Al-Qaeda’s Iranian Presence Should be a Greater Concern

July 29th, 2011 at 2:58 pm | 6 Comments |

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Yesterday, the U.S. government formally announced what many of us have known for sometime: there is a direct connection between al-Qaeda and Iran.  The Treasury Department sanctioned “six members of a terrorist network based in Iran” for serving as “the core pipeline through which al-Qaeda moves money, facilitators and operatives from across the Middle East to South Asia,” principally meaning Pakistan and Afghanistan. The leader of the group, Ezedin Abdul Aziz Khalil, is a Syrian who has been operating from Iran under an agreement signed in 2005.”

Currently, Iran shelters a “substantial al-Qaeda network on its soil”, and “extensive intelligence [exists] that Iran…support[ed] the Mesopotamian branch of al-Qaeda.”

Our current war against violent Islamism is predicated on the principle that terrorist networks cannot be permitted to obtain weapons of mass destruction.  Despite the recent spate of victories, the United States has struck against al-Qaeda, including the killing of Osama bin Laden, this remains a danger.

As David Frum has written, the U.S.-led efforts against terrorism since 9/11 have significantly reduced the capacity of al-Qaeda and like-minded organizations to plot coordinated and sophisticated mass casualty attacks.  Permitting an al-Qaeda ally like Iran to obtain nuclear weapons could change everything.

Simply put: Stuxnet cannot last forever.

Unfortunately, instead of talking about this, the House Republicans have chosen to spend the last week threatening to force the United States into a default – even though plenty of countries are still willing to lend to us.  Thanks guys.

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6 Comments so far ↓

  • jg bennet

    hmmm, a big wig general in iran’s revolutionary guard is set to become the president of opec which is going to do 1 trillion dollars in 2011…………

    Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad nominated a sanctioned senior official from the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to take the role of oil minister, his latest push to tighten control over the country’s most strategic sector.

    Brig. Gen. Rostam Ghasemi heads Khatam al-Anbiya, the most powerful economic wing of the Revolutionary Guards, with diverse interests in construction, oil and gas, telecommunications and other sectors. He would be the first commander from the elite paramilitary force to move into a ministerial post not related to defense.

    The nomination is a strategic gain for the Guards, which is responsible for safeguarding Iran’s Islamic revolution and defending its borders. Whoever heads Iran’s oil ministry will be in a position to oversee energy contracts and will have an international platform at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, where the Islamic Republic now holds the rotating presidency.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904800304576471503182543390.html

  • Chris Balsz

    Adm. Mullen testified a couple of years ago that we weren’t capable of attacking Iran, so I guess they win.

  • tommybones

    Um, Iran is a Shia dominated country and al Qaeda is a militant Sunni organization. Any thought that they are working together in any significant way is ridiculous.

    FYI – the U.S. government has all sorts of reasons to create a link between the two which doesn’t exist in reality. They had no problem creating that link with Iraq.

    As George W. once said, “fool me once, shame on you, fool me… fool me… you can’t fool me again”

  • drdredel

    umm… “six members of a terrorist network based in Iran” for serving as “the core pipeline through which al-Qaeda moves money”

    so… by this logic, if 6 guys in some basement in Brooklyn were funneling moneys to Al Qaeda, that would make the US an Al Qaeda ally, right?

    Iran has a lot to lose in supporting terrorists like AQ. They’re not ideologically aligned, so, the whole premise is really far fetched.

  • Nanotek

    “… House Republicans have chosen to spend the last week threatening to force the United States into a default – even though plenty of countries are still willing to lend to us. Thanks guys.”

    are you Republicans as proud of your political leaders as we are of ours?

  • baw1064

    What exactly do you plan to do about this situation? (which I acknowledge is a giant mess).

    Also, assuming your real agenda is to prevent AQ from getting their hands on nuclear weapons (as opposed to just foaming at the mouth about Iran), I would venture that AQ is more likely to do so from Pakistan (given that it already has nuclear weapons, is majority sunni, and clearly has factions who sympathize with AQ). What do you plan to do about that?

    I’m no fan whatsoever of the Iranian regime, but I have yet to hear any constructive approach proposed in one of these columns.