News / Middle East

US Targets Top al-Qaida Operatives in Iran

Iran-based senior al-Qaida facilitator and financier, Muhsin al-FadhliIran-based senior al-Qaida facilitator and financier, Muhsin al-Fadhli
x
Iran-based senior al-Qaida facilitator and financier, Muhsin al-Fadhli
Iran-based senior al-Qaida facilitator and financier, Muhsin al-Fadhli
Mana Rabiee
The U.S. State Department's decision to offer a reward of up to $12 million for information leading to the location of the top two al-Qaida operatives in Iran is seen as a sign of how serious Washington is about curtailing the group's activities in Iran.

The move came the same day the U.S. Treasury Department called the terror network headed by both men a “crucial source” of al-Qaida funding and support.

A reward of $7 million is being offered for information on the whereabouts of Muhsin al-Fadhi, a Kuwaiti national described by the State Department as “al-Qaida’s senior leader” in Iran.

He is wanted by the U.S. for providing “financial and material support” to the al-Zarqawi terror network and to al-Qaida in Iran.

Al-Fadhi is also reported to have been among the few trusted al-Qaida operatives who received advance notice of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.

In its announcement Thursday, the State Department said al-Fadhi uses his “extensive network of Kuwaiti jihadist donors” to send money and fighters via Turkey to support al-Qaida affiliated elements in Syria.

Adel Radi Saqr al-Wahabi al-Harbi, an Iran-based senior al-Qaida facilitator, serves as the deputy to Muhsin al-Fadhli. A $5 million reward was also announced for al-Fadhi's deputy, Adel Radi Saqr al-Wahabi al-Harbi.

The U.S. wants al-Harbi, a Saudi national, for facilitating the “travel of extremists” to Afghanistan or Iraq via Iran, the State Department says.

Jonathan Schanzen, vice president of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington and a former U.S. Treasury analyst, says the rewards demonstrate “a seriousness of purpose."

“It also may be an attempt to draw in the Iranian people,” Schanzen said. “In other words, when you have a reward out there and you’ve got a suffering population inside Iran that been under the weight of sanctions, the idea that you would bring in $12 million by simply identifying somebody you probably don’t even want to be on your soil, that could be an appealing prospect.”

Al-Harbi also was hit with sanctions from the Treasury department. Last year, the agency placed similar sanctions against his boss, al-Fadhi.

Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen said the sanctions against both men “further expose al-Qaida’s critically important Iran-based funding and facilitation network.”

Thursday’s coordinated moves by the State and Treasury departments put pressure on U.S. partners in the region - specifically Kuwait and Qatar -  to help constrain al-Qaida in Iran, says Mathew Levitt, a former Treasury Department counterterrorism expert.

“There was a time when Saudi Arabia was our biggest terror finance concern in the region and there’s certainly more that the Saudis can do but they’ve done a lot,” Levitt told VOA Thursday. “I would say that today, and I know I’m not the only one that’s saying it, that Qatar and Kuwait are larger concerns in the Gulf.”

Levitt says the move also opens the way for similar sanctions by the international community.

"You can, and I would expect, that we will be going to the United Nations and seeking for United Nations designation," he says. "You can’t do that with all groups. The United Nations is only able to designate individuals or groups that are tied to al-Qaida or the Taliban, but this would be something that would clearly fit.”

Little intelligence has been publicly released connecting Iran to al-Qaida.

But the U.S. and intelligence analysts say Iran has agreed to allow al-Qaida operatives and their families to move through the country - essentially providing the group with a safe haven, according to a Brookings Institution report in July.

In exchange, said the Treasury statement Thursday, al-Qaida agrees not to conduct “any operations or within Iranian territory and recruiting operatives inside Iran while keeping Iranian authorities informed of their activities.”

You May Like

Multimedia In US, Decision Expected Soon in Racially Charged Case

Missouri town, many Americans on edge over whether jurors will indict white police officer in August shooting death of unarmed black teen More

Corruption Fighters Want More From World’s Strongest Nations

Anti-corruption activists say final communique fell short of expectations and failed to fully address systemic problems More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
October 24, 2012 9:05 AM
It seems plain that the State Department has taken to a strategy, much like the Iraq WMD fiasco, except, instead of WMDs it is using al-quaida as the "red herring". BTW who supplied stinger missiles to al-quaida in Syria? Deja vu you State Department dummies?


by: oortcloud from: UK
October 22, 2012 8:41 AM
It wouldn't appear to make much sense if Iran is allowing Al Qaeda to support the Syrian rebels from within its territory. In response to Firstcia, the US is generally regarded as having given some support to Saddam in his war against Iran.


