Terrorism

Upending Conventional Wisdom, ISIS Spokeman Confirms Al-Qaeda–Iran Cooperation

Though conventional wisdom holds that “that Sunni al Qaeda couldn’t possibly cooperate with Shia Iran,” another piece of evidence has emerged that Iran does indeed cooperate with the Sunni terror group. A recent statement made by a spokesman for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Abu Muhammad al Adnani, claims that “Let history record that Iran owes al Qaeda invaluably.” An article in the Long War Journal explains that “Al Qaeda has ordered its fighters and branches to refrain from attacking the Iranian state in order to preserve the terror group’s network in the country.”

Citing a 2011 Treasury Department designation, Bill Roggio of the Long War Journal adds:

And although Adnani didn’t explicitly state that al Qaeda had a deal with Iran “to safeguard its interests and supply lines,” the U.S. government has said it has evidence of such an agreement. The U.S. Treasury Department noted in the July 2011 designation of six al Qaeda operatives who were based in Iran that the Iranian government had a “secret deal with al Qaeda allowing it to funnel funds and operatives through its territory.”

That same designation declared that Iran is “a critical transit point for funding to support al Qaeda’s activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

David S. Cohen, the Treasury under-secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said at the time of the 2011 designation, “By exposing Iran’s secret deal with Al Qaeda allowing it to funnel funds and operatives through its territory, we are illuminating yet another aspect of Iran’s unmatched support for terrorism.”

Adnani’s quote about Iran owing al Qaeda is further proof of this alliance.

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