Pentagon Paid British PR Firm $500mm To Create Fake Al Qaeda Propaganda Videos

Tyler Durden's picture

Per new discoveries revealed by the The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the United States government paid over $500mm to a British public relations firm, Bell Pottinger, between May 2007 and December 2011 to create fake Al Qaeda propaganda films aimed at tracking terrorist viewing locations.  According to a Bell Pottinger insider, propaganda films were categorized into three categories with “White" being accurately attributed, “Grey" being unattributed, and "Black" being falsely attributed material.  The media firm created various types of content ranging from TV commercials to news items and "fake Al Qaeda propaganda films."

The work consisted of three types of products. The first was television commercials portraying al Qaeda in a negative light. The second was news items which were made to look as if they had been “created by Arabic TV,” Wells said. Bell Pottinger would send teams out to film low-definition video of al Qaeda bombings and then edit it like a piece of news footage. It would be voiced in Arabic and distributed to TV stations across the region, according to Wells.


The third and most sensitive program described by Wells was the production of fake al Qaeda propaganda films. He told the Bureau how the videos were made. He was given precise instructions: “We need to make this style of video and we’ve got to use al Qaeda’s footage,” he was told. “We need it to be 10 minutes long, and it needs to be in this file format, and we need to encode it in this manner.”

The "Black" propaganda videos included tracking software linked to a Google Analytics account so U.S. military officials could track the location of people watching the content around the globe.  The content was distributed by U.S. marines who would drop the videos at various locations during patrols.  The whole process was described by one Bell Pottinger employee as a "pretty standard part of the industry toolkit.

U.S. marines would take the CDs on patrol and drop them in the chaos when they raided targets. Wells said: “If they’re raiding a house and they’re going to make a mess of it looking for stuff anyway, they’d just drop an odd CD there.”


The CDs were set up to use Real Player, a popular media streaming application which connects to the internet to run. Wells explained how the team embedded a code into the CDs which linked to a Google Analytics account, giving a list of IP addresses where the CDs had been played.


The tracking account had a very restricted circulation list, according to Wells: The data went to him, a senior member of the Bell Pottinger management team, and one of the U.S. military commanders.


Wells explained their intelligence value. “If one is looked at in the middle of Baghdad… you know there’s a hit there,” he said. “If one, 48 hours or a week later shows up in another part of the world, then that’s the more interesting one, and that’s what they’re looking for more, because that gives you a trail.”


Bell Pottinger’s work in Iraq was a huge media operation costing roughly $100mm per year and employing almost 300 British and Iraqi staff.  The agency’s staff worked alongside high-ranking U.S. military officers in their Baghdad Camp Victory headquarters.

The Bureau's investigation identified transactions totaling $540 million between the Pentagon and Bell Pottinger for information operations and psychological operations on a series of contracts issued from May 2007 to December 2011.  That said, the bulk of the money was used for production and distribution costs with Bell Pottinger pocketing about £15m a year in fees.

According to video editor Martin Wells, who worked on the project at Camp Victory in Iraq, the production materials from Bell Pottinger were signed off by very high-ranking U.S. military officials, including General Petraeus, and sometimes were even escalated to the White House for approval. 

Bell Pottinger’s output was signed off by the commander of coalition forces in Iraq. Wells recalled: “We’d get the two colonels in to look at the things we’d done that day, they’d be fine with it, it would then go to General Petraeus.”


Some of the projects went even higher up the chain of command. “If [Petraeus] couldn’t sign off on it, it would go on up the line to the White House, and it was signed off up there, and the answer would come back down the line.”

Seems that reality is even more interesting than any fiction that Hollywood can conjure up. 

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Newbie lurker's picture

How much does a lifelike beheading cost to produce? Just sayin'


Edit: beat to the punch. At any rate, this whole MENA war is a travesty.

general ambivalent's picture

Depends on if the caterer understands the delicacy of cannibalism or has to be tendered to it.

NoDebt's picture

Bullshit.  These are the videos used by Obama to "prove" that Assad was using chemical weapons on his own people.  And that the Benghazi attacks were due to a video.  THAT is what they were used for.  Nice try on the cover story, though.  

Jezuz, I'm showing RAPID improvement in my conspiracy theory skills.  I used to be awful at this.


KickIce's picture

And the best part is you have a great chance of being correct.

Max Cynical's picture

But they ALWAYS tell the truth to the American we're good.

FixItAgainTony's picture

Though his film didn't push the correct "freedom" narrative, he wasn't worth black bagging.  ZATO is capable of mercy.

GreatUncle's picture

Definiteley better, I reckon it is to try and incite atrocities by implying they know who the terrorists are ...

Best wreak their caranage before being shot.

Reason? Why give up a valuable defensive technique? Unless it is an attack technique?

My reasoning is an attack technique because the defensive one is worthless by the revealment.

OverTheHedge's picture

Remember the Charlie hebdo thing? Footage of a guy on the ground, having already been shot, getting shot in the head. He then rolls over and lies quietly, still, on the ground. I have shot quite a number of pigs in the head, at point-blank range, just like in the video. Not once, NEVER, has the pig rolled over quietly and lain still. It ALWAYS involves a huge frenzy of thrashing about - disconnect a body (full of adrenaline , I might add) from its nervous system, and exciting things happen. Cutting throats is different - you do get a fair delay between almost instant unconsciousness and the death throes (they call them that for a reason).

