism?

Many of the puff pieces written about Hala Systems try to maintain the image that it is a humble tech start-up surviving on meagre donations and contributions. The salary range for positions offered by the company suggest otherwise and the pedigree of employees on their payroll are unlikely to have been tempted without the offer of attractive financial incentives.

During an Unreasonable elevator pitch for the company, co-founder Levin says:

“We serve governments like the governments of Germany and the United States and UK and Canada – we help to implement policy like protecting civilians and bringing accountability for war crimes” (emphasis added)

Apart from their powerful governmental support, their private or corporate donors and sponsors include high level global influencers such as Giustra and Cuban. Giustra has connections to former President Bill Clinton, and with Hillary Clinton who may still run for presidency in 2020. Cuban is a potential candidate for the 2020 elections. Giustra himself is no stranger to transformational impact philanthropy. Hala has a blue chip marketing team that contradicts their “humble” image.

Like the White Helmets, Hala’s focus appears to be on the “documentation of war crimes”. Tobias Schneider, a research fellow at the Global Public Policy Institute believes that Sentry is “invaluable” “from a prosecution perspective”. An anonymous official at an anonymous international human rights organisation congratulates Hala on its key role in determining perpetrators of attacks on schools and hospitals – “they have laid the groundwork for the attribution of human rights violations and ultimately for their acountability”.

It is rare that any of these “human rights” organisations condemn or even register the multiple attacks on schools and hospitals by the terrorist groups they are effectively protecting, nor do they mention the White Helmet affiliation to those terrorist groups. For them, there is only one “war criminal” – the Syrian government and its allies – and these organisations are tasked to provide the evidence that will corroborate this narrative to “serve” the governments that are incentivizing them to do so.

Schneider has been exposed as an integral part of the “humanitarian” regime change network – “very probably just another in a long line of willing instruments of the billionaire industrial complex” protecting the White Helmets and the “chemical weapon” narratives that are unravelling dramatically and threaten to bring the entire war machine to a halt in Syria.

Hala Systems has effectively converted the White Helmets into a paramilitary surveillance agency providing an early warning system for the armed groups dominated by Al Qaeda. This is not humanitarianism – in my informed opinion the White Helmets are a militarised, intelligence, psy-op agency working for NATO-member-states to criminalise the Syrian government and allies and operating alongside terrorist groups also supported by those same belligerent nations, led by the UK and the US.

The White Helmets are a grotesque parody of humanitarianism and an insult to genuine first responder organisations like the REAL Syria Civil Defence whose equipment has been stolen by the White Helmets and their crew members murdered by the White Helmets and armed groups in the process.

Who will ensure “documentation” of the White Helmet and terrorist group “war crimes” against the Syrian people and bring them to justice?

“Humanitarian drone” - image taken from one of the puff pieces promoting Hala Systems.

“Humanitarian drone” – image taken from one of the puff pieces promoting Hala Systems.

On 27th September 2019, a suspected drone factory was found in one of the underground armed group complexes in Latamenah, Northern Hama. Terrorist groups in this location had mercilessly targeted schools and hospitals in the border towns and villages for eight years, massacring children and civilians on a regular basis.

According to Russian Defence Ministry Spokesman, Major-General Igor Konashenkov:

“Air defence and electronic warfare systems deployed at Russia’s Hmeymim air-base in Syria have shot down or disabled over 100 drones during terrorist attempted attacks on the military facility over the past two years [..] 118 UAVs, have been destroyed over the past two years, including 58 drones since January 1 this year – most drones were launched from the Idlib security zone, in particular from the communities of Al Latamenah, Khan Sheikhoun” (emphasis added)

The Sentry technology was launched by Hala Systems in 2016 – Franz Busse, co-founder and chief scientist with Hala, has demonstrated his technical expertise on UAVs, mentioned earlier in this article. Hala Systems employees count among them former MIT engineers and US Navy/Military experts in the field of development.

“Franz has been a part of teams that have designed, analyzed, and developed a wide range of complex systems related to early warning, satellites, alternative energy, border protection, and even missile defense.” Franz Busse biography.

On a recent trip to the borders of Idlib and northern Hama, I was informed by Russian military that they were convinced that American experts were enabling the terrorist groups to develop chemical weapon and other warfare capability. Is it too far fetched to speculate that Hala Systems is enabling these developments and providing the armed groups with essential technical assistance and expertise to manufacture the drones that are targeting Hmeymim?

Subheading – “impact philanthropy” saving lives or profiting from conflict and chaos?

This article began as a relatively simple investigation into the militarisation of “humanitarianism” in relation to the White Helmets, but during my research it also took me in another direction. Is Hala Systems, the Sentry and Insight systems, a military crisis mapping surveillance tool or a data-collecting, human tracking system that will serve those who harvest global conflicts for darker purposes?

Exploitation of children to promote Hala Systems and White Helmets in Idlib. Screenshot from promotional video.

Exploitation of children to promote Hala Systems and White Helmets in Idlib. Screenshot from promotional video.

I cannot conclusively answer that question in this article but Whitney Webb and I have been working on a new series of articles for MPN that will delve deeper into the “dark reality that continues to threaten, harm and kill Syrian children that few media outlets have dared to touch: child trafficking and their exploitation by both paedophile groups and organ harvesters.” My research into the Hala Systems NGO complex has expanded that investigation and appears to further implicate the White Helmets and, by association, their vast nexus of backers, sponsors and PR agencies in such activities.

The White Helmets are already accused of organ trafficking and child abduction by Syrian civilians and this has been forensically investigated by Maxim Grigoriev of the Foundation for the Study of Democracy. Testimonies I have collected inside Syria from areas recently liberated from White Helmet and armed group-occupation have produced similar claims.

During a recent interview with Dr Zaher Hajjo, Director of Forensics in Damascus, Hajjo informed me that the liberation of Idlib will further expose the cross-border organ trafficking operations that he believes the White Helmets are running in collaboration with the armed groups.

James Le Mesurier is no stranger to such heinous operations that were previously being conducted in the Balkans. During his posting to Pristina, Kosovo in 1999, Le Mesurier was tasked with the transformation of the Al Qaeda-infiltrated KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army) into the Kosovo Protection Corps – a rebranding exercise that Le Mesurier implemented, as the KLA were allegedly running criminal cross-border organ trafficking operations, transporting majority Serb victims from Kosovo to Albania where their organs were brutally removed.

The White Helmet partnership with Hala Systems certainly seems to demonstrate the blatant paramilitary role of this British/American intelligence-manufactured organisation.

The extension of Hala Systems connections into areas of the refugee crisis that Webb and I are currently investigating raise a whole new set of questions regarding the “possibility of a far more nefarious role played by the White Helmets as an integral part of the global human-trafficking schemes that benefit from the chaos of conflict and war.”

Vanessa Beeley is an independent journalist and photographer who has worked extensively in the Middle East – on the ground in Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Palestine, while also covering the conflict in Yemen since 2015. In 2017 Vanessa was a finalist for the prestigious Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism which was won by the much-acclaimed Robert Parry that year. In 2018 Vanessa was named one of the 238 most respected journalists in the UK by the British National Council for the Training of Journalists. In 2019, Vanessa was among recipients of the Serena Shim Award for uncompromised integrity in journalism. Vanessa contributes regularly to Mint Press News, Russia Today, UK Column, The Last American Vagabond, Sputnik radio, 21st Century Wire and many other independent media outlets. Please support her work at her https://www.patreon.com/vanessabeeley Patreon Page.

Originally published (The UK Column)

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