By Washington Free Beacon. Iranian officials, in a first, have admitted to facilitating the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. by secretly aiding the free travel of al Qaeda operatives who eventually went on to fly commercial airliners into the Twin Towers in New York City, according to new remarks from a senior Iranian official.
Mohammad-Javad Larijani, an international affairs assistant in the Iran’s judiciary, disclosed in Farsi-language remarks broadcast on Iran’s state-controlled television that Iranian intelligence officials secretly helped provide the al Qaeda attackers with passage and gave them refuge in the Islamic Republic, according to an English translation published by Al Arabiya.
“Our government agreed not to stamp the passports of some of them because they were on transit flights for two hours, and they were resuming their flights without having their passports stamped. However their movements were under the complete supervision of the Iranian intelligence,” Larijani was quoted as saying. . .
The U.S. government has long accused Iran of playing a role in the attacks and even fined the Islamic Republic billions as a result. The U.S. 9/11 Commission assembled to investigate the attacks concluded that Iran played a role in facilitating the al Qaeda terrorists.
Larijani admitted that Iranian officials did not stamp the passports of the al Qaeda militants in order to obfuscate their movements and prevent detection by foreign governments. Al Qaeda operative also were given safe refuge in Iran. (Read more from “Bombshell: Iran Admits to Facilitating 9/11 Attacks” HERE)
Iran Faces New Threat as Kurdish Jihadis Join IS in Afghanistan
By Al-Monitor. A group of journalists had gathered at the site of a bomb blast in the center of Kabul, the Afghan capital, on the morning of April 30. Suddenly, a suicide bomber carrying a press card slipped past police and approached the journalists. As the bomb he was carrying went off, seven media workers died on the spot. Two more later died of their injuries, bringing the death toll of the two blasts to 26.
The Islamic State’s (IS) Afghanistan branch, known as Wilayat Khorasan, claimed responsibility for the attacks and released an image, dated April 29, of the two suicide bombers standing next to each other with their faces covered. One of them was identified by IS as Qaqa al-Kurdi. IS did not reveal where Kurdi came from, but for decades, both Iranian and Iraqi Kurds have been known to travel in large numbers to Afghanistan in pursuit of jihad. They have swelled the ranks of a number of groups over the years, and most recently IS.
Mukhtar Hooshmand, an expert on tracking the movement of Kurdish jihadis from Iran and Iraq, told Al-Monitor that he has identified Qaqa al-Kurdi as a 29-year-old man from Iran’s western Kermanshah province. The province has gained notoriety in recent years, as hundreds of young Kurds hailing from there and other Kurdish areas have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join IS and the jihadi group previously known as Jabhat al-Nusra (now called Jabhat Fatah al-Sham). Indeed, all of the IS suicide bombers who struck the Iranian parliament and the mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Tehran last summer hailed from Kermanshah province.
Following the IS attack in Tehran, Iran appears to have woken up to the jihadi threat and has arrested hundreds of Iranian Kurdish extremists. But as the IS project in Iraq and Syria is falling apart, Iranian Kurdish jihadis have changed direction and are now heading eastward instead to join Wilayat Khorasan, sources familiar with Sunni extremism in Iran’s Kurdish areas told Al-Monitor.
Iran sees western Afghanistan as a vulnerable spot that could be exploited by IS and hostile countries. As such, the Islamic Republic appears to have tried to fortify its defenses by allegedly propping up the Taliban to fight IS as well as NATO and Afghan forces stationed there. (Read more from “Iran Faces New Threat as Kurdish Jihadis Join IS in Afghanistan” HERE)