The case has been made years ago that Iran was complicit in the 9/11 attacks, thanks to the ruling by a U.S. District Judge. Now, as more is learned about Khorasan – an al-Qaeda group based in Iran and operating in Syria, the case just got even stronger.
Khorasan isn’t just the name of an al-Qaeda affiliate whose leader is connected to Iran. It’s also the name of a former province in northeastern Iran itself. Three years after the 9/11 attacks, it was broken up into three smaller provinces. As we found out this week, an al-Qaeda the terror group bearing the province’s namesake remains.
Prior to this week’s air strikes in Syria that many believed were going to target ISIS exclusively, few if any Americans had ever heard of Khorasan. Reports suggest that the leader of the group – Muhsin Al-Fadhli – who may have been killed in the U.S.-led airstrikes – may help connect Iran to the 9/11 attacks.
In an article at the Weekly Standard from earlier this year, it was revealed who preceded al Fadhli in Iran:
Credible reports say that al Fadhli has relocated to Syria. And according to previous reports from the U.S. government, another veteran al Qaeda operative, known as Yasin al Suri, has assumed leadership of al Qaeda’s organization in Iran. Al Suri is in fact al Fadhli’s predecessor as the head of al Qaeda in Iran. After the Treasury and State Departments highlighted his role in 2011, he was temporarily sidelined. But al Suri is now back in the game.
Evidence of Iran’s involvement in the 9/11 attacks is not new and it is historically strong. On December 22, 2011 a Federal District Judge named George B. Daniels signed a 53-page document containing 276 ‘Findings of Fact’ (FoF) and and an Order of Judgment in Havlish v. Iran, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, et. al., filed by Fiona Havlish on behalf of her husband Donald, who was murdered in the 9/11 attacks.
Daniels found for the plaintiff which meant he ruled that Iran collaborated with al-Qaeda in the attacks. A key figure in the mix was Imad Mughniyah, a senior Hezbollah operative who was responsible for multiple terrorist attacks to include the 1983 Beirut bombing that killed more than 241 American servicemen, as well as the hijacking of TWA Flight 847 in 1985. In FoF 206, the details of a memorandum dated May 14, 2001 are explained. The memorandum was from the intelligence spokesman for the Supreme Leader of Iran. It says in part:
“While (the Supreme Leader) is aware of expanding the collaboration with the fighters of al-Qaeda and Hezbollah, he emphasizes that, with regard to cooperation with al-Qaeda, no traces must be left that might have negative and irreversible consequences, and that [the activity] must be limited to the existing contacts with Mughniyeh and Ayman al-Zawahiri.”
In a 2013 book on terrorism, author Christopher Harmon wrote:
Long the leading state sponsor of terrorism, Iran has recently harbored famed terrorists such as Imad Mughniyah of Hezbollah (d. 2008), certain leaders of Al Qaeda, including… an Al Qaeda finances man, Yasin al-Suri, an ethnic Kurd and Syrian citizen.
That would be the same Yasin al-Suri who leads Khorasan. This is not to say that al-Suri was in Iran at the time of 9/11 but it does demonstrate that Iran is willing to allow al-Qaeda operatives and leaders to operate within its borders to carry out common agendas, which backs up the contents of the memorandum referenced above.
Perhaps the most convincing testimony in Havlish came courtesy of Abolghasem Mesbahi, who at one time worked for the Iranian Ministry of Information and Security (MOIS) but fled Iran in 1996 after learning that he had been targeted for assassination by the Iranian government (FoF 158).
Mesbahi received three coded messages beginning on July 23, 2001. That message came from someone in the Iranian government he trusted. It included the words “Shaitan dar Atash”, which translates to “Satan in Fire”, a reference to terror attacks against the U.S., which included flying civilian airliners into U.S. cities (FoF 169, 170, and 173).
The next coded message came on August 13, 2001. Shaitan dar Atash was a go and was specifically about crashing civilian airliners in U.S. cities (FoF 176).
The third coded message came on August 27, 2001 and included an additional piece of detail about a vague reference to Germany. The gift of hindsight revealed that the cell led by ringleader Mohammad Atta was based in Hamburg, Germany (FoF 178 and 179).
Mesbahi testified that he passed these messages onto German intelligence as he received them. After seeing the 9/11 attacks happen, he did so again. After one meeting on September 13, 2001 with German intelligence at which Mesbahi revealed the Iranian connection to the attacks, he was thereafter avoided and ignored despite his multiple attempts to provide this critical information (FoF 181-186).
As westerners obsess over the names of terrorist groups like ISIS, ISIL, Islamic State, al-Qaeda, Khorasan, Hamas, Hezbollah, etc. etc., they waste energy and resources. They parse that which requires no parsing; parsing even begets more parsing.
There is perhaps no better example that illustrates the futility of trying to play catch up with terrorists than collaboration between Iran, Hezbollah and al-Qaeda. Beyond that, how about the fact that Iran, which is supposed to be an ally of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad is harboring al-Qaeda operatives that are now operating in Syria.
Do you think Assad is worried about parsing out which brand of terrorists are trying to kill him?