U.S. Accuses Iran Of Harboring Network That Funds Al Qaeda

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Photo: ap

The U.S. Treasury department today identified a network that serves as a conduit for funds that support Al Qaeda’s operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and that operates under “an agreement between al-Qaeda and the Iranian government.”The network is headed by Ezedin Abdel Aziz Khalil, a prominent Iran-based al-Qaeda facilitator, and is used to move money from the Middle East to South Asia.

The Treasury department sanctioned six members of the the network, and accused Iranian authorities of allowing Khalil to operate in the country since 2005.

In his statement, David S. Cohen Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence said:

“Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world today. By exposing Iran’s secret deal with al-Qaeda allowing it to funnel funds and operatives through its territory, we are illuminating yet another aspect of Iran’s unmatched support for terrorism.”

Cohen added that Khalil gathered money through fundraisers from around the Gulf and moved it from the Middle East into Iran and then sent it on to Pakistan.

He also accused the Iranian government of colluding with Khalil to release Al Qaeda operatives from Iranian prisons, and letting them travel on to Pakistan.

The six members of the network include Kuwait and Qatar based operatives.

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