Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Hand of Teheran

In addition to its President's lauding the mid-term election results, Iran is doing far more to destabilize the West as a whole, as Con Coughlin reports:

Iran's Revolutionary Guards are training hundreds of Al Qaeda fighters to carry out attacks against coalition forces throughout the Middle East.

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. . . Western intelligence agencies now report that the Iranians are training Al Qaeda fighters at centers that were previously used by other Islamic militant groups, such as the Lebanese militia Hezbollah.

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The training of Al Qaeda operatives is part of a wider Iranian ambition: to take control of the Al Qaeda terror network by encouraging it to promote officials known to be friendly to Tehran.

Al Qaeda fighters stay at guest houses on the outskirts of Tehran used by the Revolutionary Guards for conducting training in sophisticated terror techniques. Some of the training is carried out by the guards' elite Quds (Jerusalem) force, their main paramilitary unit. Apart from standard training in firearms and combat drill, the fighters all learn how to prepare car bombs.

Many of those trained in Iran then travel to countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan, where they use their new skills to carry out attacks on coalition troops.

Last week, British military commanders based in Basra said Iran was sustaining the insurgency against British and American forces by supplying terrorist groups with weapons and cash.

"From the evidence we have seen, Iran's links to Al Qaeda go far deeper than simply supplying them with equipment," a senior Western intelligence official said. "They are allowing them the use of training facilities so that they can ensure their attacks are as effective as possible."

The US should have been on the offensive against Iranian terrorism 27 years ago and Pres. Bush lost a tremendous set of opportunities to cut down the Iranians' ambitions by outsourcing nuclear containment to the Europeans and foregoing US strikes against Iranian forces while concurrently failing to help the nascent democratic movement in Iran. What a colossal waste of time.

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