I have no proof, but lots of experience. I should add that I have never shot a human in the head at point-blank range, so it might be different......

SHsparx's picture

I'm shocked I tell you, shocked.

MsCreant's picture

The term "making enemies" takes on a whole new meaning with this shit.

We set up "stings" that create terrorists who would otherwise not act without the existence of the trap (this is called entrapment and is not legal for everyday cops against folks). 

We create propoganda to recruit them too, as we see with this.

And for good measure, we give folks good reason to hate us by blowing up their families and their houses, and then call them evil when they complain. 

FixItAgainTony's picture

I'm sure when Congress is fully informed of what is being done in our name, they will leap into action.


general ambivalent's picture

Yeah. What the 'Religion of Pieces' .gov echo chambers fail to recognize is that the government used similar techniques in WWI and WWII to make Americans (and most of the Western white folks) hate Germans (other whites).

The muslims are not the enemy. They may not be our friends, but their being a threat is carefully crafted propaganda to feed the war machine.

Hohum's picture

Why didn't the Pentagon use an American firm?

American Psycho's picture

exactly.  States offer tax credits for film production.  Could have saved a buck or two

L Bean's picture

Hollywood is too obviously Jewish/Israeli. 

williambanzai7's picture

American firms are too busy keeping up with the Kardashians.

general ambivalent's picture

That's pretty hard when she's always breaking the Internet. I guess now we know why there are no videos of the Paris attacks. How long has she been over there anyway? And is there a link between the internet going down and the police playing dressup?

Lumberjack's picture

They do. Site Intelligence 

L Bean's picture

Yup in 2011 the contract went to SITE, "off the books" ofc via CIA dirty cash.

All in order to conceal(at least to the average CNN watcher) our involvement in upcoming conflicts which we weren't "legally" invited to ie Syria/Ukraine/Yemen/Paris/San Bernadino.



mary mary's picture

More likely the Pentagon might get caught if they use American actors, stage hands, etc.

skeelos's picture


So what if they get caugth.  It's not like it did any real damage when they used American actors at Sandy Hook.



Squid Viscous's picture

because those kikes would have made $4000 toilet seats seem cheap?

what did i win?

revjimbeam's picture

*Cough* because its illegal for the american government to produce propaganda *snort* for domestic consumption *bwahahaha*...seriously*hahaha* per the source article.

Ms No's picture

It's not illegal anymore the NDAA took care of that.

VWAndy's picture

 Oath takers? lol  Fiat magic baby.

roadhazard's picture

 .You can always find somebody to tell you what you want to hear.

Quinvarius's picture

Ununstalling Real Player now.

Intelligence_Insulter's picture

I did a few papers on Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda when i was in school and remember watching an Al-Qaeda video and thinking why the fuck is Al-Qaeda using real player.....


Now I know

scaleindependent's picture

You'll need to update that paper of yours;

"In conclusion, this whole al qaeda program is bullshit.  Al qaeda is a creation of Al CIADA." 

BuddyEffed's picture

Don't stop at the Real Player uninstall.   Keep going until you get the whole OS sterilized just to be safe.

FixItAgainTony's picture

But how will ZATO know where to send the pallets of cash, weapons, and A-10 close air support?

buzzsaw99's picture

and somewhere a classroom full of six year old children gets bombed

Bill of Rights's picture

So all those beheadings were also staged. More proof the WAR ON TERROR was a manufactured event all these recent false flags with no bodies never any blood all crises actors.


A firing squad is to good for all these crooks....

FixItAgainTony's picture

It is but at the rate this is all going south, it will be a firing squad of Russian Federation MIRVs and there will be  unavoidable collateral damage.

Jus7tme's picture

Wow, the DoD stands for the Department of Dimwits. What a total waste of taxpayer's money

Maybe if they'd thrown in a free AOL (Al-queada online) dial-up subscription, they would have gotten some better info (if you were born in 1995 or later, you will not get the joke).

saldulilem's picture

shit, i'll do it for like $2

Quinvarius's picture

No one wants to see what you are willing to do for $2.

rosiescenario's picture

As previously stated:


Today's Conspircay.....Tomorrow's News


I also see that the article failed to mention the video footage of al Qaeda members raping underage goats....

mary mary's picture

So the Pentagon is making Al Queda recruitment videos.  Is that why many call it Al CIA-da?

L Bean's picture

So they're saying this sort of thing stopped in 2011. Funny, just when the Syrian shit was kicking off and "video" became the main tool for propagandizing the "civil" quality of the war there...and then in Ukraine, same thing.

But all of the fake videos stopped in 2011 guys so don't worry.

swmnguy's picture

No, they're saying the videos produced by Bell Pottinger stopped in 2011.  No doubt they found a much more reasonably-priced production house.  $100,000,000 per year?  What a heist.  I know of at least a dozen US-based production companies that could do that for a tenth the price.  I'm sure it needed to be a non-US-based production house to lessen the chances of being found out, but still.  That's exorbitant.

theprofromdover's picture

The British lapdog will do anything for the American flag, no questions asked.

That goes all the way to the Prime Minister and all the people above him (except the Queen)

L Bean's picture

Yeah I get it, my post was tongue-in-cheek. ;-)

creeko's picture

you're hitting homeruns all over the place.

brooklinite8's picture

How can I bid for contracts like these?

500MM for few videos? 

Should I be happy with the way my taxes are spent?

Should I be on the other side of the business?

If I am on either side will there be blood in my hands?

So many un answered questions for Dummies like me.