by WorldTribune Staff, November 3, 2017
Iran secretly provided funding, shelter and communications infrastructure to Al Qaida operatives, according to newly-released data from the computer obtained during the 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Two U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News that the documents released by the CIA are “evidence of Iran’s support for Al Qaida’s war with the United States.”
The author of one file found on bin Laden’s computer explains that Iran offered some “Saudi brothers” who were Al Qaida operatives “everything they needed,” including “money, arms” and “training in Hizbullah camps in Lebanon, in exchange for striking American interests in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.”
Iranian intelligence facilitated the travel of some operatives with visas, while sheltering others. Abu Hafs al-Mauritani, an influential ideologue prior to 9/11, helped negotiate a safe haven for his jihadi comrades inside Iran, according to the file.
The author of the file also indicates that the Al Qaida members violated the terms of the agreement with Iran, and Teheran eventually cracked down on the Sunni jihadists’ network, detaining some personnel. Still, the author explains that Al Qaida is not at war with Iran and some of their “interests intersect,” especially when it comes to being an “enemy of America.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denounced the documents as “fake news” selectively released by the CIA to “whitewash the role of U.S. allies in 9/11.”
The documents “also clearly indicate bin Laden was actively involved in directing Al Qaida at the time of his death, contrary to early reports that he was effectively retired and living in seclusion,” Breitbart noted.
Other revelations from the data include bin Laden’s citation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a major influence on his political thought.
“From a religious [or theological] aspect, I was committed within the Muslim Brotherhood. Their curriculum was limited. I read the Sira [Prophet Muhammad’s biography, a reference to old books relating the beginnings of Islam and the Prophet’s life with typical focus on wars]. Once a week, the meetings. The number of pages was limited. The extent of influence by them was not much from a religious aspect,” reads a passage quoted and expanded upon at The National.
This passage appears as part of an interview in which bin Laden discussed his inspirations. In another exchange, he said he was “looked after” in terms of religious education by his family, “but no side was guiding me in the way the Brotherhood do.”
The terror leader also implied the Muslim Brotherhood financed his first jihad expedition to Turkey in 1976.
The Long War Journal cites passages that indicate bin Laden hoped Al Qaida could capitalize on the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings to expand its influence. He mentioned cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who is based in Qatar, as someone he thought could be helpful in turning the Arab Spring to Al Qaida’s advantage.
Bin Laden also lauded Qatar’s Al-Jazeera network, which he said, “carries the banner of revolutions.”
Qaradawi and Al-Jazeera are major points of contention in the ongoing diplomatic crisis between Qatar and other Gulf Cooperation Council states.
Also released by the CIA were audio messages of Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza bin Laden, who has been groomed by Al Qaida as a possible successor to his father.
“Video clips of Hamza’s wedding were recovered, which is significant because Al Qaida has taken pains to avoid revealing what he looks like as an adult,” Breitbart noted.
Hamza reported being mentored in the ways of jihad by several senior Al Qaida men who were supposedly in detention in Iran.
Osama bin Laden, in turn, told all three of his sons that “Iranians are not to be trusted” and fretted that they might have bugged members of his family.
The material released by the CIA also includes information about Al Qaida’s relationship with “various Saudi sheikhs, some of whom supported the jihadis’ efforts in Iraq,” The Long War Journal reported.