Explosive New Bin Laden Evidence

This is a partial transcript of Special Report with Brit Hume, November 20, that has been edited for clarity.

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BRIT HUME, HOST: One of the continuing mysteries of the war on terror is the whereabouts of Usama bin Laden (search). One person with extensive contacts in his -- in that part of the world, including sources within intelligence agencies in various nations is FNC foreign affairs analyst Mansoor Ijaz, who joins us tonight from London with information that may provide some answers. Mansoor, welcome. What have you found?

MANSOOR IJAZ, FOX NEWS FOREIGN AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, Brit, tonight I can report from my intelligence sources, I consider unimpeachable intelligence sources, that we have eyewitness accounts that both Usama bin Laden, in a modified, disguised form, as well as Ayman al-Zawahiri, the number two in al Qaeda, are, in fact, in Iran.

They were sighted there. Bin Laden was sighted there in July of this year. You will remember that when President Pervez Musharraf (search) came to Washington on his state visit, he said without any hesitation that he had sent his own army into the northern tribal areas to try and ferret out...

HUME: That's Musharraf of Pakistan.

IJAZ: That's correct. And that was an extraordinary admission at the time, one that I could not understand how he could make if bin Laden, in fact, was still in that area. Well, it turns out that it was around that time that bin Laden moved from the Afghan-Pakistani border into Iran.

Now, Ayman Zawahiri has also been seen, as recently, according to my source, as recently as within the last 10 days in Iran planning and plotting various terrorist attacks, not just against U.S. interests, but against other countries as well.

HUME: Now Iran, of course, acknowledges none of this.

IJAZ: Yeah.

HUME: What are these -- you mentioned earlier that -- that bin Laden was in disguise. Do you know anything about what he now looks like?

IJAZ: Yes. Let me give you a brief description of both, what I've been told about bin Laden is that he has shaved his head bald. He is wearing a beard that is much more close to his face than it was before. He has changed the color of that beard so that it looks much more like that of an Iranian cleric. He has put on quite a bit of weight, from what I understand.

And I've been told that Ayman al-Zawahiri has done something similar, where he's now wearing instead of the white traditional turban that he wore as an Egyptian cleric, he is now wearing a black turban. He is wearing, again, a beard that is now dyed a dark color so that he looks more like an Iranian cleric than he does the way he did before.

HUME: And are these men believed to be together or staying apart from each other? What do we know about that?

IJAZ: Well, my understanding is that Zawahiri is moving around quite freely. The idea of the Iranian clerics was to keep bin Laden more in sort of the nebulous never-neverland, not letting him be seen very often.

It is also my understanding that the Revolutionary Guard of Iran has now arranged for at least three to four body doubles that are making their way around in different parts of Afghanistan and maybe even Pakistan, and visibly showing him at various times to see whether or not they can fool people into thinking he is somewhere else.

But I can tell you with unimpeachability tonight that he is on the western border of Iran, inside Iran, planning terrorist attacks against the United States' interests in that part of the world.

HUME: Now, why would the Iranian authorities, and indeed which Iranian authorities, why would they permit this?

IJAZ: Yeah. Shortly after -- I've been told that shortly after the terrorist attacks on September 11, the Iranians came to the conclusion that the United States would go after the Taliban (search), that there was going to be a problem with Iraq as well, and, therefore, they wanted to make sure that these democratic bookends that we were going to put around them, both in Afghanistan and in Iraq, would be countered by their providing safe harbor and logistical support as well as finances for Al Qaeda to be able to operate freely from Iranian soil.

Now, that is precisely, exactly how it has unfolded. And I can also tell you tonight, excuse me, I can also tell you tonight that an Afghanistan warlord, who was one of the warlords in Afghanistan that controls the western seven provinces, he is now planning with Iran and with Al Qaeda to bring a large army of Revolutionary Guard people into Afghanistan during the winter months to attack U.S. interests there and try to take control of the entire country, because Iran does not want to see us succeed in building a democracy in Afghanistan under any circumstances.

HUME: Why would the winter months be chosen for such an undertaking? Wouldn't it be harder to travel into those -- into and through those mountainous regions?

IJAZ: It is if you are someone other than this Afghanistan warlord, who knows those areas very well and who would now have enormous logistical support from the Iranian army that has to patrol those areas on its own. In other words, Iranian technology is now being used to help the Afghan warlords to take over the country from Hamid Karzai (search).

HUME: This is obviously explosive, extraordinary information, Mansoor.

IJAZ: Yes. Yes.

HUME: What level of any of knowledge does the U.S. government have of any of this?

IJAZ: Well, Brit, I think the way I have to put that is that it is probably likely that certain segments of our government have this information, that they are analyzing and processing this information. But it was my judgment that it was vitally important for the broader part of our government's decision-making apparatus to know exactly what it is that's going on there, because it's very clear that the Iranians are trying desperately to not only hang on to power, but to fuel the terrorist enterprise in that part of the world.

HUME: Well, it is striking information, Mansoor. Just quickly, one last question. You are absolutely confident of your sources?

IJAZ: I can just tell you that the source is unimpeachable. It is from inside Iran. These are eyewitness accounts. They are from the intelligence framework. No question about it.

HUME: All right, Mansoor Ijaz, thanks very much.

IJAZ: Thank you.

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