When Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden in 2011, they brought back thousands of documents on computer hard and thumb drives that, it was hoped would shed much more hope on the al-Qaida organization. Now as the CIA released thousands of pages of documents seized in the raid, it has once again raised questions about the support that Iran gave the terror network prior to 9/11.
It has always been the belief within US intelligence organizations that the Iranians had at least some ties to the terrorists of bin Laden since 1991. The 19-page report released by CIA as part of their other 47,000 documents released show just that.
For its part, Iran has long denied any involvement with al-Qaida. However, the report included in the CIA document dump shows how bin Laden, a Sunni extremist from Iran’s archrival Saudi Arabia, could look across the Muslim world’s religious divide to partner with the Mideast’s Shiite power to target his ultimate enemy, the United States.
“Anyone who wants to strike America, Iran is ready to support him and help him with their frank and clear rhetoric,” the report reads.
The document had been included in the CIA release and was available online Wednesday. The CIA later issued a warning about the files on its website, saying that since the material “was seized from a terrorist organization … there is no absolute guarantee that all malware has been removed.” The CIA then took down the files entirely early Thursday, saying they were “temporarily unavailable pending resolution of a technical issue.”
The unsigned 19-page report is dated in the Islamic calendar year 1428 — 2007 — and offers what appears to be a history of al-Qaida’s relationship with Iran. It says Iran offered al-Qaida 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.”
The Iranians allowed al-Qaida members to pass through their borders without getting a stamp on their passports to avoid suspicion and met with Iranian intelligence officials. It was also reported that 8 of the 10 so-called “muscle hijackers” of 9/11 passed thru Iran.
The Iranians have long denied any involvement with al-Qaida.
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