Maybe the Clinton and Bush Administrations were looking under the wrong rock the whole time. A recent capture has led to documents that indicate that Iran has close ties to several terrorist groups in Iraq, including al Qaeda. Go figure!
I recently blogged about a raid in Baghdad wherein American troops captured high-level Iranians among suspected insurgents. Well, it turns out that the plot is thickening at a rapid pace. Although it will come as no surprise to some, the documents confirm that Iran is not only influencing both the Sunni and Shia sides of the insurgency, but it is working hand in glove with groups like al Qaeda and Ansar al Sunnah.
The New York Sun reports:
An American intelligence official said the new material, which has been authenticated within the intelligence community, confirms "that Iran is working closely with both the Shiite militias and Sunni Jihadist groups." The source was careful to stress that the Iranian plans do not extend to cooperation with Baathist groups fighting the government in Baghdad, and said the documents rather show how the Quds Force — the arm of Iran's revolutionary guard that supports Shiite Hezbollah, Sunni Hamas, and Shiite death squads — is working with individuals affiliated with Al Qaeda in Iraq and Ansar al-Sunna.
Another American official who has seen the summaries of the reporting affiliated with the arrests said it comprised a "smoking gun." "We found plans for attacks, phone numbers affiliated with Sunni bad guys, a lot of things that filled in the blanks on what these guys are up to," the official said.
One of the documents captured in the raids, according to two American officials and one Iraqi official, is an assessment of the Iraq civil war and new strategy from the Quds Force. According to the Iraqi source, that assessment is the equivalent of "Iran's Iraq Study Group," a reference to the bipartisan American commission that released war strategy recommendations after the November 7 elections. The document concludes, according to these sources, that Iraq's Sunni neighbors will step up their efforts to aid insurgent groups and that it is imperative for Iran to redouble efforts to retain influence with them, as well as with Shiite militias.
Such information is expected to have a great impact on the speech President Bush will give in the next few days.
Iraq the Model asks: What is so surprising about this? It is no secret that the various Islamic factions will work with their supposed enemies when it suits their purposes.
Of course the other thing that is not surprising is that Iran claims not to have given support to al Qaeda.