THE FUNGIBILITY OF ISLAMIST TERRORISM
The Washington Post had a story yesterday on the complicity of " Jerusalem Force" -an Iranian intelligence unit loyal the hardline Khameini-Rafsanjani-Pasdaran clique that misrules Iran in protecting high level al Qaida operatives on Iran's border with Afghanistan, including Saad bin Laden
. Money quote:
"The group is "a state within a state, and that is why they are able to offer protection to al Qaeda," one European intelligence analyst said. "The Force's senior leaders have long-standing ties to al Qaeda, and, since the fall of Afghanistan, have provided some al Qaeda leaders with travel documents and safe haven."
Moreover, a second WaPo article points to the Lebanese terrorist mastermind Imad Mugniyah as the link between the radical Sunni Islamists of al Qaida and the radical Shiite Islamists of Iran's Pasdaran security-intelligence network
. While a suspected senior leader of Hezbollah's armed wing, Mugniyah is suspected of having shared his expertise and advice with other Islamist groups such as Islamic Jihad. Hezbollah is a client group of Iran and it has recently limited it's terrorist or military activities to ejecting Israel from a tiny section of disputed land on the Israeli-Lebanese border.
Tactical cooperation between Sunni and Shiite radicals is a matter of controversy among experts on terrorism and Mideastern studies. Religious conflict mitigates against such cooperation but the isolation of both the Iranian hardliners and the sinking fortunes of al Qaida, both suffering from American pressure would make such cooperation tempting. The presence of large numbers of al Qaida operatives, including senior figures, has already been admitted by the elected reformist government of Iran of President Khatami. The security services and militant groups of Islamist thugs in Iran answer only to Ayatollah Khameini, the Supreme Guide and are beyond the elected government's authority..