While it’s worth noting that Al-Qaeda has a new leader in Iran, it’s more noteworthy that the Sunni, Al-Qaeda is embraced by the Shiite Iranian government. The unlikelihood of such a reality is what caused the United States government to dismiss Iranian involvement in the 9/11 attacks.
Anyway, here’s a report on the leadership change via the Long War Journal (take note of what I have in bold):
A notorious Kuwaiti terrorist named Muhsin al Fadhli has reportedly taken over leadership of al Qaeda’s network inside Iran. Sky News reports that al Fadhli assumed the top post in al Qaeda’s Iran franchise after Yasin al Suri, who has headed the network for years, was placed under “protective custody” following his exposure by US authorities.
In July 2011, the US Treasury Department designated al Suri and several other al Qaeda operatives who use Iranian soil to move funds and recruits from Gulf countries to Pakistan, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. The Treasury Department said that this network operates as part of a “secret deal” between al Qaeda and the Iranian government. In December 2011, US authorities announced that they were offering a $10 million reward for information leading to al Suri’s capture.
Al-Qaeda and Iran sittin’ in a tree….
Yet again, another in a long line of examples that point to a United States federal district judge’s ruling being spot-on. That ruling determined that Iran worked closely with al-Qaeda to perpetrate the 9/11 attacks.
Al Fadhli has long been an elite member of al Qaeda. In early September 2001, Treasury explained, he “possibly received forewarning that US interests would be struck.” The Sept. 11 operation was compartmentalized and only select members of the network received advance notice.
U.S.S. Cole bombing? Check:
In a separate case, according to a leaked State Department cable written in June 2005, al Fadhli was charged with involvement in al Qaeda’s October 2000 USS Cole bombing.
There appears to be quite a bit of chatter regarding collaboration between Iran and al-Qaeda about an upcoming attack as well:
Sky News cited anonymous intelligence officials who believe a terrorist plot involving al Fadhli and al Qaeda’s network in Iran may be afoot. Al Qaeda’s emir, Ayman al Zawahiri, is reportedly interested in launching a mass casualty attack as retaliation for the killing of Osama bin Laden. However, the details of this putative plot are sketchy.
“We do know that an operation is under way. We assess that the most likely target is to be European. And the most obvious target in Europe for an attack that would attract a lot of attention would be the Olympic Games,” a source told Sky News. Iran is reportedly providing training in explosives, safe haven, and funding for the operatives involved.
A secret intelligence memo shown to Sky News reads: “Against the background of intensive co-operation over recent months between Iran and al Qaeda – with a view to conducting a joint attack against Western targets overseas… Iran has significantly stepped up its investment, maintenance and improvement of operational and intelligence ties with the al Qaeda leadership in Pakistan in recent months.”
The evidence that Iran worked closely with al-Qaeda in the September 11th attacks is overwhelming and indications are that an encore performance may be underway.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana
h/t Jawa Report