Connect with us

Latest

Analysis

News

CONFIRMED: Iran did NOT help Al-Qaeda after 9/11 as US alleges

Al-Qaeda document found in Osama bin Laden compound actually proves Al-Qaeda and Iran were enemies not allies

Alexander Mercouris

Published

on

5,847 Views

A few weeks ago the CIA released via The Long War Journal, a publication backed by the Washington-based neocon Foundation for Defense of Democracies an Al-Qaeda document found in Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound which allegedly proved that ‘loose cooperation’ had occurred between Iran and Al-Qaeda after the 9/11 terrorist attacks took place.

The claims of cooperation between Iran and Al-Qaeda attracted widespread skepticism, with some suggestions that the document was a fake.

Al-Qaeda is a militant sectarian Salafi/Wahhabi organisation, wholly antithetical to everything Iran’s Shia version of Islam and its Islamic Republic stand for.  Al-Qaeda and Iran have accordingly been deadly enemies. with Iran the most implacable enemy of Salafi/Wahhabi terrorist groups throughout the Middle East.

The claim that Iran and Al-Qaeda could have worked together at any point and for any length of time is therefore counter-intuitive, and indeed makes no sense.

By contrast it is known that the US’s intelligence agencies have worked alongside Al-Qaeda – or at least some people who have turned out to be operatives of Al-Qaeda – in several wars, including during the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s and during the more recent wars in Libya and Syria in the Middle East.

Nonetheless, despite the doubts expressed about the document its existence was widely reported, with claims that it was the ‘smoking gun’ which allegedly proved that collusion between Al-Qaeda and Iran had taken place.

When I first heard about this document I too had my doubts that the claims being made about it could be true, though I thought it extremely unlikely that it was a fake.

I did however wonder what the document actually said – no one seemed to be offering a translation (the original is in Arabic) – and I did also wonder why so much credence was being given to a document produced by Al-Qaeda.

In the event the brilliant investigative journalist Gareth Porter working on behalf of the The American Conservative has now had made a proper translation of the document, and in an article for The American Conservative has revealed that far from the document proving the existence of cooperation between Al-Qaeda and Iran the document actually does the opposite.

What the document shows is that in the aftermath of the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 some Al-Qaeda militants did escape to Iran.  Some appear to have done so by entering the country illegally, but in a number of cases the Iranian authorities granted some of them visas on very strict conditions that they would not engage in any political activities.

As Gareth Porter points out, this was probably done in part in order to keep a better track of these people and to use them to track down those Al-Qaeda figures – including the dangerous fanatic Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, the ultimate founder-figure of ISIS – who had entered Iran illegally and had gone into hiding there.

The ploy worked, and within weeks the Iranian authorities began the process of rounding them all up.  It seems that the Iranian authorities had a legitimate legal pretext to do so because some of these people almost immediately breached their visa conditions by trying to stir up Iran’s Baluchi people who are Sunnis.

As Gareth Porter shows the sequel was that Iran then deported most of them  to the various Arab countries they had come from including Saudi Arabia and Iraq, which was how Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi – who was actually Jordanian – ended up in Iraq.  However Iran decided to jail some of the most dangerous of them and keep them in Iran.

Al-Qaeda retaliated with terrorist attacks, which included the kidnapping of an Iranian diplomat in Yemen.  In order to bring these to an end and to obtain the diplomat’s release the Iranian authorities eventually released some or all of the Al-Qaeda figures they were holding.

As Gareth Porter rightly says, this is not a story of cooperation between Iran and Al-Qaeda; it is the opposite.

The document in fact talks with bitter anger and hatred of the Iranians.  It says of them

Their religion is lies and keeping quiet. And usually they show what is contrary to what is in their mind…. It is hereditary with them, deep in their character.

This is no more than what one would expect given the pathological sectarianism and hatred of Shiism and Iran that one would expect to find in a member of Al-Qaeda.

The document does say – without of course providing the slightest corroboration – that the Iranians offered some Saudi Al-Qaeda members

…..money and arms, anything they need, and training with Hezbollah in exchange for hitting American interests in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.

However it then goes on to say that these Saudi Al-Qaeda members spurned this offer, which it speaks of in contemptuous terms

We don’t need them. Thanks to God, we can do without them, and nothing can come from them but evil…..

In my opinion this all but confirms that the account of the “offer” is a fiction.

