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January 9, 2007

U.S. Finds Evidence Of Iran Training Al-Qaida

Topics: Iran

The Middle East News Line reported last week that the U.S. military has found evidence that Iran helped train and equip al-Qaida's network in Iraq:

Officials said the U.S. military has been analyzing Iranian intelligence memorandums and other reports that detail Tehran's support of al-Qaida in Iraq. They said the captured Iranian documents marked the strongest confirmation of long-standing assessments that Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was aiding both Sunni and Shiite insurgents in the effort to undermine Iraq and expel the U.S.-led coalition.

"The documents have been determined as authentic and provide the most detailed evidence of Iran's strategy in Iraq," an official said. "In short, Iran has been helping everybody, with the possible exception of the Saddam people, against us."

The U.S. military captured the Iranian documents in December during the arrest of suspected Iranian intelligence commanders in Baghdad. The documents had been in possession of a suspected commander known only as Chizari. Chizari was captured inside a compound of Shiite leader Abdul Aziz Hakim, who earlier met President George W. Bush.

Officials said U.S. Army intelligence determined that the documents marked correspondence from and to the Quds Force. The Quds Force has been identified as the foreign arm of the IRGC and responsible for liaisons with insurgency groups throughout the Middle East.

The Iranian documents portray IRGC as a major facilitator of both Sunni and Shiite groups, some of them involved in the sectarian war in Iraq. They included Sunni groups responsible for the mass-casualty suicide car bombings against Shiites in the Baghdad area.

"The Quds Force has determined that Iran could convert some of these Sunni cells into allies of Tehran," an official said. "Otherwise, all of the Sunni fighters will come under Saudi control."

Officials identified the Sunni groups aided by Iran as al-Qaida in Iraq and Ansar Al Sunna. They said the documents also included names and cell phone numbers of the Sunni liasions with the IRGC.

Other documents were said to have outlined insurgency strategy and methods. The U.S. military also found an Iranian assessment of the Iraqi civil war and goals of the Quds Force.

Michael Ledeen, a former Pentagon official, said the Quds Force documents have left U.S. intelligence officials flabbergasted. Ledeen said the documents included charts that contain the links between Shiite and Sunni groups with Iran.

"It seems that our misnamed Intelligence community had grossly underestimated the sophistication and the enormity of the Iranian war campaign," Ledeen said.

So why hasn't Iran been made to pay a heavy price for their support of terrorism (I'm talking about military repercussions here, not money)?

Posted by Richard at January 9, 2007 10:17 PM

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