The Iran-al-Qaeda Connection
Vol: 3 Issue: 26 Wednesday, December 26, 2001
The trail in the worldwide hunt for Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden is leading to Iran, according to U.S. officials. Airline ticket receipts uncovered in al Qaeda hideouts in the hills of Tora Bora indicate that foreign fighters entered Afghanistan after traveling through Tehran International Airport. Iran has no formal diplomatic ties with the United States and thus may cannot be counted on to
cooperate in capturing Bin Laden. Bin Laden in the past has sent Al Qaeda emissaries to western Iran to set up cells there.
Canada To Get More FBI, CIA Presence
The FBI and CIA are increasing the number of personnel based on Canada in an effort to better monitor Islamic radicals. The FBI plans to add more agents to the more than 40 officers currently based in Toronto who are investigating the September 11 attacks. The bureau would like to set up a full time field office devoted to tracking the al Qaeda terrorist group in Canada. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service has said that there are some 350 terrorists from 50 groups in Canada.
Both the FBI and CIA were said to be taken by surprise by the existence of an Al Qaeda cell in Toronto. Al Qaeda activities were revealed to the law enforcement and spy agencies following the recent arrest of a Islamic refugee Nabil al Marabh and by raids on a Toronto copy shop and three local apartments.
Tracking al-Qaeda’s Phantom Fleet
The Turkish government has identified a ship owner who is believed to be working secretly with Osama Bin Laden in facilitating his drug trade. The Turkish language newspaper Istanbul Sabah, quoting intelligence sources, reported Dec. 19 that a Turkish national is a partner with Bin Laden in running a fleet of at least 23 ships. The ships are used to smuggle Afghan heroin to customers in Europe. The shipper in question also has six ships for smuggling and each one is managed by a different firm.
Syria Reading Handwriting On Wall
Syria has informed the United States that it is willing to look into ways of shutting down the terrorist organizations that operate out of Damascus. Some 10 Palestinian rejectionist organizations are headquartered in Damascus, including Islamic Jihad and the military wing of Hamas. The Syrians also permit arms transfers from Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Syria wants to open up to the West, and might therefore be more responsive to diplomatic pressure than would many other state sponsors of terrorism, says US National Security advisor Uzi Dayan.
Waqf Continues Temple Mount Escavation
The Moslem Waqf renewed its illegal construction works on the Temple Mount this week. Trucks brought in the materials, earth was moved from the eastern part of the Mount to the northern part, and tiling of a section on the northern part has begun. The Committee for the Prevention of the Destruction of Temple Mount Antiquities says it has aerial photos documenting the progress of the work. The Committee says the police fabricated a report this week to the effect that the arriving truckloads were for the purpose of repairing an area damaged by a burst pipe. The Arabs have been systematically destroying any evidence of a Jewish presence on Temple Mount for decades. The Waqf also intends to import holy water from Mecca to fill the Temple’s underground cisterns. This will upgrade the status of the Temple Mount in Moslem eyes, giving it a “sanctity” almost as great as that of Mecca.
Hamas Cuts Deal With Arafat
A senior Hamas leader will not be arrested by the Palestinian police under a deal reached between Hamas and Palestinian factions spearheaded by Yasser Arafat’s Fatah group, a Palestinian political source said Saturday. Abdel-Aziz Rantisi will be confined to his house and will not give interviews to the media under the agreement reached by Palestinian factions late Friday, the source said. The meeting took place in the home of Hamas spiritual leader Ahmed Yassin who was also placed under house arrest a few weeks ago, following clashes between policemen and his followers.