By William Michael
Is it Inquisition time in Hollywood, or is it something else?
In the midst of the Hamas siege of Israel, while the IDF was courageously protecting Israeli citizens from rockets hurled by the barbarians in Gaza, some Spanish personalities in supposedly Jewish-run Hollywood caused quite a raucous. In an open letter, the Latin trio of Penelope Cruz, husband Javier Bardem, and director Pedro Almodovar condemned Israel for daring to cripple the terrorist organization. (Note: for the record, the letter was signed by many other Spaniards in Hollywood.)
The signatories of the letter, “condemn the bombing by land, sea and air against the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip… Gaza is living through horror these days, besieged and attacked by land, sea and air. Palestinians’ homes are being destroyed, they are being denied water, electricity [and] free movement to their hospitals, schools and fields while the international community does nothing.”
Moreover, the letter had the audacity to call the IDF operation “genocide.”
These words, which infer that Israel is culpable of a Holocaust of their own making, has, expectedly, led to a backlash by some producers and stars. Cruz and Bardem have come under fire by Ryan Kavanaugh, CEO of Relativity Media, who stated to The Hollywood Reporter, “As the grandson of Holocaust survivors, I know that anyone calling what’s going on in Israel ‘genocide’ vs. self-defense is either ignorant and shouldn’t be commenting or is truly anti-Semitic.” In his own open letter, the outspoken and conservative Jon Voight admonished Cruz and Bardem to “hang their heads in shame.”
Yet the wrath of Hollywood seems to have conspicuously missed the other Spaniard, director Pedro Almodovar. Who is Almodovar, and what makes him the most curious of the three?
Casting Call: Wanted. A Film Director, Master Jihadis, and a Mujer Progresista.
A Gay Progressive. But Who Cares About That?
Almodovar has made a career directing films with progressive themes, most with additional LGBT themes. An Academy Award-winning director, he is celebrated within the organized LGBT movement. As the website LGBT History Month puts it, “His movies are known for their progressive themes including transgenderism, homosexuality and feminism and also for their racy sexuality, irony and wit.”
In the United States, moviegoers are more familiar with the stars he helped discover; among them are Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas, who have become household names of modern American cinema.
However, being an activist for LGBT equality does not explain Almodovar’s venom towards Israel. Although they are not performed in Israel, the Jewish state recognizes same-sex unions granted from other countries. Homosexual acts have been legal in Israel since 1988. This month, Israeli Interior Minister Gidon Sa’ar extended the right of return citizenship rights to (Jewish and non-Jewish) same-sex spouses. As Middle Eastern countries go, none is more progressive than Israel.
What to make of Jon Voight’s criticism? Voight is undisputed Hollywood royalty. A legendary actor, he is the father of Angelina Jolie and likely soon-to-be father-in-law of Brad Pitt, two actors known to be more progressive in their politics. Though Voight and Almodovar are on opposite sides of the political spectrum, the traditional right-left, conservative-liberal divide does not explain the director’s politics.
For it is not his support for LGBT issues, nor his progressive bent that define his worldview, but his proximity with al Qaeda, their sponsors and enablers, and to the world’s foremost strategic jihadi.
The Master of Jihad
When most Americans think jihad and Islamic terrorism, some names immediately come to mind. Among them, Osama bin Laden, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (9/11 mastermind), and Ramzi Yousef (1993 WTC bombing) may be the most common. More dedicated students of jihad may also know the names Ayman al-Zawahiri (current head of al Qaeda), Mullah Omar (head of Taliban) and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (leader of the Islamic State, formerly ISIS). These exotic names have been repeated ad nauseam by media and government personalities, and thus they have lodged their way into the American psyche.
Precisely because it is mentioned so infrequently, precious few Americans know the name Abu Musab al-Suri. A red head with green eyes, this guru of modern jihad does not necessarily look the part of stereotypical Islamist. Looks, however, deceive. He has been termed “the most articulate exponent of the modern jihad and its most sophisticated strategies.” A 2008 book on him, published by Columbia University Press, is entitled Architect of Global Jihad: The Life of Al Qaeda Strategist Abu Mus’ab Al-Suri. A prolific writer, his 1600-page treatise on jihadi warfare, The Global Islamic Resistance Call includes doctrinal, political, educational, and behavioral methods for terror, and is considered by U.S. Joint Forces Command as a terrorist “masterwork.”
A darling of bin Laden, it’s fair to say that if Al Qaeda were a typical American corporation, Abu Musab al-Suri would be the Chief Strategy Officer.
