Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt: On the Middle East, it makes no difference

by Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 25 June 2019 The contest to become the leader of Britain’s ruling Conservative Party, and the country’s next prime minister, has failed so far to involve media scrutiny of the candidates’ views on British foreign policy. With the focus on Brexit and media attention on the personal life of Boris […]

What the latest secret government file tells us about UK Middle East policy

by Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 31 May 2019 The British government is refusing to release a 1941 file on Palestine, as it might “undermine the security” of Britain and its citizens. Why would a 78-year-old document be seen as so sensitive in 2019? One plausible reason is that it could embarrass the British government in […]

How the West’s war in Libya has spurred terrorism in 14 countries

by Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 3 May 2019 Eight years on from Nato’s war in Libya in 2011, as the country enters a new phase in its conflict, I have taken stock of the number of countries to which terrorism has spread as a direct product of that war. The number is at […]

Five years on: How the UK sees opportunity and profit in Sisi’s repressive Egypt

by Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 10 August 2018   Five years ago on 14 August, the new Egyptian military regime under General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi crushed a protest at Rabaa al-Adawiya Square in Cairo, killing at least 817 people. Since then, increasing repression has enabled Sisi to consolidate his rule while maintaining the support […]

Egypt: Declassified

These UK files and articles on Egypt highlight the illegality of the 1956 invasion, secret collusion with Israel, lying in parliament, collusion with the Muslim Brotherhood, and attempts to ‘get rid’ of Nasser. Documents Egypt, 1956-7 (Mark Curtis files from the National Archives) ‘Egypt: Note by the Prime Minister’ (National Archives, 12 November 1957, at […]

The UK’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund: Diverting Aid and Undermining Human Rights

Report for Global Justice Now (December 2017) The UK government’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) raises all kinds of questions about the future of UK aid, the nature of the UK’s relations with states abusing human rights and the government’s openness with the public. Established in 2015, the CSSF is a £1 billion annual […]

The UN: A brief history of the UK’s long opposition

By Mark Curtis An edited extract from Unpeople: Britain’s Secret Human Rights Abuses In the mainstream, the official view is that British governments provide enduring support to the United Nations. The opposite is true: it is clear from the historical record that the UN has traditionally been seen as a major threat. Britain’s ambassador to […]

Bin Laden’s London base

This is an edited extract from Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam Mark Curtis In July 1994, Osama Bin Laden established an office in London, called the Advice and Reformation Committee (ARC), which sought to promote worldwide opposition to the Saudi regime – an immediate response to the Saudis revoking his citizenship, according to […]

Britain, the Saudi Islamic Mission and the Palace Coup of 1964

This is an edited extract from Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam by Mark Curtis Following an International Islamic Conference in Mecca, convened by Crown Prince Faisal, in 1962, the Saudis established the Muslim World League which, managed by the Saudi religious establishment, sent out missionaries, printed propaganda and financed the building of mosques […]

Why protests against Trump should be widened to change current UK foreign policy

by Mark Curtis I completely support the protests and opposition to Trump. At the same time, the British government in its foreign policy is now operating outside of any serious democratic control, and is: promoting covert wars in seven countries violating international law in several areas regularly lying to parliament on its actions deepening alliances […]