The purpose of the document is clearly to make the Iranians look treacherous, so the author has woven into his narrative an account of an “offer” which is intended to contrast Iran’s ‘duplicity’ with Al-Qaeda’s integrity, whilst also emphasising Al-Qaeda’s self-reliance and lack of need of Iranian help.

Here it is important to say that we have not been told the context in which this document was written.

However it looks as if someone within Al-Qaeda – possibly Osama bin Laden himself, or conceivably his rather more cerebral deputy Ayman Al-Zawahiri – at about this time (apparently 2007) suggested some sort of approach to Iran.

This however provoked an angry response from the author of the document, who wrote it in order to counter this proposal.

He did so by giving an angry and no doubt heavily embroidered account of Al-Qaeda’s past dealings with Iran so as to show that nothing good could come from any approach to Iran, whose help was anyway not needed.

It is easy to see why a person with that sort of motive might have invented a past offer of help from Iran in order to show that Iran’s help was not needed.

Cut off from most outside contact in his compound in Abbottabad or wherever else at the time he was hiding, Osama bin Laden would have had no means of finding out the truth.

That looks like the most reasonable explanation for the creation of the document based on the account Gareth Porter has provided of it.

It continues to baffle me that so many people forget that information which originates with Al-Qaeda however it is obtained must always come with a strong health warning.

Merely by the act of joining such an organisation its members are engaging in a flight from reality.  To assume that anything they say is true – even when they say it to each other – is foolhardy, and is a practice which should be avoided.

Sad to say, when the information is further mediated by a neocon think-tank which has dealings with the CIA then the health warning becomes even greater.

In summary, there are no grounds for saying that any sort of cooperation between Iran and Al-Qaeda has ever taken place.

The Al-Qaeda document found in Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad does not provide such grounds.  On the contrary it is compelling evidence that no such cooperation has ever taken place.

In making the last point, I feel I must comment on one specific claim Gareth Porter makes in his article.

There was a time when Iran did view Al Qaeda as an ally.  It was during and immediately after the war of the mujahedin against Soviet troops in Afghanistan. That, of course, was the period when the CIA was backing bin Laden’s efforts as well. But after the Taliban seized power in Kabul in 1996— and especially after Taliban troops killed 11 Iranian diplomats in Mazar-i-Sharif in 1998—the Iranian view of Al Qaeda changed fundamentally. Since then, Iran has clearly regarded it as an extreme sectarian terrorist organization and its sworn enemy.

This is a misconception.  Whilst there is some evidence that some sort of organisation calling itself Al-Qaeda was established by a group of Arab Mujahideen (including Osama bin Laden himself) in Afghanistan in August 1988, the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan a few months later, removing the last of their troops in February 1989, so that Al-Qaeda’s role in the war can only have been marginal.

Obviously some of the individuals who eventually became members of Al-Qaeda including Osama bin Laden himself had previously played a much bigger role in the war.  However there is very little evidence that they ever had any significant dealings with Iran.

Iran for most of the 1980s was locked in a gruelling war with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, which ended in August 1988, coincidentally the same month that Al-Qaeda is supposed to have been founded.

This war with Iraq was the all-consuming focus of Iran’s energies whilst it was underway.

Iran was therefore in no position to concern itself with the war in Afghanistan to any great degree, and its role in the war was in fact marginal, being apparently mostly focused on helping Afghanistan’s Shia communities.

As it happens most accounts of the war say that Iran became highly suspicious of the motives of the Arab Mujahideen who were flooding into Afghanistan at a very early point in the war, and refused thereafter to have anything to do with them.

Regardless, no comparison can be validly made between whatever brief contacts Iran might have had during the 1980s with people who were fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan and who eventually became part of Al-Qaeda, and with the much vaster and far better documented dealings that the US and its allies Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt had with these same people during this period.

Putting this aside, Gareth Porter and The American Conservative are to be congratulated on an exemplary piece of investigative journalism.

Unfortunately it will not get anything like the sort of publicity that it deserves.  Certainly it will not be given anything like the publicity the original false allegation of cooperation between Al-Qaeda and Iran which was supposedly proved by the Al-Qaeda document was given.

In fact I am sorry to say that I have no doubt that the false claims about the Al-Qaeda document will continue to be made by those who either do not know or do not care that Gareth Porter and The American Conservative have proved them false.

That does not alter the fact that what the Al-Qaeda document shows is that no cooperation between Al-Qaeda and Iran took place.

