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  1. #1
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    Default Iran & AQ: a safe haven or holding cell?

    US Accuses Iran of Secret Al-Qaida Ties

    Entry Excerpt:

    US Accuses Iran of Secret Al-Qaida Ties - Voice of America

    The United States accused Iran of having a “secret deal” with al-Qaida as Washington announced sanctions Thursday on six suspected al-Qaida operatives.

    The Treasury Department did not offer many details. But it says the operatives are part of a network headed by Ezedin Abdel Aziz Khalil, described by U.S. officials as an al-Qaida facilitator based in Iran.

    The Treasury statement says Khalil has been operating under an “agreement” between the Iranian government and the terror group.

    The department says Iran is a “critical transit point” for funding to support al-Qaida's activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    There was no immediate reaction from the Iranian government.

    But Treasury Under Secretary David Cohen says a “secret deal” in which Iran allows al-Qaida to funnel resources through its territory has been exposed. He says the case illuminates what he called another aspect of Tehran's “unmatched support for terrorism.”

    The sanctions on Khalil and the five other reputed operatives freeze any U.S. assets that they may have and prohibit U.S. citizens from engaging in financial transactions with them.



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  2. #2
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Iran & AQ: a safe haven or holding cell?

    Another strange development, an AQ leader and / or strategist who has been reportedly in a Syrian jail has been reported as being released; similar to the AQ planner released awhile ago from detention in Iran.

    I have read his biography awhile ago, so here's a slim background:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mustafa_Setmariam_Nasar

    Two recent commentaries by ICSR, one nearly a week ago:http://icsr.info/blog/Whither-al-Suri

    Note the possible link to a kidnapped American charity worker in Pakistan months ago:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...ri-claims.html

    The second today, reflecting "chatter" on Jihadist forums:http://icsr.info/blog/Al-Qaeda-theor...rison-in-Syria

    T'is a murky world diplomacy, hostage negotiation and "talking to the enemy".
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    Default Still a mystery

    Zenpundit has a short update:
    Credible sources at the forums said al-Suri was released then, but no word on him since.
    Link:http://zenpundit.com/?p=14510

    One wonders if Syria holds other AQ cadre and the inevitable question what will happen to them?
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    There has been no update on whether al-Suri remains in Syrian custody, but in a discussion with open source analysts there were two comments. First, from a Jihadist on-line "chat" watcher al-Suri remains in Syria, if he had been released there would have been "chatter".

    Secondly given his long detention, since October 2005, what condition is he in? If he is ill (physical / mental) what would be gained by AQ announcing his release. Or IMHO a transfer to another state - Iran comes to mind.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-26-2013 at 03:06 PM.
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    Default Iran & AQ: a safe haven or holding cell?

    As we approach 2013 the media turn to reflection and reminding us of the best articles published, amidst is an offering from Foreign Affairs is a substantial article I missed 'Al Qaeda in Iran: Why Tehran is Accommodating the Terrorist Group' by Seth Jones, in January 2012:http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articl...iran?page=show

    Seth opens with:
    Virtually unnoticed, since late 2001, Iran has held some of al Qaeda's most senior leaders. Several of these operatives, such as Yasin al-Suri, an al Qaeda facilitator, have moved recruits and money from the Middle East to central al Qaeda in Pakistan. Others, such as Saif al-Adel, an Egyptian that served as head of al Qaeda's security committee, and Abu Muhammad al-Masri, one of the masterminds of the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in East Africa, have provided strategic and operational assistance to central al Qaeda. The Iranian government has held most of them under house arrest, limited their freedom of movement, and closely monitored their activities. Yet the organization's presence in Iran means that, contrary to optimistic assessments that have become the norm in Washington, al Qaeda's demise is not imminent.
    I know scattered around SWC are comments on the sometimes puzzling relationship between Iran and AQ. Iran at times appearing to act as an internment camp for AQ cadres, with the occasional release to return to the fray in Afghanistan.

    Three relevant threads are:'Iran & USA allies in Afghanistan:stranger than reality', posts mainly from 2007:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...read.php?t=729, 'AQ-Central to relocate?':http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=14034 and the mysteries of AQ internment in Syria in 'Abu Musab al-Suri is free? AQ's No.4':http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=15095

    IIRC CWOT has touched upon this subject in his polling analysis.

    Perhaps other matters have stopped official action on Iran's stance, notably movement towards a nuclear capability.

    Added 2013:http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2011/0...qaeda-network/
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-11-2013 at 08:40 AM.
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    Default Bin Laden's son-in-law returned to Iran

    An odd update:
    Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law was arrested in Ankara by Turkish security forces after Washington allegedly informed Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) about his location, daily Milliyet reported today.

    Suleyman M., son-in-law of former al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, was allegedly staying at a camp in Iran after the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center in 2001. He entered Turkey using a fake Saudi Arabian passport.
    He was released and returned to Iran!

