Al-Qaeda Leadership in Iran Compiled By:Ryan Mauro email@example.com With major battles occurring in Afghanistan and a new Al-Qaeda effort in Iraq, one has to wonder how the operations are led, by whom, and from where. Most of all, is why. We know that most of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda leadership is hiding in eastern Afghanistan, sometimes crossing into western Pakistan—known as “friendly territory” by the terrorists. Pakistani intelligence, the ISI is largely sympathetic to their cause. While focus remains on this border, few often question how come they are often able to pass through Iran’s section of Baluchistan. The new attacks by Al-Qaeda and their allies are the result of a reorganized operational leadership given the authorization to carry out attacks. The constant movement and security worries appear to have gone away for the time being, allowing the terrorists to operate sufficiently. I believe Iran, a long-time ally of Al-Qaeda and dozens of other terrorist organizations, is behind this. It is believed anywhere between 1,000 and 3,000 radical Moslems loosely connected to Al-Qaeda or affiliated groups have been allowed to pass through Iran to fight in Iraq. The following is the status of Al-Qaeda in Iran, who is there, and what is its significance are the questions that will be answered. --First of all, it is believed that at least 60 operations officers and 8 senior Al-Qaeda leaders are in Iran at this moment running the attacks and preparation efforts. The massive passage through Iran by Al-Qaeda and their allies allows quick meetings with allied groups as well as continued recruitment efforts. --Low estimates put the number of low and mid-ranking Al-Qaeda-linked operatives in Iran at 250- 350, while the most extreme estimates put the number at approximately 1,240, the number changing continuously as operatives move in and out under the direction of senior officers. The majority of credible estimates put the number at anywhere between 600 and 1,000. This includes at least 14 Egyptian terrorists linked to Al-Qaeda, wanted by Egypt for roles in terrorist plots. This means Al-Qaeda’s ability to strike in Egypt is preserved by Iran. --There are new rumors that Iran has allowed Saad Bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi with 5 senior operatives to escape. The same report (World Tribune, September 11, 2003) says Iran was holding up to 18 senior Al-Qaeda in northern and eastern Iran, and at least 10 senior operatives still remain in Iran’s custody, refusing to extradite them to any country do to fear that the USA would gain access to them. --Here is the leadership in Iran: Osama Bin Laden, #1 leader of Al-Qaeda, is believed by Italian intelligence to have been in Iran for May, even going into Tehran. He is believed to have left during that month, but his movement into and out of Iran means his work there is preserved. Ayman Al-Zawahiri, #2 leader of Al-Qaeda, is believed by many intelligence services to have been in Iran for months, until leaving in late August. Zawahiri is expected to frequently visit Iran to meet with Al-Qaeda leadership. Zawahiri is believed to also be the head of Al-Qaeda relations with Iran. Seif al-Adel, #3 leader of Al-Qaeda. He is believed to be appointed by Osama Bin Laden as the director of the terrorist attacks in Riyadh and Casablanca. He helps run Al-Qaeda’s operations in Iraq and Saudi Arabia, is the chief of security and intelligence, and is the manager of Al-Qaeda’s relations with local groups in North Africa and the Middle East. Saad Bin Laden, #4 leader of Al-Qaeda. He is Osama Bin Laden’s oldest and most trusted son, appointed as the director of operations, money transfers, and the head of logistics. He is also believed to have some role in Al-Qaeda operations in Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and manager of their relations with local groups in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Mohamed Shawqi al-Istambuli, #5 leader of Al-Qaeda. He is a member of the Shura Council, plays a lead role in the movement of Al-Qaeda operatives and supplies throughout Asia and North Africa, manages links with operatives and allies in Egypt, and once was leader of a plot to kill the Egyptian president in 1995. Abu Musab Zarqawi, #6 leader of Al-Qaeda. He is the head of Al-Qaeda’s operations in Iraq, manages their relations with Iraqi intelligence, played lead role in Al-Qaeda chemical and biological weapons’ operations in Europe and Israel, and is head of Al-Qaeda’s program for weapons of mass destruction. Unidentified, #7 leader of Al-Qaeda. He is a Syrian, plays a lead role in Al-Qaeda operations in Iraq and manages cooperation with Palestinian militants. He is an advisor to Abu Musab Al- Zarqawi. Some people suspect this is a man named Abu Khayr. May flee to Syria. Unidentified, #8 leader of Al-Qaeda. He is a Syrian, and plays a similar role as the #7 leader. May flee to Syria. Mahfouz Ould Walid [AKA Abu Hafs the Mauritanian], is the head of Al-Qaeda’s religious committee that issues fatwahs, and runs system of recruitment, propaganda and indoctrination. Abu Mohammed Masri, is Al-Qaeda’s chief financial officer and runs their role in the illicit diamond trade and money laundering, is head of training, and played a leading role in the 1998 embassy bombings. Mustafa Hamza, is an operational officer of Al-Qaeda and played a leading role in the plot to kill the Egyptian president in 1995. Abdel Rahman Khader is an operational officer of Al-Qaeda and played a leading role in the bombing of the Egyptian embassy in Pakistan in 1995. Suleiman Abu Ghaith, is Al-Qaeda’s chief spokesman and recently was appointed as a senior financial manager. Yaaz bin Sinfat, is a top Al-Qaeda operations planner, and is occasionally harbored in Iran. Ayub Afghani, is an Al-Qaeda explosives expert and a senior operations officer in charge of forces in northern Iraq. “Abu Mustafa the Engineer”, is an Al-Qaeda senior expert that is rumored to have left Iran in the first two weeks of September, with President Khamenei’s permission. It is unknown if Abu Mustafa is his real name. Abu Bakr is another senior Al-Qaeda operative rumored to have left Iran in the first two weeks of September. Obviously this is not the Abu Bakr that is currently in American hands.
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