For that knowledge those of us who care about the truth about such things owe Gareth Porter and The American Conservative our thanks.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of

Latest

Foreign Banks Are Embracing Russia’s Alternative To SWIFT, Moscow Says

Given its status as a major energy exporter, Russia has leverage that could help attract partners to its new SWIFT alternative.

Published

on

Via Zerohedge


On Friday, one day after Russia and China pledged to reduce their reliance on the dollar by increasing the amount of bilateral trade conducted in rubles and yuan (a goal toward which much progress has already been made over the past three years), Russia’s Central Bank provided the latest update on Moscow’s alternative to US-dominated international payments network SWIFT.

Moscow started working on the project back in 2014, when international sanctions over Russia’s annexation of Crimea inspired fears that the country’s largest banks would soon be cut off from SWIFT which, though it’s based in Belgium and claims to be politically neutral, is effectively controlled by the US Treasury.

Today, the Russian alternative, known as the System for Transfer of Financial Messages, has attracted a modest amount of support within the Russian business community, with 416 Russian companies having joined as of September, including the Russian Federal Treasury and large state corporations likeGazprom Neft and Rosneft.

And now, eight months after a senior Russian official advised that “our banks are ready to turn off SWIFT,” it appears the system has reached another milestone in its development: It’s ready to take on international partners in the quest to de-dollarize and end the US’s leverage over the international financial system. A Russian official advised that non-residents will begin joining the system “this year,” according to RT.

“Non-residents will start connecting to us this year. People are already turning to us,”said First Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Russia Olga Skorobogatova. Earlier, the official said that by using the alternative payment system foreign firms would be able to do business with sanctioned Russian companies.

Turkey, China, India and others are among the countries that might be interested in a SWIFT alternative, as Russian President Vladimir Putin pointed out in a speech earlier this month, the US’s willingness to blithely sanction countries from Iran to Venezuela and beyond will eventually rebound on the US economy by undermining the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency.

To be sure, the Russians aren’t the only ones building a SWIFT alternative to help avoid US sanctions. Russia and China, along with the European Union are launching an interbank payments network known as the Special Purpose Vehicle to help companies pursue “legitimate business with Iran” in defiance of US sanctions.

Given its status as a major energy exporter, Russia has leverage that could help attract partners to its new SWIFT alternative. For one, much of Europe is dependent on Russian natural gas and oil.

And as Russian trade with other US rivals increases, Moscow’s payments network will look increasingly attractive,particularly if buyers of Russian crude have no other alternatives to pay for their goods.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

US leaving INF will put nuclear non-proliferation at risk & may lead to ‘complete chaos’

The US is pulling out of a nuclear missile pact with Russia. The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty requires both countries to eliminate their short and medium-range atomic missiles.

The Duran

Published

on

Via RT


If the US ditches the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), it could collapse the entire nuclear non-proliferation system, and bring nuclear war even closer, Russian officials warn.

By ending the INF, Washington risks creating a domino effect which could endanger other landmark deals like the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and collapse the existing non-proliferation mechanism as we know it, senior lawmaker Konstantin Kosachev said on Sunday.

The current iteration of the START treaty, which limits the deployment of all types of nuclear weapons, is due to expire in 2021. Kosachev, who chairs the Parliament’s Upper House Foreign Affairs Committee, warned that such an outcome pits mankind against “complete chaos in terms of nuclear weapons.”

“Now the US Western allies face a choice: either embarking on the same path, possibly leading to new war, or siding with common sense, at least for the sake of their self-preservation instinct.”

His remarks came after US President Donald Trump announced his intentions to “terminate” the INF, citing alleged violations of the deal by Russia.

Moscow has repeatedly denied undermining the treaty, pointing out that Trump has failed to produce any evidence of violations. Moreover, Russian officials insist that the deployment of US-made Mk 41 ground-based universal launching systems in Europe actually violates the agreement since the launchers are capable of firing mid-range cruise missiles.

Leonid Slutsky, who leads the Foreign Affairs Committee in parliament’s lower chamber, argued that Trump’s words are akin to placing “a huge mine under the whole disarmament process on the planet.”

The INF Treaty was signed in 1987 by then-President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The deal effectively bans the parties from having and developing short- and mid-range missiles of all types. According to the provisions, the US was obliged to destroy Pershing I and II launcher systems and BGM-109G Gryphon ground-launched cruise missiles. Moscow, meanwhile, pledged to remove the SS-20 and several other types of missiles from its nuclear arsenal.

