Iranian Immigrant Arrested for Shipping Military Secrets to Tehran

via U.S.-Iranian Citizen Arrested for Shipping Military Secrets to Tehran :: The Investigative Project on Terrorism.

A criminal complaint charged Mozaffar Khazaee (aka Arash Khazaie) of shipping secret copyrighted documents relating to the U.S. Air Force’s F35 Joint Strike Fighter Program and military jet engines to Iran.

Khazaee, who became naturalized in 1991 and holds dual U.S. and Iranian citizenship, allegedly obtained the information from defense contractors with whom he had been employed as an engineer.

The investigation against Khazaee opened in November after investigators from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service (CBP) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) noticed a shipment that Khazaee sent by truck from Connecticut to a freight forwarder in Long Beach, Cal. Although the documentation on the shipment said that it contained household goods, inspectors found “numerous boxes of documents consisting of sensitive technical manuals, specification sheets, and other proprietary material relating to the U.S. Air Force’s F35 Joint Strike Fighter program and military jet engines,” an affidavit attached to the complaint said.

Khazaee, who recently moved from Connecticut to Indianapolis, was arrested in Newark before he could get on a connecting flight to Frankfurt on his way to Tehran.

He made an initial court appearance Monday. The charge against him carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison if Khazaee is convicted.

Report: U.S. fighting alongside Iran’s Al Qods Brigades in Iraq (video)

via Debka: US and Iran’s First Joint Military Venture: Fighting al Qaeda in Iraq.

Iraq is two weeks into a major offensive for cutting al Qaeda down – the first major military challenge the jihadists have faced in the past six years. Three armies are fighting alongside Iraq: the United States, Iran’s Al Qods Brigades officers and Syria.

via ABC News,

Former CIA Case Officer Robert Baer…describes the al Quds forces as the “bad guys … who 100 percent have American blood on their hands.”

Video: Iran Facts

h/t WildNinja

Facts ignored by Obama who secretly negotiated with Iran while News Agencies Kept Iran Talks Secret, following White House orders not to report it keeping Americans in the dark.

Then, when they do report it, they report White House propaganda that Iran claims the White House is Lying About Details of Nuke Deal.

Here’s another fact: John Kerry’s daughter recently married Iranian-American with extensive ties to Iran.

U.S. has been conducting secret dialogue with terrorist Hizbullah

Obama has now worked intimately with the Saudi’s, the Muslim Brotherhood and their militant wing Hamas, he’s negotiated with the Taliban and is funding/training al Qaeda in Syria. With Hizbollah now on his resume, there’s virtually no prominent Islamic terror group Obama isn’t working with. via Sources: U.S. has been conducting secret dialogue with Hizbullah | World Tribune. h/t Atlas

Lebanon has reported a secret dialogue between the Iranian-sponsored Hizbullah and the United States.

Lebanese parliamentary sources said U.S. diplomats have begun contact with Hizbullah politicians in Beirut. They said the dialogue concerned stability in Lebanon as well as the next government.

“The United States is sending and receiving messages to Hizbullah through sympathetic third parties,” a source said. “The dialogue has intensified over the last few weeks.”

The dialogue was reported by members of the pro-Western March 14 coalition, driven out of power in 2011. The members, who did not want to be identified, said the U.S. dialogue with Hizbullah was part of the rapproachment by President Barack Obama with Iran.

It should be noted:

Until 9/11, no terrorist organization had killed more Americans than Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite group: From the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing, which killed 241 Marines, to the 1996 detonation of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 U.S. airmen, Hezbollah’s anti-American curriculum vitae was long and bloody. Today it remains an efficient global terror operation, having executed bombings on four continents, built a presence on six and even branched out to drug trafficking. ‘Hezbollah,’ by Matthew Levitt

 

Bonus: For more analysis on Obama’s deal with Iran read these Stratfor excerpts:

Next Steps for the U.S.-Iran Deal
NOVEMBER 25, 2013

Summary
What was unthinkable for many people over many years happened in the early hours of Nov. 24 in Geneva: The United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran struck a deal. After a decade long struggle, the two reached an accord that seeks to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program remains a civilian one. It is a preliminary deal, as both sides face months of work to batten down domestic opposition, build convincing mechanisms to assure compliance and unthread complicated global sanctions.
 
