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Rumsfeld Renews Charges of al-Qaida Activities in Iran - 2003-05-21

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has voiced fresh charges about the presence and activities of al-Qaida terrorists in Iran.

One day after insisting there are al-Qaida operatives hiding in Iran, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld elaborated by identifying some of them as "senior" members of the terrorist group.

In a brief exchange with reporters at the Pentagon with Bahrain's visiting Crown Prince, Mr. Rumsfeld also said these al-Qaida leaders have been busy.

"There's no question but that there have been and are today senior al-Qaida leaders in Iran and they're busy," said the defense secretary.

He offered no details. But on Monday, Mr. Rumsfeld hinted these al-Qaida operatives may have played a critical role in directing last week's suicide bombings in Saudi Arabia.

Iran has rejected Mr. Rumsfeld's accusations as unfounded.