The U.S. Department of Treasury has announced the designation of several Iran-based al-Qaida agents and their facilitators which are part of a network “operating under an agreement between al-Qa’ida and the Iranian government.” The action, which targets Iran’s government as a supporter of al-Qaida, follows closely the Iranian designation of 26 major American figures for their “war on Islam.”
“Today’s action, taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, demonstrates that Iran is a critical transit point for funding to support al-Qa’ida’s activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” a Treasury news release said. “This network serves as the core pipeline through which al-Qa’ida moves money, facilitators and operatives from across the Middle East to South Asia, including to Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, a key al-Qa’ida leader based in Pakistan, also designated today.”
The designations included Ezedin Abdel Aziz Khalil, a senior al-Qaida facilitator and handler working directly with Iran’s government; Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, al-Qaida’s overall commander of Pakistan’s tribal area; Umid Muhammadi, a key facilitator of al-Qaida in Iraq; Salim Hasan Khalifa Rashid al-Kuwari, a Qatar-based fundraiser of al-Qaida’s Iranian activities; Abdallah Ghanim Mafuz Muslim al-Khawar, another Qatar-based extremist fundraising for al-Qaida and facilitating the movement of individuals to Afghanistan; and, ‘Ali Hasan ‘Ali al-‘Ajmi, a Kuwait-based associate of Khalil who has provided financial support to al-Qaida and its affiliates.
Notably, the list did not include information about senior al-Qaida leader Saif al-Adel, who is rumored to operate out of Iran orPakistan.
“Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world today. By exposing Iran’s secret deal with al-Qa’ida allowing it to funnel funds and operatives through its territory, we are illuminating yet another aspect of Iran’s unmatched support for terrorism,” said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen.
The designations are the latest steps in America’s campaign against Iranian support for terror and uranium enrichment. The action also follows Iran’s designation of 26 American senior military and political figures, including former U.S. civilian administrator of Iraq Paul Bremer and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. In 2007, Iran placed the U.S. military and the C.I.A. on the nation’s list of “terrorist organizations.”