That’s the easy part. More difficult will be the process to reshape bilateral relations while virtually every regional player in the Middle East seeks ways to cope with an Iran that’s no longer geopolitically encumbered.

Analysis
The foreign ministers of Iran and the six Western powers that constitute so-called P-5+1 Group clinched a six-month deal that begins the curtailment of Iran’s nuclear program while relaxing as much as $6 billion in sanctions — basically those embargoes that do not require U.S. President Barack Obama to secure approval from Congress. Allowing Iran to enrich uranium to “civilian” levels while making sure the know-how is not diverted military purposes will be complex. Continue reading

State Dept. Spokeswoman Refuses to Criticize Iran for Excl Women from Election

Obama would never criticize Islamic sharia law. Apparently his former spokeswoman won’t either. via Daniel Harper @ The Weekly Standard.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki refused to criticize Iran for excluding women candidates from the upcoming “election” there. The remarkable exchange, which concludes with Psaki saying this (“We want this [election] to be free and fair. There’s a lot of ways to, of course, define that.”) happened at Friday’s press briefing.

QUESTION:Jen, can I change the subject? It would seem that in Iran the Guardians Council, which is vetting the candidates for the upcoming elections next month, have decided and have ruled that women cannot contest, they cannot stand as candidates. I wondered what the United States reaction is to that, considering that 50 person of the population in Iran is women – are women.

MS. PSAKI:Well, we don’t take positions on any candidates, as you know, and we hope that the upcoming elections will be free, fair, and transparent and will represent the will of the Iranian people. So we wouldn’t weight into decisions made by the government. Of course, broadly, we hope that women around the world participate in politics and elected office, but beyond that I don’t think I have anything specific for you.

QUESTION:Taking the word “fair” – if you’re being fair, it would seem to exclude 50 percent of the population from an election, would already mean that it is not a fair election.

MS. PSAKI: Well, we don’t weigh in on to the candidates and the candidates that are chosen through the process in Iran. Of course, of course, broadly speaking we do want women to participate in elections around the world and rise up in elected office.

QUESTION:Just not in Iran?

MS. PSAKI:

I’m not suggesting that, Arshad. I’m just suggesting that we leave it to the process that happens in Iran for them to pick their candidates.

No problem picking the candidates by funding coups in Libya, Egypt and Syria. Hypocrites.

Sec of State John Kerry reveals daughter married Iranian-American with extensive ties to Iran

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via Secretary of State John Kerry demonstrates why Huma Abedin’s background mattered | Walid Shoebat.

Here we have an example that demonstrates this reality further and it comes via Kenneth Timmerman, who has picked up on the fact that the new Secretary of State – John Kerry – has a son-in-law with family still living in Iran. This reality could conceivably affect how Kerry deals with the Iranians.

Via the Daily Caller:

In a greeting to the Iranian people on the occasion of the traditional New Year (Nowruz) holiday last week, Secretary of State John Kerry exposed a secret that journalists and academics have been agonizing over for the past six weeks: the fact that his daughter has married an Iranian-American who has extensive family ties to Iran.

“I am proud of the Iranian-Americans in my own family, and grateful for how they have enriched my life,” Kerry said in the official statement. Kerry also said he was “strongly committed to resolving” the differences between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran, “to the mutual benefit of both of our people.”

Politicians like to keep their families off-limits to the press, a decorum enforced vigorously when it comes to politicians who are in favor with the national media but ruthlessly discarded for others. But in Kerry’s case, there could be larger ramifications.

