Tuesday, December 21, 2004


Iranian Plans

Debka has an interesting analysis of potential Iranian-sponsored attacks on Israeli embassies worldwide. Whether you agree with their assessment or not, I think it raises certain issues that are worth your time. Herewith, a brief - and partial, so read the entire Debka article, please - fisking:

Of particular concern are the close ties evolving between Iranian intelligence and al Qaeda cells based inside the Islamic republic. US intelligence sources have learned that Khamenei in person has created a new clandestine umbrella organization for bringing together as an arm of his bureau all the al Qaeda-linked groups and likeminded movements.

As noted previously on this blog (e.g. here and here), terrorist cells are being cut off from their all-important central base, without which they are helpless. That makes them a "lost" resource just waiting for the first opportunistic power-broker to take advantage of the situation. I had wondered how long it would take someone to move in and try to take control of the now largely leaderless cells; now I know.

US intelligence experts are certain that data gathered for Tehran by the captured Iranian surveillance team may well have reached al Qaeda, some of it passed deliberately. Osama bin Laden’s organization is believed to be plotting a major attack in the United States. The Islamic Republic is in the habit of using proxies for its terror campaigns, like the Lebanese Hizballah against Israeli targets. That Al Qaeda operatives are harbored in Iran and run cells in many countries make it a natural partner-in-terror.

Al Qaeda hates Shiites, describing them as worse than Jews; strong words in the Middle East, and sincerely believed by the AQ crowd. Iran is majority Shiite. That the Iranian mullahs want to work with these guys, and vice-versa, is indicative of the desperate nature of their current respective situations.
The US interrogation of the Iranian surveillance team and sightings of other watchers have led Israeli intelligence and security chiefs to conclude that Tehran was plotting simultaneous terrorist strikes across America and other parts of the world, blowing up Israeli missions and Jewish centers and taking hostages in several places at once. The captured team may even have been feeding deeply buried terrorist cells set up to carry out this string of assaults and still at large.

This is a very bold plan for a regime that is hated by its own people, staring down the most effective army ever, now on its borders. Would they dare launch such an attack unless they felt they had the nukes to back it up?
My overall impression is that the mullahs, their backs to the wall, are making an alliance of desperation with AQ, and betting everything on a nuke threat. I sincerely hope that's wrong.