al-Qaeda's Secret Ties with Iran

New Docs Reveal Osama bin Laden's Secret Ties With Iran

Thomas Joscelyn

This week, prosecutors in New York introduced eight documents recovered in Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan as evidence in the trial of a terrorism suspect. The U.S. government accuses Abid Naseer of taking part in al Qaeda’s scheme to attack targets in Europe and New York City. And prosecutors say the documents are essential for understanding the scope of al Qaeda’s plotting.

More than 1 million documents and files were captured by the Navy Seals who raided bin Laden’s safe house in Abbottabad, Pakistan in May 2011. One year later, in May 2012, the Obama administration released just 17 of them.

While there is some overlap between the files introduced as evidence in Brooklyn and those that were previously made public in 2012, much of what is in the trial exhibits had never been made public before.

The files do not support the view, promoted by some in the Obama administration, that bin Laden was in “comfortable retirement,” “sidelined,” or “a lion in winter” in the months leading up to his death. On the contrary, bin Laden is asked to give his order on a host of issues, ranging from the handling of money to the movement of terrorist operatives.

Some of the key revelations in the newly-released bin Laden files relate to al Qaeda’s dealings with Iran and presence in Afghanistan.

For the rest of this story please click here--

 

Obama’s Failure

Stephen F. Hayes

Barack Obama wants us all to simmer down about Iran. He wants Senator Bob Menendez, a fellow Democrat, and the donors he represents to butt out of the sanctions debate. He wants Republicans to quit crying wolf about Iran’s nuclear weapons program. He wants the media to stop hyping terror threats. He wants the American people in the dark about the secret correspondence he’s had for years with Iran’s supreme leader. He wants John Boehner to be mindful of protocol. And most of all, he wants Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop questioning his accommodationist approach to Tehran. 

With the breezy confidence that is his trademark, the president has repeatedly delivered a reassuring message on Iran to the country and the world: Trust me.

With respect, Mr. President: No.

From the earliest moments of his first term, Obama sought to convince the country that threats from our erstwhile enemies were overblown. He forged an approach to jihadist attacks and rogue regimes meant to be a stark contrast from that of his predecessor. He ended the war on terror, quietly sought rapprochement with radical Islamist movements like the Muslim Brotherhood and the Taliban, and ostentatiously undertook a more conciliatory approach to terror-sponsoring regimes like Syria and Iran.

Notwithstanding periodic drone strikes on bad guys, Obama has demonstrated repeatedly that his instinct is to ignore, dismiss, or downplay threats to the United States and its interests and allies. The record over six years is a long list of mistaken judgments, awkward euphemisms, and false assurances.

To read the rest of this story please click here--

And you probably read this months ago, but 

Al Qaeda Wasn’t ‘on the Run’
Why haven’t we seen the documents retrieved in the bin Laden raid?

Steve Hayes

The initial scrub took several weeks. It was never meant to be comprehensive. “It was more data-mining than analysis,” says one intelligence official with knowledge of the project. Researchers and analysts searched the documents for key names, phone numbers, and addresses that could be used by U.S. troops to target senior al Qaeda leaders. In subsequent congressional testimony, James Clapper, director of national intelligence, reported that there were “over 400 intelligence reports that were issued in the initial aftermath immediately after the raid.”

Then the document exploitation stopped. According to sources with detailed knowledge of the handling of the documents, the CIA did little to build on the project after the initial burst of intelligence reports. 

Officials at the Defense Intelligence Agency and CENTCOM responsible for providing analysis to U.S. troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan wanted to study the documents. But the CIA had “executive authority” over the collection and blocked any outside access to them. 

The ensuing bureaucratic fight, reminiscent of the intragovernment battles that led to the reorganization of the intelligence community after 9/11, unfolded over the spring and fall of 2011. It was resolved, at least temporarily, when then-CIA director David Petraeus weighed in on behalf of the team from CENTCOM and the DIA, a move that did little to improve his standing with the CIA bureaucracy. Petraeus was angry when he learned that the CIA hadn’t been actively exploiting the documents, and as the former head of CENTCOM, he was sympathetic to the pleas from military intelligence. The dispute made its way to Clapper, who met with representatives of the warring agencies and agreed that DIA and CENTCOM should be allowed to study the documents.

For the rest of this story please click here-- 

 

House approves measure to deny Iranian diplomat visa for UN

The House of Representatives ok'd a bill by unanimous consent to deny a visa for Hamid Aboutalebi. Iran has appointed Aboutalebi to be its Ambassador to the United Nations. But he was a player in the Iranian uprising which seized the US Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and took American hostage for 444 days.

The Senate approved by unanimous consent a measure to deny a visa for Aboutalebi earlier this week. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) crafted the plan.

More on this story tonight from correspondent Eric Shawn on Special Report--

 

 

Kerry's testimony on Iran nuclear deal: what to expect

--The hearing is slotted for 3 hours and there should be votes on the House floor around 4 pm et.
 
