September 7, 2018

KNOWING YOUR ALLIES:

Study questions Iran-al Qaeda ties, despite U.S. allegations (Warren Strobel, 9/07/18, Reuters) 

The bin Laden files, including a 19-page document not released until last November, show that Iran was uncomfortable with the militants' presence on its soil, said Nelly Lahoud, the study's author and an expert on al Qaeda.

At first, Lahoud said, Iran tried to move as many as possible to third countries.

Later, it detained al Qaeda members, including members of bin Laden's family, after they violated the terms of their stay, which included a ban on phone communications, the study says.

The militant group also viewed Tehran with deep mistrust, the study shows.

Iran's policies tightened even further after the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, and detained al Qaeda members were forbidden from leaving the country, it says.

"Iranian authorities decided to keep our brothers as a bargaining chip," the unnamed al Qaeda operative wrote in the document, which was dated January 2007.

Lahoud, who has studied the bin Laden documents since the first batch was released in 2012, said she looked for evidence that al Qaeda and Iran had operational ties in plotting terror attacks.

"This I did not find," she said.

Posted by at September 7, 2018 5:02 PM

  

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