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Shahanshah Aryameher


Iranian Freedom Fighters UNITE

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Al-Qaida Menace Is In Iran, Too

Editorial's & Opinion : Investor's Business Daily

That the latest U.S. intelligence outlook still sees al-Qaida as our main foe is no surprise. What is surprising is that the terrorist group seems to have found a welcome home in Iran. According to the new National Intelligence Estimate, the U.S. remains threatened by al-Qaida's presence in Iraq, making talk of withdrawing from that country before we vanquish the threat akin to a senseless, unilateral surrender. "Of note," says the report, "we assess that al-Qaida will probably seek to leverage contacts and capabilities of al-Qaida in Iraq, its most visible and capable affiliate and the only one known to have expressed a desire to attack the homeland. "As a result," the report continues, "we judge that the United States currently is in a heightened threat environment." One good thing to emerge from the report: Though we live in a "heightened threat environment" for terrorism, al-Qaida's ability to attack the U.S. has been "constrained" since 2001 thanks to global counterterrorism efforts. This represents the best thinking of all 16 U.S. spy agencies. It is important to remember this as Democrats pull their little all-night talk-fest, trying to force a withdrawal from Iraq even as the war, thanks to the surge strategy implemented by Gen. David Petraeus, becomes ever more winnable. But here's the bad part: Al-Qaida is, even now, trying to get its hands on weapons of mass destruction — chemical, biological and, scariest of all, nuclear. Given this, our question to those senators who spent the evening Tuesday debating a U.S. pullout from Iraq would be: What happens if the U.S. pulls out of Iraq, and al-Qaida then gets control of that country's immense oil wealth? And how long do you think it will take them to get a nuclear weapon — either on the still-existent black market for nukes, or from a friendly third party, or by reconstituting Saddam's old program?
The picture grows even worse when you consider that the battle against al-Qaida isn't just in Iraq or, as some Democrats would have it, Afghanistan. No, al-Qaida has found haven in the so-called tribal lands of Waziristan, Pakistan's Western frontier with Afghanistan. Worse still, it's also in Iran. That's right: Al-Qaida leaders regularly meet in the mountains of eastern Iran, according to New York Sun columnist Eli Lake, citing a final working draft of the NIE. Iran has, in effect, made it possible for al-Qaida to function even as we hunt down its leaders in Afghanistan and Iraq. It's aiding and abetting our enemy. Here's how it works. Al-Qaida now has two known leadership "councils" dubbed Shura Majlis. One meets in Pakistan's federally administered tribal areas, the other in Iran. The one operating in Iran does so with the aid of Iran's Quds force, the terrorist support group that has helped both Shiite and Sunni militias in Iraq kill American soldiers and Iraqi civilians alike. "In the past year," writes Lake, "the multinational Iraq command force has intercepted at least 10 couriers with instructions from the Iran-based Shura Majlis. In addition, two senior leaders of al-Qaida in 2006 have shared details of the Shura Majlis in Iran."
Those details include the fact that senior al-Qaida members have taken up residence in Lavizan, a military base near Tehran; Chalous, a Tehran suburb; Mashod, a Shiite holy city; and Zabul, a town near the Afghanistan border. If true — and there's little reason to believe it isn't — this is a blockbuster revelation, adding to the already long list of reasons for taking action against Iran. We've pledged to pursue al-Qaida to the ends of the earth — an idea that even the soft-on-security Democrats have signed off on. Well, today it appears that al-Qaida, the group responsible for the murder of 3,000 American civilians, has found a comfortable home in Iran. Yet, the U.S. is about to embark on direct talks with Iran about its "continued behavior that is leading to further instability in Iraq," a State Department spokesman said. We're not schooled in the delicate nuances of diplomatese. But at the very least, we'd like our envoys to look across the table and issue an ultimatum to Iran's representative: Expel al-Qaida, a group that's at war with the U.S. and the West, and hand its leaders over. Or consider yourselves at war with us. Then pause, take a drink of the bottled water, and wait for a response.

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