The death of former al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri by a CIA drone wasn’t the end to the international terrorist organization — it was the beginning of a whole new set of problems, suggesting that al-Qaida has increased its reach.
The Washington Free Beacon reported last week that Al-Zawahri’s likely successor "maintains deep ties to" Iran based on the fact that he "has spent decades using Iran as a base of operations."
Saif al-Adel was al-Qaida’s number-two leader at the time al-Zawahri was reportedly taken out a week ago Saturday, and is therefore the heir apparent.
Shortly after al-Qaida’s U.S. 9/11 attack, he fled to Iran.
While there he planned other terrorist operations, including one in 2003 in Saudi Arabia that killed eight U.S. citizens. Also, while in Iran he enjoyed protection from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
For this and many other reasons, U.S. officials such as former Defense Secretary James Mattis have often described Iran as a rogue nation,.
"As far as Iran goes, this is the single biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world," he told reporters in 2017.
"We have seen [Iran's] misconduct, their misbehavior, from Lebanon and Syria to Bahrain and to Yemen and it's got to be addressed at some point," Mattis added.
And al-Adel’s strong Iranian connections took on added significance given a boast the rogue nation made at the end of July.
Iran expert Ben Sabti tweeted that an IRGC "Telegram channel threatens to produce atomic warhead for missiles," citing the channel’s message: "Iran can immediately return to Emad project and build an atomic bomb if Natanz facilities are attacked."
The Emad is Iran's first precision-guided, long-range, surface-to-surface ballistic missile.
An IRGC-linked media group’s Telegram channel published a video titled "When Will Iran's Sleeping Nuclear Warheads Awaken." It announced that Iran will quickly develop nuclear weapons “if the US or the Zionist regime [Israel] make any stupid mistakes."
It added that Iran’s Emad missiles are capable of "turning New York into hellish ruins" when topped with a nuclear warhead.
Who needs to hijack a commercial airliner when you have an intercontinental ballistic missile at your disposal?
And the ties between Iran and al-Qaida’s next presumed leader have only strengthened since Biden entered the White House, bungled the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and sent feelers to Iran that he wants a do-over on the Iran-nuke deal.
"When the U.S. government enriches Iranian terrorists through sanctions relief or a lack of enforcement, that money ultimately goes back to support al Qaeda," Gabriel Noronha, a senior Iran adviser for the State Department during the Trump administration, told the Free Beacon.
"We know that Saif al-Adel has not just been living in Iran for most of the past 20 years — he's been hosted there by the regime along with other al-Qaida operatives.
Since 2015, the Iranian regime has allowed al-Qaida to establish an operational headquarters in the country, providing them with documents, passports, funding, and logistical support like safe houses.”
Last week Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, told Newsmax that taking out al-Zawahri was proof that al-Qaida was still a major presence in Afghanistan.
"That's a really bad morning for this leader of al-Qaida, but it does go to show that al-Qaida is very comfortable in Afghanistan, and they've been undisturbed for far too long," she said on "Wake Up America.”
As an indication of just how "comfortable" al-Qaida was and is in Afghanistan, Al-Zawahri was killed at the home of a New York Times contributor.
Ernst continued, "The fact that he was able to reside right there in the capital city with the Taliban all around goes to show that of course, with the precipitous withdrawal in Afghanistan, we left a lot of unfinished business."
But now al-Qaida has become what appears to be a more serious threat.
The legendary rock group The Who’s hit song "Won’t Get Fooled Again" closes with the line: "Meet the new boss; Same as the old boss."
Nope. This one looks to be way worse than the old boss.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to Newsmax. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter. Read Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here.
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