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The Cicero Article

A German magazine offers insight into Iran's ongoing support for terrorism.

11:00 PM, Nov 9, 2005 • By DAN DARLING
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The journalist who authored the article, Bruno Schirra, is no lightweight. In the spring of 2005, he wrote another piece for Cicero, titled "The World's Most Dangerous Man." An exposé of Iraqi insurgent leader Abu Musab Zarqawi, Schirra quoted extensively from German Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (BKA) documents that collated data from German, American, French, and Israeli intelligence sources. These documents, some of which were classified, listed the Zarqawi's activities, passports, phone numbers, mosques used or controlled by his followers in Germany, and his benefactors. In addition to confirming much of the evidence presented by Collin Powell to the United Nations Security Council on the activities of Zarqawi's network in Europe, the documents also stated point-blank that Iran "provided Al-Zarqawi with logistical support on the part of the state." Schirra's ample use of classified documents in making his claims appear to have alarmed the German government--in September 2005, German authorities raided Cicero's Potsdam offices as well as Schirra's home at the order of then-Interior Minister Otto Schily. These efforts to learn the identity of Schirra's source prompted widespread outrage from the German parliament and, ironically, seem to have verified the truth of Schirra's original article.

As the United States continues to debate both internally and with its European allies over how to deal with Iran and its new president, it would seem that this new information, coming from a country that strongly opposed the Iraq war, would be a welcome contribution to the discussion.

Dan Darling is a counter-terrorism consultant for the Manhattan Institute's Center for Policing Terrorism.