En nyhet i de frigitte papirene til Osama bin Laden er de nære forbindelsene mellom Iran og al-Qaida. At noen al-Qaida-folk fikk asyl i Iran etter 9/11 er kjent, men et 12 sider langt dokument viser at forholdet gikk dypere og varte lengre.
As Thomas Joscelyn and Bill Roggio explain at The Long War Journal:
One never-before-seen 19-page document contains a senior jihadist’s assessment of the group’s relationship with Iran. The author explains that Iran offered some “Saudi brothers” in al Qaeda “everything they needed,” including “money, arms” and “training in Hezbollah camps in Lebanon, in exchange for striking American interests in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.” Iranian intelligence facilitated the travel of some operatives with visas, while sheltering others.
Abu Hafs al-Mauritani, an influential ideologue prior to 9/11, helped negotiate a safe haven for his jihadi comrades inside Iran. But the author of the file, who is clearly well-connected, indicates that al Qaeda’s men violated the terms of the agreement and Iran eventually cracked down on the Sunni jihadists’ network, detaining some personnel. Still, the author explains that al Qaeda is not at war with Iran and some of their “interests intersect,” especially when it comes to being an “enemy of America.”
Dette underbygger amerikanernes påstand om at Iran er den staten som utgjør den største terrortrussel mot Vesten.
However, bin Laden made clear to his followers that he didn’t want them threatening Iran.
As he explained in a letter that was released previously, he actually called Iran his terror group’s «main artery for funds, personnel, and communication.» Joscelyn and Roggio:
And despite their differences, Iran continued to provide crucial support for al-Qaeda’s operations.