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Monday, August 02, 2004

Terrorism Suspects Traced to Iran

August 1, 2004
"When the Iranian government says it is not dealing with Al Qaeda, it is telling the truth," said Mustafa Alani of the Royal United Services Institute, a think tank affiliated with the British Defense Ministry. "It's not the government — it's the Revolutionary Guard.

"We are talking about an ideological army, not just an intelligence service, and the politicians really have no power over them. There is some sort of tactical alliance with Al Qaeda in which the Revolutionary Guard turns a blind eye toward the activity in Iran." ...

As Al Qaeda geared up three years ago for its offensive on the West, Iran was a busy route to training camps in Afghanistan, investigators say. In a March 10, 2001, conversation wiretapped by Italian police, a member of a terrorist cell in Milan said associates passing through Iran had nothing to fear, according to the transcript in court documents.

"Isn't there a danger in Iran?" asked a Tunisian named Tarek Charaabi, who was later convicted on terrorism-related charges. "No, because there's an organization that takes care of helping the mujahedin brothers cross the border. There's total collaboration with the Iranians," responded a Libyan named Lased ben Heni. ...

"Our cases showed that Iran was the preferred trampoline for the militants bound for Iraq," a high-ranking Italian investigator said. FR Reprint.

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