Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
How do you keep the music playing...
When al-Qaida keeps undermining the fundamental argument of your campaign ...
Bin Laden's deputy says Iran trying to undermine al-Qaida

By LEE KEATH, Associated Press Writer

CAIRO, Egypt - Al-Qaida's No. 2 leader issued a new audiotape Tuesday accusing Shiite Iran of spreading a conspiracy theory about who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks to discredit the power of the Sunni terrorist network.

Ayman al-Zawahri, Osama bin Laden's deputy, has stepped up his denunciations of Iran in recent messages in part to depict al-Qaida as the Arabs' top defense against the Persian nation's rising power in the Middle East.

The increasing enmity toward Iran is a notable change of rhetoric from al-Zawahri, who in the past rarely mentioned the country — apparently in a hopes he would be able to forge some sort of understanding with Tehran based on their common rivalry with the United States. Iran has long sought to distance itself from al-Qaida.

Doh!!!
How could they do it to ya, John???
"Al-Zawahri wanted to work with Iran, but he's deeply disappointed that Iran has not cooperated with al-Qaida," said Rohan Gunaratna, a terrorism expert and author of "Inside al-Qaida: The Global Network of Terror."

So now, al-Zawahri "wants to appeal to the anti-Shiite, anti-Iran sentiments in the Arab and Muslim world," said Gunaratna, head of the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research in Singapore.

Al-Zawahri appeared intent on exploiting widespread worry in the Arab world over Iran's influence, particularly in Iraq, to garner support for al-Qaida. At the same time, he sought to denigrate Iran's ally Hezbollah, which has gained some popularity even among Sunnis in the region for its fight against Israel.

Al-Zawahri's comments came in a two-hour audio posted on an Islamic militant Web site, the second message in weeks in which he answered hundreds of questions sent to the site by al-Qaida sympathizers and others. ...
So wait ... al-Qaida hates Hezbollah, too??? Oh, dear, that's gonna upset Lieberman...

("Psst!... John ... can we start bombing Iran yet?" "Patience Joe ... Patience...)

Oh wait, there's more...
... in many of his answers, al-Zawahri went out of his way to criticize Iran. He said the Iraqi insurgent umbrella group led by al-Qaida, called the Islamic State of Iraq, is "the primary force opposing the Crusaders (the United States) and challenging Iranian ambitions" in Iraq.

One questioner asked about the theory that has circulated in the Middle East and elsewhere that Israel was behind the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Al-Zawahri accused Hezbollah's Al-Manar television of starting the rumor. "The purpose of this lie is clear — (to suggest) that there are no heroes among the Sunnis who can hurt America as no else did in history. Iranian media snapped up this lie and repeated it," he said.

"Iran's aim here is also clear — to cover up its involvement with America in invading the homes of Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq," he added. Iran cooperated with the United States in the 2001 U.S. assault on Afghanistan that toppled al-Qaida's allies, the Taliban.

And now for the big finish:
... the change in tone could be because of al-Qaida's failure to win the release of al-Qaida figures detained by Iran since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, including al-Qaida security chief Saif al-Adel and two of bin Laden's sons.

Gunaratna said that up to 200 al-Qaida figures and their families are under house arrest in Iran and that Tehran has rejected al-Qaida attempts to negotiate their release.

Al-Qaida doesn't have the strength to launch attacks in Iran, but it intends to do so "in the future," he said. "If al-Qaida becomes strong in Iraq ... Iran believes al-Qaida in Iraq could become a major threat."
Al-Qaida has previously claimed responsibility for the Sept. 11 attacks.

In an audiotape last week, al-Zawahri denounced what he called Iran's expansionist plans, saying Tehran aims to annex southern Iraq and Shiite areas of the eastern Arabian Peninsula as well as strengthen ties to its followers in southern Lebanon. He warned that if Iran achieves its goals, it will "explode the situation in an already exploding region."
So al-Qaida is not only NOT cooperating with Iran, it intends to "strike it in the near future..." and Iran is not only NOT arming, training or helping al-Qaida (a ridiculous notion repeatedly put forward ... accidentally...??? ... by John McCain and his neocon friends) ... they are detaining al-Qaida prisoners?

Recall that in his testimony, General Petraeus declared that the biggest threat to the U.S. inside Iraq is Iran. But John McCain and the neocons claim the biggest threat to the U.S. inside Iraq is al-Qaida (all 1,000 of them...) so which is it, and if they're not working together, as John McCain would have the American people believe, is one of them more or less working in line with our interests? And if al-Qaida, wherever they are, including the franchises like al-Qaida in Iraq, constitute our single worst enemy, then isn't the enemy of our enemy ... Iran ... kind of on our side?

Does your head hurt, too?

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posted by JReid @ 3:56 PM  
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