February 17, 2003


Iran Reports Sweep Against Qaeda Smugglers (ELAINE SCIOLINO with ERIC SCHMITT, February 17, 2003, NY Times)
Iran has arrested several suspected members of Al Qaeda in recent weeks as part of a crackdown that American and Iranian officials say has shut down a major smuggling operation on the Iranian border with Pakistan.

The most important disruption of activities of would-be terrorists who had sought refuge in Iran came in mid-January, Iranian officials said in early February.

It was then that Iranian security forces uncovered and dismantled a network used to smuggle Afghans or Afghan-Arabs — some of them linked to Al Qaeda--across the porous border of Pakistan into the Iranian province of Sistan-Baluchistan.

A Defense Department official who monitors reports of Qaeda movements confirmed the Iranian crackdown, saying: "Iran has made some arrests. It's made some of the terrorists there uneasy. They're not too comfortable being there anymore."

The Pentagon official did not know precisely how many suspected Qaeda members Iran had been arrested or what the Iranian authorities had done with them.

"There's something going on there," the official said. "Maybe the government has decided it doesn't want to be the next target" of an American attack.

Iran looks increasingly like low hanging fruit. Posted by Orrin Judd at February 17, 2003 9:04 PM

It looks to me like a self-satisfied Islamic society that

wants as little as possible to do with the likes

of you and me. Dollars, excepted, of course.

Posted by: Harry at February 17, 2003 10:15 PM

Economics matters, Harry.

Posted by: oj at February 17, 2003 11:39 PM

Cosmetic. For popular consumption.

Toss 'em a bone now and then. They'll eat it up.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at February 18, 2003 3:04 AM

One doubts that al Qaeda cares much for Shi'ites.

Posted by: oj at February 18, 2003 7:59 AM

or Persians....

Posted by: oj at February 18, 2003 7:59 AM