by Khaled Hamoud Alshareef
The commission also said that Al-Qaeda terrorists received training from Hezbollah, the Iran-created terror army in southern Lebanon which works closely with Gen. Soleimani.
Iran facilitated the movement of Al-Qaeda terrorists through its country, including September 11, 2001 attackers and for years was a critical channel for money and arms, according to the 9-11 commission report and internal Osama bin Laden’s documents.
Experts say, Qassem Soleimani directed the terror partnership as he has headed since 1998 Iran’s Quds Force a U.S. designated terrorist organization and an arm of the IRCG.
Since the Iranian Revolution in 1979, Iran has actively taken part in training, financing, and providing weapons and safe havens to the non-state militant actors, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas, (PIJ) and the (PFLP-GC) B9.
Iran utilized these terrorist groups to further their expansionist agenda in the Middle East and to exert their influence on the world stage amidst a weak and undecided international community’s war on extremism during the late 20th century.
In 1995, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard held a conference with worldwide organizations accused of engaging in terrorism including the Japanese Red Army, the Armenian Secret Army, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, the Iraqi Da’wah Party, the Islamic Front for the Liberation of Bahrain and Hezbollah for the purpose of providing training to these organizations to help in the destabilization of Gulf States and aid assistance to militants in these countries to replace the existing governments with Iran-like regimes.
A deep, dark and troubling history of the Iranian regime is proven by Osama bin Laden who called Iran “our main artery” for men and money. Iran has been the life line of the terrorist group, let’s not forget KSM escape to Afghanistan with the aid of Qatar was done through Iran.
Michael Rubin, a Middle East scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, said none of this would have happened without Gen. Soleimani’s blessings as he was the second in command and controlled the Quds forces that played a pivotal role in the Iranian regime’s expansionist plans.
Soleimani was the second most powerful man in Iran. He ran the overseas operations and those involving Iranian relations with terror groups, he formulated and developed them. There was not a single operation of any significance which he did not approve if not oversee.
The Osama bin Laden documents prove the 9/11 hijackers never would have been able to train in Afghanistan had it not been for Soleimani’s support and Iranian free-passage. The same holds true for Iran’s subsequent safe-haven to senior Al-Qaeda operatives in IRGC bases inside Iran.
The 9-11 Commission’s 2004 report paid close attention to how Bin Laden’s terrorists moved in and out of Afghanistan, its HQ in an alliance with the now-ousted Taliban regime. Its report said Iranian border officials were under orders not to stamp the visas of Al-Qaeda travelers.
KSM and other detainees have described the willingness of Iranian officials to facilitate the travel of Al-Qaeda members through Iran, on their way to and from Afghanistan,” the report said.
“For example, Iranian border inspectors would be told not to place telltale stamps in the passports of these travelers. Such arrangements were particularly beneficial to Saudi members of Al-Qaeda.”
KSM and Binalshibh confirmed that several of the 9/11 hijackers (at least eight, according to Binalshibh) transited Iran on their way to or from Afghanistan, taking advantage of the Iranian practice of not stamping Saudi passports.”
The report says, “They deny any other reason for the hijackers’ travel to Iran. The commission also said that Al-Qaeda terrorists received training from Hezbollah, the Iran-created terror army in southern Lebanon which works closely with Gen. Soleimani”.
There is a large amount of evidence of an Iran-Qaeda working relationship. It is found in millions of pages of documents seized by Navy SEALs when they raided Bin Laden’s Pakistan hideout and killed him in May 2011.
Iran and the Iran-backed militas are a fair target for the United States based on all the above. The Iranian regime is not a state nor does it wish to be a normal state that can coexist with its neighbors and the world.
Khaled Homoud Alshareef holds PhD in Business and he earned Masters in Philosophy. He often writes about Islamism, Islamist factions and modern Terrorism. He tweets under @0khalodi0.