Iran Receives Praise For Terror Aid to Al Qaeda: Zawahiri Letter

In an intercepted letter to Iran, Ayman Al Zawahiri praises Iran for their aid in setting up the terror cells in Yemen responsible for the recent US Embassy attacks there. In the past both Al Qaeda and the Taliban have sheltered in Iran, and without Iran’s logistics and weapons aid it’s doubtful that they can be effective in Pakistan and Afghanistan now that AQ is shut off from their ISI sugardaddies by the new Pakistan government. Story at The UK Telegraph:

Delivery of the letter exposed the rising role of Saad bin Laden, son of the al-Qaeda leader, Osama as an intermediary between the organisation and Iran. Saad bin Laden has been living in Iran since the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001, apparently under house arrest.

The letter, which was signed by Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s second in command, was written after the American embassy in Yemen was attacked by simultaneous suicide car bombs in September.

Western security officials said the missive thanked the leadership of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards for providing assistance to al-Qaeda to set up its terrorist network in Yemen, which has suffered ten al-Qaeda-related terror attacks in the past year, including two bomb attacks against the American embassy.

In the letter al-Qaeda’s leadership pays tribute to Iran’s generosity, stating that without its “monetary and infrastructure assistance” it would have not been possible for the group to carry out the terror attacks. It also thanked Iran for having the “vision” to help the terror organisation establish new bases in Yemen after al-Qaeda was forced to abandon much of its terrorist infrastructure in Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

There has been intense speculation about the level of Iranian support for al-Qaeda since the 9/11 Commission report into al-Qaeda’s terror attacks against the U.S. in 2001 concluded that Iran had provided safe passage for many of the 9/11 hijackers travelling between Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia prior to the attacks.

Norm Podhoretz Let me Down

As you can see by my sidebar I am a Rudy Guiliani supporter – one of his foreign policy advisors is Norman Podhoretz, also someone whose views I support. Norm is going to have to get quicker on his feet however. Here he debates with Fareed Zakaria, who makes a seemingly clear argument that Norm failed to counter well.

You cannot sound-bite attack arguments like this with Chamberlin arguments — instead you must destroy the case in total, not with ad hominem comparison but instead with clear facts. There are many that Norm could have marshalled, but failed to. 

Here is the transcript of the segment with “Jihad Judy” Woodruff, (sorry, that’s my Mom’s nickname for her,) Norman Podhoretz, and Fareed Zakaria, please read and follow to my thoughts  below the segment. The lead-in was a pastiche of fact and opinion on the potential of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons: Continue reading “Norm Podhoretz Let me Down”

Al Qaeda or Tribal Attack?

In another attack on oilfields that could send oil prices up again, a Yemeni tribe attacked an oil installation at Shabwah, about 136 miles Southeast of  Sanaa. 16 were killed total including six of the attacking tribesmen. Tribesmen from Bani Harith also took hostages, but those were freed during the fighting.

While the papers have it as related to lack of employment opportunites, there was also sabotage earlier in the week and this comes after Al Qaeda members were sentenced  Wednesday for plotting to attack oil installations. From IHT:

At least six government troops and six tribesmen were killed in a clash Thursday that followed the tribesmen’s attack on an oil installation in Yemen, a local official said.

It was the second attack on the country’s oil industry this week.

The clash took place in the Shabwa province, about 220 kilometers (136 miles) southeast of the Yemeni capital, San’a, when men from the Bani Harith clan attacked a Ukrainian-run oil field installation, the province’s governor, Mohammad Ali Ruwashan, said.

Ruwashan said six other persons were also wounded in the shootout, but it was not immediately clear how many among the wounded were government troops and how many were tribesmen.

Those killed included Yemeni Capt. Abdullah Allwan, commander of the installation’s guard unit…

…Al-Qaida militants have also been active in sabotage operations targeting oil pipelines and power stations in the country.

In June, Yemeni security arrested two men suspected of al-Qaida links who confessed to an unsuccessful attempt to blow up an oil pipeline with TNT near the port city of Aden.

Yemen produces 330,000 barrels of oil a day. In August, al-Qaida militants attacked a power station and a government building in Marib, causing a major power outage.

On Wednesday, a Yemeni court convicted 32 al-Qaida suspects of planning suicide attacks on oil and gas installations in the country in September 2006 and sentenced them to up to 15 years imprisonment

Deadly Terror Attack in Yemen

A car bomb attack at the Temple of the Moon in Yemen has killed six Spanish Tourists and Two Yemenis. A picture of the historic temple can be seen here at Al Bab.

Judging from technique and target my analysis would say that this is likely Al Qaeda or another Qutbist-aligned group. Yemen is the ancestral home of Osama Bin Laden. Continue reading “Deadly Terror Attack in Yemen”