Is Muhsin al-Fadhli, the Khorasan leader with a $7 million dollar price tag on his head, ultimately responsible for successfully soliciting Iran’s alleged cooperation in the al-Qaeda attacks against the United States on 9/11/01?
Prior to the United States’ Tuesday strike on al-Qaeda sub group Khorasan, American officials warned that the terror outfit, which has been given safe haven in Syria by the AQ-affiliated Nusra Front, has become as severe a threat to U.S. interests as the Islamic State.
Last week, U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said bluntly, “In terms of threat to the homeland, Khorasan may pose as much of a danger as the Islamic State.”
In 2012, the U.S. State Department announced a reward of $7 million dollars for information leading to the location of Muhsin al-Fadhli, who is recognized as the leader of the al-Qaeda sub group Khorasan. At the time, Fadhli was believed to be a chief operative of al-Qaeda in Iran, a terror entity largely given a free pass by Tehran to operate in their country.
Khorasan, however, is a relatively unconventional Sunni terror group because they have reportedly sought cooperation with the Iranian regime. The Islamic State, on the other hand, describes Shia Muslims as Rafida, or apostates, who reject true Islam.
In 2013, an intelligence assessment stated that Khorasan leader al-Fadhli “now plays a key role in advancing plans for attacks by al-Qaeda from Syria, in accordance with Iran’s interests.”
Fadhli, who was once a trusted associate of deceased AQ leader Osama bin Laden, and is now reportedly a close confidant of AQ leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, was one of the few AQ members who was given advance notice of the 9/11 attacks, according to the State Department.
Many, including former U.S. President George W. Bush have noted the substantial ties between AQ and the Ayatollah’s regime in Tehran.
Additionally, multiple members of President Bush’s 9/11 Commission filed affidavits determining that Iran’s direct cooperation with the AQ hijackers “constituted … direct support for al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks.”
Middle East expert Kenneth Timmerman documented the substantial connections between al-Qaeda’s 9/11 jihadis and the government of Iran. He wrote, “Secret intelligence reports detailed the travels of about 10 of the hijackers into Iran and back and forth into Afghanistan from October 2000 through February 2001, where they were whisked through border controls without ever getting their passports stamped.”
In May, The Long War Journal‘s Thomas Joscelyn described al-Fadhli as a member of al-Qaeda’s “core,” the group directly responsible for the September 11 attacks. Additionally, in January, Joscelyn documented how Iran continues to let senior AQ operatives, including al-Fadhli, roam their country free of worry.
Will Khorasan and Muhsin al-Fadhli, as al-Qaeda’s premier bridge to Iran, end up refocusing the international spotlight on the atrocities committed by the Ayatollah’s regime in Tehran?