I’m often asked how Iran, being a Shiite-majority country, could have been involved in Al-Qaeda’s September 11, 2001, attacks against the United States.
First of all, we should take into consideration that Iran’s regime is known for supporting a conglomerate of Islamic extremist groups, regardless of their Shiite or Sunni backgrounds.
For example, Shiite militias in Iraq, and dispatching Shiites from Afghanistan and Pakistan to maintain Shiite Assad in power in Syria, a Sunni majority country ruled by the Shiite minority.
Iran is supporting more than 100 Shiite extremist organizations and militias in Syria and Iraq, and the crimes of these groups are no less horrific than those of the Islamic State, according to the Clarion Project.
In Iraq, the Iranian-funded armed militias comprised of Persians have capabilities far beyond those of the Iraqi security forces. The paper quotes academics who commented that the purpose of these militias is to target the Arabs in Iraq, both Sunni and Shiite.
Iran is also known to support Sunni terrorist groups in Palestine, such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Tehran has agreed to massively increase its monthly payments to terror group Hamas in exchange for intelligence on Israeli missile capabilities, according to the The Times of Israel.
In a recent meeting in Tehran between nine senior Hamas officials and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Tehran expressed willingness to raise its monthly financial backing to the terror group to an unprecedented $30 million per month.
Now, regarding Iran’s ties with Al-Qaeda. “U.S. intelligence officials and prosecutors have long said Iran formed loose ties to the terror organization starting in 1991, something noted in a 19-page al-Qaida report in Arabic,” according to an Associated Press report dating back to November 2, 2017.
The CIA’s release of documents seized during the 2011 raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden appears to bolster U.S. claims that Iran supported the extremist network leading up to the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
This means Obama knew.
U.S. intelligence officials and prosecutors have long said Iran formed loose ties to the terror organization starting in 1991, something noted in a 19-page al-Qaida report in Arabic that was included in the release of some 47,000 other documents by the CIA.
Former “CIA director Mike Pompeo suggested the Al-Qaeda-Iran pact had been an ‘open secret’ during the Obama administration, which had failed to act,” according to a report published in The Atlantic dating back to November 11, 2017.
al-Qaeda and covert agents acting for the Iranian deep state first attempted to broker an unlikely agreement more than two decades back… [a senior al-Qaeda operative] had first visited Iraq, where Saddam Hussein had rejected his request; however, in Iran, the Quds Force — a covert unit within the Revolutionary Guards responsible for clandestine foreign policy — was open to it, by Mahfouz’s account. On the table was an offer of advanced military training, with al-Qaeda fighters invited in 1995 to attend a camp run by Hezbollah and sponsored by the Iranian Quds force in Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley.
It is also known that Iran provided provided logistical assistance to Al-Qaeda, facilitating travel for some operatives and providing safe houses for others, according to a Newsweek report published on November 2, 2017.
Translations by the Long War Journal, which chronicles the U.S. war on terror, have shown how Iran offered the “Saudi brothers” in al-Qaeda “everything they needed” if they were to carry out strikes on U.S. interests in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. This aid extended to “money, arms” and “training in Hezbollah camps in Lebanon,” the documents explain.
In other instances it can be seen that Iran provided logistical assistance to al-Qaeda, facilitating travel for some operatives and providing safe houses for others. Prior to the 9/11 attacks, Tehran provided safe-haven for prominent ideologue Abu Hafs al-Mauritani and his followers in Iran.
Iran’s regime is focused on rallying anti-American initiatives through all means possible, as highlighted by an Arab News report published on November 3, 2017.
“Anyone who wants to strike America, Iran is ready to support him and help him with their frank and clear rhetoric,” AP quotes the report as saying.
It says Iran offered Al-Qaeda fighters “money and arms and everything they need, and offered them training in Hezbollah camps in Lebanon, in return for striking American interests in Saudi Arabia.”
There has been coverage over the years of the seemingly strange but pragmatic relationship between Iran and Al Qaeda, as highlighted in an extensive report by the United Against Nuclear Iran.
“Iran has collaborated with Al Qaeda covertly and often by proxy due to the latter’s notorious reputation. This covert cooperation began in the early 1990’s in Sudan, continued after Al Qaeda relocated to Afghanistan and even manifested itself on Iranian soil before, during, and after the September 11 attacks.”
Iran also provided Al-Qaeda members desperately needed shelter when on the run and facilitated their travels with visas, according to The Telegraph.
“Shia Iran offered Sunni militants ‘money, arms’ and ‘training in Hizbollah camps in Lebanon...’ Iranian intelligence facilitated the travel of some operatives with visas, while sheltering others.”
Iranian officials admitted to facilitating the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. by secretly aiding the free travel of Al Qaeda operatives who eventually went on to fly commercial airliners into the Twin Towers in New York City, according to more recent remarks from a senior Iranian official.
Mohammad-Javad Larijani, an international affairs assistant in the Iran’s judiciary, disclosed in Farsi-language remarks broadcast on Iran’s state-controlled television that Iranian intelligence officials secretly helped provide the al Qaeda attackers with passage and gave them refuge in the Islamic Republic.
“Our government agreed not to stamp the passports of some of them because they were on transit flights for two hours, and they were resuming their flights without having their passports stamped. However their movements were under the complete supervision of the Iranian intelligence,” Larijani was quoted as saying.
At the end of the day, I believe there needs to be a new and bold investigation digging deep into the evidence available on Iran’s role in the horrific September 11 attacks that destroyed the lives of thousands of families, and went on to literally change the course of our modern history.
The common narrative pushed by mainstream media deliberately refuses to pay the attention necessary on Iran’s proven role in this regard.