Since its inception, the FBI has vetted U.S. government officials involved in national security issues, and it generally won’t grant clearances to individuals who are married to nationals of an enemy nation or have family members living in that country, for fear of divided loyalties or, more simply, blackmail.

There it is. Certainly, even leftists can comprehend this concept without inserting race into their thought processes (oh, wait). Imagine a scenario in which a representative of Iran’s mullahs approaches the State Department with a list of demands that, if not met, could have serious consequences for Kerry’s in-laws living in Iran.

In the current political construct, such demands could conceivably involve the U.S. withholding money, weapons, or aid earmarked for a country like Egypt as tensions in the Middle East escalate. While that may not sound like a bad idea to those of us who understand the threat of the Muslim Brotherhood, shouldn’t our Secretary of State’s sole interest be in lockstep with the interests of the United States?

Off topic but related: Strange bedfellows — Iran and al Qaeda

Chicago Public Schools Ban Book on Iranian Revolution

The answer to the “What’s Next?” question above: sharia. via Lane Tech Students Protest CPS Stance on ‘Persepolis’ – DNAinfo.com Chicago.

ROSCOE VILLAGE — Nearly 100 Lane Tech students and teachers stood outside in the rain Friday afternoon to protest the CPS decision to remove copies of the graphic novel “Persepolis” from the district’s seventh-grade classrooms, and to reassess whether the book can be taught to upper grades.

Cars, trucks and buses honked as they passed the crowd gathered at the corner of Western Avenue and Addison Street, signaling solidarity with signs reading “Free Persepolis” and “Homework for CPS: Read the First Amendment.”

Lane teachers were still smarting from the CPS directive, issued Wednesday from central office, to confiscate copies of the book, and the initial confusion over whether the ban extended to libraries.

“We still don’t know who made the decision or why it was made. English teachers weren’t asked their professional opinion. Nobody was included. That is not how democracy works,” said Steve Parsons, Lane Tech teacher and Chicago Teachers Union delegate.

Sounds very…Islamic.

“If we had received a message that said, ‘After much reflection….’ There was nothing. They came in the middle of a school week, in the middle of the day. It was so arbitrary.”

In a letter to principals released on Friday, CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said that the notice to remove the book from the district’s seventh-grade curriculum came after “It was brought to our attention that it contains graphic language and images that are not appropriate for general use” for that age group.

While saying, “We are not banning this book from our schools,” Byrd-Bennett instructed principals: “If your seventh-grade teachers have not yet taught this book, please ask them not to do so and to remove any copies of the book from their classrooms.”

“I think it’s back pedaling. I think they’re being spin doctors,” said a Lane Tech teacher who asked not to be identified.

In a statement to media, the Chicago Teachers Union noted: “CPS is now claiming ‘Persepolis’ is banned only from the 7th grade classroom but will be available in school libraries. Unfortunately 160 elementary schools don’t have libraries. We support our educators who are fighting to ensure their students have access to ideas about democracy, freedom of speech and self-image.”

“Persepolis” is an autobiographical graphic novel written by Marjane Satrapi and originally published in France. It describes the author’s childhood in Iran in the 1970s and ’80s as she lived through the Islamic Revolution and the war with Iraq.

The book has been taught at Lane Tech for at least the past five years, said another Lane teacher, who also preferred to remain anonymous.

“I think it’s an important book” in the way it examines Islam, Iran, culture and history, said the teacher.

More via chicagoist.com

Publishers Weekly spoke with CPS office of teaching and learning chief Annette Gurley who confirmed that, while Byrd-Bennett rescinded the order to have the book pulled from libraries, it would not be returning to classrooms in grades 7-10 for now.

“We want to make sure that the message about inhumanity [is what] kids walk away with, not the images of someone with exposed body parts urinating on someone’s back or someone’s being tortured,” Gurley said, “We are not protesting the value of this book as a work of art. We just want to make sure that when we put this book into the hands of students, they have the background, the maturity to appreciate the book.”“That book will not be back in place as required reading for grades 7-10 until the support is put in place. We want to put the support in place so that the content of this book can be accessed. I don’t think that happens by putting a book on a list and letting people discover it. There needs to be preparation for that,” she added.

