The 21st Century Phenomenon



There is no much love between the Sunnis and the Shiites in Islam and in many cases and in many places in the Muslim world the mutual mistrust and resentment is translated to violence and bloodshed, nowadays especially in Iraq and Pakistan (see – ABYSS IN ISLAM).


Al Qaeda as a radical Sunni organization with roots in Wahhabism is, no doubt, a strong opponent to the Shiaa faith and to Iran as the leading Shiaa country. But in the Middle East it is most obvious that the enemy of my enemy is my friend and in this case Iran and Al Qaeda have a common enemy – USA, the Christian Western Democracies and Israel.


Following operation Absolute Justice in Afghanistan by the end of 2001, a group of over 100 Al Qaeda operatives fled from Afghanistan to Iran. The group was headed by Saif al-Adel, Osama Bin Laden’s son, Saad Bin Laden, the Kuwaiti spokesman of Al Qaeda, Suleiman abu Ghaith, the Egyptian Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, who was implicated with the 08/07/1998 attacks on USA embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, Sheikh al-Liby and Rajab abu-Khayr.


It is most likely that the Iranians were aware to their capacities and skills and to their devotion to fight the West but Iran was also looking for legitimacy and some sort of understanding with USA over Afghanistan and Iraq, both neighbors to Iran. Following international pressure almost all Al Qaeda were put in Iranian jail in 01/2004.


According to German intelligence unproved sources many members of the group were released, in summer 2006, providing that they will assist in terror activities against Israel. That claim was never proved or supported by any other intelligence but it was an indication that Iran is looking to exploit their expertise against common enemy.  


The growing tension between Iran on one hand and NATO and USA on the other over the Iranian military nuclear program boosted the Iranians to look after ways to pressure back on Europe and America and Al Qaeda could be a useful tool especially when the organization distances itself from Shiites generally and from Iran specifically.


Indeed, according to intelligence officials in USA, on Thursday 07/23/2009, Saad Bin Laden left Iran in 11/2008 and found refuge in Pakistan’s tribal area – FATA. He was, most likely, killed in early 2009, unintentionally, in a USA UAV drone attack. Another senior Al Qaeda and the official representative of Al Qaeda in Iran, Atiyah al-Rahman, was killed in North Waziristan, on 10/07/2010.



In 03/2010 unnamed British commander in Afghanistan exposed that despite religious and ideological rivalry Iran is providing safe haven, desert training and sabotage warfare to hundreds of Taliban fighters (see – Taleban’s New Haven).  Indeed NATO-ISAF spokesman James Appathurai expressed, already on 06/21/2008, concerns that elements in Iran are providing support to insurgents fighting British troops. He said: ‘Weapons of Iranian origin has turned up in Afghanistan in significant numbers” (see – IRANIAN NETWORK). 


Last week the British daily ‘The Telegraph’ reported, on Thursday 11/11/2010, based on Pakistani intelligence sources, that Saif al-Adel was appointed by Al Qaeda as the new chief of international operations (see -al-Adel’s new job). Almost simultaneously the Kuwaiti Al-Qabas newspaper reported Thursday that Suleiman abu Ghaith was released from Iran and moved to Yemen to support the Yemeni branch of Al Qaeda – Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.


There is, therefore, an accumulation of evidence that Iran is taking advantage on its Al Qaeda detainees and is releasing them one by one to increase the terror threat on NATO countries and USA.  
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