In what should have been bombshell news late last year, a federal U.S. district court judge named George Daniels ruled after eight years that Iran, Hezbollah, and al-Qaeda all worked together to perpetrate the 9/11 attacks. That news fell on relatively deaf ears in western media circles.
Now, Sky News is reporting that Ayman al-Zawahiri is working with Iran to – you guessed it – perpetrate terror attacks against the United States to avenge the killing of Osama bin Laden:
Iran and al Qaeda’s core leadership under Ayman al Zawahiri have established an “operational relationship” amid fears the terror group is planning a spectacular attack against the West.
There are concerns such an attack, possibly targeting Europe, would be in revenge for the killing of Osama bin Laden by the US last year.
Sky News’ intelligence sources have said Iran has been supplying al Qaeda with training in the use of advanced explosives, “some funding and a safe haven” as part of a deal first worked out in 2009 which has now led to “operational capacity.”
Although some Western intelligence agencies remain skeptical about an “alliance” between Iran and al Qaeda, the United States has become so concerned about the close relationship that late last year it issued a $10m (£6.4m) reward for information leading to the whereabouts of a Syrian al Qaeda leader in Iran, Ezedin Abdel Aziz Khalil, better known as Yasin al Suri.
The reward offered for al Suri, 30, puts him on the same level as Mullah Omar, the leader of the Taliban in Afghanistan (but Mullah Omar is suddenly off the US terrorist list now that the Obama Regime is having tea parties with the Taliban) . Only al Zawahiri, who replaced bin Laden, has a higher price, $25m (£16m), on his head.
But al Suri has been swiftly replaced – a sign, Sky intelligence sources say, that the al Qaeda relationship with Iran is of great mutual importance. The new al Qaeda leader in Iran, effectively the most important figure outside the core leadership based in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan, is Muhsin al Fadhli.
Al Zawahiri is believed to be planning a “classic” al Qaeda attack, simultaneously on multiple locations, which would confirm the mantle he has assumed as the leader of the global jihad.
A source said: “Iran is the main route through which funding for the organisations is made, the main route for operatives to travel to Pakistan for training, and it is the only real way by which al Zawahiri can control and order a major attack.”
“We do know that an operation is under way. We assess that the most likely target is to be European. And the most obvious target in Europe for an attack that would attract a lot of attention would be the Olympic Games,” a source said, stressing that this was only an “assessment” and not based on any specific intelligence.
The newly-appointed al Qaeda leader in Iran was accused of providing funding to its operations in Iraq. A Kuwaiti citizen, he fought in Chechnya and Afghanistan.
A secret intelligence memo, seen by Sky News, said: “Against the background of intensive co-operation over recent months between Iran and al Qaeda – with a view to conducting a joint attack against Western targets overseas… Iran has significantly stepped up its investment, maintenance and improvement of operational and intelligence ties with the al Qaeda leadership in Pakistan in recent months.
Although Iran, as a Shia theocracy, would not be a natural bedfellow of the Sunni al Qaeda network, there is a precedent for Iranian support for Sunni terrorist groups. Hamas, in Gaza, has received significant funds and weapons from Iran via Syria. And in Iraq allied troops were targeted by both Sunni and Shia militants with bombs developed with expertise from Iran and Tehran’s proxy, the Hezbollah movement in Lebanon.