The Big News From the Bin Laden Files
On Wednesday, the United States Central Intelligence Agency released some 470,000 files recovered from the Pakistan compound where Osama bin Laden was found and killed in 2011. Navy seals seized the trove during the raid, and it was released following a request from the Long War Journal. The files reveal that bin Laden collaborated with Iran.
The stockpile contains a large amount of information, from bin Laden’s journal to his collection of Disney movies to new photos of his son and heir to pornographic material to evidence that the mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist attacks was still overseeing certain parts of his terrorist operation despite being on the run.
Along with others, former cia official Ned Price emphasized that the documents “don’t tell us anything we didn’t already know.” But whether it’s old news or new, the release of these documents shows there is no denying the existence of a relationship between bin Laden’s al Qaeda organization and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
One 19-page document stands out. The report was from a senior member of al Qaeda detailing an arrangement between Iran and al Qaeda. The plan was to target American interests in Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf.
In exchange for al Qaeda’s help, Iran offered money, weapons and training in Hezbollah camps in Lebanon.
There were also references to facilitating the travel of terrorists. Driven from their caves in Afghanistan, operatives received visas and safe travel through Iran to Iraq. From there, they could continue fighting against United States forces.
The relationship had its problems. Squabbles between al Qaeda and Iran led to the imprisonment of al Qaeda officials. The terrorists then kidnapped Iranians to negotiate a prisoner swap. Bin Laden also wrote to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to demand the release of his own family members in Iran.
In the past, Tehran has denied any collusion with al Qaeda, using the imprisonments as proof. But the findings from bin Laden’s compound paint a different picture. The incidents of hostility were minor blips in an anti-American relationship that existed during the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Bin Laden seemed happy to accept Iranian money and supplies. Iran seemed happy to have an ongoing war against U.S. forces.
Iran was then able to benefit from its “rival” al Qaeda. Iran funded a war against American interests in the Middle East. Without Iran, al Qaeda (AQ) would struggle to connect its Afghan and Iraqi battlefields. Without Iran, bin Laden would have had to obtain money, weapons and training elsewhere. In the State Department’s Country Report on Terrorism 2011, officials reported that “Iran remained unwilling to bring to justice senior AQ members it continued to detain, and refused to publicly identify those senior members in its custody.” Iran “also allowed AQ members to operate a core facilitation pipeline through Iranian territory, enabling AQ to carry funds and move facilitators and operatives to South Asia and elsewhere.” Flash forward. Al Qaeda did its job. America withdrew from Iraq, defeated. Afghanistan has almost been turned back over to the Taliban.
Iran has benefited from the Islamic State in a similar way. The terror group has been a convenient excuse for Iran to pour tens of thousands of troops into Iraq.
In his December 2015 article for the Tower, “Iran Is More Deeply Tied to ISIS Than You Think,” Benjamin Decker provided a detailed explanation of Iran’s involvement in the creation of various Sunni terrorist organizations, including al Qaeda. He wrote, “As the West continues to partner with Iran to ‘degrade and ultimately destroy’ the Islamic State, it is worth remembering that one of Iran’s highest-ranking terrorists was instrumental in founding al Qaeda, and that the split between Shia and Sunni jihadis is murky at best.”
Decker continued, “Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security, described as one of the ‘largest and most dynamic intelligence agencies in the Middle East’ by the Pentagon’s Irregular Warfare Support Program, has, over the past 20 years, provided financial, material, technological and other support services to aqi [al Qaeda in Iraq].”
As Trumpet columnist Brad Macdonald noted in “The Islamic State and Iran: On the Same Team,” “Iran and the Islamic State are not archenemies. In fact, Iran is at least partly responsible for the Islamic State’s creation!”
If you haven’t already, go back and read this article. It highlights how Iran has exploited terror groups to solidify its own grip on the region.
Learn the Lesson
The revelations from the 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden have been in cia hands for six years. Despite this, there is no evidence to suggest America learned from its mistake with al Qaeda. Once again, the U.S. has let Iran wield terror forces for its own gain. Granted, Iran used a different approach with each, but both times it has been successful.
Everyone seems to know that Iran is the foremost state sponsor of terror—yet nobody is confronting it! The Trumpet archives are full of warnings that Iran intends to dominate the Middle East. For decades we have warned that Iran was going to make power plays for the region. The new revelation of Iran’s collusion with al Qaeda should be a wake-up call to everyone—particularly now that the Islamic State is almost defeated. Iran is the one to watch!
We need to watch, because this is not just about what Iran is doing or has done. It is about what Iran is going to do! Iran is assuming its role as “the king of the south.”
The Trumpet started warning about Iran in July 1992 when editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote an article titled “An Islamic King of the South.” Basing his analysis on the sure word of Bible prophecy, Mr. Flurry highlighted specific trends. Pointing to Islam’s immense following, control of oil, and possible acquisition of nuclear weapons from the former Soviet Union, Mr. Flurry wrote: “The king of the south could rule Iraq or Iran or both countries. But it is looking more now like Iran may produce this king.” At the time Iran was not strong, and it had strong opposition in the region! But God was revealing Iran’s place in Bible prophecy.
Stephen Flurry gave a Trumpet Daily Radio Show episode last week titled “Bible Prophecy Right Again! The Islamic State WAS a Distraction.” Listen to it here.
Daniel 11:40, written for “the time of the end,” describes a “king of the south,” a “pushy” expansionist power. Since 1992, the Trumpet has identified Iran as that power. Now more and more information is emerging confirming that forecast. It is becoming clearer by the day that Iran is the king of this region. For more on why we made this identification and what is next for this “king,” read our free booklet The King of the South.