Pershing missiles stationed in the US Army arsenal. © Hulton Archive / Getty Images ©

By scrapping the historic accord, Washington is trying to fulfill its “dream of a unipolar world,” a source within the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“This decision fits into the US policy of ditching the international agreements which impose equal obligations on it and its partners, and render the ‘exceptionalism’ concept vulnerable.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov denounced Trump’s threats as “blackmail” and said that Washington wants to dismantle the INF because it views the deal as a “problem” on its course for “total domination” in the military sphere.

The issue of nuclear arms treaties is too vital for national and global security to rush into hastily-made “emotional” decisions, the official explained. Russia is expecting to hear more on the US’ plans from Trump’s top security adviser, John Bolton, who is set to hold talks in Moscow tomorrow.

President Trump has been open about unilaterally pulling the US out of various international agreements if he deems them to be damaging to national interests. Earlier this year, Washington withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program. All other signatories to the landmark agreement, including Russia, China, and the EU, decided to stick to the deal, while blasting Trump for leaving.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

Converting Khashoggi into Cash

After two weeks of denying any connection to Khashoggi’s disappearance, Riyadh has admitted that he was killed by Saudi operatives but it wasn’t really on purpose.

Jim Jatras

Published

on

Authored by James George Jatras via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


The hazard of writing about the Saudis’ absurd gyrations as they seek to avoid blame for the murder of the late, not notably great journalist and Muslim Brotherhood activist Jamal Khashoggi is that by the time a sentence is finished, the landscape may have changed again.

As though right on cue, the narrative has just taken another sharp turn.

After two weeks of denying any connection to Khashoggi’s disappearance, Riyadh has ‘fessed up (sorta) and admitted that he was killed by Saudi operatives but it wasn’t really on purpose:

Y’see, it was kinda’f an ‘accident.’

Oops…

Y’see the guys were arguing, and … uh … a fistfight broke out.

Yeah, that’s it … a ‘fistfight.’

And before you know it poor Jamal had gone all to pieces.

Y’see?

Must’ve been a helluva fistfight.

The figurative digital ink wasn’t even dry on that whopper before American politicos in both parties were calling it out:

  • “To say that I am skeptical of the new Saudi narrative about Mr. Khashoggi is an understatement,” tweeted Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. “First we were told Mr. Khashoggi supposedly left the consulate and there was blanket denial of any Saudi involvement. Now, a fight breaks out and he’s killed in the consulate, all without knowledge of Crown Prince. It’s hard to find this latest ‘explanation‘ as credible.”
  • California Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said in a statement that the new Saudi explanation is “not credible.” “If Khashoggi was fighting inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, he was fighting for his life with people sent to capture or kill him,” Schiff said. “The kingdom and all involved in this brutal murder must be held accountable, and if the Trump administration will not take the lead, Congress must.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan must think he’s already died and gone to his eternal recreation in the amorous embraces of the dark-eyed houris. The acid test for the viability of Riyadh’s newest transparent lie is whether the Turks actually have, as they claim, live recordings of Khashoggi’s interrogation, torture, murder, and dismemberment (not necessarily in that order) – and if they do, when Erdogan decides it’s the right time to release them.

Erdogan has got the Saudis over a barrel and he’ll squeeze everything he can out of them.

From the beginning, the Khashoggi story wasn’t really about the fate of one man. The Saudis have been getting away with bloody murder, literally, for years. They’re daily slaughtering the civilian population of Yemen with American and British help, with barely a ho-hum from the sensitive consciences always ready to invoke the so-called “responsibility to protect” Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo, Libya, Syria, Xinjiang, Rakhine, and so forth.

Where’s the responsibility not to help a crazed bunch of Wahhabist head-choppers kill people?

But now, just one guy meets a grisly end and suddenly it’s the most important homicide since the Lindbergh baby.

What gives?

Is it because Khashoggi was part of the MSM aristocracy, on account of his relationship with the Washington Post?

Was it because of his other, darker, connections? As related by Moon of Alabama: “Khashoggi was a rather shady guy. A ‘journalist’ who was also an operator for Saudi and U.S. intelligence services. He was an early recruit of the Muslim Brotherhood.” This relationship, writes MoA, touches on the interests of pretty much everyone in the region:

“The Ottoman empire ruled over much of the Arab world. The neo-Ottoman wannabe-Sultan Recep Tayyip Erdogan would like to regain that historic position for Turkey. His main competition in this are the al-Sauds. They have much more money and are strategically aligned with Israel and the United States, while Turkey under Erdogan is more or less isolated. The religious-political element of the competition is represented on one side by the Muslim Brotherhood, ‘democratic’ Islamists to which Erdogan belongs, and the Wahhabi absolutists on the other side.”

