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Egyptian Authorities Break Up Embassy Plot

10:42 PM, May 11, 2013 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
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Al Fadhli has a well-established al Qaeda pedigree. According to the U.S. government, he is so trusted by al Qaeda’s most senior leaders that he was one of the few terrorists who had foreknowledge of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.  

In October 2012, the U.S. Treasury Department announced that al Fadhli had taken over as leader of al Qaeda’s Iran-based network, which was previously headed by another al Qaeda terrorist known as Yasin al Suri. This network operates under an “agreement” between the Iranian regime and al Qaeda, according to Treasury. The U.S. government has offered multi-million dollar rewards for information leading to the capture of both al Fadhli and al Suri.

The Treasury Department first designated al Suri in July 2011. Shortly thereafter, al Fadhli replaced al Suri as the head of al Qaeda’s Iran-based network. The Iranians arrested al Fadhli in 2009, but let him out of prison in 2011 and he quickly resumed his terror activities.

In its October 2012 announcement, the U.S. Treasury Department explained how the relationship between the Iranian regime and al Qaeda works. “Under the terms of the agreement between al Qaeda and Iran, al Qaeda must refrain from conducting any operations within Iranian territory and recruiting operatives inside Iran while keeping Iranian authorities informed of their activities,” Treasury explained.  “In return, the Government of Iran gave the Iran-based al Qaeda network freedom of operation and uninhibited ability to travel for extremists and their families.  Al Qaeda members who violate these terms run the risk of being detained by Iranian authorities. “ 

Treasury said that its designation “further exposes” the Iran-based al Qaeda network and “Iran’s ongoing complicity in this network’s operation.”

Therefore, if the al Assadi mentioned by Ibrahim is in fact Muhsin al Fadhli, then this detail is a very big deal.

Thomas Joscelyn is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

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