Translated: Teachers will be trained by Muslims on the correct way to portray Islam to students so as not to offend Islam and obfuscate the author’s points.

In a letter to principals this morning, Byrd-Bennett wrote:

“It was brought to our attention that it contains graphic language and images that are not appropriate for general use in the seventh grade curriculum. If your seventh grade teachers have not yet taught this book, please ask them not to do so and to remove any copies of the book from their classrooms.”

A Lane Tech student emailed Satrapi of the situation and a protest was scheduled for this afternoon outside the high school. Satrapi told the Tribune the directive by Byrd-Bennett was “shameful” and not what she normally envisioned of Chicago.

Persepolis received universal praise when it was released in 2003, but it has been banned in Iran, the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon for being blasphemous to Islam.

Add Chicago to the list. The animated flick is available on Youtube for those who haven’t seen it and those Lane Tech students who have been banned from reading it.

Meanwhile, State Department Ducks Hearing on American Pastor Imprisoned in Iran.

 

Iran sentences U.S. pastor to 8 years in prison for preaching Christianity

via Saeed Abedini: U.S. pastor sentenced to 8 years in Iranian prison for preaching Christianity in homes | Mail Online.

An American pastor from Idaho has been sentenced to eight years in one of Iran’s harshest prisons for preaching Christianity in Iranian homes, it was revealed today.

Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen who was born in Iran, has been held since September and charged with ‘threatening the national security of Iran.

The 32-year-old father of two says he was in the country only to establish and orphanage and was not preaching Christianity.

Abedini, seen here with his wife Naghmeh and their two young children

The American Center for Law and Justice, which is working with Mr Abedini’s family to free him from Iranian custody, says the pastor led house churches in the Islamic nation in the early 2000s, when the state did not consider such activities a threat.

‘With today’s development I am devastated for my husband and my family.  We must now pursue every effort, turn every rock, and not stop until Saeed is safely on American soil,’ Mr Abedini’s devastated wife Naghmeh, said.

Mr Abedini is being held in Evin Prison in Tehran, the infamous gulag that houses most of the country’s political prisoners.

The ACLJ, a legal advocacy group founded by televangelist Pat Robertson, reports that Revolutionary Court Judge Pir-Abassi convicted and sentenced Mr Abedini after a hastily-called court hearing.

The group says that the ruling violated Iran’s judicial rules and was motivated purely by politics.

‘We know that with the Iranian Revolutionary Court, Pastor Saeed’s conviction and sentence had to be approved at the very top – The Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei had to sign off,’ Jordan Sekulow, the director of international operations, wrote.

The ACLJ says that Mr Abedini was beaten and tortured while in Iranian custody.

He and his attorney were allowed to attend just one day of his trial, which began on January 21.

Iranian officials had previously said they were planning to release the pastor, so the news that he was sentenced to eight years in a harsh prison came as a shock to his family and supporters.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and the State Department have both called for Mr Abedini’s release, thought the Iranian government has clearly ignored the request.

Have you heard their calls for his release? Because when a movie trailer about Islam was made, all levels of Obama’s administration were in the media condemning it. Quite a contrast.

U.S. Christian convert from Islam faces death penalty in Iran

#MyJihad is a religion of peace.

WASHINGTON — A Tehran court will next week put on trial an Iranian American Christian on charges that could carry the death penalty, his wife said Thursday, in a case that has raised concern among US officials.

Saeed Abedini, a naturalized US citizen who converted to Christianity, was arrested in September on a return visit to Iran and in a recent letter said he suffered beatings in prison, his wife and his US-based lawyer said.

His wife said that the 32-year-old will face charges of harming national security starting Monday at a trial under Abbas Pir-Abassi, a revolutionary court judge who has been criticized overseas for harsh verdicts.

