Sunday, October 10, 2004
World Net Daily: Iranian intel: Tehran harboring bin Laden.
Iran's cleric leaders are harboring Osama bin Laden, according to two Iranian intelligence officials cited in a new book.
The sources say they have seen the al-Qaida terrorist leader alive and well, although he no longer resembles the picture on FBI wanted posters.
Author Richard Miniter writes in Shadow War: The Untold Story of How Bush Is Winning the War on Terror that bin Laden "has trimmed his beard to fit the more traditional look of a Shi'ite cleric and he seemed to have put on weight, according to intelligence officials."
The sources say bin Laden is constantly on the move, "shuttling from Iranian safe houses controlled by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard to areas of Afghanistan controlled by the Iranian-backed warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar."
"Choopan," one of the sources, gives three reasons why Tehran would give safe haven to bin Laden, risking the wrath of the West.
"First, the Iranians believe they can keep bin Laden's presence a secret and plausibly deny it if publicly accused," Miniter writes. "Second, the mullahs are feeling increasingly threatened by the War on Terror.
"The mullahs, Choopan says, fear a counter-revolution and see bin Laden's fighters as tools they can use to ensure the failure of these young democracies in Iraq and Afghanistan and the survival of mullah-dominated Iran. Finally, they share enemies, including many Arab leaders, the United States and the rest of the Western world."
The book, launched earlier this week by Regnery, publisher of "Unfit for Command," already is No. 2 on the Amazon.com list.