Al-Qaeda is fighting Iran’s allies in Syria, yet outside of Syria they are fighting together. Recently documents gathered by a German court show the extent of the cooperation between Al-Qaeda and Iran.
An al Qaeda cell slated to take part in one of the final plots ordered by Osama bin Laden made use of an Iran-based terror network that, according to the Obama administration, operates “under an agreement between al Qaeda and the Iranian government.” That revelation has emerged from legal proceedings in Germany, including the trial of Ahmad Wali Siddiqui, an al Qaeda recruit who took the stand for the first time last week in Koblenz.
We observed two days of Siddiqui’s testimony. Thus far, prosecutors have allowed the gregarious defendant to do most of the talking. Cleanshaven, he has sought to present a sharply different demeanor than the one he displayed as a bearded jihadist in propaganda films shown to the court. Still, his disturbing narrative provided an extraordinary window into the inner workings of al Qaeda and allied organizations.
When Makanesi and Meziche arrived in Tehran, Siddiqui explained, they called a facilitator known as “Dr. Mamoud,” who works for the IMU. The two were ushered to Zahedan, a city on the eastern border of Iran, close to both Afghanistan and Pakistan. There, Siddiqui says, Dr. Mamoud “welcomed them.”
Zahedan is a well-known hub of al Qaeda and IMU activity. The IMU has repeatedly used the city’s Makki mosque, the largest Sunni mosque in Iran, to shuttle fighters into Afghanistan and Pakistan. Al Qaeda has an established presence there, too. For instance, before his May 2011 suicide at Guantánamo, an Afghan detainee named Inayatullah admitted to authorities that he was al Qaeda’s emir of Zahedan, from where he delivered recruits to senior al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan. Even since Inayatullah’s capture, al Qaeda fighters have continued to travel through Zahedan, as Makanesi and Meziche did.
They might fight each other in turf wars, but at the end of the day Islamic factions will unite against the Kuffar.
Tags: Ahmad Wali Siddiqui