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As Bad as Bin Laden
This terrorist masterminded the murder of hundreds of Americans. Soon he could help Al Qaeda get the ultimate weapon....
By Kenneth Timmerman From Reader's Digest
The livestock truck came to a jolting stop alongside a cemetery just south of Tehran, Iran. A handful of waiting soldiers had been expecting its arrival. At the rear of the vehicle, a canvas cover was flung aside and a man in his late 30s hopped out. He was late, so the soldiers -- security men from the Qods Force, an elite arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guards -- wasted no time. They escorted him through the cemetery and whisked him into a secret tunnel that led to an elaborate underground bunker.
was underway. The official hosting the gathering was Ali
Akbar Nateq-Nouri, a top advisor to Iran's Supreme Leader,
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. With him were Iranian intelligence
officials involved in planning overseas terrorist
operations. The guest of honor was there, too, and would
soon gain worldwide notoriety: Dr. Ayman
top deputy to Osama bin Laden. Zawahiri had come to
discuss Al Qaeda's latest plans, and to relay his boss's
keen desire to cooperate more with Iran. It was January
2001, eight months before the attacks of September 11.
The late arrival, who now entered the room, was critical to Al Qaeda's strategy. For 20 years, Zawahiri had been working with Iran's Revolutionary Guards, and his main partner had been this man whose youthful appearance belied his cruel nature. He was Imad Mugniyah, Iran's star operative, a terrorist with legendary skills and the mind of a psychopath. Lebanese by birth, he had risen over the years to become the top military official in the Iranian-backed terrorist organization Hezbollah.
Mugniyah had not been seen in public in years, yet his stamp was on terrorist attacks that dominated headlines...
Mugniyah's assistance in the preparation for the September 11 attacks has long been kept quiet by intelligence officials. But one of the security men present at this meeting outside Tehran later fled Iran and agreed to tell his story. The picture that emerges from him, along with other Iranian, U.S. and European intelligence sources, is one of a master terrorist still waging his decades-long war against the West. He is a man few people outside intelligence circles know by name. Yet Mugniyah is believed to have killed more Americans before 9/11 than any other terrorist -- and he helped Al Qaeda pull off its biggest day of destruction. Some believe that Mugniyah has now joined forces with the terrorists doing battle with American soldiers in Iraq.
From the Reader's Digest adaptation of Countdown to Crisis. (Continue reading here)
The late arrival, who now entered the room, was critical to Al Qaeda's strategy. For 20 years, Zawahiri had been working with Iran's ountd
The Tasking Memo.This exclusive document, obtained from an Iranian defector in 2004, reveals Iran's direct, material involvement in the 9/11 plot. Dated May 14, 2001, from the head of the Leader's Intelligence Office, it lays out the guidelines established by the Supreme Leader for joint operations with al-Qaeda. "It was the equivalent of a Presidential Decision Directive in the United States, the top-secret documents that guide policy makers in developing specific operational plans." [p16]. Read the English translation here.
Funding Bin Laden.Iran had business ties with Osama bin Laden going back to the early 1990s. This document, presented by the opposition Iranian People's Fedaii Guerrillas to the UN Security Council in 1996, details the purchase of Iraqi oil products smuggled through Iran by Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps in violation of UN sanctions. The ultimate purchaser was the Al Shamal Islamic Bank in Sudan, in which Bin Laden had an ownership stake [p352]. This document is prima facie evidence that the IRGC was working closely with al Qaeda for several years before the 9/11 attacks.
Satellite imagery of nuclear sites.
Iran destroyed the evidence of a suspected uranium enrichment site within the vast Revolutionary Guards military production facility at Lavizan-Shian in Tehran [p361] as soon as the IAEA demanded to inspect the site (Credit: Digital Globe/ISIS):
Before destruction: August 11, 2003
After destruction: March 22, 2004
After final clean-up: May 10, 2004
The Bomb plant
This Feb. 27, 2005 satellite image [p362] of the Arak heavy water facility shows new construction of Iran's 40 megawatt nuclear "research" reactor, which U.S. analysts believe is a plutonium production bomb plant. (Credit: Digital Globe/ISIS)
Covering their tracks
This image from DigitalGlobe and GlobalSecurity.org [p363] shows the underground production halls of the Natanz centrifuge enrichment facility just after they were covered over with dirt to hide them from satellites.
|Bijan Sepassy's FARA registration. Mr. Sepassy, who continues to offer his services to groups opposing the Islamic Republic, such as the Iran Freedom Foundation, was a registered lobbyist for the same regime he now says he opposes. He set up a lobbying organization - the Forum on American-Iranian Relations - that took money from Tehran. These documents come from the Justice Department's Foreign Agent Registration database for the years 1991-1993. Sepasy claims he represented Tehran at the urging of U.S. government officials.|
More Exclusive photos only available here:
Ahmad Khomeini (son of the ayatollah), receiving RPG-7 training in Lebanon in the mid-1970s
Bank Melli's Los Angeles branch office - seen before it was closed by the U.S. government