What the WikiLeaks Documents Say About Iran-al Qaeda
Intelligence reports pointing to collusion between the mullahs and al Qaeda are persistent.
12:00 AM, Jul 27, 2010 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
Again, we don’t know if this actually happened. It is, of course, sensational. It would be interesting to see if there is corroborating evidence in the U.S. intelligence community’s files elsewhere.
A June 3, 2006 threat report, based on an unidentified source, says that two Iranian agents have infiltrated Afghanistan under assumed identities. They were tasked with instigating “local AFG people into making propaganda against the AFG governmental authorities and [coalition force] members.” The same report explains:
An October 20, 2006 threat report reads: “Separately, Iranians have reportedly provided support on the ground by organizing transports for injured people to TEHERAN, Iran.” The context of the report makes it clear that the “injured people” are Taliban members.
A document dated April 22, 2007 says the Afghan government wanted to keep a then recent discovery of Iranian arms quiet because of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s impending trip. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) wants to keep the issue of the Iranian-made weapons recently found in Kandahar under the radar screen in the lead up to the June visit of the Iranian President to Afghanistan.”
This is all too believable as Iranian arms are regularly discovered inside Afghanistan. American military officials have repeatedly said so. The WikiLeaks database contains dozens of references to Iranian arms found by ISAF.
According to one document, not reported on by the Guardian, two American investigators visited the counterterrorism unit within Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry on December 30, 2007. The Afghans had rolled up a four-man terrorist cell a few days earlier after “receiv[ing] information that two suicide bombers were tasked by Taliban/Al-Qaeda leaders to come to LashKarGah City to carry out suicide attacks on high level officials and Coalition forces in the area. “ The Ministry of Interior (MOI) “placed the individuals under observation for several months and located their cache.” The Americans were allowed to inspect the would-be suicide bombers’ explosive vests and, after running some tests, found “a 92% probability of a match against a suspected sample of Iranian C4.”
That is, the suicide vests were almost certainly packed with explosives of Iranian provenance.
A September 2008 threat report derived from HUMINT (human intelligence) notes that seven Arabs and four Iranians had been seen in a village in Herat, Afghanistan. The document reads:
If this is true, then Iranian intelligence is cooperating with al Qaeda in executing suicide attacks. Interestingly, the September 2008 report is consistent with the December 30, 2007 account because American investigators found strong evidence that Iranian explosives were being used in al Qaeda/Taliban suicide belts.
Look again at the sequence of documents discussed above. Over a span of several years, there were numerous reports of collaboration between Iran and al Qaeda. There are more in the documents released thus far. And there are undoubtedly more in the WikiLeaks files yet to come.
Thomas Joscelyn is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.