“Since at least 2009,” the State Department says in a recently released report, “Iran has allowed AQ [al Qaeda] facilitators to operate a core facilitation pipeline through the country, enabling AQ to move funds and fighters to South Asia and Syria.”
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for its first major attacks inside Iran earlier today. Although the group has long fought Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria, it had never struck Tehran. Islamic State spokesman Abu Muhammad al Adnani previously admitted that his organization had abided by an order from al Qaeda’s senior leadership to refrain from attacking in Iran.
The US Treasury Department designated Muhammad Hadi al-‘Anizi as an al Qaeda terrorist earlier this month. He was detained in Afghanistan in late 2001 at the age of 15. Al-‘Anizi was freed and thanked Kuwait’s leadership for his repatriation. He is now based in Kuwait.
The US Treasury Department announced today that Muhammad Hadi al-`Anizi, a Kuwait-based “facilitator and financier” for al Qaeda and its Syrian branch, has been designated as a terrorist. Al Qaeda’s senior leadership appointed Al-`Anizi as al Qaeda’s “representative in Syria” sometime in 2014. His brother was previously designated by Treasury, which has repeatedly targeted al Qaeda’s support network in Kuwait.
The US killed al Qaeda veteran Abu al Khayr al Masri in a drone strike in Idlib, Syria in late February. Masri was identified as al Qaeda’s “general deputy” in July 2016. He worked to unite Syrian rebel groups under a common banner.
The US Treasury Department designated three al Qaeda terrorists today. All three of them are based inside Iran. One of them has served as al Qaeda’s “Military Commission Chief” and was identified in Osama bin Laden’s files as part of a “new generation” of leaders.
Abu Ubaydah Al Lubnani was once one of al Qaeda’s top security officials. After being dismissed from his job, he joined the Islamic State. In an interview with Al Naba magazine earlier this year, Lubnani discussed al Qaeda’s relationship with Iran and the group’s early strategy for the war in Syria. An al Qaeda loyalist has responded to Lubnani’s testimony.
The Department of Defense confirmed that the senior al Qaeda strategist, who was dispatched years ago by al Qaeda from the Afghanistan-Pakistan region to Syria, was killed in an airstrike on Oct. 15. Nasr’s death is a blow to al Qaeda.