Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Iran/Al-Qaeda Connection

This becomes yet another reason why a nuclear Iran would be a very, very, bad thing:
WASHINGTON — U.S. intelligence officials, already focused on Iran's potential for building nuclear weapons, are struggling to solve a more immediate mystery: the murky relationship between the new Tehran leadership and the contingent of Al Qaeda leaders residing in the country.

Some officials, citing evidence from highly classified satellite feeds and electronic eavesdropping, believe the Iranian regime is playing host to much of Al Qaeda's remaining brain trust and allowing the senior operatives freedom to communicate and help plan the terrorist network's operations.

And they suggest that recently elected President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may be forging an alliance with Al Qaeda operatives as a way to expand Iran's influence or, at a minimum, that he is looking the other way as Al Qaeda leaders in his country collaborate with their counterparts elsewhere.

"Iran is becoming more and more radicalized and more willing to turn a blind eye to the Al Qaeda presence there," a U.S. counter-terrorism official said.

This is the sort of thing you had hoped wouldn't surface, but now that it has, the Iranian threat to stability in the region and to the rest of the world becomes just that much more serious.

President Ahmadinejad is an unstable man with ambitions for power and world recognition. He has also made a point of proving himself to be both determined and extremely radical --the worst of combinations. After denying the holocaust and calling for the destruction of Israel, Ahmadinejad has made his agenda claer, and a connection with al-Qaeda only adds to the seriousness of the situation.

Given his track record, I am confident that this connection is a very real problem, despite the thrust of the latter half of the article that asserts otherwise. The Bullwinkle Blog explains.

If anything, this only underscores the seriousness that must be brought to handling the situation with Iran. The last thing the United States could want is a president who hates our country funding and providing terrorists with nuclear weapons to use against us.