Saturday, June 25, 2005

Top Al Qaeda Management
Under House Arrest In Iran?
Including ...?


From Jihad Watch:


Somewhere north of Tehran, living perhaps in villas near the town of Chalous on the Caspian Sea coast, are between 20 and 25 of al-Qaida’s former leaders, along with two of Osama bin Laden’s sons.

Men such as Saif al-Adel, the former military commander of al-Qaida, and Suleiman Abu Ghaith, the bespectacled bin Laden spokesman, are not in hiding but rather in the care — or custody — of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

“They are under virtual house arrest,” not able to do much of anything, said one senior U.S. intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

How they got there and what will happen to them is one of the more intriguing stories of the war on terror, one that is filled with secret movements, stolen communications and a failed attempt at a prisoner exchange involving Iranian dissidents.

“We believe that they're holding members of al-Qaida's management council,” Fran Townsend, President Bush’s counterterrorism czar, said of Iran.

In an interview with Tom Brokaw two weeks ago, she added: “And we have encouraged and suggested that they ought to try them, they ought to admit freely that they're there — which they have not done — that they're holding them. Or they ought to return them to their countries of origin, which they've also been unwilling to do.”


I wonder if that has anything to do with this enigmatic announcement earlier this week from Porter Goss:


NEW YORK (AP) -- The director of the CIA says he has an ''excellent idea'' where Osama bin Laden is hiding, but that the United States' respect for sovereign nations makes it more difficult to capture the al-Qaida chief.

In an interview with Time for the magazine's June 27 issue, Porter Goss was asked about the progress of the hunt for bin Laden.

''When you go to the question of dealing with sanctuaries in sovereign states, you're dealing with a problem of our sense of international obligation, fair play,'' Goss said. ''We have to find a way to work in a conventional world in unconventional ways.''

Asked whether that meant he knew where bin Laden is, Goss responded: ''I have an excellent idea where he is. What's the next question?''