The Blog

Terrorist Training Camps
in Iran

Should they be safe havens?

11:41 AM, Sep 5, 2007 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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Here's an official statement this morning from the U.S. military
in Iraq:

"Coalition forces grab high-value IRGC-QF affiliate

BAGHDAD, Iraq - During a pre-dawn raid in Karbala Wednesday, Coalition
forces captured a highly-sought individual suspected of being an Iranian
Revolutionary Guards Corps-Quds Force (IRGC-QF) affiliate.

Coalition forces also detained another individual for questioning.

The detained individual is suspected of coordinating with high-level IRGC-QF
officers for the transportation of multiple Iraqis to Iran for terrorist
training at IRGC-QF training camps. He is also a known logistics
facilitator providing lethal aid to terrorists operating in central Baghdad.
It is likely that the affiliate is closely linked to individuals at the
highest levels of the IRGC-QF. Coalition forces are still assessing his
possible connection to the Special Groups.

Intelligence derived from other security detainees led Coalition forces to
the residence of the individual. Ground troops confiscated computer
equipment, communication devices, miscellaneous documents and photographs.
It is believed that the captured documents may lead to information on other
IRGC-QF illicit activities intended to disrupt security operations in Iraq.
There were no Iraqi or Coalition forces casualties during the precision

'As Iran continues its proxy war against the people of Iraq, Coalition
forces will continue to build on recent operations to disrupt the flow of
illicit, lethal materials from Iran into Iraq,' said Lt. Col. Christopher
Garver, MNF-I spokeman. 'The capture of individuals affiliated with the
IRGC-Quds Force is an integral part of dismantling terror networks that seek
to kill innocent Iraqis and security forces.'"

It's great that the military is having success in capturing "affiliates"
of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Iraq. But it's also clear from this
statement that the training of the terrorists is being done in Iran: "..the
transportation of multiple Iraqis to Iran for terrorist training at IRGC-QF
training camps." A senior administration official last week discounted to me
the importance of going after such targets in Iran--while not denying they
exist and that we know where they are. The explanation wasn't convincing at
the time. In light of this fresh evidence, and in light of the fact that the
Iranians have been shelling targets in Kurdistan, in northern Iraq, that
they claim are supporting violence in Iran, one has to ask: "Why are terror
training camps in Iran, camps that are directly training terrorists to
attack U.S. troops, off limits?" After all, if Khameini (to whom the IRGC
reports) has already established the principle of cross-border attacks
against accelerators of violence, who are we to disagree with the wisdom of
the Supreme Leader?

--William Kristol