The Iran-Hizballah Connection

(U.S. News)Edward T. Pound - In the summer of 2003, Iranian intelligence agents in Tehran began planning to kill Paul Bremer, then the top U.S. civilian administrator in Iraq, on the second anniversary of 9/11, according to a classified American intelligence report. A review of thousands of pages of intelligence reports reveals the critical role Iran has played in aiding some elements of the anti-American insurgency. American officials say Iran has provided funding, safe havens, training, and weapons to several terrorist groups, including Lebanon-based Hizballah. Six of the Hizballah terrorists indicted in the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, that claimed the lives of 19 U.S. servicemen, "directly implicated" senior Iranian government officials "in the planning and execution of this attack," former FBI Director Louis Freeh wrote last year. The dissident Iranian group Mujaheddin-e-Khalq (MEK) told American intelligence officers that Hizballah collected information on American and British troops in Iraq, photographed them, then sent the information to Qods Force commanders in Iran. Hizballah had some 800 operatives in Iraq as of last January, including assassination teams. The Israeli intelligence agency Mossad warned U.S. intelligence officials in October 2003 that Hizballah planned to set up a resistance movement that would cause mass casualties, according to a report prepared by the Defense Intelligence Agency.

2004-11-17 00:00:00

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