With the noose tightening around Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS), the risible fistfight cock-and-bull story is likely to be the best they can come up with. US President Donald Trump’s having offered his “rogue killers” opening suggests he’s willing to play along. Nobody will really be fooled, but MbS will hope he can persuade important people to pretend they are fooled.

That will mean spreading around a lot of cash. The new alchemy of converting Khashoggi dead into financial gain for the living is just one part of an obvious scheme to pull off what Libya’s Muammar Kaddafi managed after the 1988 Lockerbie bombing: offer up some underlings as the fall guys and let the top man evade responsibility. (KARMA ALERT: That didn’t do Kaddafi any good in the long run.)

In the Saudi case the Lockerbie dodge will be harder, as there are already pictures of men at the Istanbul Consulate General identified as close associates of MbS. But they’ll give it the old madrasa try anyway since it’s all they’ve got.Firings and arrests have started and one suspect has already died in a suspicious automobile “accident.” Heads will roll!

Saving MbS’s skin and his succession to the throne of his doddering father may depend on how many of the usual recipients of Saudi – let’s be honest – bribery and influence peddling will find sufficient pecuniary reason to go along. Saudi Arabia’s unofficial motto with respect to the US establishment might as well be: “The green poultice heals all wounds.”

Anyway, that’s been their experience up to now, but it also in part reflects the same arrogance that made MbS think he could continue to get away with anything. (It’s not shooting someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue, but it’s close.) Whether spreading cash around will continue to have the same salubrious effect it always has had in the past remains to be seen.

To be sure, Trump may succeed in shaking the Saudi date palm for additional billions for arms sales. That won’t necessarily turn around an image problem that may not have a remedy. But still, count on more cash going to high-price lobbying and image-control shops eager to make obscene money working for their obscene client. Some big American names are dropping are dropping Riyadh in a sudden fit of fastidiousness, but you can bet others will be eager to step into their Guccis, both in the US and in the United Kingdom. (It should never be forgotten how closely linked the US and UK establishments are in the Middle East, and to the Saudis in particular.)

It still might not work though. No matter how much expensive PR lipstick the spinmeisters put on this pig, that won’t make it kissable. It’s still a pig.

Others benefitting from hanging Khashoggi’s death around MbS’s neck are:

  • Qatar (after last year’s invasion scare, there’s no doubt a bit of Schadenfreude and (figurative) champagne corks popping in Doha over MbS’s discomfiture. As one source close to the ruling al-Thani family relates, “The Qataris are stunned speechless at Saudi incompetence!” You just can’t get good help these days).

Among the losers one must count Israel and especially Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. MbS, with his contrived image as the reformer, was the Sunni “beard” he needed to get the US to assemble an “Arab NATO” (as though one NATO weren’t bad enough!) and eliminate Iran for him. It remains to be seen how far that agenda has been set back.

Whether or not MbS survives or is removed – perhaps with extreme prejudice – there’s no doubt Saudi Arabia is the big loser. Question are being asked that should have been asked years ago. As Srdja Trifkovic comments in Chronicles magazine:

“The crown prince’s recklessness in ordering the murder of Khashoggi has demonstrated that he is just a standard despot, a Mafia don with oil presiding over an extended cleptocracy of inbred parasites. The KSA will not be reformed because it is structurally not capable of reform. The regime in Riyadh which stops being a playground of great wealth, protected by a large investment in theocratic excess, would not be ‘Saudi’ any longer. Saudia delenda est.”

The first Saudi state, the Emirate of Diriyah, went belly up in 1818, with the death of head of the house of al-Saud, Abdullah bin Saud – actually, literally with his head hung on a gate in Constantinople by Erdogan’s Ottoman predecessor, Sultan Mahmud II.

The second Saudi state, Emirate of Nejd, likewise folded in 1891.

It’s long past time this third and current abomination joined its antecedents on the ash heap of history.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

JOIN OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Your donations make all the difference. Together we can expose fake news lies and deliver truth.

Amount to donate in USD$:

5 100

Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Advertisement

Advertisement

Quick Donate

The Duran
EURO
DONATE
Donate a quick 10 spot!
Advertisement
Advertisement

Advertisement

The Duran Newsletter

Trending