Wednesday, May 18, 2011
The New Face of al-Qaida - Iran
Iran could play role in al-Qaida, post-bin Laden
By MATT APUZZO
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The death of Osama bin Laden has put a new focus on what role Iran might play in al-Qaida's future, as intelligence officials around the world analyzed reports that Saif al-Adel had taken over as al-Qaida's interim leader. Al-Adel was last known to be under house arrest outside Tehran.
The terrorist resume of al-Adel, one of al-Qaida's founders, includes helping orchestrate the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa. But he had sharp disagreements with bin Laden's leadership and opposed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He accurately predicted that inciting the wrath of the U.S. would hurt al-Qaida's worldwide efforts.
Al-Adel is among the many senior al-Qaida figures who fled into Iran after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. They were arrested there in 2003 and were placed under what has been loosely called "house arrest" in a compound outside Tehran. Over the years, some have been able to come and go, and the U.S. has worried that Iran would someday free them to restore al-Qaida's ranks.
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