Al-Qaeda leaders hiding in Iran?

Searches for al-Qaeda leadership continue, they are even gathering steam. Not only special services but also journalists are currently involved in the searches. Sometimes it seems that journalists are even more successful with it.

Washington Post reported on Wednesday that several dozens of al-Qaeda terrorists, including two leaders of  al-Qaeda military committee are currently hiding in the Iranian city of Mashhad, capital of the north-eastern province of Horasan. The region borders upon Tajikistan and Afghanistan. Washington Post  informs with reference to some sources in the Arabian intelligence that two leaders of al-Qaeda major structures, Egyptian Saif al-Adel and Mauritian Mahfuz Uld al-Valid,  are currently on the Iranian territory. Since Osama bin Laden and his first deputy Ayman Zawahiri  have to be in hiding, Saif al-Adel and Mahfuz Uld al-Valid have taken supervision over the al-Qaeda military committee upon themselves. It is also reported, bin Laden’s have settled in the Iranian  city of Zabol, 600 km south of the Iran-Afghanistan border.

It is quite natural that Iranians themselves deny this information. Some al-Qaeda militants may be taking shelter in Iran, however, the version is unconvincing for several reasons. 

First of all, it is not clear what Arab countries are meant when speaking about “sources in the Arab intelligence”. There are many Arab countries, each of them has intelligence of its own. What country exactly told the US newspaper about terrorists hiding in Iran? No wonder, information of this kind is secret, however, it would be nice to name the country that is so successful in searches for al-Qaeda.

Second, we should always keep in mind that Iran has been a component of Bush’s “axis of evil” for half a year already. Such attitude toward Iran is unlikely to change soon. Publications of this kind could have appeared in the US media long ago.

So, information about al-Qaeda militants hiding on the Iranian territory is not sufficiently substantiated. And the Washington Post publication is very likely just a propaganda attack against the Iranian leadership.

Vasily Bubnov

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Author`s name Michael Simpson