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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review December 22, 2011 / 26 Kislev, 5772

Iran and Al-Qaeda

By Clifford D. May






Together again for the first time


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Late last week, the State Department announced a $10 million reward for information leading to the capture of Ezedin Abdel Aziz Khalil, A.K.A. Yasin al-Suri — Yasin the Syrian. Serious students of terrorism and counterterrorism saw this as big news for two reasons.

The first is tactical: Never before has a reward been offered for the capture of a terrorist financier. But the money men are vital links in the terrorist chain so targeting them makes sense. Also unusual is the amount: Only Ayman al-Zawahiri, who has been trying to fill Osama bin Laden's shoes at al Qaeda' main office, commands a larger bounty ($25 million).

The second reason is strategic: al-Suri is an al Qaeda operative who, since 2005, has been living in Iran, working in collaboration with the theocratic regime, according to U.S. officials. "Under an agreement between al Qaeda and the Government of Iran, Yasin al-Suri has helped move money and recruits through Iran to al Qaeda leaders in neighboring countries in the region," Robert Hartung, State Department Assistant Director for Threat Investigations and Analysis, told reporters. "He is a dedicated terrorist working in support of al Qaeda with the support of the Government of Iran, which the Department of State has designated a state sponsor of terrorism."

Those are stunning words. Within the foreign policy establishment the prevailing orthodoxy has long maintained that Iran's Shia rulers despise the Sunnis of al Qaeda; that the enmity is mutual; and that operational cooperation between them is therefore inconceivable. It also has been a longstanding article of faith that the terrorist groups threatening America are "non-state" actors, groups limited in their capabilities because they do not enjoy the support of national rulers with all the resources those rulers can bring to the table.


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Dissenting from that paradigm have been such analysts as Michael Ledeen and Thomas Joscelyn of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and Stephen Hayes of The Weekly Standard. They have argued that Iran and al Qaeda collaborate despite theological/ideological differences; that many, if not most, of the Islamist groups waging war against the West are linked like strands of a spider's web; and that Iran is the "terrorist master."

Ties between Iran and al-Qaeda trace back to the early 1990's when Hasan Al-Turabi, the leader of Sudan's National Islamic Front, made it his mission to encourage Sunni-Shia reconciliation. Al-Turabi facilitated a series of meeting between bin Laden, then living in Khartoum, and envoys from Tehran. It did not take long for Iran and al-Qaeda to reach an informal agreement: Iran would provide training, intelligence and explosives. Al Qaeda would make good use of these services and products against common enemies.

The 9/11 Commission Report has a section titled: "Assistance from Hezbollah and Iran to Al Qaeda." It notes that what began in Sudan continued: "Intelligence indicates the persistence of contacts between Iranian security officials and senior Al-Qaeda figures after Bin Laden's return to Afghanistan… Iran made a concerted effort to strengthen relations with Al Qaeda after the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole …"

The report also found "strong evidence that Iran facilitated the transit of Al Qaeda members into and out of Afghanistan before 9/11, and that some of these were future 9/11 hijackers." And there is reason to believe that Imad Mugniyah, who was both the military chief of Hezbollah and an agent for Iran (until he was killed in 2008), helped with preparations for the 9/11 attacks. In May of this year, The New York Times reported that two defectors from Iran's intelligence service "testified that Iranian officials had 'foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks'" and that one of them "claimed that Iran was involved in planning the attacks."

There's more. A year ago, Hayes and Joscelyn wrote: "Nearly a decade after the 9/11 attacks, not only do we have abundant evidence that Iran, the world's foremost state sponsor of terror, supports al Qaeda. We also have evidence that Iran actively assists terrorists and insurgents targeting our soldiers and diplomats" in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

In November, a Washington, D.C. district court concluded that "the government of Iran aided, abetted and conspired with Hezbollah, Osama bin Laden, and al Qaeda to launch large-scale bombing attacks" against two American embassies in Africa in 1998. That should have come as no surprise: In 1998, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York unsealed an indictment of bin Laden. It included the charge that al-Qaeda had "allied itself with Sudan, Iran, and Hezbollah."

The conclusion to which all this leads is that Iran and al-Qaeda, despite their differences, can and do cooperate to wage what they see as a Great Jihad against America and its allies. They are not enemies. Rather, they are rivals who work together when it suits their common interests.

It would be an historic abdication of responsibility if American and other Western leaders, ignoring these facts, were to allow Iran's rulers to acquire nuclear weapons that, odds are, sooner or later, they would use — or give to al Qaeda, Hezbollah or other terrorist groups to use.

In an interview last week, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that if Iranian rulers "proceed and we get intelligence that they are proceeding with developing a nuclear weapon then we will take whatever steps necessary to stop it." Was he bluffing? Or has there been a paradigm shift -- a fundamental change in how senior members of the Obama administration understand who America's enemies are and how they operate? Or is this still an on-going debate within the administration? I suspect we'll find out sometime in the New Year.


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Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on terrorism. A veteran news reporter, foreign correspondent and editor (at The New York Times and other publications), he has covered stories in more than two dozen countries, including Iran, Pakistan, Sudan, Ethiopia, China, Uzbekistan, Northern Ireland and Russia. He is a frequent guest on national and international television and radio news programs, providing analysis and participating in debates on national security issues.




Previously:


12/22/11: The Case for Palestinian Nationalism
12/15/11: What's Islam Got to Do with It?
12/09/11: Buried Treasure
11/24/11: What Would the Gipper Do?
11/17/11: Appease, temporize, posture and gesture?
11/11/11: Brave New Transnational Progressive World
11/03/11: What's Wrong with Economic Justice?
10/27/11: Autocracies United
10/20/11: The most critical threat confronting America
10/13/11: We've Been Warned
10/06/11: Anwar Al-Awlaki's American Journey
09/22/11: Cheney Got It Right on Syrian Nukes
09/15/11: The European Caliphate
09/08/11: Disoriented: The state of too many Western leaders ten years after 9/11/01
09/01/11: Palestinian Leaders to Seek the UN's Blessing . . . for a two-state solution. For a two-stage execution
08/25/11: Better understanding of Islamist experience needed
08/18/11: The Arab Spring and Europe's fall
08/11/11: Borrowing from Communists to pay Jihadis?
07/28/11: Who's to Blame for Terrorism?
07/28/11: Do Somali pirates have legitimate gripe?
07/21/11: Why Bashar al-Assad matters to the West--- and what the Obama administration still doesn't grasp
07/07/11: MAD in the 21st Century





© 2011, Scripps Howard News Service