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April 4, 2012 11:22 am

Al Qaeda’s Network in Iran Being Exposed Inside German Court

avatar by Lakkana Nanayakkara

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Al Qaeda's current leader Ayman al-Zawahiri (right) with Osama Bin Laden.

Al Qaeda is cooperating with a terror network based in Iran with the tacit approval of the Iranian government, according to the Obama administration. The recent trial of an Al-Qaeda recruit, Ahmad Wali Siddiqui, in Germany has revealed more details about this relationship.

Siddiqui has dual German and Afghan citizenship and was initially a member of an Al-Qaeda affiliate known as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), before joining Al-Qaeda itself. He was captured in Afghanistan before he could carry out attacks on targets in Europe.

Siddiqui revealed that two of his co-conspirators, Rami Makanesi and Naamen Meziche, traveled to Pakistan through Iran to avoid detection.  They traveled through the eastern Iranian city of Zahedan which is reportedly “a well-known hub of al Qaeda and IMU activity.”

Meziche had a history of recruiting fighters for Al-Qaeda operations in Iraq and is being “sheltered” in Iran after surviving a drone strike in northern Pakistan in early October 2010.

Makanesi was arrested in Pakistan in 2010 and “sentenced to nearly five years in prison” in 2011 by a German court. He had his own ties to Iran-based al Qaeda operatives, including Yassin al-Suri. Suri’s Iranian network serves as “a critical transit point for funding to support al Qaeda’s activities” and in December 2011, the U.S. government offered a $10 million reward for his capture.  Following this announcement, Iran took him into “protective custody”.

Al Qaeda’s newest leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, is allegedly orchestrating a plot with Iranian backing to attack Europe in the summer of 2012 “to avenge his predecessor Osama bin Laden’s death.” A possible target could be the London Olympics which starts in July.

Despite the animosity “between Sunni extremist al Qaeda and Shia extremist Iran”, they are believed to be cooperating against their common enemy, the United States.

There is evidence of collusion between Al-Qaeda and Iran, even prior to the 9/11 attacks. At least 8 of the 9/11 hijackers traveled between Iran and Afghanistan from October 2000 to February 2001, for training purposes.

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