by: Anonymous
October 22, 2012 2:30 AM
SO CAN SOME ONE EXPLAIN WHY IRAN SHOULD HELP AL-QAIDA TO FIGHT BASHAR ASSAD? WASNT US SAYING IRAN IS SENDING TROOPS TO SUPPORT ASSAD? I DON'T GET IT!

you guys know nothing about the region


by: musawi melake
October 20, 2012 9:09 PM
The need for Iranians to have nuclear capability is being heightened with these kinds of US activities. Iran at the same point in history as The Red-China was during the Korean war, when the US threatened overtly with nuclear attack. What happened later and the status enjoyed by China now is history. So, the Iranians should speed-up their progress to become the most dominant power in the region, bypassing Israel.

In Response

by: Dr. Malek Towghi (Baluch) from: USA
October 21, 2012 3:30 AM
Yes, Iran has a good chance to become a great power and a prosperous country in the region BUT only after having normal non-antagonistic relations with the US and Israel, after allowing the Greens led by Mir Hussein Mousavi to come (through elections) to power and manage the country , and after shunning the idea (if any) of being armed with nuclear weapons.

Romney's election as President will definitely frustrate the chances of rapprochement with Iran. Iranians are well aware of the 'love-affair' between the NeoCons and Pakistan. A fanatic Sunni Pakistan armed with nuclear weapons and supported by the super rich Sunni world will force Iran to become a nuclear power. Hence, the civilized world including Russia should take the need for the denuclearization of Pakistan SERIOUSLY.


by: Liberate Iran from: UK
October 20, 2012 7:43 PM
now that Iran is hosting top Al Qaida operatives... we need to do more to bring about its repulsive theocratic regime to a decisive and uncompromising destruction.

In Response

by: Anonymous
October 21, 2012 10:04 AM
Liberate Iran from UK? USA you mean.


by: Anonymous
October 20, 2012 5:04 PM
Nice! USA and Iran are allies.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pg4IMXTxzQI


by: Matilda Smith from: Oragon, USA.
October 20, 2012 3:59 PM
the article pointed at this terrorist as having used his “extensive network of Kuwaiti jihadist donors”... I ask, didn't we liberate Kuwait from the brutality of Saddam??? why would Kuwait have an extensive list of Muslim donors that intend US harm??? I begin to think that "Islam" is a far more than just a "peaceful religion"...


by: Mark J. from: Orlando, FL
October 20, 2012 3:33 PM
So let me understand this. America thinks Iran is secretly building a nuclear bomb correct? and yet America now knows that al-Quada is working in Iran and puts a bounty on the top leader. This don't make any sense to me. why is there even sanctions on Iran is 1 they're not working

In Response

by: putzdinger from: Oregon,USA
October 22, 2012 1:04 PM
Mark, I don't follow you. What do apples have to do with oranges? Yes, we know Iran is trying to build a nuke but somehow you think that, at the same time, we shouldn't put a bounty on the head of al-Qaeda's top dog in Iran? Why not? Why does one negate the other?Why doesn't it make sense to you? And you ask why we should apply sanctions when they're not working? How do you know what negative effect sanctions are having on Ahmadinejad and his mullahs? I'll bet Iranians are mad as hell at those kooks whose evil ambitions are isolating their nation. I await your reply and thank you.

In Response

by: Firstcia
October 21, 2012 10:04 AM
makes perfect sense. USA and Iran were always hidden allies. They never fought a war. All USA enemies are enemies of Iran. Be it Saddam's Iraq, or Sunnis. The USA handed shia Iran shia Iraq on a silver plate. Remember Iran-contra affair? No? You are too young to know that. I am a Cold War vet. American policy was always not negotiating with terrorists yet so much US military equipment was supplied. Even nowadays the US supplies Iran with weapons and spare parts via 3d parties:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16899097/ns/us_news-military/t/pentagon-stops-f--parts-sales-iran/


by: Nancy Smith
October 20, 2012 10:27 AM
$12M, much cheaper than the few $BILLION$ we squandered on Afghanistan and Pakistan. Is the administration actually starting to count their pennies?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Faminei
X
Daniel Schearf
November 23, 2014 4:32 PM
During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video Law Enforcement, Activists in Ferguson Agree to Keep Peace

Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, say they have agreed with protest leaders to maintain peace when a grand jury reaches its decision on whether to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of a black teenager. Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, has been the scene of intermittent violence since the August 9 shooting intensified long-simmering antagonism between the police and the African-American community. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid