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Jihad vs Jihad: Islamic State & Syrian Rebel Group Army of Islam Release Videos Executing Each Other’s Fighters

In Archive, Army of Islam, Islamic State, Syria, Terrorism on July 1, 2015 at 6:29 AM

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06/25/2015

Islamic State in Syria has released a video showing the brutal beheading 12 men accused of fighting for the terrorist group’s Al Qaeda and Army of Islam (Jaysh al-Islam) rivals. The video – titled ‘Repent Before We Apprehend You’, was released by the lesser known Damascus branch of IS. Filmed close to Syrian capital and regime stronghold Damascus, the footage shows the terrified men being interviewed and paraded in front of the camera before their execution. After ‘confessing’ to the crime of opposing Islamic State and failing to declare allegiance to the terrorist group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the men are led out into a desert clearing where they are forced to their knees and each man executed by a different masked member of the IS.

Hollywood-style graphics begin the clip and show the 12 victims hunched over as they are dragged through a remote stretch of desert to the site where they will be murdered. The men walk uncomfortably due to the way their arms are bound, each forced to wear bright orange jumpsuits, and led by heavily armed men wearing full battle fatigues but with their faces exposed. The victims are then handed over to executioners, who cover their faces.

The footage momentarily rewinds and fades into a montage of Al Qaeda and Army of Islam fighters battling Islamic State, a reminder that the three jihadi groups remain fierce rivals despite having a common enemy in Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

Over the next few segments, the 12 prisoners are interviewed about the so-called crimes and are forced to confess that they wish they had joined Islamic State before it was too late. The overall theme of the video is along the same lines, and sends a clear signal to other rebel groups fighting in Syria that they must declare allegiance to IS ‘before being overcome’.

While speaking directly into the camera, the men appear clean-shaven – a rarity for jihadis and something likely to have been intended to humiliate the men before they are killed. Seconds later the clip cuts back to the victims wearing orange jumpsuits being led to their deaths.

After being marched to the execution site, the armed jihadis take a step back and another group – all of them masked and a wearing different style of combat gear – step forward to carry out the beheadings.

One fighter whose face is slightly more exposed than the others speaks in Arabic and issues another warning that other jihadi groups must accept Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as their leader or otherwise face certain death.

Over the following three minutes, the video follows the same format as other Islamic State murder videos released over the past year. Once the lead executioner finishes speaking, the militants begin to execute the victims, pushing their fingers into the men’s eyes while cutting their throats with small knives. The men wince in agony before dying, at which point the camera cuts to the altogether too familiar site of the victims’ heads being placed on their backs as a final act of humiliation.

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07/01/2015

A terrorist group battling Islamic State in Syria has turned the tables on its enemies by capturing and slaughtering 18 IS soldiers on camera. Dressed in orange jumpsuits – attire usually worn by Islamic State’s victims – Army of Islam (Jaysh al-Islam) soldiers lead the shackled jihadis to their deaths. Islamic State’s captured soldiers are forced to kneel as a commander announces: ‘Allah did not make a disease without appointing a remedy to it.’ The jihadis – dressed entirely in black – are then given something to drink before each of their faces are clearly shown in the 19 minute-long video. They are then shot in the back of the head at point blank range with shotguns.

Before the Islamic State fighters are killed, an Army of Islam militant says: ‘The most serious calamity for our jihad today is a group of people who grow at a time of division among Muslims. This group claimed to be the mother state and made Takfir [accused of apostasy] on other Muslims, shed their blood and looted their properties and dignities. They worsened… the ordeal of Muslims by corrupting their religion and livelihood and killing the jihadi leaders who did their best to help our stricken nation. They wreaked havoc on our people in liberated areas and cut the supply route of jihadis. They left… Tehran intact and instead they attacked our mosques. This is the penalty for what they have committed. We also call on their fellows to repent.’

Also in the video, Army of Islam claims that through investigation and confessions, they have allegedly uncovered collaboration between senior Islamic State commanders and high-ranking officers of Syrian intelligence in Damascus, regarding destroying rebel factions in Eastern Ghouta and the government ceding the area to IS to establish an emirate there. Bear in mind that this is coming from Islamic State prisoners under duress, and from Army of Islam, who’s goal is to overthrow Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. So this information, though newsworthy, should be met with skepticism.

Led by Zahran Alloush, Army of Islam reportedly commands as many as 25,000 fighters. It was created in 2011 when Saudi Arabia allegedly engineered the merger of over 50 rebel factions after growing alarmed at the rise of al-Qaeda and Islamic State in Syria. Saudi Arabia has reportedly sent millions of dollars to arm and train their fighters, who operate in the war-ravaged Syrian city of Damascus, in their ongoing battle against President Bashar al-Assad. In April this year, the group released a striking video showing off 1,700 troops, a fleet of armoured tanks and special forces soldiers in an impressive military parade.

h/t DailyMail (1) (2)

WikiLeaks NSA Docs: Surveillance of France Presidents & Economic Espionage; Investigation Underway for New Whistleblower

In Archive, Assange, France, NSA, NSA Files, Surveillance, WikiLeaks on June 30, 2015 at 3:17 AM

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06/23/2015

WikiLeaks:

Today, 23 June 2015, WikiLeaks began publishing “Espionnage Élysée“, a collection of TOP SECRET intelligence reports and technical documents from the US National Security Agency (NSA) concerning targeting and signals intelligence intercepts of the communications of high-level officials from successive French governments over the last ten years.

The top secret documents derive from directly targeted NSA surveillance of the communications of French Presidents Francois Hollande (2012–present), Nicolas Sarkozy (2007–2012), and Jacques Chirac (1995–2007), as well as French cabinet ministers and the French Ambassador to the United States. (Related: Snowden Document Reveals NSA Programs Used to Spy on France Embassies in US)

The documents also contain the “selectors” from the target list, detailing the cell phone numbers of numerous officials in the Elysee up to and including the direct cell phone of the President.

Prominent within the top secret cache of documents are intelligence summaries of conversations between French government officials concerning some of the most pressing issues facing France and the international community, including the global financial crisis, the Greek debt crisis, the leadership and future of the European Union, the relationship between the Hollande administration and the German government of Angela Merkel, French efforts to determine the make-up of the executive staff of the United Nations, French involvement in the conflict in Palestine and a dispute between the French and US governments over US spying on France.

A founding member state of the European Union and one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, France is formally a close ally of the United States, and plays a key role in a number of US-associated international institutions, including the Group of 7 (G7), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The revelation of the extent of US spying against French leaders and diplomats echoes a previous disclosure in the German press concerning US spying on the communications of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other German officials. That disclosure provoked a political scandal in Germany, eventuating in an official inquiry into German intelligence co-operation with the United States, which is still ongoing.

While the German disclosures focused on the isolated fact that senior officials were targeted by US intelligence, WikiLeaks’ publication today provides much greater insight into US spying on its allies, including the actual content of intelligence products deriving from the intercepts, showing how the US spies on the phone calls of French leaders and ministers for political, economic and diplomatic intelligence.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said: “The French people have a right to know that their elected government is subject to hostile surveillance from a supposed ally. We are proud of our work with leading French publishers Liberation and Mediapart to bring this story to light. French readers can expect more timely and important revelations in the near future.”

Documents Released 06/23/2015:

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06/24/2015

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06/24/2015

RT (1) (2):

French President Francois Hollande has described reports from WikiLeaks that Washington spied on three French presidents as “unacceptable.” The French Foreign Ministry is summoning the US ambassador to shed light on the allegations.

Hollande released the statement following an emergency meeting with key heads of intelligence and ministers at the Elysee Palace in the French capital.

“France will not tolerate actions that threaten its security and the protection of its interests,” the president’s office said, adding that allegations of spying on French interests had been made in the past.

“Commitments were made by the US authorities. They need to be recalled and strictly respected,” Reuters reported.

A French government spokesman said Paris will send a senior intelligence official to the US to discuss the spying reports.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has also summoned the US ambassador to France, Jane Hartley, to explain reports from WikiLeaks.

Before the hastily scheduled conference, Stephane Le Foll, a politician with the Socialist Party, lashed out at Washington.

“It is difficult to accept that between allies… there can be this kind of activity, particularly related to wiretapping linked to the president of the Republic,” Le Foll told iTele.

“When we are fighting terrorism, one has trouble imagining or understanding what would motivate an ally to spy on his allies,” he added. “There are enough dangerous crises in the world today.”

US President Barack Obama has assured his French counterpart Francois Hollande that Washington was not tapping his communications, the White House says.

In the phone call, Obama“reiterated that we have abided by the commitment we made to our French counterparts in late 2013 that we are not targeting and will not target the communications of the French president,” the White House said in a statement.

Nothing was said about the period beween 2006 and 2012, wwhich was mentioned by Wikileaks, though.

The statement released by Hollande’s office after the conversation, said in turn that “President Obama reiterated unequivocally his firm commitment … to end the practices that may have happened in the past and that are considered unacceptable among allies.”

Despite the surveillance scandal, the statement then said that French intelligence officials will soon go to Washington to “strengthen cooperation.”

US media cited a statement from the NSA saying it was not targeting and would not target Hollande’s communications. The statement did not deny spying had taken place in the past.

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06/24/2015

Mark Hosenball/Reuters:

U.S. and European security authorities are investigating whether a previously unknown leaker provided sensitive intelligence documents to WikiLeaks about alleged U.S. spying on French politicians, according to sources familiar with the matter.

U.S. and European security sources said the United States and allied governments were actively considering the possibility that someone other than former NSA contractor Edward Snowden provided the latest documents to WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange.

Two people familiar with documentation which Snowden acquired when he worked as an NSA contractor and later supplied to media outlets said that they do not recall seeing these kind of reports among those materials.

But some sources familiar with the investigations said it was still possible that these documents originated with Snowden.

The U.S. and European sources cautioned that they did not know for sure that Assange had developed a source other than Snowden inside U.S. intelligence. Assange has been in contact with associates of Snowden and helped arrange for him to flee from Hong Kong to Russia, where he was later granted asylum.

But until now, Assange, who three years ago took refuge in Ecuador’s Embassy in London, has published few if any documents directly attributed to either Snowden’s leaks or to the NSA.

Associates of Snowden have said that they believe he deliberately avoided giving sensitive U.S. documents to Assange.

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06/29/2015

WikiLeaks:

Today, 29 June 2015, WikiLeaks continues “Espionnage Élysée”, our ongoing publication of a collection of TOP SECRET documents from United States surveillance operations against France.

Today’s publication comprises seven top secret documents detailing how the US has had a decade- long policy of economic espionage against France, including the interception of all French corporate contracts and negotiations valued at more than $200 million. The documents demonstrate that the US National Security Agency, far from being a rogue organisation, is carrying out an economic espionage policy created by the US Director of National Intelligence. The documents detail the intelligence process, from the tasking of the NSA with collection of desired economic information to the production of developed intelligence reports, which are sent to “Supported Elements” of the US government, including the US Department of Commerce, the US Trade Represenative, the US Treasury and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Central within the cache of documents are two long-term spying orders (“collection requirements”) which define the kinds of intelligence the NSA is tasked with collecting in its surveillance operations against France.

The documents make clear that the NSA has been tasked with obtaining intelligence on all aspects of the French economy, from government policy, diplomacy, banking and participation in international bodies to infrastructural development, business practices and trade activities. The documents establish that the US economic intelligence operations against France have run for more than a decade and started as early as 2002.

Some of the documents are authorised for sharing with the “Five Eyes” partners – the group of Anglophone countries in close intelligence co-operation with the United States: Canada, New Zealand, Australia and France’s fellow member state of the European Union, the United Kingdom, strongly suggesting that the United Kingdom has also benefited from the United States’ economic espionage activities against France.

The cache also includes five TOP SECRET intelligence summaries from US spying on the conversations and communications of French officials. The documents show US spying on the French Finance Minister, a French Senator, officials within the Treasury and Economic Policy Directorate, the French ambassador to the United States, and officials with direct responsibility for EU trade policy. The intercepts reveal internal French deliberation and policy on the World Trade Organization, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, the G7 and the G20, the 2013 French budget, the decline of the automotive industry in France, and the involvement of French companies in the Oil for Food programme in Iraq during the 1990s.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said: “The United States has been conducting economic espionage against France for more than a decade. Not only has it spied on the French Finance Minister, it has ordered the interception of every French company contract or negotiation valued at more than $200 million. That covers not only all of France’s major companies, from BNP Paribas, AXA and Credit Agricole to Peugeot and Renault, Total and Orange, but it also affects the major French farming associations. $200 million is roughly 3,000 French jobs. Hundreds of such contracts are signed every year. The United States not only uses the results of this spying itself, but swaps these intercepts with the United Kingdom. Do French citizens deserve to know that their country is being taken to the cleaners by the spies of supposedly allied countries? Mais oui!”

Documents Released 06/29/2015:

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Related Links:

NSA Spying on France: 70.3 Million Phone Calls Intercepted in 30 Days; Average of 3 Million Data Intercepts Per Day

NSA Document: 2012 “Flame” Cyberattack on France Presidential Computer Network; US Denies Involvement, Israel May Be Culprit

AQIM Video Shows South African/Swedish Hostages in Mali, Unveils Al-Qaeda’s Own “Jihadi John” with British Accent

In Al-Qaeda, Archive, Mali, South Africa, Sweden, Terrorism on June 23, 2015 at 10:32 PM

06/23/2015

Caleb Weiss/LongWarJournal/Elias Groll/ForeignPolicy:

There’s the British-accented jihadi defiantly addressing the camera, the attempts at slick cuts between desert scenes, and the Western hostages in chains. But this isn’t an Islamic State video; it’s a dispatch from the Sahara branch of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the group’s Mali affiliate. It’s the latest example of how radical Islamist groups are appropriating the visual language of the Islamic State and attempting to imitate its strikingly successful propaganda efforts.

AQIM’s new video shows the last two Western hostages held in Mali, Swede Johan Gustofsson and South African Stephen McGowan, pleading to their respective governments in the video produced by the Saharan branch of AQIM’s media wing, Al Andalus.

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The video opens with a man addressing the camera and speaking in tones made famous by “Jihadi John,” the fighter who gained infamy for beheading Western hostages on tape. “Welcome to the world’s largest prison, a prison that has no boundaries, a prison that has no walls, no cells, no bars. A prison with a fear, where prison break is nonexistent,” the masked AQIM fighter says. “This is the mujahideen’s prison — the Sahara.” The jihadist then points out that the area is part of the “new territory controlled by the mujahideen.” It is unclear what area the captor is referring to, although it may be in central Mali.

The video was likely recorded in late 2014, as the jihadist in the video explains that the two were captured “three years ago.”

The two hostages are then seen having their handcuffs removed (above) before being taken to a wooded area where questioning commences between them and the jihadists. A narrator explains to the viewer that the two have been held for over 1000 days after being captured in Timbuktu in 2011 by a “special unit” of AQIM.

The two hostages are then seen asking a series of questions about the status of negotiations for their release. Their captor tells them that “The French government is impeding the negotiations.” The figure says that the French and Malian governments are trying to buy time so that they “do not have to submit to the demands of the mujahideen.”

“They are making it very difficult for your governments and the mujahideen to come to an agreement,” he continues. The jihadist then shows the two a video of former French hostage Serge Lazarevic being released. Lazarevic was seized in 2011 in Mali by AQIM forces there. He was kidnapped along with another French national, Philippe Verdon, who was killed in 2013 by AQIM in Mali. Lazarevic was released late last year in exchange for four AQIM militants. However, the jihadist in the video says that seven AQIM fighters were released, including two that were involved in the kidnapping of Lazarevic.

After expressing shock that they were not included in those negotiations, McGowan speaks directly to the camera. In a statement directed at the South African government, he says that he hopes it “continues to assist” in his release. “I hope something can be done,” he continues, “I hope a negotiation can be brokered.”

McGowan then speaks to his family saying that he loves them and that he is thankful for their support. To his wife, he says he hopes they can still pursue the plans they had before his capture. Gustofsson then makes a statement expressing his sadness for putting his family through the difficulties of his captivity.

Gustofsson then pleads to the Swedish government to “help in giving information and support to my family.” To his family, he also expresses his love and tells them to continue to live their lives. “I don’t know how this is going to end,” he says, “but our time together till now has been wonderful.” He then speaks to the French government saying that “France has a big responsibility” to help in their release.