Naghmeh Abedini voiced hope that international pressure would benefit her husband but said it was “highly possible that put under pressure (by Iran’s leadership) they would give a very long sentence and possibly the death penalty.”

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland recently said the United States had “serious concerns” over the case and urged Iran to grant Abedini access to an attorney. His wife said he has not seen a lawyer since his arrest.

Iran’s constitution following the 1979 Islamic revolution recognizes the rights of several religious minorities including Christians, but the regime has targeted former Muslims for leaving the faith.

Continue reading via AFP: US Christian faces death in Iran trial: family.

Iran will pursue makers of Muhammad film, not makers of Sunni-made anti-Shia film

Little late fellas, the brown shirts already got him. via Iran will pursue makers of anti-Islam film: vice-president.

DUBAI (REUTERS) – Iran’s government will “track down” those responsible for making an amateurish film clip mocking the Prophet Muhammad, a senior official said, Iranian media reported on Monday.

The video made in California and posted on YouTube portrayed the Prophet Muhammad as a womaniser and a fool. It has ignited a week of violent protests across the Muslim world.

See the Muhammad movie here.

“The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran condemns…this inappropriate and offensive action,” First Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi said, according to the Mehr news agency.

“Certainly it will search for, track, and pursue this guilty person who…has insulted 1.5 billion Muslims in the world.” The Islamic Republic’s founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini condemned to death the Indian-born British novelist Salman Rushdie in 1989 for his novel The Satanic Verses, saying its depiction of the Prophet Muhammad was blasphemous.

Back in 2008 we posted a set of videos entitled “The Shia and their Crimes.” It was made by Sunni Muslims in Arabic. It was posted by a Russian Muslim(s) around the web. No riots. Not a word from Iran.

Maybe Iran should focus on the Sunni’s who made this anti-Muslim film. And evidence is emerging that the Muhammad movie was a Salafi plot all along.

Moral of the story: It’s not about the movie!

Update: Hezbollah supporters rally against anti-Islam film (plenty of those in US too)

U.S. Seizes $150 Million in Hezbollah-Linked Cash from NY Account

via U.S. Seizes $150 Million in Alleged Hezbollah-Linked Cash – Corruption Currents – WSJ.

U.S. officials said Monday they seized $150 million connected to a scheme in which entities linked to Hezbollah allegedly used the U.S. financial system to launder money through West Africa and back to the group’s base of Lebanon.

The seizure stems from a civil lawsuit filed last year by federal prosecutors in Manhattan against defunct Lebanese Canadian Bank, or LCB, and two Lebanese exchange houses seeking more than $480 million in funds allegedly derived from drug trafficking and other criminal activity passing through the U.S. financial system.

The seizure was reported by The Wall Street Journal, and there’s more here.

Hezbollah is a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization. The group’s leadership has denied engaging in money laundering to finance its activity.

Prosecutors said Monday they seized $150 million from a New York correspondent account of Lebanon’s Banque Libano Francaise SAL, or BLF. Société Générale de Banque au Liban, which bought LCB in September 2011 for $580 million, paid for part of the transaction through BLF. The seized funds are substitutes for the money in the LCB account in escrow at BLF, prosecutors said.

The warrants to seize the funds were issued August 15, but made public Monday. Neither BLF nor Société Générale de Banque au Liban were accused of wrongdoing, prosecutors said.

 

St. Louis: Convert from Islam receives death threat from Iran

via Death Threat From Iran Sent To St. Louis Men | kplr11.com – St. Louis News & Weather from KPLR 11.

ST .LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – Two St. Louis area men said they have received death threats from Iran and they are taking those threats seriously. The said a fatwa, or religious decree, has been put on their heads.

The letter was sent to Ali Bahkti and his pastor Mike Salazar. The envelope indicates it is from Tehran, Iran. It is apparently signed by a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Army. Mike Salazar said, ‘It`s a death threat very simply.’ Ali Bakhti added, ‘Religious decree to kill.’ Salazar said, ‘It`s something to be taken seriously.’

