Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lawsuit Accuses Iran Of Complicity in 9/11 Attacks

There's an interesting federal lawsuit that's been filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan by family members of the victims of 9/11.

It alleges that Iran had foreknowledge of the attacks, materially assisted al-Qaeda and the 9/11 hijackers and was complicit in the attacks.

This is by no means new material. Even the 9/11 commission said in its report that there was "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." There's more than just strong evidence that Iran allowed members of al-Qaeda into Iran after we invaded their stronghold in Afghanistan, which is how so many of them got to Iraq so easily via Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iran.

The 9/11 commission urged further investigation at the time, but neither the Bush Administration or the Obama Administration has seen fit to follow up.

Representing eight law firms from across the United States, the attorneys and their team of investigators have turned up some convincing evidence, including the testimony of two defectors from the Islamic regime's intelligence service as well as from members of the 9/11 commission and US intelligence agents and terrorism experts

The attorneys in the case claim to have taken sworn testimony former Iranian intelligence operatives describing the direct participation of top government officials of Iran in the planning of, and preparation for, the 9/11 attacks. These witnesses also describe the roles of top Iranian officials in assisting al Qaeda leadership and operatives to escape from Afghanistan after the U.S.-led invasion in the wake of 9/11.Iran then provided safe haven and support for these al Qaeda members inside Iran.

"There is an I-Spy aspect to all this," Dennis Pantazis, a partner at Wiggins Childs said. "But the information the defectors provided is direct and their documentation is direct."

"The big picture in a case like this is knowledge," he said. "We can't change history and we can't prosecute anyone, all we can do with a civil suit is reveal truth and knowledge."

According to the filing, Iran facilitated travel for the al-Qaeda members by directing border guards not to impede their ingress into Iran or to stamp their passports. If that's true ( and it likely is) Iran had foreknowledge of the attacks. And given that Iran has been in a state of war with America since 1979, it would hardly be out of character.

Another piece of the puzzle is our old friend, the late and unlamented Imad Mugniyeh.

Mugniyeh was one of the superstars of jihad. He was a Lebanese Shi'ite who started his career as a member of Yasser Arafat's Force 17 back when the PLO was trying to put together its own little reichlet there, and later became a founding member of Hezbollah.

He masterminded the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut that killed 63 people and the truck-bomb attacks in Beirut that took the lives of 242 U.S. Marines and 58 French troops and personally tortured to death CIA agent William Buckley, recording the proceeds on video and sending it to the CIA HQ in Langley. He also made the FBI's most wanted list for ordering the murder of US Navy diver Robert Stethem during the June 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847.

Mugniyeh later joined al Qaeda as one of Osama bin-Laden's chiefs of operations while maintaining his connections with Hezbollah, the Palestinians and Iran, and was unique in that he was a trusted link between all the parties.

According to the lawsuit, Mugniyeh was the direct liaison between al-Qaeda and Iran,something that's entirely plausible given that he performed the same role in other operations like the Karina-A arms shipment the Israelis hijacked, which involved Iranian arms sent to Arafat via Hezbollah with a Palestinian crew.

There were already some tentative links to Mughniyeh by the 9/11 Commission, which cited evidence that "a senior Hezbollah operative visited Saudi Arabia to coordinate activities there" and that this senior Hezbollah operative and his associate were on the same flights as several of the future hijackers who were traveling to and from Iran between October 2000 and February 2001.

The lawsuit says it has what it describes as 'compelling evidence' in the testimony of the Iranian defectors that the senior Hezbollah operative described was Imad Mughniyeh.

Iran is not bothering to mount a defense and neither are the Iranian officials named in the suit. The plan will likely be to get a judgment and then pursue Iranian assets overseas in foreign courts that honor US judgments.

What other fall out happens from this will likely depend on how compelling a case the plaintiffs make. Establishing Iranian complicity in the 9/11 attacks will likely lead to a resurgence of the question some of us have been asking for a long time - exactly why did we go after Saddam Hussein and ignore the real threat in Iran?

As I told you a long time ago, it was about the Saudis.

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Soccer Dad said...

Any of the Iranian officials implicated in the Argentina Jewish Center case?

Rob said...

I'd have to see the actual filing and see exactly who's named as defendants.

Mugniyeh definately had a hand in that, so it's not at all unlikely some of the Iranian defendants did too.

B.Poster said...

"exactly why did we go after Saddam Hussein and ignore the real threat in Iran?" Iraq posed a grave threat to us. In the post 911 way of looking at things, at least at the time, our tolerance for grave threats to our national security was much less than it was before or it is now. Also, we were already involved in what some pundits had referred to as a "low grade war" with Iraq even at the time of the 911 attacks.

We were losing the low grade war. Iraq had largely achieved a de facto end of the sanctions and was on the verge of a massive break out. Due to the fact that the US and its allies had already fought Destern Storm against Iraq, we were in a low grade war with them to try and contain them, and sanctions were failing we were able to gain some modicum of support for an invasion of Iraq. It woud have been impossible, at the time, to gain the necessary support for an effective military action against Iran. This is why Iraq was focused on first. I don't think it is entirely correct to say we "ignored" Iran.

Had the Iraqi invasion worked out the way we initally wanted it to we would have brought to power an Iraqi government that would be friendly to our interests.

Iraq borders Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. Each of these countries is either an enemy of America, is hostile to Amrica, or would like to be hostile to America. Had the Iraqi invasion worked out as some had hoped we would have an ally in the heart of the Middle East that borders on countries who are hostile to America or would like to be hostile to America. Essentially we would have been able to have a formidable military presence that, at the very least, could have been used to act as a check on countries such as Iran.

In summary, Iran would have been dealt with at the proper time. We could not get the necessary support needed for an effective military campaign against Iran at the time. Iraq posed a grave threat to America and we could get the necessary support to invade it. At least we thought we had enough.

Maybe, just maybe, had Turkey allowed us to use their territory we could have had forces come down from the north we might have been more successful. Turkey is a member of NATO. Part of NATO's charter is if one member is threatened then other members are supposed to come to their aid. Turkey failed us in an hour of need. They should have been booted from NATO.

I realize this is a long winded answer to the question of why Iraq was invaded but Iran was "ignored." Iran was not ignored. It was simply a matter of timing and had the Iraq invasion worked out as some had hoped we could have had a military force in Iraq that could have acted as a check on Iran.

Finally, the threat to America posed by Islamic terrorists and the nations who support them of which Iraq was and is a part pose a far greater threat to America than Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan ever did or ever could have. While the threat is real, it is not exactly the same enemy as Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan and America is not the same country today that it was in the 1940s. As such, our strategies for defeating this enemy will likely be very different from the ones used to defeat our enemies during WWII. In order to develop these strategies, we must first recognize the threat!! To many of us fail to do this.

The "neo-conservatives" recognized the threat and tried to deal with it but were unable to get the proper committment from the US government or our allies to implement their strategies. Also, their strategies may not have been correct but we may never know. We never had the proper committment of resources to give them a reasonable chance!!

louielouie said...

exactly why did we go after Saddam Hussein and ignore the real threat in Iran?

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