McGowan and Gustofsson were kidnapped in Timbuktu in 2011, along with Dutch citizen Sjaak Rijke. A German national was also with them, but he died in the assault. Rijke appeared in an AQIM video released in November alongside Serge Lazarevic, in which both spoke to their respective governments for their release. Rijke was freed in April after a French raid on AQIM militants in northern Mali. According to the BBC, his presence caught the French special operators by surprise; it was only after the fighting was over when they realized the militants were holding the Dutch hostage. (For more information, see LWJ reports, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb video features French, Dutch hostages and French forces free Dutch hostage in Mali.)

AQIM has a history of taking Western hostages. In 2010, Michel Germaneau, a French hostage held by AQIM, died while in captivity. And in 2013, four French hostages were released by AQIM after being held for three years; it is speculated that a ransom of 20 million Euros was paid to free them.

Before that, AQIM was responsible for the kidnapping of Spanish nationals in Mauritania and an Italian and French national in Mali in 2009, as well as many more abductions throughout North Africa. The al Qaeda branch’s prolific kidnappings have even led senior al Qaeda leaders to tighten their control over the hostage-taking operations.

In November 2010, AQIM emir Abdelmalek Droukdel made a surprising claim in a video that was aired on Al Jazeera. Droukdel said that France would have to negotiate with Osama bin Laden himself to secure the release of several French hostages. [See LWJ report, Analysis: Al Qaeda central tightened control over hostage operations.]

As a statement, the video is more an homage to the style of the Islamic State than a replication of their efforts. The captives aren’t seen wearing orange jumpsuits, and no threats are issued against the hostages’ lives. The AQIM video isn’t nearly as slick as those produced by the Islamic State. The audio quality is lower. The lighting is worse. It includes several cartoonish, melodramatic moments, in which fighters try to impress the viewer and come across looking somewhat buffoonish. But in comparison to their previous video showcasing Western hostages, the latest AQIM video marks a step-up in production quality.

The attempt to imitate the Islamic State comes amid a reported split within AQIM as to whether it should pledge allegiance to the group that has established what it calls a caliphate in parts of Syria and Iraq. In December, AQIM’s judicial authority said that the Islamic State had not met the requirements in Islamic law to establish a caliphate. Then in March, two AQIM divisions reportedly pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

Monday’s hostage video contains no reference to the Islamic State and AQIM’s relationship to it. But within the context of the sophisticated public relations campaigns waged by AQIM and similar groups, it’s difficult not to interpret this visual homage to its brutal Syrian cousin as a slight tacking toward that group.

MI5 and MI6 are believed to be investigating the video and the apparent Briton, according to the Telegraph. A senior Whitehall source agreed that al-Qaeda was trying to mimic the Jihadi John persona and style of video.

Islamic State Death Cult Finds Gruesome New Ways to Murder “Spies”: RPG’d in Car, Drowned in Cage, Explosive Collars

In Archive, Iraq, Islamic State, Terrorism on June 23, 2015 at 10:06 PM

*Disclaimer: LeakSource in no way supports the actions of Islamic State. We are a news site dedicated to covering things that the mainstream media should but won’t. We believe that on top of using terrorism fears to restrict free speech, censoring of these videos only helps the process of radicalization. People need to see the barbarity of this group and realize it is nothing but a death cult, and does not represent the majority of peaceful Muslims in the world.

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06/23/2015

WSJ:

Islamic State militants on Tuesday released a video purporting to show 15 Iraqi men accused of espionage being blown up or drowned. The video, titled “But If You Return, We Shall Return,” was released by the Sunni extremist group’s affiliate in Iraq’s northern Nineveh province.

The video shows the accused men, who each confesses to the camera that he committed espionage against Islamic State. The video shows one man confessing that an officer called “Lieutenant Bassem,” from Iraq’s police commando unit had asked them to form a battalion to kill Islamic State leaders. In another recorded confession, an accused spy named Ahmed Othman addresses the Lieutenant Bassam directly. “All that you are doing is useless, and all that you are doing is hurting innocent people,” he says. “Islamic State is fighting against 60 countries, now you want to fight Islamic State alone.”