    Link:http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/bin...=238&nid=40303 and a slightly confusing account after translation:http://gundem.milliyet.com.tr/ladin-...37/default.htm
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    Default Bin Laden's Son-in-Law Arrested

    This is a story that does not seem to have made it into the major English-language news services. According to a leading Turkish daily, Milliyet, Bin-Laden's son-in-law Sulayman Jasim abu Ghaith was arrested in Ankara around 3 February 2012 after entering Turkey on an illegal passport from Iran. The story claims that a CIA tip led to his arrest, but that Turkey did not intend to turn him over to the US. Since his only crime in Turkey was entering illegally, he would be deported back to Iran. I haven't seen any follow-up to this story, but the Arab news sites picked it up and seemed to confirm it.

    This is the link to the original story:
    http://gundem.milliyet.com.tr/ladin-...37/default.htm

    This is the main Arabic source:
    http://www.aawsat.com/details.asp?se...4#.UREh7me7rHs
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-11-2013 at 08:37 PM. Reason: Was in standa lone thread, moved here and PM to author w apology

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    Default Bin Laden's Son-in-Law Arrested

    This does not seem to have made it into most of the English-language press- a Turkish paper, Milliyet, reported on 3 February (the day after the suicide bombing at the US embassy) that Bin Laden's son-in-law, Sulayman Jasim abu Ghaith, was arrested in Ankara following a CIA tip. The Arabic press also carried the story, but I haven't seen anything else since the initial story (not unusual). Did anyone else see anything related to this?

    If anyone is interested I can provide URL for the story in Milliyet and Ash-Sharq al-Awsat.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-11-2013 at 08:37 PM. Reason: Was in standa lone thread, moved here and PM to author

  9. #9
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    Well, he slightly made the State Department's press briefing

    With a diplomatic fuss over his extradition, seems Foggy Bottom has gone silent and Abu Ghaith just can't compete with the likes of Pope Benedict or the Africa Cup of Nations at the BBC.

    With that, Turkish news will have to do
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  10. #10
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    Default What’s with the old al Qaeda guys leaving Iran?

    Clint Watts blogsite looks at this issue:http://selectedwisdom.com/?p=993

    He ends with:
    So what does all this mean?

    Well it seems my Iran wild card fears of summer 2012 may not be worthy of much attention. If Suleiman was in fact the last al Qaeda member held by the IRGC, then, at least on the surface, it would appear that Iran is not intending to use al Qaeda, a Sunni extremist group, as a strategic proxy against the West and Israel in the way that it backs other Sunni groups like Hamas.

    I wonder if the release of Suleiman and other al Qaeda members has some connection to the emerging proxy battle brewing between the IRGC and al Qaeda linked al Nusra Front in Syria? I’m guessing there is no way to know but the recent movement of Suleiman is quite curious. Stays in Iran for more than a decade and suddenly decides to leave? What’s up?
    Even more curious is that Suleiman is reportedly in Kuwait now!
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    Ah, but this could get "awkward" now... The Bin Laden Papers: al Qaeda’s secret deals with Iran.

    http://on.wsj.com/1UQwhbP via @WSJ

    Mod's Note: article is behind a registration / paywall alas.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 09-15-2015 at 08:50 PM. Reason: MOved from Syria 2015 thread as fits here and Mods Note added.

  12. #12
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    Default Iran Frees five Al Qaeda Members for kidnapped diplomat

    Anonymous intelligence sources led to this Sky News report; it starts with:
    Iran has released five senior al Qaeda operatives from detention and will soon allow them to leave the country, prompting fears they will join other terrorists in Syria planning attacks on the West. According to intelligence sources, three of the five are members of al Qaeda's ruling committee the Shura Council.
    They were released in exchange for an Iranian diplomat kidnapped in Yemen earlier this year.

    (Later) intelligence sources said, were believed to be still in Iran but there are fears that they will be allowed to leave - probably to refill positions inside al Qaeda's leadership structure that has been mauled by drone attacks in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and Somalia.
    Link:http://news.sky.com/story/1552303/te...-qaeda-members
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    Default Iran frees five AQ Members for kidnapped diplomat: Part 2

    The NYT adds:
    The Iranian government, in a statement on Thursday after the release was reported by Sky News earlier this week, denied that the five men had been freed....The release of the men could re-energize the militant group, providing an influx of vetted leaders at a crucial time, terrorism experts say.
    Link:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/18/wo...-a-trade.html?

    So six months ago this release happened or didn't, then a week ago the Khobar Towers suspect appears to have been "given up".
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 09-18-2015 at 02:08 PM.
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    Default Could this be a move to counter ISIS?

