Bin Laden defending Iran

The close relation between al-Qaeda and Iran gets clearer with time

Turki Aldakhil

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The close relation between al-Qaeda and Iran gets clearer with time. Late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s documents and American judicial documents prove these close ties. Iran was not exonerated from the 9/11 attacks, as it was actually reportedly involved in them.

The six documents that Ash-Sharq al-Awsat daily published provide conclusive evidence that Iran facilitated the movement of al-Qaeda operatives to training camps in Afghanistan. This was necessary for the success of the 9/11 attacks.


According to the documents, the late Hezbollah official Imad Mughniyeh visited those who carried out the operation in Oct. 2000, and planned their travel to Iran with new passports before carrying out the attacks. The documents also prove that Iran’s government ordered its border police not to stamp the perpetrators’ passports so they could easily move from one place to another.

A meeting was also held in 1993 between Bin Laden, current al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, Mughniyeh and Iranian officials to establish an alliance for joint cooperation and supporting terrorism. In his book “The Looming Tower,” American journalist Lawrence Wright said Bin Laden sent his best people to train with Hezbollah in Lebanon, and that Bin Laden met with Mughniyeh, who was in charge of Hezbollah’s security apparatus, in Sudan.

Bin Laden admired Hezbollah’s modus operandi in carrying out explosions and assassinations and targeting buildings

Turki Aldakhil

Mughniyeh’s attacks were at the peak of their success, as he had founded Hezbollah’s apparatus for operations in foreign countries. He directed the 1983 bombings against French paratroopers and the US Marine barracks, which killed more than 58 French soldiers and more than 300 American soldiers respectively. This is what led to the withdrawal of US troops from Lebanon.

Bin Laden admired Hezbollah’s modus operandi in carrying out explosions and assassinations and targeting buildings. Hezbollah inspired the explosions that al-Qaeda carried out in Africa, Saudi Arabia and the United States. The Abbottabad papers that US intelligence found in Bin Laden’s house prove this collusion between Iran and al-Qaeda.

The Bin Laden letter

In a letter sent from Bin Laden to one of his operatives called Karim, the late leader wrote: “I have some notes about your threats against Iran. I hope you and your brothers take this well. You did not consult with us in this dangerous matter that harms everyone’s interests. We expect you would consult with us for these important matters, for as you are aware, Iran is our main artery for funds, personnel and communication, as well as for the matter of hostages. There is no need to open a front with Iran.”

These documents clarify the extent of Iranian support and facilitation of activity, without which the 9/11 attacks would not have been carried out. After revealing these judicial documents, proven testimonies and Bin Laden’s documents, cooperation between Iran and al-Qaeda have become clear. US President Barack Obama’s desire to seal the nuclear deal, it seems, made him contribute to concealing Iran’s roles in major terror attacks, including 9/11.

Iran’s roles also included continuous support of al-Qaeda, as Tehran facilitated the movement of the organization’s operatives and arranged their accommodation, as Bin Laden himself said. He talked about his followers who resided in Iran, and described how Tehran took care of them, even though he called it “house arrest.”

He warned against harming Iran or becoming its rival, while calling for the targeting of Saudi Arabia. Iran supports al-Qaeda, as the judiciary, history and documents written by Bin Laden himself prove.

This article was first published in Al Bayan on June 22, 2016.
Turki Aldakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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