Iranian leaders “facilitated” the movement of al Qaeda militants through their country, including many of the terrorists who struck destroyed the World Trade Center and struck the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, according to the 9/11 Commission report and internal documents belonging to Osama bin Laden.
In addition, the Washington Times reported, experts believe that the late Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani almost certainly knew of and directed the terrorism partnership with al Qaeda because he began leading the Quds Force in 1998.
That force is a U.S.-designated terrorist organization that serves under the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a militarized faction that dominates Iranian society.
Soleimani was killed in Baghdad by a U.S. drone missile attack on his car on orders of President Trump.
“There is strong evidence that Iran facilitated the transit of al Qaeda members into and out of Afghanistan before 9/11, and that some of these were future 9/11 hijackers,” said the commission, known formally as The National Commission on Terror Attacks Upon the United States.
Bin Laden described Iran as “our main artery” for funds and personnel.
Michael Rubin, a Middle East scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, told the Times that none of that would have taken place with Soleimani’s involvement and approval.
“Qassem Soleimani was the second most powerful man in Iran after the Supreme Leader,” he told the paper.
“He didn’t just run overseas operations and those involving Iranian relations with terror groups, he formulated and developed them. There was not a single operation of any significance which he did not approve if not oversee,” Rubin continued.
“This extends backwards not only into Iran’s support for proxies in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, but also to it ties to Al Qaeda,” he added.
“Simply put, the 9/11 hijackers never would have been able to train in Afghanistan had it not been for Soleimani’s support and Iranian free-passage. The same holds true for Iran’s subsequent safe-haven to senior Al Qaeda operatives in IRGC bases inside Iran.”
The Quds Force is responsible for creating and aligning with other terror groups in the region, training, financing and directing them as it is today in Iraq.