    The Long War Journal assesses the recent reports and concludes:
    There is no question that Saif al Adel, Abu Mohammed al Masri and Abu Khayr al Masri are among al Qaeda’s most senior leaders....the freed jihadists may serve another purpose. Jihadists on social media have circulated a rumor suggesting that al Qaeda plans on relaunching a new branch inside Iraq, in direct competition with the Islamic State. The al Qaeda leaders released from Iran are well-positioned to lead this effort....These men could argue the opposite, saying they, and al Qaeda, are Zarqawi’s true heirs.
    Link:http://www.longwarjournal.org/archiv...-from-iran.php

    Now if that assessment is correct the Iranian "release" makes sense in countering ISIS. Indeed a certain US general has mooted using AQ to counter ISIS; strange world sometimes.
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    CrowBat...back to our JaN discussion........could this be the inherent key....Iranian ties into JaN via AQ?????

    Could the protective hand of the IRGC/Khamenei be over them and not so much the Russians?????

    There is in fact some similarities between AQs jihadist view of revolutionary Islam and the "revolutionary Islam" preached and written about by Khomeini that both Shia and Sunni's can relate to.

    Iran’s Partnership with al-Qaeda and Unanswered Questions | The Syrian Intifada - by .@KyleWOrton
    https://kyleorton1991.wordpress.com/...red-questions/

    (Mod's Note: This article is dated September 19, 2015)

    Iran instrumentalizes al-Qaeda by facilitating travel of AQ members to #Syria -> weakening moderates

    In 2011, Treasury reported Iran-Qaeda "secret deal".
    In 2014, Treasury added these details: http://bit.ly/1QaIhQ4

    (Mod's Note: This article by Kyle is dated March 24, 2014)

    Sayf al-Adel was also recently freed by #Iran >> Iran’s Partnership with al-Qaeda and Unanswered Questions

    And if Sayf al-Adel has now made his way into Syria, no surprise: al-Qaeda has been operating networks feeding Nusra from Iran for years.

    There are a number of comments indicating he is indeed in Syria with JaN.

    Sayf al-Adel worked out the plan for the formation of a jihadist statelet with Abu Musab az-Zarqawi in 2002. In #Iran.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-27-2016 at 07:39 PM. Reason: Copied from Syria 2016 thread

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    AQ has collaborated with Iranian intel (Pasdaran/IRGC) for 20+ years.
    There's a whole book if you're curious
    :

    http://www.amazon.com/Unholy-Terror-.../dp/B0044KMWPI
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-02-2016 at 08:11 PM. Reason: Moved to the thread on this theme.

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    Default Bin Laden's treasure trove: what his letters say

    Hat tip to Outlaw 09 spotting these passages, with my emphasis in bold:
    The collection includes letters to subordinates in al-Qaeda, messages from followers willing to carry out suicide attacks, and screeds on issues including bin Laden’s conviction that the United States and Iran were poised for an apocalyptic war. In one letter, bin Laden scolds one of his deputies for threatening attacks against Iran, saying, “As you are aware, Iran is our main artery for funds, personnel and communication.”
    Members of bin Laden’s family were held in Iran for years in a murky state of house arrest, leading to speculation that al-Qaeda and Tehran had formed a wary partnership. But U.S. intelligence officials said they have found no evidence in the Abbottabad files of any formal arrangement along those lines.
    Link:https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...4ec_story.html

    Another, Arabic source (in English) and hat tip to Outlaw 09:http://english.aawsat.com/2016/01/ar...ed-to-al-qaeda
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-04-2016 at 06:37 PM. Reason: Add 2nd link.
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    Default Iran & AQ: a safe haven or holding cell?

    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-13-2016 at 01:07 PM. Reason: Copied and edited for here.

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    Great summary from @JoelWing2 >> Iran#s Ties With Al Qaeda In Iraq’s [#IS's] Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
    http://goo.gl/wNigNG
    http://alqabas.com/7368/
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-26-2016 at 07:59 PM.

  20. #20
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    New Latakia emir of Jabhat an-Nusra (al-Qaeda in #Syria), Iyad at-Tubasi (Abu Julaybib), is a brother-in-law of #IS founder Zarqawi.

    Nusra's new coastal emir, Iyad at-Tubasi, fought alongside Zarqawi in AFG, and moved with Zarqawi to Iraq in 2002, before the invasion.

    Some of this is undeniable: #Iran's had an operational cnx with al-Qaeda since 1996, a partnership even longer.
    http://i24ne.ws/ZWOzL

    Iyad at-Tubasi was wrong reported killed in DEC 2012, was said to have been replaced as Nusra's Deraa emir by Mustafa Abd al-Latif Saleh.

    Mustafa Abd al-Latif Saleh is also from Zarqa, and arrived early in Iraq with Zarqawi (2003 latest), working on the Assad-overseen ratlines.

    Both Iyad at-Tubasi and Mustafa Abd al-Latif Saleh were among the ISI advanced party that entered Syria in AUG 2011 to create Nusra.

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