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November 23, 2008

Intercepted letter exposes Iranian support of al-Qaeda

Topics: Iran
An intercepted letter from Ayman al-Zawahirithat documents Tehran's support for the September attack on the American embassy in Yemen that killed 16 people and confirms fresh links between Iran's Revolutionary Guards and al-Qaeda:

Delivery of the letter exposed the rising role of Saad bin Laden, son of the al-Qaeda leader, Osama as an intermediary between the organisation and Iran. Saad bin Laden has been living in Iran since the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001, apparently under house arrest.

The letter, which was signed by Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda's second in command, was written after the American embassy in Yemen was attacked by simultaneous suicide car bombs in September.

Western security officials said the missive thanked the leadership of Iran's Revolutionary Guards for providing assistance to al-Qaeda to set up its terrorist network in Yemen, which has suffered ten al-Qaeda-related terror attacks in the past year, including two bomb attacks against the American embassy.

In the letter al-Qaeda's leadership pays tribute to Iran's generosity, stating that without its "monetary and infrastructure assistance" it would have not been possible for the group to carry out the terror attacks. It also thanked Iran for having the "vision" to help the terror organisation (sic) establish new bases in Yemen after al-Qaeda was forced to abandon much of its terrorist infrastructure in Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

(More here ...

The interception of al-Zawahiri's letter shows recent links between Iran and al-Qaeda, however, as Peter Brooks noted back in 2005, the connection (even back then) between Iran and al-Qaeda has been well known for quite some time:

Iran and al Qaeda have been tight for some time. The 9/11 Commission said that al Qaeda passed freely though Iran before 9/11, including at least eight of the 14 "muscle" hijackers that commandeered the four ill-fated planes. After the USS Cole bombing in 2000, Iranian officials approached al Qaeda to propose a partnership for future anti-U.S. attacks. (Osama nixed the offer for fear of alienating Saudi supporters.)

Al Qaeda also collaborated with Iran in the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. And U.S. intercepts caught al Qaeda operatives in Iran communicating with terrorists in Saudi Arabia before the 2003 attacks there.

And, though conventional wisdom has bin Laden somewhere along the Afghan-Pakistani border, there have also been rumors that he and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, are under Iran's protection.

In his piece, Brooks went on to point out that while a nuclear-armed Iran is a serious - but at that time a future - threat that had at the time and now proven (slim) chance of a diplomatic solution, the Iranian-al Qaeda terrorist threat - also since proven - was and is here and now, making the time for action - back in 2005 - not negotiations - long past. Unfortunately, it's now 2008 and that action Brooks spoke of was never taken, and now experts believe that Iran has produced nearly enough nuclear material to create one atomic bomb. So what we have now is an Iran that is linked to al-Qaeda with what appears to be an atomic bomb rapidly coming down the production line (3 likely by 2009), and a president elect that wants to do more of what doesn't, and won't, do anything to stop terrorists from having a nuclear weapon.

Meanwhile, a panel of former diplomats, pro-Tehran advocates, and an adviser to the Obama transition team, apparently has issued a five point "plan" urging the incoming Obama administration to end U.S. pressure on Iran. With friends like these on the Obama team, and Obama's declared plan to "talk to iran," America just may be entering a very dangerous, and perhaps perilous, period. I never before believed that I could ever embrace a higher role for Hillary in an administration, but given that we've ended up with Barack Obama as president-elect, I find myself actually welcoming the idea of Hillary as Secretary of State. At least she'd be better than the typical far-left peacenik one would normally expect to be appointed in an Obama kind of administration.

Posted by Hyscience at November 23, 2008 12:42 PM

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