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The men are then shown executed in three groups. In the first, three men sit together in a car that is blown up by a rocket-propelled grenade fired by a masked militant. In the next sequence, five men are placed in large a cage that is then lowered into a pool of water. In the final execution, seven men are made to kneel and then shown tied together with an explosive cord around each of their necks. The cord is then detonated, severing their heads. After each set of killings, the camera slowly pans over the corpses.

An unidentified narrator says the deaths are the result of airstrikes carried out by the U.S.-led coalition on Mosul, Islamic State’s stronghold in Iraq. He says a child was among the injured victims of the airstrikes. The narrator says the men shown being executed in the video had given the pilots the coordinates at which to strike.

The video is among the most graphic released by Islamic State, which has cultivated a reputation for staging gruesome execution videos as part of propaganda aimed at discouraging espionage against the group and recruiting impressionable potential fighters. Tuesday’s video is unique for its use of multiple executions. A previous video released last month showed a suspected spy crucified on a cross and dismembered by a sword-wielding militant. Another video released early this year showed a captured Jordanian pilot being burned alive in a cage.

Soaked In Bleach: Kurt Cobain Murder, Courtney Love Involvement & Seattle PD Incompetence (2015)

In Archive, Conspiracy, Kurt Cobain on June 21, 2015 at 12:32 AM

*Usually LeakSource avoids covering celebrity news, but after hearing about attempts to stop theaters from showing this film (see below), being a fan of Nirvana, and a hater of all that is Courtney Love, we have decided to upload it here for all to see so you can make up your own minds about what really happened.

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June 2015

Soaked In Bleach reveals the events behind Kurt Cobain‘s death as seen through the eyes of Tom Grant, the private investigator that was hired by Courtney Love in 1994 to track down her missing husband only days before his deceased body was found at their Seattle home. Cobain’s death was ruled a suicide by the police (a reported self-inflicted gunshot wound), but doubts have circulated for twenty years as to the legitimacy of this ruling, especially due to the work of Mr. Grant, a former L.A. County Sheriff’s detective, who did his own investigation and determined there was significant empirical and circumstantial evidence to conclude that foul play could very well have occurred. The film develops as a narrative mystery with cinematic re-creations, interviews with key experts and witnesses and the examination of official artifacts from the 1994 case.

Cease-and-desist order from Courtney Love’s legal team against theaters screening Soaked In Bleach under the pretense that the film is defamatory:

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Soaked In Bleach producers’ statement re: cease-and-desist notice (via Deadline):

“We were disturbed to learn that Courtney Love’s lawyers sent threatening letters to movie theaters all over the country. Most arrived before Soaked in Bleach was released last week, presumably before she or her lawyers ever saw it. She obviously hoped to scare theater owners into dropping the film. Thankfully, very few were intimidated. Most saw the letter for what it is – a cowardly attack on the rights of free speech, free expression and free choice.

Courtney Love’s uninformed accusations and efforts to discredit the film are totally off base. The film examines the well documented facts surrounding the death of Kurt Cobain and it questions much of what the public has been told about those events. Most of the opinions and theories presented in the film come directly from facts gathered by Tom Grant, the private investigator Courtney Love hired the week before Kurt’s body was discovered. Tom quickly became suspicious and tape recorded all his conversations with Courtney and others in the days leading up to and after Kurt’s death. The film uses those recordings to reenact Tom’s encounters with Courtney Love and others in Kurt’s inner circle. It also presents the views of Norm Stamper, Seattle’s Police Chief at the time, and Dr. Cyril Wecht, a leading forensic pathologist, who both question whether Kurt could have committed suicide.

Courtney Love and her lawyers clearly don’t like that the film presents a compelling case for re-opening the investigation into Kurt’s death. They should respect the First Amendment and let people decide for themselves.”

21stCenturyWire’s Shawn Helton Coverage:

DAMAGE CONTROL: Does Cobain Doc ‘Montage of Heck’ Whitewash the Singer’s Death?

SOAKED IN BLEACH: New Film Revisits Details in the Death of Kurt Cobain that Point to Murder

CRACKED DOLL: Courtney Love Fails to Stop Doc ‘Soaked In Bleach’ with Cease and Desist Letter

Related Documentary: Kurt & Courtney (1998)

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