February 25, 2020

Documents Expose Relationship Between Iran and al-Qaeda

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran, Iran, on April 25. Photo by Leader.ir/Handout via Reuters

A set of newly released documents from the CIA have exposed the working relationship between the Iranian regime and al-Qaeda.

Nine of the hundreds of thousands of documents seized in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in 2011, reveal that in 1991, Iran offered to provide al-Qaeda “everything they needed,” including funding, weaponry and “training in Hezbollah camps.” Iran and its proxy Hezbollah also supported bin Laden when he was indicted for the 1998 bombings of the United States Tanzania and Kenya embassies.

Additionally, Iran allowed the 9/11 terrorists to slip through its country and into the United States before the deadly terror attack occurred.

Iran and al-Qaeda are on opposite sides of the Islamic spectrum – Iran is Shia and al-Qaeda is Sunni – and the two have had their rough patches, as the documents note that al-Qaeda once demanded the regime release al-Qaeda family members who were detained in Iran, and al-Qaeda once “kidnapped an Iranian diplomat to exchange for its men and women,” according to Long War Journal. However, the two sides still had a working relationship since bin Laden viewed Iran as the “main artery for funds, personnel, and communication” for his terror organization and the two viewed themselves as America’s enemies.

In 2012, a federal judge in Manhattan held that Iran, al-Qaeda and the Taliban were all responsible for the 9/11 terror attacks. According to the New York Daily News, it is believed that Iran not only knew of al-Qaeda’s plot, they also “provided some safe haven” to al-Qaeda in 2001.

Iran has long funded a multitude of terror groups in addition to al-Qaeda, including Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad.