Iran miffed with al Qaeda over Syrian civil war

Washington Post:
Iran’s expulsion of a senior al-Qaeda official appears to signal a crackdown on the terrorist group that has long been granted safe haven within its borders, U.S. officials say.

Iran’s ouster of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, a former al-Qaeda spokesman and the son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, marked at least the third time in the past year that a prominent al-Qaeda figure has left the country after living for years in a limbo between house guest and home detainee.

U.S. officials and terrorism experts say the tougher stance appears to reflect growing tensions between Iran’s Shiite clerics and the Sunni Muslim terrorist group, particularly over the civil war in Syria, where they are backing opposing sides.

At the same time, Western intelligence agencies see steps by Iran to preserve ties with al-Qaeda by allowing the group to use Iranian territory as a transit route to and from Afghanistan, U.S. officials and analysts say.

“We believe that Iran continues to allow al-Qaeda to operate a network that moves al-Qaeda money and fighters through Iran to support al-Qaeda activities in South Asia,” David S. Cohen, the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in an interview.

Highlighting the sometimes contradictory nature of the relationship, Cohen said the same transit networks send “funding and fighters to Syria,” where militant Islamists linked to al-Qaeda are battling pro-government forces supported by Iran. A group of fighters from the militant al-Nusra Front is regarded as one of the most powerful anti-government forces in Syria.

Documents obtained from the bin Laden compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, have shed further light on the relationship between al-Qaeda and Iran — a relationship both sides have preserved despite deep mistrust and sharp differences over ideology and tactics.

“It is a partnership of convenience, with some really rough edges,” said Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer and counterterrorism adviser to the Obama administration.
There is much more.

What the two have in common are their religious bigotry toward non Muslims and their hostility toward the US and the West.  But there interests clash in places like Syria and Iraq.  We should be pumping bin Laden's son in law for details on the relationship, but instead we read him his Miranda rights and provided him with a lawyer.  That is not an intelligent way to get the details.  He should be experiencing some unpleasant times in Gitmo right now as he is questioned.


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