Ali Bakhti said he once served in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard when he was a teenager. Bakhti said, ‘Dirty bombs, convert civilian streets into a mine fields.’ He said he was even assigned a suicide mission, to blow up an Israeli disco. But, he had a dramatic change of heart and faith and converted to Christianity and moved to the U.S. He met Pastor Salazar at church and since then the two have been spreading their beliefs to church goers. The two men believe that Islam is a religion that could easily radicalize a Muslim into a terrorist.

Salazar said, ‘Our message isn`t to offend Muslims.’ But, it apparently has. Now the two are under a death decree that they fear could be carried out any moment. They say that won`t stop them from preaching what they strongly believe in. Bakhti said, ‘I`m doing it for the kingdom of God.’ Salazar said, ‘Even if you die doing it.’

Salazar has reported the letter to the F.B.I. The feds won`t either confirm or deny if they are investigating. We contacted a Mosque in West County for a comment from the Muslim Community but have not yet heard from them.

What, no comment from the media’s favorite Muslim terrorist group?

And just how did a former Revolutionary Guard member who admitted to being sent on suicide missions get into the U.S.? The DOJ jumps when Muslims claim threats or harassment, but ex-Muslims aren’t worth the time of day.

Iran jails lawyer who defended Christian pastor on death row

No freedom compulsion in Islam. And silence from U.S. media and politicians. via Iran now jails pastor’s lawyer | Greeley Gazette.

The government of Iran appears to be doubling down in the case of a pastor facing the death sentence for leaving the Islamic faith by now arresting his attorney.

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which has been working to secure the release of Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, today called Iran’s decision to imprison Pastor Youcef’s attorney, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, “very troubling.”

Dadkah told news organizations that government officials had informed him he had been convicted of acting against national security and spreading propaganda against the regime and could expect to be jailed soon.

“The news that this renowned human rights attorney has been sentenced to prison by Iranian officials is very troubling,” said Jordan Sekulow, Executive Director of the ACLJ. “This development only reinforces the fact that Iran has no regard for basic human rights. It also raises further concern about the fate of Pastor Youcef. With his attorney facing nine years in prison, and no other lawyer likely to take the case, Pastor Youcef has no legal advocate, which places him at greater risk.”

The decision by Iran to arrest Nadarkhani’s attorney comes amidst intense international pressure to free the pastor. Their actions towards Nadarkhani mirror those it shows towards the rest of the world in regards to its nuclear program.

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani caught the attention of the world after being convicted for leaving the Islamic faith, even though he says he has never been a Muslim. Nardarkhani, who is facing a possible death sentence, has been caught in a catch 22 regarding Muslim teaching.

While Nadarkhani tells the world that he was never a Muslim that statement is contrary to Muslim teaching. According to Islam, everyone is born a Muslim. Thus, Nadarkhani or for that matter, any person who becomes a Christian or follows any other religion has “left Islam.”

On page 28, in the introduction of a copy of the Qur’an, printed by Ansariyan Publications in the Islamic Republic of Iran, the translator, M.H. Shakir in the section “Islam and Muslims” states, “In fact, every child that is born is a Muslim. It is the parents who make him a Jew, Christian or Hindu.”

Based on this teaching, even if Nadarkhani had never visited a mosque a day in his life he is still considered a Muslim. Therefore, when he accepted Christ as his savior and became a Christian he left the Muslim faith whether he knew it or not.

How many Muslims would there really be in the world if Islam didn’t dictate death for those who choose to leave?


Iran sentences Christian pastor to death by hanging for rejecting Islam

Islam. Sharia. People inside America want it.

via http://aclj.org/

Clinton-nominated judge rules Iran responsible for 9/11

Impeccable timing as the political indications are pointing toward a pending attack on Iran, and the Saudi’s are off the hook again. via September 11 | Iran | Federal Judge | The Daily Caller.

