The Magazine

What Did Iran Know?

Mar 18, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 26 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
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But according to the Obama administration, al Qaeda has operated a facilitation network inside Iran since at least 2005 under an “agreement” with the Iranian regime. Today, that network is led by one of Abu Ghaith’s fellow Kuwaitis, a notorious al Qaeda operative named Muhsin al Fadhli. Was Abu Ghaith involved in al Fadhli’s network? It is a reasonable question given the two have reportedly known one another since before the 9/11 attacks.

In the weeks to come, we may learn more about Abu Ghaith’s arrest and questioning. But the types of interrogations required to unpack Iran’s complex relationship with al Qaeda could take months. Has Abu Ghaith been forthcoming about these ties during his short time in custody?

The Obama administration has long wanted to showcase its ability to put terrorists on trial in the U.S. criminal justice system. It would be a travesty if, as a consequence, the administration squandered an opportunity to gain an invaluable window into the alliance between the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism and America’s principal terrorist enemy. 

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