Al-Qaeda Plans a Front in Iraq

(Washington Post) - The al-Qaeda network is determined to open a new front in Iraq to sustain itself as the vanguard of radical Islamic groups fighting holy war, according to European, American, and Arab intelligence sources. After the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the locus of al-Qaeda's degraded leadership moved to Iran where the Iranian security services, which answer to the country's powerful Islamic clerics, protected the leadership. From Iran, this al-Qaeda group planned the May 12 bombing in Riyadh. After the Riyadh bombing, the Iranians, under pressure from the Saudis, detained the al-Qaeda group. According to Arab and U.S. officials, almost all of the senior al-Qaeda figures in captivity have been cooperating with the U.S., which has employed a variety of stress techniques that stop short of direct physical abuse or torture to disorient the prisoners and break their morale. In some cases, U.S. officials holding senior al-Qaeda figures at a secret location have created a parallel universe to hasten their cooperation, where captives have been given what appear to be copies of Arab and Western newspapers and magazines that are, in fact, written and printed by the CIA. Stories in these phony publications include reports that bin Laden had been killed or that the Saudi government had fallen in a coup d'etat, Arab officials said.

2003-09-08 00:00:00

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