Born in Aleppo in 1958, his given name is Mustafa bin Abd al-Qadir Setmarian Naser. After falling under the sway of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, he took the name “al-Suri,” which means “the Syrian.” Well before the Syrian civil war commenced in 2011, al-Suri was arguably the most detailed exponent of specific military measures that would be effective in undermining the Assad regime; one book he authored is actually called Jihad in Syria. A foe of Hafez al-Assad, who conducted a violent crackdown on the Syrian Brotherhood, al-Suri had to flee Syria for Europe in 1980. In more recent times, Abu Musab al-Suri was the namesake of one of most infamous terrorists throughout the American occupation of Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (killed, 2006).
While living in Spain in the 1980s, al-Suri married a Spanish woman by the name of Elena Morena. This gave him a Spanish passport, and makes him a citizen of the European Union. As a leading member of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, al-Suri did in Spain what the Muslim Brothers do everywhere – begin recruiting. Indeed, one of al-Suri’s unique contributions to modern jihad was to encourage individual Muslims to independently recruit soldiers (i.e., terrorists) for Islamic war against the kafir. His partner in the new Al Qaeda Spain enterprise was another Syrian from Aleppo, Imad Eddin Barakat Yarkas, aka Abu Dahbah.
Al-Suri and Abu Dahbah, described by a Spanish judge as “the leader of al Qaeda in Spain,” have plenty of terrorist bona fides, including connections to 9/11 and other attacks. Al-Suri was Osama bin Laden’s top aide, and the second most wanted man by U.S. intelligence behind only his boss. Abu Dahbah was the Spanish contact of the al Qaeda Hamburg cell, which planned 9/11. He also recruited for his own cell in Spain, the Soldiers of Allah.
Abu Musab al-Suri
In 2004, ten bombs ripped through four passenger trains departing from Alcalá de Henares station in Madrid. The attacks left 191 dead and injured thousands more. Abu Dahbah and al-Suri were both subsequently implicated by Spanish authorities. One of Abu Dahbah’s Soldiers of Allah Jamal Zougam, physically detonated the bombs using a remote cell phone detonator. Al Suri was described by the mastermind of, or inspiration for, the attacks, which were of the same character that he explicated in his writings. (He specifically urged that that transportation infrastructure be targeted because it involved a high “economic cost.”)
Like al-Suri, Abu Dahbah took a Spanish wife. An actress, her name was Marisa Martín Ayuso. A Christian before converting to Islam, in her youth Ayuso had been a “progressive woman.” In 1986, Ayuso married Abu Dahbah, the future Spanish contact for the 9/11 attacks.
“Una Mujer Progresista”
Now that the characters in this real-life Hollywood mystery have been cast, the plot will resume.
Ayuso, the Spanish actress, was in the films of Pedro Almodovar. This fact is confirmed by her husband, and reported in multiple articles in the Spanish-language press. (See: here, here, and here.) She was even known as a “Chica Almodovar” (Almodovar girl). Curiously, a comprehensive internet search by this author did not yield any credits with her name.
To be explicit for the sake of clarity, Almodovar directed the woman who married the head of al Qaeda in Spain, Imad Eddin Barakat Yarkas, aka Abu Dahbah. Almodovar may have directed her after she married Abu Dahbah and converted to Islam; the inability to find any film credits which mention her name leaves this an open question.
Maria Ayuso, former “Chica Almodovar”
and wife of Abu Dahbah
Now, this all may seem surreally serendipitous: that an anti-Israel Spanish film director happened to work with the wife of the head of al Qaeda in Spain… the “Almodovar girl,” whose husband was partners in jihad with Osama bin Laden’s “top aide,” Abu Musab al-Suri. After all, at some point in her life, she was, by all accounts “a progressive woman.” Progressives in America aren’t exactly known for their love of Israel, either.
Let us now revisit the 2004 Madrid bombing and the political fallout of al Qaeda’s careful operation to sway the Spanish election.
Director of a new Cordoba Project?
The attacks of March 11, 2004 on the Madrid trains not only rocked Spain, but also Spanish politics. The Spanish elections, three days later on March 14, saw the defeat of the conservative People’s Party (PP) and the ascension of the leftist Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE). Prior to the attacks, the PP was ahead in the polls and the favorite to win the elections – afterward, the PSOE gained the upper hand. Both parties and their respective press organs allege conspiracies. A chief conspirator in the attack, the man who supplied the explosives, claimed “I am the victim of a coup they have tried to hide behind a bunch of Muslims.” The coup he was referring to was the PSOE’s victory in the Spanish elections.
As in America, Spain has its own cinema celebs who can’t keep away from the nation’s politics. The PSOE, much like the Democrat Party in the United States, has the backing of the progressives in Spanish film, including the director Pedro Almodovar and the actor he helped discover, Antonio Banderes. Both Almodovar and Banderes are long-time supporters of the PSOE. See, for example, this 1996 PSEO election commercial staring Banderes; or this article from 2000, in which Banderes is quoted: “I remain a leftists… I will vote for the PSOE.”
