CIA’s release of bin Laden files renews interest in Iran links
DUBAI (United Arab Emirates): The CIA’s launch of paperwork seized throughout the 2011 raid that killed al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden has once more raised questions on Iran’s assist of the extremist community main as much as the Sept. 11 terror assaults.
US intelligence officers and prosecutors have lengthy stated Iran shaped free ties to the phobia group from 1991 on, one thing famous in a 19-page report in Arabic that was included within the launch of some 47,000 different paperwork by the CIA.
For its half, Iran has lengthy denied any involvement with al-Qaida. Nevertheless, the report included within the CIA doc dump exhibits how bin Laden, a Sunni extremist from Iran’s archrival Saudi Arabia, may look throughout the Muslim world’s non secular divide to companion with the Mideast’s Shiite energy to focus on his final enemy, the US.
“Anybody who desires to strike America, Iran is able to assist him and assist him with their frank and clear rhetoric,” the report reads.
The Related Press examined a duplicate of the report launched by the Lengthy Warfare Journal, a publication backed by the Washington-based Basis for Protection of Democracies, a assume tank fiercely essential of Iran and skeptical of its nuclear cope with world powers. The CIA gave the Lengthy Warfare Journal early entry to the fabric.
The fabric additionally included never-before-seen video of bin Laden’s son Hamza, who could also be groomed to take over al-Qaida, getting married. It provides the primary public take a look at Hamza bin Laden as an grownup. Till now, the general public has solely seen childhood photos of him.
The discharge comes as President Donald Trump has refused to recertify Iran’s nuclear cope with world powers and faces home stress at residence over investigations into Russian interference within the 2016 election.
The 19-page report included within the CIA launch was out there on-line Wednesday. The CIA later issued a warning concerning the information on its web site, saying that because the materials “was seized from a terrorist group … there isn’t a absolute assure that every one malware has been eliminated.” The CIA then took down the information solely early Thursday, saying they have been “quickly unavailable pending decision of a technical problem.”
“We’re working to make the fabric out there once more as quickly as potential,” the CIA stated.
The unsigned 19-page report is dated within the Islamic calendar 12 months 1428 — 2007 — and provides what seems to be a historical past of al-Qaida’s relationship with Iran. It says Iran supplied al-Qaida fighters “cash and arms and every little thing they want, and supplied them coaching in Hezbollah camps in Lebanon, in return for placing American pursuits in Saudi Arabia.”
This coincides with an account supplied by the US authorities’s 9/11 Fee, which stated Iranian officers met with al-Qaida leaders in Sudan in both 1991 or early 1992. The fee stated al-Qaida militants later acquired coaching in Lebanon from the Shiite militant group Hezbollah, which Iran backs to this present day.
US prosecutors additionally stated al-Qaida had the backing of Iran and Hezbollah of their 1998 indictment of bin Laden following the al-Qaida truck bombings of the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 individuals, together with 12 People.
Al-Qaida’s obvious siding with Iran could seem shocking at this time, given the enmity Sunni extremists like these of the Islamic State group have for Shiites.
However bin Laden had run out of choices by 1991 — the one-time fighter towards the Soviets in Afghanistan had fallen out with Saudi Arabia over his opposition to the ultraconservative kingdom internet hosting US troops throughout the Gulf Warfare. In the meantime, Iran had grow to be more and more nervous about America’s rising navy enlargement within the Mideast.
“The connection between al-Qaida and Iran demonstrated that the Sunni-Shiite divisions didn’t essentially pose an insurmountable barrier to cooperation in terrorist operations,” the 9/11 Fee report would later say.
Earlier than the Sept. 11, 2001, assaults on New York’s World Commerce Middle and the Pentagon in Washington, Iran would permit al-Qaida militants to move by way of its borders with out receiving stamps of their passports or with visas gotten forward of time at its consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, in response to the 19-page report. That helped the group’s Saudi members keep away from suspicion. Additionally they had contact with Iranian intelligence brokers, in response to the report.
This additionally matches with US data. Eight of the 10 so-called “muscle” hijackers on Sept. 11 — those that saved passengers underneath management on the hijacked flights — handed by way of Iran earlier than arriving in the US, in response to the 9/11 Fee.
Nevertheless, the fee “discovered no proof that Iran or Hezbollah was conscious of the planning for what later turned the 9/11 assault.”
For its half, Iran has denied having any relationship with al-Qaida because the 1998 assaults on the embassies. Iran quietly supplied the US help after the Sept. 11 assaults, although relations would bitter following President George W. Bush naming it to his “axis of evil” in 2002.
On Thursday, Iran’s semi-official Fars information company, which is near the hard-line paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, dismissed the CIA paperwork as “a undertaking towards Tehran.”
Iranian media on Thursday didn’t instantly report on the discharge of the 19-page report.
The 19-page report describes Iranians later placing al-Qaida leaders and members underneath home arrest someday after the Sept. 11 assaults. It mentions the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, saying it put growing stress on Iran, particularly with the rise of al-Qaida in Iraq.
“They determined to maintain our brothers as a card,” the report stated.
That might come true in in 2015 as Iran reportedly exchanged some al-Qaida leaders for considered one of its diplomats held in Yemen by the phobia group’s native department. Whereas Yemen described it as a captive alternate, Tehran as an alternative known as it a “tough and complex” particular operation to safe the Iranian diplomat’s freedom from the “palms of terrorists.”
“The repercussions … of the Sept. 11 assaults have been undoubtedly very massive and maybe above (our) creativeness,” the al-Qaida report stated.