--House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the top Democrat on the panel, will have opening   statements which each run five minutes.
 
--Kerry will then have a five-minute opening statement...but could go longer.
 
--Each member will get one round of 5 minutes with Kerry after that, starting with Royce and Engel and then alternating between the sides.
 
--We also expect some comments and questions on uprisings in Ukraine.
 
--Members from both sides of the aisle are not pleased with the Iran deal and Kerry is imploring Congress (especially the Senate) to not impose a new sanctions regime on Tehran for fear that would blow up the accord brokered in Geneva.

Senator Saxby Chambliss on Special Report!

Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, will join Bret Baier on set for an exclusive interview tonight. 

They will discuss today’s meeting on Iran between President Obama and a bipartisan group of Senators. We will also ask Senator Chambliss about the reported letter the President plans to send the Afghan people acknowledging mistakes made during the 'war on terror' to be presented ahead of a key vote by tribal elders later this week.

Don't miss Special Report w/ Bret Baier tonight at 6pmET on Fox News Channel! What would you ask Senator Chambliss? Tweet us @BretBaier or share with us on Facebook at facebook.com/bretbaiersr and your name and question might just end up on our air! 

US Exposes Iranian Shipping Scheme

 

 

UNITED STATES EXPOSES IRANIAN SHIPPING SCHEME

Action Identifies Individual, Companies and Vessels

Working to Conceal Iran’s Sales of Oil

 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today imposed sanctions on a Greek businessman, Dr. Dimitris Cambis, who helped Iran evade international oil sanctions.  Through several of his front companies, Cambis used Iranian funds to purchase oil tankers and disguised the Iranian origin of oil transported on these vessels.  Cambis, and all of the companies listed today, have been identified as acting on behalf of the Government of Iran and are subject to sanctions pursuant to Executive Order 13599, which blocks the property of the Government of Iran.  The Department of State is taking concurrent action today against Cambis under the Iran Sanctions Act as amended by the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 (TRA).

“Today we are lifting the veil on an intricate Iranian scheme that was designed to evade international oil sanctions,” said Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen.  “We will continue to expose deceptive Iranian practices, and to sanction those individuals and entities who participate in these schemes.”

Cambis, President of Impire Shipping Limited (Impire), established his shipping company, as well as several front companies, to purchase oil tankers while disguising the fact that the tankers were being purchased on behalf of the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC).  These front companies were used to obscure the fact that these vessels, which are capable of carrying roughly 200 million dollars worth of oil per shipment, are the property of the Iranian government.  Another front company, Libra Shipping, operates the vessels Cambis and Impire purchased on behalf of NITC with the aim of loading them with Iranian oil supplied by the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).  These operations are conducted through a series of ship-to-ship transfers in an attempt to mask the fact that the true origin of the oil is from Iran and to introduce it into the global market as if it were non-Iranian oil.  In December 2012, for example, NITC and Impire completed a ship-to-ship transfer of Iranian oil off Khor Fakkah, U.A.E.  These operations are a clear example of NITC’s ongoing business practices designed to deceive the international community and evade sanctions.  To date, Treasury has identified 58 vessels as blocked property in which NITC has an interest.

Today, Treasury is also identifying the eight tankers purchased by Cambis on behalf of NITC, the eight front companies that nominally own them, as well as a network of Iranian government front companies that provided some of the funds that Impire Shipping Company used to purchase vessels for NITC.  This network of Iranian government front companies includes Sima General Trading, Polinex General Trading, Asia Energy General Trading and Synergy General Trading.

Sima General Trading Company and Asia Energy General Trading have each made payments of more than $100 million to Impire.  Polinex General Trading Company has also supplied money to Impire for the purchase of oil tankers.

This network of UAE-based Iranian government front companies has conducted business on behalf of previously sanctioned entities such as Naftiran Intertrade Company (NICO) Sarl, which was identified as a Government of Iran entity in 2008.  Sima General Trading and Asia Energy General Trading conduct business on behalf of NICO Sarl, and NICO Sarl has made payments to Synergy General Trading.  Additionally, Hong Kong Intertrade Company, which was identified as a front company for NICO or NIOC in July 2012, has made payments to Polinex General Trading.

U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with Dimitris Cambis or the entities blocked pursuant to E.O. 13599, and any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction are blocked.

What will President Obama's second term look like?

More on this tonight on Special Report including the President Obama's cabinet-- who will stay and who will go? And what challenges lie ahead for the president and his administration? 


 


Also, the latest news on a breaking story--a US military drone fired upon last week by Iran over international waters-- why are we just learning about this now? And Catherine Herridge with a Benghazi update for us all at 6pm ET on Special Report!


 


Please follow Bret on Twitter @BretBaier-- we are so close to 300,000 followers!


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