Almodovar “applauded” the PSOE victory in 2004, on the heels of the Madrid attacks. A year later, in 2005, demonstrations in Spain were held to protest Spanish involvement in the invasion of Iraq. One article explains of the protests, “The three main speakers at the end of the march were Pedro Almodóvar, his leading actress in Hable con ella, Leonor Watling, and veteran director and actor Fernando Fernán Gómez.” He further went on to support the PSOE in 2008.
Once elected to lead Spain, what policies did the PSOE follow, under the direction of Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero, with respect to Islam? If you were charitable, you might say he cozied up to the Islamists. Zapatero…
- Withdrew Spanish troops from Iraq.
- Proposed the “Alliance of Civilizations,” an initiative aimed at reconciling the Western and Islamic worlds. Zapatero’s co-sponsor was the Hitlerian Islamist of Turkey, Recep Erdogan, who, like Almodovar, recently accused Israel Third Reich-like behavior.
- Heavily restricted tobacco consumption in public, under the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Tobacco is haram (forbidden) in Islam, and Turkey under Erdogan has also severely restricted tobacco consumption under the same WHO protocols. IMPORTANT: Turkey additionally operated under the Bloomberg Global Tobacco Control Initiative. (Bloomberg LLP holds an annual business conference in Doha, Qatar. Keep this in mind.)
- Urged that Turkey and Morocco, two Islamic-dominated countries, join the European Union.
In February 2014, Zapatero’s successor to Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, reaffirmed the PSOE’s support for Turkey’s admission into the EU. This, despite the ongoing Islamification of formerly secular Turkey, and the violent crackdown by Erdogan of anti-AKP protesters.
Almodovar, Miramax, and the Al Thanis of Qatar
Transatlantic progressive politics, moviemaking, and Islamic terror have a way of hanging together it seems. One of the early distributors of Almodovar’s films in the United States was Miramax Films. Founded by the Weinstein brothers, Harvey and Bob, in 1979, Miramax was eventually purchased by The Walt Disney Company in 1993. Before the sale to Disney, however, they distributed two of Almodovar’s movies in the early 1990s, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, and High Heels.
A few more data points on the Weinsteins, Miramax, and Almodovar that suggest more than a passing association with the cast of characters above:
- In 1982, Almodovar directed the comedy Labyrinth of Passions. The plot centered around a nymphomaniac and a “gay Islamic terrorist.”
- In 1998, Bob and Harvey Weinstein won the GLAAD Excellence in Media Award. The award is “presented to public figures in media and entertainment who, through their work, have increased the visibility and understanding of the LGBT community.” GLAAD – the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation – awarded Pedro Almodovar’s Bad Education “Outstanding Film” in 2005.
- In 2010, Disney sold Miramax to Filmyard Holdings, a joint investment group which included the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), private equity company Colony Capital, and construction company Tutor-Saliba Corporation. Based out of Doha, Qatar, the Qatar Investment Authority is the sovereign wealth fund run by the Gulf state of Qatar. QIA was the largest shareholder.
- Also in 2010, Harvey Weinstein, through the Weinstein Company, produced Miral, a movie about a Palestinian orphan. The film was criticized by many as pro-Palestinian/anti-Israel, and the journalist Daniel Greenfield called it a “terrorist propaganda flick.”
- In January 2013, Ron Tutor of Tutor-Saliba sold his stake in Miramax to the Qatar Investment Authority, leaving Miramax in the hands of Colony and Qatar exclusively.
- In December 2013, Miramax announced a 20 year deal with The Weinstein Company for “a multi-year co-production and co-distribution deal covering movies, TV and stage for titles in the Miramax library.” This reunites the Weinsteins with their company, and unites them in one corporate entity with Qatar.
- Although not directly tied to Miramax anymore, this August Disney held a special “Disney on Ice” event at the first summer festival in Doha, Qatar.
Qatar is a plainly despicable country, profiting from the worst imaginable types of human suffering and misery. Ruled by the Al Thani family, a hereditary monarchy, this author has documented again and again that Qatar is a modern day slave state with extensive ties to al Qaeda and the genocidal Islamic State. Note that the Qatari Ministry of Electricity and Water had Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the 9/11 mastermind, on payroll before the attacks; and further, it was Qatar who handed over KSM to the CIA, inexplicably knowing his exact location…
Though not commonly known, Islamist terrorist groups are eager participants in the narcotics traffic, especially heroin from Afghanistan and cocaine from South America. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Boko Haram, two North African based Islamist groups, are drug smugglers. The state of Qatar provided the seed money for Boko Haram, and recently documents prove that they are actively working with the Qataris. Boko Haram and the Islamic State, two clients of Qatari financing and military support, kidnap and sell men, women, and children into slavery, whether it be forced prostitution or labor ganging.
