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Treasury sanctions Iran-based al-Qaeda leaders

Posted by Tip Staff - July 20, 2016


 
The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned three senior members of al-Qaeda on Wednesday, two of whom are based in Iran. Treasury accused the individuals of moving “money and operatives from South Asia and across the Middle East.” One of the men, Yisra Muhammad Ibrahim Bayumi, has operated out of Iran since 2014 and has, since early 2015, served as a liaison between al-Qaeda and Iranian authorities. Journalist Armin Rosen wrote in Tablet, “There’s still an influential faction within the ideologically anti-American and Shi’ite sectarian regime in Iran that simply doesn’t care about [sectarian differences]: al-Qaeda bogs down the U.S. and its allies in Afghanistan, and is committed to permanent war against a common enemy, and have thus been allowed to operate on Iranian soil.”

Iran’s ties with al-Qaeda have previously been documented. A letter discovered during the 2011 raid of Osama bin Laden’s Pakistan hideout revealed that the leader warned his operatives in 2007 not to attack Iran because “Iran is our main artery for funds, personnel, and communication.” According to the 9/11 Commission, “8 of the 14 Saudi ‘muscle’ operatives [who partook in the 9/11 attacks] traveled into or out of Iran between October 2000 and February 2001.” When current al-Qaeda leader Ayman al -Zawahari first joined the group, bin Laden sent operatives to train in Iran and Lebanon under the Iran-sponsored terrorist group Hezbollah. Israeli intelligence found that senior Hezbollah operative Imad Mughniyah had trained some of the men who later perpetrated the 9/11 attacks.
After the attacks, several members of bin Laden’s family and inner circle found shelter in Iran. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who later headed al-Qaeda in Iraq, was based in Iran for several months beginning in December 2001. In 2011, Treasury sanctioned six al-Qaeda members who were operating within the framework of an agreement between the terror organization and the Iranian government. David S. Cohen, then-Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence and currently the Deputy Director of the CIA, announced at the time, “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.”
 

ISIS supporters have praised the terrorist who used his truck to kill 84 people in Nice, France last week, hailing the Palestinians for developing the car ramming method.
Killing by ramming using civilian cars and trucks is an idea born from the Maqdisi [Palestinian] mind, which has an innovative nature of thinking up jihad tactics,” one ISIS supporter commented on the social network Telegram. “Yesterday they taught us [about] the explosive vest, and many plans for street fighting, and today they taught us this tactic. May Allah bless Jerusalem and the environs of Jerusalem, and may Allah bless all of the Levant… Oh Aqsa, we are coming.”
Vehicular attacks have become a hallmark of Palestinian terrorism. According to Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 46 car ramming attacks have been carried out by Palestinian terrorists in Israel since last September.
In addition, ISIS supporters claimed that the attack served as retaliation for French involvement in airstrikes against ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria. One ISIS supporter commented, “Our hearts are … filled with joy of a level we have yet to experience! How can we not rejoice when we see the organs of the infidel Crusaders, who launched a war on Islam, strewn about here and there?! How can we not rejoice after being sad when they bombed Muslim lands in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere in cold blood?! Do we not deserve joy?!”
Many other supporters of ISIS weighed in online, promising further attacks in France and the West. A banner on another pro-ISIS Telegram channel gloated in French and Arabic in a message to French president Francois Hollande: “Allah protects His believers, Oh Hollande… And here you are humiliated by His abilities and the abilities of His soldiers. In spite of you, we will humiliate you, oh pig of France.” Another banner threatened, “Oh Frenchmen, just as you kill us, so you will be killed. We have promised you that we will move the battlefield to the heart of your home. Then you will taste our wrath.”
Attacks like those in Nice and Israel force policymakers to take a new view of urban spaces. Former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Tuesday that countries are looking to Israel for counter-terrorism tactics against car rammings, as well as hijackings and other terror attacks.
Over the last few years, terrorist organizations like ISIS and al-Qaeda have called on followers to carry out more vehicular attacks. In a September 2014 message, ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani urged, “If you cannot [detonate] a bomb or [fire] a bullet, arrange to meet alone with a French or an American infidel and … run him over with your car.” (via TheTower.org)

 
TBEX, the world’s largest community of travel bloggers, writers, content creators and social media professionals, has announced Jerusalem as the location of its upcoming TBEX International 2017 meeting. “Jerusalem was chosen as our first TBEX International destination because of its rich multi-cultural history,” says Patti Hosking, TBEX Vice President. “Geographically in Asia, but more economically and culturally aligned with Europe, Jerusalem is one of those special destinations that defies classification and is best explained as International. It’s a bucket list destination for many people, including bloggers, and we know that our attendees will find diverse experiences there. We’re going to see a lot of very special stories come out of our time in Jerusalem.” TBEX holds annual conferences in locations across the world, drawing some 1,000 delegates including some of the most influential travel bloggers and leading digital content creators. “This is an important opportunity to reach the top opinion leaders in the travel industry and travel media. Jerusalem offers conferences so much more than just the facilities for a successful event, but the opportunity to enjoy the city’s unique history, culture, culinary delights and nightlife,” says Ilanit Melchior, Director of Tourism at the Jerusalem Development Authority. TBEX is joining forces with the Jerusalem Development Authority, iTravelJerusalem.com, and the Israel Ministry of Tourism for the March 20-22, 2017 event, to be held at the ICC Jerusalem International Convention Center. (via Israel21c)

 


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