NEW YORK — In an historic hearing in the federal courthouse in Manhattan on Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge George Daniels said he planned to issue a ruling in the coming days declaring that Iran shares in the responsibility for the 9/11 terror attacks.

“The extensive record submitted to this court, including fact witnesses and expert testimony, is satisfactory to this court,” Judge Daniels said. The court “accepts as true” the various allegations of the plaintiffs and their experts, he declared, and “will issue an order” in the coming days that Iran bears legal responsibility for providing “material support” to the 9/11 plotters and hijackers.

In presenting evidence gathered by the attorneys and their outside investigator, Timothy Fleming revealed tantalizing details of still-sealed videotaped depositions provided by three defectors from Iranian intelligence organizations.

One of those defectors was “physically present” when al-Qaida’s second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, came to Iran in January 2001 for four days of intense closed-door meetings with the top leadership in Iran to discuss the impending attacks.

Another took part in writing up the debriefing reports of Iran’s al-Qaida liaison, Imad Mugniyeh, once he returned to Iran from Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks.

The most dramatic moment of the hearing came when Fleming unveiled the identity of a third defector and described in detail the information he had provided.

The defector, Abdolghassem Mesbahi, had been a confidant of Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Islamic Republic’s founder, and headed up European operations for the new regime’s fledging intelligence service in the early 1980s.

Then, Mesbahi actively took part in developing a set of terrorist contingency plans, called “Shaitan der atash” — meaning “Satan in the Flames,” or “Satan on Fire” — to be used against the United States.

“This contingency plan for unconventional or asymmetrical warfare against the United States was the origin of subsequent terror attacks against the United States, up to and including the terrorist attacks of 9/11.” Fleming said. “Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda joined the Iranian operational planning in the early to mid-1990s.”

Those earlier “unconventional” attacks included the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and the 2000 attack on the U.S.S. Cole.

In 1996, Mesbahi learned hard-liners within the regime intended to kill him. He fled Iran for Europe, where he was granted political refugee status.

Mesbahi soon became a witness in German court proceedings stemming from the assassination of Kurdish dissidents in the Mykonos restaurant in Berlin, and went to ground in a witness protection program. Known only as “Witness C,” his testimony led the German court to name the top leadership of Iran as personally responsible for ordering the assassinations, and caused the European Union to withdraw their ambassadors from Iran for 18 months.

Ever since then, Mesbahi has been a marked man, hunted by the regime’s intelligence services.

Fleming described Mesbahi’s desperate attempts in the weeks before the 9/11 attacks to contact German and U.S. intelligence agencies, after he received a series of coded messages from one of his former intelligence colleagues in Iran.

The first message, which he received on July 23, 2001, told him that the “Shaitan der atash” contingency plan against the United States had been activated.

Mesbahi knew at that point that something awful was about to occur, but he didn’t know which of the many variants of the plan had been selected, Fleming said. In one version of the plan, Iranian-backed terrorists were supposed to attack gas stations around the United States, causing their underground fuel tanks to explode. In another, they were to attack oil refineries.

The second message, which he received on Aug. 13, 2001, told him which plan had been selected. “This was the plan to crash civilian jetliners into major U.S. cities, including New York and Washington,” Fleming said.

The third message, which Mesbahi received on Aug. 27, told him that “Germany was involved” in some way in the plans. As Fleming pointed out, several of the 9/11 hijackers, including the lead pilot, Mohammad Atta, were working out of Hamburg, Germany.

The 9/11 Commission report referred obliquely to Mesbahi and others who had “some fragmentary knowledge” of the impending attacks in its narrative of the events of the summer of 2001. The “system was blinking red” and U.S. intelligence agencies were receiving “frequent fragmentary reports from around the world,” Mellon, one of the 9/11 families’ attorneys, told the court.

Judge Daniels said he expected to issue a final opinion in the case early next week, finding Iran responsible for the worst terror attacks ever perpetrated on U.S. soil.

Daniels is a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Read it all.


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