Finally, Boko Haram and al Qaeda have been conclusively linked to the Indian crime boss, Dawood Ibrahim, currently residing in Pakistan under the protection of the Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI). Interestingly, Dawood is known to be active in Bollywood (Indian Hollywood), producing movies and personally recruiting the actors he prefers.
A Point on the Alleged “Homophobia” of Jihad
If there’s one thing the right and left in the United States can agree on when it comes to LGBT culture, it’s that the fanatical Islamists hate homosexuals. This is drummed into the heads of Americans every time Iran hangs gay men (or, as they call them, “sodomites”), which they do, brutally, with some frequency.
A few examples will show that such generalizations are incorrect, and that the jihad is not, let’s say, the Russian state.
- In July, an Egyptian cleric authored a fatwa (legal declaration) that permitted “anal jihad.” This is just what it sounds like, because the men fighting to kill the infidel are far away from their wives. (I’m no Imam, so don’t ask me about the reasoning.)
- In France, an Algerian born Salafist (i.e., radical) Imam is openly gay, and even marries gay couples.
- The cultures of the Middle East do not conform to western norms of sexuality. This is nothing new. Going back to the early 20th century, T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), the British intelligence officer who united the Arabs in jihad against the Turks, is widely considered to have been gay.
- Christopher Stevens, the ambassador who was murdered in Benghazi by jihadis while running Libyan arms to Syrian rebels (who are now in Iraq and known as the Islamic State), was also gay.
The reason for citing and explaining the above is not to insinuate that there is a huge conspiracy of gay Muslim terrorists. There isn’t. Instead, it is to prove that “gay” and “Islamist” are not mutually exclusive, as so many seem to want to believe. This is not merely the author’s opinion, but an accurate reading of recent and historical statements, actions, and events within the Salafist and jihadi movements. Being uncomfortable with the peculiar proclivities within jihadi ranks is not an excuse for ignorance.
It is impossible to say whether Pedro Almodovar feels any sympathy al Qaeda and the worldwide movement to establish a caliphate. His implicit support for Hamas, however, and his denigration of Israel, do make him an apologist for terrorism; Hamas is designated by the U.S. Department of State as a terrorist organization.
Working with the wife of an al Qaeda terrorist does not make someone guilty of a crime. Yet, it is hard to dismiss the PSOE’s pro-Islamist stance, whether be an initiative between Erdogan and Zapatero, welcoming Turkey into the E.U., or withdrawing Spanish troops from Iraq – a move that now seems calculated to benefit the likes of the Islamic State. It was precisely Maria Ayuso’s husband who recruited the terrorists whose deadly attacks put the PSOE in power, to the surprise of Spanish citizens. At around the same time he was directing this “Chica Almodovar,” he happened to make a comedy about a gay Islamic terrorist.
Entering into a business partnership with the Qatar Investment Authority is also not illegal (although it should be), and the Weinsteins should be afforded the benefit of the doubt. But it is hard to ignore that Qatar is the primary sponsor of al Qaeda, the Taliban, Boko Haram, and the Islamic State, and operates a slave empire with links to underworld mafia boss, Dawood Ibrahim. It may be purely coincidental that Miramax distributes some of Almodovar’s best known films, and that Harvey Weinstein produced a pro-Palestinian propaganda movie. None of these are necessarily smoking guns.
And it may again be only coincidence that GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance for Anti-Defamation, has given Almodovar and the Weinstein brothers awards for their work making LGBT-themed movies. In Hollywood, allegedly dominated by Jewish (i.e. pro-Israel) interests, it is perplexing that the Weinsteins and Almodovar remain celebrated, despite hostility toward Israel.
Yet on the balance, when the evidence is weighed and considered, it is difficult to believe that Almodovar and the Weinsteins are totally unaware of who they are working with. This would require the sensory ability of Helen Keller.
Means? Check. Motive? Check. Opportunity? Check.
Is Hollywood, like the crazies like to say, run by a Jewish cabal? Or has it become anti-Semitic.
Pedro Almodovar no longer supports the Spanish Socialist Party, the PSOE. He now believes that Spain’s only hope is the M15 movement, or the Indignados. They are a kind of Spanish Occupy Wall Street, chaotic and largely youthful protestors who cannot find work and see little hope for a better future.
Abu Musab al-Suri was captured in Quetta, Pakistain in 2005. The Pakistani authorities turned him over to Syria, where he is currently imprisoned.
 Abu Musab al-Suri is known to have personally met Osama bin Laden and bin Laden’s mentor, Abdullah Azzam, who originated the idea that martyrdom is a personal responsibility of all Muslims. His relationship with al Qaeda was so intimate that he named one of his sons Osama.